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

Rajeshwari DeshpandeSubscribe to Rajeshwari Deshpande

How Does the System Encourage Academic Dishonesty?

In an education system which does little by way of developing a research atmosphere and mindset among students, where funds are rarely used to strengthen institutional infrastructure and subversion of procedural lapses are a norm, plagiarism and unethical research practices become a direct outcome of systemic failure. Thus, despite efforts by the University Grants Commission to introduce guidelines and regulations relating to academic performance of teachers in colleges and universities, the non-availability of academic resources and a hierarchical research structure have reduced the standards of research activity and further encouraged academic dishonesty.


There were two factual errors in the piece “Maharashtra Polls: Continuity amidst Social Volatility” (EPW, 28 November) which we wish to correct: (i) In Table 1, the figure for candidates contesting on the BVA ticket should be 4 (instead of 2 as shown), and (ii) in Table 5, the figure for NCP in the...

Maharashtra Polls: Continuity amidst Social Volatility

The outcome of the Maharashtra assembly elections of 2009 cannot be associated with any particular moment in the history of the state's politics; nor can it be attributed to the organisational prowess of the ruling alliance. The second consecutive electoral victory of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance is an outcome of four factors: the overall favourable political atmosphere created by the Congress' performance nationally in the Lok Sabha elections, the utter ineffectiveness of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine coupled with their internal party factionalism, the rise of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in urban constituencies, and a perception that the state government had not done a bad job.

A Disjointed Reading of Indian Political Parties

A Disjointed Reading of Indian Political Parties Rajeshwari Deshpande Since the 1990s, there has been a renewed interest in the working of the Indian party system. A combination of factors like the regionalisation of politics and gradual dispersal of political competition; Mandalisation and unfolding of social contestations; multiple realignments of national and regional level political forces; the arrival of coalition politics; and the decline and partial revival of the Congress Party contributed to the renewal of studies of Indian political parties and party systems during the last two decades. The book under review is a part of this growing pool of studies. However, it presents a rather disjointed reading of the parties and of the functioning of Indian democracy. Broadly speaking, the changing nature of political parties and of politics in recent times has evoked two kinds of responses in the academic and journalistic circles. One kind of response is generally appreciative of the arrival of a competitive multiparty system in India and links it to gradual expansion of Indian democracy. The other sees these developments as an erosion of the rules of liberal democracy, and growing political instability leading to a deepening crisis of Indian democracy. In its discussion of the issues facing Indian political parties, Short on Democracy: Issues Facing Indian Political Parties tries to bring together both these perspectives, but in a clumsy manner. As the title of the book suggests, the editorial perspective of the book clearly sees the functioning of political parties as problematic and

Maharashtra: Congress-NCP Manages Victory

A changing party system, fragmentation of social blocs, arrival of caste-based identity politics and material frustrations leading to the formation of several rebel groups within the various political parties - all these helped the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine record a default win in the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra. This was achieved despite a mixed opinion on the state government's track record. The alliance has its task cut out for the upcoming assembly elections in the state and no longer can traditional bases of support be counted upon, especially by the Congress Party.

How Did Women Vote in Lok Sabha Elections 2009?

This analysis, based on the National Election Study 2009 data, supports the contention that Indian women do not always vote as women - as gendered beings independent of social and regional-level political dynamics. It also suggests that the gender advantage the Congress enjoys at the all-India level does not indicate a consistent and decisive support by women for the party or its policies. All this is not very surprising given that the poll campaign ran with no focus on women's issues and little effort was made by anyone to politically mobilise women voters.

Occupational Mobility: How Much Does Caste Matter?

This paper reports the findings of a study conducted in 2007 on the relationship between caste and occupation in Pune and investigates the patterns of intergenerational occupational mobility across four generations and different caste groups in the city. It finds that while caste is not strongly associated with occupational mobility in general, it is certainly important for upward mobility though the extent of mobility is different among different castes. The maratha-kunbis and dalits are the greatest beneficiaries of upward mobility though there is a difference in the mode of their journey. The Other Backward Classes lag behind these two and some castes among them even show stagnation as far as mobility is concerned.

Rajendra Vora

Rajendra Vora, Lokmanya Tilak Professor at the department of politics and public administration, University of Pune, passed away recently at the age of 61. As a scholar placed at a regional educational centre, he left a rich and flourishing legacy of Maharashtra studies. Since the early part of his...

Riot of Researchers

The University Grants Commission's recent decision to exempt MPhil or PhD degree holders from the national eligibility test for the appointment of lecturers will be welcomed by potential teachers. This has already resulted in a rush of applications for MPhil courses. But what kind of alternative is this to the NET? What kind of research will it generate? Will it help students in any way?

Maharashtra: Politics of Frustrations, Anxieties and Outrage

Over the last two years Maharashtra has witnessed a series of violent outrages over symbolic issues in the cultural realm. However, these events represent more than simply the curtailment of the right to freedom of expression or assertions of cultural chauvinism on the part of militant maratha organisations. Rather, they speak of a crisis that sections of marathas are facing at the present political juncture and have to do with the changing nature of the state's capitalist development.

Working of the Indian Party System

is a plain narrative of how seeds of a Working of the Indian complex party system were sown during Party System Political Parties and Party Systems edited by Ajay K Mehra, D D Khanna, Gert W Kueck; Sage Publications, Delhi, 2003;

How Gendered Was Women's Participation in Election 2004?

Women's overwhelming support in the 2004 elections for the issues related to their public and political participation can definitely be regarded as a positive pointer towards the strengthening of women's politics in future. However, it is doubtful whether these pointers would suffice to mobilise women over the divisions on socio-economic problems, where women across different social groups differ in their opinions. The survey points out that women act as a single unit in certain respects and do not in certain others. Gender reality thus appears to be a layered reality.


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