Oct 17th 2016

Contemporary India (Coursera)

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This course presents some important vignettes of a complex, highly diverse India that is also witnessing unprecedented changes since its formal independence in 1947 from Great Britain. The lectures revolve around social dimensions of change, the continuing influence of ancient texts on contemporary India, political democracy, economic transition from the state to the market, gender relations, India's economic globalisation and changing world view.

While one of the objectives is to capture the multifaceted process of change, the course also critically examines some of the tensions inherent in these changes. For example, how does gender inequality play itself out in a changing Indian society, how do the modernist conceptions of art entailing market valuation challenge the more socio-centric values found in South India, what are the politics linguistic identities, and how might India address its myriad development challenges such as poverty and unemployment.

No specific prior knowledge is required. However, it would be helpful if students are aware of the socio political dynamics at play in contemporary India and keep themselves abreast with current affairs and debates in the country to fully appreciate the various dimensions and contours if the subject matter in the course.