Nilesh is primarily interested in researching caste learning in schools, caste in school curriculums and anti-caste pedagogies through a sociological approach.

My research project aims to study ‘ Teaching caste’ in Indian schools and try to work on the theorization of the caste curriculum based on Willam Pinar’s curriculum theory. The broad aim of the study is to understand how the concept of caste is taught in Indian schools. In particular, I will assess how the understanding of caste among young students is influenced by (1) the descriptions of caste, as mentioned in NCF 2005/ NEP 2020-compliant textbooks, (2) the pedagogy employed by teachers to impart learning on the topic, (3) and the teachers’ understanding and reflections on the subject of caste. I will also explore the experience of caste among students from all castes, emphasizing how young adults learn the caste since childhood, through education as well as social life. My topic of research is aimed towards enhancing the pragmatic understanding of caste (and the inequalities) for curriculum as well as a larger framework of caste-inclusive policy making.

Before Joining the DPhil programme, Nilesh completed postgraduate degrees from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (MA, MPhil in Social work) and the University of Edinburgh (MScR in Sociology). He has also worked to promote education among girls from marginalised backgrounds (oppressed castes, class) in Maharashtra with various organisations in the last six years.


Liam Gearon and Aliya Khalid