THE COMMISSION ON GENDER, RACE, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
in collaboration with
THE STEINHARDT INSTITUTE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY

Gender and Affirmative Action in Higher Education in India

Wednesday, April 28
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Pless Hall, 4th Floor Conference Room
82 Washington Square East

Jyoti Atwal, Assistant Professor
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

The Indian higher education system has emerged as one the most expansive and complex educational systems in the world, with more than 11 million students and almost half a million teaching staff.  The education system in India remains one of the most crucial sources of social change and employment to many who belong to the lower/marginal castes. Despite a well formulated policy of affirmative action, the representation of dalit (scheduled caste) and adivasi (scheduled tribes) students in institutions of higher learning remains inadequate and the proportion of women among them is negligible. In recent years, Indian universities and colleges have been debating these two major issues - one, the affirmative action for socially marginalized groups and the other - women's inclusion in higher education. This presentation will focus on how these two issues are being debated in contemporary India and seeks to locate these efforts in a historical context.   

Jyoti Atwal teaches Modern Indian History at the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her main areas of interest include gender history; socio-religious reform movements and intellectual history in colonial India; and widowhood in cross cultural comparative studies of women's history.