Monday, June 29, 2015

IE "Admission surge: As India Inc adopts ITIs, students make a beeline"

Admission surge: As India Inc adopts ITIs, students make a beeline
The examination fee was earlier charged only once depending on the duration of the trades but in the present system, it is charged semester-wise. The surge in enrollments last fiscal was driven mainly by the better performing ITIs where industry is actively involved as a participant.
by Anil Sasi  | Indian Express | June 30, 2015
The number of enrollments in Industrial Training Institutes or ITIs has seen an incremental surge of over 20 per cent in 2014-15, as against a nearly flat growth observed in each of two preceding years.
The surge in enrollments last fiscal was driven mainly by the better performing ITIs where industry is actively involved as a participant, including the ones supported by auto majors Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra as well as those where utilities such as NTPC Ltd are partners. The surge is despite a total of 103 ITIs being de-affiliated during the last two financial years due to non conformity with National Council on Vocational Training norms.
The fee system for ITIs was changed since the introduction of the semester system since the August 2013 session and the examination under the above pattern has been conducted since February 2014 onward.
The examination fee was earlier charged only once depending on the duration of the trades but in the present system, it is charged semester-wise.
The biggest contributor, though, is positive industry partnership. Maruti Suzuki – the country's largest carmaker, is working on plans to scale up its skill development activities across ITIs by setting up Automobile Skill Enhancement Centres or ASEC at 45 government-run ITIs across the country.
Each of these centres are be equipped with a model workshop to provide practical training, alongside which the company plans to also appoint full-time trainers, provide tools and equipment and forge partnerships with local Maruti Suzuki service workshops to upgrade skills of ITI students and make them job-ready. The trainees will be free to seek employment in any workshop, including those not servicing Maruti Suzuki vehicles. "With the growth in the number of vehicles on the roads, quality repair and maintenance offers a major employment opportunity," according to Pankaj Narula, executive director (service) at Maruti Suzuki. Students trained at the ASECs will be awarded an additional skill training certificate, an additional incentive.
ITI Solan is among the government-run ITIs where the motor mechanic trade and electrician trade have been upgraded by utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra, resulting in a sharp increase in demand for the course. Under this partnership, M&M conducts programs on various aspects of automobile manufacturing and servicing — referred to as 'Mahindra  Special Technical Education  Programme for Students' or  'M – STEPS' — to student community  who are undergoing   certain specified and government recognised technical course. This is in addition to the regular syllabus prescribed to the Institute.
The involvement of third party monitoring agencies to carry out verification of infrastructure of vocational training providers, credentials of students, trainers and assessors, curriculum compliance and training delivery and assessment processes, is another reason being attributed for the improvement in the perception of government's skill development institutions.
Studies conducted earlier bear this out. The performance evaluation studies of ITIs providing training under Craftsmen Training Scheme carried out by Quality Council of India in 2011 have shown that placement rate in the ITIs which have been upgraded has increased between 80 to 99 per cent, whereas in other ITIs it is 40 to 50 per cent. A mid-term tracer study was conducted under the Vocational Training Improvement Project to measure labour market performance of graduates passed out from government ITIs. Based on this study conducted in 2011-12, 60 per cent of project ITIs' pass-outs find employment within one year of finishing training, as compared to baseline of 32 per cent conducted in Year 2006-07. Fresh studies are being undertaken to clock performance. In the Skill Development Report of National Skill Development Corporation and KPMG, 460 million is the demand of human resource across the 24 sectors including construction, IT, Textiles & Clothing, Food Processing, Retail, etc. in 2013. This number is expected to reach to 580 million by 2022 —a combination of entry level workforce as well as the existing workforce, which would need to be freshly skilled and upskilled.
As it works to expand skilling programmes through vocational training institutes such as the ITIs and technical colleges, the Centre is also planning a scheme for entrepreneurship development that would introduce specific courses in at least 5,000 colleges over the next three years. The scheme, besides focussing on colleges, also plans to target schools for building awareness as entrepreneurship as a career option. "We will be helping roll out entrepreneurship modules in at least 3,000 colleges across the country," Ajay Mohan Goel, executive vice president, Wadhwani Foundations, which signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Skill Development in January this year, said.

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For mission 'Skilled India', ITIs to undergo makeover, tailor courses to needs
The ministry, will set up 1,500 new ITIs across the country and another 100-odd such centres in North East and Left Wing Extremism affected states.
by Surabhi | Indian Express | August 4, 2014

With a focus on creating jobs for youth, the government has decided to revamp the antiquated industrial training centres that will skill over 20 lakh youth annually and devise special courses based on industry needs.
The move is a part of the labour ministry's massive overhaul of the near obsolete Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and skill development institutes that would now be armed with revised curricula, new courses and an expanded reach across the country.
The ministry, will set up 1,500 new ITIs across the country and another 100-odd such centres in North East and Left Wing Extremism affected states, has also taken advice from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to locate some of these institutes in industrial clusters.
"Based on inputs from the Prime Minister, the new institutes will not only be set up in so far uncovered areas but majorly in industrial clusters so that students can be trained according to industry needs and  placed with these companies," said a senior official involved in the development, adding that the first preference to requests from industry.
But while these ITIs will be set up by the year-end, the ministry has also decided to allow the existing institutes to meet the immediate needs of industry by offering courses of their interest.
To this end, the ministry has also decided to formulate courses for the skill development institutes based on industry needs. Firms will have to sign agreements with the Directorate General of Employment and Training to avail these specialised courses and will recruit at least 80 per cent of the students for a minimum of six months. The specialised courses will be run for an 18 month period and based on their success in terms of placement will be continued on a permanent basis.
"There has already been a lot of interest from companies in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, chemical and even e-commerce. We will be holding discussions with industry chambers later this month," said the official.
Industries with at least 300 permanent workers can sign such MoUs with the DGET. The labour ministry is also banking on the over 2,500 industry bodies in the MSME sector to recruit the students.
PM Narendra Modi has stressed on his vision of transforming the country into a 'Skilled India' and the  government is expected to go much beyond the targets set by the  UPA government. Currently, there are 11,000-odd ITIs being run by the government as well as on PPP basis with a seating capacity of 15.5 lakh students.  The new ITIs being planned will train 4.5 lakh students.
The labour ministry is also fixing the biggest challenge before these ITIs in attracting students — outdated curricula that had little use for employers. "Starting this month, new courses will be offered to students. The existing courses have also been reviewed and revised to be in tune with modern industrial techniques," said another official.
While the full scale exercise is still on for all 11 sectors where skill training is given, the DGET has already revised 63 courses and also introduced 21  courses such as  mechanic auto body repair and painting, housekeeping services in hotels, beauty and spa services, welding and ITeS courses such as information technology, computer hardware and network maintenance, software testing assistance and data base system assistant.

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IE OpEd "Windows to the Past: before opening up the antiquities market ..."

Windows to the Past: Before opening up the antiquities market, India needs to modernise the registration process and address its lack of institutional expertise.
by Rishabh Shroff, Tanmay Patnaik | Indian Express | June 30, 2015

The issue of illegal smuggling of Indian antiquities has almost entirely been ignored.
India's beauty, history and cultural ancestry can be found in its artefacts and antiquities. They are windows to our past. However, the issue of illegal smuggling of these antiquities has almost entirely been ignored. In the last few years, with prominent cases of restitution of India's stolen treasures by foreign governments, public interest has grown. But how could its invaluable antiquities leave India in the first place?
The answer rests with an archaic piece of legislation: the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972. The act that sought to regulate the business of dealing in antiquities, and accordingly their preservation, is alleged to have failed in its purpose. It was originally enacted in an era when capital, talent, money and wealth (including art and antiquities) were leaving the country in an exodus. The act was a knee-jerk reaction to keep Indian antiquities from leaving the country along with their private collectors. A cumbersome registration process was created to develop a wide-ranging database of such items. Further, the legal definition is so wide that anything over 100 years automatically became an antiquity. The act also introduced various avenues for the government to raid and prosecute private collectors on flimsy grounds, like "inadequate maintenance of the object". Stringent curbs were placed on the movement and trade of antiquities, even within India. Such provisions deterred most people from registering their antiquities. Hence, these remained hidden from the government's eye and allowed an underground black market to flourish. Look no further than the ongoing Subhash Kapoor case to understand its scale.
Recognising the urgency of addressing the issue, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma recently proposed to the Union cabinet that the act be revised. He said: "We want this act to be revised and we have proposed to the cabinet that the antiquities act be changed. In India, anything more than 100 years of value comes under the antiquity act. Let India have an open market. Once we allow the trade of those antiquities in India, this smuggling will stop."
Unfortunately, the minister's proposal isn't the first of its kind. Numerous attempts to amend the act have failed since 1985. Assurances were given nine times by the Central government, but nothing further was done. In 2011, a formal committee under R.N. Mishra was set up, which included representatives from museums, collectors, archaeological departments and the private sector. An effort was made to make the system transparent and user-friendly, especially the registration, with a view to ensuring free mobility of antiquities within the country. But nothing happened.
Another committee was formed under Justice (retired) Mukul Mudgal, which submitted its report for possible amendments in 2012. But when the culture minister was changed in October 2012, this, too, failed. The committee never filed a conclusive report due to dissenting notes from members. In its report (Report No 18 of 2013), even the CAG admonished the government for its inability to review the law.
There is no indication that this time will be any different. However, the incumbent government has enough political capital to address this issue. Any attempt to make the act more user-friendly would be welcome. But would an "open market" necessarily address the issue of smuggling and preventing the illegal export of antiquities? The black market for Indian antiquities is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This is incentive enough for looters to continue excavating ancient sites and exporting artefacts.
India needs to first work on modernising the core regime. People should be encouraged to register their antiquities and trust the government not to harass them. Under the act, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has only registered about 3,00,000 artefacts out of a possible 30 billion. An e-registration process would encourage more participation and help create transparency among stakeholders. Also, not everything 100 years old is an antiquity. Some criteria need to be applied. The definition has left enough room for interpretation, leading ASI officers to make uninformed decisions.
Another point of contention concerns the act's enforcement. The ASI's focus and resources have been channelled towards the maintenance, restoration and preservation of ancient monuments and archaeological sites. The additional mandate for supervising the antiquities market has put a strain on its limited resources. The ASI's lack of expertise in this area has been found to be a major systemic flaw. A larger, dedicated body of experts is needed.
While Sharma's announcement shows the right intentions, it may be premature to think about opening up the market for trade. It would be fair to expect many potential collectors and traders to be circumspect. The registration process and the ASI issues are still too pertinent. Nevertheless, India needs the courage and conviction to follow up on the proposals that keep coming. Only then will the windows to our past be available for future generations.

Shroff is partner and Patnaik an associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
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UNEP publication “ABC of SCP: Clarifying Concepts on Sustainable Consumption and Production”

What is SCP?


Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. The implementation of SCP as an integrated approach helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.

Sustainable consumption and production is defined as "the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimising the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardise the needs of future generations." Norwegian Ministry of Environment, Oslo Symposium, 1994.

SCP aims at "doing more and better with less," increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole lifecycle, while increasing quality of life. This change towards SCP involves different stakeholders, including business, consumers, policy makers, researchers, scientists, retailers, media, and development cooperation agencies, among others. It requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain, from producer to final consumer. It involves engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.

Sustainable consumption has been recognized as an integral element of sustainable development and an issue of paramount importance. The UN Conference on the Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 recognized sustainable consumption and production as an overarching theme to link environmental and developmental challenges. Agenda 21 states that the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. Ten years later in 2002, world leaders signed the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Chapter 3 of the Plan was devoted to "Changing Unsustainable Patterns of Consumption and Production" and declared that "fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. All countries should promote sustainable consumption and production patterns." In 2012, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), countries recognized that fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development, and adopted the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns.

For more information on main terms and concepts related to sustainable consumption and production and other terms associated with sustainable development, please download the UNEP publication "ABC of SCP: Clarifying Concepts on Sustainable Consumption and Production."


Biofuels and Sustainable Innovation - Project and Conference Report, RIS EUT

Biofuels and Sustainable Innovation - Project and Conference Report
Under a research project on Biofuels and Sustainable Innovation Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT) held a conference in April 2015 at EUT. The Conference report is attached. More information about the project and conference are available at 
Krishna Ravi Srinivas PhD
TEL +91 11 24682177 - 80  Fax: 91-11-24682173-74
SSRN Profile

Saturday, June 27, 2015

CfPs, National Convention on Smart Village, 21-22 August, at Ranchi, Jharkhand

National Convention on Smart Village
21-22 August 2015, at Ranchi, Jharkhand
Organized by Dept. of Rural Development, Govt. of Jharkhand

Call for Papers
Rural Development Department, Govt. of Jharkhand invites original and unpublished work from individuals active in the broad theme of the convention. The maximum length of the paper is 10 pages (including figures and references). The paper should not contain page numbers or any special headers or footers. Authors should submit their papers online. Further guidelines for submission, information brochure is posted at
All papers that conform to submission guidelines will be peer reviewed and evaluated based on originality, technical and/or research content/depth, correctness, relevance to conference, contributions, and readability. The manuscripts should be submitted in PDF format. Acceptance of papers will be communicated to authors by email. All accepted papers will be published in the proceedings. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Good Local Governance by Gram Panchayats
• Energy Sufficiency and Smart Grid in Smart Villages
• Rural Industries in Globalized Market Driven Economy
• Improving Educational Opportunities for Interior Rural Students
• Better Public Health though E-health and M-Governance in Rural Jharkhand including use of IT.
• Watershed Development as Source of Livelihood and Agriculture
• Skill Development for Rural Economy
• Rural Tourism in Smart Villages
• Rural Sanitation and Waste Management.
• New Technologies for Harnessing Rural Potential
• Improving Connectivity and Connectedness with Outer World.

Key Dates:
Last date to send Abstract : 20 July 2015
Notification of Acceptance : 22 July 2015
Submission of Full Papers : 12 August 2015
Conference : 22 August 2015
Selected papers will be considered for publication in the Convention Report by State Institute of Rural Development, Ranchi.
Send Your Abstract and Final Papers to:

Registration Form:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Current Science Book Review "Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain & #India" by Amit Prasad

Current Science BookReview "Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain & #India" by Amit Prasad, MIT Press, 2014.
Book Reviewed by Subhasis Sahoo

Current Science Opinion "Evaluating the claims of ancient Indian achievements in science"; by Mayank Vahia, TIFR

Current Science Opinion
"Evaluating the claims of ancient Indian achievements in science
 by Mayank Vahia, TIFR
Full Text(PDF) | Full Text(DjVu)

Current Science, 108(12): 2145-48.

Abstract: Orthodox, value-neutral dispassionate study of the workings of nature that we broadly call sciences is under a threat as never before. The pattern of scientific research in India that the greats of Indian science set up after independence is being systematically questioned in today's India. One of the axioms of the post-independence formulation was that modern science and technology (with a forward outlook to its utilization) was the way to the future. For this, both research in science and technology (S&T) was crucial and was well supported, but its path was left to the judgement of scientists with guidance from international scholarship. This has served the nation well. Today, there is hardly a field of international research where India does not have some expertise of value. However, having spread ourselves thin, it also means that most research requires international exposure to nourish itself. This too was reasonably well served. Today, scientists working in contemporary science have deep connections with the world scientific community. This is good for Indian and international science, but to people with blinkered vision this also makes Indian scientists stooges of Western science who are not Indian enough in their patriotism and commitment.


News Coverage

S. Ramaseshan Science Writing Fellowships/Internships at Current Science

S. Ramaseshan Science Writing Fellowships/Internships at Current Science

The Current Science Association invites applications for Science Writing Fellowships, instituted in memory of Professor Sivaraj Ramaseshan for his contributions to the journal Current Science and science writing internships for working in the editorial office of the journal.
Essential Qualification: S. Ramaseshan Fellowships/Internships: Candidates must possess a basic degree in any branch of science. Candidates with postgraduate (after B.Sc.) degree in biosciences, literature, journalism or mass communication can also apply for the fellowship or internship. Fellowships will be awarded to a limited number of exceptionally motivated candidates for a period of one year, extendable for a further period of one year depending on performance.
Desirable: A flair for writing and wide interest in diverse areas of science with basic computer skills.
Age: Not more than 35 years as on 1 March 2015.
Job description: Selected candidates will be expected to write for the News, Research News, and General sections of the journal Current Science on a regular basis. Selected candidates will normally be based in Bangalore and are expected to assist the editorial staff in the publication of Current Science.
The candidates should not have any position (full time or part time) that entitles them to any remuneration. Selected candidates would be offered a fellowship of Rs 15,000 depending on qualification and experience. A higher start in fellowship can be considered for deserving candidates. Evidence of interest in popular science writing may be provided.
Applications, including a detailed CV should be sent to on or before 30 June 2015:
The Executive Secretary
Current Science Association
P.B. No. 8001
Sadashivnagar P.O.
Bangalore 560 080

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

IE OpEd "A Universe from Nothing"

A Universe from Nothing
When Nek Chand passed away a few days ago, a pall of sadness descended upon the city to which he had left a great gift: a piece of his poetic imagination.
by B.N. Goswamy | Indian Express | June 22, 2015    

Two objects among the thousands that I, over the years, have seen strewn about, built, arranged, bent out of or into shape, in the meandering "domain" of Nek Chand stand out in my memory. One is from a period long before that domain was "officialised", and named the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. This was a sturdy structure, brought in from who knows where, that stood in the midst of a small, sparsely tiled courtyard: two leaning shafts of timber joined by an iron rail on which was positioned a rusting pulley covered with coils of rope, one frayed end of which hung loose. The whole contraption-a common sight in the countryside, a device for drawing water manually from a well-was positioned on a platform at the heart of which was a circular opening, like the mouth of a real well, except that there was not a drop of water in it. I was a bit taken aback at the sight, for somehow it did not fit in in the ground that I had traversed to get to the spot: a spread-out meadow of green grass, a field of cinder, hedges made up of upturned clay pots, beds in which broken pieces of electric fittings had been arranged to look like flowering bushes. I was, together with a couple of friends, in the company of Nek Chand himself and, unable to resist, I turned to ask him what this structure was doing in that place. Completely at ease with the question, and looking me straight in the eye, he said in his low, quiet voice: "I can bring anything into this kingdom of mine, can't I? And where else will I get water from if I were to wake up in the middle of the night?"
This is what it was: a "kingdom" of his dreams that Nek Chand, then a lowly road inspector, had been building on his own, completely unauthorised, on sarkari land, shielded from sight by a wall of muddied coal tar drums that stood like a rampart all around it. Only a few privileged ones were allowed to enter the space, and that too by following a strict code of knocking on one specific drum with a stick for someone inside to swing it open like a door. But that was a long time ago.
So much has happened since. The Rock Garden was recognised and embraced by the administration and over time became one of the chief attractions of Chandigarh, an internationally known and celebrated creation, standing there like a wild space flailing its arms, defying the rigid geometry of Le Corbusier's planned city. Reams have been written on the Rock Garden; dissertation after learned dissertation has had it as its theme. Streams of people come visiting and go back filled with wonder. And, as if by some preordained edict, nearly everyone knows, by word of mouth to be sure, that it is the creation of a simple man of humble beginnings who came from a little village now in Pakistan, and used to go around on his bicycle collecting waste materials - lumps of cinder, broken glass bangles, discarded shards of ceramics, chipped pots - and then turning them into objects of fancy and placing them in the midst of enormous rocks rolled into or transported to this illegally occupied space. There is something endearing about the thought of such a man having become a celebrity across continents, loaded with honours, unable to take up each offered commission, even, in fact, to answer each invitation. It is this man, visitors used to point out silently to one another when they happened to catch sight of him working with his hands, who created this. Out of nothing.
Few know that it was not easy for Nek Chand. All the honours and accolades were punctuated, at least in the early years, by periods when he had to suffer his share of "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". A cloud hung over his creation for years, since it was all unauthorised. Even after it was officially recognised, some struggles continued, some battles remained to be fought, plain jealousies had to be contended with. But - and this is the measure of the man — he always remained himself: self-effacing, humble to the core, and ceaselessly working. The words you heard from him more often than not, when you asked him for something, were simple Punjabi affirmatives: "haan ji", "kyun nahin ji?", "hukum karo ji".
Nobody would know for long periods what he was doing behind screened off spaces and then one day, suddenly, one could be ushered into grounds where, as if by magic, artificially made waterfalls had appeared, swings were lowered from great heights, rickety bridges had been thrown across channels of water, an open-air theatre had sprung into being, rows upon rows of monkeys and bears and village lasses and cranes fashioned out of broken pieces of tile stood on slopes standing on guard. Someone wrote after spending time with him that "what remains in [the] mind is not the analysis (of his work) but that simple image of a man sitting by his hut in a forest clearing, mixing cement, mortar and odds-and-ends discarded by civilisation, creating … year after year… giving shape to elements of his imagination like no one else had done before".
When Nek Chand passed away a few days ago, a pall of sadness descended upon the city to which he had left a great gift: a piece of his poetic imagination. To its credit, the Chandigarh Administration rose to the occasion and paid him a rare tribute in the form of a state funeral, even declaring a public holiday to mark the day. He had received a Padma Shri from the president many years ago and, learning of this, somebody wrote that this honour was the equivalent of a knighthood. So, for all practical purposes, he was "Sir Nek Chand", and that is how he left this world.
Afterword: I had almost forgotten the second object that I spoke about at the beginning as having been a part of my memory. It is that amazing sculptural creation quite close to the open air theatre in the garden: strings of rope-like, coiling, twisting, cemented "tubes" that hang down endlessly from above like aerial roots. A memory perhaps of a banyan tree left behind in a village in Pakistan a long time ago?

The writer is professor emeritus of art history at Panjab University, Chandigarh

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IE OpEd "Old Route, New Journey: Kailash-Mansarovar initiative reconnects the Cultural Heritage of two Civilisations"

Old Route, New Journey: Kailash-Mansarovar initiative reconnects the Cultural Heritage of two Civilisations
by Mahendra P. Lama | Indian Express | June 22, 2015

Kalidasa wrote that the waters of Lake Mansarovar are "like pearls" and that to drink them erases "the sins of a hundred lifetimes". The first batch of yatris to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar in China, via one of the oldest pilgrimage and trade routes through the Nathu La pass in Sikkim, was flagged off from Gangtok on June 18 against the backdrop of a new era of cooperation between India and China. This historic trade route between Tibet and Sikkim was reopened after 44 years in 2006. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping moved on this far-reaching pilgrimage project in New Delhi in September 2014.
For decades, pilgrimage by Indians to Kailash-Mansarovar mainly took place either through the Nepal-China border town of Khasa (Tatopani) or by a difficult trek through the Sino-Indian pass from Taklakot on the Uttarakhand border. The Nathu La route reduces both physical hardship and journey time. The maiden pilgrimage will reach Mansarovar, at an altitude of 15,157 feet, on June 26. It includes acclimatisation, nature watch, rest and recreation over an approximately 1,650 km-long journey. Nathu La will become one of the most magnificent eco-tourism routes, making deep inroads into biodiversity hotspots and offering a glimpse of glaciers and water towers. The initiative finally reconnects the cultural heritage of two civilisations that have now started working together towards rebuilding an Asian confluence.
Despite high expectations, trading activities on this route have remained dismal. There were no imports from the Chinese side in 2010-11 (as against Rs 10.2 million in 2014), while Indian exports have incrementally increased, reaching above Rs160 million in 2014. These consist of tea, blankets, clothes and textiles, snuff, utensils, copper items, vegetable oil, canned food, jute sacks, tobacco, etc. Imports consist mainly of yak tail, sheep wool, quilt, blankets, readymade garments, borex powder, China clay, salt and carpets. The 2005 Nathu La Trade Study Team Report projected that with certain trade facilitation measures, India-China border trade through Nathu La would reach $2.84 billion by 2015. The negligible trade volume is mostly attributed to restrictions on tradeable items, poor road conditions, inadequate infrastructure and the lukewarm attitude of policymakers. The report also recommended the integration of trade with tourism, as well as open tourism between India and China by 2015.
Nevertheless, tourists make a beeline to watch how trade actually takes place between India and China. The Nathu La pass itself has become a major tourist spot, with hundreds of people visiting the border and shaking hands with Chinese soldiers. China has already extended its railway route from Lhasa to Xigatse and is likely to extend it to Nathu La by 2020. India is also working to build a two-lane highway up to Nathu La and a railway line to Rangpo. Against this backdrop, it would be naïve to expect traditional items like yak tail and incense sticks to dominate trade through Nathu La.
One cannot expect limited interaction among border communities, either. That was the assumption for border trade between Nepal and Tibet at Khasa and India and Myanmar at Moreh (Manipur). However, the actual volume, composition and direction of trade and cross-border movement of people have far surpassed local communities and products. They do not reflect the "border trade" phenomenon. Given the monsoonal vulnerability of the 50.6 km road between Gangtok and Nathu La, and the pivotal role played by Kalimpong, which was the focal point of all trading activities in the eastern Himalayas till 1962, the most viable option would be reopening the Jelep La trade route that connects north Bengal and the Northeast with various Chinese trading centres. Himalayan regions have a long history of trade routes. In most cases, pilgrimage triggered their opening. People used the infrastructure created by trade routes for easier access to pilgrimage sites. They consolidated and integrated the region, the borderlands even more.
The improvement in Sino-Indian relations has revived traditional forms of exchange and interconnection, with a modern orientation. This may not only lead to renewed and modern forms of trade, investment, tourism and pilgrimage, but also transform the matrices of people-to-people contact.
In the context of the emerging discourse on the shift from "borders" to "borderlands" and the "new regionalism", the renegotiation and reopening of these traditional trade routes have acquired a huge transborder dimension, linking institutions, policies for cooperation, connectivity, and socio-commercial exchanges. China's announcement of the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" adds a new direction and fresh impetus to initiatives in the borderlands. It could even take India and China closer to deeper collaboration.

The writer, a professor at JNU, headed the team to prepare the Nathu La Trade Route Reopening Report that facilitated the relaunch of the trade route in 2006.
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IE OpEd "The Everywhere Poison: An urgent mass awareness campaign on lead-related issues is needed"

The Everywhere Poison: An urgent mass awareness campaign on lead-related issues is needed
The World Health Organisation has estimated that over 120 million people are overexposed to lead, and 99 per cent of the most serious cases are in the developing world.
by Thuppil Venkatesh | Indian Express | June 23, 2015    

Lead, a soft, inexpensive metal, is considered the number one environmental poison. This toxic heavy metal and its salts have no known beneficial biological function — they have only deleterious effects. But on average, a human being utilises nearly half a tonne of lead in her lifetime — in the form of things like energy-storing lead acid batteries and shiny shirt buttons.
Unfortunately, in urban environments, near every lead-based industrial area or heavily trafficked zone, the air we breathe contains lead in particulate form. Particles measuring less than 10 microns in diameter are directly absorbed by our respiratory system. Hence, one of the main pathways of lead into humans is the inhalation of contaminated air. Inorganic lead could be ingested and directly absorbed by the digestive tract through certain foods and water, as well as some folk and unbranded traditional medicines. Apart from this, lead in its organic form could be absorbed through the skin upon application of cosmetics. Environmental lead finds its way into almost all organs of the body through these three pathways. It is important to note that there is neither a placental barrier nor a blood-brain barrier for lead. The most affected are those who work in particular industries. Though women of reproductive age are not allowed to work in lead acid battery units, they work in large numbers in the textile and electronics industries. Poorer people often have to live in areas adjoining lead-based industries, and are most vulnerable to and affected by it.
The World Health Organisation has estimated that over 120 million people are overexposed to lead, and 99 per cent of the most serious cases are in the developing world. The organisation had considered blood lead levels of less than 10 microgammes per decilitre (<10µg/dL) to be an appropriate goal. But researchers called on it to halve that level, and considered the ultimate goal of <2µg/dL to be more appropriate. A unit increase above 10µg/dL decreases a child's IQ by 7.4 points. Lead replaces minerals, notably iron and calcium, in the body and prevents haemoglobin formation, resulting in anaemia. Even blood lead levels as low as 2µg/dL increase the risk of early death.
Even though there is wide recognition of this problem and many countries have taken action, exposure to lead, particularly in childhood, remains a key concern for healthcare providers and public health officials. Most children with lead poisoning do not show any outward symptoms unless blood lead levels are extremely high. Consequently, many cases go undiagnosed and untreated, as the symptoms include headache, stomach ache, nausea, tiredness and irritability. There is treatment for lead poisoning, but it is unaffordable to a majority of people in developing countries.
In several developing countries, there is no established recommendation for lead levels in food or blood. There is a lack of regulation and implementation of standards. Even today in India, lead content in paints manufactured for decorative purposes varies widely. Producers of traditional medicines do not display their lead content appropriately. Its presence in bottled water and children's toys is never disclosed.
Every year, during International Lead Poisoning Awareness Week, efforts are made to raise awareness and highlight successful attempts to prevent childhood lead poisoning and urge action to eliminate lead paint.
There is a need for an urgent mass awareness campaign across the country on lead-related issues, especially at the school level. Awareness alone could prevent 60 per cent of the problem. Apart from this, all district-level hospitals must have facilities to test and monitor blood lead levels — as of now there are only 30 testing facilities in the country. We would all be smarter and live longer were it not for lead poisoning, which is entirely preventable.

The writer, professor emeritus, St John's Medical College, Bangalore, is national chairman, Indian Society for Lead Awareness and Research.

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IE OpEd "Why White Papers Matter", They allow a state to craft its signals carefully

Why White Papers Matter: They allow a state to craft its signals carefully. India should take a leaf from China's book.

by Shashank Joshi | Indian Express | June 23, 2015

One of the perennial problems of international relations is how to assess what an adversary will do next. Do you look at past behaviour, the types of weapons they're buying, their leaders, or something else? We have a reasonable idea of China's order of battle — its ships, missiles and satellites. But American satellites can't tell us what China plans to do with these. So what does one do when a rival simply declares its plans and publishes them on its website — dismiss it as artful misdirection, or accept the threats and assurances at face value?
Last month, China published the latest in its series of defence white papers, on military strategy, given added piquancy by tensions in the South China Sea. Beijing has perfected the subtle combination of tedium, platitude and self-assurance that is the hallmark of all such documents. One finds the usual affirmations of international bonhomie, half-baked sociology and the earnest repudiation of "power politics". Beneath the bromides, however, are important messages.
The white paper sets out a broader, more assured and active view of China's place in the world. It acknowledges "the growth of China's national interests", naming "overseas interests" — energy, sea-lane security and Chinese personnel abroad — as an "imminent issue". Indeed, as China scholar Andrew Erickson notes, this is the first time a Chinese defence white paper has omitted mention of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the Panchsheel forged in the prelapsarian days of Sino-Indian friendship, perhaps suggesting that cracks are appearing in the doctrine of non-interference. Equally important, the white paper declares an unabashed turn to the sea, conceding that "the traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned", and promising that the PLA's so-called "preparation for military struggle" will now be focused on "maritime military struggle". Taken with farther-flung interests, this translates into a commitment to shift from "offshore waters defence" to "open seas protection" — in other words, power projection well away from China's shores.
Nothing here will shock China-watchers. China's growing concerns about energy security have been obvious in its diplomacy with Pakistan and the development of alternative overland routes. China's maritime turn is equally plain, evident in long-range anti-piracy missions and a rapidly modernising fleet, with a second aircraft carrier confirmed three months ago. But the paper's significance lies in the fact that China's leadership, rather than playing down its strength, emphasising local and traditional missions, as well as assuaging other Asian powers, is baldly embracing the notion of a China that is both able and willing to throw its weight around — and doing so at a time of heightened tensions in the South China Sea. The paper gives us confidence that present trends in China's defence procurement and posture will continue.
India goes unmentioned in the paper, reflecting its marginal role in Chinese defence thinking, but there are nevertheless a few important lessons. The first is that it cannot assume China will be tied down in local waters for years to come. While China is honing its so-called anti-access area denial (A2/AD) capabilities to deter US intervention, it will, at the same time, accelerate its forays into those "open seas". The appearance of Chinese submarines in Sri Lanka last year, their months-long deployments to the Gulf of Aden, and China's discussions with Djibouti over a permanent base are indications of what will be a long-term challenge in the Indian Ocean, one with the potential to constrain India's own power projection. If Indian anti-submarine warfare capabilities don't advance, this could be a crippling weakness.
Second, China is demonstrating that it understands the changing demands of modern warfare. Two things stand out. One is the emphasis on jointness, which refers to how well different branches of the military can work in concert. While it would be foolish to take Chinese professions of reform at face value, it is clear India is not doing enough in this regard. The other is the focus on "informatisation" of war, which refers to the way in which battlefield information flows through a military and is denied to an enemy. It would be wrong to suggest that India has made no progress here, but its public debate on military affairs tends to focus on bean-counting (the number of fighter squadrons) at the expense of the technology that fuses these together.
Third, white papers matter. They allow a state to craft its signals carefully, rather than have them trickle out in ad hoc briefings or sporadic bilateral communiqués. For instance, India's Act East policy has emerged piecemeal in separate joint statements with the US, Japan, Australia and others. Collecting and cohering these messages can bring clarity for friends and adversaries alike. My understanding is that the ministry of external affairs is indeed preparing a white paper on foreign policy, to be released at the end of this year. This will be a significant moment in India's recent foreign policy. It would be even better if the ministry of defence followed suit.

The writer is senior research fellow, Royal United Services Institute, UK

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Monday, June 22, 2015

CfPs: Workshop on Indian Medicine: Between State and Village; 23-24 June 2016; at Leiden, Netherlands

Workshop on Indian Medicine: Between State and Village

Workshop Dates: 23-24 June 2016

at Leiden, Netherlands

Application deadline: 1 October 2015

Convenor: Dr Maarten Bode, Adjunct Research Faculty at the Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of Trans-disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology, Bangalore, India

The workshop takes the sensibilities of Indian medicines as its point of departure. Themes to be discussed in the workshop are: Indian medicines as tangible and intangible heritage; Indian medicines as health security for the poor; Indian medicines as identity markers (for the nation, for local communities, and for Westerners in search of Indian spirituality). An important cross cutting theme is the quest for legitimation and acceptance. For example by linking Indian medicines to the global project of Evidence Based Medicine and to Indian knowledge systems. Contributions from medical anthropology (the actors' point of view) and Science and Technology Studies (social construction of medical knowledge) are especially welcome. However papers from other theoretical orientations are also greeted.

An important question is if and how Indian nationalist politics affect the recognition, ownership, and management of the wide spectrum of traditional medicines in contemporary India. Social-cultural research shows that on the national level we see debatable - either unintentional or intentional - attempts at reifying, ossifying and nationalizing Indian medicines as Ayurveda. The suggestion is that Ayurveda as India's national medicine is a discrete medical system and that it provides the codified substrate for the many local forms of herbal based Indian medicine practiced to-day. Though this perspective has been contested as an act of appropriation, labelling local forms of Indian medicine as Ayurveda can also be seen as an act of empowerment. What is needed is a dialogue between two important stakeholders: the Indian state and local communities. By discussing the interactions between global, national and local forms of Indian medicine the workshop wants to contribute to such a dialogue.

The meeting, organized by the International Institute for Asian Studies, the Netherlands, will take the form of a series of discussions of new academic papers that are submitted in advance of the workshop. A peer-reviewed selection of the (revised) papers will subsequently be prepared for publication in the scholarly journal Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity (IASTAM, Brill).

Submission details

An abstract of not more than 300 words should be submitted, with a short CV, through the form available here before 1 October 2015. Abstract writers will be informed if their abstract has been accepted before 1 November 2015. Participants are expected to submit their papers before 15 April 2016, which then will be discussed in the workshop itself.


Travel and accommodation

The International Institute for Asian Studies provides hotel accommodation for three nights to all selected participants.  Participants are expected to take care of their own travel expenses.

Very limited financial support may be made available to specific scholars residing in Asia and some junior or low-income scholars in other parts of the world. If you would like to be considered for financial support, please submit the Grant Application form in which you state the motivation for your request. Please note that the workshop operates on a limited budget, and will not normally be able to provide more than a partial coverage of the travel expenses. The form should be submitted before 1 October 2015. Requests for funding received after this date will not be taken into consideration.



For enquires about the workshop, please contact Ms. Martina van den Haak at m.c.van.den.haak[at]

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

CfPs 8th Biennial Conference of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) on Urbanization and the Environment



The 8th Biennial Conference of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE)



Urbanization and the Environment


Hosted by

Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore


4-6 January 2016 



Rapid urbanization and industrialization-led economic growth are the quintessential features of developing country landscapes, particularly in South Asia. Urbanization brings about dramatic changes in local environments, occupying land and water bodies, creating air pollution and heat island effects.  It places demands on regional resources such as water and agriculture. Urban areas and industry dump their solid waste and effluents onto peri-urban areas, remote islands or deep beneath the oceans. The growth of industry, which promises and at times provides more jobs, legitimizes this demand for resources, the creation of new slums and gentrified spaces, different gender relationships, lifestyle changes and health impacts.  Urban lifestyles also set the benchmark to which others aspire, and therefore the ecological footprint they will generate.


INSEE, an association of professionals interested in issues at the interface of ecology, economy, and society,invites submissions of original papers and panels of papers addressing these concerns at its 8th Biennial Conference, which focuses on "Urbanization and the Environment".


Analyses of gaps in current challenges as well as of possible ways towards more sustainable and equitable urbanization are welcome. Contributions from different interdisciplinary perspectives  (e.g.,  ecological  and environmental  economics, geography, political ecology, gender-environment studies, environmental governance, ecology, water and wastewater management, energy studies) are invited.   Scholars include academics, students, environmental and social activists, policy-makers, entrepreneurs and bureaucrats: anyone engaged in rigorously exploring questions, conducting analysis and deriving lessons on these issues.


The Conference will be held at the Indian Institute of Science in the city of Bengaluru between 4-6 January 2016Bengaluru, once known as India's garden city, is one of the world's most rapidly expanding metropolises, and a microcosm of the socio- environmental challenges and responses that urbanization and industrialization engenders.


We invite papers and panel proposals on the following sub-themes:


  • Urbanisation, Industrialization and Climate change
  • Culture, Consumption and Sustainability of Cities
  • Urban Commons, Institutions and Movements
  • Urban Environmental Governance and Technology
  • Urban-Rural Environmental and Resource linkages
  • Urban Water: from Source to Disposal
  • Air Pollution, Solid Waste and Human health
  • Urban Ecologies, Biodiversity
  • Rural in the Urban: Agriculture in Cities


Kindly note the following dates:


Abstract submission (for papers and panel proposals)  30th June 2015

Communication about selection of abstracts/proposals 20th July 2015

Submission of final paper or full panel (as per INSEE format) 2nd October 2015

Communication about selection of paper/panel 1st November 2015


Abstracts or panel proposals should be less than 400 words, and should be sent to inseeconference2015@gmail.comPlease indicate the sub-theme for which the abstract/proposal is being submitted. A limited number of travel grants will be available for some of the authors whose full papers are accepted for presentation in the Conference.


Registration dates, forms and other details will be announced soon on its website ( 

Further Details:


CfPs Special Issue on Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in India, Journal of Land and Rural Studies (January 2016)

Call for Papers - Special Issue on Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in India (January 2016)
Journal of Land and Rural Studies
Published in Association with Centre for Rural Studies, LBSNAA

Land acquisition in India is contested from different standpoints: legal and policy formulation, economic, political, socio-cultural and spatial, and environmental. Consequent displacement and negative impacts on large section of the displaced population has stressed for fair compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R). Also, learning from past experiences of R&R and packages offered by public/private enterprises have raised issues of transparency, accountability of the enterprises as well as ensuring better quality of life or according status of shareholders to the displaced persons. The legal actions and collective/social actions have indicated a need for 'tackling federal issues', that is the Centre and State dynamics at play with regard to land acquisition and R&R measures; democracy-related issues—democratic norms and processes to protect citizen's rights versus fiscal gains and growth; judicial and executive issues including vision and principles and institutional mechanism for compensation as well as R&R measures; and to understand the nexus between the State and the market for enhancing economic growth. The Journal invites special articles (maximum 8,000 words), articles (maximum 5,000 words), working papers/from grass roots (maximum 3,000 words), policy briefs (maximum 2,000 words) and book reviews (maximum 1,200 words) on the following themes:
1. Land acquisition related—process of legislation, existing laws, legal procedures, legal action, and legal judgements 
2. R&R related—principles, vision, structure/mechanism, grievance redressal, packages, good practices
3. Compensation related—principles, vision, guidelines/rules under existing laws, structure/mechanism for implementation, grievance redressal, good/exemplary models
4. Displacement related—loss of livelihood, impact on environment, irreversible land use
5. Economics and politics of land acquisition and R&R

Managing Editor: Professor Varsha Ganguly, Centre for Rural Studies, Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, India
Deadline to submit abstract (maximum 200 words) with 5-7 key words: 30 June 2015
Deadline to submit papers: 15 August 2015
Email for submission of papers: and

Monday, June 15, 2015

"Frugality in Innovation: A Heterodox Economics Perspective" by Saradindu Bhaduri, CSSP

Bhaduri, Saradindu (2015). "Frugality in Innovation: A Heterodox Economics Perspective", keynote lecture delivered on 5 March 2015 at the First Annual Workshop at the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, the Netherlands.


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Due Date Extended (July 1) - 2015 STM Graduate Paper Prize

Due Date Extended (July 1) - 2015 STM Graduate Paper Prize

Call for Submissions

New Due date: Extended to Wednesday, July 1st, 2015


2015 STM Graduate Paper Prize

The Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM) interest group of the Society for Medical Anthropology is pleased to welcome submissions for the 2015 STM Graduate Student Paper Prize. This prize is awarded annually for a paper that offers an innovative approach to issues in science, technology, and medicine. These issues include:


1. How scientific research, technological transformation and professional medicine inform public health policy and popular culture and affect the intimate realms of bodily experience;

2. The ways laboratory and experimental medicine (both public and private sector) are influenced by economic and political institutions and patient mobilization;

3. The specificities of the development, regulation, marketing and distribution of pharmaceuticals and biologics;

4. How local experiences of illness and health are refracted through established modes of discrimination (such as class, race and gender) and unequal access to new medical technologies; and

5. The extent to which pragmatic and embodied responses to medical science and technology shape concepts of personhood and degrees of political membership.


Submission rules:

    The word count should be 6,000-8,000

    All authors must be enrolled as a graduate students at the time of submission

    Winners of previous STM graduate paper prizes are not eligible to submit new papers

    The paper can be under review at the time of submission, but it cannot be in press or published

    To enable a blind review process, the submission email should include two word documents: (1) a cover sheet with author name, affiliation(s) and acknowledgments, and (2) the paper (abstract included) with no identifying information listed.


The winner of the prize will be announced at the 2015 AAA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The winner will receive an award certificate or plaque, detailed suggestions from the committee of judges on ways to prepare the article for publication, and a cash prize of $100 (or $75 in case of two winners).


Submissions should now be emailed by Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 to Nayantara (Tara) Sheoran,


For more information on the STM interest group, go to:

CfPs: 6th International Conference on Cloud System and Big Data Engineering, at ASET, Amity University, Noida, India; 14-15 January 2016

Global Technology, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 (GLOBAL TIE Summit 2016): 6th International Conference on Cloud System and Big Data Engineering

Venue: Amity School of Engineering and Technology (ASET), Amity University, Noida, India

Dates: 14-15 January 2016


The Conference is themed on "Cloud System and Big Data Engineering", by looking at the industry trends and with focus on collaboration and social media as the emerging themes. The conference will invite the best talent of the industry and academic circles who will present thought provoking sessions. Cloud computing system, being an emerging area in computing technology, supports processing of large volume of data as per on-demand service. It shares resources to work rather than having local servers doing the job. The demand for professionals with knowledge of Cloud Computing is expect to rise exponentially because more and more companies are implementing this technology. Basis of Big Data is formed by the three Vs of Volume, Variety and Velocity for over a decade and each V is handled with different technology. Our main aim of this summit is to bridge the gap between Industries & Academics and in the past we have not only succeeded but we have created a big family combining all the top companies and Academia. The priority of current summit will be to promote new innovative ideas based on theme to increase the productivity with main focus on next generation technologies, innovative approaches, speed, quality enhancement, and cost reduction.

Call for Papers

Amity School of Engineering and Technology (ASET), Amity University, NOIDA, India is organizing its Global TIE Summit 2016 on the theme Cloud System and Big Data Engineering. Global TIE Summit 2016 intends to bring together Professionals, Academicians, Industry Experts, Researchers and Enthusiasts to discuss various emerging trends and innovations, share research results and new directions in the field of next generation technologies. This technical conference aims at providing a platform for industry and academia for sharing advancements in research and development in upcoming areas of Information Technology. Authors are cordially invited to submit paper through online paper submission process (Easy Chair submission system) before 15th September 2015.


Instructions for Authors

Original papers based on theoretical or experimental works related to the above mentioned sub themes are solicited for presentation in the conference. The paper should begin with title, short abstract and a list of keywords. Simultaneous submissions (papers already submitted to other conferences/journals) are not allowed.

  • All papers must follow strict IEEE formatting instructions
  • Please do not submit plagiarized papers.
  • The total length of the paper must not exceed six A4 size pages including bibliography and appendices. Paper must be in PDF.

·         All the papers will be submitted through on-line paper submission process (EasyChair submission system). Authors are requested to follow paper submission link on website.

In order to publish paper in the conference proceeding, the authors are required to submit a signed copyright form for each accepted paper during registration.


Important Dates

  •     Paper Submission Deadline: 15th September 2015
  •     Notification of Acceptance: 30th October 2015
  •     Camera ready Paper Submission Deadline: 15th November 2015
  •     Last Date of Registration: 15th November 2015

Online Submission of Papers


Call for Posters

GLOBAL TIE Summit 2016 Technical symposia include oral and poster presentation of research papers grouped into parallel tracks. Global TIE Summit 2016 is organizing a poster session aimed at showcasing work in progress. The poster papers are an independent part of the conference, and are not selected from the main submission of the full length papers.

Authors are invited to submit original poster papers on any topic relevant to the theme of the conference.

Instructions for Posters:

  •     Poster must be color printed.
  •     Poster title must be 40 pt in Times New Roman.
  •     Normal text size should be at least 20 pt in Times New Roman.
  •     Author name, department etc. must be in 14 pt in Times New Roman.
  •     Each visual should have a caption.

Best Poster Award:

Posters will be reviewed by members of poster committee based on originality, significance, quality and clarity. The Best poster award will be of INR 10000.

Important Dates:

Final Poster Submission Deadline: 15th September 2015

Notification of acceptance: 30th October 2015

Last Date of Registration: 15th November 2015


Send your poster via email with subject line "Poster Submission 'Title of poster' " to Email id: After approval, the final poster, Copyright form and Registration form should be submitted.


Further Details

Sunday, June 14, 2015

CfPs 4th PhD Conference on International Development in Bochum, Germany; Abstracts deadline 20 June

4th PhD Conference on International Development in Bochum, Germany

The Conference will take place from 24 - 25 September 2015 in Bochum, Germany and will offer an international platform for PhD candidates and recent PhD graduates (graduating within the last two years) in development studies with various disciplinary backgrounds to meet with fellow students, senior academics and experts. In cooperation with EADI. Call for abstracts extended to 20 June 2015

The Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE) at Ruhr-University Bochum together with the School of International Development (DEV), University of East Anglia, UK, and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, NL, as well as the IEE's cooperating partners in the UA-Ruhr Graduate Centre for Development Studies, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the Institute of Political Science (IfP), University Duisburg-Essen, is organizing the 4th PhD Conference on International Development.

PhD candidates will have the opportunity to present their doctoral research projects, to a larger audience to get a critical and well-informed feedback.

Workshops shall be organized according to the PhD students' specific needs and orientations focusing in particular on selected theoretical approaches and/or methodological issues and topics. In addition to or as an alternative to paper presentation, PhD students will have the possibility to display posters of their work. Workshops will be accompanied by plenary sessions and keynote lectures featuring most recent and innovative developments in methodological designs, theoretical approaches in development studies as well as 'hot topics' in development cooperation.

Submissions are invited from PhD candidates from all relevant disciplines (e.g. economics, social or political sciences, sociology, geography, law, etc.). Abstracts for papers (max. 500 words) and/or ideas for poster presentation including full name, institutional affiliation and contact details should be submitted as an email attachment to by 30th May 2015. Personal details included in the abstract should also indicate the state of progress in doctoral research. Those who have submitted an abstract will be informed whether their proposal has been accepted during the first half of July 2015.

The conference includes keynote lectures, plenary sessions, and parallel workshops. The conference language is English. The conference organizers will provide lunch and refreshments. Conference participants should cover their own transport and accommodation.

Further Details