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date: 26 June 2022

Examining Education Reforms of India in the Matrix of Rights and Biopoliticslocked

Examining Education Reforms of India in the Matrix of Rights and Biopoliticslocked

  • Jyoti DalalJyoti DalalUniversity of Delhi

Summary

Three significant reforms were established at the turn of the century in India: the National Curriculum Framework of 2005, the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education of 2009, and the Right to Education Act of 2009.

All three reforms reflect a contradiction between the rights of citizens and the regulatory biopolitical inertia of the state. Indian State has undergone cyclical shifts in its orientation. In certain phases, rights became the fulcrum to guide policy and legal framework, and in other phases, the regulatory impulse of the state was at the center. The neoliberal turn of the 1990s marked a sharp shift in which the state left behind its welfare outlook and adopted a more regulatory structure. The rights-based agenda of the three reforms needs to be understood against the backdrop of the changing nature of the state. The three reforms stand apart from those instituted before and after, in that they were informed by a critique of the rights-based framework even while working within it.

The three reforms and their social context provide an example of the tension between rights and biopolitics; the reforms emerged as a response to this tension. While proposing rights-based reforms in school education, the intent was much more ambitious, going beyond the immediate domain of education. Occurring in the middle of a neoliberal, market-driven discourse, these reforms critiqued the 21st-century state and pushed it to serve the role of a provider and not just a regulator.

Subjects

  • Educational Systems
  • Education and Society

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