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

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History Matters

In enabling us to acknowledge differences, and developing skills of thinking and analysis, history matters.

Whose History Is It Anyway?

This article examines a report currently being considered by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education pertaining to school history books. It unpacks the misplaced bases of comparison used in the report. It also highlights the implications of the recommendations to erase or simplify histories of caste and gender, reducing the discipline to an account of “great men” and a few “great women,” as well as to “cleanse” sections of history to create a polarised notion of the past, locating these within the large-scale changes imminent in education at all levels.

Examining the Draft National Education Policy, 2019

This paper on the draft National Education Policy 2019, examines its timeframe and the possible implications of its implementation in terms of the overlapping categories of gender, caste, and class identities. It also focuses briefly on issues of language and the way in which historical precedents are invoked. This is followed by a discussion on the wide-ranging changes envisaged in higher education. I suggest that the document needs far greater scrutiny than it has received so far, and that a hasty implementation will have grave consequences, diluting if not reversing the serious and painstaking attempts that have been made to democratise the contexts, and contents of education for decades.

In Pursuit of the Golden Deer

The trope of the golden deer is used as an entry point into exploring the ways in which alternative understandings of gender, varna–jati, the relationship between the forest and the settled world, and kingship were visualised in ancient India.

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.

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