Liberal arts in the ever-evolving dynamics of education in India

“In a properly automated and educated world, then, machines may prove to be the true humanizing influence. It may be that machines will do the work that makes life possible and that human beings will do all the other things that make life pleasant and worthwhile.”

― Isaac Asimov

liberal artsThe urge to get exposed to a more diversified learning approach is understandable. Choosing a major that can help develop essential life skills while gaining a broader world perspective can be a great stride in your career. Liberal arts have always been an underrated field of study with numerous unexplored scopes. However, there is a shift in the air since the increasingly evolving world demands the production of skilled professionals with a knack for critical thinking. The trend is gradually spreading in the Indian educational scenario too.

India’s National Education Policy 2020 holds a greater emphasis on Liberal arts education. It envisions the holistic development of individuals through multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary learning approaches. It insists on the need for higher education institutes to become multidisciplinary by 2040. De-compartmentalising the educational sector by breaking the rigid barrier between professional and liberal education is one of its major agendas. Educational structures in India are thus getting more flexible while contemplating the future of Liberal arts education. The rapidly changing employment landscape and the forthcoming industrial revolution clearly imply the extreme relevance of Liberal arts education. This calls the world’s attention towards the broader aspects of the stream of Liberal arts.

The stream of Liberal arts

The term liberal arts have roots in the classical Greek concept of a diversified education that focuses on the intellectual cultivation of the mind. The education of the Greeks in those days included different areas ranging from grammar to geometry and music. Liberal arts in the present day offer a wide range of majors and minors. These options fall into the more significant categories of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Liberal arts education evokes the ability to analyse socio-political, economic, and environmental problems while being contemplative and creative. These abilities are highly relevant in current social circumstances, especially in India.

Liberal arts in the era of uncertainties

In an age that keeps updating itself, the fear of getting outdated is real. Living in a world constantly exposed to digitization, outsourcing, automating, etc., will demand fierce competence from the jobseekers. What matters is not what you learned over the years but how you learned all those things. The chances of the things you learned getting outdated are higher, but not how you perceived that knowledge.

Liberal arts as a learning subject becomes highly relevant in this scenario. Students from a liberal arts background will have much more to contribute to the ever-advancing society than the students from other streams. Liberal arts nurture the abilities of problem-solving and critical thinking. It trains the learner to think out of the box and develop original solutions.

Why Liberal arts

Liberal arts majors have the privilege of entering varying career paths due to the holistic approach the learning process holds. The possibilities are never limited. The discipline of liberal arts targets to provide a general idea regarding the subject matter and trains to think critically. The skills they earn are not restricted to a specific technical profession. Writing, critical thinking, and research skills are continuously refined through exposure to various subject matters. The job market offers opportunities for liberal arts students in science, technology, engineering, business, and many other fields. Every mainstream working ecosystem will require the input of a liberal arts major.

Advantages of pursuing a liberal arts course

Democratised educational process

Modern liberal arts education is armed with a curriculum that promotes breadth as well as the depth of knowledge. The curriculum is sufficiently flexible and gives prominence to the student’s choice. They get to play a significant role in shaping their program. This facilitates the democratisation of the educational process.

Diverse disciplines and broader perspectives

Liberal arts education provides exposure to diverse disciplines of study, which makes the learner capable of gaining a broader perspective of the field they prefer. A positive mindset, readiness to look at the world with enthusiasm, and innovative learning strategies will benefit any organization.

Thinking capacity and expanded worldview

Obtaining knowledge will help the learner gain skills in a particular area, but it also helps develop thinking capacity. Liberal arts education makes sure to guard the learners with an ability to understand and widen their knowledge limits. It nurtures the enthusiasm of the learner. This, in turn, helps to adjust the lens with which they view the world around them.

Different thinking processes

Liberal arts education lets you understand the importance of different thinking processes in every learning environment. Be it creative, analytical, or critical, a Liberal arts major knows when and how to assert these thinking processes. Challenging the preconceived notions and showing the courage not to follow the crowd is a remarkable impact liberal arts education has on the learner. This is a much-needed quality an individual should aspire to master.


A liberal arts student knows how to build skills based on the broader foundational knowledge. Thus, they are very flexible in acquiring new knowledge and establishing needed skills. This will help them not settle down for one specific job for an entire lifetime.

Soft skills

Every industry needs individuals with skills that are in high demand. Some of them are effective communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership qualities. Liberal arts education prepares the students to attain these qualities.

Socially responsible learner

Liberal arts don’t focus on a specialised subject. It gives a vast knowledge and allows the learner to develop creative paths to resolve social challenges exposed to them.

Opportunity to explore and experiment

Innovative ideas, concepts, and unique experiences are always there in the vicinity of the learner. The advantages of community-based learning and peer-reviewed research are accessible to the learner. This allows them to explore and experiment with the knowledge they have.

Lifelong learning

Processing the information and thinking analytically will guide the learner to think across the disciplines. This will remain a crucial life skill that could be helpful in a variety of circumstances.

Scope of liberal arts in India

liberal artsThe dynamics of education is an ever-evolving process. New learning methods and diverse professions will keep popping up from time to time. With the remarkable shift that happened in the field of education, a door to a diverse set of specialized career options has opened. Not to deny the requirement for skilled professionals in the age-old job market, but the jobs will be more reasoning-oriented in the future, favoring liberal arts education. Professionals should be able to analyse the present scenario and make decisions for future changes. They should be able to think critically and be ready to absorb the constantly changing knowledge environment. This indicates the demand for liberal arts majors in the future.

Liberal arts is an interdisciplinary model of education preferred by many youngsters worldwide. Introducing the student community to the perks of liberal arts education can do wonders in a developing country like India. The advantages of opening multiple career options for the country’s youth are immaculate. Also, including and enhancing liberal arts in the mainstream education sector will help improve the global ranking of Indian educational institutions.

The advancing job market demands competitive advantages from individuals. They are looking for someone more human and connected. Along with passion and energy, they also need their employees to be flexible during changes and see things as they are.

The pace, scope, and strategies of this generation are entirely different from that of the previous one. Drastic changes in climate, artificial intelligence, way of approach, etc., will demand more extraordinary resourcefulness to sustain the updating. The diverse economy of India will make sure that the students interact with different individuals irrespective of gender, religion, class, etc. This will enhance their development as valuable employees, citizens, and, most importantly, human beings.

A liberal arts degree prepares one to withstand the uncertainties of a career. It can cope with the test of time since there are no expiry dates for critical thinking and problem-solving. Polished proficiency in writing, speaking, presenting, and collaborating is another trademark of liberal arts education. It is immensely helpful if viewed from the perspective of a job aspirant.

Enhanced cultural understanding is another valuable reward from liberal arts. Interdisciplinary studies play a significant role in building this broader understanding. The importance of cultural anthropology and international relations is relatively higher, especially in India. The list of career options emerging from liberal arts includes law, politics, social work, psychology, public relations, journalism, Civil services, and many more. These job sectors are considerable investments in the development of the country.

The ability to find out opportunities and take unexpected directions will be beneficial irrespective of the interests of your comfort zones. Arming the students with flexibility and imagination will prepare them to be confident in the continuously updating job markets. In an era where the information and options are available at your fingertips, it is your perspective that makes the difference.

Selecting a career that will not disappoint you is a hectic task in every individual’s life. Especially when you don’t really want to focus on one specific field of study. If you are interested in multiple subjects and ready to get exposed to a diverse study environment, Liberal arts is your answer. If you are willing to invest yourself in a more diversified approach to learning, attending a Liberal arts institution like SRM University AP might be the right choice.

Liberal arts at SRM AP

The Liberal arts education at SRM University AP provides an opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary program across Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce, Business Studies, and Physical sciences. Complex and increasing challenges are a part of this generation, and we are destined to face them. Multi-dimensional thought processes and problem-solving skills are the demanding qualities of an individual in a world of constant changes. A holistic education will help students to develop these necessary skills.

SRM AP has a School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (SLASS), allowing students to choose courses across the disciplines. The school is comprised of six departments, namely English, History, Psychology, Economics, Commerce, and Liberal arts. The Bachelor’s degree curriculum is broadly divided into Foundation courses and Majors. Students can choose their minor from a variety of subjects across the disciplines. This will help them to expand their knowledge beyond their subject of specialisation.

SRM University AP has faculties from all over India and across the world. SLASS at SRM AP offers a high-quality library that has the facilities of books or journals in print and electronic, extra-mural lectures, and colloquiums by academicians and eminent scholars. The diversity of available courses provides an unrestricted learning environment that is supported by the facilities provided by the university.

Advantages SLASS

Multidisciplinary learning ecosystem

Students are free to choose courses from diverse disciplines along with their major and foundational course.

Liberal arts; employer’s choice

The latest employment surveys state that multinational employers prefer aspirants with liberal arts degrees for their wide range of skills and ability to adapt to changes.

Learn from world-class faculties

75% of the faculty at SRM University AP holds international academic exposure or are from foreign universities, and 15% are foreign nationals.

International career opportunities

The global recognition of the courses grants a plethora of opportunities at international and postgraduation levels.

Liberal arts education will train you to learn things outside the textbook, making you confident enough to stand confidently in the face of change. In a world where machines overtake all the works of human beings, there should be more humans to look at life and think accordingly to provide much-needed responses.

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