Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in for a lecture on Ethical Reasoning being delivered by @shefaly at the Shiv Nadar University. I took some notes, got to be a back-bencher and re-lived my student days. Although I wish I had had a teacher even 1/10th as good as Shefaly is with her students, her subject and as a person. Never too late!

To begin with, some photos I Instagrammed.

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

The University buildings are yet to be completed – parts of it where the students attend classes are build but the entire land area has another 3 years to go to be fully developed. Beautiful expanse of land being developed with good landscaping – keeping India’s hot summers in mind. There’s a water-body too. And green farmers’ fields all around outside the university boundary walls.

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

The room where the class will take place and below : waiting for the previous class to shuffle out as it is past time for the Ethical Reasoning lecture. Students mill around outside the door.

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Issues with the projector bring forth the tallest volunteer who unplugs and plugs the power cord and the projector works again. Students are still streaming into the class in ones and twos and there’s even someone in attendance who doesn’t have the subject on his semester list. If that isn’t endorsement of how great a teacher Shefaly is, I don’t what is. Remember, these are 17 year olds.

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Many types of raise hands! *wink* A very participatory class.

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

At one point in the class, a student raised their hand and asked “Ma’am, what is genocide?” and I couldn’t hide the surprise on my face. Not at the question but at the sincerity with which the question had been asked – with complete and absolute trust in the teacher and fellow-students that no question will be laughed at or made fun of. It was a revelation to be in that class.

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

Shiv Nadar University Shefaly Yogendra Ethical Reasoning Class Photographer Naina.co Documentary

It was the last class of this subject for this semester for this set of students. The Final Assignment was given out and that was that. The students spent some time trying to negotiate a delayed submission date and after the class, also spent some time in conversation with Shefaly near her desk.

This class was part of the course on Critical Thinking – I doubt there’s anyone else in Indian teaching anything that resembles that subject. But I could be wrong. Quite a challenging subject and especially needed for students at a young ago so they are able to lead a more thoughtful life instead of simply “coasting along.” Shefaly also teaches the subject of Society and Technology.

6 comments

  1. Amazing photographs, like always! 🙂
    Regarding the last paragraph- Yes, we had a course titled ‘Introduction to Engineering Profession’ during the first semester which dealt with things like ethics,morals and principles an engineer must follow.
    Also, a meeting took place at Warangal last year which was attended by representatives from all the NITs (National Institute of Technology) which was probably headed by Kapil Sibbal himself. The aim was to revise the curriculum. This academic session onward, a subject has been incorporated in the course of all the first year students studying at NITs; which deals with the same.

  2. Hello Tarun: I am replying to your comment because it is my class that Naina has covered here.

    This was the last class in a term long course on Critical Thinking. The course is a philosophy and logic centric course open to undergraduates studying not just Engineering, but also Maths, English, Economics, Chemistry etc. and students from many of these disciplines were in the course. Ethical reasoning is a small chunk of the course and since students from many disciplines are in the class, it is not engineering ethics centric but far broader. Engineering ethics are covered as a module in my other course that is mentioned here.

    I would love to know more about similar courses being taught at undergraduate level in Indian universities — but to the best of my knowledge no other University in India has a foundational rubric of multidisciplinary grounding that SNU is pioneering. As always in data we trust! So do share what I may not know yet. I am a visiting professor at SNU. Thanks.

  3. Woah how did you find out that someone is an unofficial entrant into the class?!

    I was the one, by the way. I’m the one on the extreme left on the second row(behind the white shirt guy in the front) in this photograph from above:
    http://www.naina.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Shiv-Nadar-University-Shefaly-Yogendra-Ethical-Reasoning-Class-Photographer-Naina.co-Documentary-14.jpg

    What if I told you, it was sheer misfortune on my part that I couldn’t join in the course. I was supposed to be in the second offering, but Dr Shefaly had to leave after the first half-semester! And the worst part is, I signed up for the second offering in the first place because if I had signed up for the first offering, I would have had to miss the first 2 weeks of the course(6 lectures, that is) as I was in Paris at that time. I didn’t want to miss even a SINGLE class because her classes are always too good to not be a part of.

    Thank you, Miss Naina, for sharing photos of this Last Lecture.

  4. As someone who is about to enter the Shiv Nadar University this year, I am looking forward to this class. I wonder if Dr Yogendra would still be teaching the class when I get the chance to take it.

  5. I was amazed to see the beauty of both, the photos & the text. Shefaly, of course, is no doubt a great facilitator and I can see her enjoying the work. Students also loved her. Just lovely pictures, amazing…!
    Tulika

  6. Hey guys,
    I am currently in class 12th and I would like to know if joining SNU is worth? I want pursue Computer Science!

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