India’s Educational Thinking, Aims and School Curriculum: A Critical Look

  • Arup Maharatna


As indicated in the preceding chapter, there can be no denying that a rapid transformation—ideational, attitudinal, social and cultural—towards reasoned rationality, democratic spirits and humanistic secularism serves as a foundation for modern economic growth, along with sustained scientific and technological progress and sociopolitical stability. And this sociocultural-ideational-attitudinal modernization was historically achieved, in a large measure, through a crucial agency of universal elementary education and literacy. Most of the lately industrialized (ex-colonial) countries (with perhaps few, if any, exceptions), which could successfully bring about sustained modern economic growth and development, began the journey with an initial emphasis/initiatives on achieving universal primary education and schooling (e.g. the East Asian countries). This was so with a view both to enhancing a country’s overall human capability/capital necessary for materialization of modern economic growth and to transforming citizens’ ideational make-up and attitudes in the direction of a more rational secular mould. But strangely enough the post-Independence India’s political leadership, as has been shown in the preceding chapter, chose to deviate persistently from this pragmatic time-tested route to development by postponing for long such momentous projects as universalization of primary education, people’s ideational modernization and secularization. This has, at least partly, been a fallout of an unwavering dominance of the Nehruvian perception (backed often tacitly by other influential quarters at the time) that people’s modern mind, outlook and attitudes would emerge almost inevitably as a by-product of large-scale modern industrialization, economic development and technological upgradation, with no need for distinctively independent (preceding or simultaneous) initiatives for the former.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Arup Maharatna
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarKolkataIndia

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