What is Civics?
One of the prominent branches of the Social Sciences, the academic discipline of Civics involves the study of the obligations and rights of the various citizens in society. The word ‘Civics’ which is a derivative of its Latin origin, ‘civicus’, meaning ‘relating to citizens’, analyzes the human behaviour that causes an impact on other citizens, particularly, in the backdrop of urbanization.
Under the broad aegis of Civics, the political, theoretical as well as practical aspects of citizenship are studied. The study also includes the duties, civil law, civil codes and rights that citizens ought to concern themselves with. Civics is also concerned with the study of the government with a focus on the role played by citizens.
Education in the subject matter of Civics teaches students the virtues through which they are able to deliberate on democracy and to become responsible citizens in the future. Students educated in the discipline of Civics are taught about the three essential freedoms - those of choice, action and bearing the results of the action. This discipline fulfils the fundamental institutional and social changes that are necessary in order to form a democracy involving active participation in decision making as a group, negotiating abilities and consequently social life.
In the present digital age, the challenges met with by the individual and society has led to the development of digital civics. With the advancement of science and technology, human beings have altered the identification of their place in the world which in turn has put a different spin on the context of their existence and their interaction with one another. Digital civics offers a robust foundation to respond to these challenges with the development of digital citizenship and its engagement. The wide range of responsible and ethical civic behaviours, democratic engagement or citizenship under the digital realm is included under digital civics.
The attempt to understand civics in a global sense in the present day scenario of interaction and interdependence is attempted by global civics. In this field of study, attempts are made to understand civics as a social contract among all the citizens of the world. The development of a sense of global responsibility by means of shared consciousness and framing of mindsets on a global scale to tackle various issues of the world is what is sought by global civics.