The original essays in this volume, however, argue that education, as it is imparted in India,
is ambiguous in its effects. They address such questions as: How do educational regimes relate to other facets of contemporary Indian society? Do they facilitate or obstruct the attainment of values enshrined in the Constitution? What are the implications of the differential impact of educational regimes on different groups in Indian society? Do they tend to reproduce entrenched social, cultural and economic inequalities? How do students and their families perceive the value of education?
The volume has three sections. The first, 'Changing Contexts of Education and the State', focuses on formal educational institutions attended by children and teenagers. The contributors show how formal education becomes an arena where hotly contested issues of class, caste, gender and religion are played out. The second section, 'Teaching and Learning Regimes', focuses on micro-processes, and is based on ethnographic work in various kinds of educational institutions. The third, 'Different Transitions, Different Adulthoods', shows how the value of education to its consumers will not be uniform in a highly differentiated society like India.