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At the Intersection of Religious Wisdom and Social Affairs: The Journey from “Karve Matric”to S.N.D.T Women’s University ( 1916-1949)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the major contributions of  Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve  in the early 20th century was the establishment of Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thakersey Women’s University (known as  SNDT Women’s University), a pioneering institution of higher education in South Asia, to impart education among women and  to prepare them to contribute more significantly to the wellbeing of themselves, the nation and the family. Known as the Bharatwarshiya  Mahila Vidyapeeth  in 1916, the University stood out as an unique institution of gender empowerment, due to its geographical spread, divergent curriculum, flexibility and freedom from State control. Within a few decades, the University became very popular in Western India under able and dynamic  leadership of Karve  and the entrance examination to the University, known as the "Karve Matric", attracted the participation and affiliation of numerous girls schools. The University received praise from Tagore, Gandhi and Radhakrishnan  and Government Commissions such as the Hartog Committee Report( 1929) before earning statutory recognition from Government on November 23,1949 , after 33 years of its existence.

 The paper provides a brief  historical overview of the   development of SNDT University from its nascent stage to a state-recognised University. The central objective of this study is to explore the broad features of educational reforms of D K Karve in the backdrop of religious orthodoxy  and to take a close look at the nature of resistance faced while promoting educational development for women. With the socio-economic and politico-cultural attributes of the contemporary Indian society at the background, the article draws attention to the linkages between the battle over gender identities in diverse spheres of society and demonstrates that Women's education in early twentieth century India was a highly contested terrain between religion and democracy. While stressing  the contribution of Karve the paper discusses the interaction of religious and gender consciousness  in pre-Independent India and its consequent impact on policymaking for women’s empowerment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372059OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-372059DiVA, id: diva2:1275287
Conference
Macrotheme Conference “Business and Social Science research Conference” Paris, France, December 19-20, 2014
Available from: 2019-01-04 Created: 2019-01-04 Last updated: 2019-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Sinha, Chitra

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