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Public, Private and Education in India: A Historical Overview

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Diane Caldwell-Hird.

Most often contemporary discussions about the ‘public’ and the ‘private’ in the context of education remain focused on their distinct source of funding, ownership and management of educational institutions. Further, in such discussions, ‘state’ and ‘non-state’ are treated as homogenous and synonymous with ‘public’ and ‘private’ respectively. These deliberations assume that these categories have a singular and unchanging meaning, are mutually exclusive binaries with strong boundaries and have no internal plurality. This paper undertakes a historical interrogation of the meanings, varieties and interactions of public, private and education in India from the colonial period to the period before 1970s. It examines how categories of public and private were deployed in colonial India and locates public and private schools and actors in relation to larger social processes and forces.

This talk is part of the REAL Centre series.

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