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Higher Learning and Exclusion

Recentl GroundXero published an article detailing a shocking episode that happened in an elite research institute in the country. The issue and the subsequent struggle reported here has echoes of practices prevalent in most campuses in India, which is why we have elected to republish it here.

This atrocious casteist and classist episode happened in a premier research Institute recently, where a few students demanded that hostel toilets be exclusively used only by the students, and hence by fiat security guards and house-keeping staff (who clean these toilets!) were not allowed to use them. The Institute administration had put exclusive boards “for students only” outside each bathroom.

A few students and faculties opposed this and eventually the boards were removed, but the struggle to restore the dignity of those who were humiliated continues . These students and faculty members summarise the entire episode here. They do not want to name the Institute or their names to be made public.

Do We Need to Retire Left v/s Right?

The suggestion here is that the dichotomy of left and right is a “prism” which refracts reality and occludes our vision; it follows, then, that we might see something more true about recent events in JNU if we set down this prism. Often, we have heard a similar sentiment echoed by our colleagues, especially in the sciences, where it takes a slightly different form: that our analyses and opinions should be unbiased and not infused with or infected by political ideology. We disagree.

In Defence of Piracy, Part I: Knowledge and Access

On December 21, 2020, three major publishing houses filed a copyright infringement suit against the pirate websites Sci-Hub and Libgen in the Delhi High Court. It is helpful to review the history of academic publishing, so as to contextualise the piracy that Sci-Hub and Libgen engage in.

The Subtle Problem of Exclusion

My story is a collection of my experiences and some “subtle” issues that I faced during my PhD. I intentionally call these issues “subtle” because for a lot of people, the things which bothered me wouldn’t even be noticed.

We Are No Longer Afraid: On Institutional Responses to COVID-19

[Our university] attracts the sharpest minds, and provides ample research opportunities. But, like all other systems with entrenched hierarchical power structures, [our university] faces several issues unique to it. What the coronavirus has done across the world is to bluntly magnify the issues that existed before the pandemic started. We started writing this article in July, but did not send it anywhere because we was afraid of the repercussions. Now, after all that has happened, we are no longer afraid.

My Language Barrier

When did you get interested in your current field of study? I got interested in the field of Architecture when I was looking at options to pursue for undergraduate studies. I wasn’t very passionate about the subject at that point, it was more of a convenient path I took because I had an interest to […]

Vocational Training in the NEP: What Does It Have to Do With Me?

The entrenchment and mainstreaming of vocational education the NEP mandates reinforces the already-existing social hierarchies. It does this by placing further obstacles in the way of working class/lower caste students who want to pursue general education. This in turn contributes to the reproduction of the problem of their underrepresentation in academia. It is therefore imperative we, as members of academia, mount a coordinated resistance to it.

The Spectre that Haunts Academia: Caste and the Thorat Report

In light of the recent suicides of Dr. Bhagwat Devangan and Dr. Payal Tadvi, it is pertinent to discuss a significant report that provides evidence of caste discrimination in higher educational institutions — The Thorat Committee Report.

An Invitation to Beyond Inclusion

Beyond Inclusion is one of the shockingly few books about the treatment of Dalit and Bahujan students by our country’s higher education system. We offer here an invitation to this book, a guide to what you can expect out of the book if you read it.


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