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

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NEP 2020 and the Language-in-Education Policy in India

The National Education Policy of India 2020 is a significant policy document laying the national-level strategy for the new millennium. It is ambitious and claims universal access to quality education as its key aim, keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030. One of the highlights of the NEP is its emphasis on mother tongue education at the primary levels in both state- and privately owned schools. The present paper critically assesses the NEP 2020, primarily in relation to the language-in-education policy. The paper argues that it presents a “contradiction of intentions,” aspiring towards inclusion of the historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups on the one hand, while practising a policy of aggressive privatisation and disinvestment in public education on the other.

Gender Budgeting for Sustainable Development in India

The fifth Sustainable Development Goal mandates that India close its gender gap by 2030. An evaluation of gender budgeting as a whole and a diverse range of gender-sensitive interventions under the same (2005–06 to 2020–21) reveals severe shortcomings. First, a low and declining trend has been found in the shares of gender budgeting to total government expenditure, and women-specific schemes to total funds for gender budgeting. Second, the allocation of total funds for various schemes is either stagnating or declining, with some having received no funds over the last two consecutive years. Problems of design too persist, all contributing to a significant gender gap for Indian women vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

NEET: Eligibility for What and Entrance for Whom?

The NEET institutes an ecosystem of exclusivity and skews the composition of those who can access medical education.

Selvie Das (1932–2021)

The peculiar qualities and work of the first woman vice chancellor of University of Mysore as she waded through the limitations posed by her gender and caste are narrated.

Reforming Public In-service Teacher Training Systems

The in-service teacher training provided in the public schooling system has often been criticised on grounds of both inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Two principles that can overcome these weaknesses are a “third-space” curriculum built around problem-solving practices of teachers and leveraging the adaptability of online mechanisms for professional development. We describe a large-scale experiment based on these principles. The main lesson is that our training establishments need to develop new technical and academic capabilities, or at least partner with institutions having the necessary expertise.

COVID-19 Lockdown and Human Development

Maharashtra has emerged as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the trade-off between lockdowns to flatten the infection curve and saving an already slow economy, there is a significant human cost, thus exposing and deepening the existing structural inequalities. The article maps and analyses the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown based on the three dimensions of human development—health and nutrition, education, and livelihood. Given the acute shortage of food supplies for certain groups during the period, the article examines the government response by analysing the implementation of food programmes.

Plantation Workers and the OSHWC Code, 2020

Welfare provisions for plantation workers in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 are subject to how respective state governments frame rules and can have wide variations too. A basic standard template from the central government would have been better, preventing wide variations, as well as ensuring a basic threshold. Further, there is a need to recognise the use of technology in ensuring better occupational safety and health outcomes.

COVID-19 and Tribal Communities: How State Neglect Increased Marginalisation during the Pandemic

In the absence of state support and social security, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns created short- and long-term hardships for already marginalised tribal communities in India.

Education, Assimilation and Cultural Marginalisation of Tribes in India

The cultural marginalisation of the tribal people in India through the school system in pre- and post-independence India is discussed by drawing parallels with the residential school system that existed in the United States and Canada.

The Inconvenient Truth of Illiteracy Inequality

This study analyses adult illiteracy in Lucknow, focusing on inequalities between different geographical regions, castes, age groups and genders. The reading ability of 1.06 million people in the 15–60 age group was tested, and the literacy rate found to be 65%—substantially lower than the census figures of 77% for Lucknow and 68% for Uttar Pradesh. Each socio-demographic dimension measured was a key determinant of literacy—disadvantaged groups had literacy rates substantially below the mean. Socio-demographic determinants also compound each other, highly disadvantaging some subgroups, an aspect that policymakers must take into consideration when developing policies to increase literacy equity.

Political Economy of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Budgets

The paper focuses on the changing trends in budget allocations of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, especially since the structural adjustment programme that came to be implemented from 1990 and how it has affected civic services, especially health and education. The paper concludes that it has increasingly directed public resources to the private sector and reduced access adversely access to both healthcare and school education for Mumbaikars.

Deploying Cultural, Social and Emotional Capital

This paper examines the experiences of Anglo-Indian women teaching in Bengaluru’s English medium private schools to understand how they negotiate professional constraints by drawing on Diane Reay’s feminist extension of Pierre Bourdieu’s “forms of capital.” It argues that her concept of “emotional capital” can be used to explain how interviewees attempt to overcome their limited cultural and social capital. We also suggest that Arlie Hochschild’s notion of “emotional labour,” distinct from Reay’s emotional capital, when deployed alongside the latter, highlights the complex negotiations that interviewees undertake. In doing so, this work attempts to contribute a minority perspective to research on schoolteachers’ lives. In the process, it also seeks to extend emotional capital (a concept Reay deployed to explain mothers’ investment in their children) to understand women’s professional experiences.

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