Narahari Rao

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PD. Dr. habil. Narahari Rao is a theoriser for cultural and social development and founder of the Vagdevi Educational Trust, an educational institution in India.

B. Narahari Rao is born in 1946 in Mangalore, India. He had his Graduation in Chemistry and Masters degree in Philosophy (with honours) in Dharwar and Mysore respectively. At the University of Mysore, subsequently he acted there as a Research Fellow. He taught philosophy at the University of Bangalore and engaged in rural development. He contributed to the establishment of the "Centre for Informal Education and Development Studies (CIEDS)" known to date as "Society for Informal Education and Development Studies (SIEDS)".

As student and teacher he went to Europe in the late 70ties and acted at a number of European universities. In 1991 he obtained his doctorate in Philiosophy (summa cum laude) at the Universität des Saarlandes and habilitated there in 1997 with a thesis on Cultural Learning. He is Privatdozent (Adj. Professor) at the Universität des Saarlandes, collaborates in a research project of the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG) on „Lexicalisation in Discourse“ and was Visiting Professor at two universities, Kanpur (Indian Institute of Technology) and Lille (Belgium).

Mr. Rao is the founder of the Vagdevi Educational Trust, an educational institution in Mangalore (India) with a second registered office in Germany (Saarbruecken). The organisation focusses on educational processes (higher education) in rural regions in India under the auspices of sustainable development. The goal is defined as knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange on a grass-roots level as a base of development processes. Besides the humanities and Indian oral tradition, the institute researches traditional knowledge in rural India, particularly focussing on skills and knowings connected to the natural environment. The Vagdevi Educational Trust is based on a general approach of renewing the Humboldtean educational model as an instrument for development, which was developed by Mr. Rao in 1999. In cooperation with Julio Lambing and Sebastian Gallehr this approach was extended to the e5-project "Nodes of Innovation" - a model for „Green Skill Revolutions“ in developing countries.



Narahari Rao is the author of numerous academic essays.

Inter alia:

  • "Inter-Cultural Dialogue as a Form of Liberal Education", Lecture at the Socratic Dialogue Conference, Berlin, July 2005
  • ‘Der Bildungsbegriff in Humboldts Konzept der Universiät und Wege zu seiner Erneuerung’ in: Karl-Otto Apel und Holger Bruckhardt (Hrsg), "Prinzip Verantwortung - Grundlage für Ethik und Pädagogik" Köbigshausen und Neumann, Würzburg 2001, S. 227-236
  • "Begriff der Universität" in: Kai Buchholz, Shahid Rahman und Ingrid Weber (Hrsg.), "Wege zur Vernunft", Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1999
  • "Culture as Learnables: An Outline for a Research on the Inherited Traditions", Memo 30, Fachrichtung Philosophie, Lehrstuhl Prof. Dr. K. Lorenz, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbücken 1997
  • "Making and Discovering", in: Gerhard Heinzmann (Hrsg.), Actes du Colloque International Nelson Goodman Pont-à-Mousson 1997. Philosophia Scientiae, Volume 2, Cahier 2, Nancy, 1997, 197-211
  • "Warum sollen andere Traditionen 'respektiert' werden", in: Johannes Hoffmann (Hrsg.), "Die Vernunft in den Kulturen - Das Menschenrecht auf kultureigene Entwicklung", Band III der Smyposien 'Das eine Menschenbild für alle und die vielen Lebensformen', IKO-Verlag für Interkulturelle Kommunikation, Frankfurt a.M., 1995
  • "A Semiotic Reconstruction of Ryle’s Critique of Cartesianism", de Gruyter, Berlin 1994
  • "Verstehen einer fremden Kultur", in: Petra Matusche und Goethe Institut München (Hrsg.), "Wie verstehen wir Fremdes - Aspekte zur Klärung von Verstehensprozessen", Goethe Institut, München, 1989