Tuesday, November 13, 2018

CSSP Talk on "The Constituency of Science and its Tryst with the University" by Dr Avishek Ray, NIT Silchar | 20 November, JNU

Centre for Studies in Science Policy

School of Social Sciences, JNU

 Invites you to

Talk on

 The Constituency of Science and its Tryst with the University


Dr Avishek Ray

Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology Silchar, India


Venue: Room No. 227, 2nd Floor, SSS-1

Time: 03:30 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, 20th November 2018

Abstract: Through the process of colonisation, the university has become the standard model for higher education in modern India. This talk questions the normative status of the university and argues that its emergence has come at the cost of vernacular pedagogic cultures that existed outside modern frameworks of knowledge. It examines how the discourse of Science draws its legitimacy from the pedagogic model of the university.     

About the Speaker: Avishek Ray teaches at the National Institute of Technology Silchar, Assam after having earned his PhD (2014) in Cultural Studies from Trent University, Canada, which is preceded by a Masters (M.A., 2009) and an undergraduate (B.A., 2007), both in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has also completed a PhD Coursework (2009-10) in Cultural Studies from the Centre for the Study of Culture & Society (CSCS), Bangalore, India. In this doctoral dissertation, he has worked on what may loosely be called archaeology of vagabondage: the political and philosophical implications of the social construct 'vagabond' and cultural representations thereof in the context of South Asia. He has edited a Bangla anthology on Religion & Popular Culture, and published in reputed journals like Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (Routledge), Canadian Journal of Comparative Literature, Journal of Human Values (SAGE) among others. He has held research fellowships at IIM Calcutta, University of Edinburgh (UK), Purdue University Library (USA) and Pavia University (Italy). He can be contacted at avishek.avishek@gmail.com or avishekray@hum.nits.ac.in.


All are welcome to attend the lecture.

Coordinator, CSSP Lecture Series

NBER Working Paper "When Less Is More: Experimental Evidence on Information Delivery During India's Demonetization"

When Less Is More: Experimental Evidence on Information Delivery During India's Demonetization; by Abhijit Banerjee, Emily Breza, Arun G. Chandrasekhar, and Benjamin Golub. NBER Working Paper No. 24679, NBER Working Paper Series, June 2018.

Abstract: How should policymakers disseminate information: by broadcasting it widely (e.g., via mass media), or letting word spread from a small number of initially informed "seed" individuals? While conventional wisdom suggests delivering information more widely is better, we show theoretically and experimentally that this may not hold when people need to ask questions to fully comprehend the information they were given. In a field experiment during the chaotic 2016 Indian demonetization, we varied how information about demonetization's official rules was delivered to villages on two dimensions: how many were initially informed (broadcasting versus seeding) and whether the identity of the initially informed was publicly disclosed (common knowledge). The quality of information aggregation is measured in three ways: the volume of conversations about demonetization, the level of knowledge about demonetization rules, and choice quality in a strongly incentivized decision dependent on understanding the rules. Our results are consistent with four predictions of a model in which people need others' help to make the best use of announced information, but worry about signaling inability or unwillingness to correctly process the information they have access to. First, if who is informed is not publicized, broadcasting improves all three outcomes relative to seeding. Second, under seeding, publicizing who is informed improves all three outcomes. Third, when broadcasting, publicizing who is informed hurts along all three dimensions. Finally, when who is informed is made public, telling more individuals (broadcasting relative to seeding) is worse along all three dimensions.

Download Full-text PDF

Sunday, November 11, 2018

14th STIP Forum Lecture "IPCC's 1.5-degree Report and the Future of the Paris Agreement: A Debate on Science and Politics of Climate Change" | 13 November at IHC New Delhi

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Forum Lecture Series 

You are cordially invited to the Fourteenth STIP Forum Lecture
IPCC's 1.5-degree Report and the Future of the Paris Agreement: A Debate on Science and Politics of Climate Change
Shri Rajani Ranjan Rashmi, Distinguished Fellow, Earth Sciences and Climate Change, TERI &
Dr. Navroz K. Dubash, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research and Coordinator, Climate Initiative
Moderator: Dr. Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE

Date: 13 November 2018 (Tuesday) Time: 7.00 PM
Venue: Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road New Delhi (Entry from Gate No.3)

Shri Rajani Ranjan Rashmi is a Distinguished Fellow at TERI. He has been a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of 1983 batch and was Special Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India. He served as the Government's Chief Negotiator for environment treaties relating to climate change and Ozone depleting substances, amongst others. Mr Rashmi has worked long in the field of environment. As Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Environment & Forests from 2008 to 2013, he was India's focal point for multilateral negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this position, he also played a key role in shaping India's domestic and international response to climate change. Mr R R Rashmi is a graduate in Economics from Patna University and holds a degree in MBA from the Free University of Brussels. Dr. Navroz K Dubash is a Professor at CPR and Coordinator of the Initiative on Climate, Energy, and Environment. His research and policy interests include climate change policy and governance, the political economy of energy and water, the regulatory state in the developing world and the role of civil society in global environmental governance. In 2015 he was conferred the 12th TN Khoshoo Memorial Award in recognition of the impact of his work on Indian climate change policy and the international discourse on global climate governance. He has been a Lead Author and synthesis report author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and has served on India's Expert Committee on Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth and other national committees on water and energy policy. Dr Dubash holds an MA and PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in public and international affairs from Princeton University. 

ABOUT STIP FORUM: The Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Forum has been set up with the objective of promoting debate on various aspects of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. The Forum would go beyond the disciplinary boundaries by taking into account the intersectionality of S&T and I. It aims to will also bridge the gap between the science and society for dissemination of scientific achievements as well as for generalising debate of societal aspirations and promoting responsible research and innovations. The monthly lecture series of public lectures has been launched to sensitize the public discourse on science, technology and innovation policy. Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA), Vigyan Prasar and India Habitat Centre (IHC) are collaborative institutes.

RSVP: Mr. Tish Malhotra/Mr. N. N. Krishnan, Tel.: 011-24682176, 011-24682184 Email: dgoffice@ris.org.in

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

DWIH Workshop "Grant Writing & Management" | JNU, 26-28 November

DWIH Workshop "Grant Writing & Management"
Dates: 26th-28th November 2018
Venue: JNU Convention Centre, New Delhi

India Offices of Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG) and University of Cologne (UoC), in association with German Centre for Research and Innovation (DWIH), New Delhi, are organizing a 2.5 days workshop on "Grant Writing & Management".
Application Period: 16th October -15th November 2018
Contact Details: de.grantwriting@gmail.com
Course Description: Grant writing is a skill that requires hard work and practice, and it can have a dramatic impact on a research career of a junior scientists. Despite having a good scientific training, one may need to work on the scientific writing skills. The concept of the workshop is to illustrate the methods and technical know-how required to prepare successful international research proposals irrespective of a certain disciplinary field. The workshop will cover topics from content development of a research proposal to budget planning. This model of specialized workshops has proven successful in the German research landscape. 

Call for Participation: National Conference on "Integrating Science with Society" | 15-16 December, Kolkata

National Conference on "Integrating Science with Society"
Dates: 15-16 December 2018
Venue: Gandhi Bhavan, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Science has impacted our daily life in a myriad different ways. In today's world many of the things which we have taken for granted, like instant light at the press of a button, are gifts from science. However, science is not about just technological development and innovation; science is a world-view; it is a particular way of looking at the material world; it has a distinct methodology of understanding the world around us; it inculcates a particular way of thinking and it has a social commitment. The philosophy of science is distinct from other categories of philosophy, ancient and modern. Unfortunately, our education system is almost entirely geared towards the technical aspects of science only; its methodology, its philosophy and world-view are given only a cursory treatment if at all. Our education particularly at the school level does not teach the learners to think rationally and act logically. As a result, though our Constitution enjoins the citizens to adopt and promote scientific temperament, virtues like rationality, objectivity and a robust skepticism have not taken a deep root in the psyche of the contemporary Indian society. Inevitably, there is a disconnect between society and science, which has proved to be detrimental both to the Indian society and the Indian science. Vast sections of the people are not able to lift themselves out of their degrading situation and the Indian science is languishing because of the lack of social support.
Breakthrough Science Society, a voluntary organization committed to science, culture and scientific outlook, has taken a small step for addressing this problem by planning to hold a National Conference on "Integrating Science with Society".

Tentative session plan
First Day: 
Inauguration (10AM). Philosophy of Science (10.30AM-12.30PM): The correct method of seeking truth about nature has been subject of debate over the last two centuries. Schools of thought like materialism, idealism, positivism, post-modernism, and spiritualism have waged and are still waging battle for supremacy in the intellectual space. This session will seek the correct path in doing science. It will delve into issues like objectivity, falsifiability, reproducibility, causality, etc., and will discuss the complexity, uncertainty and humility in the enterprise of knowledge generation. 4 lectures: 25 min talk + 5 min Q&A
Cultivation of Scientific Temper (1.30PM-4PM): This session will discuss ways of inculcating scientific bent of mind among the common people. Issues like prevalent unscientific beliefs and superstitions, and ways of countering these with science will also be discussed. 5 lectures: 25 min talk + 5 min Q&A
Ethical Practice in Science (4.30PM-6.30PM): The cases of scientific misconduct are on the rise today. Unless the scientific community of India addresses this problem squarely, cases of unethical practice in science may tarnish the image of Indian science before the world community. This session will discuss the issues of scientific ethics and research misconduct (fabrication,distortion, plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results). 4 lectures: 25 mins talk + 5 min Q&A
Cultural programme (7PM-8.30PM): Music and drama on scientific themes
Second day:
Reforming Science Education (9.30AM-11.30AM): A persistent problem of the education system in India is that students learn science as a collection of subjects, as a set of information. Most students do not understand the way of thinking that science preaches and do not acquire a scientific temper. As a result, many people who have gone through the education system up to the highest level, still harbour many unscientific beliefs and superstitions. In that sense, our education system is not `scientific'. This session will discuss what changes should be brought in our education system to make it scientific. 4 talks: 25 min talk + 5 min Q&A
Panel Discussion "The role of scientists in society" (12 noon-1.30PM). 6 x 10 min talks + 30 min Q&A
Open Session (for the public): Problems facing development of scientific culture in India (3.00 PM-5.00PM)

Registration Information:
  • Registration fee: Rs. 2000
  • Concessional rate for bachelor's and master's students: Rs. 1000
  • Express interest to participate. Registration will be completed only after payment of fee at the registration desk.

  • Prof. Jayant V Narlikar, Padma Vibhushan, former Director, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune
  • Prof. Ramkrishna Ramaswamy, President, Indian Academy of Sciences, former VC, Central University Hyderabad, Professor, JNU
  • Prof. S G Dani, Former Chairman, National Board of Higher Mathematics, former Professor, TIFR, Professor, Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai
  • Prof. Dhrubajyoti Mukhopadhyay, former Professor of Geology, Calcutta University and President, Breakthrough Science Society
  • Prof. Debashis Mukherjee, Ex-Director, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata
  • Prof. Dhruv Raina, Professor, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
  • Prof. Dipankar Chatterji, Honorary Professor, Molecular Biophysics Unit, IISc Bangalore
  • Prof. Arvind, Professor (Physics) and Coordinator Outreach, IISER Mohali
  • Prof. Debabrata Ghosh, Professor of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi
  • Prof. Mayank Vahia, Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
  • Prof. Partha P Majumder, former Director, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, West Bengal
  • Prof. Palash Baran Pal, Eminent Popular Science Writer and former Professor, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata
  • Prof. G Nagarjuna, TIFR-Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai
  • Prof. Amitabha Datta, INSA Senior Professor, Dept. of Physics, Calcutta University
  • Prof. Aniket Sule, TIFR-Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai
  • Prof. Ajit Srivastava, Professor, Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar
  • Prof. Debshankar Ray, Professor and former Director, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata
  • Prof. Jayshree Sengupta, former Professor, Dept. of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi
  • Prof. Guruprasad Kar, Dept. of Physics, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
  • Prof. Umesh Kadhane, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Prof. M C Arunan, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai
  • Prof. Abhijit Majumder, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, IIT Bombay
  • Prof. Pradipta Bandyopadhyay, School of Computational and Integrative Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
  • Dr. C M Nautiyal, Former Scientist at the Birbal Sahni Insitute of Paleosciences, Lucknow, Program Consultant -- Science Communication, INSA
  • Prof. Naba Kumar Mandal, Former Professor, TIFR, Raja Ramanna Fellow, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata
  • Prof. R Ramanujam, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai
  • Dr. Prabhakar Reddy, Professor of Cardio-Thoracic and vascular Surgery, Govt. Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh
Further Details: Mailbreakthrough@ieee.org,  Phone: +91-9432598503, 09433369069

Monday, November 5, 2018

7th Panel Discussion on 'Solutions to Technology Pessimism' | at IIC, 15 Nov

NITI Aayog, India International Centre and Centre for Policy Research are pleased to invite you to the seventh panel discussion on 

Solutions to Technology Pessimism

Chair: Ambassador Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary and Life Trustee, India International Centre

Amba Kak, Public Policy Advisor, Mozilla Corporation
Dr Avdesh Sharma, Senior Psychiatrist
Dr Nand Kumar, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS

Thursday, 15 November 2018, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Multipurpose Hall, Kamla Devi Complex, India International Centre, New Delhi

Metamorphoses Website

Sign up for the event at this link. This is necessary given seating requirements.

Our modern age is characterised by the pervasive use of digital technologies, which may spawn the internet and the World Wide Web. We now have the widespread use of social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram among others. These are instrumental of democratising the political and social space of vastly improving access to knowledge and enabling quick and efficient communications. Along the benefits, however, come a number of serious concerns, both social and psychological, including phenomena such as trolling the use of bots and internet-addiction. Our challenge lies in using digital technologies for the benefit and welfare of mankind, while mitigating, if not eliminating the negative consequences. 

Chair: Ambassador Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary and Life Trustee, India International Centre


Amba Kak- Public Policy Advisor, Mozilla Corporation
Dr Avdesh Sharma- Senior Psychiatrist
Dr Nand Kumar
- Professor, Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS

The talk will be livestreamed on the IIC website; streamed through Facebook-live on the Metamorphoses Facebook page; and video recordings will be available on YouTube, as well as disseminated through social media channels hosted on the Metamorphoses website. The promotional video for Metamorphoses can be accessed here.

Questions will be taken on a special number through SMS, provided at the venue, and selected ones will be answered given time constraints.

Metamorphoses is a modest effort to try and bridge the gap between digital technologies, which are transforming our lives, and our understanding of their multiple dimensions. It will unfold in a series of nine interactions covering different aspects of the digital revolution.

This series will examine the impacts of digital technologies on the human psyche and on societies – exploring ways in which some of the negative elements may be mitigated. There will be a peep into the future – of what machine learning and artificial intelligence may bring to human experience – and the moral and ethical dilemma associated with these. It will also delve into issues relating to data privacy and cyber security as well as the emerging legal regime to regulate this critical domain.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

ISID Orientation Program in Social Science Research for Research Scholars and Teachers | 26 Nov–06 Dec, New Delhi

Ten-Days Orientation Programme in Social Science Research for Research Scholars and Teachers belonging to Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes
November 26 – December 06, 2018
Organised by Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), New Delhi | Sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi

The Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), New Delhi, is organising a Ten-Days Orientation Programme in Social Science Research for research scholars, post-doctoral researchers and teachers from universities, colleges and academic institutions belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) from November 26 – December 06, 2018. The Programme is sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi.

Objective of the Programme:
The objective of the Programme is to expose participating scholars to recent developments and contemporary issues in Social Science research and familiarize relevant methodology to undertake research on related topics. The programme seeks discuss conceptual issues on emerging areas of social science research; improve skills and the ability to undertake research on those issues using appropriate research design, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, relevant statistical tools and estimation techniques; and discuss techniques of dissemination, how to write and publish research paper, project proposals, project reports and design of questionnaire etc.
The programme is designed with an inter-disciplinary approach. It will consist of lectures by eminent academicians, group discussions besides hands-on experience with datasets using various techniques.

Young social science researchers and teachers from colleges, universities and research institutes belonging to any of the aforementioned social groups will constitute the target group of this programme. A batch of 35–40 participants will be selected on all-India basis from various disciplines of social sciences. Outstation participants will be provided free boarding and lodging facility in the campus hostel on twin-sharing basis. To and fro 3-tier AC Train fare by the shortest route will be reimbursed to the selected candidates from place of study/work.

Interested candidates participating in the programme may send their applications, downloadable at ISID website, in prescribed format along with CV, a write-up of about 500 words on their area of research interest and a forwarding letter from the Department/College/Institution to the Programme Co-ordinator through e-mail to trainprog@isid.org.in on or before November 03, 2018. Selected candidates will be intimated by November 09, 2018. Further details and programme updates please check here.

Contact Details: Dr Santosh Kumar Das, Programme Coordinator, E-mail: trainprog@isid.org.in, Telephone: +91-11-26744600/26891111/8743086111

Sunday, October 28, 2018

NIPFP Talk "Agricultural yield and conflict" | 30 October

Agricultural yield and conflict


By Dr. Satyendra Kumar Gupta

Speaker profile:

Dr. Satyendra Kumar Gupta, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak.

Date and time:

Tue, 30 October, 2018 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM


Auditorium NIPFP, New Delhi


This research establishes that the emergence and persistence of intrastate conflict incidence since 1960 are influenced by regional agro-ecological factors captured by the extent of variation in potential crop yield. Our results based on cross-country and grid-level analysis indicate that higher potential crop yield variability within a country that is exogenous to both human intervention and regional culture increases the likelihood of intrastate conflict. Our findings are robust to the inclusion of various geographical, institutional, and potentially confounding economic development correlates.

For details:

Please contact nipfp.seminar@nipfp.org.in

Details on NIPFP site

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Release of "August 2018 Floods in Kerala: A Report on Governance and Environmental Management" | Today at Constitution Club

Special Centre for Disaster Research, JNU; National Institute of Disaster Management; and Constitution Club of India, Delhi invite you to 
Release of "August 2018 Floods in Kerala: A Report on Governance and Environmental Management"
Sharing Concerns
  • Prof. Amita Singh (Research Team, Disaster Research)
A Panel Discussion
  • Dr. Rakesh Sinha (Rajya Sabha, Political Scientist)
  • Ms. Nisha Jose (Relief Team Coordinator Kuttanad , Alappuzha Panchayats)
  • Mr. Robin Roy (Environmentalist Educationist Kottayam)
  • Mr. Sabu Krishnan Nair (Environmentalist, Community worker, Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram)
  • Prof. V.K.Malhotra ( ICSSR, Agriculture Economist)
Summing up
  • Prof. Inder Mohan Kapahy (Educationist , Higher Education)

On 26th October | 4 to 7 pm
At Constitution Club of India, New Delhi

(All are requested to join us for high tea after the programme)
RSVP: SCDR Office, 9599853905, 9654484198, 9971649118, Email: jnu.scdr@gmail.com

Call for Participation: WIPO's General Course on Intellectual Property (Online)

DL101E - DL-101 General Course on Intellectual Property

Basic Information

  • Venue : Online 
  • Language : English 
  • Duration : 55 hours
  • Tutored : Yes
  • Certificate : Yes
  • Cost :  Free of charge  
  • Course administrator :  DL101e.academy@wipo.int

Next session


  • Registration :  16-Sep-2018 -  31-Oct-2018
  • Course :  01-Nov-2018 -  16-Dec-2018
  • Next Exam :  14-Dec-2018 -  15-Dec-2018
This course builds on the concepts presented in DL-001 - Intellectual Property Primer. It provides a more in-depth view of the fundamentals of IP law, and is considered as indispensable to pursue more advanced courses of study on specific areas of IP law.
The DL-101 course is comprised of the following modules and final exam:
  • Guide to Studying the Course
  • Module 1: Introduction to IP
  • Module 2: Copyright
  • Module 3: Related Rights
  • Module 4: Trademarks
  • Module 5: Geographical Indications
  • Module 6: Industrial Design
  • Module 7: Patents
  • Module 8: WIPO Treaties
  • Module 9: Unfair Competition
  • Module 10: Protection of New Varieties of Plants
  • Module 11: Summary and Discussion on Intellectual Property Rights
  • Module 12: IP and Development - The WIPO Development Agenda
  • Final Exam
Self-assessment tools are strategically placed throughout each module to assist participants with gauging their respective levels of knowledge and progress, as well as their ability to apply the concepts and facts presented within the course.
Academic support is provided throughout each module by experienced tutors who are expert practitioners in the field of IP.
Final Exam and Certificate
The final exam for this course is comprised of a series of multiple choice questions. A fixed amount of time is allocated for participants to complete and submit the exam on-line. Participants are contacted regarding modalities for accessing the final exam approximately one week prior to the deadline for completion of the DL-101 course.
Participants who pass the DL-101 final exam are awarded an electronic certificate of course completion.
This course is open to individuals who are/will be employed in the field of administration of intellectual property rights; those seeking general knowledge of IP; and those who generate various forms of IP and seek a deeper understanding of the effective management and protection of IPRs.

13th STIP Forum Lecture on Science, Technology and Innovation for Development: Role of Science Diplomacy | 31 October at IHC

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Forum Lecture Series

You are cordially invited to the Thirteenth STIP Forum Lecture
Science, Technology and Innovation for Development: Role of Science Diplomacy

Dr. Sune Kaur-Pedersen
[Counsellor, Research & Innovation/Deputy Head, Innovation Centre, Embassy of Denmark, India] &
Ms. Tania Friederichs
[R&I Counsellor for India & Bhutan, Delegation of the European Union to India]

Chair: Dr. Bhaskar Balakrishnan, Science Diplomacy Fellow, RIS and Former Ambassador

Date: 31 October 2018 (Wednesday) Time: 7.00 PM

Venue: Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road New Delhi (Entry from Gate No.3)

Mr. Sune Kaur-Pedersen is Counsellor, Innovation and Research and Deputy Head of Innovation Centre Denmark at the Embassy of Denmark in New Delhi. He works to strengthen relations between Denmark and India in the areas of innovation, research and higher education, and is posted to India by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Denmark. He has worked in different positions for this ministry during the past 13 years. Before being posted to India, he was secretary for the Danish Council for Research and Innovation Policy, a high-level advisory council to the government and parliament in Denmark. Mr. Kaur-Pedersen has also worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than five years.
Ms. Tania Friederichs is Head of Sector for Research and Innovation at the EU Delegation to India. She started her assignment beginning of September 2016. Before that she was working in Brussels for the European Commission in the Directorate General on Research and Innovation, Department for International Cooperation and was responsible for cooperation with the Western Balkan Countries and Turkey. Ms. Tania has worked for more than 15 years on EU research and innovation policy; she was member of the Private Office of European Commissioner Philippe Busquin for research and innovation from 1999 to 2004. Before that she worked at the EU Delegation in Geneva (Switzerland) following the negotiations on trade in services (GATS) under the World Trade Organisation (WTO). She is a lawyer by training and obtained her Law Degree at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels, Belgium in 1980 and a L.L.M. at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (US) in 1981. 

ABOUT STIP FORUM: The Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) Forum has been set up with the objective of promoting debate on various aspects of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. The Forum would go beyond the disciplinary boundaries by taking into account the intersectionality of S&T and I. It aims to will also bridge the gap between the science and society for dissemination of scientific achievements as well as for generalising debate of societal aspirations and promoting responsible research and innovations. The monthly lecture series of public lectures has been launched to sensitize the public discourse on science, technology and innovation policy. Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA), Vigyan Prasar and India Habitat Centre (IHC) are collaborative institutes.

RSVP: Mr. Tish Malhotra/Mr. N. N. Krishnan, Tel.: 011-24682176, 011-24682184 Email: dgoffice@ris.org.in

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Join in MOOC on "Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning" | Starts on 29 October


MOOC on "Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning".

Course Description

Teachers who want to learn more about teaching with technology will find this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL), informative and engaging. Using up-to-date learning design and simple, accessible technology, the course runs on an easy-to-use learning platform available via the Internet. The course is designed for teachers who want to build on their knowledge and practice in teaching and learning with technology. It will run over five weeks and requires approximately three to five hours of time each week. Designed to accommodate teachers' busy schedules, the course offers flexibility with options for learning the content. You will learn from readings, videos, discussions with other participants and instructors, meaningful exercises, quizzes and short assignments. Certification is available for those who wish to complete all required exercises and quizzes.
Learning Outcomes
Participants will:
  • Meet online with teachers all over the world who are also learning about technology-enabled learning
  • Be supported by instructors who understand technology-enabled teaching and learning
  • Explore easy-to-use technologies for classroom and online teaching
  • Evaluate best fit technologies for teaching/learning contexts
  • Experience a fun and collaborative learning environment via the Internet
  • Receive a certificate on completion of required activities

Interested Teachers and Researchers can join on

Monday, October 22, 2018

CfPs Social Sciences & Health Innovations: Multiplicities | 23-25 May, Tomsk, Russia

4th Biannual Conference
Social Sciences & Health Innovations: Multiplicities

May 23-25, 2019, Tomsk, Russia

Health sciences and care practices have advanced a lot. Yet, the search for an adequate response to contemporary health problems continues to be on the agenda of health policy, research, and practice. Consider antimicrobial resistance and the notorious case of tuberculosis – an ancient disease allied now with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and decreasing drug susceptibility of bacteria is all but dead despite the earlier optimistic expectations. Consider zoonotic diseases that emerge continuously as a result of the interactions between the different species and their environments. Consider health inequalities that persist despite the efforts to address their causes and to increase the accessibility of health care. Solutions are being developed for these and other wicked health problems, but how can these solutions be made to work and why is it that many do not? One inspiring way of approaching these questions starts from acknowledging the need to engage with multiplicities, highlighted in the field of health by Annemarie Mol and others. Currently, we can observe a problematic tendency: efforts to innovate for health often avoid engaging with multiplicity. First, humans are often singled out as being exceptional among other species, with everything else viewed as a risk of threat to human health. Phenomena like mutual dependence and living together are not very well understood, despite that any single organism is always embedded in networks of ecological interactions. Second, the human body(as well as a patient) is expected to be universal. Yet, scholars like Margaret Lock and Maurizio Meloni have highlighted biosocial processes that over time produce what has been called 'local biologies'. Third, diseases are often conceived as stable, discrete, and pre-given entities. Yet, the work of John Law and Vicky Singleton, among others, points to the contrary. They demonstrated, for example, that foot and mouth disease was enacted as many different things during an outbreak in Britain: in veterinary practice it was symptoms like blisters and fever; in the virological laboratory it was the antibodies binding to specific antigens, and in epidemiological research it was a condition that spreads through a susceptible population. Finally, evidence of what works tends to be assessed in terms of one clear hierarchy based on statistical norms regarding what counts as reliable knowledge. However, scholars like Vololona Rabeharisoa, Tiago Moreira, and Madeleine Akrich have discussed the appropriateness of different kinds of evidence for different kinds of questions and the evidentiary value of experiences of living with health conditions. So, while species, bodies, diseases, and knowledges are multiple, the notion of multiplicity is mostly avoided in health care, governance, and sciences, where the strive for uniformity and best practices sometimes comes at the expense of applicability in specific local settings, and of sensitivity to the uncertain consequences of decisions and interventions. This conference invites participants to discuss the notion of multiplicity and to engage with a diverse range of multiplicities that are too often bracketed in attempts to understand and address health problems and health innovations. How can multiplicity be conceptualized? How can concepts of multiplicity inspire productive ways of dealing with health problems? How can we account for and engage with the complexes of many species living together? How can novel health technologies relate to the multiple realities where diseases are practiced differently? This Conference invites participants from social and biomedical sciences, the healthcare sector, and civil society organizations to reflect on the notion on multiplicity and to explore, how to innovate for health and wellbeing in ways that allow for affinity and continuous fine-tuning between diverse realities, knowledge and actors. The aim is to inspire and provide support for making a difference in the world of multiplicities. This conference is meant to serve as a platform to facilitate the dialogue between the social and biomedical scientists, civil society organizations and patient organizations, public health professionals and policy makers. As well, this conference aims to support the dialogue between scholars and practitioners working in the field of health innovations in the post-Soviet region and globally. The conference considers health-related innovations on different levels (from the community level to national programmes and global efforts) and of different kinds (conceptual, organisational, political).

Conference speakers:

  • Vololona Rabeharisoa, Professor of Sociology, Center for the Sociology of Innovation, Mines-ParisTech, Paris, France; author of many contributions on the increasing involvement of civil society organizations in scientific and technical activities
  • Maurizio Meloni, Associate Professor of Sociology, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia; co-editor of the recent Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society and Biosocial Matters: Rethinking Biology-Sociology Relationships
  • Yan Vlasov, Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Samara State Medical University, Russia; Chair of the Patient Protection Council and Co-chair of the Russian Patients Union, Russia
  • Special online contribution by Annemarie Mol, Professor of Anthropology of the Body, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; author of books The Logic of Care and The Body Multiple.

Submit your paper or panel abstract:

We welcome both individual paper proposals and proposals for closed thematic panels. Please submit your proposals via the electronic form by 15 December 2018: http://en.past-centre.ru/conferences-seminars/sts-conference/social-sciences-health-innovations-multiplicities-2019/submit-your-paper-or-panel-abstract/

For more information please see the conference webpage: http://en.past-centre.ru/conferences-seminars/sts-conference/social-sciences-health-innovations-multiplicities-2019/

If you have any questions contact the conference organizers: healthinnovations2017@gmail.com

Language of the Conference: English

On behalf of the conference committee,

With best wishes,

Olga Zvonareva

Assistant professor, Department of Health, Ethics and Society (HES), School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), Maastricht University

Head of Social Studies of Health and Medicine track, Policy Analysis and Studies of Technologies Centre (PAST-C), National Research Tomsk State University
Scientific director of the unit "Integrative approaches to public health and health care", Siberian State Medical University

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Call for Applications: STEPS Summer School 2019 on Pathways to Sustainability

Call for Applications: STEPS Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability 
The STEPS Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability will take place on 13-24 May 2019. Applications are now open for STEPS Summer School 2019. If you are a PhD or post-doc looking to explore the theme of 'Pathways to Sustainability' then we want to hear from you!  

Application is by a selective process, via an online form. The deadline to apply is 23.59 on 27 January 2019. We hope to let applicants know whether or not their application has been successful by the end of February 2019.

About the Summer School
The Summer School is a two-week immersive course on theories and practical approaches to sustainability, through creative, interactive and participatory learning.
Applications are invited from highly motivated doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, working in fields around development studies, science and technology studies, innovation and policy studies, and with an interest in ideas and practice of transformations, uncertainty, political ecology, natural resources, and methodologies for sustainability.
Participants will explore the theme of pathways to sustainability through a mixture of workshops, lectures, outdoor events and focused interaction with STEPS Centre members. The Summer School takes place on the University of Sussex campus, near Brighton, UK, where STEPS is co-hosted by the Institute of Development Studies and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU).
The school has run since 2012 with the generous support of the ESRC, IDRC and UKIERI. The fee is £1000 GBP – a limited number of scholarships are available.

How It Works
For common questions on the Summer School, view the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is the main venue. IDS is on the edge of the Sussex University campus, set in the middle of rolling countryside but with good transport links to Brighton.
The programme includes lectures and discussions, 'walkshops' – longer discussions held on walks through the surrounding area – and social events. The Summer School also includes some time in smaller groups, where participants get to reflect and discuss their own work, led and mentored by members of the STEPS Centre.
The discussion in these groups goes towards a mini-conference, planned and run by participants themselves, with support from the STEPS team.
To find out more and apply: http://steps-centre.org/summer-school/  
Deadline: 27 January 2019

New Paper by SS Tiwari & PN Desai | Unproven Stem Cell Therapies in India: Regulatory Challenges and Proposed Paths Forward

Unproven Stem Cell Therapies in India: Regulatory Challenges and Proposed Paths Forward
by Shashank S. Tiwari & Pranav N. Desai, Cell Stem Cell, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.10.007

Abstract: Hundreds of clinics in India offer unproven stem cell therapies despite having remarkably stringent guidelines and regulations for fraudulent advertisements and clinical practice. We discuss the challenges with current regulations, how a recently proposed amendment may further legitimize unproven stem cell therapies, and discuss paths forward in a global context.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ZHCES talk "Brahmin (men) as Scientists and Science as Brahmins' Calling: Caste in an Indian Scientific Research Institute" by Renny Thomas | 24th October

ZHCES Seminar Series



Brahmin (men) as Scientists and Science as Brahmins' Calling: Caste in an Indian Scientific Research Institute



Renny Thomas

Department of Sociology

Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi



About the Speaker: Renny Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. He was a Charles Wallace Fellow in Social Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK (2017-2018). He is also a recipient of American Academy of Religion's Collaborative International Research Grant (2015-2016), New York, USA. His recent publications include, "Beyond Conflict and Complementarity: Science and Religion in Contemporary India. "Science, Technology and Society, 23(1):47-64 (2018), "Religious Rites and Scientific Communities: Ayudha Puja as 'Culture' at the Indian Institute of Science. "Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 53(1): 95-122, (2018), "Narratives in Feminist Sociology of Science: Contextualizing the Experiences(s) of Women Scientists in India",in Gita Chadha and M.T Joseph (eds) Re-Imagining Sociology in India: Feminist Perspectives, London: Routledge (2018). He is currently working on a book manuscript based on his PhD work, tentatively titled, Scientifically Religious, Religiously Scientific: Science and Religion in Contemporary India.


Abstract: The domination of Brahmins and other upper castesgave a Brahmanical identity to science in India, as they were perceived to be the 'natural' inheritors of scientific practice due to their expertise in Hindu scriptures. This 'natural' knowledge of Brahmin scientists has been constantly reaffirmed in the name of merit by many renowned scientists and students during my fieldwork in Bangalore. Furthermore, merit and passion for doing science was reinscribed and calibrated to denote the alleged castelessness and objectivity of science, thereby obfuscating the deep hierarchies of caste and gender in the practice of science. This paper intends to explore how the deliberate silencing of socio-cultural identities shaped the imagination of science and scientific practice in India. It will use both ethnographic data and biographies of Indian scientists to talk about how they constructed their identities as casteless beings. 



        DATE: 24th October, 2018 (Wednesday)

TIME: 3:00 pm


(All are Welcome)