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

Articles by B Venkatesh KumarSubscribe to B Venkatesh Kumar

Governance, Autonomy and Social Science Research

Other than the funding issue, the review committee has highlighted governance and autonomy as crucial issues to be addressed in the ICSSR. Any efforts by the government to tackle these areas will have to be based on policy decisions on the structural composition of the body, its internal organisation and funding.

Will They Return? Indian Students in the United States

India is estimated to require at least one million new faculty for its colleges and universities if it is to meet the government's ambitious target to offer higher education to 20% of all young people by 2020. But the output of the current Indian higher education system falls far short of meeting this need. A report of a survey of about 1,000 Indians who are currently undertaking or have completed graduate studies in the United States to find out their willingness to return to India and the key factors affecting their decisions.

Implementation of the Maharashtra Universities Act

An evaluation of the implementation of the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994 shows that individuals who excel in electoral arithmetic, rather than academics or academic administrators, occupy important posts in universities. The state government has appointed three committees to suggest reforms in higher education. Not only is there a need for a new legislative enactment, these committees also face the challenging task of recommending changes that will lead to academic freedom and accountability in the state's universities.

The Draft Higher Education Bill, 2010: A Critical Review

Three years after the National Knowledge Commission submitted its report suggesting that there is a need to create an overarching regulator in higher education, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has finally come out with a draft Bill. This article reviews this Bill and finds that it seeks greater centralisation of power, essentially in the appointment of vice chancellors and on issues which traditionally should fall within the domain of universities. Although there is a need for a new regulatory system in place, this has to be more like a facilitator and as a catalyst in enabling universities to pursue teaching and research within an autonomous, and yet, accountable framework of self-governance.

Governance Issues in State Governance Issues in State

Governance reforms have been effected recently in universities in Maharashtra, where sugar barons have built vast education empires. A discussion of these reforms.

Whither State Universities?

With the United Progressive Alliance government moving speedily towards establishing 14 central universities in the states that do not have any, the manner and undue haste with which vice chancellors to these institutions have been appointed has come in for some debate in academic circles.

Anti-Defection Law: Welcome Reforms

The recent decision of the union cabinet to amend the Anti-Defection Act, by scrapping the clause that permits defection if it constitutes a split, that is, makes up one-third of legislative party strength, is a welcome step.

Electoral Reform Bill: Too Little, Too Late

The bill to amend the Representation of People's Act all but dilutes the directives contained in the Supreme Court's verdict and appears to have been drafted only to push out Election Commission's more stringent guidelines.

Election to Rajya Sabha: Proposed 'Reform'

The government is seeking to introduce amendments to the law on election of members to the Rajya Sabha by proposing open vote instead of the present secret ballot and allowing candidates to contest from any part of the country, by scrapping the 'ordinary resident' clause. While the latter proposal has met with some criticism, it is necessary to clear the confusion by drawing on the experience of the past 50 years.

Madhya Pradesh : Panchayats and Water Scarcity

In the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh, democratic decentralisation through the panchayat raj institutions has been instrumental in allowing people to generate a prompt response to urgent problems such as acute water shortage.

Criminalisation of Politics and Election Commission

The rejection of the nomination papers of Jayalalitha from all four constituencies in the May 2001 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, apart from giving a totally different dimension to the state's highly polarised electoral politics, brought to the fore crucial issues pertaining to electoral laws.

Power to Allot Symbols

In a country of widespread illiteracy election symbols used by political parties and candidates are vitally important to the people's democratic right to choose their representatives. This article details the Election Commission's power to allot symbols.


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