6TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN VALUES IN HIGHER EDUCATION

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY KANPUR, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
10-12 FEB 2017

Summary :

The theme of this 6th International Conference on Human Values in Higher Education was " Vision for Humane Education ".
The conference was jointly organized by 7 universities: IIT Kanpur, AKTU Lucknow, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, IKG-PTU Kapurthala, IIIT Hyderabad, RUB Thimphu and AGI Rajkot.

There were 144 Delegates representing 107 universities / institutions in which 41 were Chancellors, VC's, Govt. Joint Secretaries, 102 Directors, Deans, Principals, Professors, Business Persons & others 29 foreign delegates from 6 countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Taiwan & UAE) and 80 Volunteers.
It was inaugurated by Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik on 10th Feb 2017. There were 3 threads running through the conference between the inaugural and valedictory:

  • 3 keynote lectures about the core content of universal human values
  • 4 sessions of sharing case studies & real life experience by 12 universities as well as the implementation process & issues
  • 8 panel discussions to deliberate on issues ranging from need of human values to curricular changes required for holistic human education and the commitment of the policy makers, particularly those present

More than 40 universities in India and Bhutan have implemented universal human values in their academic curriculum. Out of these, 14 universities shared their reports with case studies and in-depth analysis of their experiences, including difficulties which came and how they addressed those difficulties.
At the valedictory, the chief guest, Sh. Manoj Jhalani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health, Government of India said “amongst all the sectors this health sector is one area where we really need universal human values... now we have the enough evidence on the ground to show that it can be a critical intervention which can then influence the way of life”.

Participation :

There were extensive deliberations on a large set of issues, in particular, on the vision for humane education, on the nature of education for a humane society and on the role & potential of educational institutions in this by 144 Delegates representing 107 universities / institutions. In total, 102 delegates spoke from the dais.

Program Structure :

Click here to download the program structure of the 6th international conference on human values in higher education.

Recommendation :

1. It was strongly felt by all that education on universal human values and ethics (UHV) should be introduced as an essential part of the academic curriculum, in the form a foundation course, particularly in the domain of higher technical education, at the national level. Extensive experiments which have been carried out so far have adequately established the viability and effectiveness of such a process. Necessary resource material, resource persons and teacher orientation programmes have also become available to enable its initiation in any university or institution of higher learning.

2. Encouraged by the interest of the Hon’ble Governor of UP at the inauguration, it was felt that he, as Chancellor, could be requested to call for a meeting of the VCs of the 28 state universities in the state. Since AKTU has developed the capacity and commitment for delivering universal human values, the VC of AKTU, Prof. Vinay Pathak, could be given the responsibility to coordinate the meeting and take care of its follow up. In this way, universal human value education could be started / strengthened in the 28 state universities in UP.

3. The panel on Medical Education recommended that effort should be made to initiate and promote universal human values and ethics (UHV) in medical education.

      a. The 4 councils (Medical Council of India, Dental Council of India, Indian Nursing Council and Forensic Council of India) should be approached to incorporate a module or course on the lines which has been introduced at the technical institutions. There is enough evidence now that UHV could effectively get integrated into the syllabus and curriculum.

      b. In addition to the 4 councils, national institutes like National Institute of Health & Family Welfare and National Health Systems Resource Centre, should be approached to have this integrated into their courses.

4. Even though different formats may be adapted for introducing such a foundational input, the content and process need to be compatible with the following guiding principles to achieve the desired goals :

      a. Universal - for all human beings in all space, in all time.

      b. Rational - students should be able to rationally & logically discuss the various issues.

     c. Verifiable - students should be able to verify on their own (on the basis of one’s own Natural Acceptance and experiential living).

      d. Humanistic - conducive to the good of humanity.

      e. All encompassing - touching all aspects of human life

5. Efforts should be made on priority, to introduce UHV in teacher training programmes such as Lecturer training (B.Ed., M.Ed. etc.). Teachers should be prepared for universal human value education. Universities, NITTTR and similar organizations should run teacher training for universal human values and prepare a cadre of such teachers

         a. Regular teachers (who are teaching already).

         b. PG Students (future teachers - prepare them when young).

         c. Adjunct faculty (interested alumni, faculty spouses, enthusiastic people in society, retired people etc.)

6. Efforts should also be made to develop P.G. diploma/degree courses to provide a comprehensive understanding of this theme particularly for prospective teachers and researches.

7. Induction Program with Human Values classes or discussion groups providing the anchor has been found to play an important role in orienting new students to the institutional ethos, broadening of vision, drawing attention to themselves, and building a bond between teachers and students. It should be started in all institutions particularly institutions of higher learning. Preparing teachers is an important pre-requisite for its success..

8. Continuous efforts need to be made through the value education cell at the institutional level to create a conducive environment for ‘living the values’. The foundation course can provide a large common base of a holistic perception based on right understanding. It should be further supplemented with appropriate extra-curricular activities and projects, higher level elective courses, social internships etc. to consolidate right understanding and facilitate living in accordance with it.

9. To provide requisite thrust to this activity, it is essential to promote R&D work for overall curricular modifications, development of resource material, teacher training etc. to finally evolve more appropriate models of education in the light of right understanding.

10. For this, centers of excellence need to be created at various nodal institutions/universities where already sufficient work has been accomplished.

11. There was a recommendation to start embedding UHV in every subject. Initiation of R&D work for overall curricular modification, development of resource material and evolving alternative models in the light of right understanding should take place. The idea should be to have value based education through all the subjects at all levels.

12. Efforts should be made to introduce UHV in school education as well (PP to 12 th ). For this the preparation of teachers, parents and relevant course content should be taken up

13. MHRD, UGC, AICTE and other monitoring and accreditation bodies in the country should be approached to obtain policy as well as other umbrella support to proliferate this activity at a wider level and to duly recognize and reward the value competence of teachers and students along with their other academic skills.

14. The interest and commitment shown by the representatives from SAARC countries and the progress already made by Bhutan in this direction is really very encouraging. A coordination committee may be set up for close follow-up and initiation of new experiments in these neighbouring countries paving way towards building an International network.

15. The need for orienting bureaucracy and armed forces on UHV through refresher training programmes in centre/state administration academies or mid-career training programs was also highlighted. In this context, introduction of a compulsory paper from the year 2014 on 'Ethics, Values and Aptitudes' in the civil services examination by UPSC (India) was hailed as a welcome step. This would really fructify if supported by appropriate training in this area, particularly by the administrative academies(public servant training academy, armed forces academy, police academy etc.).

16. Orienting politicians for Value Education is recommended.

17. UHV education is required to be extended to media and communication colleges.

18. Hold annual conference for students who have taken at least one course in UHV

19. Use social media to reach out to large number of people. Create a Wikipedia site for UHVE and make it a comprehensive repository of reference material and include case studies of different models being practiced in this area and networking of UHVE centers at various universities/institutes to share best practices.

Achievement :

The key aspects that came through the conference were:

  1. The need for value based education is keenly felt. Universal human values provides a tangible methodology (content and process) to fulfill this need. Experiments so far have highlighted the efficacy of this approach.
  2. Preparation of the decision makers is critical to introducing or sustaining this (or any) value based education effort
  3. The teacher is at the centre. Implementation or scaling up can take place only with prepared teachers. The role of the teacher is central and for a teacher to deliver it the teacher has to understand it and the teacher has to live by it.
  4. It is effective. Once their self-exploration begins, the student does understand and there is significant change in their day-to-day living.

Some of the universities and organizations that made specific commitments for incorporating universal human values in their academic curriculum in the next 1 year (by Feb 2018) include:

  1. Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
    – Prof. Md. Sabur Khan, Hon. Chairman
  2. Royal University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
    - Prof. Md. Musharraf Hussain, Registrar
  3. Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics (BANBEIS), Ministry of Education
    – Md. Fashiullah, Director (Joint Secretary)
  4. Technical & Engineering University of Ghazni, Afghanistan
    – Mr. Zabihullah Danesh, Chancellor
  5. Core International Institute of Higher Education, Al Dhait South Rak, UAE
    – Prof. Sudhakar Shinde, Associate Registrar
  6. Nan Hua University, Taiwan
    – Prof. Tsong-Ming Lin, President
  7. Gujarat Technological University
    – Prof. Naveen Sheth, Vice Chancellor
  8. Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Haryana
    – Prof. Victor Gambhir, Vice Chancellor
  9. Central University of South Bihar, Patna
    – Dr. Ajay Kumar Singh, Associate Professor
  10. Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad
    – Rakesh Kumar Mudgal, Vice Chancellor
  11. Cotton College State University, Guwahati
    – Dhruba J Saikia, Vice Chancellor

Glimpses :

Click here to download the brochure of the 6th international conference on human values in higher education.