Publications & Resources

Explore key scholarship, reports, resources and work from our community. 

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.

  • Article

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    Historical experience suggests that a sustained rise in per capita incomes and improvement in employment conditions is not attainable without a structural transformation that moves surplus labour from agriculture and other informal economic activities to higher productivity activities in the non-farm economy. In this paper, I analyse India’s performance from a cross-country comparative perspective, estimating the growth semi-elasticity of structural change. Using a cross-country panel regression, I estimate the effectiveness of growth in moving workers away from agricultural and informal activities as compared to other developing countries at similar levels of per capita income. I show that the performance in pulling workers out of agriculture is as expected given its level and growth of GDP per capita, but the same is not true for pulling workers out of the informal sector. I also propose the following five indicators that need to be kept track of when evaluating the growth process: the growth elasticity of employment, the growth semi-elasticity of structural change, the growth of labour productivity in the subsistence sector, the share of the organised sector in total employment and the workforce participation rate. Comparing these indicators across periods, states, regions or countries, allow us to understand which sets of policies have worked better than others to effective improvements in employment conditions. When taken together the indicators allow us to set structural change targets as well as to say whether the current pattern of growth is going to be sufficient to meet those targets.

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  • Article

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    Multilingual education is an urgent and pressing concern in the Indian educational scenario. While the National Education Policy (2020) acknowledges multilingualism as a resource in educational contexts and reiterates earlier policies calling for mother tongue-based education in elementary classrooms, it does not provide guidance in terms of how to productively accommodate multiple languages in the classroom. Multilingual education will be much stronger if it is based on a strong understanding of multilinguality — the idea that the human mind is fundamentally multilingual in nature. A new, but substantial paradigm of scholarship addressing multilinguality is that of translanguaging’, which views named languages as socio-political constructs and argues that multilinguals have a unified linguistic repertoire that they flexibly, creatively and adaptively draw upon. Accepting the grounding assumptions of translanguaging would has important implications for curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in educational spaces. In this article, we describe and critique the translanguaging perspective, even while acknowledging its positive contributions. We point out, especially its failure to provide guidance in terms of how to productively accommodate translanguaging in classrooms.

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  • Article

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    Institutional births increased in India from 39% to 79% between 2005 and 2015. Drawing from 17 months of fieldwork, this article traces the shift from home to hospital births across three generations in a hamlet in Assam in Northeast India. Here, too, one finds that most births have shifted from home to hospital in less than a decade, aided by multiple factors. These include free’ birthing facilities and financial incentives offered by government schemes, idiosyncratic changes within the hamlet, such as the introduction of biomedical practices through home births where oxytocin was used, and changes in cultural belief systems among local people. The exploration reveals significant transitions between (and fluidities of) categories such as local/​global, tradition/​modernity, past/​present and nature/​technology, creating a complex and ambivalent narrative of change, in which the voices of mothers should not be ignored.

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  • Article

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    Increasing community and parental connection with schools is a widely advocated means of improving levels of student learning and the quality and accountability of education systems across South Asia. This paper draws on a mixed-methods study of accountability relations in education in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Bihar. It explores two questions: what formal platforms exist to enhance connections between socially disadvantaged families and the schools serving them; and (how) do they influence engagement with student learning? It finds that various platforms have proliferated across public, low-cost private and non-government schools. But, while they promote enrolment attendance and monitoring, a substantive focus on student learning is empirically demonstrated to be missing everywhere. The paper argues that an apparently surprising similarity of (dis)connection is located in system features that are common across school types, locations and social structures. It proposes that this is a field’ in which connection, facilitated by various platforms, is performed according to bureaucratised norms of accountability that even pervade family and community responses. Seeing this as a socially constituted field’ that constrains meaningful discussion of learning across schooling provision for disadvantaged families contribute new insight for accountability-focused reforms in education.

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  • Article

    The Social Contract and India’s Right to Education

    in International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague; Wiley

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    India’s 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act presents an idealised social contract which assigns roles to multiple actors to uphold a mutual duty, or collective responsibility, to secure children’s access to a quality school education. This article explores how the social contract assumed by the RTE Act misrepresents the conditions required to enact mutual responsibilities as well as actors’ agreement to do so. Qualitative data from Bihar and Rajasthan show how state actors, parents, community groups and teachers negotiate and contest the RTE Act norms. The analysis illuminates the unequal conditions and ever-present politics of accountability relations in education. It problematises the idealisation of the social contract in education reform: it proposes that if the relations of power and domination through which contracts’ are entered into remain unaddressed, then expressions of mutual’ responsibility are unlikely to do other than reproduce injustice. It argues that policy discourses need to recognise and attend to the socially situated contingencies of accountability relations and that doing so would offer an alternative pathway toward addressing structural inequalities and their manifestations in education.

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  • Article

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    Since the last few decades of the twentieth century, we have been witnessing a major push towards universalization of school education in the countries of the Global South, both from policy advocates and from the grassroots. This verve in societal aspirations and policy action is definitely encouraging. However, this dynamism should also inspire us to rethink and reimagine the aims and practices of education in a rapidly changing context. Education as an organized human enterprise is intimately linked to the broader aims of human wellbeing, good life and justice. The policies and practices of Education for all, therefore, aim to realize these ideals. This special issue of the Journal of Human Values explores the significance of the prevailing conceptualizations of wellbeing, a good life and justice on education theories, policies and practices in the Global South.

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  • Article

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    • School of Policy & Governance

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    A recent writ petition on renaming India as Bharat, which got dismissed by the Supreme Court, is discussed. There are political motives behind naming or renaming a place, but Hindustan, Bharat, and Hind — are all part of the package that is India.

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    • School of Education

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    An immigrant, who worked in an American machine shop, acquired polite standard spoken English by reading romance novels in an 18-week adult extensive-reading English as a Spoken Language (ESL) class. Full time employment in the machine shop and once-a-week class discussions provided the only places where the student was routinely exposed to spoken English.

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