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

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Social Capital and Collective Action

With the retreat of the interventionist state, development is often perceived as a product of partnership between the state and civil society with increasing emphasis on people's participation at the grass roots. Using a framework of collective action based upon social capital, this paper examines whether social capital is important for successful development outcomes at the grass roots in forest protection and watershed development. Three villages of Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh are the focus of the study.

On Saffronisation of Education

It is usually believed by exponents of Hindutva that theirs is a bold revolt against western hegemony, but in fact it is an imperfect and slavish imitation of that hegemonic system, a caricature.

Brain Drain and Education Systems

The phenomenon of brain drain, now deemed to have reached irreversible proportions is but a symptom of a wider crisis afflicting the Indian education system. Ills that today beset the system can only be stemmed by a revamp of policies, an overhaul of spent bureaucratic attitudes.

Dalits in Education and Workforce

Despite constitutional provisions and safeguards, dalit representation in higher educational institutes and in the workforce remains largely minimal. State initiated programmes and policies apart, it is also essential, as a recent conference in Bhopal highlighted, to instill respect for diversity and a greater understanding of the disadvantaged.

Vedic Astrology in the Universities

Recently, the issue of introduction of vedic astrology as an independent, if optional, course programme in universities has come into a great deal of focus (‘Vedic Astrology or Jyotirvigyan’, EPW, June 16, 2001). The protagonists for such an incorporation have presented several engaging arguments in its favour. We do not endorse this view. However, instead of an outright dismissal, we examine here the main tenets of the protagonists’ position, and attempt to establish its inherent vulnerability.

Madarsas: Need for a Fresh Look

The importance of modernisation and universalisation of education among Muslims in India is borne out by their poor performance in various fields. It is a matter of gratification, therefore, that there is growing convergence of views on the need for modernisation of madarsas and bringing the education imparted in them into the mainstream of universal trends in education.

Foreign Investment in Retail Trade

Fear of foreign investment in trade is irrational. It could help to improve productivity and competitiveness. It is unlikely to have adverse effects on employment and might make existing trade more efficient and profitable.

Equality and Universality

The distinction between equality and universality is important theoretically as well as in matters of policy. With the example of education, the author shows the limits to which universality can be taken and beyond which inequalities are bound to come into play. Sometimes it serves the public interest or at least the interest of the most disadvantaged sections better if inequalities are allowed to increase instead of being artificially reduced. A strongly competitive system of higher education may be to the general social advantage rather than one that discourages competition on the ground that it encourages inequalities.

Colonial Modernity

Lessons from Schools by Nita Kumar; Sage, New Delhi, 2000; pp 232, Rs 200. Constructing Post-Colonial India by Sanjay Srivastava; Routledge, London, 1998; pp 257.

A Political Economy of Education in India - II

The paper explores the political economy factors that influenced the evolution of educational institutions and shaped the legislation that now governs the education sector in UP. The study focuses on the extent of and reasons for teachers' participation in politics, the evolution and activities of their unions, the size of their representation in the state legislature and the link between these and other factors such as the enactment of particular education acts in UP, teacher salaries and appointments, and the extent of centralisation in the management of schools. It attempts to draw out implications for the functioning of schools. The first part of this paper looked at the role of teacher's associations and their evolution as a powerful political pressure group in UP. The second part now analyses the impact the teacher's associations have had on the system of finances in UP, and its impact on general educational levels in the state. Even as strikes, demonstrations, sit-ins in support of more emoluments and benefits have become powerful tools in the hands of these associations, schools see a large degree of absenteeism and apathy towards students, while the state government remains unable to meet non-salary expenditure. [The paper has been published in two parts, this being the second part. The first part appeared last week.]

A Political Economy of Education in India - I

The paper explores the political economy factors that influenced the evolution of educational institutions and shaped the legislation that now governs the education sector in UP. The study focuses on the extent of and reasons for teachers' participation in politics, the evolution and activities of their unions, the size of their representation in the state legislature and the link between these and other factors such as the enactment of particular education acts in UP, teacher salaries and appointments, and the extent of centralisation in the management of schools. It attempts to draw out implications for the functioning of schools. [The paper is published in two parts, this being the first part.]

Poverty Database in Education

In the light of consistent and strong relationships between poverty and education, this paper looks at the database in education to find out to what extent it reflects the poverty of school children. An exercise at reducing poverty should begin with monitoring, collating and consolidating poverty data among school children, which could serve as an initial step in addressing overarching issues related to poverty at macro levels.

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