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

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Anti-Conversion Laws

Conversion in India is a debate which goes back to the formation of the Constitution, which explicitly states the freedom of individuals to choose their religion. States are now bringing in laws which make it harder for people to convert their religion. In this reading list, we delve into the issue of conversion and anti-conversion law.

NEET: Eligibility for What and Entrance for Whom?

The NEET institutes an ecosystem of exclusivity and skews the composition of those who can access medical education.

March for Backwardness

Overviewing the historical trajectory of the demand for the reservations for Marathas, the background conditions for such demand are sought be explained. The nature of the agitation for reservations and the political response to the agitation are analysed.

Reservations, Efficiency, and the Making of Indian Constitution

The notion that reservation is contrary to efficiency and merit has been invoked consistently. Even the Supreme Court of India seems to have agreed withthis proposition in some judgments, as it held that Article 16(4), which provides for reservation in services, would be limited by Article 335, which mentions the term “efficiency of administration” in the Constitution. This paper explores the Constituent Assembly Debates to show that the Constitution framers did not subject reservations to the test of efficiency or merit. In addition, “efficiency of administration” mentioned under Article 335 cannot be treated as an exclusionary construct, as it was done in pre-independence era.

The Impossibility of ‘Dalit Studies’

The meaning and implications of the presence of “Dalit studies” in the pedagogical content of higher education in India need to be analysed. “Dalit studies” seeks to intervene into such a space of pedagogical practices and institutional policies in higher education which may have grudgingly accepted the physical presence of the Dalit through affirmative action, but which has nonetheless historically overlooked the thought of the Dalit.

Does India Need a Caste-based Quota in Cricket?

In India’s 85-year-long Test history, only four of the 289 male Test cricketers have reportedly been Dalits. While concrete steps have been taken to address a similar under-representation of non-white players in South Africa, Dalit under-representation in Indian cricket has received scant attention. There is a need to understand this as a function of systemic barriers arising from corporate patronage post-independence and the urban stranglehold of the game, instead of attributing it to choice, inherent inability or upper caste “tastes.” The grass-roots development approach of Cricket South Africa can serve as an example to address this anomaly.

Scheduled Castes and Tribes

The persistence of constitutionally sanctioned privileges to the scheduled castes and tribes by way of job reservations and preferential treatment in educational institutes beyond the period originally specified by the Constitution has divided Indians into two divisive camps - pro and anti reservationists. The latter argue that merit has often taken second place as a result of such policies that anyway benefit only a certain section, already privileged, among the disadvantaged. However, as data collated from various sources reveal, the SCs and STs continue to be poorly represented in government services and they score far lower than most other sections in several development indicators, chiefly literacy.

Rights versus Representation

In the name of democracy, the constituent assembly of India adopted certain specific individual and collective rights to religion. Democracy, however, is not just about rights; another integral component of democracy is representation. This essay argues that the granting of a range of individual and collective religious rights to the minorities was used, in the constituent assembly, to justify the refusal of their demand for more adequate mechanisms of representation, for instance, for proportional representation or for reserved seats in the legislatures.
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