ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Beyond the Oxymoronic Idea of No-detention Policy

The periodic debates on continuous and comprehensive evaluation and no-detention policy in media are completely futile, given the current class-wise structure of schools and curricula. As a result, elementary education gets defi ned by the number of years spent in school. The examination system thwarts all attempts at bringing reforms in pedagogy, curriculum and textbooks. Therefore, discarding both examinations and detention is necessary, and an alternative imagination of schools and curriculum organisation is imperative for the success of educational reforms.

Reimagining ‘New Democracy,’ Rethinking Radical Politics

Capitalism, especially Indian capitalism with its monstrous inequalities, has proved to be totally incompatible with democracy when the latter is understood in terms of its basic principles and aspirations—liberty, equality, and comradeship (fraternity is not the appropriate word now). But in transforming Indian society to ensure a better future for the Indian people, radical politics must preserve the kernel of the liberal–political tradition in the process of transcending that heritage. While keeping in place its historic legacy, “New Democracy” needs to be reimagined as part of a longer, truly democratic, human needs-based “political transition period” on the road to socialism.

The Mirage of a Caste-less Society in India

The goal of creating a caste-less society in India, written into the Constitution, has become a mirage. And the mirage is moving further away.

Nehru against Nehruvians

Nehru’s secular ideals are one of complexity and aim to harness the plural nature of the diverse range of religious beliefs and traditions in India. His secularism is in opposition to the framework of secularism found in Europe and America, and is of great importance to the country today—given the perversion of his ideology which has been routinely misrepresented by his successors.

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.

Understanding Ambedkar from the Cauvery Valley

Indian democracy today lacks trustworthy leadership and an inclusive politics capable of producing an atmosphere conducive to the resolution of disputes, especially water disputes. Even so, there are some important lessons from B R Ambedkar for the Cauvery dispute.

Religion, Fertility and ‘Common Sense’

The sectarian forces in India have kept politicising the population growth of Muslims not on the basis of demographic correlates but on the basis of a pernicious propaganda that stereotypes popular common sense perceptions. These ill-founded notions are so often repeated that these have become part of the popular common sense, normalising the falsification of “reality” created by sectarian forces of either religious affiliations. Why are these mythical constructions increasing despite the fact that the authentic empirical data sets—Census, National Family Health Surveys—negate the same?

Affordable Housing and Ethiopia’s War on Poverty

The Ethiopian approach to planning and development is a unique and bold departure from the cautious and incremental approach that has dominated the rhetoric and practice of development in the cities and regions of the third world since the rise and mainstreaming of participatory, small-scale and upgradation-based development. The ongoing tale of Ethiopia’s war on poverty is a fascinating one, combining elements of brutality and welfare; state control and limited privatisation; an apparent homogeneity of developmental output; and yet a vibrant variety in the details of the development process. It calls for serious exploration and documentation. One of the most revealing interventions in this regard is the Ethiopian affordable housing programme.

The New Moral Economy

Convincing billions of Indian citizens that demonetisation and digitalisation is a panacea for the country’s growth challenges and a solution to its core economic problems requires constructing a new moral economy, and a “different” imaging of India in the minds of the people. Incorrect economic arithmetic and the illusion of digitalisation are not the only problems to be negotiated. The moral political project overtly and covertly being attempted, is of far greater significance.

Coping with Climate Change

Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns have introduced numerous problems across India, particularly among the poor and those heavily dependent on agriculture and forest for livelihood. This article examines the perception of the Maltos, a tribal community living in Sahibganj district, Jharkhand, about climate change, its impacts, and the coping mechanisms it has adopted. 

Money and ‘Demonetisation’

Like in the rest of contemporary capitalism, the Indian monetary system is based on state-backed credit money. Yet this hierarchical system of credit/social relations appears to us as a system of fiat money. This fetish of fiat money, analogous to Marx’s commodity fetish, is produced in the operation of credit system. The institutional and political arrangements of the Indian state amplify this inherent fetish. This conjuncture of elements produces a particularly robust fetish of fiat money in India, giving the Indian state more degrees of freedom over money than other states enjoy, a margin that the current government is now exploiting.

 

The Challenge of Doing Sociology Today

Sociologists study how new societies evolve from the deadwood of the old, while anthropologists study a "static" culture that could not transcend its internal structures to become modern. Contending that this binary and its methodologies became the leitmotif of the organisation of anthropology/sociology in all former colonies, including India, this article points out efforts being undertaken since the 1970s to displace the social sciences from its colonial episteme, such as those provided by feminist perspectives.

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