Globalisation and information technology has made the educational system in India more career-oriented and competitive.
Courses related to social sciences and humanities are sometimes organized as a school or administrative division in many colleges and universities and became marginalised with medical science and science and technology gaining more importance in the field of studies. But in the last few years, the priorities have altered a bit.
Social science is an academic discipline concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society, which often relies primarily on empirical approaches. It includes anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Humanities include the study of all languages and literature, the arts, history, and philosophy.
One of the prime reasons for this turnaround was the unemployment prevalent among the Engineering pass outs from Kerala. And there were more opportunities for those who wanted to opt for social sciences and humanities in some of the finest Universities outside Kerala.
Unlike previous times without any preconceived notions or misgiving, the students who have an A+ in all subjects are able to opt for humanities as well as get approval is an area of concern. In some schools, Humanities is the subject that has a majority of takers. Because Malayalees are now aware that taking Humanities as the main subject for Plus-Two will open more opportunities for those seeking better prospects outside Universities in Kerala.
The major social sciences are anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, linguistics, politics, psychology and sociology. Within the humanities, most students major in English, history, religious studies, art history, philosophy, a foreign language, or area/ethnic studies. Many also pursue a general humanities or liberal arts major.
According to the 2020 National Institute Ranking Framework (NISTF) some of the best colleges for graduation fall under Delhi University - St Stephens, Lady Shriram, Miranda House and Hindu College. And in the last few years, there have been a large number of students from Kerala who have found seats in these colleges. In fact, 20 to 30% of the student community in Delhi University colleges hail from Kerala.
Apart from Delhi University colleges, many prominent colleges in India are excellent for students from Kerala who are looking to pursue their Higher Studies - Chennai’s Loyola College, Stella Maris, Bangalore Azeem Premji and Christ College and, Manipal Centre for Humanities are some of them.
Most parents and students of Kerala are unaware that these courses are also available at the country’s premium IIT Colleges.
There are around 23 IITs, 31 NITs, Thiruvananthapuram’s IIST (which comes under ISRO) are some of the centres which specialise in this field. This new change came from the realisation that social and humanitarian studies and discourses are as crucial as teaching Science and technology.
Here are a few educational institutions that give importance to Social Science and Humanities.
The nearest IIT in Kerala as well as one of the premium IIT institutes in India. At IIT they have an integrated 5-year graduate course and research in humanities and social sciences. After Plus-Two, there are two types of Integrated courses designed at IIT Madras- Developmental Studies in Social Sciences and Humanitarian Perspectives in English studies. The syllabus of these courses will be different from other Universities. There will be newer forms of education available here.
Besides Integrated MA Programmes, there are extensive Research possibilities available for the Social Sciences and Humanities course at IIT Madras.
Just like IIT Madras, the Bombay branch of IIT also gives importance to the social sciences and humanities courses. Having said that IIT Bombay gives more emphasis to research studies. Right now they have only one course available which is BSc Economics (Bachelor of Science in Economics). But the MPhil in Planning and Development is an exclusive course available only at IIT Bombay. There are research studies available for the five subjects essential for the fundamentals of Social Sciences. There are highly qualified teachers for Economics, English, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology at IIT Bombay.
There is a department that consists of 32 qualified teachers who specialize in various fields at IIT Delhi’s Humanities and Social Sciences wing. But there aren’t graduate courses available in this field. They have started a new Post Graduate course in economics and cognitive science. This branch of IIT emphasizes research studies in economics, philosophy, language science, policy studies and sociology and they have qualified teachers who will help us in the research.
Society and culture are a special Graduation programme started in 2014 under the social sciences and humanities department at IIT Gandhinagar. The distinctions of Social Sciences have been included in this programme. The graduation students also receive a stipend of Rs 5000. Apart from Graduation courses, there are research studies available in Social Sciences and Humanities at IIT Gandhinagar.
IIST is an educational institution that falls under ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). It’s located at Veliyamala at Thiruvananthapuram. IIST offers research studies in social sciences and humanities. The research studies are possible in cultural studies, economics and sociology. Along with Post Graduation, those students who pass the UCS-JRF are eligible for entrance here. For more details log on
(The writer is a research student at the Indian Institute of Space and Technology, Thiruvanthapuram. Opinions are personal)