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This book examines various ideational, attitudinal and intellectual impasses that are becoming glaringly apparent on several fronts, and which have held back India’s balanced, steady and uniform development and transformation post-independence. It argues that all of these ideational and attitudinal aberrations stem from one basic fact, namely that India, throughout the entire period since the onset of modern industrial secular civilization at the global level, has somehow managed to evade the core ideas and values of the western Enlightenment movement, leaving unfinished the crucial task of modernizing and secularizing the mindsets and outlooks of its people on a mass scale – a task that has historically and globally been the backbone of sustained modern material development with socio-political stability. Further, it suggests that this enormous failure is crucially linked to key shortcomings in Indian mainstream thinking, and the imaginations and visions in general, and as such is also linked with confused educational ideas and content – particularly at the elementary level – since the country gained independence.

The book maintains that Indian curricula and educational content at the school level has been consciously designed to guard against the core values and ideas of the Enlightenment, which could have made the typical Indian mind more rational, reasonable, mature and secular, resulting in much lower degrees of unreason, raw sentiments and emotions than have been hitherto entrenched in it. The book further sketches the genesis and impact of the currently dominant neoliberal ideas and thinking that have invaded the entire educational universe and its philosophy around the world. Lastly, it examines and assesses the latter’s far-reaching ramifications for current Indian educational philosophy, pedagogy and practices, and proposes concrete remedial directions for public policy and action.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Erratum to: The Indian Metamorphosis

Without Abstract
Arup Maharatna

India as Its Own Making

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Indian Metamorphosis

Abstract
Thanks to vigorous ‘globalization’ (or perhaps re-globalization) and massive global innovations in communications, digitization and multimedia technology as well as country’s vastness of both population and geographical area, India as a sovereign nation appears outwardly to be managing well to have carved out its distinct niche in the current international stage.
Arup Maharatna

Chapter 2. India’s Costly Evasion from ‘Enlightenment’ Ideas and Values

Abstract
In an effort to illuminate the genesis of what we have termed Indian metamorphosis, the present chapter invokes the foundational role of European (or more broadly, Western) Enlightenment movement (and its far-reaching ideational, political and sociocultural revolutions) just preceding (and during the first phase of) the Industrial Revolution in the emergence of modern industrial, secular and democratic civilization.
Arup Maharatna

Chapter 3. India’s Educational Thinking, Aims and School Curriculum: A Critical Look

Abstract
As indicated in the preceding chapter, there can be no denying that a rapid transformation—ideational, attitudinal, social and cultural—towards reasoned rationality, democratic spirits and humanistic secularism serves as a foundation for modern economic growth, along with sustained scientific and technological progress and sociopolitical stability. And this sociocultural-ideational-attitudinal modernization was historically achieved, in a large measure, through a crucial agency of universal elementary education and literacy. Most of the lately industrialized (ex-colonial) countries (with perhaps few, if any, exceptions), which could successfully bring about sustained modern economic growth and development, began the journey with an initial emphasis/initiatives on achieving universal primary education and schooling (e.g. the East Asian countries). This was so with a view both to enhancing a country’s overall human capability/capital necessary for materialization of modern economic growth and to transforming citizens’ ideational make-up and attitudes in the direction of a more rational secular mould. But strangely enough the post-Independence India’s political leadership, as has been shown in the preceding chapter, chose to deviate persistently from this pragmatic time-tested route to development by postponing for long such momentous projects as universalization of primary education, people’s ideational modernization and secularization. This has, at least partly, been a fallout of an unwavering dominance of the Nehruvian perception (backed often tacitly by other influential quarters at the time) that people’s modern mind, outlook and attitudes would emerge almost inevitably as a by-product of large-scale modern industrialization, economic development and technological upgradation, with no need for distinctively independent (preceding or simultaneous) initiatives for the former.
Arup Maharatna

Global Educational Crisis and Endangered Future

Frontmatter

Chapter 4. ‘Invasion’ of Educational Universe by Neo-Liberal Economic Thinking: A Global Casualty?

Abstract
In the preceding part of the book, we have shown how a decided neglect on the part of Indian political leadership towards the importance of ideational and social revolutions in line with Western Enlightenment ideas and values has contributed to holding the country in a state of perpetual metamorphosis, and also how India’s school educational thinking during the prime formative decades after Independence laid a foundation of a distinct legacy of bypassing a crucial task of imparting—through inter alias suitably designed curriculum and textbooks—the core Enlightenment values including the supremacy of reason, rationality, secularity and universalistic humanism into young impressionable minds, outlook and attitudes.
Arup Maharatna

Chapter 5. Global Crisis in Higher Education: Is Merit Being Trampled by Marketing and Money?

Abstract
We have shown in the preceding chapter how a concerted ‘capture’ of the most important domains of education and educational thinking by neo-liberal economic perspectives since the 1950s has impelled eventually a momentous (global) shift towards narrowing the essence of education down to merely ‘learning’ of a bundle of productive and/or marketable skills through educational investment, with an overriding motive of reaping measurable pecuniary ‘gains’—both private and societal.
Arup Maharatna

Backmatter

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