Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reinterpreting Colonial Moment

Reinterpreting Colonial Moment
Rohan DSouza

Economic & Political Weekly, December 26, 2009 vol xliv no 52

BOOK REVIEW "Landscapes and the Law: Environmental Politics, Regional Histories and Contests over Nature" by Gunnel Cederlof.

Debates on India’s colonial legacy have understandably been vexatious. For long, historians tended to emphasise ruptures or searched for neat demarcations between the colonial and the colonised. The British, such studies maintained, not only decisively effected dramatic transformations in pursuit of domination and extraction, but unfolded their presence in the continent as a singular, united and internally consistent project. Recent turns in scholarship, however, have sought to unsettle these elegant and avowedly uncomplicated assessments of colonial intentions or their varied impacts. Such revisionist scholarship, in contrast, has overwhelmingly characterised the colonial encounters as resulting in messy, liminal, ambiguous or hybrid outcomes. In effect, the colonial project rather than being assembled as a series of obdurate boundaries with sharp edges is now argued to have functioned osmotically; with strategies for empire made up of fluid calculations and many an outcome realised through intricate political blends. Landscapes and the Law is, undoubtedly, a significant and compelling addition to this revisionist mood.

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International Conference 2010 "Risky entanglements? Contemporary research cultures imagined and practised"

International Conference 2010 "Risky entanglements? Contemporary research cultures imagined and practised"

Dates: 9-11 June 2010

Organisers: Department of Social Studies of Science, University of Vienna, Austria

Venue: Albert Schweitzer Haus, Vienna, Austria

Call for Papers
Recent key macro studies agree that scientific research is increasingly entangled in various societal rationales. On the one hand, these analyses should be understood within the context of the growing importance attributed to scientific and technological innovation for shaping contemporary societies. On the other hand, society‘s readiness to contribute to an innovation-friendly climate is considered a key-asset for materializing this imagined progress. For both issues, the human side of science, thus researchers and their way of doing research, their values and their readiness to engage with both science and society, is perceived as essential.

As this unfolds on a global scale, it is interesting to observe within research policy and science institutions the convergence of various discourses that stress and imagine what seem to be the key values or myths guiding research today: excellence, accountability, mobility, flexibility, ethical conduct, societal relevance or application orientation, to mention but a few. However, far too little analytic attention has been devoted to
(1) how these broad and ostensibly universal notions impinge on different work and knowledge production cultures, (2) how specific local histories and contingencies play out in practice, (3) how these global changes get refracted locally and personally, and (4) how all this re-frames what being a researcher today actually means. This lack seems astonishing given the importance the 'human factor' is attributed in current policy discourses around innovation.

This conference invites contributions that address change and continuity of work and knowledge production cultures in research, and ask in which processes ethical, societal and economic rationales shape these very cultures. Of particular interest are contributions that are combining more refined empirical analyses with broader theoretical frameworks of change. By combining works that address different regional-historical contexts and different scientific fields, the conference’s explicit goal is to open up comparative perspectives, thus contributing to a broader understanding of contemporary research cultures.

Conference Themes
  • Research Cultures and Regimes of Innovation
  • The Social and Temporal Organisation of Research
  • Ethics in (Research) Practice
  • Biographies and Careers in Science
  • Rituals of Assessing Academic Work
  • Socialising Future Researchers for a New Kind of Science?
  • Economies of Promise: Imagined Futures as a Resource of Science
  • Public Debates and Research Cultures

Joachim Allgaier or Ulrike Felt

E-mail: conference.sciencestudies (at) univie.ac.at
Fax: +43 1 4277-9496

Course on Quantitative Methods in Labour Research

Course on Quantitative Methods in Labour Research

Organized by: V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA, India

Dates: 8-19 February 2010

V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, NOIDA invites applications from young researchers, teachers and faculty members in colleges, universities and research institutions to participate in a Course on Quantitative Methods in Labour Research during February 8-19, 2010. The objectives of the programme are to: (a) equip the participants with various quantitative research tools used in labour research; (b) orient the participants on the major sources of data on labour; (c) familiarise the participants with major statistical packages used in labour research. No programme fee will be charged and the selected candidates would be paid second-class sleeper Rail/Bus fare from their place of work to NOIDA. Minimum qualification for the applicants is a Masters Degree in Social Sciences, with some orientation on statistical and quantitative methods. The participants will be provided free boarding and lodging at the Institute’s Campus. Interested candidates may send their application with a brief C.V. to Mr. Anoop Kumar Satpathy, Course Director, V. V. Giri National Labour Institute, Sector-24, NOIDA-201301, (0120-2411533-35; Ext: 205/238 Fax: 0120- 2411469,E-mail: nerc.vvgnli[at]gmail.com.

Last date for receiving application
January 25, 2010.

Further Details

ICSSR Academic Writing Workshop 2010

ICSSR Academic Writing Workshop 2010

Organized by: Western Regional Centre, Indian Council of Social Science Research, J P Naik Bhavan, Vidyanagari, Mumbai 400098, India

Dates: March 2010

The Indian Council of Social Science Research, Western Regional Centre in association with eSocialSciences announces the Academic Writing Workshop for MPhil and PhD scholars. The workshop will be held in Mumbai in March 2010. Preference will be given to participants from western India.

This is an intensive hands-on workshop intended to assist scholars on the verge of publishing their research output. Scholars will also have an opportunity of interacting with senior scholars who will mentor them. Scholars are expected to produce a draft paper by the end of the workshop. Participants will also be encouraged to explore new modes for research communication.

Applications must include a brief academic background & biodata and a draft outline/concept note of the research paper they intend to work on in the course of the workshop. Applications not accompanied by an outline will not be considered. The application & proposal (hard copy neatly typed in double space) should reach the Centre by 30th January, 2010.

Future communication in this regard can be made on aww007@gmail.com.

Further details

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Internationalisation of R&D and Global Nature of Innovation: Emerging Trends in India

Internationalisation of R&D and Global Nature of Innovation: Emerging Trends in India

By V.V. Krishna and Sujit Bhattacharya

September 2009

ARI Working Paper Series, WPS 123

Published by: Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore


The corporate model of R&D pursued within home country locations of the corporate firm is fast eroding. Important magazines such as The Economist (3 March 2007, p69) has begun to talk about, 'The rise and fall of corporate R&D'. The internet and telecommunication revolutions have dismantled geographical barriers creating a new innovation potential at different levels of value chain which are now dispersed at different locations. The Asian region has come to occupy a significant space in these trends. India and China are becoming major locations for off-shore R&D and innovation affiliations. The last decade witnessed two trends in the pattern of global science and technology systems in the Indian context. The first concerns the internationalisation of R&D and the second the increasingly global nature of innovation.

This paper explores three main issues in the Indian context. Firstly, it explores the significant changes in the macro economic and science and technology policies which have propelled changes during the last decade and a half. Secondly, through various indicators the paper maps the growth of internationalization of R&D and global nature of innovation. Thirdly, the paper explores the context of innovation to see whether these trends signify a 'new international division of labor' between North and South or whether there is a significant transformation underway for global nature of innovation.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Inviting Comments from Public on the Draft National Consumer Policy

Inviting Comments from Public on the Draft National Consumer Policy

The Department of Consumer Affairs wishes to finalize a National Consumer Policy. The draft of the proposed National Consumer Policy is placed below. Members of the general public are invited to give their comments / suggestions / observations on this policy. The last date for sending comments is 30.01.2010. The comments may be sent either by post or email to

Shri Rajinder Chaudhry

Deputy Secretary

Department of Consumer Affairs

Room No. 365, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi - 110001

Email: dspub-ca[at]nic.in

Download Document [National Consumer Policy - Draft]