Tiju Thomas

Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Sardar Patel Road, Chennai 600036, Tamil Nadu, India


ph. no: +91 8056456442
email id: tt332@cornell.edu or tijuthomas@iitm.ac.in

Our Research Group

Applied Nanostructures Engineering and Nanochemistry (ANEN) Research Group

ID6020 Panel Discussion notes (28 Sep., 2017)

What would an ideal educational institution be like?

Tagore, the legendary poet from Bengal, eloquently described what he thought a free and just society should be like. He wrote:

        Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
        Where knowledge is free
        Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
        By narrow domestic walls
        Where words come out from the depth of truth
        Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
        Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
        Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
        Where the mind is led forward by thee
        Into ever-widening thought and action
        Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

A educational institution has the social responsibility to create people of integrity and justice. Such a society must honor freedom, hard work, and individual responsibility. There is a lot at stake, when a country's education system is in bad shape. However if the educational system of a country is in good shape, the society has a lot to be hopeful about.

To foster universal fraternity is the responsibility that each member of the human society has towards one another. Enriching each other, by acknowledging and encouraging one another's creative capacities is the primary activity of a mature, peaceful and well-developed society. Such a spirit must thrive within our campuses. This sounds almost utopian, and let it be so! We must strive towards generating a spirit of equality and fraternity. To foster a creative spirit among its members must be part of a university's mandate. In that sense, our educational institutions are the places where social transformation must begin. An academic campus must be the place where impediments to creative thinking are eliminated, so that free thinking and free learning is made fully possible. We must createcampuses where the teacher and the taught are both perennial and lifelong students. I hope our institutions become places where human beings can reach the summit of their existence.