This article reviews the book A Foundation Course in Human Values and Professional Ethics by R.R. Gaur, Rajeev Sangal and G.P. Bagaria, published by Excel Books in 2010[^1^]. The book is designed for a foundation course on human values and professional ethics for undergraduate students of various disciplines. It is based on the universal approach to value education through self-exploration, as propounded by Shri A. Nagraj in his philosophy of Madhyasth Darshan or Sah-astitvavad[^2^]. The book aims to help students develop a holistic perspective of life, enhance their self-confidence, and cultivate a sense of responsibility towards themselves, others and nature.
The book consists of 14 chapters, divided into four units. The first unit introduces the need, basic guidelines, content and process of value education. The second unit deals with understanding harmony at various levels of existence, such as self, family, society, nature and existence. The third unit focuses on understanding professional ethics and its practice in different professions. The fourth unit discusses some case studies and frequently asked questions related to human values and professional ethics.
The book is written in a simple and interactive style, with ample examples, illustrations, exercises and reflections. It also provides some appendices on topics such as meditation, natural acceptance and trust. The book is accompanied by a CD containing video lectures and slides on the course content.
The book is a valuable resource for students who want to learn about human values and professional ethics in a systematic and practical way. It is also useful for teachers who want to impart value education in an effective manner. The book can be downloaded as a PDF file from various online sources[^3^] [^4^].
Course Outline and Learning Outcomes
The book follows the course syllabus prescribed by various universities and institutions for a foundation course on human values and professional ethics. The course syllabus typically consists of five units, covering the following topics :
- Course introduction: need, basic guidelines, content and process for value education.
- Understanding harmony in the human being: self-exploration, body, mind, intellect, self and consciousness.
- Understanding harmony in the family and society: understanding human relationships and values in a family, respect for elders, living in a community, trust and non-violence.
- Understanding harmony in nature and existence: co-existence with nature and other beings, ecological balance, natural acceptance and reverence for life.
- Implications of the above holistic understanding of harmony on professional ethics: code of conduct, competency, accountability, work culture, social responsibility and sustainability.
The learning outcomes of the course are expected to be as follows:
- The students will be able to appreciate the essential complementarity between values and skills for sustained happiness and prosperity.
- The students will be able to develop a holistic perspective of life and profession based on a correct understanding of the human reality and the rest of existence.
- The students will be able to recognize the value of ethical human conduct, trustful and mutually enriching interaction with others and nature.
- The students will be able to apply the principles of human values and professional ethics in their personal and professional lives.