“No subject can be mastered in isolation to other subjects,” says Prof. Janaki Bakhle. She currently teaches in the University of California, Berkeley and is one of the team members designing the path-breaking, innovative curriculum of School of Liberal Arts and Basic Sciences (SLABS) of SRM University, Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh.
“At no point in time did we lose context,” says Prof. Bakhle when asked about that one thing the team consistently kept in mind while drawing the SLABS curriculum and its objective. She explains: “We narrowed down to six foundation courses keeping in mind the nature of students who would come to study at SRM Amaravati. During the process, the word that was surfacing out repeatedly was ‘synergy’. We wanted to keep appropriate synergy among the subjects to offer a meaningful multidisciplinary education to our students.” While students can expect to experience the “synergy” across subjects, they should come to SLABS if they mean to gain the “whole perspective,” not just taste a singular flavor.
SLABS offers a multidisciplinary undergraduate program by exposing students to many different perspectives in and out of the classroom. SLABS’ student will major in his/her chosen area of specialization; the foundation courses will help acquire the fundamental knowledge across various disciplines. Prof. Bakhle elaborated “For instance, a History major will be exposed to sessions around Data Science or Literature. This will help him/her stay informed and stay abreast with the latest developments in the field,” She further added “You see, you cannot compartmentalize knowledge. You need to know the fundamentals of almost all things to develop yourself as a responsible global citizen, especially in today’s time.” That’s where SLABS multidisciplinary education becomes all the more important.
About Prof. Janaki Bakhle
Prof. Janaki Bakhle is the author of Two Men and Music: Nationalism and the Making of an Indian Classical Tradition. She is often described as the writer of brave history, her work touches the cultural and intellectual roots of modern tensions between India’s religious and ethnic communities. Top academicians like Prof. Bakhle spent months in serious research; brainstorming, digging data, editing syllabus, debating contexts and benefits, to shape the SLABS programs.