We live in a world that seems to be forever changing...a new world with dynamic challenges that requires young enthusiastic adults capable of playing positive and fruitful roles in organizations and communities.
The Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts strongly believes in the importance of a comprehensive education in preparation for career advancement and for the exercise of leadership. We believe organizations and society have an urgent need for creative individuals who will readily learn on the job, after having been exposed to a broad and comprehensive education.
Based on the experiences with liberal arts in the last 11 years, we know that a sound liberal arts education provides a much needed cultural orientation to the world in which we live and equips students with ideas, analytical and communication skills, and global perspectives along with the ability to synthesize knowledge and make informed value judgments.
(From the Director’s Desk)
The liberal arts programme at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts is a holistic programme designed as a combination of multi, inter and transdisciplinary learning focused on transferability of skills, employability and a spirit of enquiry. The focus is on critical thinking, research, analysis and writing along with civic mindedness. The programme aspires to augment and develop individuals who are critically conscious and able to find a healthy balance between professional and personal growth.
Our Liberal Arts programme is styled very closely on international models while also fulfilling the demands of a higher education programme in India. Students engage with a wide range of courses with the freedom to pick and choose Minor and Major areas of specialization from areas previously considered to be ‘academically incompatible’. A student can combine subjects like Business studies as a Major with a Philosophy Minor or Mathematics & Statistics as a Major with an Anthropology Minor. This gives students a chance to enter hybrid workspaces where expertise from two disciplines offer and edge over others. Unique combinations like Biology and Economics opens up avenues in fields like Health Economics, Policy Making, Pharmacare etc.
SSLA offers students the opportunity to study a four-year full-time Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts) Honours Degree and Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts) Honours Degree program covered over eight semesters. It is mandatory to complete a minimum of 198 credits to graduate with a B.A / B.Sc (Liberal Arts) Honours degree.
Specialization courses (which are in the form of Majors and Minors) are chosen in the 2nd semester and are taught from the 3rd semester onwards. The Majors and Minors offered at SSLA are:
Major Specialization: Mathematics & Statistics, Computer Studies, English, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Media Studies, Business Studies, International Relations and Political Science & Public Policy.
Minor Specialization: Biology, Women and Gender Studies, History, Film Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Physics, Performing Arts and Law.
Following the Liberal Arts tradition, Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts believes that intellectual freedom and growth is the result of a balance of theory, practice and experiential knowledge; open-minded scrutiny and logical arguments. It offers a learning environment that allows personal growth of the students through research and analytical thinking to develop competencies and values required for employability, leadership and social justice in a dynamic global community
The programme requires a student to complete: 20 Cores (compulsory courses including Community Outreach Project and a Seminar Paper) + 6 Electives + 1 Minor* specialization (6 papers) + 1 Major specialization subject (12 papers, including an Internship and a Research Project + Additional Minor (6 papers) / Additional Electives (6 courses) / Double Major (10 papers) without the Minor*.
Certain forms of knowledge are essential for every student, therefore, there are 20 Core compulsory courses spread across eight semesters and ensure a holistic and practical knowledge applicable across professions. Some of these skill-oriented courses include Creative Writing, Computer Fundamentals, Quantitative Reasoning with Mathematics, Staistics & Finance, Legal Awareness among others
The need for an in-depth subject specialization is pursued through the Major (ten papers, a two month long Internship and a Dissertation/ Research Project) and Minor specializations (6 papers) offers the student twin knowledge foundations that may often be applied in complementing roles suited to the professional needs. Specialization courses (which are in the form of Majors and Minors) shall be chosen in the 2nd semester and will be taught from the 3rd semester onwards.
The Majors and Minors offered at SSLA are:
A minimum of 6 Elective courses across disciplines irrespective of their areas of specialization offers the curious mind a constant food for thought often beyond the professional requirement to cater to their individual inquisitive nature. The basket of Elective
courses spread across genetics, mathematics, environment, philosophy, literature, performing arts, theater, religion, art, etc is taught with an inter, multi and transdisciplinary perspectives to bring together a 360 degree understanding.
Liberal Arts is not just a curriculum, but an ideology promoting academic and personal growth, sensitivity towards current and burning issues through:
o Community Outreach Project integrated within the curricula with a 2 month long community service, a report written and presentation on the basis of the field work intends to foster critically conscious citizens of the world.
o Internship in the area of Major specialization is an integral part of the programme with
an Internship Project Report along with a viva and presentation.
o Dissertation or the Research Project and the Seminar Paper : SSLA encourages a culture of research through the Dissertation or the Research Project and the Seminar Paper. Core courses on Research Methods, research proposal and field experience help students perfect their research skills over a period of four years. The seminar course is a mandatory requirement at the end of which the students submit a publishable paper.
o Other Academic Requirement : Inter University credit courses / Integrated Disaster Management Program / Audit Courses / Global Immersion Program are some other courses that students may engage with as per SSLA / SIU rules.
The B.A / B.Sc. (Liberal Arts) Honours degree can be complete by acquiring a Minimum Number of Credits Required (198 Credits) with
198 Credits; with 63 credits to Cores, 12 credits to FCP including Service Learning /COP, 24 credits to Generic Elective, 35 credit to Major Specialization Core, 16 credits to Major Specialization Electives, 24 credits to Minor specialization Cores, 24 credits to Additional chosen Minor Specialization Core and 1 mandatory Audit.
198 Credits; with 63 credits to Cores, 12 credits to FCP including Service Learning /COP, 24 credits to Generic Elective, 35 credit to Major Specialization Core, 16 credits to Major Specialization Electives, 24 credits to Minor specialization Cores, 24 credits to Additional Electives and 1 mandatory Audit.
198 Credits; with 63 credits to Cores, 12 credits to FCP including Service Learning /COP, 24 credits to Generic Elective, 35 credit to Major Specialization Core, 16 credits to Major Specialization Electives, 24 credits to Additional Major Specialization Core, 16 credits to
Additional Major Specialization Electives, 8 credits for Additional Electives and 1 mandatory Audit. No Minor Specialization.
Tentative Programme Structure across the eight semesters (4 Years):
To encourage students to learn beyond the curriculum, SSLA is introducing the concept of an “Audit Course”. This will not only aid in the interest process of an individual but also will also wide variety of knowledge or subjects.
The fees for the extra course is:
1150/- per course
In order to apply for an audit course, a procedure similar to that of the selection of electives, is followed. The admin department shall email students with the list of courses available as audit courses, each semester. Students are alloted the courses on the basis of their preference and the eligibility criteria mentioned above. If a student is eligible for an audit course, the student will be required to make the payment at the accounts department and provide a receipt of the same to the admin department.
To encourage students to learn beyond the curriculum, SSLA is introducing the concept of an “Extra Course”. This will not only aid in the interest process of an individual but also will expose them to a wide variety of knowledge or subjects.
4600/- per course
In order to apply for an extra course, a procedure similar to that of the selection of electives, is followed. The admin department shall email students with the list of courses available as extra courses, each semester. Students are alloted the courses on the basis of their preference and the eligibility criteria mentioned above. If a student is eligible for an extra course, the student will be required to make the payment at the accounts department and provide a receipt of the same to the admin department.
In addition to a standard major-minor combination, SSLA now offers students the following additional options in their areas of specialization:
The list of options mentioned above is an exhaustive list of options, open to students at SSLA. Any combination/option that isn’t listed above is not permissible, as per the programme structure.
SSLA now offers students the ability to opt for a Double Minor. the ability to select one major to specialise in along with two minors. This option provides students with the ability to acquire a greater amount of knowledge and qualifications while at the same time allows them to study two minors to compliment their major area of specialisation.
The fees for double minor is: Rs. 26,450 /-
Students are required to select their majors and minors towards the end of the second semester. In order to apply for a double minor, a procedure similar to that of the selection of electives, is followed. The admin department shall email students with the list of majors and minors available. Students are required to select the major-minor option i.e Standard Major-Minor, Double Major, Double Minor, they wish to opt for along with their choice of major and minor areas of specialisation. Students are alloted the same on the basis of their preference and the eligibility criteria mentioned above. If a student is eligible for a double minor, the student will be required to make the payment at the accounts department and provide a receipt of the same to the admin department.
For the second minor, the fee will not be refunded after the 4th semester, if a student decides to drop it.
SSLA now offers students the ability to opt for a Double Major. the ability to select two majors to specialise in but no minors. This option provides students with the ability to acquire a greater amount of knowledge and qualifications while at the same time allows them to not be tied down to only a single area of specialisation.
The fees for double minor is: Rs. 40,250 /-
Students are required to select their majors and minors towards the end of the second semester. In order to apply for a double major, a procedure similar to that of the selection of electives, is followed. The admin department shall email students with the list of majors and minors available. Students are required to select the major-minor option i.e Standard Major-Minor, Double Major, Double Minor, they wish to opt for along with their choice of major and minor areas of specialisation. Students are alloted the same on the basis of their preference and the eligibility criteria mentioned above. If a student is eligible for a double major, the student will be required to make the payment at the accounts department and provide a receipt of the same to the admin department.
For the second major, the fee will not be refunded after the 4th semester, if a student decides to drop it.
SSLA aims at offering a multi-disciplinary and holistic educational program that assessesAnd evaluates students on the ability to think critically and develop innovative solutions to problems rather than just focusing on facts and figures.
Note: Curiosity is an academic software..
The institute offers the following components for faculty to use as tools for student assessments/evaluations:
Students are informed by each faculty about the assessment formats and criteria during the first week of classes of every semester.
Note : Curiosity is an academic software that the faculty use to upload internal and external marks, attendance and reading material that can be accessed by both students and parents.
Criteria for Continuous Assessments (CA): Continuous assessments (CA) are of a minimum of 60 marks and a maximum of 8O marks with a minimum of 3 components as a part of the course requirements for the semester. The faculty administer, on average, one assessment every month of the semester as part of this continuous assessment process. The criteria for these assessments are provided in the course syllabus that the faculty make available to students during the first week of classes.
Criteria for Semester-End Evaluation (SEE): At the end of the semester, evaluations are conducted with at least two different components, to test the students on their knowledge and skills gained from taking the course.
Suggested Division of Marks:
Calculation of Grade Points:
The grade points corresponding to nine grades will be as follows: (Batch 2015-19, 2016-20 and Batch 2017-21)
At SSLA, students receive credits based on the number of "contact hours" they spend studying per semester in class. 1 credit is equivalent to 15 contact hours and 30 non-contacthours of work.
To graduate from SSLA, the minimum credit requirement is 198. Every semester a required number of credits are allotted as per the contact hours for each of the courses. The creditdistribution per semester is as below:
The Floating Credit Program at SSLA is to ensure that all students are exposed to various critical aspects of knowledge that help inculcate morals, values, ethics, civic sense and also enrich the personality of each student. These can be earned by attending different seminars, representing college in sports, community outreach programme and many other extra-curricular opportunities that SSLA provides.
Batch-Wise distribution of FCP credits across semesters:
SSLA Batch 2017-2021
SSLA Batch 2016-2020
SSLA Batch 2015-2019
SSLA Batch 2014-18
Community Outreach Project (COP) (compulsory 6 credits and 200 hours) to be completed by Semester 4 followed by the submission of the COP Report, Presentation and Viva in Semester 5.
The other 6 credits (to complete the requirement of 12 credits) may include the following options which students may choose from. Details of their choices and proof for the same are to be submitted to the FCP in Charge.The grading scheme for the same is given below:
Please note: The number of credits accumulated will depend on the complexity of work or the number of hours of participation over the semesters. The number of hours will be calculated on the number of hours of the programme/activity/ workshop/conference attended or participated in. If 40% of the total number of hours offered are not completed by the student, he or she will not be graded and will receive a backlog in FCP.
Grading of FCP will only be applicable if the student has completed the required number of activities or hours to receive the credits for FCP. The grading range includes
Credits and Grades will depend on the event, number of hours of student participation, report/outcome submitted by the student after the event, etc. The Director's decision will be final.
Grades will be awarded depending upon performance.
An illustrative example is provided here:
All students who attend will receive 1credit
Depending upon the involvement, the grades of the students will vary.
Batch 2015-19 onwards
Write a blog/Participate in a panel/Share conference learnings in class
Non-academic article based on conference and printed in a newspaper/ magazine.
Paper presentation at the conference
Publication of a Paper
The details of FCP activities participated in will be recorded on Curiosity after receiving an email from the student. Please email and submit written proof (with your name and PRN no. on it) to Mr. Nikhil Ranpise by the first Friday of the subsequent month. No late submissions will be accepted for previous participations. For example, a conference attended in January must be recorded no later than the first Friday of February.
The grades will be allotted for every event based on the proof submitted.
In addition to the academic course work, students participate in a community outreach project. This outreach project aims at initiating student contributions towards social justice. COP aims to nurture students into sensitive, ethical, and critically conscious citizens who will contribute responsibly to communities and society.
The Community Outreach Project is a mandatory component of the curriculum at SSLA. It carries 6 credits, and is designed to be a 2 month full-time project, to be completed over the first summer break. The minimum total number of hours required for the COP is 200 hours, on completion of which, the student is required to get a validation letter from the organisation. This letter will be a part of the student’s report, which is due at the beginning of Semester 5.
· The student is required to write a 10,000 word report and prepare a 20 minute presentation, as well as respond to a 10 minute viva before a panel of two examiners. The student will have to set up dates with the panel of examiners allotted to him/her.
It is mandatory that the student registers himself/herself with the Community Outreach Cell, before the commencement of the project. The COP batch representative will send out an online form for the same.
Students will also be sent the following information via email:
Refer to the Student Handbook for further details about deadlines and submissions.
Gayatri Mendanha and Ananya Dutta
Kaavya Ranjith (Batch 2020)
Student Batch Representatives
Events and Projects Team:
Jui Patil Dhwani Shrotriya Vedika Dawar
COP Report Details Batch 2014 -18
The internship is a compulsory component of the curriculum at SSLA. It seeks to introduce the students to the realities of the industries, and to help them understand their own strengths.
If a student does not pass the Internship module, it will be considered a backlog. He/she may have to repeat the internship process or the presentation and viva, depending on the evaluation. The report submission, presentation and viva will be conducted in the consequent semesters.
The Hindu Business Line
Smartron India Pvt Ltd
Marketing(Consumer and market research)
Bureau Central Marocain des Societes d’Assurances (BCMA)
Netherlands Business Support Office
Interface Communications (F.C.B. ULKA)
Growth Tracking and Market Research
The Richmond Fellowship Society
Solar Village Project
Global Education Solutions
Content and Curriculum development
The Indian Express
Tata Memorial Hospital
Psycho – Oncology
Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
Fortis Memorial Research Institute
Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences
Interics Designs Pvt Ltd
LOL Ventures Pvt Ltd
Nimble Systems Pvt Ltd
Entrepreneurship and management intern
CSR project and HR processes
Ogilvy and Mather Pvt Ltd
National Centre for Advocacy Studies
Liberty India DHC Pvt Ltd
NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences
Advocate Mrunalini Deshmukh
Automobile Industry (car4sene.com)
Goodricke Group Ltd
Anandi Foods (Happy Belly)
Aker Power Gas Subsea
Frost and Sullivan
Digital Marketing and Content Writing
PR, Branding, Corporate Communication, Events
Eye Catcher Entertainment Pvt Ltd
Homegrown Media LLP
Editiorial and Content Writing
Earth 5 R
Socio – environmental
Richmond Fellowship Society
Samuchit Enviro Tech
Sustainable lifestyle products, services, research studies
ZEBRA Crossing Paradigm Pvt Ltd
Ad film Production House
Creative and advertising
Creative, program development
The research dissertation is a comprehensive research project-based submission which is undertaken and completed by every student at SSLA. Students are expected to identify a theme for intensive study and request faculty with experience in the relevant area to be their committee members. Students are to undertake the project with due guidance over a period of three years, starting from Semester 3.
How do we make a committee for the dissertation?
Check the faculty specializations page and shortlist a few faculty. Approach them with your potential topic and ask them informally if they agree to be on your dissertation committee. The topic will be shaped by the student and the faculty together. When both you and the faculty agree on working together, keep a written record of this confirmation.
Are we required to submit the names of our committee members, for the dissertation, to the Research Cell?
Yes, there will be a form circulated for the same. Students are requested to keep proof of confirmations from their committee members in written format.
How can we change our dissertation committee?
Students wishing to change the First Chair subsequently need to fulfil the following conditions:
What are the exact deadlines for the submission of the drafts for our dissertations?
The deadlines differ from batch to batch.
Examples of Dissertations
Exploring the legitimacy of sweatshop labour through feminist economics
Analysing factors that affect consumer attitudes towards online retail
Strong Women: Gender in young adult science fiction and fantasy
Cultural Détente: John Le Carré, From the Cold War to the thaw
The impact of new media on the feminist movement in India
Velo-City: An econometric model of the Pune bicycle market
Hard copies of all dissertations are available in the SSLA Library
Grading Scheme (out of, not absolute)
Grading Scheme for Proof of Publication
How can I choose my Seminar theme?
Themes and faculty names will be circulated during the summer break before the 7th Semester. Students will have time to read, and communicate with faculty before the deadline for signing up.
Can I change my Seminar after signing up?
No, once you have chosen you cannot change the seminar paper. It is expected you have communicated with the faculty before signing up.
Does the Seminar need to be from my Major-Minor?
No, the seminar has no impact nor is it shaped by your Major-Minor disciplines.
The Seminar Topics are a variety of topics associated with the various subjects taught at SSLA.
The following is a list of topics that have been offered over the past few years
Can Machines be Moral Agents
Representations of Cultural Trauma in Indian Fiction
Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in India
Library learning resources
Total No. Of Qty.
Process to access resources OR guideline
Online Koha book catalog- OPAC system.
Click on URL
Only for reference
Total – 24
Indian - 20
Foreign - 4
Total – 21
Indian – 15
Foreign - 6
Inter library loan membership
BCL ID library card are available in ssla library.
SSLA Online E- Database
SIU Online E-Database
Monday to Saturday : 8.30AM To 8.00 PM
Sunday and Holidays : Closed
In case of loss of a book(s), the member will either have to replace the same or pay the
current value of the book.
Position in committee
Name of person
Four Faculty members nominated by the Director
Librarian of the Institute
Purchase suggestions:- All SSLA library members are allowed to recommend books. They should mail the librarian regarding book suggestions.
Library Feedback:- Click on this link and fill the form once a year
The student has to visit the SI(DU) website- www.siu.edu.in
For backlog examinations the latest version of the syllabus will be used for paper setting. Hence for a particular examination season the same paper shall be used for both regular and backlog students. Student needs to give undertaking in this regard.
A separate backlog paper will be set only in case of the title/ credits changes
The student will procure the latest syllabus for the Institute/Department and prepare for the backlog examination accordingly.
With prior permission of the Institute/ Department, the student may attend classes to cover new topic with a convenient batch or any arrangement as provided therein.
In case of annual pattern a backlog examination shall be conducted in each of the semester of a year or annually as per rules.
Research is considered to be an essential part of academics in the process of understanding a subject thoroughly. It acts as a means of giving life to individual thoughts and beliefs. Therefore, SSLA encourages all students and faculty to undertake research work. For students, these assume the form of two major submissions in their fourth year, the dissertation and the final year
seminar paper. Research-oriented writing skills are also essential to the completion of their Internship and Community Outreach Project reports.
All students undertake an independent research project, and submit a dissertation as an essential part for the fulfillment of their undergraduate degree program. This project reflects a student’s Major and Minor subject of study.
Student research is thus interdisciplinary in nature, and spans across the major and minor subjects offered at the school, ranging from philosophy to business studies, and from economics to biology.
The rationale behind the final year seminar, is to inspire and equip students to deliberate on themes of their interest in an academic fashion, and to write a paper that satisfies standard academic conventions (substantive and formal).
In order to encourage self-confidence, the final year seminar papers written by students are sent out for publication.
Many of the noted journals including the International Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research, Journal of Integrated Social Sciences, International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, International e-Journal of Advances in Education, and Anthropology and Reinvention: An International Journal of Undergraduate Research, have accepted some of the papers written by students of SSLA, and given them a platform to showcase their research-related writing skills.
Mehak Sudan, Starting Early: Analysing the Impact of Literacy Rates on Financial Literacy Rates in India (April 19, 2019). International Journal of Financial Management Volume 9 Issue 2 April 2019,
Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3438588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3438588
Malavika presented at a conference on her paper titled "Addressing social change through online media". The conference was organized by the Institute of Advanced English Studies, affiliated to Pune University. The paper is due for publication soon. Read more
Alpana Nadagouda represented SSLA at the International Conference of Language, Literature and Culture. It was organised by the Institute of Advanced Studies English, affiliated by Savitribai Phule Pune University. Read more
Her paper, 'The Impact of Mobile Media on Consumer Behaviour and Mobile Marketing Strategies' was accepted and thus, she was invited to present it. Alpana has received a certificate for the same. Additionally, her paper will be published.
Government Funded Research Projects
Year funding was approved
Dr. Manjari Jonnalagadda
To study role of the Melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene in shaping pigmentation variation among tribal and caste populations of West Maharashtra
Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), DST
ACCESS program RELO
Non-Government Funded Research Projects
Dr. Anita Patankar
Healthcare and awareness campaign for underprivileged women in the Bopkhel Community, Pune
The Asia Foundation
Dr. Shanti Shanker, Dr. Edwin van Teijlingen, Dr.Anita Patankar
Understand the maternal health, ageing and wellness in rural India to develop a grassroot centre addressing these issues
Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation UK
To Support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges of economic development and well being faced by developing countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation & Development
SIU Seed Funding: Minor Research Projects
Dr. Shweta Sinha Deshpande
Evolving new belief icons in Contemporary India: Two case studies
Dr. Suchetana Banerjee
Traditions of Devotion: Narratives and Lived Experiences
A relook at the Ganeshwar Jodhpura Culture with a special focus on the Neem ka Thana Tehsil, Sikar district Rajasthan: an exploration and ethnography project
Dr. Sumithra Surendralal, Dr. Renu Vinod
Documenting Perceptions, Strategies, and Practices of Teachers in Non-Formal Education (NFE): A Pilot Study of Khelghar, Pune
Elections are glorified experiments. In democracies today, they are at the very least, models of public ambitions, goals and desires. Lest we forget, the elected are representative abstractions of the prevailing nature of the larger phenomenon namely, the electorate. Nothing mobilizes and at the same time represents public will more than an election. The race to the White House last year was touted as the ‘Election to Save Science’ and indeed the front runner journal in the discipline, Nature ran an editorial titled ‘On November 3, Vote to End Attacks on Science‘. Readers were urged – “Instead of thinking about whether to vote Democratic or Republican in the upcoming U.S. election, think about voting to protect science instead of destroying it.” ("Vote, for science!," 2020). Few disagreed that the Trump administration over its tenure had dealt a significant blow to progress in the area via often simultaneous articulations such as substantial funding cuts (J. Mervis, 2020a and 2020b) and a sustained disinformation campaign on media platforms, often involving the President himself (Motta, Stecula, & Farhart, 2020; Tollefson, 2020) and so on. Similar notes of caution had already been sounded in 2018 with the Brazilian (Escobar, 2018; Tollefson, 2018) and Italian (Abbott, 2018) Presidential Elections. The recent handling of the COVID19 pandemic by countries under right-wing dispensation has starkly brought this troubled relationship between the Sciences and policy makers into glaring focus (Leonhardt, 2020). Suddenly, the very relevance of the enterprise of science within societies appears to be fragile to say the least.
Soft Power, according to Jospeh Nye, Jr, who coined the term, is the ability to achieve desired outcomes in international affairs through attraction rather than coercion. Traditionally, cultural and literary exchanges through various festivals, sports – especially like cricket and table-tennis and grants for higher education, have been used as tools of soft power. However, over the past decade, medicine as a tool or currency for diplomacy has become a game-changer in International Relations. USA, China and Cuba have already successfully implemented healthcare or medical diplomacy as an integral part of their foreign policy. UK is also looking at using their well-established NHS as the way forward. However, as far as India is concerned, while health/medical tourism is a watchword for India, and India has sent medical support as part of humanitarian aid to different parts of the world, in response to various natural calamities and other situations, including engaging in vaccine diplomacy during the pandemic, we are yet to formalize a strategy or policy on healthcare diplomacy. Given the absence of any formalised policy for medical or healthcare diplomacy in India, the purpose of this paper is to explore whether India can use medicine/healthcare as a currency to advance its interests in the present international order; and whether healthcare diplomacy can be incorporated as a strategy and an instrument of soft power in India’s foreign policy concerns.
Philosophers through the ages have attempted to probe beyond the appearance of things into the nature of reality, seeking ultimate truth. In investigating the labyrinths of one’s mind, as one watches the play of the senses and its restless tricks and our seemingly solid ground perpetually shifts moment to moment in its own impermanence. This investigation into the nature and experience of ultimate reality will point to the construction and dismantling of the deep delusions in the way the mind sees, makes meaning and engages with the ‘self’ and ‘other’. Our perception of our reality, although a fabrication of thought-abstractions and mental projections, has ethical implications, and influences how we relate to one another and our world. In the midst of a pandemic, a study of the mind and nature of reality, has immediate implications for the world that we share with other people and plays a role in how we construct our collective future. This study will present the intricate mind-sprung constructedness of the veil that obscures our seeing of reality. It will investigate the nature of reality as emptiness, guided by Buddhism and insights found in the poetry of Lal Ded and Kabir. It will go on to outline tools offered by Buddhism, Lal Ded and Kabir to rend this veil, leading to the realisation of emptiness.
A nation’s security policy is essentially aimed at creating and sustaining the space -
regionally and globally - which enables it to pursue its national interests. Devising such a policy requires an assessment
of external environment, the nature and intensity of the threat as well as the means, both internal and external, to mitigate such
a threat. It is therefore a critical instrument to understand the nature of threats and the avenues and approaches applied by the
State to deal with it. India is a diverse democracy with multiplicity of political actors at play. The most visible of those are
the political parties, both regional and national, who are prime drivers of the public discourse and also of the public policy.
In the initial years after the independence, this diversity was relatively less pronounced at the policy level given the prominence
of the Congress party which ruled at the centre as well as in the majority of the states. The single-party dominance implied a
relatively one-dimensional approach to policy making. This was true also in case of making of security policy.
The one party-dominance started fading in the mid-seventies, essentially after the emergency, and the phenomenon of coalition of
political parties to form government started gaining currency. The coalition inevitably meant a multi-dimensional approach to policy
to satisfy the multiple and at time conflicting interests of the coalition partners. The diversity thus started getting pronounced at
the policy level as well. This diversity of political opinions and resulting lack of consensus is reflected also in the making of
security policy. There is no unanimity in the political class, for instance, in the approach to deal with the Pakistan or China,
arguably the two most significant strategic challenges facing India. Similarly, there are differing approach to deal with terrorism
and the insurgencies as well. The advent of coalition governments compounded this effect of the differing opinions. The proposed
study intends to study comprehensively the dynamics of Coalition Governments and its impact on the making of Security Policy in India. It bases on the primary assumption that a nuanced study, which incorporates the variables such as ideological inclinations of the coalition partners, political capital, the nature of the leadership along with the contemporary structural environment, is imperative to have a comprehensive study of Security Policy Making in India.
Dissent is an integral part of political life. Liberal democracies protect the right to
dissent by enshrining the freedom of speech and expression in their constitutions, and the judiciary is tasked with the
responsibility of protecting such political rights. In practice though, the protection of these rights is substantially
conditioned by the existing political discourse, and what judges think of the individuals seeking legal recourse to protect
their rights. In contemporary India, similar agitations have been dealt with differently by courts. This seems affected by not
merely the constitutional or legal questions involved in the case, but also by what the judges think of the ‘protester.’
This paper enquires into the image of the ‘good protester’ – someone who’s right to dissent needs to be
protected and their grievances attended to – as seen in the judgments relating to anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) agitations and farmers’ protests.
Even when the Government of India was explicitly opposed to both expressions of dissent, the Supreme Court’s handling of cases relating to the two
agitations was substantially different. On the one hand, the Supreme Court refused to stay the CAA and has not even begun hearings on the pending case relating to
the constitutional validity of the act. On the other, the court “stayed the implementation” of the three laws farmers were opposed to on grounds that have
been questioned by legal experts. What is also noteworthy is the image of the ‘protester’ in these judgments. In the Shaheen Bagh case, possibly the most
well-known of the anti-CAA agitations, the Supreme Court held that women protesters “appeared to no longer have the ability to call off the protest themselves”
and “a huge periphery comprising male protestors, volunteers and bystanders... seemed to have a stake in the continuance of the blockade of the road” thus
professionalising the protester and disassociating them from the cause (Amit Sahni v. Commissioner of Police & Others, 2020, para 10). On the other hand, in the
judgment on the farmers’ protests, the Supreme Court of explicitly stated the following: “Laudably, the farmers have so far carried on the agitation
peacefully and without any untoward incident (Rakesh Vaishnav & Others v. Union of India & Others, 2021, para 6 [emphasis added]). Thus, the image of the
protester is notably different in these judgments. This paper undertakes a textual analysis of the judgments relating to the two agitations to comprehend the image of the
protester underlying this jurisprudence. A study of this image of the protester is important because it has significant impact on the broader public debate, and also
influences lower courts’ approach to similar cases.ReferencesAmit Sahni v. Commissioner of Police & Others, 2020. Supreme
Court of India.Rakesh Vaishnav & Others v. Union of India & Others, 2021. Supreme Court of India.
My graduate research was to assemble a history of the eastern borderlands of the United States and Canada by
using a route system as the central artefact. The ‘Canada Road’ was a network in the northern Appalachian Mountains
that linked the Arctic, Atlantic and Mississippi worlds. The project took ten years of archeological and geographic fieldwork,
coupled with detailed oral history and archival research in North America and Europe. It revealed a history that had been all but forgotten.
My American advisors told me it was an ‘impossible’ topic and suggested I change it, but my French advisors told me to proceed,
since it was an excellent example of histoire totale, an interdisciplinary study. The project therefore had significance in its methodology and
its theoretical approaches, as much as in its topic. We established a research collection of informants materials and primary documents at the
University of Maine, while the work also led to the commemoration of the route by the United States and Canadian governments. I am in the final
stages of a book on this work – Backwoods Globalization:
The Canada Road System of North America, from Pangea to the Present.
"This project aims to document the lyrical expressions of the migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar nested in Kolkata.
The soundscape of Kolkata contains a so called deshwali dhun – unfortunately can’t be translated to country music,
which is always there, and remains unnoticed. The migrant labourers from the upland practice their music(s) on the pavements,
in roadside temples, in dingy blind lanes, almost in every possible place throughout the year. The form of lyric that concern
this project is kajri,the most popular form of poetry that can encountered on the streets of Kolkata. This research aims to
analyze kajris that one hears on the footpaths of Kolkata by the deshwalis who try to forge a link with their ‘desh’ through these
songs. An expression that takes them back home, lightens them from the burdens of migration when they establish a home in bidesh
through a community of verses, songs and performances. Kajri is important to document because it can be read as an eminent example
poetry rooted in history, culture, region, spirituality and an emotional representation of village life.
The outcome of this project will lead to a set of archival quality audio/video recordings that can provide material for a
documentary and a monograph which might serve as an authentic source for future research in cultural studies, literary studies
and migration studies."
Skin pigmentation due to its conspicuous nature has been the focus of numerous anthropological
investigations both historically and in current times. With the availability of empirical measuring devices that are based on
reflectance of incident light, it is now possible to record quantitative measure of melanin levels in populations, revealing a
true picture of nature of pigmentation diversity that exists between populations. Likewise, characterisation of genetic variants influencing
skin pigmentation diversity in populations is revealing the complex nature of this phenotype. This presentation will contextualise the need for
need for skin pigmentation studies focusing on pigmentation diversity in South Asian populations and highlight some of the results and their implications
that have emerged over the 3 projects undertaken by me. I. Skin Pigmentation diversity in West Maharashtra (Completed): this project investigated the
skin pigmentation diversity in among 6 populations of west Maharashtra. The objective was to assess if populations occupying a small geographical zone exhibit
uniform pigmentation profiles as they are all exposed to uniform environmental conditions. Results reveal that pigmentation varies in populations from varied social
groups. Caste populations show lower melanin levels as compared to tribal populations. 3 (SLC24A5, SLC45A2 and TYR) genes were identified to be associated with melanin
levels, of which 1 SLC24A5 was significant after controlling for population and social group as covariates.II. Identify signatures of positive selection in
pigmentation genes among South Asian populations (completed) – whole genome scan to identify pigmentation genes that show positive selection. Results highlight
3 previously un-associated genes to show significant association in South Asian populations. These genes are involved in melanosome transport and could be possible
candidate genes.III. MC1R diversity in West Maharashtra (Ongoing) – This project looks at examining sequence diversity at MC1R to assess if this gene
plays an important role in determining the pigmentation of an individual in West Maharashtra populations. Mutations in MC1R are associated with a decrease in skin
pigmentation, melanoma, freckling, and red/blond hair. It is seen that variation at MC1R has been constrained in high UVR populations due to purifying selection,
however, Recent studies in Africans by (Crawford et al. 2017; Martin et al. 2017) have shown high frequency of alleles contributing to light skin, warranting the
need for a closer examination of genes controlling skin color diversity in dark skinned populations such as South Asians.
Scholarship on gender and science in India largely does not emphasize distinctions between the various subfields of the natural sciences and mathematics. However, there are crucial distinctions between disciplines such as biology, geology, physics, chemistry, etc. both from an epistemological standpoint, as well as from the standpoint of the particular set of social, cultural, political considerations guiding the growth of a discipline. The gender disparity in the field of physics research is stark in India. According to a recent report (Resmi et al, 2019), on average, about 19% of tenured physics faculty in universities in India are women, while in research institutions the corresponding percentage is only 11%. Studies (Barinaga, 1994; Hasse, 2009) indicate that there is a need to understand such gaps in representation in the sciences in the context of specific cultures, since there are country-specific deviations in patterns of representation. Götschel (2011) suggests three dimensions along which questions of gender and physics can be discussed, namely those of human actors, workplace cultures, and knowledge production. In India, several organized bodies have been constituted to deliberate on the status of women in physics (or the sciences more broadly), and it is worthwhile to examine their cognizance of the three dimensions and the weightage they allocate to each in their vision of a more inclusive future for the practice of physics in India. Through semi-structured interviews with members of some of these organized bodies, wepropose to report the orientations and priorities of those leading such endeavours.ReferencesBarinaga, M. (1994). Surprises across the cultural divide. Science, 263(5152), 1468-1470.https://doi.org/10.1126/science.263.5152.1468Götschel, H. (2011). The entanglement of gender and physics: Human actors, workplacecultures, and knowledge production. Science & Technology Studies.https://sciencetechnologystudies.journal.fi/article/view/55270Hasse, C. in Chapter 5 In O. Skovsmose, P. Valero, & O. R. Christensen (Eds.), UniversityScience and Mathematics Education in Transition. Springer US.https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-09829-6Resmi, L., Shastri, P., Goswami, S., Pandey, P., Nanal, V., Kharb, P., ... & Chatterjee, S. (2019,June). Gender status in the Indian physics profession and the way forward. In AIPConference Proceedings (Vol. 2109, No. 1, p. 050019). AIP Publishing LLC.https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5110093
"The study based in Simla district in India, discusses how cultural systems permeate every dimension of rural life in villages
in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the country. The deity cult gives meaning and purpose to people's lives and has significance in community bonding.
It is also important for co-operation and ecological conservation. The study goes on to discuss how women in the selected villages relate to Sita, a female
Goddess who is venerated in different parts of India, with different meanings attached to her. In many of the surveyed villages, she is worshipped as the
goddess who protects water sources, and is a custodian of women's indigenous knowledge around water and soil conservation, and of women's significance to
agriculture and agricultural based livelihoods. In other surveyed villages, agriculture's decline, has led to a decline in the significance of women as
contributors to the households' resources, as also to a change in the meaning attached to Sita. Social issues (along with gendered contexts) define the
relationship with each other, with ecology and with gods and goddesses. "
Migration does not take place in a social, cultural, political and institutional void (de Haas 2008).
It is socially embedded and culturally informed within the transnational social field of the sending and receiving
communities creating a ‘culture of migration’ embedding economic and cultural values to the aspiration and
inclination of mobility (Glick-Schiller, Basch and Blanc, 1992; Levitt, 2001; Kandel and Massey, 2002; Jónsson, 2008).
Transnational networks influence not just the life of immigrants but also the communities and countries of origin in all
socio-cultural aspects including religion. It builds social fields in the form of social remittance that are transformed to social
capital which is aspired by the non-migrant. The transnational experience of the non-migrant leads to new aspirations among
individuals and families strengthening old traditions of migration, while also reinforcing new paths and destinations.
This need to immerse and embrace the global cultural economy has resulted in the ‘culture of migration’ in the
Doab region of Punjab over the last century. While there is an increase in the non-Jat, migrations out of Punjab,
the opportunities are restricted for the unskilled to low paid and temporary jobs which are insecure and individualised. The unskilled aspirant with low social and financial capital takes the burden of limiting possibilities of mobility leading to a state of ‘involuntary immobility’ (Carling, 2002) within a culture of migration. The non-migrant while not moving spaces through physical mobility, is nevertheless engaged with changed contexts of living experiences and expectations. Migration literature however, does not account for the experiences of the non-migrant and the social fields that they engage with. For a complete understanding of the migration network, the paper presents an ethnographic account of the economic, social and psychological dimensions of the aspirant’s departure context outlining the negotiations and renegotiations with human and beyond human mechanisms further promoting a culture of mobility among populations. The current research adds to the Indian experience of transnationalism and the culture of migration in the region of Punjab by exploring the socio-economic and religious intersections of a population with a long tradition and history of migration. The work outlines a certain degree of emotional and psychological gravity that permeates the cultural and social space of the region through accounts of people’s aspirations, in context of the multi-million-dollar migration industry and the influence it has on the narratives established with media, employment and educational opportunities and everyday lived experiences including religion as a coping mechanism in dealing with the problems and hurdles of migration reiterating the global realities within localised fields.ReferencesCarling, J. 2002. “Migration in the age of involuntary immobility”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 28(1): pp.5-42.de Haas, Hein. 2010. “Migration and development. A theoretical perspective”. International Migration Review, 44(1): pp227-264Glick-Schiller. Nina, Linda Basch and Cristina Szanton Blanc. 1992. “Towards a transnational perspective on migration: race, class, ethnicity, and nationalism reconsidered”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Volume 645, New York Academy of Sciences.Jonsson, G. 2008. Migration Aspirations and Immobility in a Malian Soninke Village, Working Paper 10. International Migration Institute James Martin 21st century School University of OxfordKandel, W. and Massey, D.S. 2002. “The Culture of Mexican Migration: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis”. Social Forces, March, 80(3): pp. 981-1004.Levitt, Peggy 2001 Transnational Migration: Comparative Perspectives, Paper presented at Workshop Wellesley College and Harvard, University on June 30- July 1, 2001. Princeton University