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

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Postgraduate Learning Deficits and the Diploma Disease in Social Sciences

What Does an MA Know?

The annual Pratham surveys point to deficits of learning endemic to Indian schools. But what if these deficits are being carried forward and sustained in higher education? This paper shows that the results of a survey conducted among postgraduate students of economics in an Indian university were very Pratham-like. The objective was to assess their understanding of basic arithmetic operations and some primary economic principles/indicators. Is it the case, particularly in the social sciences, that we are receiving and, in turn, churning out generations of students who lack an understanding of basic principles? If so, what are the institutional mechanisms in place to sustain this long continuum of ignorance?

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