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Liberal Education as per NEP 2020: History and Benefits

Liberal Education as per NEP 2020: History and Benefits

Edited By Ankita Sinha | Updated on Jun 17, 2024 11:03 AM IST | #B.A.

Liberal Education is a traditional approach of learning which has been revamped by National Education Policy (NEP) in 2020. Liberal Education is the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach of studying more than two subjects from different disciplines. Liberal Arts is the branch that prepares students for creative thinking and strong analytical skills. Liberal Arts is not limited to specific areas of study, it encompasses a different subjects that can be studied together.

Liberal Education as per NEP 2020: History and Benefits
Liberal Education as per NEP 2020: History and Benefits

NEP 2020 of India has encouraged Liberal Education as it can provide students with the capability of thinking critically and analytically. Liberal Education is essential to enhance the ability to apply knowledge to real world issues.

About NEP 2020

NEP full form is National Education Policy, which has the vision of transforming the Indian Education System, following Indian ethos, moral. Providing quality education to all by making India the educational hub is the mission of the NEP. It is founded with five main objectives, which are Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability. There are numerous changes that NEP 2020 has suggested at all levels of education.

Some of the suggested changes are transforming curriculum including pedagogy with 5+3+3+4 design, which covers the children in the age group 3-18 years, and the existing examination process. It also focuses on teachers’ training, and holistic approach to education. Not only the school-level education, NEP 2020 focuses on vocational and adult education, that centres on the core concepts and critical analysis of the topics.

What is Liberal Arts?

Liberal Arts is the multidisciplinary subjects ranging from different forms of arts to technology. Liberal Education generally focuses on subjects like arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Under Liberal Education, students can learn two subjects from one stream or topics merging from two different disciplines. Few degrees that are offered with the Liberal Education are BA, BSc, BCom, BBA, BDes.

Liberal Arts teaches students how to do persuasive arguments, communicate efficiently, and solve various issues. Liberal Arts can be studied with Journalism, English, Theology, History, Public Relations and IT and Cyber Security. Liberal Education nurtures few skills in the students such as Communication Skills, Problem Solving Ability, Organising Skills, Unbiased, Patience.

Also Read: What is a Liberal Arts Degree

History of Liberal Arts

The term Liberal Arts first appeared in the work of Greek scholar Cicero (106 B.C.-43 B.C.). According to the Merriam-Webster, the word Liberal is originated from the Latin word liber, which means ‘free or unrestricted.’ Liberal Arts is a combination of seven disciplines of secular education in the time of Renaissance and Middle Ages, although it is indexed in the late Roman antiquity.

The seven subjects of Liberal Arts are divided in two sections, quadrivium and trivium. Quadrivium consists of Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy and Music, whereas trivium consists of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric.

Benefits of Liberal Education

Liberal Education helps students in gaining knowledge in various range subjects altogether and also provides them with the skills to think creatively and analytically. Liberal Education provides a broad understanding of multiple subjects along with the in-depth study of a preferred discipline.

Liberal Arts offers a differential approach to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary learning, which generally are the transferable skills, such as critical and creative thinking, positive approach towards any real world problems. With the knowledge and skills, Liberal Arts students can provide the practical solutions of different kinds of problems. Students who have pursued BA Liberal Arts and MA Liberal Arts can choose a multiple career options from a range of industries.

Connecting the dots by using different mental models is one of the important aspects that has been provided by the Liberal Education. Some of the other things that Liberal Education inculcates are habits of self-reflection, contextual learning, freedom of the mind and lifelong learning.

Also Read: Career Opportunities After Pursuing Liberal Arts

Why India Requires Liberal Education

India is country which has its roots of liberal education from ancient history. Liberal Education definition is learning more than two disciplines simultaneously. People from ancient India used to study ‘Vedas’ including practising archery, hunting, knowing law and medicine. Therefore the concept of Liberal Education is always there in India but the few subjects and the approach is being modified.

Liberal Education helps students to decide the subjects and streams of their choice without following the traditional way of choosing only one discipline, such as Science, Arts and Commerce. Students can have a holistic approach to study multiple disciplines at a time. Few reasons why India requires Liberal Education are listed as in this section.

Holistic approach of learning

Learning more than one discipline at a time is the foundation of the liberal education in India. Liberal Education is the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary way of study, where students can learn subjects from various disciplines altogether. Students of STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics) can study Fine Arts or Performing Arts. This approach of studying varied disciplines together provides students with a broad understanding of the subjects.

Critical and creative thinking capabilities

One of the benefits of Liberal Education is enabling students to think critically and creatively. To think critically, students need to understand the issue correctly and solve it using multiple approaches and analyse every corner cases. Liberal Arts colleges provide knowledge and problem solving nature with the help of critical thinking and analysis. Institutes use international exposure and active learning methods to help students to analyse things precisely. This approach can make students curious about various topics and real world problems.

Active learning methodology

Liberal Education includes an active teaching-learning process, where students can understand the value of team learning and interact during the classroom session. A key component of liberal education is activity-based learning and interactive classroom sessions that encourage students to take initiative during their learning experience and brainstorm unique subjects for discussion.

Preparing for real-world issues

Liberal Arts colleges assist students in preparing to solve challenges in the real world. Liberal Education is not just limited to the classroom, it is a lifelong learning process. The constantly changing nature of liberal education ensures that students have the necessary knowledge to deal with all of the challenges related to their careers they could face.

Embracing social responsibilities

Through liberal education, students become constructive problem solvers. It makes students more intrigued and balanced. Liberal Arts Education makes them conscious of their societal duties. Students embrace roles of leadership with empathetic quality and actively engage the community to make a positive impact.

Conclusion

Liberal Education equips students to become the intellectual leaders of the future by providing them with a broad education and the skills necessary to approach challenges logically and critically. They acquire the ability to make interesting viewpoints and analyse issues from different perspectives. Students pursuing Liberal Education not only acquire problem-solving skills but also learn to identify which questions and problems to solve and why. In our constantly evolving world, liberal arts education can help students in dealing with changes, complexity, and uncertainty.

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The percentage required for admission in BA course is different from college to college. Generally, students who have completed their class 12 from a recognised board in any stream, including science, arts, and commerce, with 50% marks are eligible for admission in BA. However, there are some colleges which offer admission with lesser marks and there are also colleges where the percentage requirement is very high. It is advisable to check the website of the college you are planning to join for the eligibility criteria.

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Yes, you are eligible for admission in BA Sociology. Generally, the eligibility criteria for this course is 12th standard pass from a recognised board with atleast 50% marks. However, there are some prestigious colleges that have high cut-off and it will be difficult to get admission with your marks.

That's why, it is advisable to check the website of the colleges you are planning to join for the required marks and other information.

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It is generally not possible to directly join another university like Delhi University (DU) and start from the 1st semester after completing one year of a BA program in a different state university.

Universities typically have limited flexibility for credit transfer between institutions. Even within the same university system, transferring a full year's worth of credits might be difficult. Course structures and curriculum might differ between universities. Your completed first year at the state university might not perfectly align with DU's BA program requirements.

If both your state university and DU are affiliated to the same university grant commission (UGC) recognized university system, you might be able to explore an affiliation transfer process. This would allow you to continue your BA program under the new university (DU) but might still involve some credit evaluation and course adjustments.

Some universities allow students to apply for admission to a higher semester (like 2nd or 3rd) based on their previous academic performance and credit evaluation.  Explore DU's admission process to see if they offer such a program transfer option for students coming from other universities.

If the above options aren't feasible, you could consider starting a fresh BA program at DU. This would involve applying for admission again and potentially losing the credits you earned in your first year at the state university.

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Yes, it is possible to get admission for BA LLB without appearing for CUET (Common University Entrance Test).
Some universities and colleges might still conduct their own entrance exams or base admissions on merit ( Class 12 marks) for BA LLB programs.
Private colleges might have a specific quota of seats allocated for management quota admissions. These seats don't necessarily require entrance exams, but selection might be based on factors like an interview, previous academic record, or donations.

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No, it's not currently legal in India to pursue a dual degree with MBBS (regular mode) and a BA (online mode) simultaneously.

A student can pursue two degrees: one in full-time physical mode and another in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/Online mode.

Two degrees in regular mode are not permitted.

MBBS is a demanding medical program requiring extensive classroom learning, laboratory work, clinical rotations, and practical training. Pursuing another full-time degree (like another MBBS) alongside MBBS (regular mode) wouldn't be feasible or meet the program's rigorous requirements.

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