Re-imagine the Idea of University

The MIT, for instance  focuses on technology but brings in mathematics, the sciences  and the humanities under technology. Steven Jobs -an American business magnate  stated that part of the reason what made Macintosh great was that people working on it were musicians, poets, Zoologists and historians .

They also happen to be the best computer scientists in the world” .All this suggests that education is not war as we present it to our students  devoid of joy ,reflection and  meditation .Education is  comprehensive ,holistic and total development of man and society.

University without borders

There is much to learn  from S Parasuraman  who helmed the Tata Institute of Social sciences  for fourteen long years and  passed away in  September this year. Prof  Lakshmi Lingam who teaches Media and cultural Studies at TISS  in her obituary note thus writes:” Parasuraman,s  story is a case study in organizational change, management and leadership.

The universities in India need vice Chancellors like him to build institutions  for inclusive teaching and learning and to contribute to the making of a vibrant democracy like India” Each year about 3000 graduates find their way into the industry ,government and the social service professionals. Many graduates also pursue higher studies and  set up social enterprises or work at the grassroots”.

TISS  made  its  forays into the realm of public policy  to aid and advise  governments and other  bodies which made huge change to the study of social sciences .TISS also made a meaningful intervention in  Ladakh Autonomous Hill development Council. This writer visited Ladakh in 2008 to study the working of Hill councils and was told by council leaders about the invitation extended to TISS to offer its guidance to the leadership on  decentralized planning in Ladakh.

In 2015 at the invitation of state government of Nagaland  TISS  collaborated with Gandhi  Academy  for Human development to offer academic programmes on sustainable development and livelihoods. Tata Institute also extended support in education , social work and health administration to Afghanistan and Mynamar. Hence there is a case  to invest in humanities and social sciences to bring them in alignment with STEM so that the gap between STEM and on-STEM domain  is reduced.