We invite proposals for papers to be presented at the conference, Liberal Education and the Future of the University, under two basic categories. The first category of papers would delve into philosophical and pedagogic debates in higher education in the Western and Indian contexts, which relate to the theme of the first day. We invite scholars with experience in educational research and policy creation and assessment to engage with the state of the Social Sciences in India, the crisis of the Indian University system or the failure of liberal education in the West and India.

Themes for papers under the first category:

1. Analysis of Indian educational policy: What kinds of experiments were conducted in order to introduce liberal education into the Indian context? How do we assess the outcomes of these experiments today?

2. Important debates on higher education in India and the failure of the University. What is the nature of the problem? Why do most assessments declare the failure of the University system? What are we failing to do?

3. The disintegration of liberal education within the European universities and American liberal arts colleges: causes and cures

4. What kinds of problems does the religious framework underlying the model of liberal education produce today in the West and/or in India?

5. A search for alternatives: Can the pre-colonial Indian system of education help us provide alternative goals that could effectively guide the direction of higher education? Do these alternatives solve the current problems of the divide between Science and Social Science?

The second category of papers is meant to invite teachers and young researchers involved in higher education to generate data and reflect on their own experience. We hope that such fresh research and reflection from teachers in the field will provide an immediate context to the issues raised about the failure of introducing liberal education in India. A specific structure for such papers is outlined below. We welcome any research question that connects with the larger theme of the conference to be taken up for investigation. Our hope is that these papers will generate useful data and/or provide genuine reflection on a specific problem and its proposed solutions.


Themes for papers under the second category:

1. Reflections based on Classroom Surveys / Experience in the classroom as a teacher in relation to the questions and themes raised in the concept note. (We expect that the paper presenters are teachers or young research scholars who would conduct a survey among students and present the paper with the data from the survey. You are free to generate and answer a question relevant to the larger theme of the conference.)

2. Debate on higher education in India--Colonial and Post-colonial (Does the debate on Higher education in India and its failure reflect in your experience in the classroom as a teacher? We encourage you to pick up one area of debate, for ex. vocationalisation of education, or any other such area, provide an outline of the existing debates and then provide your reflections on the debate in the form of a problem analysis. What is the problem that the debate seeks to tackle? Do the policies implemented as a result of the debate succeed in solving those problems? If not, why?)

3. How to teach social sciences in engineering colleges (Reflection on the experience of offering/teaching social science courses in engineering colleges.)

4. Caste reservation and its impact on higher education in India

The proposed areas above are only loosely defined in order to allow for maximum participation and engagement from teachers and young researchers. However, we place a certain set of constraints on what kinds of papers will be accepted. The papers proposed in this set must:

(1a) State the problem that you want to reflect on. Tell us why you think this is a problem.

(2a) Substantiate with sufficient data.


(1b) Generate data geared towards identifying key problems.

(2b) Focus on one or a cluster of related problems the data may bring to light.

(3) Where possible, attempt to identify the factors that need to be understood and/or changed in order to tackle the problem.

(4) Review existing solutions, if any, and assess their effectiveness.

You may submit more than one paper proposal. The proposal must not exceed 500 words. Those who write a proposal for the second category of paper presentations must also include a description of what, if any, data will be generated.

Deadline for submission of abstract: April 14, 2016
All abstracts may be emailed to Ms.Archana Bhat Kalahalla at
All successful candidates will be notified by April 30, 2016