Publications & Resources

Our faculty, students and researchers work together everyday to contribute to a better world by grappling with urgent problems we are facing in India. We conduct rigorous work to produce high quality learning resources and publications to contribute to public discourse and social change. Here, we feature a sample from our work for everyone to access. You can explore featured resources, policies, and the latest publications from the University. 

To explore all the work of our University, please visit our publications repository.

  • South Asia Chronicle
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    Abstract

    This article explores the birth of multiple shipbreaking yards in India, such as Darukhana, Mumbai (1912); Sachana, Jamnagar (1977); and Alang, Gujarat (1983). It tells a story of how, specifically, the inception of the Alang shipbreaking yards is intricately linked to the changing geographies of ship disposal facilities in the 1970s and 1980s. This article demonstrates how India’s domestic policies on importing obsolete vessels for scrapping were in tandem with the shift in global waste flows. As major ship scrapping facilities closed in Western countries followed by Southeast Asian countries, shipbreaking yards mushroomed in different parts of South Asia, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This article scrutinises the convoluted image of the Alang shipbreaking yards as a passive recipient of waste” in the form of end-of-life vessels from the Global North.

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  • Pathshala Issue 18 cover
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      Abstract

      पाठशाला भीतर और बाहर का अठारहवाँ अंक पुस्तकालय पर केन्द्रित है। एक जीवन्त पुस्तकालय के बिना स्कूल की कल्पना अधूरी है। जीवन्त पुस्तकालय की कल्पना को साकार करने के लिए किए जा रहे कई अलग-अलग अनुभव इस अंक में शामिल हैं। इस अंक में शामिल संवाद’ पुस्तकालय और पढ़ने की संस्कृति पर केन्द्रित है। क्या पुस्तकालय एक शान्त जगह हो या यहाँ बच्चों को बात करने की छूट हो, स्कूली विषय व इतर पुस्तकें, आदि विषय भी इस अंक में शामिल हैं। कुछ लेख पढ़ने और लिखने के सन्दर्भ में नए अनुभवों व दृष्टिकोणों को प्रस्तुत करते हैं। एक लेख सामाजिक विज्ञान की विषयवस्तु और पढ़ाई से विद्यार्थियों में आलोचनात्मक जागरूकता पैदा करने के तौर‑तरीक़ों के बारे में है।

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    • LC Issue 17 Cover Page
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        Abstract

        What exactly is reinforcing learning? Reinforcement is nothing other than a reflection of teaching on the one hand and learning on the other. Reinforcement should ideally be an aid to learning the principles that constitute a concept, since the basis of learning is to grasp the fundamental propositions of a topic. This issue includes reinforcement in the most important primary school subjects — so there are experiential articles in maths, language, EVS and science as well as an article on assessing reinforcement which illustrates that assessment, if done holistically, is in itself a reinforcement tool. 

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      • Resonance Nov 2023
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        Abstract

        The skin microbiome is mainly comprised of commensal and mutualistic bacteria. Some commensal species can behave as pathogens under the right circumstances, and one of the most common examples of this is Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium can damage multiple parts and systems of the human body, both directly and indirectly. The factors responsible for the pathogenesis of S. aureus are discussed in this article, along with its particular role in the skin disorder atopic dermatitis, shedding light on how bacteria can use complex strategies to survive in a host.

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      • Forest of life Oct 2023 Page 01
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        Forests of Life Newsletter is a monthly limited edition newsletter curated by Azim Premji University, offering glimpses of our upcoming mega festival, Forests of Life, which will be held at our Bengaluru campus from 02 to 24 November 2023. This month, we celebrate World Animal Day which is commemorated on 04 October every year to celebrate animal rights and their welfare with the collective aim to bring together people who are promoting the improved treatment and welfare of animals, both in the wild and on farms.

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      • Book

        English Romantic Literature

        in Cambridge University Press

        English Romantic Literature
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        Abstract

        This book analyses the key intellectual debates and sociopolitical and cultural events that shaped writings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in England. It approaches Romantic Literature’ as a literary-historical term and adds a broad range of texts to those traditionally studied — bio-notes, letters, pamphlets, advertisements in periodicals, political cartoons and satirical prints, to name a few — to allow a sense of this period to emerge. This book will serve as a useful aid while preparing a syllabus and lesson plan for teaching English Romantic literature.

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      • Association between Caste and Class in India Evolution of Caste Class Dynamics during Economic Growth
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        Abstract

        Caste and class are two major markers of social and economic stratification in India. They play a crucial role in sustaining and strengthening the process of social exclusion. It has been often expected that the process of economic growth and modernization may weaken the congruence between caste and class structures and induce social and economic mobility, thereby bringing about a change in the socio-economic environment. In this paper, we focus on the celebrated period of high economic growth in India during the previous decade to study the evolution of caste-class dynamics, to analyse the pattern of association between caste and class positions, and examine whether this association/​congruence has weakened during this period. The analysis is based on four rounds of employment-unemployment surveys of the National Sample Survey Organization covering the period 1999 – 2012. We construct a matrix of caste and class positions of repeated cross-sections of individuals that shows whether different caste groups are over- or under-represented in different class positions and how these representations have changed over time. We then use a multinomial logistic regression framework to capture the role of caste in explaining the conditional probability of an individual to belong to a particular class position, after controlling for other critical explanatory variables. We further examine how the explanatory role of caste has changed over time. Additionally, we explore the role of education, a crucial channel for socioeconomic mobility, in explaining the class positions of individuals belonging to different caste groups over time. Finally, we examine the impact of high economic growth in determining the class position of an individual in general, as well as for different caste groups over time. The analysis shows that caste has continued to remain an important factor in explaining class locations of individuals during the period of high economic growth. Further, the caste-class associations have continued to persist across different categories of education over time. While there has been a partial weakening of certain associations during the period, particularly for the Other Backward Castes and in some parts of the rural sector, the overall picture is more of continuity than change, with further strengthening and reinforcement of caste-class congruence along several axes. This calls into question the expectations about social mobility with economic growth as well as the nature of economic growth in India.

        Author:

        Vaishali Kohli

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      • A History of Economic Policy in India
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        Economic Policy in Independent India provides an immersive, accessible yet rigorous understanding of the Indian economy through a political economy analysis of economic policies. It provides a birds-eye view of the politics, context, and ideas that shaped major economic policies in independent India and argues that they are the product of crisis, coalitions, and contingency — not necessarily choice. Each chapter focuses on specific political regimes: Colonial Rule, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, liberalisation under coalition governments, the UPA Government, and the NDA Government. The book evaluates how well a government executed its policies based on the economic and political constraints it faced, rather than economic outcomes. Using theories to make sense of the economy, political ideology, historical conditions, and international context, the book’s framework provides multiple perspectives and analyses economic policies as an outcome of interactions between dynamics in the economy.

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      • Telephone surveys for data collection some reflections
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        Abstract

        The last few years have seen an upheaval in practices of data collection and survey methods. Even before the pandemic, several data collection endeavors had begun the transition to digital, computer-assisted, and tablet-based surveys. India’s labor force surveys themselves had moved away from traditional paper- based surveys to computer-assisted PI techniques. The Covid-19 pandemic imposed a massive shock to these practices. Across several countries, ongoing surveys had to be prematurely terminated or put on hold in the interest of the safety of enumerators and interviewers.

        Authors:

        • Rosa Abraham
        • Mridhula Mohan

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      • Tree planting guide sep 2023 cover page
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        Abstract

        We stay in an apartment, and there is very little space around. What trees can we plant?”

        I live in an independent house, and we would like to have trees. But we are worried the roots will damage our walls and underground sump.”

        These are questions we have often been asked by residents of Bengaluru. What it tells us is that while there is an interest in planting trees, there are also concerns about what kind of trees are most suited owing to constraints of space and potential damage to infrastructure. 

        This guide is aimed at addressing some of these concerns. We have included 26 species of trees that can be grown in independent houses or apartment complexes in Bengaluru. We have included a basic description of each of the species, how to plant and care for the trees, the different kinds of uses and a fun fact or information nugget. The guide also contains information on installing root barriers to protect infrastructure from being damaged by tree roots. We have also included how diseased or damaged trees can be treated.

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      • What did they say Respondent identity question framing and the measurement of employment
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        Abstract

        In developing countries, a precise approach to measuring women’s employment remains elu- sive. Emerging evidence underscores the pivotal role of survey methodology, encompassing respondent selection and question framing, in shaping the assessment of women’s employ- ment. Drawing from two labor market experiments in rural India, this study offers insights on the influence of survey design on the measurement of women’s employment. The first ex- periment contrasts self-reported women’s and men’s employment figures with proxy-reported data from spouses. Women’s self-reported workforce participation surpasses proxy-reported estimates by six percentage points, while men’s estimates exhibit negligible differences. There are significant differences in the type of employment activities reported by self and proxy for both women and men. These divergences emanate from asymmetric measurement errors, stemming from gender-based norm disparities between spouses, and divergent interpretations of employment. Additionally, information asymmetry between spouses concerning women’s marginal activities and disparities in spousal characteristics contribute to these self-proxy differences. The second experiment investigates if framing of questions and recall period has an impact on reporting of labor market outcomes. We find that employing multiple ques- tions to capture weekly employment status yields a 10-percentage-point increase in reported women’s workforce participation, but men’s participation rate decreases by six percentage points. Furthermore, when a distinct employment query is directed at each day of the pre- ceding week as opposed to a single query for the entire week, reported women’s workforce participation increases by seven percentage points, and men’s by four percentage points.

        Authors:

        • Rosa Abraham
        • Nishat Anjum
        • Rahul Lahoti
        • Hema Swaminathan

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      • SWI FINAL cover page
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        Abstract

        The Indian story of economic growth and structural transformation has been one of significant achievements as well as continuing challenges. On the one hand, the economy has grown rapidly since the 1980s, drawing millions of workers out of agriculture. And the proportion of salaried or regular wage workers has risen while that of casual workers has fallen. On the other hand, manufacturing has failed to expand its share of GDP or employment significantly. Instead, construction and informal services have been the main job creators. Further, the connection between growth and good jobs continues to be weak.

        Report Files

        Full report – download revised pdf file, see corrections sheet for changes made to earlier version.

        Executive Summary (pdf)

        Results Appendix (spreadsheet)

        Figure data (spreadsheet)

        All figures (pdf)

        Tables (spreadsheet)

        Press Release (English | Hindi | Kannada)

        Media Coverage (spreadsheet)

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      • Pathshala Issue 17 Cover page
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          Abstract

          गणना करना सीखना और संक्रियाएँ सीखना ही गणित सीखना नहीं है। गणित सीखने में बहुत कुछ है। इसके लिए गणित की भाषा सीखना और स्वयं गणित करना अहम है। ऐसा गणित, जो आपके दिमाग की क्षमता को खींचे व कर पाने की खुशी भी दे । इस अंक में गणित के लेख इन बातों को बखूबी दिखा रहे हैं। बच्चों को लिखना सिखाने पर भी इस अंक के लेखों में विस्तृत बात हुई है। संवाद व अन्य लेख लिखने के आयामों यथा लिखना और पुस्तकें पढ़ना-लिखना और मौखिक अभिव्यक्ति आदि को उभारते हैं। सीखने में अर्थ की भूमिका अहम है। जो भी सीखा जाना है, सीखने वाला अपने लिए उसका अर्थ खुद गढ़ता है और जब वह यह अर्थ गढ़ पाता है, तभी सीख पाता है। बच्चों को कविता का अर्थ खुद गढ़ने देने की बात करता एक लेख, कविता ही नहीं बल्कि कुछ भी सीखने में अर्थ की भूमिका क्या हो सकती है, रेखांकित करता है। शामिल पुस्तक चर्चा भी बच्चों के सीखने के बारे में बहुत से महत्त्वपूर्ण बिन्दु रखती है।

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        • Forests of Life September 2023 Newsletter page 0001
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          This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. In this edition, we celebrate National Forest Martyrs Day which is commemorated on September 11 each year to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to protect forests and wildlife. The day is aimed at creating awareness about protecting forests and the environment at large.

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        • Tracking workers across generations a cohort based analysis
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          Alongside rapid economic growth, India also saw steady de-agrarianisation of its economy in terms of contribution to GDP. In terms of employment, however, the movement out of agriculture was slower, and when they did exit, it was often a withdrawal from the workforce entirely. In general, more of the workforce are in salaried employment, however, these have filtered differently by gender, caste and religion. While cross-sectional data gives us a sense of how these structural changes affect workers at any given point in time, it cannot tell us how these play out for workers over their lifetime as well as how different generations or cohorts of workers have been affected. Here, we use seven rounds of nationally representative official data to construct cohorts who are tracked over these periods to observe employment participation and the patterns over time. We find that younger generations of women systematically less likely to be in paid employment whereas for men, after a certain age, generations look similar in terms of employment rate. Similarly, when examined from the perspective of cohorts, we find that access to salaried employment has changed by gender and caste, and increase in earnings over time over their lifecycle has slowed for certain groups.

          Author:

          • Rosa Abraham

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        • Reviewing the Republic Cover
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          The Constitution of India has been amended over a hundred times in the last seven decades. Yet, its basic principles remain supreme. For young students of India’s growth and progress, a deeper understanding of its Articles is essential. The maturing of our democracy and the deeper social consciousness pervading our people, owes much to the manner in which we have been guided by its timeless precepts. A reading of Reviewing the Republic’ will help any reader appreciate how our Constitution came into being and its powerful impact on the daily life of our citizens. 

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        • Forests Of Life August 2023 Newsletter Final 2 Page 1
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          This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. In this edition, we celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, aiming to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. We intend to pay respect to all the Indigenous people who have made significant contribution towards the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge.

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        • Issue 16 Cover Page
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            Abstract

            We all know the pure pleasure of listening to stories as children and we have, in this issue, articles that demonstrate how storytelling can be used to great success in subjects as diverse as maths, physics, social studies and inclusion in schools everywhere – urban or rural. There are descriptions of how discussions emerging from a single story can be skillfully used to arrive at some really important understanding. All this adds up to creating a channel of exchange that cuts across age groups and backgrounds and finds common ground in the magical world of stories.

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          • Ajs 2023 129 issue 1 cover
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              Abstract

              Research on democracy has shed much light on two kinds of democratic politics: patterns of voting and patterns of associational or movement politics. But there is growing recognition that in order to better understand the quality or depth of democracy, we need to move beyond this dualistic focus to better understand the everyday practices through which citizens can effectively wield their rights; these practices often diverge from the formal equality enshrined in laws and constitutions. The researchers study this question through a large, unique sample survey carried out in a South Indian city. We find that effective citizenship is refracted through the institutional specificities of urban India and that, as a result, the poor access the state through political participation and the rich through particularistic connections to persons of influence. But unlike the conventional celebration of participation as a citizenship-deepening activity, we also find that a substantial part of participation is associated with forms of brokerage that compromise democratic citizenship.

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            • Article

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              If one asks a teacher in preschool learning spaces in India, about the most usual story that is narrated to children, what is the most common answer? Will there be unanimity in the fact that the story of Thirsty Crow works just as well in many Indian languages, as it does in Indian Sign Language? Those who engage with early childhood care and learning would often stress upon the need to have a visually rich environment in these learning spaces, full of picture books and enthusiastic teachers who never give up a chance to bring out yet another story. Bringing Indian Sign Language to early childhood learning spaces, creating an immersive experience for children before they enter school years by making available in these spaces Indian Sign Language resources (and then taking such initiatives to schools, colleges, and community spaces) would allow us to slowly move toward the dream cherished by deaf adults.

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            • Article

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              Urbanisation is one of the most transformative drivers of global environmental change today, with India representing one of the fastest urbanising countries. The researchers map the urban expansion of India’s ten largest cities from 2001 to 2016, through a regression tree classification of Landsat data in Google Earth Engine. Indian cities are growing through sprawl, and simultaneously densifying through in-filling. In Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, urban growth is multinucleated, aggregating to form a larger urban region. However, the dominant pattern in most cities is mono-nucleated growth via edge-expansion. The colonial signature is visible in many cities such as Bengaluru, where due to the British colonial practice of planting trees in the cantonment, the city interior has lower urban density at the core as compared to the periphery. Much of the urban growth between 2001 – 2016 is at the expense of agriculture and fallow areas. Across all cities, urban patches have expanded and coalesced into larger units. At the same time, there is an overall loss of surface water cover within cities. Urban growth has led to fragmentation of tree cover, agriculture/​fallow and water bodies. This paper demonstrates that India’s urbanisation is leading to severe impacts on water security (because of the loss of surface water), biodiversity (because of the fragmentation of tree cover and the conversion of agriculture and fallow lands to built-up urban cover), factors which if left unaddressed will severely impact the sustainability of Indian urbanisation.

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            • 9781003155065
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              This chapter provides the emergence and practice of Dalit Studies within academia through a critical engagement with curriculum structures that exist within pedagogic discourses. It explores different kinds of academic writings that have prevailed within Dalit discourse by looking into their composition, engagement with the curriculum, and pedagogic practices. The Dalit community has created spaces for the emergence of public debates and conferences, study groups, and seminars that enable discursive engagement with Dalit Studies. One of the major milestones in Dalit discourse was taken up by Sukhadeo Thorat, who, under his chairmanship of University Grants Commission, granted the institutional setup of the Center for the Study of Social Discrimination and Exclusion for a systematic engagement with Dalit discourse. Dalit feminist scholars have highlighted contradictions in schooling in that curricula and school cultures reproduce Brahmanical values”.

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            • Forests Of Life July 2023 Newsletter Page 1
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              Abstract

              This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. In this edition, we celebrate International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems.

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            • Language and Language teaching issue 24
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              Globalisation has resulted in ever increasing linguistic diversities and a worldwide recognition of the need to support linguistic pluralism through education (UNESCO, 2003). Keeping abreast with the global trend, India’s education policy has provided for the cultivation of multilingualism by including at least three languages in the curriculum. However, in reality, India’s education system is guided by monolingual ideologies that disregard multilingual realities and promote a form of monolingual multilingualism” (Neumann, 2015). This translates into separatist pedagogy and practices that keep languages strictly compartmentalised at schools. Different time slots are allotted to teaching learning of disparate languages. Proficiency in a language is interpreted as the ability to use it without resorting” to any other language. In effect, monolingual ideologies function to reject translanguaging (Garcia, 2009), or natural language practices of multilinguals, that enter into classrooms. Strategies such as code-switching and translating are invalidated when they occur in spoken or written conversations in classrooms. This article aims to study the monolingual ideologies that permeate the education system to understand their implications for the process of teaching and learning in Indian classrooms.

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            • CSE Working Paper 51
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              Small manufacturing firms are considered to be engines of growth and job creation. While most research on small firms focuses on formal sector units, in India informal sector units far outnumber the formal. This is true even for manufacturing units employing 5 to 49 workers, which constitute only 5% of all unorganised units, but in absolute numbers are nine times more numerous than organised units in the same size class. Such firms have the potential to contribute to structural transformation but their capacities vis-a-vis formal firms are not well understood. To address this, the researchers create a unit-level dataset combining Annual Survey of Industries data for organised (formal) units with the National Sample Survey data on unorganised (informal) units. They also discuss problems involved in this exercise and some ways to deal with them. They find that matching organised and unorganised units on observable characteristics reduces the labour productivity differences between them to around 25 percent. The researchers discuss some policy implications of their results.

              Authors:

              • Amit Basole
              • Dimple Chopde
              • Paaritosh Nath

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            • Pathshala Issue 16 Cover
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                Abstract

                पाठशाला भीतर और बाहर के सोलहवें अंक में शिक्षा के कुछ बुनियादी मसलों यथा शिक्षा में समावेशन, शुरुआती भाषा शिक्षण के पहलुओं, सामाजिक विज्ञान शिक्षण व नैतिक समझ के विकास आदि पर कक्षा के अनुभवों से उभरे व उन अनुभवों के विश्लेषण को समेटे हुए लेख हैं। चूँकि यह लेख कक्षा से अनुभवों से उभरे हैं, अतः यह उनके यथार्थ, संभावनाओं व चुनौतियों को सामने रखते हैं।

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