Thursday, 14 April 2016

Ambedkar: Reformation and Cartoons

Dr. Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Reformation in Hindu Code Bill and Cartoons

Political cartoons deliver a punch. They take jabs at powerful politicians, reveal official hypocrisies and incompetence and can even help to change the course of history. But political cartoons are not just the stuff of the past. Cartoonists are commenting on the world’s current events all the time, and in the process, making people laugh and think. At their best, they challenge our perceptions and attitudes.
Analyzing political cartoons is a core skill in many social studies courses. After all, political cartoons often serve as important primary sources, showing different perspectives on an issue. 
(Gonchar, MichaelDrawing for Change: Analyzing and Making Political Cartoons)








Saturday, 9 April 2016

Short Films: #IndiaTomorrow

#IndiaTomorrow: Short Films

On the occasion of India Today's 40 years, celebrated bollywood directors Imtiaz Ali, Pradeep Sarkar, Rohan Sippy, Hansal Mehta and Meghna Gulzar have created their expression of India Tomorrow through short three minute films for the mobile generation on the future of our nation.
The different directors bring their unique storytelling styles in these short mobile format films that will touch a million hearts across mobile, digital and the television medium.
Speaking on the films, Kalli Purie, Group Editorial Director (Broadcast & New Media), India Today Group said, “The films reflect the spirit of India Today that is constantly creating a better and more promising India Tomorrow. I would like to thank the directors for sharing their vision through these films.”
- See more at: http://www.exchange4media.com/industrybriefing/india-today-premieres-india-tomorrow_63814.html#sthash.wDZL0OkC.dpuf

Five short films with a vision of changing #India for better #tomorrow - dealing with themes like:
1) Others - Transgender (Pradeep Sarkar)
2) Prostitute - the sense of stock market (Imtiaz Ali)
3) Rohith Vemula's Suicide note (Hansal Mehta)
4) Prime Time - a satire on news making by news channels (Rohan Sippy)
5) India. . . India - the miscelleny of road side hawker (Meghna Gulzaar)


I found Hansal Mehta's film quite tragic and poignant; Rohan Sippy's humorous; Saarkar and Ali's having strong assertion of other genders; Meghna's is fun to watch










Books on Education System

Books on Changing Face of Education


  1. Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities


~ Martha C. Nussbaum

In this short and powerful book, celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education.
Historically, the humanities have been central to education because they have rightly been seen as essential for creating competent democratic citizens. But recently, Nussbaum argues, thinking about the aims of education has gone disturbingly awry both in the United States and abroad. Anxiously focused on national economic growth, we increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable and empathetic citizens. This shortsighted focus on profitable skills has eroded our ability to criticize authority, reduced our sympathy with the marginalized and different, and damaged our competence to deal with complex global problems. And the loss of these basic capacities jeopardizes the health of democracies and the hope of a decent world.

In response to this dire situation, Nussbaum argues that we must resist efforts to reduce education to a tool of the gross national product. Rather, we must work to reconnect education to the humanities in order to give students the capacity to be true democratic citizens of their countries and the world.

Drawing on the stories of troubling--and hopeful--educational developments from around the world, Nussbaum offers a manifesto that should be a rallying cry for anyone who cares about the deepest purposes of education.


Read Chapter 1

Read review of this book

2.  The Fall of the Faculty:The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters ~ Benjamin Ginsberg

  • Powerful and stinging critique of one of the most powerful trends in academia: the shift in power to non-academic administrators
  • Exceptionally well written polemic that will stir controversy at universities across the country
  • The author is well known throughout academia, and has coauthored one of the bestselling textbooks on American government in recent history
  • Dissatisfaction with the academy runs deep in America. Despite-or perhaps because of-the fact that a far greater percentage of Americans have attended college than at any time in the past, distrust of the higher education system seems higher than ever. The most common complaints concern rapidly escalating tuition prices, affirmative action policies, and-not least-the allegedly left-wing professoriate that runs American universities. Indeed, much of the criticism of academia focuses on professors: they are too liberal, they care little about teaching, and they are too hyperspecialized. Benjamin Ginsberg argues that this common critique puts the cart before the horse and ignores a much bigger issue. In fact, faculty are not the primary problem with contemporary academia. Rather, the problem lies in the explosive growth in administration in US universities and the concomitant decline in faculty power in influence. Put simply, <"deanlets>"-administrators without doctorates or serious academic training-rule the roost, and professors do not have nearly as much institutional power as theyused to. Their decline dovetails with another trend: the growing regimentation and corporatization of the university. The fallout, Ginsberg contends, is negative: a de-emphasis on intellectual rigor and the traditional liberal arts. A stinging critique of how universities are run today, this book charts how this happened and explains how we can revamp the system so that actual educators have more say in curriculum policy.
  • 3. The University in Ruins~ Bill Readings



It is no longer clear what role the University plays in society. The structure of the contemporary University is changing rapidly, and we have yet to understand what precisely these changes will mean. Is a new age dawning for the University, the renaissance of higher education under way? Or is the University in the twilight of its social function, the demise of higher education fast approaching?
We can answer such questions only if we look carefully at the different roles the University has played historically and then imagine how it might be possible to live, and to think, amid the ruins of the University. Tracing the roots of the modern American University in German philosophy and in the work of British thinkers such as Newman and Arnold, Bill Readings argues that historically the integrity of the modern University has been linked to the nation-state, which it has served by promoting and protecting the idea of a national culture. But now the nation-state is in decline, and national culture no longer needs to be either promoted or protected. Increasingly, universities are turning into transnational corporations, and the idea of culture is being replaced by the discourse of “excellence.” On the surface, this does not seem particularly pernicious.
The author cautions, however, that we should not embrace this techno-bureaucratic appeal too quickly. The new University of Excellence is a corporation driven by market forces, and, as such, is more interested in profit margins than in thought. Readings urges us to imagine how to think, without concession to corporate excellence or recourse to romantic nostalgia within an institution in ruins. The result is a passionate appeal for a new community of thinkers.



4. SLOW PROFESSOR: CHALLENGING THE CULTURE OF SPEED IN THE ACADEMY

~
Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016


It is no longer clear what role the University plays in society. The structure of the contemporary University is changing rapidly, and we have yet to understand what precisely these changes will mean. Is a new age dawning for the University, the renaissance of higher education under way? Or is the University in the twilight of its social function, the demise of higher education fast approaching?

We can answer such questions only if we look carefully at the different roles the University has played historically and then imagine how it might be possible to live, and to think, amid the ruins of the University. Tracing the roots of the modern American University in German philosophy and in the work of British thinkers such as Newman and Arnold, Bill Readings argues that historically the integrity of the modern University has been linked to the nation-state, which it has served by promoting and protecting the idea of a national culture. But now the nation-state is in decline, and national culture no longer needs to be either promoted or protected. Increasingly, universities are turning into transnational corporations, and the idea of culture is being replaced by the discourse of “excellence.” On the surface, this does not seem particularly pernicious.
The author cautions, however, that we should not embrace this techno-bureaucratic appeal too quickly. The new University of Excellence is a corporation driven by market forces, and, as such, is more interested in profit margins than in thought. Readings urges us to imagine how to think, without concession to corporate excellence or recourse to romantic nostalgia within an institution in ruins. The result is a passionate appeal for a new community of thinkers.



If there is one sector of society that should be cultivating deep thought in itself and others, it is academia. Yet the corporatisation of the contemporary university has sped up the clock, demanding increased speed and efficiency from faculty regardless of the consequences for education and scholarship.
In The Slow Professor, Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber discuss how adopting the principles of the Slow movement in academic life can counter this erosion of humanistic education. Focusing on the individual faculty member and his or her own professional practice, Berg and Seeber present both an analysis of the culture of speed in the academy and ways of alleviating stress while improving teaching, research, and collegiality. The Slow Professor will be a must-read for anyone in academia concerned about the frantic pace of contemporary university life.