Malcolm Adiseshiah Award presented - The New Indian Express

Malcolm Adiseshiah Award presented

Published: 24th November 2012 10:52 AM

Last Updated: 24th November 2012 10:52 AM

The Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies was presented to Professor Satish Deshpande, Professor  and Head, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics and Dean, faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi here on Wednesday.

Instituted by the Malcolm and Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust, the award is given to a mid career scholar who has made outstanding contributions to their field. Based on nominations by distinguished experts, an independent jury recommends the award that includes a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a citation.

Delivering the annual Malcolm Adiseshiah Memorial Lecture, Prof Satish spoke about India’s obsession with the lower castes. This has made the so-called upper castes invisible, he said.

He used an internet joke that ridicules the extent of influence reservations have in the country: “India decided to send a space exploration team to the moon. Negotiations began immediately on who would go, and after much haggling it was decided to include nine OBCs, six SCs, three STs, and if there’s any place left, two astronauts.”

He used this to illustrate that caste has no bearing on the qualifications of a person; while those who endorsed quotas too have qualifications, it is irrelevant to their caste.

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