Higher Technical Education: Distinctiveness of Humanities, Indian English, and ESP


I am grateful to the organizing committee for considering me and alluring me to deliver a visitor lecture on the Humanities and social sciences specialty in higher technical training. I sense rather uneasy and relatively septic as I stand right here without pretensions of a high-forehead professor or expert whose discourse goes overhead. I communicate to you as a practicing trainer of English language competencies, particularly for technological know-how and era, and Indian English writing, specifically poetry, with interest in what issues us within the Humanities division, which, unluckily, enjoys little educational respect inside the overall scheme of factors in almost every technical institution.

Maybe a convention like this would be good for friends within the Humanities & Social Sciences branch, as they want to discover interdisciplinarity, which expands the scope of coaching and research. But I ought to provide a perspective to my numerous comments that turn up from my reflections on the nice of highbrow hobby in most technical establishments vis-a-vis the negligible aid for scholarship in the Humanities, perhaps with the notion that the arts are not ‘real subjects’ or that those haven’t any about studied of technical subjects, or these convey no demonstrable financial benefit.

Higher Technical

The discipline has declined extra perceptibly, as cited by Nannerl O. Keohane, “the creation of increasingly more specialized disciplines and rewards for college participants for advancing knowledge in the one’s areas.” We have a marginalized reputation in technical establishments, although we might also be gambling an essential position as instructors of languages and letters. I do not want to live on them right here. But, we should be aware of the truth about the ground.


Yes, a study in the humanities doesn’t constantly count the number of people communicating ‘new findings’ or providing a ‘new concept.’ It is a substitute for ‘cultivating information’ or wondering significantly approximately a few profound questions about human lifestyles; it is frequently the expression of the deepened expertise, which a few individuals have received, via analyzing, discussing, and reflecting on a topic that has been ‘known’ for a long term. To me, practices in arts and arts increase awareness, refine susceptibilities in various guidelines, create deeper recognition, and enable us to respond significantly and independently to the ‘courageous new international’ we stay in. Arts and arts by myself can assist us in discovering what it is to be human and preserve “the heart and soul of our civilization.” Perhaps the usefulness of humanities is acknowledged by inviting me to talk to an outstanding audience like this.

I intend to divide my brief into parts: I would replicate technical institutions as faculties of better studying, after which I could say something about the business of English language teaching, which is my top professional issue. Yet, a lot will remain unsaid, for I am privy to the controversies I may raise.

I strongly sense that most university-level technical institutions in India, like the overall ones, have failed to promote or uphold healthy highbrow attitudes and values. Educational way of life and tradition, predicted of a university, simply as it’s painful for me to look at, the subculture has been truely dismal inside the case of studies in arts and humanities in the final four decades. The dullness and sameness have marginalized each creative and important performance, or the standards surpassed down to us have emerged as out of date, or we’ve fallen into an abyss of unbecoming elitism, or we have ended up used to a cornucopia of pleasures formerly denied us: I won’t remark. However, a possibility, along with this, is that we should no longer offer any authoritative judgments but reflect on or provide insights into troubles that challenge intellectuals at the pinnacle of the university coaching hierarchy. Should I say ‘non-university? I fear the college’s maximum does not need to transport beyond the parochial confines of narrow exclusivity. It’s the age of specialization, they say, and discourage diversity, tolerance, and inclusivity: they no longer try for intellectual mobility and exchange of mindset; we, as seniors, too, have now not attempted to attain out or explore!

As a college, we aren’t oriented to transforming our social order, nor are we obligated to behave as a moral deterrent in inhibiting the increase of selfish motivation. We consider schooling in phrases of laboratory or industrial practices in mineral and mining sectors, energy, electronics, engineering, PC utility, surroundings, management, law, fitness sciences, existence sciences, and all that, but hardly take care of ‘generating’ fully able and spiritually mature people. We do not take note of the increase in personal creativity and intuitive information of individual motives. We do now not bother to teach with, to quote Rabindranath Tagore, the “understanding of spiritual that means of life,” which is also the moral and ethical that means. Sadly, we were bogged down in schemes that inculcate an addiction to seeking the best opportunities to live to tell the tale or better pay packages.

I’m afraid that for too long, we’ve practiced the “way to” of existence and disregarded the “why.” I consider it comparatively easy to discover ways to accomplish positive cloth tasks, but it is much harder to analyze “what for.” If our instructional device has failed through the years, it is because we have not come right into an operating understanding of our humanity. We have gained much technical know-how, perhaps greater than enough to resolve humanity’s problems. However, we’ve not tried to reflect on how to apply it constructively and efficiently for the coolest of all, with a feeling of human dignity.

Some people rightly worry about the general lack of mutual admiration for the rights and emotions of others, the tendency to be suspicious of the unknown, the tendency to take liberty with the sanctity of the individual, and complain about the overall lack of individual integrity, no matter higher training. I see our failure in communicating with the religious perception marked with stability between personal dreams and social demands; I see our failure in growing the notice of the world of values and precept of the spiritual oneness underlying the exquisite range within the global. I see our failure within humanity being torn apart by intolerance and fundamentalism, the suicidal urge for self-destruction. I see our failure in the rising ethnic, linguistic, and spiritual tensions that now belie the sixties’ clinical, technological, and enlightened euphoria.

We seem to have misplaced an experience of duty toward growing an awesome, tolerant, forward-searching society. Thanks to the position of money in democratic strategies and the institutionalization of corruption in any respect stage, human beings have lost religion in politicians, bureaucrats, and authorities. The invasion of governance using the criminal-flesh presser-bureaucrat Nexus has executed the United States of America’s finest harm than the shift of strength following the wave of globalization, multinational capitalism, corporate financial system, politics of struggle on terror, environmental issues, human rights, and all that. There is a reshaping of self, values, and norms with the dominance of the Western discourse in crucial reasoning and mirrored image via perils and delights of boom and trade; via survival capabilities vis-à-vis emigration, sex, parenthood, and age; through re-traveling past and present with vested cognizance; thru political orthodoxy in the name of democracy, spiritual fanaticism, casteist dominance, and repression of the liberals and the easy; and through the new procedures of fossilization of the pre-colonial/colonial/publish-colonial that renders lots of us within the career inappropriate. I am surprised if we are not extraordinarily dislocated in our small global.

Let me now not digress any further. Ladies and gentlemen, every college is a better training school; however, how high is it? Suppose we are only interested in technical education to develop professional capability or talent in some area of life. In that case, we speak about a vocational college or polytechnic that is no longer a university. Unfortunately, most universities (and technical institutions) have been vying with every difference, from becoming expert faculties that are not devoted to teaching higher morality, philosophy, popular order, or everyday life. They are not properly generating morally and ethically aware residents. I am afraid all one could count on from the prevailing priorities within the so-called higher education is survival, the pursuit of money, and strength.

When technology is transformed into technology, it becomes a shape of strength. And, as records could testify, power is the energy for right and evil. The technological subculture we stay in pervades and shapes our lives. The laptop and net tradition, digital gadgets, microwaves, fridges, cell telephones, antibiotics, contraceptives, and numerous such devices had been greater than new manner. Our feelings of vulnerability have been converting rapidly. The new consumerist way of life has taken away what turned into meaningful and wealthy reviews of life in advance.

We inside the Humanities & Social Sciences department need to debate the multifaceted fact that modern technology no longer only gives its gadgets and infrastructure, which might be its fabric manifestation, but also capabilities and enterprise, attitudes and subculture, possibly constructively and contextually. Thinking through technology has allowed us to expand and contribute to humanity’s philosophy of science and engineering simply as one-of-a-kind visions can be discussed via the social philosophy of generation. Western researchers have already addressed the era as the liberator, generation as chance, and era as an electricity tool. Our lives and ideas have, therefore, modified and could keep trading. In truth, every area has been converting these days unexpectedly. The field (HSS) desires to incorporate theirs, especially as media, which consists of the internet and social networking, have already modified and redefined human courting and identities anywhere and at all tiers.

Then, there’s the emergence of what has been known as ‘information society. Given the beginning of this century, the increase or creation of a know-how society that we have been speaking about presupposes our capability for the concept era. But if know-how isn’t made freely available to all trying to find it, how can one promote humanity or make its electricity for a liberal democratic society? Moreover, as clinical and technical know-how spreads or becomes more powerful, it might become more difficult for the clinical community to count on moral responsibility for using and abusing scientific know-how. To mitigate this venture, one desires an education that is no longer in technological know-how but in the humanities. When scientists say they want to stay up to their social responsibilities, they appear to mean that they want more energy than they have; the method they want to run matters is to take charge. They should not emerge as ‘doing politics’ to enhance the arena or society. Let them be curious about themselves in dealing with the challenge of their self-development and mastering how to reflect onconsideration on their responsibilities more severely and reflectively, their ethical schooling.

As a college within the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, one of the main technical universities in the United States, I suppose the clinical and engineering community has to face up to its personal self-education and social training. Do our budding engineers and scientists need to discover answers to such fundamental questions as a great society? How can we go about reaching it? How will we-what we-research from records? What can we analyze from political philosophers of the past? Or, why do scientists think and talk in the manner they do? They can not forget this type of instructional inquiry in technical education because there is increasingly more to understand as the fields proliferate. This means the branch of Humanities and Social Sciences ought to equip them with the basics that facilitate them to exhibit information in and across the foremost disciplines: scientific know-how, technical information, mathematical know-how, ancient information, creative/humanistic understanding, pass-cultural knowledge, and understanding of moral and political philosophy, and philosophy of science, etc. There is a desire to offer new standards and examples to sell such expertise to permit them later to make significant choices vis-à-vis the complexity of the sector technology and technology has added about.

With the existing attention, be given it or not, we, in instructional institutions, have perpetuated dwelling with the world in upheaval. In a few instances, we have even proven a preference for it. But, with a higher order of recognition that tactics intuitive degrees of information (something arts, subculture, and humanistic studies are seeking to increase), we should be more able to observe a problem from many one-of-a-kind dimensions and rationalize how we ought to stay in the future “as entire residents who can think for themselves, criticize traditions, and understand the importance of any other individual’s sufferings and achievements,” to cite Martha Nusbaum from her ebook Not for Profit.


A technical university desires to provide for schooling, which additionally elevates the focus and extends the strength of the soul; that is, we want to shift a part of the current instructional priorities from the mind to the coronary heart and from clinical and technical questioning to soul cognition. The quit and purpose of a college, be it technical or preferred, is the perfection of a guy, striving to adapt the cognizance in track with the universe.

The education we ‘sell’ needs to be re-tuned in the direction of creativity, innovation, and recognize for fundamental freedom; our guidelines and curriculums have to help in strengthening the culture and values of a worldwide society that is characterized through multiculturalism, intercultural interactions, mutual appreciate, tolerance, dignity and admire for values, and awareness of ourselves as one human race, human rights, and worldwide duty for exchange in attitudes. At every stage, we must strive for stability among the conventional attitudes and the need for a modern multicultural society.

I agree that most of the new technical institutions can preserve their uniqueness by significantly starting to the diversity of our instances through sharing freely with students representing the range of our large society, lifestyle, and future needs. The enclave approach, which seeks to close out or, at a minimum, severely restrict the various sociocultural needs and expertise, won’t assist in holding the institution’s area of knowledge anymore.

I also worry about the device’s unwillingness to nurture the ethos and sensibility that sustains a university spirit even in keeping with the present-day govt. Regulations, a group of better mastering, is predicted to run as a commercial enterprise which, in days to return, will irreversibly regulate our attitudes to teaching and studies, our notions of understanding, our administrative practices, and our courting with the country and society. We want to move from the issues of the instantaneous present to the future and visualize a special typology of cultural, linguistic, and educational troubles in opposition to the backdrop of a completely fluctuating socio-political climate and pressures of every type.

As a part of the language and literature coaching fraternity for over 38 years and operating in a specialized college, I understand how huge humanities teaching is in honing the mind, essential wondering, and conversation talents. I am tempted to cite Erwin Griswold (of the Harvard Law School): “You visit a tremendous school now not so much for information as for humanities or behavior; for the artwork of expression, for the art of entering quickly into every other person’s mind, for the artwork of assuming at a second’s notice a brand new highbrow role, for the addiction of submitting to censure and refutation, for the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated phrases, for the dependancy of regarding minute points of accuracy, for the artwork of operating out what is viable in a given time; for flavor, for discrimination, for mental courage, and intellectual soberness.”

I was hoping you could permit me to speak about the enterprise of English Language Teaching. I say ‘enterprise’ because it has advanced into a multi-million dollar industrial company outside the local bases. We, too, can capitalize on it in our own way. We can reach out to people in over 70 international locations where English is one of the principal languages.

The global diffusion of the language has now taken an exciting flip: the ratio between the local speakers of English (in countries like the U.K., America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and the non-native audio system (in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Philippines and so forth wherein English is used along with the mother tongue) is sort of forty: 60, and it has accelerated fast to other countries (like China, Japan, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Taiwan, the Gulf Countries, and the international locations of the erstwhile Eastern Bloc). It is a native language of South Africa, Jamaica, and the West Indies. It’s acculturation, global functional range, and various literary creativity it’s far accommodating are traditionally unprecedented.

As Braj B. Kachru notes, the situation these days is such that the local speakers have a trifling position inside the global spread and teaching of English; they seem to have misplaced the extraordinary prerogative to control its norms of use or standardization; if current records are any indication, they will end up a minority.

This sociolinguistic reality and its implications have not been identified by most linguists, ELT practitioners, ESPists, administrators, language coverage planners, and college and university teachers in India. We need new paradigms and perspectives for linguistic and pedagogical research and for expertise in linguistic creativity, including clinical and technical writing, in multilingual situations across cultures.

You will recognize the English we all speak isn’t always like the English the local audio system of the language talk. We don’t want to. The yardsticks of the British or American native speakers, their requirements as contemplated in GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and so forth, or their type of tongue-twisting, are destructive to non-local speakers’ interests. We must increase our requirements instead of coaching to sound like Londoners or North Americans. Pronunciation has to be understandable and no longer detract from the information of a message. But for this, nobody wishes to speak the so-called standardized English that makes inter-and intranational communication hard. David Crystal also appreciates this reality and favors the taste of English nearby in India and elsewhere.

Our Indianness is truly contemplated in the pronunciation of positive vowels and consonants, inside the stressing of words, within the rhythm and pauses, vocabulary and lexical acculturation, discourse patterning, code-mixing, usages, grammatical deviations, and so on. The prolonged linguistic and cultural touch of English in various states of the Indian union has given it a unique person who deserves extreme educational exploration. It has received a wide practical variety and intensity. It is preposterous to assume that the language would no longer be ‘shaped’ or ‘molded’ to meet the nearby wishes or remain unaffected by using the effects of nearby languages and literature, cultures, and customers. It is, in truth, the result of such deep-rooted nearby functions that we’ve now got a standardized version of English for intranational uses. The manner India’s multilingualism and ethnic pluralism have introduced the complexity of Indian English, aside from ‘blending’ phrases, phrases, clauses, and idioms from the Indian Language into English, and in ‘switching from one language to another, possibly to explicit the speaker’s ‘identification’ or linguistic ‘belonging,’ the role of ‘native speaker the British or American– as turn out to be peripheral, as Kachru rightly asserts, except they are familiar with the neighborhood cultures and cultural presuppositions.

I am now not very worried about the literary perspective of Indian English right here. However, I had been actively associated with Indian English literary practices for over thirty-five years. I am professionally curious about the language use and usage of Indian writers, scholars, and researchers of technological know-how and era. The localized knowledge range has evolved to speak of indigenous improvements. You can recognize this if you have noticed the development of nearby registers for agriculture, the legal system, the amusement industry, the environment, and so on. The courses of Indian technology practitioners and generations have sure discourse functions that are precise to Indian English but have not been tested.

I suspect Indian English isn’t always diagnosed as an essential location of studies for ‘English for particular purposes’ (ESP) that we train. [It is also unfortunate that though ESP as an approach is now firmly established, it still has fewer supporters in India, possibly because nobody wants any changes in the conventional teaching-learning practices?] Having been on the leading edge of ESP motion within us for over twenty-five years, I am aware of the localized linguistic improvements within the huge output of Indian researchers, several of which have the potential for serving efficiently and efficaciously as pedagogical texts or coaching substances. But it’s miles unlucky that the English coaching academia is gradually recognizing the pragmatic contexts- the importance of intranational uses of English and according to nearby needs – and preserving to stick to the outside norms of English. It’s more regrettable that the conceptual and implemented studies on ESP in the West have avoided addressing troubles crucial for understanding English usage throughout cultures.

How ESP has turned global, instructors and researchers in Applied Languages in our u. S . Need to explore what accommodation a native speaker of English may need to make for participation in conversation with folks who use a nearby (or non-local) type of English; what determines communicative performances or pragmatic fulfillment of English in its global uses; what insights we’ve received via research on intelligibility and comprehensibility concerning worldwide and intranational makes use of English; and what attitudinal and linguistic modifications are acceptable for effective coaching of ESP based totally on a non-native English, like Indian English. These primary questions are now not convenient to Western ESP fanatics.

I have even noticed that the Western ESP is widespread, and technology and era, particularly, have a strong bias closer to ethnocentricism in technique and neglect of intranational motivation for using English. Exercising ESP efficiently isn’t always feasible unless we admire John Swales’s name, “neighborhood information,” and “localized pragmatic desires.” After all, we use the language as a tool, and we cannot forget about the localized improvements that have “code-related” and “context-associated” dimensions. We have to view non-local innovations in ESP as wonderful and bear in mind that they are a part of the pragmatic needs of the customers. It is the attitudinal exchange that I plead for!

Teaching ESP in a college inside a 2d language situation like ours is a “collaborative sense-making” with elegance. When I say this, I point to the interactive nature of formal guidance, which is essentially Indian in tone, tenor, and fashion in phrases of real language use. I also regard the need for information on the dichotomy between the rhetoric of EST coaching and the practice enacted in the study room from the point of view of adult rookies and language abilities development and competence inside the Indian social setting. We need to evolve a dynamic model of ‘communicative teaching’ of ESP that seeks to increase (i)linguistic competence (Accuracy), (ii)pragmatic competence (Fluency), and (iii) sociolinguistic competence (Appropriacy) without ignoring interrelated components of nearby exercise, studies, and concept and at the identical time emphasizes language cognizance, which is a massive idea in ELT, in that it covers implicit, explicit, and interactive expertise approximately language and provides essential attention of language and literature practices which are fashioned using, and form, sociocultural relationships, expert courting, and courting of energy. The approach also can facilitate move-cultural comparisons and contrasts and sell genre-based research (I., E. How language works to intend, how unique strategies may be used, how which means is built), simple to ESP, in that it certainly develops a character’s overall performance competence.

Friends, I have even hopped from one factor to some other, possibly jumbled up, in my zeal to attract your interest in several aspects of English, Indian English, and ESP that have wider and deeper implications. They also contact attitudinal chords of English language customers, teachers, and administrators; these days, teaching English, both language and literature, is not only academically hard but also opens new, fresh avenues for implemented studies. This is because of English’s spread and changing status, which has grown from a native, 2nd, and foreign language to a worldwide language of commerce, science, and technology, spoken among more non-natives than natives inside the procedure in their professional interests or ordinary lives. I have also placed sure records of science and era education inside the context of Humanities earlier than you, raised issues, expressed my view, and now it’s far for the career to accept, reject, or discover their implications. Thank you.

  • Copyright:
  • Professor R.K.Singh
  • Head, Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Indian School of Mines
  • Dhanbad 826004 India