Foundation Course

Course Introduction

This foundation course in universal human values and professional ethics is an outcome of long search and extensive experimentation by Prof. R. R. Gaur, Prof. R. Sangal and Shri. G. P. Bagaria, along with colleagues, towards evolving an effective and universally acceptable methodology for introducing value education in the present curricula of technical and professional institutes. Thus, it is in response to a long-felt and urgent need to integrate value education with technical and professional skills in the present-day education system.

This course employs an effective methodology focusing on the right understanding of human reality vis-a-vis the rest of Existence. This involves discovery of the inherent harmony and co-existence in Existence through self-exploration. The right understanding forms the basis of universal human values and facilitates transformation toward a holistic worldview or the „human consciousness‟.

The course structure has 3 sections:

  1. Introduction to value education
  2. Understanding the harmony at various levels
  3. Implications of right understanding in life and profession

The issues in professional ethics are analysed in the context of right understanding with the main focus on the development of ethical competence in the individuals, in contrast to an approach of enforcement of professional ethics through incentives and punishments. The course concludes by proposing several salient steps to undertake the journey toward holistic and value-based living.

As of September 2013, this course is being run at over 4000 colleges in 28 universities across 5 states in India and all colleges of higher learning in Bhutan.

Salient Features of the Course

The salient features of this course are:

  1. It presents a universal approach to value education by developing the right understanding of reality (i.e. a worldview of the reality “as it is”) through the process of self-exploration
  2. The whole course is presented in the form of a dialogue whereby a set of proposals about various aspects of the reality are presented and the students are encouraged to self-explore and self-verify the these on the basis of their natural acceptance and experiential validation
  3. The prime focus throughout the course is toward affecting a qualitative transformation in the consciousness of the student, a transformation in the worldview matching the reality as it is, rather than just a transfer of information
  4. While introducing the holistic worldview and its implications, a critical appraisal of the prevailing worldview is also made to enable the students discern the difference on their own right

Course Syllabus

Text Book and Teacher’s Manual

The text book for the course is,

A Foundation Course in Human Values and Professional Ethics‟, R. R. Gaur, R. Sangal and G. P. Bagaria, Excel Books, New Delhi, 2010, ISBN 978-8-174-46781-2.It has a simple and student-friendly style of presentation with ample repetitions to draw their attention to the core issues. Each chapter ends with a summary and review questions to facilitate understanding.

A teacher's manual, consisting of a detailed lecture and practice session plan, is also available for this course. The text book as well as the teacher's manual is available in English, Punjabi and Telugu.

It is our earnest hope that this course will go a long way in facilitating the introduction of value education inputs in professional institutions, technical universities and other institutions of higher learning.

Course Objectives

This introductory course input is intended

1. To help the students appreciate the essential complementarily between 'VALUES' and 'SKILLS' to ensure sustained happiness and prosperity, which are the core aspirations of all human beings

2. To facilitate the development of a Holistic perspective among students towards life and profession as well as towards happiness and prosperity based on a correct understanding of the Human reality and the rest of Existence. Such a holistic perspective forms the basis of Universal Human Values and movement towards value-based living in a natural way

3. To highlight plausible implications of such a Holistic understanding in terms of ethical human conduct, trustful and mutually fulfilling human behavior and mutually enriching interaction with Nature

Thus, this course is intended to provide a much needed orientational input in value education to the young enquiring minds.

Course Methodology

1. The methodology of this course is explorational and thus universally adaptable. It involves a systematic and rational study of the human being vis-à-vis the rest of existence.

2. It is free from any dogma or value prescriptions.

3. It is a process of self-investigation and self-exploration, and not of giving sermons.

Whatever is found as truth or reality is stated as a proposal and the students are facilitated to verify it in their own right, based on their Natural Acceptance and subsequent Experiential Validation.

4. This process of self-exploration takes the form of a dialogue between the teacher and the students to begin with, and then to continue within the student leading to continuous self-evolution.

5. This self-exploration also enables them to critically evaluate their pre-conditionings and present beliefs.

Course Syllabus

[L-T-P: 2-0-2]

The whole course is divided into 5 modules over 28 lectures.
After every two lectures of one hour each, there is a 2 hour practice session (practical).
The teachers are oriented to the inputs through an eight to ten day workshop (Teachers‟
Orientation Program).
The Teacher‟s Manual provides them the lecture outline. The outline has also been elaborated into presentations and provided in a DVD with this book to facilitate sharing.
The teacher is expected to present the issues to be discussed as propositions and encourage the students to have a dialogue. The process of dialogue is enriching for both, the teacher as well as the students