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 Madras Institute of Development Studies - Working Paper Series Abstract

 

 

Working Paper No.223, July 2016

 

Dispossession by Neglect: Agricultural Land Sales in the Periphery of Chennai

 

by

 

M. Vijayabaskar and Ajit Menon

 

Abstract

 

The emergence of active land markets in the periphery of Chennai has resulted in large tracts of agricultural land being bought by non-agricultural actors who seek returns primarily on speculation. We argue in this paper that the financialisation of land and consequent spurt in the sale of agricultural land are central to what scholars have termed ‘land grab’. Recent literature on land grabs has focused primarily on processes of accumulation by dispossession and the coercive role of the state. Our contention is that land grabs more commonly occur due to the state under-investing in agriculture, resulting in ‘dispossession by neglect’ of especially marginal and small farmers. Dispossession by neglect better captures the fluid boundary between the coercive and the voluntary in contemporary land grabs.

 

 

Working Paper No. 222,June 2016

 

India’s Monetary Policy in a Political Context (1835-2003)

RBI and the Quest for Autonomy

 

by

 

TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan

 

Abstract

 

This paper examines the factors that have influenced monetary policy in the country. It highlights the political factors that have influenced monetary policy providing a fresh perspective on the relationship between the RBI and the government. The paper shows how the one area in which the RBI has more-or-less failed is in ensuring rapid monetary transmission, although this failure is not for want of trying. While the RBI has managed to achieve some autonomy, on many key variables, the political needs prevail.

 

 

Working Paper No.221, September 2015

 

Gender and Commodity Aesthetics in Tamilnadu, 1950-1970

 

by

 

S. Anandhi

 

Abstract

 

Beyond use value and exchange value, commodities encapsulate semiotic values too. They function as markers of status, domesticity, social discipline, rebelliousness and so on. These functions are contextual, contingent and change over time. In other words, commodities reinforce as well as reconstitute the social world and social values of individuals and commodities. Advertisements which appeal to the multiple desires and fears of individuals and communities play a significant role in this process. This paper examines how advertisements for commodities of everyday use such as cosmetics, food supplements, and gadgets manufactured by multinational, national and regional companies, use images of men, women and children to valorise and reconstitute forms of domesticity.

 

 

Working Paper No. 220, September 2015

 

Estimating the Economic Value of Ecosystem Services of Pallikaranai Marsh in Chennai City: A Contingent Valuation Approach

 

by

 

 L. Venkatachalam and Jayanthi M.

 

 

Abstract

 

Wetlands generate multiple ecosystem services, part of which enters the production and consumption functions of firms and households, respectively. Since most of these services are ‘non-marketed’ in nature, the existing institutions fail to capture the economic value that the society would place on them. As a result, economic importance of wetlands gets undermined resulting in sub-optimal allocation of resources for wetland protection. Pervasive negative externalities alter the ecosystem services, causing deterioration in the economic welfare as well. Internalising such externalities and protecting wetlands warrants for monetary valuation of the ensuing non-market benefits and costs reflected in terms of preferences of individuals and households. Pallikaranai marsh, one of the three largest wetlands in Tamil Nadu and the only surviving marsh in Chennai Metropolitan region, is becoming more vulnerable to various negative externalities that affect both the quantity and quality of its ecosystem services utilised by the society. In recent years, Government of Tamil Nadu is investing society’s scarce resources to improve the quality of the marsh. What is the expected ‘consumer surplus’ that the urban households would derive from such an improvement? A contingent valuation (CV) survey was employed among randomly selected households around the marsh to elicit their marginal willingness to pay (WTP) for different levels of improvements in the marsh. The paper discusses the results of the CV survey as well as the validity of such results.

 

 

Working Paper No. 219, September 2015

 

Governance and Development in India:

A Review of Studies and Suggestions for Further Research

 

by

 

K. Srinivasan and M.S. Selvan

 

Abstract

 

In this working paper, first, we review the various definitions of the term ‘governance’ by international organisations and scholars and then, from a thematic perspective, we look at some of the major studies on this topic at the international and the national levels. We compare the different definitions of the term ‘governance’, dimensions or pillars of governance across various studies and then the indicators used within each dimension for a quantitative assessment of governance. The major international studies reviewed in this working paper are those done by the World Governance Institute (WGI) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and also by select scholars. The sources of data for computation of the indicators used in different studies are also reviewed. This review highlights the critical issues of definition, dimensions, indicators and data sources for assessing and improving governance in the country at the government in the Centre and the states levels. The study points to some of the important areas for further research on governance mainly from the perspective of improving governance in India. It is also found that advancements in technology such as widespread use of Internet connectivity and mobile phones influence governance and development per se and the National E-Governance Program (NeGP) has enormously contributed towards achieving this objective. The study then brings out recommendations for future research on governance in India.

 

 

Working Paper No. 218, January 2015

 

Social Theory and Asian Dialogues: Cultivating Planetary Conversations

 

By

 

Ananta Kumar Giri

 

Abstract

 

There is much talk about globalization of sociology but there is very little concrete effort to bring sociology and social theory into mutually transforming dialogues involving cultural presuppositions about self, culture and societies from various locations and traditions of our world. In this essay, an attempt has been made to bring certain strands in Euro-American social theory in dialogue with some Asian traditions of thinking and being. The essay discusses self, Confucianism, dynamic harmony and post-colonialism as part of this broader field of social theory and Asian dialogues.

 

 

 Working Paper No. 217, November 2014

 

Water Acquisition for Urban Use from Irrigation Tanks:

Can Payment for Ecosystem Services Produce a Win-Win Outcome?

 by

L. Venkatachalam

Abstract:

Conflicts over land acquisition and their political and economic consequences in the Indian context have been well articulated in development economics literature. In recent years, many Indian states have begun to 'acquire' irrigation water for non-agricultural purposes, but the economic and environmental consequences of the same are not adequately highlighted in the relevant literature. Water acquisition takes place in two different ways, resulting in welfare loss: when agricultural land is acquired for development purpose, farmers lose certain non-agricultural benefits associated with irrigation water that goes along with land; and, when governments forcibly acquire irrigation water from traditional sources for urban use, the farmers with riparian water rights are forced to sacrifice such rights as well as various other benefits attached to it. In both the cases, the farmers are not compensated for their possible welfare loss arising from repudiation of their water rights. Forceful water acquisition would crowd-out farmers' incentives to manage water bodies on an inter-temporal basis. Hence, the present article explores the possibility of introducing  Payment for Ecosystem Services so that water acquisition can produce a non-zero sum outcome for farmers, governments and urban consumers in an efficient, equitable and sustainable manner. 

 

 

Working Paper No. 216, March 2014

Family planning programs in India: An overview and need for a revision

by

K. Srinivasan

Abstract:

Indian Family Planning Program, though started in 1952 on solid developmental and women's welfare grounds, has had over the years rapid upswings followed by downswings  either because of bad and hurried population policies  such as during national emergency in 1975 or setting unrealistic targets or removing them because of succumbing to the international pressure caused by women's groups through the International Conference on Population and Development  (ICPD) held at Cairo in 1994. Though India has on the whole done fairly well in reducing its fertility levels very close to the levels desired by the married couples in many states, there are still large variations across the states on fertility and many development indicators. Increased contraceptive use and lowered fertility levels have been found to be closely related with developments in many areas at the micro and macro levels and the human development index, not only within India but across the globe. There are two major problems caused by the India program: first, large interstate variations in population growth, fertility and mortality levels across the states and second, the setting of unrealistic targets leading to falsification of figures. These are matters of serious concern for the country both from the point of view of maintaining the high rate of economic growth witnessed in the past  largely in the states that had already achieved low fertility levels and surplus household incomes to invest in a better investment climate and also maintaining political stability. We suggest some recommendations for more effective and less controversial program of family planning in the country.

 


Working Paper No. 215, July 2011

With and Beyond Plurality of Standpoints: Sociology and the Sadhana of Multi-Valued Logic and Living

by

Ananta Kumar Giri

Abstract

The essay discusses the issue of standpoint in knowledge and society. It discusses the way we need to go beyond our absolutist standpoints and be open to other standpoints.  It also discusses the limits of the language of standpoint and urges us to realize our varieties of modes of being in practices of knowing such as sitting, walking and dancing. It pleads for pluralization of standpoints and argues that sociology ought to strive for such pluralization. It also argues that sociology needs to discover plural streams in both ideology and theology. Going beyond one-sided and dualistic logic, it pleads for practice of sadhana of multi-valued logic and living.

Keywords: plurality of standpoints, pluralization, standpoint epistemology, sadhana of multi-valued logic and living.
 


Working Paper No. 214, June 2011

Tradable Water Rights and Pareto Optimal Water Allocation in Agriculture:

Results from a Field Experiment in Bhavani Basin, Tamil Nadu

by

L Venkatachalam

Abstract

The present study aims at exploring the feasibility of introducing a market-based economic instrument namely, the tradable water rights, for efficient surface water allocation within the agriculture sector in the Indian context. Focusing on a ‘water scarce’ river basin namely, the Bhavani River Basin in Tamil Nadu state, the study tries to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) values of the respective buyers and sellers of ‘excess’ water available in the basin, in order to assess the potential gains from water trade under the proposed tradable water rights regime. Based on the WTP and WTA values derived from a field experiment conducted within a repeated interaction framework, the study found that the average WTP values of the buyers exceeds the average WTA values of the sellers thereby paving way for market exchange on excess water at least among sixty percent of the farmers across different canal systems in the basin. The study concludes that introducing the tradable water rights as an alternative institutional mechanism will lead to Pareto efficient allocation of water, generating substantial efficiency gains in the agriculture sector. The policy and other institutional arrangements required for implementing the tradable water rights system are underlined in the final section.
 


Working Paper No. 213, January 2011

Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change:

Learning from Impact and Vulnerability Literature

by

Chandra Sekhar Bahinipati

Abstract

 In the international arena, two broad policy responses have emerged to deal with negative impact of climate change, i.e. 'mitigation' and 'adaptation'. Though adaptation is required to reduce un-mitigated climatic impact, the ongoing international climate conventions and scholarly studies have given less emphasis to it in comparison to mitigation. In climate change economics literature, the notion adaptation has been used in two discourses: 'impact' and 'vulnerability', and both are different in the context of not only addressing research question but also assessing adaptive capacity. Assuming adaptation as 'static or end-point' approach, the impact studies have estimated potential impact cost, which involves both adaptation and residual or un-mitigated impact cost, based on projected emission scenarios now and forever. The vulnerability studies, in contrast, have presumed adaptation as 'starting-point' approach, and assessed risk of an entity within the broader social, economic, political and environmental context. In the context of adaptation, the former (impact) assumes clairvoyant farmer hypothesis, and hence, suggests climate specific adaptations. The later (vulnerability), on the other hand, views adaptation as the current ability of a person to cope with risk and secure livelihoods, which in particular assessing vulnerability, who adapts and his/ her risk attitude behaviour, and process of occurring adaptations. Though the purpose of both is to reduce negative impact through adaptation, the present study surveys both the sets of studies based on two questions: how the notion of adaptation is being articulated and to what extent their findings are useful for implementing and facilitating adaptations.
 


Working Paper No. 212, January 2011-08-29

Spot and Futures Markets of Agricultural Commodities in India: Analysis of Price Integration and Volatility

by

B. S. Sumalatha

Abstract:

This paper deals with spot and futures price volatility of selected agricultural crops by analyzing their market integration. This helps us to understand whether spot and futures market integration explains price stability in both the markets of commodities and their similarities and differences across crops. The co-integration result found to be significant for chana, pepper, rubber, mustard seed and refreshed soy oil and no co-integrating relationship is found for guarseed. This means that the long run relation between prices exists for commodities except guar seed. The result of Granger test detects unidirectional Granger causality from futures to spot markets for pepper, mustard seed and refreshed soy oil and spot to futures markets for rubber. Bidirectional Granger causality was found in case of chana and no Granger causality was found in the case of guarseed. Volatility (Coefficient of variation is used) analysis of commodity prices show that futures market price volatility is higher than spot market for guar seed, pepper, rubber, mustard seed and spot market price volatility is higher than futures market for chana and refreshed soyoil.
 


Working Paper No.211, December 2010

Employment and Maternity Protection: Understanding Poor Coverage of Beneficial Legislation through Content Analysis of Some Judgments

by

Padmini Swaminathan

Abstract:

This study is a small part of a larger study undertaken by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences [TISS] along with ILO, New Delhi office, and the Ministry of Labour, to assess the coverage and effectiveness of national efforts to provide quality maternity protection for all. Among the overall objectives listed in the Terms of Reference document of TISS, it is hoped that the study will "bring to light incidences/signs of evasion tactics deployed by employers to avoid paying maternity protection [for example hiring less women, hiring women on casual and contract basis] under the MB and ESI Acts in particular and in other schemes, and assess whether the evasion is aggravated in the case of an employer liability scheme".

An important piece of legislation in post-Independent India is The Maternity Benefit [MB] Act, 1961. Over the years, the Courts have had to deal with several cases from aggrieved women workers who have alleged denial of benefits under this Act despite, according to them, being eligible for the benefits. This study has undertaken a content analysis of a few cases filed for relief under this Act.

We have examined around twenty-seven cases filed under this Act. The cases have been thematically ordered to highlight different aspects as well as the many ways in which the beneficial purpose for which this Act was enacted has been less than what it should have been. Each of the broad heads into which the cases have been grouped themselves highlight several inter-connected issues.

A general but important theme for resolution that emerges from this exercise is the insufficient attention that has been paid all along to the interface, or rather the lack of it, between the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, and other laws, Acts, etc, governing conditions of employment. The larger question that this raises is the following: given the importance of the Maternity Benefit Act should not the Legislative Bodies of this country followed up the enactment of this Act with 'rules of operation' clearly specifying how the provisions of this Act needed to be incorporated, even if it required amendments to other laws/Acts, so that the beneficial purpose for which the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 was passed served that purpose?

Secondly, whether State or the private sector, the attempt always is to pay the woman employee a lesser [than would be admissible under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961] quantum of benefit, be it leave or money.

 

Three, while the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, itself does not state anything on the number of times a woman worker can avail of benefit under the Act, service rules of organizations incorporating GOI's population control policies have taken precedence over the MB Act, 1961, to the detriment of women workers.
 


Working
Paper No.210, November 2010

Rethinking the Human and the Social: Towards a Multiverse of Transformations

by

Ananta Kumar Giri

Abstract:

Our understanding of the human and the social, as well as realization of these, are in need of fundamental transformations  as our present day use of these are deeply anthropocentric, Eurocentric and dualistic. Human development discourse looks at human in an adjectival way, so does the social quality approach the category of the social, and both do not reflect the profound rethinking both the categories have gone through even in the Western theoretical imagination (for example, critique of humanism in philosophy and critique of sociocentrism in sociology).  In this context, the present essay explores the ways these two categories are being rethought in Western theoretical imagination and discusses non-anthropocentric and post-anthropocentric conceptualization and realization of the human which resonates with non-sociocentric and post-social conception of society.  The essay also opens these two categories to cross-cultural and planetary conversations and on the way rethinks subjectivity, sovereignty, temporality and spatiality.  The present essay addresses the following issues: how do we talk about and realize being human now? How does it relate to transcendence and nature? Is being human only an epistemic project or it is also an ontological project going beyond the dualism between the epistemic and the ontological in modernity? How do we realize social now—only as a member of nation-state and fearful follower of an angry God? How do we realize human security and social quality—security of the satisfied pig or the dissatisfied Socrates?
 


Working Paper No.209, November 2010

Knowing Together in Compassion and Confrontation: The Calling of Transformative Knowledge

by

Ananta Kumar Giri

Abstract :

To know is to know together and practices of knowing together involve both compassion and confrontation. Compassion enables us to feel together our pain and suffering while confrontation enables us to confront that part of self, other and society which hinders unfoldment of our potential for fuller realisation and becoming. In practices of knowing together we create a compassionate community and help each other to learn. This is also a space of solidarity, a solidarity which is always in a process of fuller realization rather than a fixed thing. In knowing together we compassionately understand each other, our points of view, including those of the ones we confront and in the process our points of view become circles of view capable of more generous embrace. In knowing together we also confront each other, our existing conceptions of self, nature and society especially those conceptions which reiterate structures of domination and do not facilitate realization of our human, societal, divine and cosmic potential. The paper presents such pathways of knowing together and presents visions and practices of transformative knowledge which contribute to self-development, inclusion of the other and planetary realizations.
 

 

Working Paper No: 208, April 2010

"Self" rather than the "Other": Towards a Subjective Ethnography of Kani Community

by

M Arivalagan

Abstract:

Since the colonial period, Kanikkaran (Kani) community has been portrayed as a 'primitive tribe' in the colonial and post-colonial ethnographies.  The concept of tribe leads to the 'objectification' of Kanis and does not allow the Kani's subjectivity.  This study argues that social memory, life experiences and oral history, are to be taken into account as methodological tool to write ethnography of Kani's "subjectification".

 

 


Working Paper No.207, July 2009


The Calling of Practical Spirituality: Transformations in Science and Religion and New Dialogues on Self, Transcendence and Society


by


Ananta Kumar Giri

Abstract:

We are in the midst of unprecedented crises now and much of it revolves around non-sustainable and outmoded ways of thinking and organizing our life—self, society, state, science, religion and spirituality.  The present paper explores pathways of going beyond the present predicament and offers practical spirituality as manifold ways of foundationally thinking and reconstituting self, society, religion and science.  It discusses the seminal work of Daya Krishna and explores practical spirituality as a new purusartha of human development.  The paper also discusses the work of Ramachandra Gandhi and explores how practical spirituality can help us find ways out of violence of anthropocentrism and the limitations of contemporary models of democracy.
 

 


Working Paper No.206, December 2008

Sociology as Quest for a Good Society: A Conversation with Robert Bellah

by

Ananta Kumar Giri

Abstract :

Sociology does not just study what it is; based upon the study of is, it also gives voices to the striving for the ought in our lives and society.  This way Sociology takes part in the  striving for a good society which is a continuous journey of criticism, creativity and transformation.  The paper discusses the striving for a good society as it unfolds in the work of Robert Bellah, a creative sociologist of our times. It discusses Bellah’s work starting from his classic work on Tokugawa Religion and discusses his latest work on sociology as social criticism, religion and public sphere and religious evolution.
 

 


Working Paper No.205, December 2008

Tibet, China and the World: Realizing Peace, Freedom and Harmony

by

Ananta Kumar Giri

 Abstract :

The essay discusses the issue of Tibet in the context of the last uprising in March 2008 and explores possibilities of going beyond nationalist jingoism and making Tibet a place of shared sovereignties.  It discusses possible paths for peace, freedom and harmony in Tibet, China and the World and also highlights the need for post-national transformations in Kashmir and Palestine.
 

 


Working Paper No.204, September 2008

The Manifesto and the Modern Self Reading the Autobiography of Muthulakshmi Reddy

by

S. Anandhi

Abstract:

In defining the modern selfhood, Indian autobiographies of men not only privileged the ‘public self’ but also defined the boundaries of the public and the political through articulation of the masculine self as rational and enlightened which could transcend the contingencies of desire, affectivity and the body. In the process, they constrcuted the female self as the embodied, non-modern ‘other’ that belongs to the affective domain of the private or domestic, especially in the context of modernity. Women’s autobiographies, on the other hand, offered a counter-public discourse by imagining an alternate modern selfhood that challenged the elision of masculinity and modernity by reconstituting women’s subjectivity as political subjects in the modern public sphere. In narrating the gendered experiences of modernity women’s autobiographies have adopted a form known as ‘Autobiographical Manifesto’. The manifesto form enabled women to narrate their experiences of oppressions and exclusions from the public sphere and gave a call for new political collectivity and imagined future possibilities for modern selfhood. This paper attempts to analyse the autobiographical manifesto of a middle-class feminist from colonial Tamilnadu,. S.Muthulakshmi Reddy who was the first woman medical graduate from the Madras presidency, the first woman to be elected as a member to the legislative council in British India, an ardent Gandhian nationalist who tirelessly campaigned against the Devadasi system and child marriage and one who brought about a range of welfare measures for women. The paper critically engages with her two autobiographies to explain the limits of manifesto and the modernity to radical politics.
 

 


Working Paper No.203, August 2008

Beyond Colonialism Towards A New Environmental History of India

by

M. Arivalagan

 Abstract:

In India, most studies on environmental history focus on diverse themes in the colonial period but fall into a stereotypical explanation. Nature’s degradation is mainly depicted from the archival documents. However, forest subjects glorify the colonial past even though the colonial authority destroyed the forests and uprooted their habitation. To question this stereotype, two questions have been drawn from the memory of Kanikkaran community; why does the community glorify the colonial past? If the community has positive light on the colonial past, what is their conception about nature? If these questions are addressed, the static understanding about the forest subjects and the unidimensional understanding of nature could be avoided in the historiography.
 

 


Working Paper No. 202, July 2008

Pain, Politics and Persistence: The Power of Powerlessness

by

Rajakishor Mahana

Abstract:

The paper tries to understand the discourse and practice of different social movements (in Orissa) in generating an alternative social power that creates a space and hope for an alternative to development. In the process, the paper makes a critical assessment of the authoritative and destructive forces (power) of the state and market in killing and displacing the tribals and its resulting pain and suffering the tribals endure without losing sight of the attributes they give to their own actions of resistance and the emergent power the tribals persists not only to challenge tyranny but also to mitigate misery.
 

 


Working Paper No. 201, July 2008

Adapting Capability Approach to Understand the Life Experiences of the Poor:
Making a Case from the Survey of Literature

by

Ann George

Abstract :

Capability approach by focusing directly on the lives of the individuals enables one to look into certain less discussed complex functionings and capabilities in the lives of the poor.  This paper looks into the question of what it means to the poor to ‘be’ the disadvantaged in an unequal world with regard to three related functionings namely their perceptions of and reactions to the unequal social order, the concerns around which their most poignant sufferings and satisfactions are centered and their upward mobility aspirations. This review of literature, examining the lives of the poor through more intensive methodologies like participant observations, ethnographies and in-depth interviews reveals that there are complex layers within the same dimension, which remain rather obscured in the enumeration oriented studies of poor in economics. The paper finds that welfare economics in general and Sen’s capability approach in particular would benefit from cross disciplinary exchanges with Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology etc and argues that the broadening canvas of welfare concerns made possible by the enunciation of capability approach, needs to be used further for engaging with the several nuances in the lives of the individuals (the poor) to understand complex topics of development economics, in this case poverty and inequality.
 

 


Working Paper No. 200, July 2007

Exploring the Importance of Excess Female Mortality and Discrimination
in ‘Natality’ in Explaining the ‘Lowness’ of the Sex Ratio in India

by

D. Jayaraj

Abstract:

The beginning of the present century has been marked by a shift in attention from excess female mortality to discrimination in natality in explaining the ‘lowness’ of the sex ratio or weight of women in India’s population. Such a shift in focus seemingly suggests that discrimination in intra-family allocation of resources has been reduced substantially in India. In this context, an attempt has been made to decompose the observed ‘lowness’ of the sex ratio in India into that attributable to (1) young age structure, (2) ‘excess’ female mortality, (3) abnormality in sex ratio at birth in India. Estimated contributions of each factor suggest that, as late as in 2001, ‘excess’ female mortality or ‘lowness’ of relative survival advantage of females accounts for as much as 65.63 per cent of the ‘lowness’ of the sex ratio in India. This result suggests that, despite substantial gains made in the recent past, ‘excess’ female mortality is still the single most important factor accounting for the ‘lowness’ of the sex ratio in India. The results also point to the importance of age structure, which accounts for around 43 per cent of the ‘lowness’ of the sex ratio in India in 2001, in determining the weight of women in a society.
 

 

 

Working Paper No.199, April 2007

Welfare Pluralism: A Post Modern Rationale in Policy Making

by

K. Jayashree

Abstract :

The present study is a crucial section of my thesis on welfare policies as a panacea for development ills.  Essentially the study seeks to question the etiquette of eternity of welfare interventions.  Public provisioning reflecting the responsibility of the state to the poor need to take into consideration the long term development requisites, the conspicuous absence of which results in policy disjuncture.  Counting on the interventions that have had a long stay for decades together like EGS, MDM, PDS in India, the discussion proposes re-looking of the policy premises, the policy process and the policy outcomes. The policy preamble led by mainstream axiom makes concoctive additions – objectives and techniques –plan after plan ensuring socio-economic change in the lives of the poor. The arithmetic success of the pro-poor interventions is a grim indicator of the transformative tenets of the concoctions. Further, in response to the query of the paper, ‘Does policy success connote development failure?’, the study attempts to map political / economic rationalities that underpin [welfare] policy interventions.  Stemming from the debate on political palliatives to tackle ill-fare, there is a review of policy interventions pinning down upon the attendant evils of technocracy. The elucidation thus purports to place on score the vitality of content appraisal of welfare policies, aside conventional impact assessment.
 

 


Working Paper No.198, February 2007

Making It Relevant: Mapping the Meaning of Women’s Studies in Tamilnadu

by

S. Anandhi and Padmini Swaminathan

Abstract :

What is women’s studies? Is it a discipline? Subject? What should a women’s studies’ programme connote and what obtains in practice? Through a survey this paper attempts to map the different aspects of the women’s studies programme in the institutions of higher education of Tamil Nadu. Among other things, the contention of the paper is that the forms and conditions of institutionalization of women’s studies in the institutions of higher education to a large extent constrained the possibilities of carrying out women’s studies as an academic discipline. The paper has important implications for bodies such as the UGC that, at one level, has been in the forefront of the institutionalization of the women’s studies’ movement in India particularly in the 1990s, but, at another level, has failed to achieve the kinds of intellectual and political changes promised by the founders of women’s studies in India.
 

 


Working Paper No. 197, December 2006

Understanding the Struggle for Panchama Land

by

C. Jerome Samraj

Abstract:

Colonial government in India in its attempt to connect the ‘Depressed Classes’ directly to land assigned cultivable wastelands to them; known as Depressed Class lands (Panchama lands). These lands have been illegally transferred to the non-depressed classes over the years. In 1994, Tamil Nadu witnessed a major struggle to retrieve the DC lands by Dalits. While the legal validity of Dalits’ right over the DC lands still hold good, the Save Panchama Land Movement’s in its effort to retrieve the lands made significant attempts in propagating the illegal possession of land by the non-Dalits in Tamil Nadu. This paper attempts to analyze the struggle for Panchama lands provides a brief history of the colonial course of action that lead to the assignment of DC lands, local memory of the past about agriculture, assignment of the DC lands to the Dalits and its subsequent transfer of land ownership.
 

 


Working Paper No. 196, December 2006

Urban water conflicts in Indian cities Man-made scarcity as a critical factor

by

S. Janakarajan , Marie Llorente and Marie-Hélène Zérah

Abstract:

This paper discusses two important issues: The first one relates to the resource base, its availability, use and abuse and the second pertains to conflicts which have surfaced in the process of service provision in cities in India. Most cities in India are facing severe problems relating to delivery of urban services, in particular drinking water. The problems and concerns of city water supply pertain to quantity and quality as well as equity – across different segments and different sections of population. Poor sanitation, ineffective and obsolete wastewater management practices and lack of long-term vision, planning and motivation are some of the issues which need immediate attention of the policy makers. At the same time cities continue to expand at a rapid rate and eat into resources (such as land and water) available in peri-urban areas. While land in peri-urban villages is grabbed for urban housing, industrial establishments and for dumping urban wastes (both solid and liquid) very little is ploughed back by way of developing these areas. Urbanisation process cannot be blind. It has got to be inclusive and accommodative. It should ensure sustainable use of natural resources, in particular land and water – more so groundwater. Indeed, very little attention is paid to investigate the role of groundwater in the process of urban development. The surface and groundwater and land use should be an integral part of the urban and peri-urban development. In India, not only that water is never a part of the urban planning, the peri-urban issues are completely ignored and given the least importance in the overall planning process. This has resulted in serious livelihood problems in these areas. Furthermore, such unconcerned and unplanned urban expansions have triggered off conflicts between urban and peri-urban interests. The paper is organised into four sections. The first one aims at refining a definition of urban water conflict while the next two deal with case studies of Chennai (ex-Madras) and Delhi. The final section aims at considering the rather not successful results of existing conflict resolution mechanisms in place.