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

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Interrogating the Internationalisation of Indian Higher Education

While there are some promising changes for higher education in the University Grants Commission (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023, it also suffers from certain flawed assumptions. The inherent contradictions of this draft and its premises of internationalising higher education are under scrutiny by educationist, policy analysts and other stakeholders.

The Need to Add Social Viability in the Indian Context

In light of the National Education Policy, which outwardly emphasises on equity and inclusion, this article critically examines the implication of the professor of practice scheme as announced by the University Grants Commission draft guidelines. It is argued that a dogmatic implementation of such a policy holds the potential of keeping the system of Indian higher education exclusionary. There is a need to contextualise such a policy in the Indian social milieu to make it socially viable in the wake of exclusionary consequences.

History Matters

In enabling us to acknowledge differences, and developing skills of thinking and analysis, history matters.


Caste Discrimination in Higher Education

The death of Rohith Vemula once again triggered an intense debate on the prevalence of caste discrimination in higher education. Addressing the situation from a legal perspective, the shortcomings of the existing legal norms on caste discrimination become apparent, especially when compared with the regulations on ragging. Effective measures to overcome caste discrimination in higher education are then the need of the hour.

Why Does the UGC Want to Drop the ‘M’ from AMU?

A University Grants Commission panel went beyond its mandate to suggest that Aligarh Muslim University drop the word Muslim from its name. Such a recommendation has been made by government authorities and parliamentarians in the past as well. But in the highly vitiated and polarised atmosphere prevailing in the country today, it can be seen by Muslims as yet another assault on their symbols and institutions.

Why Women’s Studies?

The dissolution of the Planning Commission and expiry of the Twelfth Plan has imperilled the futures of the centres for Women's Studies, and Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy across public universities in India. These centres were borne out of struggles for inclusion and continue to operate at the margins of the academic set-up. A critical appraisal of Women's Studies has been undertaken here to locate its relevance in contemporary times.

EPW: Reminiscences

Sociologist, scholar, author and former guest editor of the Economic & Political Weekly's "Review of Women's Studies," the writer gives an anecdotal account of her association with the journal and how she continues to watch the weekly grow and transform with changing times. Her association with the EPW--as an observer and a participant--is inextricably linked with her own life story.

Buying into the Aakash Dream

The low-cost Aakash tablet and its previous iterations in India have gone through several phases of technological changes and ideological experiments. Did the government prioritise familiarity and literacy about personal technological devices over the promise of quality mass education generated by low-cost devices? 

Reorienting Women Studies

Even more worrying than the UGC's recent move to redesignate Women Studies Centres to include family studies are the simultaneous changes being prescribed in the scope of their activities and the structure and functioning of these centres.

Academic Standards in Indian Universities

Anyone concerned with academic standards in Indian universities cannot but be deeply concerned at the ravages wrought by the system of affiliation modelled on the University of London with which we started in 1857. In addition to what we inherited, we have made the system even more dysfunctional. There is no limit to the number of colleges which can be affiliated to a university. Nor have any specific rules to earn the status of affiliation been laid down at any stage. Today there are something like a dozen universities which have more than 300 colleges affiliated to them. Some, though not all, of these universities are otherwise good, but what undermines their standing as a university is that they have to carry the unwanted cargo of a large number of affiliated colleges. The discussion in this paper makes two things clear: one, we have been a victim of the affiliating system for far too long; and two, without a decisive intervention by the centre no change can come about.

Contract Appointments and Standards in Higher Education

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has never required universities and colleges to implement systems that tightly evaluate faculty performance. In fact, its moves over the last decade have, if anything, been in precisely the opposite direction. Thus today not only is a faculty appointee assured of job security fairly quickly, when hired against a permanent vacancy, s/he is also guaranteed promotions to successively higher levels based on the number of years of service put in at each level. Against this background, the recent UGC proposal that faculty appointments in institutions of higher education should henceforth be on contract for a limited term will serve one purpose and one purpose alone - that of reducing the central and state governments' expenditure on higher education. To believe that the proposal was motivated by a desire to improve standards of teaching and research in these institutions would be to doubt the intelligence of the eminent members of the UGC.

Ethnography of Reservation in Delhi University

In institutions of higher education, three principal social segments are generally identified: students, non-teaching staff and teaching staff. At each of these levels an institution of higher learning is faced with the issue of SC/ST reservation. The response of the institution to each of these levels is far from uniform and unambiguous. An attempt has been made here to discuss these issues in the context of the Delhi University.


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