A first of its kind University for Innovation in Liberal Arts that will offer an “experimental model of what higher education in India could be” and teach not only humanities and social sciences but also sciences and fine arts is proposed to come up at Pune. It will be named after Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who, years ago, made a similar attempt while setting up the Visva-Bharati.
The blueprint of the Tagore University for the Liberal Arts proposes that its PhD scholars teach undergraduate students and its undergraduate students necessarily learn a language and take up a creative activity besides doing social work.
A committee comprising historian Ramchandra Guha, academic Supriya Chaudhuri, Prof Sunil Khilnani, theatre and film personality Girish Karnad has submitted a concept note to the HRD ministry for setting up of the university. Proposing a 10:1 student-teacher ratio, and a 4+1 format for higher education — a four-year Bachelor’s programme in semester mode and a one-year Master’s programme, the university will have schools of humanities, social sciences, sciences, performing arts and visual and applied Arts.
The committee recommends that undergraduate students take up a range of courses in the first two semesters along with compulsory courses in analytical thinking and writing skills, credit courses in other schools, and take up projects, complete internships and write reports, produce dissertations/ artistic work in their final year. All undergraduates will be required to take up an additional Indian or foreign language up to the third year through certificate/ diploma courses, besides a creative activity such as painting or music or sports and participate in social work and extension activity with stipends on offer.
The Master’s programme will be a year-long combination of coursework and research/ art project/ performance and creative work.