Reflections

Reflections; of the past to help you see what you’ve outgrown, betraying the remnants of the past that chained you to the then toxic present, to the ones that blurred your vision of liberation and evolution;

Reflections; of the present, of the tiny run ins of the mundane routine, of the ones that has taken it’s most robust shape, tangled in the doubts of the ‘what ifs’ that will lead to a tomorrow;

Reflections; of the ever uncertain mystery and of the inevitable efforts to try and determine it’s course, of the constant ‘maybes’ and ‘one days’ and ‘only then’ lying in wait, in the hopes of just being able to utter the word ‘finally’;

Reflections; a little bit of each one and enough of each one lined up to contribute to the amalgamation of what may someday see the light of day and gain it’s title.

_Grace Sangma

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MOOC’S

Contemporary Japanese Society: What has been happening behind demographic change?

Engaging with other communities is very important, as no person is self sufficient nor can he live in isolation. As such studying about our neighboring countries in order to maintain relations in the world scenario is inevitable.Here is a Massive Open Online Course(mooc) for those who feel the constant urge to enhance their knowledge about world politics. It is a course offered by University of Tokyo with a course duration of 6 weeks under Social Science.

This course will help an individual have a basic knowledge of how the structural aspects of the Japanese society has changed or remained unchanged since Post World War II?; and How the Japanese society has transited from a homogeneous society to a class- divided society?;and How Japan has impacted Asia and other societies through industrialization? It will provide an individual the generic idea (a)of the role of gender and family in basic livelihood and community in Japan,(b) the Social security system and a comparison of the declining individual dependency on family and(c) the generation of social inequality in Japan. Lastly it helps in developing an awareness of similarities and differences between the social problems affecting many advanced capitalist societies.

This course will help an individual to think actively about how these social problems can be alleviated.

Castes of Minds

The ‘book Castes of Minds’ is an attempt to understand the different ideas of caste and how it is interpreted by different people. If we look at the current scenario in India we see how big a role caste plays in determining the rule of power, policy making , distribution of power and jobs, development processes and in our daily activities. Therefore, in order to analyse the impact of caste in decision making today, it is imperative to the understand the robust form that caste has taken over the years.

The book analyses the meaning of caste interpreted by different people through different time periods – by the Christian missionaries during colonial rule, by Mackenzie,etc. The book also highlights the role of colonial rule that pushed ‘caste’ to take a stern identity that it has today to help it sustain and not be malleable. Also it argues that had caste remained a religious institution it would have perished, but the fact that it transformed into a social institution is what accentuated it’s existence and impact.

Sources- Castes of Mind by Nicholas. B. Dirks

Ted Talks on Pursuit of Soft Power

In a context where power is determined by dominance and violence is used to gain control, it is very easy to think that a country is a superpower in the international world order. A country like India, which is moving steadily to become a superpower through trade, politics, technology, food and music has the ability to attract other countries through it’s rich culture. The term ‘soft power’ was then born, which simply meant – a country’s ability to influence the hearts and minds of the world. A country should not just focus on being a world leader, but should ask the necessary questions of what constitutes a world leader?

Therefore in the long run it isn’t the military muscle that should be celebrated, but the pursuit of soft power by transforming themselves through development in all aspects of life is what should be achieved.

Sources- Ted talks – Why nations should pursue ‘soft power’? – Shashi Tharoor

What is Science?

The question of science whenever asked in the most generic form is followed by responses or ideas associated with exact sciences whose experiments can be conducted in a laboratory and expressions of disregard towards social sciences like economics and sociology.
The article ‘ What is Science?’,by George Orwell, addresses this misconception about science that people have developed over time. The basic meaning of science is ‘the study of the natural world based on facts learnt through experiments and observations’. Therefore when we say that one should be scientifically educated, it does not mean merely having knowledge of the exact sciences, instead it means acquiring the ability to study,analyse and develop an experimental mind towards different subjects. It also says that if science is limited only to the understanding of natural sciences it may tend to do more harm than good as it also indicates dominance of subjects, profession and disparity in the society .

Therefore,it is a must read in order to develop a skeptical mind as it allows us to see science through a rational lens.

References: What is Science? by George Orwell

The Science and Technology Policy of India

The human desire to move away from stagnancy towards development is a gift in itself that doesn’t seem to stop giving. Likewise advancement in Science and Technology in India to boost her growth and development has been evident since time immemorial. The first policy related to Science and Technology was introduced in 1958. Since then in India, from basic research of sciences to developing and availing infrastructure for it’s development, from achievement of technological competence and self-reliance to integrated socio-economic sectors and development systems to address national problems, it’s emphasis has transacted.

Over the recent past India declared the decade 2010-2020 as the ‘Decade of Innovation’.Therefore it has ignited scientific temper in the young minds of all social strata and has further encouraged the application of these scientific research in the innovation of systems that promote economic growth.

However despite so many efforts there still remains certain limitations like inadequate financial assistance to innovators in the informal sector. Also the accessibility of the policy documents and knowledge about it is not as much as it was presupposed and the language of it’s delivery must further be elucidated.

References : Science and Technology Policy of India