The Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) group at IIT Gandhinagar (IITGN) currently offers training in critical inquiry and understanding of the social world in terms of courses and mentoring to both undergraduate and graduate students. The HSS faculty team with its diverse expertise in literature, translation studies, political science, philosophy, cognitive science, sociology, public health and cultural studies is uniquely equipped to offer a multidisciplinary Minor Program. With a goal of strengthening and expanding the vision of IITGN in achieving well-rounded, broad-based, and excellent higher education, a Minor Program is proposed for undergraduate students starting from Spring 2013. The Minor Program will introduce the theory and practice of humanities and social sciences research in order to help students complement their engineering education with a critical understanding of global processes/transformations. The HSS team believes that a program such as this one is crucial in not only shaping students’ career choices and perspectives but also in making the learning experience at IITGN a unique one in the country. Finally, it is also envisioned that this would facilitate dialogues between and within disciplines by capitalizing on the science, technology and social sciences interface at IITGN.

Key Features and Focal Themes

Given the faculty team’s interdisciplinary expertise, the courses under the Minor Program will be organized around the following overlapping themes (see Table below). Registered undergraduate students at IITGN are free to navigate and customize the program based on their interests and availability of courses offered in a particular academic year. The following table is only indicative of how a student might choose courses with a thematic focus. However, students are free to migrate from one theme to another based on their interests. Additionally, students may also have an opportunity to do a project-based course (worth 4 credits) with any of the faculty members at IITGN.

Focal themes and associated Elective Courses

Language and Literature Understanding India Perspectives in Psychology Social Stratification & Communities History & Politics
South Asian Fiction Imagining India Perception & Experience Economic Development Paradox of Indian Democracy
English Lit. in English Translation Paradox of Indian Democracy Emotion & Cognition Introduction to Social Epidemiology India on the verge of Colonialism
Survey of World Lit. and Literary Theory Introduction to India’s Musical Traditions Organizational Behavior Population & Society Current Affairs
Urdu Script & Poetry South Asian Fiction Philosophy of Mind Business ethics Technological progress and human values
French Studies English Lit. in English Translation Introduction to Cognition Causal inference: How do we know that X causes Y? Democracy & Mass Mobilization
India on the verge of Colonialism New Media Studies Democracy & Dissent
History of India through Cinema Anthropology in the 21st century: Themes, debates, challenges. History of Science and Technology