In a major change in education policy, Tamil Nadu's Anna University - the state's technical university, on Thursday, faced backlash on announcing to introduce a mandatory 'Philosophy' course for third-semester engineering graduate and post-graduate students, according to ANI. Talking about the 'mandatory' option, Vice-Chancellor MK Surappa had said the mandatory course will be amended to optional soon. He cited that he would speak with colleagues at the Information Science & Technology department. The mandatory course has already been slammed by many political outfits as 'religious imposition'.
Chennai:Anna University has decided to teach 'Philosophy' as a compulsory course to its 3rd Semester BTech&MTech students. MK Surappa,Vice Chancellor says,"I'll speak to my colleague in IST (Information Science&Technology) dept that there must be a choice. We will amend it soon." pic.twitter.com/drziaFy39Y— ANI (@ANI) September 26, 2019
According to the course plan released by All India Council for Technical Education University, the objective of the course is to 'compare Indian and Western traditions' through philosophy. It also stated that the course aims at fostering critical thinking and bridging the gap between sciences and humanities, according to the course plan. The course comprises of five modules on philosophy - Knowledge, Origin, Word, Knowledge as power and Self knowledge. The outcomes of the course are stated to be 'students can think skeptically, ask questions', connect different branches of thought and arrive at a better understanding of self.
The course mainly consists of philosophical concepts mentioned in Hindu scriptures like- Upanishads, Bhagwat Gita, Vakyapadiyam, Vedas. Apart from these Hindu scriptures, the course also included reference material on concepts by Socrates, Plato and Foucault. Reports have stated that faculty feel the inclusion of such religious texts like Bhagwad Gita would amount to imposing Hindu religion. They have reportedly said that ideally the University should give books of all philosophy.