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

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Poems of the First Buddhist Women

Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women, translated by Charles Hallisey; Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press, 2015; pp xli + 293; ₹295.

Decoding "New Education Policy"

An MHRD document titled “New Education Policy”, inviting comments from various stakeholders, seems to propagate the same old technocratic orientation towards improvement in higher education. That it would neither empower underprivileged students nor improve teaching and research has missed the ministry’s attention entirely.

Communal Violence in Kozhikode Village

We strongly condemn the unprecedented communal violence at the end of January 2015, in Tuneri, Vellur and Kodanjeri villages, Nadapuram in Kozhikode, Kerala, in which more than a hundred Muslim families and homes were singled out, attacked, and crores worth of property destroyed. We are utterly...

How clean is my country

The broomstick wielding Mission Swacch Bharat’s activities will have limited impact on cleanliness on the ground. We need a sustainable action plan in its place, focussed on people who have, for long, ensured the cleanliness of the priveleged.

Sukumari Bhattacharji's World

Sukumari Bhattacharji - Sanskritist, historian, writer, educationist - with a passionate commitment to social and political change, passed away on 24 May 2014 at the age of 92. Excerpts from an interview the author conducted with her.

The Constitution, Cartoons and Controversies

A close reading of the Political Science textbook shows that it is complex, moves beyond pat answers, and treats the Constitution as a living document. It was produced in the light of the National Curriculum Framework 2005, which in itself was a major attempt to democratise education, and reverse the National Curriculum Framework 2000 which was casteist and sexist.

Beyond Ramanujan and the Ramayana

Delhi University has removed A K Ramanujan's essay, "Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation" from its history syllabus. Ramanujan is an engrossing writer, drawing attention to a range of narratives related to the epic from Sanskrit to Kannada and Thai. Most importantly, he uses the different tellings of the Rama story as cultural artefacts that shape and are in turn shaped by our daily existence. Why then should young adult learners be prevented from learning about them?

Contexts, Content and the Social-Science Classroom

The Central Board for Secondary Education's Teachers' Manual on Formative Assessment which engages with textbooks and the syllabi was designed under the National Curriculum Framework for Class IX a few years ago. Although it facilitates formative assessment of the learner as opposed to the end of the term examination, the significance of this manual has not been acknowledged. This article evaluates the manual in terms of its principles and contents as well as the inclusions and exclusions and also examines it in terms of the guidelines that were laid down in the curriculum framework.

Issues of Faith

For those who have chosen to explore the implications of the Allahabad High Court's verdict on the Ram janmabhoomi-Babri masjid dispute, one of the issues that have been particularly troubling is the question of faith. What is faith? What are the contexts in which it is invoked? And why are some of the implications of such invocations matters of concern? This paper focuses on the narrow perspective from which the richness and diversity of Hindu beliefs and practices have been represented in the verdict. Though many feel that the Ayodhya verdict has been successful in maintaining peace and harmony in turbulent times, what is distressing are the circuitous, even blatantly partisan, ways in which faith has been brought centre stage within legal discourse.

Kosambi and Questions of Caste

Caste assumed a centrality in D D Kosambi's relentless quest for the origins of Indian society, since for him it was a category to understand socio-economic differences. This essay first investigates how Kosambi conceptualised caste as a structure. It then examines some specific aspects of his study of caste such as how caste identities were constituted, consolidated and even contested. And, third, the essay seeks to contextualise both the issues and methodologies of Kosambi's scholarship within more recent discussions and debates on caste.

Looking Ahead

The National Curriculum Framework 2005 has proposed significant changes to the existing school history syllabus. While the proposed changes have already generated much debate, one of the key modifications envisages a shift away from mere memorisation to building skills and historical sensitivity through the learners' own efforts.

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