Monday, April 27, 2015

Panel Discussion - Food Security: The Big Question of Resources on April 30, at DA, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi

Panel Discussion - Trialogue 2047- Food Security: The Big Question of Resources
Date: April 30, 2015;
Venue: DA, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi


Monday, April 20, 2015

EPW Article "Cricket-lite: IPL as a Sporting-Entertainment Complex" by Vidya Subramanian

Cricket-lite: IPL as a Sporting-Entertainment Complex
by Vidya Subramanian, CSSP JNU
Economic and Political Weekly (EPW), Web Exclusive series
Vol - L No. 15, April 11, 2015

Abstract: The Indian Premier League is incidentally about cricket. It is a chance for software engineers to design better analytical software, film stars to seek publicity, players looking for better pay packets, businesses to look for better advertising opportunities, and television channels to improve their ratings—all are stakeholders in the game.

Read Online:

3ie invites proposals for systematic reviews that explore the impact of development interventions in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene; climate change.

Systematic Reviews Call 8
3ie invites proposals for systematic reviews that explore the impact of development interventions in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene, humanitarian assistance and climate change.
Systematic reviews are an important way of facilitating the widespread use of existing evidence to inform policy and practice. This is the eighth call for proposals under 3ie's systematic reviews programme.
3ie has worked with the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign of Disaster Assistance (OFDA) respectively on four questions for this systematic review call.
Proposals must be submitted through 3ie's online grant management system. The deadline for submission of proposals is 12 noon GMT, 22 May 2015.
For more information on this call please read the  Request for Proposals (RFP) (326.2 KB)
In case of queries, please refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQs). Queries that are unanswered can be sent to by 28 April 2015. We will post the questions and answers here within three working days.

At a glance
    There will be one award for each of these questions, but 3ie and its partners may choose to fund fewer reviews if insufficient proposals of adequate quality are received.
    3ie expects to fund grants of up to US$100,000 for each systematic review. But costs may vary depending on a range of factors, including the scope of the review and methods of synthesis employed.
    Only legally registered organisations and consortia of registered organisations, not individuals, may apply.
    Organisations may only submit one proposal per question (but may submit more than one proposal for different questions) and may be included on more than one proposal.
    The lead grant-holding organisation may be located anywhere in the world.
    3ie encourages proposals and research teams from low- and middle-income countries, and requires proposals include researchers from low- and middle-income countries in the study team.

How to apply
To find out more about the application process, visit the How to apply page
For further clarifications, please refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Systematic review questions
    To what extent has the sanitation and hygiene sub-sector taken into account the life-cycle approach in the design, implementation, maintenance and use of programmes during the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) period (2000-2015)?
    What is the effectiveness of interventions aiming to promote sanitation and hygiene behaviour change in communities?
    What is the comparative efficiency and effectiveness of providing humanitarian non-food item (NFI) in-kind distributions versus cash and vouchers in the immediate aftermath and recovery period following natural disasters and political instability?
    What are the effects of land use change and forestry sector programmes and policies on greenhouse gas emissions and human welfare outcomes? (Evidence gap map and two systematic reviews)

Further Details:

Vacancy – ISSC/IDS Post-Doctoral Fellow

Vacancy – ISSC/IDS Post-Doctoral Fellow

published: April 15, 2015

The ISSC and IDS are seeking a motivated and outstanding post-doctoral researcher to do research and help with the editorial coordination of the 2016 World Social Science Report. We are looking for a talented, early career social scientist with long-term experience and an institutional affiliation in a low or middle income country, and a passion for making knowledge work to help solve global challenges.

The regular preparation of a World Social Science Report on global priority topics is a flagship activity of the ISSC. The Council prepared a first WSSR on Knowledge Divides in 2010. It addressed the numerous divides that characterise the production, dissemination and use of social sciences and aspects that fundamentally undermine their ability to respond to global challenges. In 2013 the ISSC co-published with UNESCO and OECD the second World Social Science Report, on Changing Global Environments. The third World Social Science Report will be published in 2016 and focus on the critical issues of inequalities and social justice. It will be co-directed by a senior research team composed of Melissa Leach, John Gaventa, and Patricia Justino from the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex.

Overall purpose of the role

The ISSC and IDS are seeking a motivated and outstanding post-doctoral researcher to do research and help with the editorial coordination of the 2016 WSSR. We are looking for a talented, early career social scientist with long-term experience and an institutional affiliation in a low or middle income country, and a passion for making knowledge work to help solve global challenges.

The selected person will;

  • Carry out research and co-author specific contributions to the WSSR
  • Undertake literature reviews on specific topics
  • Lead coordination of the contributions to some of the WSSR sections

The role is based at IDS (Sussex, UK) and supervised by the WSSR directors there. They will also work in collaboration with the WSSR team based in the Paris secretariat of the ISSC. The selected candidate will be part of the WSSR editorial team.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The ISSC/IDS Post-Doctoral Fellow, working under the leadership of the WSSR Directors and in close collaboration with the ISSC, will be part of a small editorial collective of 5/6 people.

They will be tasked to

  • Provide written contributions to the WSSR
  • Undertake literature analyses to assist with the different sections of the Report
  • Participate in selecting contributors
  • Coordinating sections (including liaison with the authors) of the report
  • Draft syntheses, introductions, and conclusions
  • Participate in regular editorial meetings
  • Liaise with the reviewers
  • Undertake language editing

They will also liaise on a regular basis with the Paris based ISSC team: the ISSC Report manager, the WSSR Senior Advisor and the Acting Executive Director for Science.

For more information on the role and how to apply, dowload the job description.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Two Weeks Research Methodology Course in Asian Studies; MAKAIAS, Kolkata; 15 June – 2 July

Two Weeks Research Methodology Course in Asian Studies

Venue: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS), Kolkata

Dates: June 15 – July 2, 2015

MAKAIAS (An Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India) invites applications are for Two Weeks Research Methodology Course in Asian Studies to be held at MAKAIAS, Kolkata from June 15 - July 2, 2015. Interested candidates (MPhil final year/PhD/Research Associates) are requested to send their applications in the prescribed format downloadable from MAKAIAS website (

Last date of receiving applications: May 11, 2015.

CSDS Delhi invites applications for its two-month Course on "Researching the Contemporary"

Course on "Researching the Contemporary" 2015

The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies invites applications for its two-month Course on "Researching the Contemporary". This cross-disciplinary Course will critically examine the formation of the contemporary and its multiple histories, ideologies, forms and affects.  The three courses offered will enable participants to familiarize themselves with concepts, theories and methods that help analyse the contemporary.  These include:

Media & Materiality: The Digital Sensorium

The 'digital' has become the lens through which life is increasingly being framed: the personal and the political, money and consumption, memory and distraction: the list is endless. By mobilising media and cultural theory, this course seeks to understand the place of the digital within a larger debate on materiality. Themes include the media event, circulation, memory, the political and violence.

Course Instructor: Ravi Sundaram

The Work of Theory: Thinking Across Traditions

The term 'theory' immediately brings to mind names such as Plato, Kant, Hegel, Husserl, Marx and so on.  That is, theory appears as a particular body of philosophical thought coming to us from Europe and globally relevant in its scope. To us theory therefore comes as a given body of knowledge, as though the essentials have already been settled. In this course, we shift our attention away from western theory as such and ask the prior question – namely, what it is to theorize, what is the work that theorization accomplishes.  We discuss the practice of theorizing by passing through histories and experiences of the global south as well as through alternative theoretical possibilities inherent in other traditions, be they Chinese or Latin American or Arabo-Persian. By using the phrase 'thinking across traditions', we imply that good theory and new theory must shake off its dependence on a single, uncontaminated metaphysical tradition and on a single, dominant historical narrative of modernity.

Course Instructors: Aditya Nigam, Prathama Banerjee, Rakesh Pandey

The Urban Experience

This course shall focus on the making of the urban modern in India and its relationship to theories of global urbanism. Students will be introduced both to the formal dimensions of city making and the unintended consequences of modernist plans and technological transformations. Changing urban spatial imaginaries, as these are inflected by gender, environmental, health and aesthetic concerns, shall be discussed. Attention will be paid to the place of the rural within contemporary urban imaginaries.

Course Instructor: Awadhendra Sharan

This is an intensive Course with compulsory readings and class discussions.  Course materials will be made available. Participants are expected to make presentations and participate in a workshop at the end of the course period.  A participation certificate will be awarded upon successful completion. The Course will be conducted over 8 weeks between 1 July - 31 August 2015.  Classes will be held at CSDS on week-day afternoons, three days a week, from 2.30-5.30 pm.

Applications are invited from M.Phil/Ph.D students as well as independent researchers. As part of your application please submit your C.V. and a 1000-word description of your research question/topic. Selected out-station participants shall be provided with roundtrip travel expenses (3-tier AC) and a stipend of INR 25,000. Please send your applications by email to teaching(at)

The last date for receiving the applications is 30 April 2015.

Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), Durham University 2016/17 Fellowships

Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), Durham University 2016/17 Fellowships

The Institute of Advanced Study is Durham University's major interdisciplinary research institute, providing a central forum for debate and collaboration across the entire disciplinary spectrum. The Institute seeks to catalyse new thinking on major annual themes by bringing together leading international academics as well as writers, artists and practitioners.
The theme for 2016/17 is 'Scale', interpreted in its broadest sense – scientifically, symbolically, legally, philosophically, literarily, politically, economically, and sociologically. Applications are now invited for up to 20, three-month fellowships (October-December 2016 and January-March 2017), linked to the annual theme. Applicants may be from any academic discipline or professional background involving research, and they may come from anywhere in the world. IAS Fellowships include honorarium, travel, accommodation, subsistence and costs associated with replacement teaching or loss of salary (where appropriate). Further particulars are available from the IAS website Further details of the 2016/17
'Scale' theme can also be found here. Informal enquiries with the Directors of the Institute can be made via Linda Crowe, the IAS administrator (Tel: +44 (0) 191 3344686 or email Closing date for applications is 05 June 2015.
Eligible applicants will be partly funded by the European Union, through the Durham International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise (DIFeREns).

Fellows will contribute to the Institute's annual theme.The Institute provides its Fellows with a setting that offers them time and freedom to think, away from the demands of their everyday professional lives. By recruiting Fellows from all around the world, the IAS also provides an exciting intellectual environment in which thinkers from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds can exchange ideas. Fellows will engage and forge strong links with at least one department at Durham, and be given the opportunity to deliver papers at events organised to coincide with the annual theme.

The theme for 2016-17 is Scale, interpreted in its broadest sense to be of potential interest to those working in a wide range of disciplines. A number of specific sub-themes have already been identified, including:
    Temporal and Spatial Scales
    Understanding and Representing Scale
    Human Scale
    Scale and Measurement
    Living Scales
    Sustaining Scales
    Governing Scales
    Technological Scale
    Scalability and the effects of Scale
Fellows will be able to engage in these themes or to propose others that are related to the theme of Scale.
Fellowships are available for a 3-month period between October 2016 and March 2017. Applications are considered from researchers or non-academics who have a well-established or strongly emerging international reputation, have made major contributions to their field, and can provide evidence of research leadership and/or public impact. They are expected to have played a significant role in shaping their discipline or field through their outputs, achievements and indicators of esteem. It is expected that the research or professional interests of applicants will complement the 2016/17 annual theme. Up to 20 IAS Fellowships are available each year.

CfPs: 57th ISLE Annual Conference, 10-12 October, Srinagar

Call for Papers

57th ISLE Annual Conference, 10-12 October 2015, Srinagar, India

The 57th Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE) will be held during 10-12 October, 2015 at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. The Conference is being jointly organised by Central University of Kashmir, Srinagar and S. K. University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir. Professor Ravi Srivastava, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi is the Conference President.

Conference Themes

1. Unpaid Work

2. Right to Work & Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

3. Labour and Employment in Manufacturing Sector

Submission of Papers:  Papers along with a summary of 1000 words may be sent to:

Dr. Preet Rustagi, The Hon. Secretary, Indian Society of Labour Economics, NIDM Building, IIPA Campus, I.P. Estate, New Delhi–110002 or emailed to: with a copy to Abstracts of papers selected for the Conference will be published and circulated among the Conference participants. Selected revised papers would be considered for publication in the subsequent issues of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics subject to peer review.

Best Paper Awards: Two awards have been instituted for the best paper writers, below 40 years: Ruddar Datt Memorial Award and Sanjay Thakur Young Labour Economist Award (carrying prize money of Rs. 10,000 each). The papers on any of the Conference themes to be considered for the award should be presented by the paper writers themselves. Contributors willing to be considered for the awards are requested to furnish age proof along with the single authored paper before the deadline.

Surjit Singh Fellowship: The ISLE also invites applications from scholars below 40 years of age working on labour and employment issues for the award of one Fellowship of Rs.50, 000/- instituted in the memory of former Secretary of the Society Dr. Surjit Singh. The application should contain a short proposal (about two-three pages) providing details of research objectives, hypotheses, methodology and theoretical framework of the study. The awardee is expected to prepare a comprehensive research paper/monograph by the end of 2015 and also present a paper based on it during the Conference. The last date of submitting the application is 7 May 2015 and the decision of award would be communicated by 20 May 2015. (Visit for more details.)

Conference Registration:


Conference Registration Fee Structure

Dates to Remember


  • Dates of the Conference: 10-12 October 2015
  • Last Date for Submission of Papers: 31 July 2015
  • Communication from ISLE about acceptance of Papers: 14 August 2015

(Those who would like to receive early communication of the acceptance of their papers should request for early information in this regard while sending their papers).

  • Last date of registration: 15 September 2015

India (Rs.)



Developing countries  (US$)



Other countries



Note: Participants, who are members of ISLE but have not renewed their membership for the year 2015, or are not members of the Society need to pay the membership fee to be able to attend the Conference. The annual membership fee is Rs. 1000 for those from India, US$ 100 for those from developing countries, and US$ 125 for those from other countries.

Demand draft (DD) drawn in favour of "local organizing secretary ISLE 57", payable at Srinagar, should be sent by 15 September 2015 to the Local Organizing Secretary, Professor. G.M. Bhat, Head, Department of Economics, and  Dean, School of Social Sciences, Central University of Kashmir, Srinagar with soft copy to

Besides participation in pre-conference event (planned between3.00 p.m. – 7 p.m. on 9 October 2015) and all the sessions of the conference, registration will entitle the participant to avail modest boarding, lodging, Conference kit and other Conference materials.

c/o Institute for Human Development
NIDM Building, 3rd Floor, IIPA Campus
I.P. Estate, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, New Delhi - 110 002
Phones: +91 11 23358166/23321610; Mobile: +91 - +91- 9871177540
Fax: + 91 11 23321610
For further details and updates, please visit: or

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CfPs: APSTSN Biennial Conference on Disasters, Controversy and Public Engagement; Taiwan, 1-4 Oct

Science, Technology and Society Biennial Conference

Disasters, Controversy and Public Engagement

Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Oct 1st~4th, 2015


 Conference Website

APSTSN is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the biennial conference, to be held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Oct 1st~4th, 2015.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: April 30th, 2015

Deadline for submissions of individual papers and session proposals

Conference Website:

Conference Themes

Over the past several years, the Asia-Pacific has experienced disasters on various scales and severity, often compounded by technological system failures, such as the 311 earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Sowel ferry disaster in Korea, and the propene explosion in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. In addition, recent scandals regarding food safety in Taiwan and China have created a sense of urgency. These disasters and threats have brought major controversies over how to ensure a safe future in a risk society, and they have also drawn people from different sectors to participate in the discussion. Most importantly, the public has become even more critical in shaping the climate of civil and policy making opinions. Confronting these disasters, how do we mobilize and empower the public to engage in the improvement of a technological society in order to increase our resilience in the face of giant disasters?

Confirmed keynote speakers and panelists

Deborah Bird Rose University of New South Wales, Australia
Tadashi Kobayashi Osaka University, Japan
Kuei-Tien Chou National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Hee-Je Bak Kyung Hee University, Korea
Sulfikar Amir Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Science and technology in society has an important role to play in investigating disasters wherever they arise. We would therefore like to invite scholars and activists to exchange ideas and findings on the topic of disasters, controversies and public engagements in the Asia-Pacific region.

All STS topics are welcome, including but not limited to:

BiosciencesFood & AgricultureMedical Care
BusinessFinance & MarketsGender & Technology
Modeling & Numbers-workIndigenous KnowledgeNormativity & Normalization
Citizenship & ActivismInformation & MediaPost Humanities
Science & LawMulti-Species RelationsEnergy
RiskEnvironment & EcologyGovernment, Policy & Politics
Theory & MethodScience CommunicationDisability & Assistive Technology
Post-Colonial ScienceKnowledge & its LimitsAnd more

Important Dates:

February 1st , 2015                         Submission opens
April 30th, 2015                         Deadline for submissions of individual papers, session proposals
May 30th, 2015                               Acceptance Notification
July 31st, 2015                                 Early Bird Registration closes

(All presenters must register to be included in the program. For papers with more than one author, one presenter must register to be included in the final program.)

Proposal Submission:

*Individual submission abstract:

Individual submission abstracts should be up to 250 words. They should include the main arguments, methodology, and their contribution to the STS literature. Paper titles should not exceed 10 words. Please list five key words to assist the program chair to group individual papers into a session. You may choose to submit your paper abstract to one of the topics listed above where you would prefer your paper to be included, or you can leave panel selection to the program chairs.

*Session proposal abstract:

Session proposal abstracts should have a maximum of 200 words. Each session proposal should contain a summary and rationale, including a brief discussion of its contribution to STS. Session proposals should be designed to fit one-and-half-hour time slots. A typical session will contain three papers with a discussant. A maximum of four paper abstracts conforming to the above criteria for abstracts must be submitted for a proposed session.

TO SUBMIT, please visit

Presentation time: A feature of APSTSN conferences is that adequate space and time is provided for presentations and questions. For each presentation, we will arrange 20 minutes for the delivery of the presentation and 10 minutes for questions as a minimum.

Program Participation: To ensure there is adequate time for the above we request that individuals may be listed for only one paper presentation as the presenter and one other role (such as session chair or discussant but not a second paper) for a maximum of two appearances. That is, we request one single authored paper and one co-authored paper as the limit with regard to abstracts and presentations.

Special Planning:

STS Fair (Oct, 3rd Saturday afternoon 3:00~5:30pm)

Science, Technology and Society (STS) researches have always paid special attention to social involvements of academic findings. The 2015 APSTSN conference will hold an interactive STS FAIR session, to encourage networking between scholars, social activists, policy makers, government agents, industrial managers, designers and representatives from communities, NGOs, NPOs, and more. We hope participants will gain insights for developing projects and future collaborations. This fair is thus intended to nurture STS networking and research that integrates social practices and academic advances.

(Please see website for details - including submission instructions, financial support and registration fees.)

Dr. Anup Kumar Das


Monday, April 13, 2015

CfPs: 10th Annual Conference of Knowledge Forum on Technology, Growth and Sustainability, 27-28 Nov; Bangalore

10th Annual Conference of Knowledge Forum

Conference Theme: Technology, Growth and Sustainability

27-28 November 2015

Host Institution: National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore

Organized by:  Forum for Global Knowledge Sharing []

Co-organizer: Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE)

Call for Papers
Under this overall theme the following topics would be discussed:
  • Innovations
  • Global business
  • Employment – education and skill
  • Gender issues
  • Demographic dimensions including aging
  • Resources and climate change

Conference Format
The conference will have an introductory session followed by Competitive Sessions and Case Studies. In the competitive sessions all the papers will be refereed before accepted for presentations. Case Studies Session will be mainly organized by INAE.
Last date for submission of title of papers and abstracts May 30, 2015.
Last date for full paper submission July 30,2015
Send the abstracts and paper to
Hon. Director: Prof. N. S. Siddharthan,
Convener of Conferences: Prof. K. Narayanan, E-mail:

Further Details:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Register Now! UNESCO’s Online Media and Information Literacy Course for Youth

Register Now! UNESCO's Online Media and Information Literacy Course for Youth

UNESCO, in partnership with Athabasca University and in cooperation with the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, opens a third call for registration for online course on media and information literacy (MIL).

This entry-level online course will provide youth with basic media and information competencies to become critical citizens and agents of change. The course is designed to enable youth to:

  • Understand why media and other information providers are important to development and democratic societies;
  • Recognise a need for information and to locate, access, organise and carefully evaluate information and the content of media and other information providers;
  • Use and share information based on moral principles or accepted standards of social behaviour – in light of opportunities and potential risks;
  • Interact with media and other information providers to freely express themselves, share their culture and learn about other cultures, promote gender equality, and participate in democratic and development activities.

The course is based on the MIL Curriculum and the Freedom of Expression (FOE) Toolkit published by UNESCO. A central theme throughout  this 10-week course is how media and information literacy can enable youth to be actively involved in intercultural dialogue, advocating for equality between women/girls and men/boys, and freedom of expression. 

The course is offered through Athabasca University's online e-Lab, using the learning management system, Moodle.  Most sessions will be self-directed, with ongoing interaction with the course presenters in the online space. Athabasca is a Canadian university that holds a UNESCO Chair on open education resources. Athabasca University is an associate member of the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue.

Applicants should be youth (females and males between the ages 15-25). Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from Athabasca University.

In order to successfully complete this course participants will need regular access to a computer and Internet access to download documents, listen to podcasts and view online videos.

To apply, please click here. Application must be completed by 20 April 2015. There are no associated fees to participants who wish to do this course.

This MIL course includes a research component being carried out by UNESCO.

Online Media and Information Literacy Course Units

Unit 1 – Media and Information Literacy (MIL): An Introduction

Unit 2 – Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue

Unit 3 – Media and Information Literacy: Evaluating and Using Information and Media Content

Unit 4 – Media and Information Literacy: Using Research and Analysis to Produce Your Own Information and Media Content

Unit 5 – Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Information, Freedom of the Press

Unit 6 - Representations of Gender in the Media, Books, on the Internet and in History

Unit 7 – Media and Information Ethics in Relation to the Needs of Big Business, Politics and Development

Unit 8 – Understanding and Evaluating the World of Advertising

Unit 9 – The Challenges and Opportunities of Media, Libraries and New Technologies for Youth

Unit 10 – Engaging with Media and Using New Technology and Information for Social Action


You can read the article also here:


Sunday, April 5, 2015

IE OpEd "Higher Education, Higher Meddling: No quick fixes can help public universities if successive government exercise power unbridled by reason"

"Higher Education, Higher Meddling: No quick fixes can help public universities if successive government exercise power unbridled by reason"
by Shahid Amin , Shobhit Mahajan | The Indian Express, April 4, 2015

Garib ki joru sab ki bhaujai (A poor man's wife is fair game). If anything captures the goings-on in the HRD ministry since the reign of Kapil Sibal, it is this saucy peasant proverb from the cow belt. Irrespective of the shade of the successive Central governments, the HRD minister and functionaries display a propensity, Alice in wonderland-like, for exercising power unbridled by reason and reasonableness. This has come to the fore most recently in the refusal of Anil Kakodkar, the respected nuclear scientist, to play ball with the minister in arbitrarily overruling an earlier consensus and interviewing no less than 36 candidates for the post of IIT director in a single day. "IITs are centres of excellence. They should be left alone," Kakodkar has responded in defence of having left the important task of choosing heads of these premier institutions to the minister and her epigones.
Six years ago, a UPA minister unrolled a plan to create 14 world-class universities ("universities of innovation") "unencumbered by history or culture of the past" — something that no world-class institution would dare boast. The underlying idea is to build islands of excellence by relying on "the highly skilled Indian diaspora". Now, fast on the heels of a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's diktat making it mandatory for all research scientists in its employ to put in 12 hours of gyan-daan in educational institutions outside their research labs, comes the news that US President Barack Obama has accepted the GIAN proposal mooted by the Modi government. As with other "smart" acronyms, when unravelled it yields the cumbersome phrase: Global Initiative of Academic Network. Under this programme, top-notch scientists will teach in Indian institutions from between two weeks to 20 days. This is clearly an India-specific movement of global academic talent, following on the heels of Sibal's still-born scheme to invite premier universities from the UK, Europe and the US to set up off-shore subsidiaries in our country.
The normal flow of international and inter-university academic talent is, however, for such outstanding academicians to hold regular joint-appointments for a semester each in two universities. Ronald Dworkin, the late professor of jurisprudence (the US and the UK) and the brilliant social historian Carlo Ginzburg (Italy and the US) are leading examples from the social sciences. We lost one of our most innovative sociologists, Veena Das, the author most recently of Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty — an ethnographic study of the urban poor, the "aam admi voter" of north Delhi — to the US, as "under the rules" Delhi University could not allow its faculty such intellectual freedom to benefit from and contribute to knowledge globally in a sustained way.  The new fortnightly GIAN idea of the Modi government, by contrast, envisages a veritable "fly-by-night" rapidfire igniting of Indian students' minds. More significantly, there has been no discussion. In fact, an earlier HRD minister was opposed to the idea of enabling India-based academics (Veena Das worked under the legendary sociologist M.N. Srinivas during the golden days of the Delhi School of Economics) to hold joint appointments in "foreign" universities. For its part, the US government allows Indian academics to teach semester- or year-length courses in American universities under a visa regime meant to facilitate "skill development", requiring a time-bound return to the home country for putting the skill gained to domestic use. The visiting Indian academic, one would have thought, gets paid because she contributes value to the particular US university, which invites her, so to speak, for her "skill-imparting" qualities!
The present government is equally keen on pressing the high visibility insta-cook button, while stirring the slow bubbling gruel of higher education with the ladle of ill-thought, top-heavy recipes. A one-size-fits-all uniform course content across the country is to be matched by a single Central Universities Act riding roughshod over historical specificities; students could now move effortlessly, with scant regard for compatibility, from one university to another, as teachers could be shunted out, the intrepid Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka way, wherever and how so many times the Indian state deems it fit for them to serve the educational requirements of the nation, and in whichever part of the India that is Bharat it deems fit.
It is interesting that the question of institutional autonomy catches public attention when, as in the case of the Kakodkar story, it concerns flagship institutions such as IITs. By implication, for the rest of us wallowing in the mud of public universities, there seems scant possibility of more than a few stunted lotuses blooming. Equally, due to the structure of almost magisterial authority allowed under the colonial dispensation to vice chancellors, the professoriate in these institutions fails signally in its fiduciary obligation to uphold academic and moral norms. Not for nothing were the fellows and professors of Oxford University able to out vote their VC's attempt to award an honorary degree to a controversial politician from the subcontinent. And some paid a price for it, as when Richard Gombrich, the renowned Indologist, was denied the chair at Oxford that S. Radhakrishnan had once held, as he had successfully opposed the honouring of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto by Oxford University, citing his inglorious role in triggering the 1971 war.
For their part, desi institutions such as Delhi University cannot quite effect Bertolt Brecht's sardonic suggestion — if dissatisfied with the existing lot, "elect another people". For the usual vishwa vidyalayas, the parameters are given: a national intake of students from unequally diverse backgrounds and a sudden doubling of enrolment and influx of first-generation students. And most crucially, a system that gives the faculty no say whatsoever in choosing its own colleagues.
No amount of quick-fixes can help our public universities meet the new challenges as long as the cavalier and top-heavy system of faculty recruitment is allowed to continue.
Amin is a retired professor of history and Shobhit Mahajan is professor of physics, Delhi University.

Online Comments
Katyal: The article does not make much sense. However, given the fact one of the authors is Shobhit Mahajan, the famous charsi student from St. Stephens, it is no wonder he was able to create such a mishmash of drug induced literature.
Gopal: It's shame for academics to write so poorly. I am inclined to agree with them anyway on this issue but all they done is to offer a few anecdotes. My guess is that the real problem is - balancing of two concerns: the heavy handedness of centralization and the poor quality of management with decentralization. How can we balance one against the other so that we can get good governance? It's a question that bedevils India.
SP: Not sure if author is blowing up some issues or has chosen wrong examples. Sabbaticals are possible for our faculty. Many cases people going to a job with much higher pay at times do not come back. So there may be reasons for existing rules. Nothing wrong if HRD Minister takes a hands on approach in recruitment of IIT directors, as long as it is part of her job. I think we should be hasty in prejudging issues. The GIAN program may be more convenient to international faculty, as many may not want to leave their position in University for a full semester.
Sanket Sudke: There are so many universities in India with millions of students. Why is everybody focussing on IIT's, IIM's etc. ? Better reform the university system instaed of setting new IIT's.
K M: Wonderful point. Every one is obsessed with IITs snd IIMs whose products are ultimately selling syrup water or working in finance markets. The real people who are providing the technical muscle are the students coming out of the second rated and third rate universities. it is the students from private Engg. colleges who migrated to US and other countries and brought laurels to the country. The Govt should concentrate on the other universities where masses are studying.
B. SRIDHAR: It is an undeniable fact that our educational system has been systematically polarized by leftist intellectuals and needs urgent course correction. All the educationalists are leftist liberals mostly from Du or JNU. Anil's resignation was indeed stupid and unnecessarily hyped by the media. He could have sought time to interviewing and the reason cited by him is stupid to say d least. If educationalists seek to do the same things they were doing for the last six decades then the author is living in a fool's paradise. It will be morally correct for people like Romila to keep safe distance because time has come to correct the wrongs
V.S.Malhotra: How can we throw blame for meddling on those in whose make up we all are involved. Were they not at one time sitting in front of us in our class rooms like "clean slates' - to use John Locke's phraseology - on which we could write any thing we wished.
Farhan Ansari: We should educate farming to children in every school in india. America searching these childern to become farmer. The Mechanic
K M: Are you ready to send your son to do farming or to do the job of mechanic?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NBR Report "Innovate in India: Global Perspectives on the Continuing Evolution of India's IP Policy"

The National Bureau of Asian Research THE NATIONAL BUREAU of ASIAN RESEARCH  

NBR Special Report

Innovate in India

Global Perspectives on the Continuing Evolution of India's IP Policy


The National Bureau of Asian Research

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi works to return India to high rates of economic growth, he has notably prioritized the "Make in India" campaign to build up India's domestic manufacturing sector, engaging both indigenous and international firms in the process. Yet at a policy level, the success of this campaign will partly depend on how quickly India can strengthen its intellectual property (IP) regime.

In this NBR Special Report, Roy Kamphausen (NBR) argues that stronger IP protection will reduce business uncertainty and increase investor confidence, benefiting both Indian stakeholders and the international community. While over the past year, the Modi administration has taken important first steps to address the country's IP policy challenges, more needs to be done. The report examines India's IP and innovation environment and presents policy options for India, the United States, and the international community.

Read the full report


About the Author

Roy Kamphausen is a Senior Advisor at the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Related Initiative: India's IP and Innovation Policies

This program aims to examine efforts to strengthen innovation environments in India and highlight recommendations for public policy in the United States, India, and globally. Over the course of 2014-15, NBR is commissioning research with leading scholars across the globe; convening ongoing dialogues with representatives from industry, policy, and research; and holding a series of high-level workshops and events across the Asia-Pacific and in Europe.

For more information on the initiative, please visit our website.

About NBR

The National Bureau of Asian Research is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution dedicated to informing and strengthening policy. NBR conducts advanced independent research on strategic, political, economic, globalization, health, and energy issues affecting U.S. relations with Asia. Drawing upon an extensive network of the world's leading specialists and leveraging the latest technology, NBR bridges the academic, business, and policy arenas.

Media inquiries: Rachel Wagley, Assistant Director of Outreach, at (202) 347-9767 or

Follow us

NBR on twitter NBR on facebook nbr on youtube

1414 NE 42nd Street, Suite 300, Seattle, Washington 98105 | 206.632.7370
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 305, Washington, D.C. 20004 | 202.347.9767

Support NBR | Twitter | Facebook | You Tube | |

A Talk related to Indian Birds, April 21;

A Talk related to Indian Birds

Trevor Price on Speciation

Event Overview

April 21, 2015
Chicago Center in Delhi, C.P.

RSVP here.

Abstract How do two species form from one? Labeled the mystery of mysteries by Charles Darwin, we have made considerable advances in our understanding over the past 20 years, as a result of ecological, behavioral, and, most recently, genomic studies. I will describe how ecology, behavior and genetics interact to create new bird species, drawing on Indian examples.  I will ask how the tremendous diversity of birds has built up in the Himalayas and also consider an example where speciation is actively going on at the present day.

Trevor Price is a Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolution, working with the Committee on Evolutionary Biology and the Committee on Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology.   The current focus of his research is on the determinants of bird species diversity along the Himalayas, notably the question of why there are twice as many species in the eastern Himalayas as the west.  He continues to do field work in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India.

In 2014, Trevor Price gave a joint lecture with Dr. Dhananjai Mohan of the Indian Forest Service on Climate Change, Conservation, and the Birds of the Himalayan Region.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

SANDEE Call for Research Concept Notes on "Managing Environmental Changes"

Call for Research Concept Notes "Managing Environmental Changes"
Deadline: May 31, 2015

The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) is currently inviting concept notes for policy research on Managing Environmental Changes. Concept notes on the following thematic areas will be considered, and, may lead to an invitation to submit full proposals.
  • Policies and Instruments for Greener Growth: Governments put forward a variety of policies and regulations to manage environmental problems. In order to understand whether these strategies enhance sustainable development, this thematic area evaluates: a) the role of regulatory and market mechanisms in policy compliance; b) the impacts of environmental programs and policies; and c) the development of cities as sustainable engines of growth.
  • Ecosystems Management: Ecosystems provide provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services that are being lost at an accelerating rate. Ecosystems research examines: a) contributions of services to livelihoods, particularly of vulnerable groups; b) scale and institutional issues in managing trade-offs associated with resource use; c) policies for conserving services such as biodiversity that are not substitutable.
  • Economics of Climate Change: With climate change, South Asia is expected to get warmer and experience more extreme events. SANDEE's climate portfolio focuses on: a) the effi cacy of alternate adaptation strategies and their local co-benefits; b) programs, institutions and policies that support low carbon growth and long-term adjustment to climate change; and c) access and distributional issues related to renewable energy resources.
Priority Considerations
  • Selected research concept notes may be provided proposal development support to enable teams to understand cross country issues, if any, and travel to study areas for developing full proposals. SANDEE will also try to facilitate cross-county team development.
  • Innovative proposals outside the three themes listed above may be considered if these have strong policy implications. All proposals have to include a strong economics component.
  • Grants are likely to be in the range of USD 20,000-50,000 over a 12-18 month period. Research ideas will be evaluated on their intellectual rigor and policy signifi cance.
  • Please review guidelines and upload concept notes (approximate length 1500 words) on by May 31, 2015 to be considered for the next grants window. For any additional queries, please contact us at

Friday, March 27, 2015

CfPs: Special Issue Critical Perspectives on Innovation, Technology and Learning for Development; Journal of Learning for Development


SPECIAL ISSUE: Critical Perspectives on Innovation, Technology and Learning for Development

Submission Deadlline: 26 April 2015

Guest Editor: Prof Paul Prinsloo, University of South Africa

Journal of Learning for Development


Learning and its contribution to development, whether in open and distance learning, or other educational delivery modes (formal, informal or post-formal) can be explored through many possible lenses, which do not only point to a variety of research designs and methodologies, but also to different philosophical and ideological approaches.

While there are many journals dedicated to learning, curriculum development, assessment, and so forth, and others dedicated to issues regarding development; the JL4D   specifically engages with the nexus between learning and development.

This special issue will provide a platform to engage with firstly, the notion of innovation in learning in the context of, and in relation to socioeconomic and human development; and secondly, critically engage with broader claims and practices in the context of learning for development. Learning for development is therefore in many respects an assemblage of different associations that produce agency as well as "ideas, identities, rules, routines, policies, instruments and reforms" (Fenwick & Edwards, 2010, p. 3). We also have to recognise the impact and different nuances of asymmetrical power relations and configurations on learning for development as assemblage and how it is informed by, for example,  gender, race, language, culture, and geopolitical location (e.g. developing vs. developed and the Global North vs. the Global South). (See for example, Avgerou, 2010; Baijnath, 2013; Collins & Rhoads, 2010; Czerniewicz & Wiens, 2013; Gulati, 2008; Heeks, 2010; Islam, 2011; James, 2010; Keengwe & Malapile, 2014; Lumumba-Kasongo, 2011; Oyelere, 2010; and Tikly & Barrett, 2011).

Education is often lauded as the "powerhouse for development", and as an "incubator for social and economic change" (Naidoo, 2008, p. 248). The collaboration between education and development is therefore portrayed as addressing the origins of, and decreasing the impact of social and economic disparities. While there is no question that education plays a crucial role in socioeconomic and human development, the relationship between learning and development is more complex than generally assumed. The fact that actors, actions and practices in the nexus of education and development are mostly embedded in asymmetrical, socio-material relations necessitates a critical exploration (Apple, 2010; Bauman, 2012; Benavot, 1989; Comim, 2007; Epstein, Boden, Deem, Rizvi & Wright, 2008; Giroux, 2003, 2014; Hountondji, 2000; Hoppers, 2000, 2001; Mensah, 2007).

Teaching and learning are indisputably social, political and ideological acts and the relationship between learning and development is shaped by various factors and discourses such as globalisation, development and the interconnected flows of populations, information, data, capital, knowledge, and differential power (Apple, 2010; Castells, 2009). The relationship between learning and development therefore finds itself located in the nexus of various asymmetric relations of power and mostly contradictory dynamics. Learning and/for development are caught up in the "double logic of inclusion and exclusion in the global networks that structure production, consumption, communication and power" (Castells, 2009, p. 25). Against the complex backdrop of a variety of societal fault lines informed, perpetuated and sustained by dominant market ideologies and educational initiatives by global organisations such as the World Bank; there are increasing concerns about the inability of current market ideologies to address social injustice and disparity and collateral damage of "development" (Apple, 2010; Bauman, 1998, 2004; 2011; Chomsky & Barsamian, 2013; Davis, 2006; Giroux 2014).

The purpose of this special issue is not only to bear witness to how much of the current discourses on learning and development may be connected to various relations of exploitation and domination, but also to de-naturalise many of the assumptions about learning and/for development. This issue therefor hopes to point not only to the complexities and contradictions, but also to spaces for possible counter-hegemonic action and hope (Apple, 2010).

Central to many of the discourses on learning and/for development are claims of how technology and technological developments will, or at least have the potential to, somehow, erase hundreds of years' structural injustice and inequality (Daniel, 2009; Morozov, 2013; Selwyn, 2014). Digital technologies are lauded to herald "a tectonic shift that will bring the benefits of learning and knowledge to millions" (Daniel, 2009, p. 62). There are also claims that through technology and the benevolence of educators and institutions in the global north "education for all" will become a reality for those previously excluded from education (Lillie, 2012). In stark contrast to these claims, is the need to understand technology and more specifically educational technology "in terms of its complicated and often unjust connections to the larger society" (Selwyn & Facer, 2013, p. 4). "While undoubtedly of great potential benefit, it is clear that educational technology is a value-laden site of profound struggle that some people benefit more from than others – most notably in terms of power and profit" (Selwyn, 2014, p. 2). (Also see Morozov, 2013). Technology in the context of learning and development is best understood "as a knot of social, political, economic and cultural agendas that is riddled with complications, contradictions and conflicts" (Selwyn, 2014, p. 6).

Gray (2004) posits the notion that there is no basis for the wide-spread belief that progress in knowledge and science will necessarily result in a more just and compassionate society. He warns that knowledge and science cannot (and will not) "end the conflicts in history. It is an instrument that humans use to achieve their goals, whether winning wars or curing the sick, alleviating poverty or committing genocide" (Gray, 2004, p. 70).

This issue of the Journal of Learning for Development proposes that we consider the relationship between learning and development as both problematic and agentic (Emirbayer and Mische, 1998). Amid the hype, disappointment and hope regarding learning and/for development, we invite contributions that map, explore, contest, critique but also frame alternative praxis in the following foci:

  • Learning for development as assemblage
  • Issues of gender, race, culture in the context of learning for development
  • The growth and impact of the growing privatisation of education on the need for education
  • Social justice
  • Curriculum, and learning theories and pedagogical praxis
  • The role and discourses of technology and development
  • Alternative forms of education, assessment and accreditation
  • The reconfiguration of the boundaries between formal, informal and post-formal learning
  • Graduate literacies and competencies
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Globalisation and the role of global multinational organisations
  • The internationalisation of higher education
  • Scholarship/research of teaching and learning for development
  • Teacher and student identities, roles, responsibilities and trajectories


26 April 2015

Closing date for submissions

10 May 2015

Outcome of the review process communicated to authors

25 May 2015

Resubmission by selected authors plus final selection

29 June2015

Accepted contributions to copy editor

26 July2015

Last date for queries to authors

3 September 2015


1 November 2015



Submission Process (Important):

To submit papers for the special issue, please register at the journal site and submit your paper choosing the option Special Issue (SPI) as the Journal Section. Please write the specific section of the Journal to which your submission is more suitable in the box for Comments to the Editor. All submissions to the Special Issue will be Peer Reviewed as per the policy of the Journal.

Contact details of Special Issue Editor:

For enquiries related to the special issue write to:

Prof Paul Prinsloo (Guest Editor)

University of South Africa;

Further Details: