Image: Courtesy of Dev N. Pathak, Sociology, SAU.
About The Department - Vision and Beyond

Over the last half century or so, a vast body of knowledge(s) on the region has evolved within South Asia that mostly remain within the countries of their origin due to a number of reasons. In this specific context, there is a crucial need to share some of this knowledge in contemporary times when, despite assertions of localisations and mini-narratives, the universal does retain its emphasis through a constant dialectics of the two. The debate between the local and universal or mini-narratives and meta-narratives continue to rage, and is more clearly visible in the context of South Asian context. Even so, we are acutely aware of the non-existence of regular and serious forums for South Asian scholarship in social sciences to showcase our own research and thinking. We are also quite conscious of the fact that the process of establishing sociology in the region has created its own peculiarities which has established close inter-relationships between sociology and social anthropology, history, cultural studies, archeology and other related disciplines. We consider the porousness of South Asian sociology one of its most enduring strengths. On the other hand, we are not unaware of the unfortunate regressions sociology has experienced in different South Asian contexts over the last 30 years or so marked by numerous institutional failures.

It is within the context(s) outlined above that the Department of Sociology at South Asian university, initiated in 2011 witihn the Faculty of Social Sciences contributes to teaching, training and knowledge production. It is not intended to be a mere forum for the production of cutting-edge intellectual knowledge and exchange of that knowledge traversing across national borders in South Asia and beyond. Our expectation is that this knowledge would dislocate the persistence of an imposed framework emanating from the colonisation process and postcolonial politics of knowledge. Despite the passage of over fifty years since the process of official decolonization began in the region, much of the analyses of our problems, situations, histories and dynamics emanate from Euro American academia; this is certainly the case when it comes to conceptual formulations and theoretical approaches that are being employed in exploring the region’s social and cultural complexities often without much self-reflection.

The Department of Sociology strongly believes in the need to reformulate this situation by effectively centering South Asia without naively shunning thought from these established centers of knowledge be they in Europe or North America. We believe in an active and robust engagement with these issues within South Asia. In this context, through the work of its faculty and the research of graduate students, the Department would bring forward the newer forms of knowledge that comprehends and represents the South Asian context with a more authoritative and nuanced voice. We strongly believe in the need to actively intervene in the process of knowledge formation through a constant sharing of knowledge that the region produces as well as through interaction with the world beyond the region.

The courses taught in the Department as well as the research carried out by its faculty members reflect this overall vision and our collective commitment towards innovation, move beyond untenable stereotypes, and explore a new world of knowledge within the discipline of Sociology.

Class of 2011, Department of Sociology, South Asian University; Image: Courtesy of Dev N. Pathak, Sociology, SAU.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mapping Changes and Transformations in Educational Systems and Discourses: Issues, Possibilities and Strategies

Source: RNW

Department of Sociology at South Asian University
presents a workshop on

Mapping Changes and Transformations in Educational Systems and Discourses: Issues, Possibilities and Strategies

South Asian University
Akbar Bhawan, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-21

Dates and times:
21 - 22 March 2013:  
The workshop starts at 09:30am both the day

Note: Participants may register in advance for logistical reasons on

For further queries, please contact:
Atul Chandra (Research Associate) - 9555434486
Coordinator: Dr. Ravi Kumar

Thursday, 21March 2013 (Day- I)

Registration and Preliminary Events (09.30am- 11:30am)

 Session I (11:45am- 12:45pm)
‘Right to Higher Education: The Emerging Crisis’
Prof. Haragopal
University of Hyderabad

Session II (1:30pm- 03:00pm)
‘Commoditising Knowledge: the Assault of Neo- Liberal Barbarism’
Madhu Prasad

‘The Discipling of Economics: Dissent and Difference in the Neo- Liberal Era’
Dr. Rajesh Bhattacharya
South Asian University, New Delhi

‘Changing Character of Legal Education in India’
Dr. Srinivas Burra
South Asian University, New Delhi

Session III(03:15pm- 04:30pm)
‘The case of school caught between Welfare Ideals and Neo- Liberal ways’
Dr. Radhika Menon
University of Delhi

‘Changing Discourses on Inequality and Disparity: from Welfare states to Neo- Liberal Capitalism’
Dr. Vikas Gupta
University Of Delhi

Friday, 22 March 2013 (Day – II)

Session IV(10:00am- 11:15am)
‘The Language Question: The Battle to Take Back the Imagination’
Dr. Harjinder Singh ‘Laltu’
IIIT Hyderabad

Constitution of Language: Neo- Liberal Practices in Multi-Lingual India
Dr. Samir Karamkar
Jadavpur University

Session V (11:30am- 1:00pm)
‘Towards an Alternative Vision of Education: Challenging the Neo- Liberal Framework’
Thokchom Surjit Singh

‘Narratives of Struggles for Common School System from Tamil Nadu and Building Resistance against Neo- Liberal Education Policies’
Dr. Prince Gajendra Babu
General Secretary, State Platform for Common School System

‘A Dialogue for a Mass Movement towards a Democratic Education System’
Dr. Ramesh Patnaik, Secretariat Member
All India Forum for Right to Education

Session VI (02:00pm- 03:00pm)

‘Countering Neo- Liberal Conception of Knowledge, Building Emancipatory Discourse: A Historical Overview of Phule- Ambedkar’s Critique and Gandhian Nai Taleem
Prof. Anil Sadgopal
Former Dean, Department of Education
University of Delhi, New Delhi
Panel Discussion: ‘The Crisis in Indian Education System: What is to be done?’(03:15pm- 05:30 pm)

Prof. J B G Tilak, NUEPA
Dr.P.K.Vijayan, University of Delhi
Dr. Abha Dev Habib, University of Delhi
Dr. Ramesh Patnaik, AIFRTE
Sandeep Singh, National President, AISA

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