Target-driven reforms: Education for All and the translations of equity and inclusion in India

Rahul Mukhopadhyay, Arathi Sriprakash*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper critically examines the ways in which inclusion and equity are constituted through education development policies in India. Programmes implemented under global and national Education for All (EFA) policies have largely involved the quantification of 'equity' whereby schooling processes are measured against broad targets for school outcomes - focused mainly on student attendance, retention and academic achievement. Drawing on perspectives from Actor Network Theory, the paper puts forward the view of development reforms as 'networks of translation' in order to trace the shifts and vicissitudes of educational ideals. Reporting on ethnographic data of two reforms in the south Indian state of Karnataka, we show how narrow understandings of equity are produced through target-driven approaches to EFA. In doing so, the paper highlights the performative effects of education development policy and its potentially counterproductive consequences in contexts of poverty and marginalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-321
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number3
Early online date4 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Actor Network Theory
  • Education for All
  • India


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