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

Krishna KumarSubscribe to Krishna Kumar

Autonomy in Times of Crisis

The recent decision taken by the University Grants Commission to give greater autonomy to the better-rated and better-ranked institutions needs to be viewed in a wider context. The term “autonomy” conveys a value that the higher education system shed a while ago. Its crisis has deepened over several decades. The author argues that any substantial plan to reform higher education in India must engage with its historically inherited social isolation.

Education and Girlhood

The issue of “girlhood” rather than “girls” is tackled in an attempt to answer the question “What is education?” and the necessity for autonomy in education is considered. The Indian state’s psychological split between a tyrannical need for control and a benevolence towards its citizens is examined, which leads to an explanation of the diffi culty the state faces in engaging with the culture of girlhood. Finally, the hardships that girls experience with regard to education today are outlined.

Studying Childhood in India

A look at the various ideas of childhood that have been dominant in India over the past century or so, and what they mean for parenting, pedagogy and politics in the new century.

Understanding Vyapam

The Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh is not the familiar story of exam cheating. It is about the mutation of exam cheating into a service industry facilitated by the State. Understanding it requires a look at the political economy of a hollowed-out system of education. The scam found a congenial climate in the sociopolitical reality of Madhya Pradesh.

Rurality, Modernity, and Education

Unquestioned social scientific knowledge about modernity says that it is urban. For the rural, the only way to modernise is to develop symptoms of the urban. As a universal instrument of modernity, education is under compulsion to encourage the rural to become urban. This article examines the grammar of rural-urban relations and locates a deep anomaly which arises from the essentially "rural" character of pedagogic modernism.

Pedagogy Market

Of late, public-private partnership is meant to encourage private capital to take responsibility for matters that were earlier regarded as primary duties of the State. The centre set up by the Pearson Company in partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education is meant to enable the latter to progress towards the fulfi lment of longterm policy measures like developing a school-based evaluation system. In choosing Pearson as a partner, the Board has conveyed that its goals are not incompatible with the direction in which the market of educational services and commodities is pushing educational policies in several parts of the world.

Quality Constraints in Education

It needs pensive reflection to understand how an organisation whose name is perhaps the most widely recognised public sector brand across the length and breadth of India could become the target of so much instant anger and contempt in the highest legislative forum of the republic.

Cleansing the State

The anti-corruption movement has enabled the Indian middle class to feel smug about itself. Its members have gone through a vast range of emotions during the last two decades, from self-hatred to self-righteousness. Liberalisation of the economy has created for this class an excitement of many kinds. It has meant the freedom to pursue the quest for wealth without guilt and, at the same time, it has meant feeling set adrift from tradition and the culture it signifies. Life under the regime of liberalisation has also meant seceding from the physical spaces that constitute the shared habitation of the rich and the poor, by creating self-enclosed townships.

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.

Burqa: More than a Symbol

The logic of “Burqa Battles” (Editorial, 7 August) revolves around the following point: “Since there is no public ban on wearing other religious symbols like the Islamic or Jewish cap, the cross or rosary, it is unclear as to how and why the burqa alone is weakening French secularism.” I feel the...

Culture, State and Girls: An Educational Perspective

This paper attempts to examine the childhood and education of girls in India in the context of their socialisation in the family and the historical evolution of the State's capacity to deal with gender issues. The customs and rituals under which girls are brought up and gendered into womanhood constitute a regime which is incompatible with the normative view of childhood implicit in child-centred policies of education.The evolution of the Indian state under colonialism has made it structurally predisposed towards the maintenance of patriarchy. Education can hardly be expected to interfere with gender asymmetry unless it is epistemologically reconceptualised with the help of a collective academic enterprise involving several different disciplines.

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