New Delhi: Batting for liberal arts education, Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor suggested that it should be made compulsory for engineering students too.
"When science is devoid of human values, we tend to make mistakes. Examples are weapons of mass destruction and destructions of eco-systems. Lack of human values is where terrorism originate," he told a function organised by O P Jindal Global University.
To drive home his point, Tharoor referred to studies which said dreaded terrorists including Osama bin Laden and his accomplices were all engineers but with little human values.
Application of science has to be imbibed in human values, he said, adding "Taking 20 per cent of the courses in humanities should be made compulsory for engineering students."
Liberal arts education, he said, teaches one how to think, develop strength of mind and intellect. Liberal arts education makes better citizens, contribute to your personal happiness.
"Without giving sufficient emphasis to liberal arts and humanities, we not only run the risk of not meeting the risk of practical needs of India in 21st century, we also run the risk of betraying our culture and constitution," he said.
He further went on to say that exposure to liberal arts enables a professional to be more effective and tackle various problems one faces in the society.
Replying to some of the concerns about the quality of education and absence of Indian institutes in the global ranking list, Tharoor said efforts were underway to address this issue.
Though premier institutes such as IITs and IIMs are confronted with faculty crunch, he said emphasis is being laid on getting the best of teaching hands from across the world.
He also felt that research output in the country is not on par with institutes worldwide and it was one of the reasons why no Indian institutes find a place in the global ranking list.