Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion (CSDE)
The Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion (CSDE) is a unique institutional space created within the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University to study the structures and processes of exclusion and discrimination. Social exclusion is a multidimensional process that detaches individuals and groups from social relations and institutions and makes it impossible for them to participate in various aspects of economic, social and political life. The centre also recognizes the methodological relevance of discourse analysis for our understanding of various dimensions of discrimination and the way they are sustained in everyday social practices. The focus of this centre is to enable further research on present and future sites of discrimination and exclusion that adversely affect social groups like dalits, tribals and religious minorities.
Need for establishment of such centres
In 2002, Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, then the Dean, School of Social Sciences, mooted the idea of a programme to study discrimination and exclusion and a committee with Professor Romila Thapar (Chair) and Professors S. K. Thorat, T.K. Oommen, Ghanshyam Shah, Abhijit Sen, and Zoya Hasan (convenor) recommended the introduction of a programme with focus on discrimination and exclusion on the basis of caste, tribe, and religion. It was widely recognized that the primary space where exclusion can be studied and transcended is the universities which can and must further research on this issue as it has theoretical and policy implications. Moreover the center would be able to bring together the comparative and multi-interdisciplinary framework necessary for a teaching and research programme that would study discrimination and exclusion given its diverse structural roots and varied forms and manifestations in different social and economic spheres.
The Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion (PSDE) was established in 2005 to document and analyse discrimination and exclusion in Indian society. The PSDE was notified as the Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion (CSDE) on 23rd April, 2012. During the last several years, the CSDE (formerly PSDE) has expanded its institutional base and resources by taking advantage of the UGC Scheme for the establishment of Centres for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP).
Dr Geetha B. Nambissan, Professor, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, JNU was chairperson of CSDE till August 2012.
The objectives of the centre are :
- To conceptualise discrimination and exclusion based on caste, tribe and religion
- To offer academic programmes that focus on Discrimination and Exclusion
- To undertake research on discrimination and exclusion of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and minorities in Indian society
- To engage in detailed and critical analysis of socio-economic data generated by government agencies and to study policies and programmes for inclusion
- To document, collate and generate information and facts on the experiences and outcomes of discrimination and conditions and processes of exclusion of members of these groups
- To have community outreach and networking with research institutions, universities and NGOs
- To organise seminars, lectures and workshops.
It is widely acknowledged that discrimination occurs in public institutions, legal systems, universities and health services, as well as social institutions like the household. For these reasons the thrust of the research done is on how discrimination and social exclusion keep individuals and marginalised social groups outside power centres. More specifically, the focus of CSDE is primarily on discrimination and exclusion on the basis of caste, tribe and religion that locks out social groups from full participation in the economic, social, political and cultural life of Indian society. The research interest of the Centre is on the study of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Minorities, keeping in mind intersectionalities such as class, gender, region and so on.