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Rethinking undergraduate education in the IITs

Anurag Mehra

Anurag Mehra

This summer’s CASI Visiting Scholar, Anurag Mehra, is a professor of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. He is also the author of the latest India in Transition (IiT) article about the need for reform of the IIT undergraduate system.  From coaching-induced burnout to student disinterest in technical fields to teacher apathy, Mehra exposes how India’s most celebrated academic institution may be falling short of its initial objective.

“The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were founded almost five decades ago with the objective of providing technological leadership to a new and resurgent India, driven by Nehru’s deep commitment to science-led development. Whether they provided technological leadership to India or not remains debatable given the large numbers of their (under) graduates who have migrated abroad or have shifted to non-technical careers. India has changed much since the Nehruvian vision, begging the questions: how have the IITs adapted and how relevant are these institutions today, in particular their core undergraduate programs?” Continue reading…

 

 


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Pivot to Africa

 

Arndt Michael

Arndt Michael

Dr. Arndt Michael,  Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg, Germany and author of the multi-award winning book India’s Foreign Policy and Regional Multilateralism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), has contributed the latest article to CASI’s bi-weekly publication India in Transition (IiT). He discusses the “Indian way” of dealing with Africa and recent evidence of India’s pivot to Africa.

“The drastic increase in trade volumes over the last few years is an impressive testament to the new Indian pivot to Sub-Saharan Africa; trade between India and Sub-Saharan Africa stood at $60 billion in 2012. Still, trade volumes in the same year were markedly eclipsed by those of the EU ($567.2 billion), the U.S. ($446.7 billion), and China ($220 billion). Nevertheless, India’s engagement shows a successful new focus on the region where it has implemented specific programs in the economic, political, and, especially, pan-African sphere. From an economic perspective, there are three pillars of Indian engagement….” Continue reading


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Latest on CASI publications

Defying the Odds book coverToday FT‘s Amy Kazmin reviewed CASI’s latest publication Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs. She writes:

“the book offers fascinating, bottom-up insights into the gritty workings of India’s economy, and its twisting, bumpy roads to potential upward mobility.”

Read the full review here.

The Kindle edition of Defying the Odds is now available in the US on Amazon.com. Be sure to get your copy! You can read more about the book on our website.

Also, don’t miss CASI Director Devesh Kapur’s latest op-eds. In an article for Business Standard, he discusses the trade-off between competence and loyalty in government bureaucracy and argues that the Modi government should take a risk by bringing in new talent. Read the story here.

Kapur also writes about the need to build stronger state institutions which are better at promoting public good in an article for The Economic Times published today. Read the story here.