The making of a multidisciplinary curriculum- Prof. Bakhle on the thoughts that went behind SLABS’ course design

“No subject can be mastered in isolation to other subjects,” explains Prof. Janaki Bakhle, the author of Two Men and Music: Nationalism and the Making of an Indian Classical Tradition. Often described as the writer of brave history, Prof. Bakhle’s work touches the cultural and intellectual roots of modern tensions between India’s religious and ethnic communities. 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, AP- Amaravati.

 “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. Having worked, researched and taught across various parts of the globe, she could gather her vast experience to introduce the best practices of academia to formulate the SLABS curriculum. 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 a SLABS student will major in her chosen area of specialization, the foundation courses will help her acquire the fundamental knowledge across various disciplines. “For instance, a History major will be exposed to sessions around Data Science or Literature. This will help her stay informed and stay abreast with the latest developments in the field,” elaborates Prof. Bakhle. “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.

Top academicians like Prof. Bakhle spent months in serious research; brainstorming, digging data, editing syllabus, debating contexts and benefits, to shape the SLABS programmes. 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.

The School is now accepting applications to- B.A., B.B.A., B.Com and B.Sc. programs across 12 departments – History, Economics, Commerce, English, Journalism, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Business Studies, Biology and Computer Science.

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