Humanities and Social Sciences at IITs

Education is the process of moulding an individual to a good human being. Some of us may think that technology and science is the only domain which is necessary for the development of mankind. This is a wrong notion and a person must have basic knowledge about anything and everything. For technocrats with a degree in technology and science there must be a minor component of humanities and social science. Similarly for a social engineer, there must be a minor component of technology and science as well. Global technological universities like MIT and Stanford have a very strong department of Humanities and Social Science. As per 2014-15 THES university ranking in Social Sciences, Stanford and MIT are listed at first and second position respectively. On the other hand, in our country, the leading technology institutes like NITs, IITs and IIITs, do not offer much programs in the humanities and social science doamin. Students of humanities and social sciences are not eligible for an admission for course like MBA, MDes, and even LLB programs conducted by IITs. The common perception is that Humanities and Social Science departments in IITs are mostly restricted to teaching few courses to under graduate students. On the other hand, NITs and IITs do carry out research in these streams as well.

According to QS ranking of world’s top 500 universities in Social Science and Management, few Indian universities are listed. It is interesting to note that some IITs are present in the list along with Delhi University, JNU, IITM Bengaluru and IIM Ahmedabad. Contrary to the common public misconception, HSS departments at some IITs are indeed contributing lot more than just offering few HSS courses to BTech students. Some of the IITs are offering very high quality and reputed interdisciplinary “Humanities and Social Sciences” programs. Almost all IITs have a strong Humanities and Social Science department apart from their management departments which offers PhD program in various core and interdisciplinary area like economics, history, philosophy, psychology etc. Other than this, following premier institutes also offer various humanities and social science courses

1. IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur offer a 5 year integrated MSc Economics.

2. IIT Bombay offers a two year program of MPhil in Development studies.

3. IIT Guwahati offers a two year MA in Development studies

4. IIT Kharagpur offers a Masters in Human Resource Management

5. IIT Madras offers five year integrated MA programs in Development studies and in English Studies

6. IIT Gandhi Nagar offers a two year MA in Society & Culture and also a 2 year MSc in Cognitive Science.

At IIT Gandhinagar one Humanities and Social Science course is compulsory in all the eight of the BTech program. Two courses from the Humanities and Social Science department is mandatory for the MTech programs. Following the footsteps of IIT Gandinagar, IIIT Hyderabad offers MPhil in Computational Linguistics and PhD in “Exact Humanities” and PhD in Computational Linguistics. In the year 2015, IIIT Bangalore had launched a new interdisciplinary masters program in “Digital Society.” Let us hope that more and more such program will be added by other IITs as well as other premier institutes in the coming days to make truly multidisciplinary world class universities.