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2013 - American Studies Association Annual Meeting Words: 292 words || 
1. Chandra, Shefali. "India, India, India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Washington, Washington, DC, <Not Available>. 2020-01-27 <>
Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: When women’s studies units took the “transnational” turn about two decades ago, they invariably looked to India. Those India scholars conversant in postcolonial studies and development studies increasingly found (joint) homes in women’s studies units, and these in turn saw the rise of new courses on global feminism and transnationality. Rarely acknowledged as specialists of “India” or “South Asia”, transnational scholars in women’s studies were instead charged with the task of globalizing the gender studies curriculum. While this left much of the insularity of women’s studies intact, it also served to occlude questions on race (for the United States) and caste (for India). Simultaneously, universities institutionalized study abroad programs, here too India occupied a privileged role.

My interest in this paper is to situate the politics of knowledge formation on India in a much broader context: the United States’ geopolitical relationship with postcolonial India. Connecting the knowledge produced on India through two sites vital both to the neoliberal university as well as the production of diversity narratives - gender studies and undergraduate study abroad - this paper will examine the circuit of exceptionalism, gender, and neo-orientalism put in place through the Indo-US relationship. From the Cold War, the years of the professional “brain drain,” through the years of structural adjustment and the 9/11 partnership of “democracies against terror” India has occupied a particular place of privileged alterity that sanctions and materializes U.S. imperializing desires. I seek to historicize the Indo-US relationship through the production of knowledge on India. My purpose is to work with the information gathered in our roundtable and with the audience to build a conversation on the politics of the transnational turn in women’s studies departments, and the commitment to global competency as lauded by universities since the 1990s.

2017 - Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting Words: 533 words || 
2. Sooryakumar, Divya. "Skilling India’s girls: increasing the female labour force participation rate in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting, Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, <Not Available>. 2020-01-27 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: In 2015, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced his ambitious program, “Skill India” which aims to provide vocational and technical education to more than 400 million people across the country by 2022. Skill India aims to provide students with the skills that they may need to become gainfully employed. India is facing falling rates of labour force participation rates across the country and a growing youth population From 2005 to 2014, the labour force participation rates dropped from 60.8% to 54.2%. A surprising drop considering increasing literacy rates and educational enrollment rates across the country over the last decade.

Through the examination of a female trainee’s trajectory through vocational and technical educational programs, we see not only regular dropouts during training but also in employment. What are the strategies to increase female participation in skill training programs as well as in the labour force?

Drawing from my experiences with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in running one of India’s exculsively-female vocational education and training centers (SEWA Youth Resource Centers) and piloting a new strategy, to change a woman’s engagement and trajectory towards the labour force, career guidance and counselling. In our latest work, we have piloted a number of Career Guidance and Counselling Centres. Through a study conducted by Ernst and Young, it was realized that 65% of women cited a lack of information as one of their biggest barriers to skill training and subsequent employment. In collaboration with UNDP and the IKEA Foundation, we have piloted a program that provides young women with clear information about the opportunities available including academic, job, and vocational training opportunities.

The opportunity to work at this nodal point of female labour force participation has allowed me to examine the different training systems and educational strategies that have proven successful in bringing women into public learning spaces and eventually employment.

Using both quantitative and qualitative data from the Career Guidance and Counselling Centres as well as SEWA’s own vocational educational centers in Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Delhi, I compare and contrast the effectiveness of adult learning in formal and non-formal settings through the lens of outreach, engagement, and pedagogy strategies in cultivating aspiration, familial support, employment, and eventually retention within a job. This study will ultimately provide a resource of the best practices necessary for engaging females in India (and across countries with gendered learning landscapes). The results of my comparison study reveals the large gaps between the learning needs of boys and girls within vocational education centers, as well as the similiarities. From the type of outreach engagements, to the pedagogy and training engagement, the inherent tension between creating a safe space for women while also cultivating a professional environment is a real problem in which vocational and technical educational institutions must be able to navigate between the two while also training on 21st century skills for successful employability for women.


Ernst and Young. (2015). Creating Employment and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Women in India. New Delhi, India.

World Bank. (2014). Adult literacy rate, population 15+ years, both sexes (%)
[Data file]. Retrieved from

World Bank. (2014). Labor force participation rate, total (% of total population ages 15+) (modeled ILO estimate)[Data file]. Retrieved from

2013 - Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Pages: unavailable || Words: 7373 words || 
3. Paul, Newly. "Foreign Correspondence in the Digital Age: An analysis of India Ink—the New York Times’ India-specific blog" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Renaissance Hotel, Washington DC, Aug 08, 2013 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2020-01-27 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper is a case study of India Ink, the New York Times’ first country-specific blog, launched in September 2011. This paper examines the blog’s content in order to analyze the ways in which participatory Web 2.0 tools have changed foreign coverage. Findings indicate that through interactive multimedia, crowd-sourced content, and collaboration between Indian and American reporters, India Ink is helping foreign correspondence thrive amidst drastic newsroom budget cuts.

2011 - The Law and Society Association Words: 154 words || 
4. Galanter, Marc. and Kulkarni, Niketa. "India's Litigation Implosion: The Rise and Fall of Ordinary Litigation in Twentieth Century India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2020-01-27 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: We trace rates of civil litigation in ordinary trial level courts of British India from the late 19th century to Independence and find a gradual rise, followed by a precipitous fall in per capital use during the 1930s. We consider the role that the Great Depression played in producing this sudden drop. We note that the rate of litigation in these courts never recovered, remaining at levels far below those in the early part of the twentieth century even after Independence and the return of financial prosperity. We undertake to account for the changed pattern of litigation in the ordinary courts by examining the several factors, including the regulation of money lending, the enlarged original jurisdiction of the higher courts, and the proliferation of tribunals, all in a setting of a great expansion of rights, empowerment of courts as monitors and prods of government performance, and increase in the size of the legal profession.

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