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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

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Published Date: Apr 1, 1998

Language, Knowledge and Inequality (R-20)

Tariq Rahman, SDPI


The invention of writing created grounds for sustaining a new hierarchy: that between the illiterate and the literate.  Literacy also made the keeping of permanent records possible and so extended control over people.  Since it also created bodies of knowledge, it also extended human control over nature.  Thus, the written word made more systematic and thorough exploitation of human beings and nature possible and legitimized them in the name of merit, technical expertise and science.

The standardization of a variety of a language was a political act which devalued all the other varieties and their speakers.  Those who used only the non-standard varieties – dialects, `restricted codes’, such as working class people use, or indigenous languages in ex-colonies English – had limited and more difficult access to positions of power, affluence and prestige.  Thus, despite having broken old hierarchies and giving power to some low-status people, linguistic practices really served to rationalize and maintain inequalities.  Above all, since science is created in Western languages it does not transcend the Western world view.  When this `science’ regards all other knowledge-systems as unscientific and hence `unreasonable’, it rationalizes intervention in the lives of human beings by placing them outside the very pale of humanity.