IIM Indore organized a Special Panel Discussion on the topic—‘Multiple Intelligences Multiple Futures: Challenging False Binaries in Education’ on October 05, 2018. The panel discussion had eminent speakers namely, Professor Saikat Majumdar, Professor of English and Creative Writing, Ashoka University; Professor Akhilesh Singh, Director, EMRC, DAVV; Professor Nirmala Menon, Associate Professor, English, IIT Indore; Professor Kapil Ahuja, Associate Professor in Computer Science and Engineering, Dean of International Affairs, IIT Indore; along with Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore.
The panel discussion began with the lamp lighting ceremony by the guests and Professor Krishnan. Professor Dibyadyuti Roy, Assistant Professor and Area Chair, Communication, IIM Indore moderated the session and introduced the panelists. He noted that the objective of the panel discussion was to address the myth around the creation of binaries between liberal arts education and professional education along with the state of Indian education system in current times.
The panel discussion started with the larger theme of excess informational flow and Professor Saikat Majumdar’s analysis of changing reading habits of students at large; where they’re primarily getting bothered with books for competitive exams only.
Dr. Kapil Ahuja said, ‘Given the vast space and information available to the students today, every course that I offer has a structured and unstructured component. The unstructured component ensures that the students access the current resources to find out prevailing problems to get a unique solution by applied sciences. I give them the theoretical backbone and let them build upon it.’
Dr. Nirmala Menon added, ‘With Web 2.0, the increased access of information to students has created a lag that teaching pedagogy is yet to bridge. Flexibility and creativity in terms of what and how things are taught, is the biggest challenge for university education.’
Dr. AK Singh remarked, ‘Creation of knowledge is the need of the hour, but we’re only focusing on the production of knowledge so far. We should train students to learn the process and not the product. Understanding the analysis of the concepts and how to evaluate, needs to be taught.’
Professor Krishnan also shared his views and said, ‘Indians lag behind in innovation not due to lack of intelligence but a lack of direction and initiative.’
Professor Roy summarized the discussion and noted–‘Artists are the future as they are the ones looking for questions in an age where Google can answer almost everything.’
Professor Saikat made the concluding remarks while talking about the need to move away from the mindset of merely covering syllabus and study both the soul as well as the body of the subject and emphasized on the ability of education to enable students to ask the right questions. He also remarked, ‘The problem with the Indian education system is in the way the system is structured and not the participants.’
The session concluded on a high note, giving a platform to the participants to learn from the experts, share their views and indulge in a Q&A session. The event was attended by the participants and faculty members of IIM Indore.