Political Science

The department of Political Science strives to introduce a variety of activities and events to the students, which are both informative and provide a memorable experience for them. These activities are organised through The Xavier’s Political Science Association (XPSA), an elected body of students from FYBA, SYBA and TYBA.  The theme for the academic year 2018-19 was, “The Idea of Identity” and this theme was the core of all the events and activities conducted throughout the year.

We began our activities with an interactive session, with Lieutenant Commander Mr. Harinder Sikka, the author of ‘Calling Sehmat’, which was adapted for the famous Hindi movie ‘Razzi.’ He enlightened us with his discussion on his experiences with the awe-inspiring Sehmat , spiritualism and patriotism. A very motivating speaker, Mr Sikka, guided the students on dealing with challenges in life. 

The annual Parimal K. Shroff National Essay Writing Competition, was held in the month of September with the topic, “Politics of Identity”. We received entries from undergraduate students from all over the country and cash prizes was given to three best essays.

Another event that was held in September was a research paper writing workshop by Professor Kannamma Raman, who  spoke about the various aspects of writing a research paper and the key components of a good research. 

A National Seminar was held on 15thNovember 2018, titled “Article 35 A- Conflict of Identities & Violation of Fundamental Rights”.  It was an interactive session with victims of Article 35 A, who came from Jammu Kashmir, as well as senior lawyers and other experts. The speakers were - Adv. R. K. Raizada, (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Additional Advocate General, Uttarakhand), Adv. Rajeev Pandey, (Advocate, Supreme Court and Bombay High Court), Mr. Gharu Bhati and Ms. Radhika Gill, representing the Valmiki community, Mr. Labba Ram Gandhi and Mr. Sukhdev Singh, who represented the West Pakistan Refugees, and Mr. Kamakhya Narayan Singh, (Director- Travel Xp channel and documentary maker), whose documentary  on35 A was screened. Very little information is available in public domain about the issues of the victims of 35 A and hence the seminar was an eye opener to the crisis at hand as the reality of the hardships faced by the people of Jammu Kashmir was brought to light. The legal expert elucidated the constitutional and legal aspects of this issue while Mr. Singh discussed the human rights aspect by discussing his documentary. 

On 4th January2019 the XPSA, in association with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, hosted an interactive session with Ms. Petal Gahlot, an alumnus of our department, who is an IFS office and currently working in the office of Indian Embassy in USA. The session was part of an initiative ‘SAMEEP – Students and MEA Engagement Programme’, to engage with the youth at all possible levels. Ms. Gahlot gave an insight on ‘Avenues of Diplomacy and Foreign Policy’. She also spoke about the preparation and practice that goes into writing a civil service exam. Her openness about her challenges in her career gave the audience an honest view of what civil service is all about. It was a very fruitful exercise for the students who wish to pursue a career in Civil Service. 

In the same month, the XPSA organised its flagship event, Intercollegiate Youth Parliament with the topic “Do We Need Uniform Civil Code?” Uniform Civil Code has been a point of debate for years and XPSA presented a platform to the participants to Reason, Rebut, Resolve and step into the shoes of the policy makers and voice their opinion. Students, both in-house and from other colleges enthusiastically participated in this event.

A group of seven students from TYBA, visited villages in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, as part of field visit for their final Dissertation, with Dr. Naitthani. They lived in tents near the village and trekked long distances to visit the remote villages to interact with the communities. The students covered various topics, such as, the problem of deforestation, issue of migration due to development and for education, the condition of the health care sector, conservation policies and community rights, condition of the education sector. The visit to remote villages was an enriching experience for the students, and as shared by some,  a life changing experience one. 

 On February 7th 2019, the Xavier’s Political Science Association organized an International Conference in Collaboration with the Indian Council of World Affairs- ICWA and ICSSR. The topic for the International Conference was “Geopolitical Challenges – India and Her Neighbours.” We welcomed several distinguished speakers including the Keynote speaker, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, a retired Flag Officer Commanding-In-Chief, Western Naval Command of the army. The other speakers were Capt. Alok Bansal,  Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain , Mr. Claude Arpi , a French scholar and journalist, Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, the Dean of Social Sciences at the South Asian University in New Delhi and Dr. Puyam Singh. The International Conference was attended by a large number of students and staff from our as well as other colleges. The participants were mesmerised by the speakers and their extensive knowledge. The interaction with the top experts in the field of Geopolitics was a fulfilling experience for everyone involved. 

 Samvad, the department magazine, followed the  theme of ‘Idea of Identity’ for its 2018-19 edition. Students from varied disciplines contributed with their own perspectives and interpretations of identity. A wide range of articles and research papers, right from discussing the issue of caste identity in the UK as well as Jammu and Kashmir, to understanding identity in relation to language and gender and even the growing ‘Southeast Asian’ identity in the international forum, were published in Samvad. Keeping in mind the tradition of interviewing the dignitaries, two personalities, Irom Sharmila, who has spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of the people of the northeast and Mr. Wilson Bezwada, who has been a pioneer in the fight against institutional caste oppression and manual scavenging were interviewed by the students. 

We tried our best to open the unknown avenues to the students and give them exposure in various fields. None of these activities would have been possible without strong support from our Principal, Dr. Rajendra Shinde, my colleagues Shazia Shaikh and Aradhna Talwar, my very efficient team of XPSA members and dedicated team of volunteers from various streams of our college. I thank all from the bottom of my heart and I look forward for similar support and enthusiasm in the coming years.

 

Dr. Pratiba Naitthani, 

Head, Department of Political Science

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