Skip to main content

General Studies

"The category of border...speaks to the need to create pedagogical conditions in which students become border crossers in order to understand otherness in its own terms, and to further create borderlands in which diverse cultural resources allow for the fashioning of new identities within existing configurations of power." - - Henry R. Giroux

Representative drawing of a 2020 online classroom session imagined as the solar system by student Sonal Choudhury.


The digital age inhabits a space where information is produced and consumed as bytes and visual media take centre-stage, while simultaneously opening new possibilities in understanding text and context. In such a scenario, the General Studies Program is envisioned as a learning space for deeper engagements with the practices of reading and writing, in the endeavour to nurture critical thinking skills in our students.
Functioning at the borders of art, design and technology, the General Studies Program cross-fertilises learning approaches from the humanities and liberal arts along with the sciences and design thinking. Alongside these areas, the curriculum integrates philosophies of simultaneity and interdisciplinarity as key access points to boost diverse learning, in both digital and traditional domains.

Student re-imaginings of and on Manto.


The General Studies Program integrates and fosters the spirit of interdisciplinarity and nurtures critical thinking skills by creating opportunities for:

Complementary Explorations and Inquiry: This pathway emphasises and nuances student learning from studio practices by using an inquiry-based framework, in order to embed enduring understandings of cultures, societies, contexts and practices.

Supplementary Explorations and Inquiry: This pathway supports and adds diverse dimensions to student learning from studio practices by using an inquiry-based framework in order to create spaces of multi-dimensional understandings of cultures, societies, contexts and practices.

Explorations and Inquiry as Rupture: This pathway encourages students to question and form provocative engagements within their learning by using an inquiry-based framework to mobilise break-away engagements in order to question cultures, societies, contexts and practices for deeper understandings.

By situating the General Studies Program in these borderlands of learning and inquiry, the curricula become a vibrant amalgamation of contexts, disciplines and discourses.

Learning Approach:

A student presentation in progress.

The approach of the General Studies Program (GS) is designed keeping in mind the requirements of the students at every year, as well as the current level of study. The program runs parallel to the disciplinary studio programs, the Foundation Studies Program, and the project-based programs. Further, it plays the role of nudging, inspiring and provoking the students’ evolution as creative practitioners, using interdisciplinarity as a tool of instruction.

Program Structure:

Five students collaborate to create cut-up poetry.

All students enrol in General Studies units, as the program is part of the electives at SMI. The structure of the learning units varies for each year and level of study,  alongside other undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The General Studies Program scaffolds reading and writing skills in the students at different levels of study. There are four tracks offered that ensure that students receive both a breadth and depth of learning experiences through their electives. All these tracks include Masterclasses and Seminars in order to stimulate critical thinking skills in students.


  • Humanities, Philosophy and Social Sciences
  • Language and Literature
  • Mathematics, Business and Finance
  • Life Sciences and Development — Materials, Environment and Biology

Humanities, Philosophy and Social Sciences

This track seeks to understand the individual, the larger group, and the inter-connections and relationships between the two, as well as how one influences the other. Units employ a discussion-based, creative, personal, and empirical approaches.

Language and Literature

This track nurtures critical thinking skills through reading, writing, and research practices and abilities to make creative connections between language and literature and socio-historical contexts. The engagements within this track harnesses different ways of imagining and engaging in self-reflection, and underlines engaged understandings of what it is to be human in the contemporary world.

Mathematics, Business and Finance

This track builds business effectiveness and personal growth capabilities in a range of areas. This track includes learning about specific areas such as data analysis, economic models, business ethics, strategy and operations, human relations and mathematics.

Life Sciences and Development-Materials, Environment and Biology

This track places strong focus on understanding living organisms from various perspectives ranging from design, functionality and habitat. Units within this track adopt a multidisciplinary approach to biological systems by applying various lenses to appreciate and extrapolate from nature. The large umbrella of life sciences includes specific fields such as environmental health and sciences, food science, biocomputers, and nanotechnology, biomaterials, biodynamics, and biomimicry.

Capability Sets

The General Studies Program at Srishti builds capabilities within the following : overall capabilities, track-specific capabilities and term paper capabilities. Overall capabilities are those that can be built through all units offered across the General Studies Program. In addition, since each track also has discrete capabilities that distinguish it from the other tracks, units offered within a track may also build relevant track-specific capabilities. As some track capabilities often overlap with GS overall capabilities, units offered within a track may be designed to build distinct track capabilities, overall GS capabilities, or a synthesis of both. The term paper capabilities are also a part of the overall capabilities, but are more specifically articulated to prioritize the application of critical thinking skills and research abilities to a student’s art and design practice.

Overall General Studies Capabilities for all Four Years:

  1. Capable of using strategies to narrow down and commit to a topic of interest.
  2. Capable of pointing to main ideas, i.e. arguments, in an author’s work and understanding how evidence supports this.
  3. Capable of developing and communicating an individual point of view in response to a set of readings.
  4. Capable of meeting professional standards of writing and research ethics.
  5. Capable of reading and comprehension in fields related to their research.

Students at Vimochana, Bangalore as part of an immersive experience into notions of gender and identity.


Associate Dean: Tapasya Thapa

Heads of Studies:

Pooja Sagar
Anwesha Das
Carl Lindquist


For further enquiries, please contact Tapasya Thapa at