Humanities in Science and Technology Institutes (A case study of one institute in India)

Coordinator: Sundar Sarrukkai

Abstract: In India, bifurcation between teaching and research has led to the creation of universities, which focussed on teaching, and research institutes, which focussed on research. This bifurcation, among other reasons, also led to the gradual deterioration of quality teaching and research in universities. A few years back the government started a series of science institutes (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research – IISER) which offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs in teaching but which also promote research like in the research institutes. In these institutes and the earlier ones in science and engineering (Indian Institute of Technology – IIT), there are humanities departments. However, these departments have often been viewed as second-class departments which were primarily there to offer ‘service’ courses to the science and engineering students. In this note, I discuss a particular case illustrating the challenge of integration between science and humanities departments in one of these IISERs.