1ST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN VALUES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
(Organized by IIT Kanpur, Punjab Technical University and IIIT Hyderabad)6-8 January 2012 at IIIT Hyderabad
An International Conference on Human Values in Higher Education was organized during 6-8 January 2012 at IIIT Hyderabad, in collaboration with Punjab Technical University (PTU) and IIT Kanpur. There were extensive deliberations on a large set of issues, in particular, on the vision of future society, nature of education, role of educational institutions, introducing Human Values in Higher Education, etc. Real life experiences were shared regarding running of courses on Human Values in some of the institutions.
1. There was extensive discussion on the current education system in the world. It was pointed out that it is limited in scope, and therefore, not adequate:
1.1. It is focused only on skills for livelihood.
1.2. It is preparing students mainly for jobs, and a conforming mind set which is how the British envisaged education in India to be during the colonial period.
1.3. It reinforces the view among students that one must accumulate physical facilities and the rest will take care of itself.
1.4. It does not develop the human qualities so that the student can live a responsible and happy life.
1.5. It does not develop sensitivities among the students regarding society and nature.
1.6. It does not develop qualities so that the student can have a definite conduct on whose basis sustainable society and human order can be established.
2. Value education should be introduced so that the students are facilitated to become responsible human beings who can lead a happy and fulfilling life in family, society and nature. This is based on the results of on-going experiments at IIIT, Hyderabad, GBTU, Lucknow, MTU, Noida and PTU - in all about 400 colleges that have included an essential (compulsory) course (based on Jeevan Vidya) on value education in their curriculum and where this course has been taught by teachers who have been through an extensive Teachers' Orientation Program. The results, so far, are very encouraging. On this basis:
2.1. Introduction of a compulsory course in Human Values, based on Jeevan Vidya, is the first step in this direction. Eight steps in this direction have been outlined at the conference.
2.2. While the introduction of the course is necessary, adequate care must be taken so that the course runs properly with the spirit of inquiry and focus on the self. It should not have dos and donts.
2.3. Value education should facilitate the preparation of at least one enlightened and responsible person in every family, who accepts his responsibility from family to world family and has the commitment & capability to work for it.