The Future of Liberal Arts in India 2015 meeting in New Delhi
This week I am at the Future of Liberal Arts in India 2015 meeting in New Delhi. I can’t express how gratifying it is to see so many enthusiastic and brilliant educators gathering together to discuss exciting new curriculum, new universities, and new approaches to educating students in India, the US and Singapore. The conference is a sequel to the Future of Liberal Arts meeting I co-organized with Lakshmi Saripalli at the Raman Research Institute back in January 2014. This new conference has been many months in the making, and has been developed in conjunction with Carleton College, Yale-NUS College, the Ashoka University, and the O.P. Jindal Global University, along with some assistance from Shiv Nadar University. These last three universities are brand-new campuses within India offering new types of undergraduate education. They include liberal arts, and an emphasis on educating the whole student – with leadership development, humanities and arts, and social sciences mixed into the education to produce graduates who will be more creative and more responsive to the needs of India in the coming decades. Amazing presentations by faculty and leaders from across the world have been shared for the first day, which discussed innovative ways of teaching humanities and social sciences, and ways to work to integrate India’s rich cultural past in a form of education that prepares students for the volatile and unpredictable future. The web site for the conference is at http://future-liberal-arts-sciences-india.commons.yale-nus.edu.sg/, and so far some of my favorite presentations include the discussion about the new IIT Gandhinagar curriculum and ways of integrating theatre into a technical curriculum (with talks by Brian Brophy and Srivinas Reddy), the discussion of India’s vast cultural riches from the VC of the Ahmedabad University, a brilliant opening address from Shiv Vishwanathan, as well as fascinating talks from the President of Carleton College, Steve Poskanzer, on creating a culture of teaching excellence.