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Interdisciplinary Studies:

The Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies is an important component of the common curriculum. This includes four courses (of three credit each) which will introduce the Inter-disciplinary studies specialization and will build skills / capabilities / knowledge around the themes. There will be one field based course (two credits) for which students will travel to different field sites. The students will apply the methods and capabilities they have learned through the other IS courses in the field. This Interdisciplinary Studies component is applicable for the 3-year Degree Programme.

Students have to choose one of the topics from the following areas.
DEVELOPMENT

The Interdisciplinary Studies in Development introduces students to theoretical, conceptual and practical questions of what it means to bring about a more just, equitable and sustainable society. We are faced with an array of complex development challenges, from rapid urbanization, growing economic inequality, failing public health systems and the destruction of the ecological building blocks of human life. The complexity of these challenges calls for solutions that are equally multifaceted and that address multiple problems ‘upstream of their source’. The Interdisciplinary Studies in Development is designed to promote student centred learning and action that stresses systemic and critical thinking skills and agency. We aim to use innovative teaching to empower students in their own lives. When possible, students will engage with development topics through case studies, where students will take the lead in identifying problems and perform analysis themselves. In addition, courses will be problem-based or inquiry-based format to enhance student learning and problem-solving skills.

Courses include:
  • The Political Economy of Development
  • Ecology and Sustainability: Land, People and Livelihoods
  • Public Health: The Social and Environmental Determinants of Disease
  • School and Society
  • Field Practice: The Political Ecology of Place
EDUCATION

The Azim Premji Foundation, of which the University is a part, has a clear interest and mandate for work in the area of education. Since education in general and formal education (schooling) in specific is now such an integral aspect of modern human life, the study of Education, provides a significant interdisciplinary opportunity and yet another way to explore and understand society, the human condition and endeavours, and the relationships between these. This broader understanding is precisely what the liberal aspects of the Undergraduate Programme at Azim Premji University aims to achieve. In its intention and design, the Minor in Education is not a teacher preparation programme and as such will not focus on skill acquisition or critique of the teaching process. The programme will be an introductory exploration of the nature and content of education; the context and structure of education in India; and the process of teaching and learning.

Courses include:
  • Nature and Purpose of Education
  • Introduction to Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
  • School and Society
  • Language and Education
  • Field Practice: Human Development Teaching and Learning
SUSTAINABILITY

The Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum on Sustainability aims to introduce students to a social ecological systems perspective of sustainability. The goal is to enable students to appreciate the complexity of sustainability challenges at multiple scales, and across diverse contexts. Students will learn about the limitations of purely individualistic and/or or technological solutions for sustainability challenges and appreciate the need to engage with structural and systemic aspects of sustainability. Students will also be encouraged to engage with complexity, rather than be overwhelmed by it. They will look at sustainability action through approaches that are adaptive and participatory.

In addition to engaging with theoretical concepts and debates about social and ecological systems, the curriculum will also aim to develop analytical skills, both qualitative and quantitative. Students will be exposed to approaches that help them integrate these skills into problem identification and solving; for example, how to use a mix of GIS, historical analysis, biodiversity and ecological data collection, and primary interviews to look at a sustainability issue in an urban or forested landscape. While the focus of the courses will primarily be on the Indian and global South context, the curriculum will also provide adequate consideration of global issues and contexts from other parts of the world.

Courses include:
  • The social-ecological system perspective for sustainability
  • Conservation in social ecological landscapes
  • Urban ecosystems and sustainability: A social-ecological systems perspective
  • Geographic Information Systems for sustainability
  • Field Immersion
MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY

We live in a world with hitherto unprecedented access to information. It is also a world in which media and communication forms are simultaneously viewed with admiration as well as deep suspicion--for their abilities to deepen democracy, on the one hand, as well as foster anti-democratic politics, on the other. Interdisciplinary Studies in Media and Democracy (M&D) is a set of four courses that prepare students to, firstly, understand the role played by media and communication technologies in shaping democracy, democratic politics and publics in India. Student will engage with emergent diverse media forms, focusing in particular on forms that students are already immersed in (such as, for examples, media commodities in digital formats and social networking websites) to develop the capability to analyse them. Students will also create their own media texts and explore the possibilities of making modest interventions in the public domain with their creations.

Courses include:
  • Understanding the Digital Present
  • Writing for the Media
  • Media and Politics in India
  • Technology and Democracy
  • Field Practise: Watching Media at Work

Note: The list above is indicative. Interdisciplinary study areas available for each cohort will be announced at the end of the second semester.