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

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The Marching Millions

A critique of the century-long history of Indian sociology examines contemporary disciplinary practices in relation to its increasing embrace of what it calls the diasporic forms of knowledge production and dissemination. It brings out the debilitating implications of such an overdependence on the global recognition of our scholarly endeavours. While drawing on the introspective legacy of the discipline, it enjoins students of Indian sociology to reflect on the current state of the discipline with a view to reinvigorate it with empirically grounded works of lasting value. It makes a plea for the contextual and empirically grounded development of sociological theories and the discipline.

Making Higher Education Digital

EdTech Inc: Selling, Automating and Globalizing Higher Education in the Digital Age by Tanner Mirrlees and Shahid Alvi, New York: Routledge, 2020; pp 175, £36.99  GBP (E-book).

The Political Economy of Curricula in Higher Education Institutions

Three years of the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 have witnessed several regulations and guidelines by the University Grants Commission regarding changes in the curriculum. It is important to examine the implications of these curricular changes. It is noted that the curriculum, instead of evolving through scientific inquiry, is influenced by the ideology of the state and the market.

Modern Challenges to the Dravidian Movement: The Question of Access and Quality of Higher Education in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has one the highest g ross e nrolment r at io in h igher e ducation among major states in India at 51.4%. These impressive numbers can be traced to multiple schemes of successive Dravidian g overnments that placed a firm emphasis on caste-based social justice, while also focusing on economic development and mobility. However, the abject quality of h igher e ducation i nstitutions in Tamil Nadu casts a serious shadow on the legacy of the Dravidian Movement. Increased privati s ation, low employability of graduates , and poor quality of h igher e ducation i nstitutions (HEIs) further exacerbate wage disparities and income inequalities, taking away the benefits of caste-based reservations, among other legacies of the Dravidian m ovement. This article analyses the shortcomings of the h igher e ducation model in Tamil Nadu and shows how increased access to higher education does little to acknowledge the socio-economic processes of caste in Tamil Nadu.

Public Funding for Research in Higher Education

Recent government policies for promoting research are aimed at making India globally competitive in an era of knowledge economy. Against the backdrop of the National Education Policy 2020 and the draft National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 for enhanced public funding for developing the research ecosystem in higher education institutions, this article discusses how public funding can be better utilised for the promotion of research and inclusive expansion of higher education.

Exam Republic—Analysing the Potential Fallouts of the Common University Entrance Test

In July 2022, India got a brand new “high-stakes” exam for our youth to fight out their rivals in the merciless arena of Indian higher-education—the Common University Entrance Test (CUET). Somewhat along the lines of its Chinese counterpart, or the Gaokao, the CUET (UG) was conducted across the nation, in a computer-based format, for admission to various undergraduate courses across a total of 90 universities. These included 44 central universities, 12 state universities, 13 deemed universities, and 21 private universities (MHRD 2022). Similarly, the CUET (PG), or the same exam for entrance into post-graduate programmes, saw participation of around 55 central, state, deemed, and private universities as per the latest data available on the National Testing Agency’s (NTA) website (NTA 2022b). With 14.9 lakh students registering for it, CUET(UG) became the second largest entrance exam in the country, with NEET (UG) retaining the top spot with 18 lakh registrations (Gohain 2022). Between 15th July and 30th August 2022, the CUET (UG) exam was conducted in six phases, 13 languages, across 259 Indian cities, and 10 cities outside of India (NTA 2022a).

Youth Identities and College Experience

Highlighting the complexities of higher education participation in a stratifi ed society, this article tries to understand the role that college contexts play in infl uencing the identities of socio-economically disadvantaged students. Drawing on data from fi ve lengthy interviews, the purpose is to explore the identity concerns of students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds in their experience of getting to and attending the University of Delhi, which has historically been home to middle and upper classes.

Rethinking Higher Education

The Idea of a University: Possibilities and Contestations edited by D V Kumar, London: Routledge India, 2021; pp 200, price not mentioned.

Quality of Higher Education

The skewed distribution of the top-ranking institutions demands immediate corrective actions.

Conservative Judicial Activism in the US

Termination of affi rmative action can only coincide with the elimination of racial inequality.

FHEIs Draft Regulations, 2023

For the last two decades, there have been attempts to allow the branch campuses of foreign universities through legislative measures. However, in the recent Draft UGC Regulations, 2023, effort is made to allow such universities to operate and confer degree, bypassing even the legislative route. The article contends the point that the draft regulation is anti-constitutional and stands on weak legal grounds. It will distort the public higher education institutions and by creating further exclusion, it fails to serve the national interests. The policymakers need to deliberate further on the implications of such a policy on the already unequal landscape of education.

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.

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