Now, Dalit studies evoke interest


The M.A. and Ph.D. programmes offered by the Dr. K. R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia here have been generating a lot of interest among foreign learners.

The Centre — conceived by Vice-Chancellor Mushirul Hasan — was inaugurated in 2005 and since then has received a good response from students in the country. Interestingly, some foreign learners have also expressed their desire to submit their research proposals.

“There has been a great rush. Apart from Indian learners who wish to research on several interesting subjects, there have been queries from Gulf countries like Kuwait and African countries, particularly where the practice of apartheid is prevalent. People are now drawing a parallel between racism and caste discrimination. There have been similar problems of marginalised communities in other countries,” said Director of the Centre Mohammad Mujtaba Khan.

Prof. Khan cited the instance of an Italian woman working with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London who will soon submit a research proposal on information and communication technology and rural disadvantaged communities in the Commonwealth.

It is not just Ph.D. studies but even the just launched M.A. in Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy — to begin from this academic year — that has interested many.

“We have been getting applications for both the programmes. We decided to begin the post-graduate course only after the success of a diploma programme in Dalits and Minorities Studies that was launched last year,” Prof. Khan said. “The focus of this two-year programme will be to conceptualise discrimination, exclusion and inclusion based on caste, ethnicity and religion, develop understanding of the nature and dynamics of discrimination and exclusion as well as explore the possibility of creating legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that promote social inclusion,” Prof. Khan explained. There will be an entrance examination to this M.A. programme that will have five papers each year.

Source: The Hindu

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