Swami Vivekananda stated that “ If education is identical with information, libraries are the greatest sages of the world and encyclopedias are Rishis ” . There is something more to education that mere passing on of information. Within this framework, the mission of GITAM is to impart futuristic and comprehensive education of global standards with a high sense of discipline and social relevance in a serene and invigorating environment. The sense of discipline and a focus on social relevance is imparted at GITAM through an integral value based education involving amongst others, several spiritual and motivational lectures imparted by renowned speakers. These lectures are beyond the regular curricular sessions which attempt to locate human values in the context of the general scientific, technical and managerial education.
Value Based Education imparts moral integrity and assists the development of humility and honesty in an individual. From a social context, value based education encourages constant reflection and enhancement of personal, social, moral and economic well-being and is therefore of significant value addition to society. Consequently, value based education prepares individuals to become responsible global citizens in harmony with one another, with nature and with the universal spirit.
While community engagement was intricately woven into the programmes across the GITAM to encourage value orientation among the student body, special value based lectures are periodically organized to be delivered by eminent individuals with the mission to give a moral-spiritual touch to the overarching educational mission of the GITAM. These lectures create a significant impact on the thought process of the student community at GITAM.
Students exposed to these value based lectures reported that the resource persons did bring to their awareness a perspective which goes beyond the self. A churning of ideas was what was felt by some of the students with reference to not just an attempt at modifying destructive behaviors like addiction to social network and uncontrolled anger, but also a general effort towards developing excellence in competition with oneself rather than with others, being non-judgmental, restraint over moods, optimistic orientation and a comprehension of alternative perspectives. These lectures also reportedly facilitated self discipline and the capability to resist temptations amidst peer pressure and influence of the media. Members of the student audience also reported an enhanced sensitivity to the perspective of others, the value of cooperation and an overall need for developing adaptability and compassion towards fellow human beings and nature.