Technology has pervaded every aspect of our daily lives and things that were once in the realm of science fiction books have now become a reality. Not only has technology changed the way we live but also the way we think. But in spite of the rapid strides made in the field of technology, the ever-widening gulf between technology and the social implications of technology is a cause of concern for everyone. In developing countries like India, there is a dearth of institutes that address this issue and offer programs that help in creating a workforce that is skilled and smart enough to deal with the social impact of technology.

One such institute that has come up with such an initiative is the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIITB). They are now offering a program (MSc. in Digital Society) that stands at the intersection of technology and society and trains students to better understand the role of technology and it can be more effectively harnessed in different contexts.

What is unique about this program

Started in 2015, the course offers a perfect blend of technology and social sciences.It’s a one-of-a-kind program that has started to attract students from diverse educational backgrounds, giving them an opportunity to learn from each other and share different perspectives on different topics. “Technology and society can’t exist in isolation and work in silos, completely unaware of the presence of the other. I feel students from all domains should join IIITB’s  Digital Society program, as they provide new and fresh perspective on any topic,” says Tejas Avinash Pandey, a second-year student of MSc. in Digital Society at IIITB. A similar sentiment is echoed by Vidya, who is also pursuing the Digital Society program from IIITB, when she says, “The aim of the course is to find a common ground for the convergence of technology and the impact of technology on society. The students from different educational backgrounds bring in different and fresh perspectives, which is a good thing for everyone.”

Bridging the gap

The program instills interdisciplinary skills combining an understanding of the latest developments in the field of technology with a nuanced understanding of the economic, political and socio-economic factors affecting the society. This need to have a holistic view of the role of technology in socioeconomic development reinforces the point of having students from various educational backgrounds and train them to take the challenges of the real world head on and IIITB has been at the fore of it. The course provides students valuable insights into the social dynamics of digital technologies, and the policy challenges of deploying such technologies, with a broad-based training that will draw from a range of subjects from the social sciences, computer science, engineering, research methods, management, economics et al.

The technologists and social scientists work within the narrow confines of their domains and are not in sync with each other. To bridge this gap and train students in designing, deploying and managing sustainable and equitable technologies, IIITB has designed this unique course, which gives students a deep understanding of the digital ecosystem. With a positive response from the students and industry, IIITB seems to be well placed to train professionals for a smarter tomorrow.

The journey so far…

For a program that started only two years back, the journey has been an enriching one and it has started to attract students from all disciplines. This speaks volumes about the institute that has carved a niche for itself in such a short span of time. The Digital Society course offers a perfectly designed program that has the unique mixture of technology and social sciences, giving students an ideal platform to explore both sides of the issue.

With a world-class faculty and cutting-edge research facilities in place, the institute serves as an ideal playground for researchers who take up this course in Digital Society to make a change and be a part of that change.

To know more about the course, click here: https://www.iiitb.ac.in/msc_digital_society/