As I noted in my last column, the Indian Institute of Science has consistently maintained high academic standards since its inception. It has been a model and inspiration for later initiatives in scientific research and teaching, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology. But if one is to make a criticism of this outstanding institution, it would be that its pursuit of knowledge has not been holistic enough. It has done excellent work in all branches of science and technology. At the same time, it has neglected the study of the social sciences and the humanities. In this respect it has been unlike its Western counterparts, such as Stanford University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example. These institutions are also known for their contributions to scientific and technical research, yet they have also had high-quality departments of economics, political science, anthropology, and history.
… To establish and make active a proper centre of humanistic studies would, in this centenary year, be the Indian Institute of Science’s most appropriate gift to itself.
By the way, while I wrote about Geddes’ connections to Raja Rao and Nivedita, I did not know that he had some suggestions for IISc also — which should be added to the list of Geddes’ gifts to us — albeit one that we failed to accept!