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

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Tumultuous Journey of the University of the Punjab

The first three Indian universities—at Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras—were set up in 1857, inaugurating the Indian higher education system. The University of the Punjab was the fourth Indian university, which was set up at Lahore, the capital of undivided Punjab, in 1882. After India’s partition in 1947, this was the only Indian university that was split up into two. One part continued at Lahore while the other shifted to a new campus in Chandigarh. The story of this journey of the university through the tumultuous years of partition is both fascinating and painful.

Development of a Few, Misery for the Masses

After 70 years of independence, India continues to languish at the bottom of the comity of nations on every parameter that constitutes real development. The widening economic disparities and relentless violence against Dalits, Adivasis and minorities demonstrate that B R Ambedkar’s dream of social and economic equality accompanying political equality remains elusive.

Status of Denotified Tribes

A study on the socio-economic and educational status of denotified tribes reveals that members of these tribes are plagued by chronic poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, health complications, and substandard living conditions, apart from the label of ex-criminals. They face an identity crisis in the absence of statutory documents and therefore, need special policies for their welfare and upliftment.

Ambedkar as a Political Philosopher

Existing studies on B R Ambedkar largely focus on his substantive religious, sociological, political and constitutional concerns, and not on the concepts he deployed for the purpose or modes of his argumentation. His body of work demonstrates that he formulated a number of concepts to take stock of the social reality that he confronted, and/or reformulated existing concepts by critically engaging with the body of scholarship available to him. With regard to the conception of the political, he advanced a comprehensive and consistent design of what it means to live as a public and how best to do so in a setting very different from the West.

Understanding Education and Its Role in Empowerment

Education and Empowerment in India: Policies and Practices edited by Avinash Kumar Singh, Routledge: South Asia, 2016; pp 403, ₹ 1,050, hardcover.

School Textbooks: From Sublime to the Ridiculous

A Class XII Sociology textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education was found to have written on a number of social practices and trends as if it were explaining the legitimacy of such practices rather than encouraging reflection on their regressive features.

Education in Mother Tongue

Mother tongue-based multilingual education is a well-established strategy to address the high dropout rates and poor educational performances of schoolchildren in the tribal regions of India. Odisha is one of the pioneering states to have adopted this policy to reduce the dropout rates amongst primary school students. This article reports on a study undertaken in the tribal-dominated district of Sundargarh to generate information on the issues and challenges involved in the implementation of the MTB MLE programme in the district. The study reveals that certain administrative, language and social issues exist at a latent level which the MTB MLE approach has not been able to overcome.

Flawed Child Labour Law Amendment

By institutionalising child labour in family-based occupations under the age of 14 years and permitting the employment of children in many hazardous occupations, India has failed its children.

India's 'Poverty of Numbers'

The number of "poor" derived by applying price adjustment to an old consumption basket, which is largely what official poverty measures have done, are very different from estimates based on actual consumption baskets that have changed over time. For instance, the share of cereals in household expenditure halved between 1993-94 and 2011-12 in rural areas. In the light of this, we ask if all expenditure would be on food, what percentage of the population would be unable to meet the prescribed calorie requirement? Adding a "minimum" level of expenditure on clothing-bedding-footwear, fuel and light, and conveyance to the "derived" sum of food expenditure provides a second counterfactual. Similarly, the cumulative addition of expenditure on other consumer goods and services provides further counterfactual scenarios.

School Education

The proposed National Policy on Education 2016 has important implications with respect to school education in India. While acknowledging some of its positive features, attention must be focused on objectives of education as espoused in the policy: key amendments suggested in the Right to Education Act, 2009; position and importance of Early Childhood Care and Education and reforms proposed in the curriculum and assessment practices in schools.

Education for the Species

Respectable scientific opinion holds that the human species is on the verge of untimely extinction. According to Noam Chomsky, the so-called "least advanced" people are the ones taking the lead in trying to protect all of us from extinction. Informed by their ancient knowledge systems, indigenous populations across the world are resisting the plunder of the planet. However, indigenous knowledge systems are in radical conflict not only with global capitalism but with modern education itself, thus raising the issue of radical choice. The issue goes much beyond the classical domain of the pedagogy of the oppressed.

Muslim Girls in Urdu Medium Schools of Maharashtra

A revolution is underway in the Muslim community with regard to girls' education. A larger number of Muslim girls is now enrolled in schools, than boys. However, education in Urdu medium, which is weakly linked with the state and market, signifi cantly affects aspirations among the girls. A substantial proportion of students from this community is found with "not clear or no aspirations." This may further compromise the socio-economic prospect of the community which is already at the margins.

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