Indian Institute of Advanced Study To Debate Caste Politics

Shimla: With 12 overseas scholars participating, the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), along with the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London and South Asian Studies Council, MacMillan Centre, Yale University, is holding a three day conference on “Changes in Caste Hierarchies in Rural India and their Political Implications”.

Starting from Wednesday (June 1), this conference would be the first event of what will later become the Shimla Retreat, a tripartite initiative of the three intuitions, to have an Annual Conference on India at Shimla, said Ashok Sharma, spokesman for IIAS.

The purpose of this initiative is to explore the different aspects of the transformation that is under way in democratic India.

The theme for this year’s conference is to explore how the democratic journey has impacted the caste structure and how, perhaps, its forms have changed under pressure from democracy’s egalitarian thrust, he said.

About 50 scholars, of whom twelve participants from University of London, Yale University and UNDP are expected to, participate in the deliberations.

Scholars who are schedule to be part of the Shimla Retreat first tripartite initiative include professor James Manor, Professor Abram de Swaan, Professor John Harris, Professor Robin Jaffry, Professor K Sivaramakrishnan, Professor Steve Wilkinson, Ms Catlinn Wiesen, Professor Sukhdev Thorat, Professor Sudha Pai, BN Yugandhar, KB Saxena, Professor N Jayaram, Professor Surinder Jodhka, Professor DL Sheth, Professor Parmjit Singh Judge, Professor Ghanshyam Shah, and K Gopal Iyer.

Chairman of IIAS BL Mungekar, himself a scholar and an MP is to inaugurate the conference.

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