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

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The ‘Relevance’ Question

The Social Sciences in a Global Age: Decoding Knowledge Politics by Dipankar Sinha, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2022; pp xxiv + 173, ` 695.

Denationalised Elites and Their Search for Global Ranking of Higher Education Institutions

India’s denationalised intellectuals may help us realise the common concerns of the West and India. But they displace India’s historical universals. Their search for the global ranking of higher educational institutions is devoid of moral and intellectual concerns for a national-popular collective will.

Why ‘Online’ Is Not the Way Forward in Education: A Reading List

Online education is inimical to inclusivity and access. While bridging the digital divide is imperative, a move towards online education is likely to dismantle the transformational potential of university spaces, and usher in a commodification of learning.

The Idea of a University in India

In colonial times, universities were established in India to produce graduates who would serve the interests of a colonial ruling elite. Fast-forwarding to the present times, India is witnessing a massification of higher education, with the establishment of more universities and an increase in enrolment. Under such circumstances, what merits examination is whether universities are producing knowledge for knowledge’s sake, or training individuals to fall in line with a neo-liberal nationalist agenda of economic development.

Do Universities Threaten National Security?

Is the government trying to change the nature of the university as we know it?

'Autonomy' for Universities: Government's Move To Privatise is Exclusionary

While the government claims that autonomy gives greater academic freedom and allows universities to innovate, students and teachers argue that the Graded Autonomy Regulation ensures disproportionate financial and managerial powers to managing trusts and university administrations to cut costs, raise student fees, and start courses in the self-financing mode. This NITI Aayog-prompted policy is a decisive move towards the privatisation of higher education, and will mean the exclusion of economically and socially disadvantaged sections.

Women's Studies in Indian Universities

Feminist scholarship has acquired a degree of acceptance in academia. Increasingly influenced by post-modern thought, women's studies scholarship has questioned previously held definitions of power/powerlessness, sexuality and fixed gender identities. The challenge to 'grand' theories has generated a rich understanding of the heterogeneity of human experiences. Nonetheless the fear is whether this legitimate critiquing of the shortfalls of the theories of the 1970s has undermined the political vision of feminism's original project.

Vedic Astrology in the Universities

Recently, the issue of introduction of vedic astrology as an independent, if optional, course programme in universities has come into a great deal of focus (‘Vedic Astrology or Jyotirvigyan’, EPW, June 16, 2001). The protagonists for such an incorporation have presented several engaging arguments in its favour. We do not endorse this view. However, instead of an outright dismissal, we examine here the main tenets of the protagonists’ position, and attempt to establish its inherent vulnerability.
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