A National Agenda for Education

Higher Education in Humanities and Social Sciences

I

In the history of education, not long ago, humanities played an overwhelmingly major role. Even the study of the sciences was sought to be glorified as a part of the study of philosophy. But the ascendancy of science and technology in the succeeding centuries has reversed the balance and many of the studies in humanities are sought to be glorified as studies in science. The coinage of the phrase "social sciences" is a testimony of this trend. In recent times, increasing stress is being laid on applied knowledge, and not only on manipulation of machines, but also on management of human beings and human affairs. Hence, we witness today an increasing tide towards management studies and towards those human and natural sciences, which have close connections with the theme of applications, management of affairs and production of wealth.

Let us acknowledge that no branch of knowledge, no activity of thought and practice needs to be derided in order to highlight or exalt any other activity for which we may have personal preference or predilection. In a broad vision of unity of knowledge, and of unity of the totality of life, everything has a proper place and even an indispensable place. And yet, in the domain of relation- ships, there is a valid distinction between what is essential and what pertains to manifestation, between what is chief objective and what is primary objective, between what is important and what is peripheral, and between that which is foundational and all the rest that depends on the foundational. In other words, inter- dependence among different branches of knowledge and its applications should not lead to a blur in respect of the exact role that

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