ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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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.

Ramananda Reviewed

A tribute to Ramananda Chatterjee (1865-1943), the "Father of Indian Journalism," whose bold yet plain-speaking editorials were also lessons in how to evade censorship and prosecution while cleverly commenting on controversial realities. The who's who of the intelligentsia wrote for him at the same time as he sought to create Modern Review's identity by welcoming divergent perspectives within every issue. He aimed for clarity and accessibility of style, resisting both the flowery language fashionable among Bengali upper class English language writers and readers and the pressure to take sides in competing forms of aesthetic and cultural propaganda. In today's climate of intolerance, Chatterjee's Modern Review remains a valuable model.

Social Change in India

With Ramkrishna Mukherjee's study of social change in India, a scholar of his standing deserves to be read seriously, not ignored or praised without an engagement with his writings. An exposition of his formulations is followed by their critical examination, including his concept of "soft spots."

Majoritarian Rationale and Common Goals

Looking at existing policy instruments and goals, and the economic and social outcomes they promise to deliver, it is argued that majoritarian politics and social and cultural outcomes are not part of fringe thinking. The politics of hate actually works to build a consensus for ruling class economics. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only "nationalist outlook" of our times is to stand firmly behind the policy programme for the global investor.

Revisiting India's Growth and Development

I G Patel's lifelong concern was to think about framing and implementing policies to lift India from the morass of low per capita income and low levels of social indicators to that of a country which was economically strong and one which would be able to hold its own in the comity of nations. This called for growth at a rapid pace, but, as he always emphasised, in a manner which would necessarily pay adequate attention to the welfare of the poorest sections. It was this which was his abiding concern.

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