Pune: ‘The Future of Liberal Arts and Science Education Conference’ was organized by Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts (SSLA) today, at Symbiosis International University, Lavale which highlighted the importance of liberal arts education in today’s time.
Today’s Chief Guest of the conference Dr. Shashi Tharoor MP, Lok Sabha and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs delivered the keynote address on ‘The Value of a Liberal Education’.
Other dignitaries present for the conference were Prof. Furqan Qamar, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Padma Bhushan Dr S B Mujumdar, Chancellor of SIU, Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Principal Director Symbiosis and Prof. Anita Patankar, Director SSLA. The conference is supported academically by Yale-NUS, Singapore and Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru.
Dr SB Mujumdar welcomed the dignitaries. In his address he cited an example mentioned by Dr Shashi Tharoor by associating mind with a parachute. He stated, “Mind is like a parachute. A parachute will function only when it is open; similar is the case with mind.”
Dr Vidya Yerawdekar fondly shared memories behind the inception of Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts. “It was Dr Shahsi Tharoor who initially gave me the idea to come up with a school of Liberal Arts. And I am glad we took the decision then as today we can see the fruits of the seeds we sowed.”
Asserting the importance of ‘The Value of a Liberal Education’ Dr Tharoor stated, “Liberal Arts education teaches you how to think. Exercising mind in one area like Sociology, History and so forth will strengthen it to learn in other areas as well. It trains the mind and increases its ability to distinguish the important from trivial matter which will help one to excel in professional life. Education in Liberal Arts makes the world become coherent. Learning facts is less important today than the skill of learning itself. Liberal Art institutes will enable you to learn new subjects thoroughly and embed it in your memory forever. Knowledge of various subjects helps you to analyze and think out of the box.”
The conference will discuss arguments for a specific Liberal Arts model, the framing of policy by institutions, building of sustainable and innovative programs, locating education practices within institutions and will also reflect the experience of students and industry to the program. The conference intends to consider the creation of inclusive spaces with sensitized students, discuss the challenges of creating interdisciplinary courses, showcase new pedagogies and evaluation methods, and explore potential partnerships between institutions and geographies.
Delegates / speakers from Yale-NUS, Raman Research Institute, Carleton University, Ashoka University, OP Jindal University, FLAME, UWC Mahindra College, IISER Pune, Nalanda Way Foundation, Azim Premji University, Manipal Global, Claremont McKenna College, etc. will be participating in the said conference.
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