ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Why Women’s Studies?

The dissolution of the Planning Commission and expiry of the Twelfth Plan has imperilled the futures of the centres for Women's Studies, and Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy across public universities in India. These centres were borne out of struggles for inclusion and continue to operate at the margins of the academic set-up. A critical appraisal of Women's Studies has been undertaken here to locate its relevance in contemporary times.

EPW: Reminiscences

Sociologist, scholar, author and former guest editor of the Economic & Political Weekly's "Review of Women's Studies," the writer gives an anecdotal account of her association with the journal and how she continues to watch the weekly grow and transform with changing times. Her association with the EPW--as an observer and a participant--is inextricably linked with her own life story.

Buying into the Aakash Dream

The low-cost Aakash tablet and its previous iterations in India have gone through several phases of technological changes and ideological experiments. Did the government prioritise familiarity and literacy about personal technological devices over the promise of quality mass education generated by low-cost devices?

Reorienting Women Studies

Even more worrying than the UGC's recent move to redesignate Women Studies Centres to include family studies are the simultaneous changes being prescribed in the scope of their activities and the structure and functioning of these centres.

Academic Standards in Indian Universities

Anyone concerned with academic standards in Indian universities cannot but be deeply concerned at the ravages wrought by the system of affiliation modelled on the University of London with which we started in 1857. In addition to what we inherited, we have made the system even more dysfunctional. There is no limit to the number of colleges which can be affiliated to a university. Nor have any specific rules to earn the status of affiliation been laid down at any stage. Today there are something like a dozen universities which have more than 300 colleges affiliated to them. Some, though not all, of these universities are otherwise good, but what undermines their standing as a university is that they have to carry the unwanted cargo of a large number of affiliated colleges. The discussion in this paper makes two things clear: one, we have been a victim of the affiliating system for far too long; and two, without a decisive intervention by the centre no change can come about.

Contract Appointments and Standards in Higher Education

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has never required universities and colleges to implement systems that tightly evaluate faculty performance. In fact, its moves over the last decade have, if anything, been in precisely the opposite direction. Thus today not only is a faculty appointee assured of job security fairly quickly, when hired against a permanent vacancy, s/he is also guaranteed promotions to successively higher levels based on the number of years of service put in at each level. Against this background, the recent UGC proposal that faculty appointments in institutions of higher education should henceforth be on contract for a limited term will serve one purpose and one purpose alone - that of reducing the central and state governments' expenditure on higher education. To believe that the proposal was motivated by a desire to improve standards of teaching and research in these institutions would be to doubt the intelligence of the eminent members of the UGC.

Ethnography of Reservation in Delhi University

In institutions of higher education, three principal social segments are generally identified: students, non-teaching staff and teaching staff. At each of these levels an institution of higher learning is faced with the issue of SC/ST reservation. The response of the institution to each of these levels is far from uniform and unambiguous. An attempt has been made here to discuss these issues in the context of the Delhi University.

Education : Auditing UGC

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