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ZHCES organises a seminar by Dr. Achala Gupta

ZHCES organises a seminar by Dr. Achala Gupta

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ZHCES organises a seminar by Dr. Achala Gupta
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Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies


ZHCES Seminar

How does shadow education gain public trust?
Understanding the organisational structure of private tutoring



Dr Achala Gupta
Southampton Education School
University of Southampton


About the Speaker: Dr Achala Gupta is a lecturer in Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton. Achala is a member of the Editorial Board of the British Sociological Association's flagship journal, Sociology. She has published research articles on the heterogeneity of middle-class advantage, teacher-entrepreneurialism, as well as the social legitimacy, the shadowing processand atimescape of private tutoring in India. Achala has also contributed to the higher education literature by exploring how students are socially constructed in Denmark, England, Ireland, Germany, Poland, and Spain.


Abstract:  Shadow education’ or private tutoring is a globally pervasive phenomenon. While scholars have explored the demand for and supply of private tutoring extensively, how these tutoring centres – that function outside the purview of the formal education system – organise their services remains underexplored. Relatedly, the ways in which these informal educational setups – that do not have legal-rational authority such as schools do – gain public trust remains largely unclear. To redress these gaps in the scholarship, this presentation draws on an Indian case of ‘shadow education’ to illustrate how tutoring centres: 1) mimic (purposive shadowing), 2) diverge from (strategic deviation), and 3) create an avenue for themselves without directly conflicting (necessary circumvention) with the formal schooling system. This discussion delineates the institutional arrangements of tutoring centres and their underlying logic – and in doing so, it unveils the mechanisms through which ‘shadow education’ gains social legitimacy in contemporary Indian society. By offering a nuanced understanding of the interactions between formal (schools) and informal (tutoring provisions) educational institutions, the presentation argues that private tutoring serves as a critique of formal schooling in the empirical context and creates a valid space for itself alongside the formal educational setups. Although this presentation is empirically grounded in India, the conceptualisation of the institutional arrangements of private tutoring it generates will be valuable to the future investigations of organisational framings, structural arrangements and legitimacy practices of tutoring provisions in other contexts.

DATE: 24th August, 2022 (Wednesday)
TIME: 3.00pm to 4.30 pm
Link to join online:

(All Welcome)

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.