1st Edition

The Nation's Got Talent Education, Experimentation and Policy Discourses in India

By Rachel Philip Copyright 2023
    214 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    214 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    214 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book explores the construction of the idea of the ‘talented’ student in India and its relationship to the discourse of the ‘nation’. It historically situates the evolution of the National Science Talent Search (NSTS) and its subsequent avatar, the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), with state-sponsored ideas and practices of ‘nation-building’. It also delves into how individuals who wrote and cleared the examination inhabit this identity of the ‘talented’.

    Drawing on policy documents and institutional literature of over 50 years as well as interviews with past winners of the NSTS/NTSE, including a Nobel laureate, this book is a major intervention in the field of South Asian studies, public policy, and education.

    1. The National Talent Search Examination:  A History of Evolving Aspirations

    2. ‘National Science Talent’: Historicizing an articulation

    3. In search of ‘talent’: Constructions in Indian education policy

    4. The ‘science’ in the search: The legacy of a brief experiment

    5. The ‘nation’ in the search: A social geography of talent identification

    6. The ‘scholar’ in the search: Memories of the talent search

    7. The scholar and the nation: The worldview of the ‘talented’

    8. Seeking Talent, Finding the Nation


    Rachel Philip is an Assistant Professor in the School of Liberal Arts, IIT Jodhpur. Her work explores the social imagination, construction, and application of discourses like ‘talent’, ‘equality’, ‘quality’, ‘interest’, etc. through the critical documentation of education interventions. With an interdisciplinary background in English Literature, Sociology, and Education, Dr Philip has previously worked with the ICICI Foundation, Pune, and taught at the Departments of Sociology of the Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR) and the Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), University of Delhi. She has also undertaken fieldwork and implemented a pre-school reading program in Innopolis, Russia.