ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Overcast Minds

Children from historically disadvantaged castes face systemic hurdles in education in India—ill-equipped schools, poorly trained teachers, discrimination—leading to high failure and dropout rates. Children from disadvantaged castes also face subtler psychological impediments. One such impediment is consciousness of negative stereotypes. Via an experiment, this study illustrates how caste consciousness could affect academic performance, and finds that children from disadvantaged castes perform poorly in tests when made aware of their caste and reservation status than otherwise. The study underlines the need for reform in how India implements its reservation policy to narrow some of the inter-caste differences in educational attainment.

Ambedkar in 2021, Episode 3: Probing Caste Violence at the Visible, Symbolic, and Structural Levels

In this episode, we speak to Parthasarathi Muthukkaruppan about the everyday aspects of caste violence and cultural modes of opposing subordination.

Ambedkar in 2021, Episode 1: Locating Ambedkar, The Historian

In this episode, we speak to Chinnaiah Jangam about Ambedkar's multidisciplinary research approach.

A History of the Socially Excluded in Odisha

Tribals and Dalits in Orissa: Towards a Social History of Exclusion, c 1800–1950 by Biswamoy Pati, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp 248, ₹ 945.

Dalit Women and Colonial Christianity

The paper focuses on the history of the first three Bible women, Mary Wesley, Martha Reuben, and Bathsheba, who came from marginalised communities in Rayalaseema, and emerged as new leaders of social change in the context of colonial modernity and Christianity in the region. The emergence of a modern profession of Bible woman for Dalit women in the 1870s was transformative, opening doors of education, learning, and transforming them into local leaders. Bible women played a pivotal role in the history of Dalits, gender, and missions by shaping the life and community of Dalits and spreading Christianity in Rayalaseema.

Research Radio Ep 18: What Prevents Indian Public Hospitals from Being Hygienic?

In this episode, we speak to Payal Hathi and Nikhil Srivastav about how infection control and caste-based discrimination are closely connected.

Research Radio Ep 11: The Impossibility of ‘Dalit Studies’

In this episode, we speak to Ankit Kawade about the exclusionary character of higher education curriculums, and the implications of institutionalising Dalit Studies.

Caste in MGNREGA Works and Social Audits

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is known as a demand-driven programme introduced with the legislative backing of Parliament of India. It has contributed significantly to provide the “freedom of choice” of work and dignified work opportunities along with rights and entitlements especially for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, women, landless, and other marginalised groups that depend on traditional caste-based occupations and agricultural landlords in the villages for their livelihoods. This has largely contributed to protecting their self-respect and dignity in workspaces and helped control migration. However, the deep-rooted caste system as well as the caste-based political domination in villages affects the implementation of MGNREGA severely. This paper examines the caste-based exclusion in the implementation of MGNREGA, and the social audit and follow-up action taken by the vigilance wing.

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