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

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Engagement with Contemporary India

​ Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India edited by Knut A Jacobsen; Oxon: Routledge, 2016; pp 506, £130 (hardback).

Academic Freedom

We the undersigned sociologists, including serving and retired teachers, and researchers from universities and institutes across India, are deeply disturbed by the ongoing events in the country and feel the urgent need to make the following public statement: The Constitution of India guarantees to...

Culture and Life of Government Elementary Schools

Government elementary schools are layered institutions that are affected by a bureaucratic administration, the specificities of local societies, and the agency of teachers. Although promoted as an agency and institution of democracy, modernity and development, these schools are characterised by a thin democracy, both in their everyday culture and in their linkage to local communities. Routinisation of teaching-learning practices, training fatigue among teachers whose agency has been eroded, and programme overload result in learning loss among children. The average government elementary school represents both the promise and the perils of a mass elementary education system. In its effect on society, the government elementary school is neither reproductive nor transformative, but disjunctive.

Towards a 'Human Economy'

Keith Hart is an academic with multifaceted interests. He developed the idea of the "informal economy" and is now working on the "human economy". He has also written on money, the internet, and the European Union. He has an interest in Gandhi as well. This is the text of an interview conducted in his offices at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Beyond Corruption in Mining: A Derailed Democracy

The revelations of the Karnataka Lokayukta report are symptomatic of a larger story that goes beyond corruption in high places. There has been a neglect of state institutions and decisions by the executive are taken not under consultation with the assembly but as decreed by a new religious math-temple-resort complex that has come to wield power and influence. Democratic processes have been sidelined and people's movements have been corrupted. The uneven growth of the state economy that has accompanied these processes holds out the danger of Karnataka becoming a land of deep inhumanity.

Reviewing the Performance of the Government of Karnataka

To understand people's perceptions about the functioning of their representatives in the legislature, DAKSH, a civil society organisation in Karnataka, conducted a survey in October and November 2009 across 218 legislative assembly constituencies. The results from the survey reflect a stark gap between people's expectations and their perceptions of the performances of the representatives. A summary of the report.

Caste, Capital and Captaincy in the Karnataka Elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party triumphed in Karnataka because it followed up on years of groundwork by cynically combining caste with money power while choosing its candidates. This strategy could mark a new direction in the politics in the state.

Political 'Darshan' as Development in Karnataka

From its position as a middle ranking state, Karnataka now competes to be emblematic of globalising India. The state's development trajectory is beset with many unaddressed tensions. The current dispensation in the state has discovered a new form of statecraft - political 'darshan' - in the form of instant development, mass counselling and public spiritualism.

Caste Indignities and Subjected Personhoods

Recent debates on caste-based reservations have called attention to the need to fine-tune the process of selection of candidates but have overlooked the deeper problems that confront the average scheduled caste person. Socialisation patterns, sanskritisation, experiences in the public sphere and the educational institutions compound the subjection of dalit personhoods, leading to the loss of agency, orientation and sense of self-worth. Recognising this is imperative for the public and for all institutions so as to enable, integrate and scaffold the talents, skills and worth of scheduled community members.

Correcting Social Disadvantage

Correcting Social Disadvantage Affirmative Action in the United States and India: A Comparative Perspective by Thomas Weisskopf; Routledge, London; (Indian edition) hardback,

Aided Programmes or Guided Policies?

This article reviews the structure, functioning, impact and implications of the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP), in Karnataka. Assessed against the mandate of the programme and its validity in the field, the article calls attention to the limitations of the programme and to its impact on the state's policies for education.

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