This innovative and pioneering networking project was initiated by University College London (UCL) in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. The project objective is to engage and network with UK and India based scholars to focus on discrimination and distress among students from marginalized communities in higher education. Various reports and studies highlight discrimination and cultural psychological distress in Indian tertiary education. Yet this issue has received little attention in social sciences and mental health disciplines. To date, interventions to address such suffering remains undocumented in published literature. Insights generated from this project will be followed, subject to funding, by a major research programme to systematically address distress among marginalised communities in higher education and pilot an intervention with the help of cross-disciplinary collaborators.
The current project is funded by the British Academy - International Partnership and Mobility Grant, 2016-17. http://www.britac.ac.uk/
The project’s primary aim is to develop an academic networks among scholars working in disciplines that address the stated objective. Two intensive focus group discussions among staff and students, on caste and well-being, were held in September 2016, at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. To engage with doctoral students, a master class workshop on Caste and Well-Being was conducted by Dr. Sushrut Jadhav, Dr. Amit Thorat, Dr. Sumeet Jain and Professor David Mosse. A similar workshop is planned in 2017 at University College London.
Our goal is to develop future research questions by initiating discussions though blogs, websites, webinars, conferences, publications, policy briefs, and newspaper editorials - in local, national and international settings. Of equal importance is to explore the role of social media and the feasibility of an interactive mobile app for reporting and receiving support related to caste based discrimination, and hosting a TED talk. A summary of results from this research will be made available to the local and national press, university and academic communities involved in the study, as well as various other stakeholders. Those wishing to join our academic e-discussion list, ‘Minds of Caste’, can register through the tab on the home page.