ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Advocacy for an Institute of Human Studies

Need to Think beyond STEM

India has been marching towards self-reliance in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine disciplines; however, humanities and social sciences remain neglected. This article advocates the need for setting up a world-class institute for human studies that integrates scientific and humanistic pursuits, both pure and applied, with a focus on holistic development rooted in human values.

The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 has rightly pointed to the importance of holistic liberal education, rooted in our history, culture, knowledge, and ethos. Even after 75 years of independence, the system of education in India is confronted with monocultural dominance, coupled with an emphasis on the so-called science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines (life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and the health sciences). This situation has its roots in colonial impact, economic aspirations, and conformity to what is done in prestigious overseas universities. The idea of a university in India needs to be revisited (Sarkar 2020; Guru 2020) and reimagined (Venkataraman 2020; Patwardhan 2020). The purpose, policy, and strategy for that rethinking need to be aligned with the NEP 2020 for transforming higher education in India (Patwardhan et al 2021).

India has high-calibre institutions for academic pursuits in technology, management, science, law, and medicinethe Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), All India Institutes Medical Sciences (AIIMSs), and National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs). However, there is no corresponding institution for the humanities and the human sciences. To refer to this combination of humanities and the human sciences, we may use the term human studies, which can then be described as the branch of knowledge that is about humanshuman biology, brain, mind, language, history, society, art, and culture. It is high time we recognised this gap and remedied it by finding a way to integrate scientific and humanistic pursuits, both pure and applied, of human institutions. As we celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, this article advocates the need for setting up a world-class institute for human studies that integrates scientific and humanistic pursuits, both pure and applied, with a focus on holistic development, rooted in values.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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