What are the motivations for doing science, engineering, social sciences, and/or art and design in a liberal arts mode at IIT Bombay?

Sarkar Committee of 1948 that called for the IITs outlined some “General Principles in the Design of Under-Graduate Course of Study”:

“The course of study in an institution should…provide a combination of a fundamental scientific training with a broad human outlook.”

Sarkar Committee Report, 1948, Appendix 1, §2.

The inspiration for LASE is therefore drawn from the very founding ideas behind the IITs.

As a premier institute in India, our students ought to be represented in leadership positions across the corporate, academic, and philanthropic worlds. Leadership requires a broad set of skills of which technical skills are necessary but far from sufficient. The liberal arts mode is optimised for this complex mode of reasoning, lateral thinking and broad set of skills independent of the underlying subject matter.

The Liberal Arts mode at IIT Bombay will help:

  • Better science and engineering: A curriculum that is more balance between the arts, humanities, social sciences, and engineering, and sciences will actually produce better science and engineering
  • Skills and Innovation​: The “skills” needed in today’s workplace, perhaps especially in the IT sector, go well beyond the technical content of science and engineering. Being broad-based also helps create a culture of innovation
  • Complex problems​:Our most pressing contemporary in India and world are of a multidisciplinary nature: climate change, AI, pandemics, robotics, inequality, poverty. Multidisciplinary breadth beats single-discipline depth in handling these problems.
  • Ethics and values​: what good is technology if we don’t know how to use it? What is the role of new innovations in society?