USLM Karnavati University: Grooming the Leaders of the Future
USLM Karnavati University
Karnavati University

“We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity.”

  • Martin Luther King, Jr

Flip through the pages of history, and you will understand a very significant quality that has always been associated with the leaders of any generation. Setting the pace of growth for everyone around them, the qualities that allow them to stand out and shine are the principles of humanity, manned by a sense of justice.

All these qualities that a leader requires come from oratory skills. Though many might believe that grooming the leaders in such an environment is necessary, it is also essential to read between the pages that make the leader a dealer in hope.

Having said that, most influential people across the world and especially in India, end up taking the half-known route in their educational journey to climb the ladder to influencing large demography.

Recognising this development, The Knowledge Review magazine went on an adventure to find some of the best institutes in the country that groom the student pool in a holistic way. Sculpting the generation into future leaders.

After carefully curating and connecting the dots that would provide all the necessary skills to the students, we recognised that Liberal Arts education is the ideal path to achieve what is aimed.

So, on our quest to find—The Most Prestigious Liberal Arts Institutes of the Year, 2022—we came across the Associate Dean and Professor, Dr Sonam Mansukhani of Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts and Mass Communication, Karnavati University, who shared how the school has made a mark for enhancement in the education of Liberal Arts and grooming the students in a traditional yet modern way to become the leaders of the world.

The Genesis Story of an Incredible Institute!

The world is moving at a pace that humankind has never witnessed before. While the popular perception of the common people hides the significance of Arts, especially Liberal Arts, in the background, the introduction of NEP 2020 has restored the respect and competition for liberal arts education.

Explaining how the gap created before the introduction of NEP 2020 resulted in the founding principles of Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts and Mass Communication, Dr Sonam Mansukhai says, “The Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts and Mass Communication (USLM), Karnavati University, Ahmedabad is an endeavour to foster the ethos of liberal arts in the youth. Our country has always been embedded in the liberal philosophy of Nalanda and Takshashila. With market forces taking over, ‘careers’ gained importance and liberal faded away.”

USLM is an effort to reinstate this by giving the youth ample freedom to meander through disciplinary, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary knowledge and specialise in streams for futuristic career prospects,she added.

Journey of the Establishment of an Ideal University

Karnavati University is located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees for domestic and international students. The university is a dynamic and growing university defined by its close connections to the professional community and its commitment to outstanding student education.

Highlighting the journey of the university, Dr Sonam Mansukhani says, We create the most innovative, dynamic, and creative yet practical learning environment for students. As a part of KU, USLM started off as USLA, only with Liberal Arts in 2017, with 17 students. Over a period of time, we have evolved diversity in the curriculum covering areas of Commerce along with courses in Humanities and Social Sciences, Technology and an advanced diploma in the 4th year. Presently, we are working towards incorporating elements from NEP 2020 into revamping our programs.


Unitedworld School of Liberal Arts and Mass Communication focuses on the idea of creating a future by blending various disciplines to build a sustainable society.


  • To build individual as well as collective competencies in education and innovation
  • To adopt a multidisciplinary approach through media and emerging technologies, building humane professionals.
  • To diversify and focus on exploration of behaviour and mind leading to an in-depth understanding of various psychological perspectives.
  • To endow and empower the students with theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills to take on committed roles and responsibilities.
  • To prepare future professionals to develop global skill competencies.

Core Values

  • Accommodating diverse perspectives
  • Respect and sensitivity towards the cultural ethos and identity
  • Responsibility towards the different systems that we are a part of – nations, regions and the global environment


  • To develop a strong base embedded in multidisciplinary learning
  • To inculcate a keen spirit of inquiry among students
  • To reinforce an understanding of the cultural heritage of our country
  • To foster global citizenship and sustainable linkages with the society

A Leader for Grooming Future Leaders

Dr Sonam Mansukhani joined USLM recently in the year June 2022 as Associate Dean and professor; she brings a vast experience of 20 years with her. Being a born leader with a passion for teaching students, she has laid down a roadmap for the holistic development of students.

Explaining the intricacies of the institution, Dr Sonam Mansukhani highlights, While we have already commenced our journey towards evolving sound content-related and pedagogical practices, the future holds immense possibilities in giving shape and direction to the same. As we have faculty from diverse areas, channelling their skills, knowledge, and research, and integrating this with the existing structures will help USLM gain momentum and make a mark nationally and globally.

Gliding on the Revival of Liberal Arts

Despite being one of the oldest fields of studies and respected professions in the world, the field of liberal arts was side-lined by the popular perception about fields related to Commerce and science. However, with the introduction of the NEP 2020, there has been a revival in liberal arts education, opening a plethora of opportunities in the field.

Elaborating on the rationale behind this, Dr Sonam Mansukhani says, Let me elaborate with reference to the futuristic pathways in terms of higher education, employment, and entrepreneurship. Today, the youth are all set to move out and push their boundaries by exploring the ‘unexplored’ territories. Earlier, one followed the policy of segregation or compartmentalisation. For example, in psychology, one pursued counselling, clinical, and child psychology. Today, the youth may pursue a program in a multidisciplinary area like dance and movement therapy. Moreover, the blend of knowledge, skills, and experience that liberal arts student acquires makes them well equipped to comprehend complex issues. This enables one to come up with policies that go beyond linear thinking.

Also, the employment scenario reveals that organisations are desirous of recruiting candidates who transcend technical proficiency and are adept in articulation, critical thinking and so on. Entrepreneurship, too, involves similar skills. The challenges include the ‘specialisation’ mindset that colours the populace. For the people who wish to take up specialisations and employment in specific fields, the idea of multidisciplinary inquiry acts as an obstacle and, perhaps, leads them into a state of confusion. This has to sink in. I also have a concern which can be translated into a challenge – with the clamour for liberal arts, how many institutions have been able to absorb the ethos in the true sense of the term?she asks, explaining the entire scenario of the revival of the field of Liberal Arts.

Well Curated Curriculum for Holistic Development

During the genesis of the USLM, quality education was put-forth as the common point of curation of a curriculum. After a detailed study of the field, USLM has curated an ideal curriculum with a blend of knowledge, skills and experience.

Emphasising on the holistic curriculum curated by the Institute and what it offers to its students, Dr Sonam Mansukhani says, The curriculum offers opportunities to blend theory and practice and develop 4 Cs- critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication- skills that are vital to thriving in the 21st century. We also endeavour towards establishing collaborations with professional bodies (nationally and globally) to give students different kinds of exposure.

Our experiential component is enveloped in striking a connection with our cultural roots and sensitivity to the communities around. Our pedagogy is grounded in the VARK (visual, auditory, reading/writing, kinesthetic) learning styles approach, wherein the classroom activities cater to the needs and requirements of students with the above learning styles. Lastly, we give them opportunities to assume leadership roles with hands-on experiences that involve teamwork, decision making, and conflict resolution,she further adds.

Staying Updated with the World

When asked about how the Institute is keeping itself updated with the latest advancements in the field of education with the introduction of Ed-tech, Dr Sonam Mansukhani says, We encourage students to use the latest software and technology for content creation. The courses taught at USLM incorporate the latest technological developments. For example, we have a course on cyberpsychology that delves into the psychological factors associated with technology use (e.g., social networking sites such as Instagram). Lastly, we also encourage students to participate in relevant virtual labs.

Creating Lifelong Learners

To draw an expected learning outcome arc for the students, the Institute aims to groom students to become lifelong learners. The field of Liberal Arts hinges on multidisciplinary learning, and the institutes instil the qualities like curiosity and openness in learning.

Sketching the learning arc of students through well drafted and curated curriculum, Dr Sonam Mansukhani explains, There are other factors as well for consideration such as critical thinking, learning agility, responding to situations and different learning tasks and a quest for ‘digging deep’ into different areas of knowledge. The need of the hour is the quest for probing and the ability to dissect and articulate problems/issues and come up with interventions. This implies learning that transcends classroom interaction. With well-designed admission tests, one can gauge these qualities.

Notable Achievements

As a prominent institute of Liberal Arts, the Institute has added many laurels to its name since its inception. Despite that, the Institute considers the success of students defines the success story of the Institute. Highlighting some of the students’ recent achievements, Dr Sonam Mansukhani says, Our students excel academically and in other areas such as sports. Our Advanced Diploma (Psychology- Batch 2018) student, Neerja Vaishnav, has made USLM and Karnavati University immensely proud of her achievement. She bagged the bronze medal in the State level powerlifting championship. She had also bagged the gold in powerlifting at the district level. Another student Tanishq Agarwal (Batch 2021), participated in the recently held ‘Enigma and Kridaangan’ Tennis tournament at Nirma University, Ahmedabad and walked away with the singles title! We are proud of the fact that our students are well grounded in every aspect of academic life.

Dr Sonam Mansukhani’s Advice to the Future

“My advice to the youth is that they are the future. The rawness can be moulded in a manner to bring out the best in them. They need to push their boundaries and be prepared to challenge themselves and debunk stereotypes, biases, and prejudices. Freedom of expression should be encouraged. However, not at the cost of the systems that surround us. Go beyond the expected, develop the art of questioning, and understand that there are systems and subsystems that we are a part of and that cannot be overlooked. However, you can be transformers through forging connections with each other and with a multiplicity of ideas. As liberal arts emphasises ‘challenging what is stated/what is given,’ one needs to challenge oneself before challenging what is externally established.”

Roadmap for the Future of the Institute

Envisioning the future of the Institute, Dr Sonam Mansukhani asserts, “I look forward to establishing a connection with different professional organisations and strategising towards ensuring visibility on the national and the global map. This would entail strengthening the curriculum and working towards achieving the desired and expected outcomes. I also look forward to entrenching an inter and multidisciplinary research culture for students and faculty. Developing a strong entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial drive is something that our school will work towards. We will be endeavouring towards achieving excellence in global rankings in the near future.”

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