ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Teaching and the Neo-Liberal State

Under the neo-liberal State, the idea that educational institutions can be run along market principles has gained both currency and a sense of normalcy. It is the teacher on whom the largest burden of the outcomeoriented institutional culture has fallen. Teachers are required to spend a substantial part of their time formally planning, describing, justifying and assessing their own activities.

Statehood and the Politics of Intent

The creation of new states has generally been seen as an accident of political timing. Local leaders, arguing for or against separate states, are often seen as acting without intent and merely playing politics. This article argues that this is so because of a federal division of responsibility which facilitates state-level politicians to discount responsibility for their stance and encourages them to focus solely on short-term goals. The central government intervention in the debate about Telangana has meant that regional politicians have become less able to discount the future and have instead begun to engage with somewhat greater intent.

Deobandi Patriarchy: A Partial Explanation

Through its gendered vision, Dar ul-Uloom, Deoband, provides a partial explanation of the stridently patriarchal interpretations of Islam that are projected by its clerics as normative and binding. But these interpretations are fi ercely contested by many other Muslims, including prominent Indian Muslim women's groups, as both unjust and un-Islamic. This study focuses on such an interpretation by a well-respected cleric Ashraf Ali Thanvi (1863-1943) in Nikah [Marriage] in Islam, which deals specifi cally with issues related to Muslim women in the context of various rules concerning Muslim marriage.

The Chinese Revolution and Insurgent Maoism in India: A Spatial Analysis

This article identifies the spatial conditions of peasant revolutionary uprisings principally by comparing the Indian Maoist movement with the Chinese peasant revolution that established the People's Republic of China in 1949. The spatial factors were by no means suffi cient to grasp the revolution, but they represent necessary initial conditions.

India's Education Policy: From National to Commercial

Post independence, India's leaders, particularly Abul Kalam Azad, advocated an education policy that would be liberal and humanitarian, and set the nation on the path of progress and prosperity. This path was neither a full continuation of the colonial modern nor a restoration of the feudal-traditional. Drawing on progressive ideas from India's "renaissance" and freedom struggle within the Indian "renaissance" and nationalism, this education policy was meant to unleash the potential of India's civilisation by a process of intellectual decolonisation. Unfortunately, in the past few decades, this unfi nished agenda has been dumped by successive governments. It has been replaced by an educational policy which prioritises private profi t over public good and will encourage cultural and intellectual imperialism.

Concerns about Autonomy and Academic Freedom in Higher Education Institutions

Autonomy is crucial for the growth and development of higher education. Considering how different commissions and committees set up by the Government of India from time to time have looked at autonomy and accountability, this essay makes the point that there is an interesting interplay between the two and that without them it is virtually impossible to achieve excellence. It argues that the governance structure in all institutions of higher learning should be conducive for consensus making, resulting in both autonomy and accountability. Besides focusing on factors which can signifi cantly contribute to enhancing autonomy, the article argues that effective autonomy cannot descend as a "gift" from above, it has to be earned.

The 1971 Genocide: War Crimes and Political Crimes

A combination of factors has prevented those involved in the horrifi c genocide of 1971 in Bangladesh being brought to justice. Regional power politics, the economic considerations of Bangladesh immediately after its independence and continuing internal political strife have together held the process back. Now, the return to power in Dhaka of the Awami League has led to a new attempt at conducting war trials of the protagonists - most of whom belong to the Jamaát-e-Islami. But the government has to grapple with time deadlines, differences between domestic and international law and other complexities as it tries to bring about delayed justice for the wrongs done four decades ago. India and Pakistan also have important roles to play in helping the Bangladesh government in this endeavour.

Challenging Bihar on Primary Education

A ground level view of primary education in today's Bihar and an attempt to understand what it means to "demand" or "deliver" development show the state government keen to bring about a major educational change with an increase in allocations and inputs. But is this enough to turn around a system of behaviour in government and among citizens that has evolved over a long period of time? It is clear that inputs and incentives do not automatically translate into higher participation in education. Within the system, "business as usual" is accompanied by apathy, while new opportunities and innovations seem to generate energy and can activate both citizens and front-line government workers to behave differently.

Challenges for a Minimum Social Democracy in India

While the discussion on social democracy in western countries often puts the emphasis on its high costs and issues of incentives for work and enterprise, in India high inequality, massive poverty and a vast informal sector make the challenge of implementing social democracy extremely daunting as much as it is highly imperative.

The UID Project and Welfare Schemes

This article documents and then examines the various benefi ts that, it is claimed, will fl ow from linking the Unique Identity number with the public distribution system and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. It fi lters the unfounded claims, which arise from a poor understanding of how the PDS and NREGS function, from the genuine ones. On the latter, there are several demanding conditions that need to be met in order to reap marginal benefi ts. A hasty linking of the PDS/NREGA with the UID can be very disruptive. Therefore, other cheaper technological innovations currently in use in some parts of the country to fi x existing loopholes in a less disruptive manner are explored.

'Disaffection' and the Law: The Chilling Effect of Sedition Laws in India

What place does a colonial legacy which, in its logic, believes that people are bound to feel affection for the state, and should not show any enmity, contempt, hatred or hostility towards the government established by law, have in a modern democratic state like India? This question lies at the heart of this essay, which examines how these laws impact the ability of citizens to freely express themselves and limit the ability to constructively criticise or express dissent against governments.

Goods and Services Tax: A Gorilla, Chimpanzee or a Genus Like 'Primates'?

Introduction of goods and services tax in India will be a win-win strategy for both the centre and the states and there is every reason to embrace it. However, reform of this nature involving both the centre and the states is an experiment in cooperative federalism and requires stewardship by statesmen. Resumption of GST reform requires greater recognition of and sensitivity to the views of the states. The IMF-type "one size fi ts all" reform, as has been recommended by the Thirteenth Finance Commission, could simply stall the process. At the same time, while it is legitimate for the states to bargain to retain their fi scal autonomy, they should not use this autonomy to indulge in predatory competition and export the tax burden to non-residents.


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