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Mechanisms of Change


G.G. Wankhede

EDUCATION AND DEMOCRACY IN INDIA
Edited by Anne Vaugier-Chatterjee
Manohar Publications, New Delhi, 2005, pp. 269, Rs. 695.00

VOLUME XXIX NUMBER 10 October 2005

Education is directly linked to development of any nation in the modern period. The social, political and economic dimensions of the complex and multidimensional concept of development are considered important by all. Indian policy and planning of education have viewed these components as priority areas in the process of development. The Kothari Commission Report (1966) has clearly and convincingly analysed the link between education and development. However, political development through education has been given second class treatment by all including planners and policy makers and educationists. For a country like India that has been historically based on diversity and hierarchy, the notion of democracy, equality and fraternity were new at the time of Independence. Therefore, political socialization is perceived to be relevant necessarily through education when one finds no viable alternative. Hence, education, and particularly elementary education is seen to be the crucial stage of socialization of children towards training them for good citizenship with modern values of equality, secularism and integrity. But at the same time the education system in India is affected by several factors like socio-economic inequalities, political and administrative constraints, finance, religion and geography.   The book under review makes valid efforts towards addressing various educational issues in this context by several scholars. The volume is the outcome of two international conferences organized in 2000 and 2002 by the Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi. The editor has given a brief introduction summarizing the contents of the book. There are fourteen articles devoted to various issues in the contemporary education system, particularly at the elementary level. The articles can be divided into two major categories: first, a historical perspective of education and the second deals with the current issues in education.   Considering the present educational situation in the country and the prevailing issues and controversies, the book covers highly relevant areas that are useful for policy makers, planners, administrators and educationists—like the educational contributions of the colonial government and Christian missionaries, women’s education, education of deprived communities, school administration, textbooks, religion, ideology and identity, various educational programmes and educational finance. The issues that are addressed refer to the problems within and outside the school system in society and government machinery.   Ambrose Pinto while giving a historical account of Christian missions’ contribution to education and democracy, has differentiated between the education introduced by the British rulers and the missions in terms of its objectives, nature and goals. This area, ...


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