Contemporary India: development challenges and perspectives

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Development Studies

Module overview

Students studying on the MSc Development Studies (India Pathway) as well as other Master's students on other programmes, will take this course as a foundation in the study of India  from a social science perspective. The syllabus will cover a breadth and depth of contemporary cutting-edge issues which will be covered through both conceptually rigorous means but also through applied and methodological ways.

The course will introduce students to current topics, methods and debates specifically related to the study of contemporary India. Students will be exposed to key themes and debates and will be expected to acquire a good understanding of how different types and methods of research inform the study of contemporary India.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module


On successful completion of the course, a student will be able to:

  • comprehend key themes and debates related to societies in contemporary India
  • apply critical analysis of arguments and findings of research in relation to how theory and methods are applied
  • have developed an understanding of interdisciplinary, social science approaches to contemporary issues pertaining to contemporary India



Scope and syllabus


Some themes to be covered in the course will be:

  • Populism in Indian Politics
  • Digital Activism
  • Borders
  • Diaspora, globalisation and transnationalism
  • Student politics and Indian universities
  • Sexuality and the state
  • Feminisation of Labour
  • Informal Sector
  • Biopolitics and women's 'rights'
  • Religious boundaries: minorities and majorities
  • Hindutva Old and New
  • Politics of Caste/Dalit Politics
  • Agrarian Crisis


Method of assessment


Reaction paper portfolio (800 words each x 3)  - 40%
Essay - 50%
Oral presentation - 10%



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