Syllabi and Textbooks of Political Science: Three Notes

AuthorGauri Kopardekar,Mirza Asmer Beg,Shailendra Kharat
Date01 June 2014
Published date01 June 2014
Subject MatterTeaching-Learning Politics in India
Military-Madrasa-Mullah Complex 99
India Quarterly, 66, 2 (2010): 133–149
A Global Threat 99
Teaching-Learning Politics in India*
Syllabi and Textbooks of Political
Science: Three Notes
The opening note of this section in the first issue of the SIP addressed the disconnect between the
contemporary vibrancy of research in the area of Indian politics and the teaching practices of the disci-
pline in most of the ‘academic hinterlands’ that constitute the bulk of the political science teaching.
In our attempt to take ahead this discussion, we present here short notes from three teachers/researchers
located in different state universities who share their day-to-day experiences of teaching political science
and raise important issues regarding syllabi framing, textbook writing and teaching practices.
(Section editor)
1. Teaching the Courses on Indian Politics
Shailendra Kharat
(Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Pune.
Studies of Indian politics constitute a major part of teaching and learning political science in India. It is
not only a familiar terrain for the students in Indian universities but also perhaps constitutes the most
significant vantage point for students to understand and relate to the enterprise of politics and also
of doing meaningful political science. How is the sub-discipline of Indian politics taught in Indian
universities? We try to understand this in the following survey of the courses on Indian Politics in a
few Indian universities (The universities included in our sample are Maharaja Sayajirao University of
Baroda; Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad; Shivaji University, Kolhapur;
University of Mysore; Mohanlal Sukhadiya University, Udaipur; University of Kashmir and University
of Delhi). Most state universities in India have the practice whereby a committee frames the syllabus
for the subject concerned and the same is taught—for a specified time period—in colleges affiliated to
that university.
The syllabus thus ‘prescribed’ for a course is an important indicator of the nature of training the stu-
dents are likely to undergo in the current institutional context. Historically, for a long time, the courses
on Indian politics have been centred on understanding of institutions and structures rather than introduc-
ing the students to the fluidities of the processes. However, fortunately, that situation seems to have
changed as far as the structuring of the courses in Indian politics is concerned. Following Rudolphs’
This section is coordinated by Rajeshwari Deshpande (
Studies in Indian Politics
2(1) 99–104
© 2014 Lokniti, Centre for the
Study of Developing Societies
SAGE Publications
Los Angeles, London,
New Delhi, Singapore,
Washington DC
DOI: 10.1177/2321023014526097

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