IIT students to get exposed to Fine Arts and Humanities


To bring in innovative materials and processes to optimise cost and time to make instruments like sitar and sarod, Kharagpur intends to begin research on classical music instruments.

“There has been extensive research on western music and musical instruments whereas none on Indian classical music,” Dasgupta said. “If various forms of expressive arts become part of the curriculum at school and college level, it would make a huge impact of quality of society. Mostly, the human quotient is lack.

IIT’s new avatar

IITs have now geared up to provide lessons not only in various branches of engineering and technology but also in Ragas and Lasyyas. The top engineering courses are adding fine arts and humanities in addition to the widely classified engineering curriculum. The idea behind this is to develop engineers of tomorrow into holistic individuals.

Various IITs offer courses in social sciences and humanities for many years. In English and economics, IIT-Madras offers five-year integrated MA programmes while IIT-Delhi offers two-year programmes and Kharagpur teaches even law. Providing humanities courses by engineering colleges is becoming popular these days and more colleges are creative courses to core engineering subjects. IIT officials hope that this would give future engineers a deeper understanding of human and social values and help them engage more creatively in the development of society.

Overview of the humanities courses

To teach humanistic studies through its newly formed Humanistic Studies department IIT-BHU (Varanasi) is redesigning most of its courses. For the department, it has handpicked 10 faculty members — all PhDs. IIT-Kharagpur is rolling out a centre for arts and music for students and research scholars.

In the areas of music and fine arts for which it has recently tied up with Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty Kharagpur has an ongoing collaboration. In the forms of electives and micro-specializations, Kharagpur’s classical arts centre provides training in music, fine arts and the performing arts, and also offers credit courses. For dissemination and collaborative research on science and technology interventions in Indian classical music and other classical arts, the centre will also create national and international outreach programmes.

To teach humanistic studies through its newly formed Humanistic Studies department, IIT-BHU (Varanasi) is redesigning most of its courses. It has handpicked 10 faculty members — all PhDs — for the department.

Strategic development of students

A tweet by Amitabh Kant said, “Delighted that IITs are redesigning their courses to include credits on arts and humanities including an appreciation of creative arts. in classical music, art forms & architecture this would lead all round holistic development of our engineers & boost innovation & research.” Arts, humanities and creative arts subjects have definitely a lot to do with being human. They introduce reflexivity, push towards inclusivity and appreciate taste and delight in independent ideas and thoughts. They make us dare to think and criticize which, after all, is the basic point of education.

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