Thursday, October 29, 2015

CFIA (@FrugalAfrica) Invites Applications for Postdoc Positions

Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa (A joint initiative of Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands) currently has two open positions:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Release of Book "Surrogacy in India: A Law in the Making – Revisited" and a Panel Discussion; at IIC Delhi; on 6th November

Release of Book "Surrogacy in India: A Law in the Making – Revisited"


A Panel Discussion on

"Update on Inter-Country Parental Child Removal Issus"

At India International Centre, New Delhi

On Friday, 6th November 2015, at 5:00 pm


All are welcome. Guests are requested to join for tea at 5:45 pm and dinner at 8:00 pm


RSVP: Anil Malhotra & Ranjit Malhotra, Malhotra & Malhotra Associates.


Monday, October 26, 2015

CSSP lecture on 28th October "Scientifically ‘Religious’ and Religiously ‘Scientific’: Ethnography of Science and Religion" by Renny Thomas

Centre for Studies in Science Policy

School of Social Sciences, JNU

Invites you to a

Talk on


Scientifically 'Religious' and Religiously 'Scientific': Ethnography of Science and Religion



Renny Thomas


Assistant Professor in Sociology and Social Anthropology

Jesus and Mary College (JMC), Delhi University



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

Time:   3:00 P.M.

Date:    Wednesday, 28th October 2015


Abstract: To think of the relation between science and religion in terms of the binaries of 'conflict' and 'complementarity' is both analytically and descriptively inadequate. Using this formulation, the paper attempts to discuss through detailed ethnographic description, the manner in which scientists in a leading Indian scientific research institute defined and practiced religion and atheism(s). Instead of posing science and religion as dichotomous categories the paper demonstrates its easy coexistence within the everyday lives and practices of Indian scientists.

About the Speaker: Renny Thomas is an Assistant Professor in Sociology and Social Anthropology at Jesus and Mary College (JMC), Delhi University. He has submitted his PhD at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, JNU. His PhD project is an ethnographic study of the religious beliefs and practices of scientists in India. His publications include 'Being Religious, Being Scientific: Science, Religion and Atheism in Contemporary India' in Yiftach Fehige (ed.) Science and Religion: East and West (Routledge, forthcoming), 'Science, Religion and Cultural Atheism(s): Ethnography of a Discourse' in Susan Visvanathan (ed.) Institutions, Adaptation and Change: Essays for T. K. Oommen (forthcoming).


All are welcome to attend the lecture.

Coordinators, CSSP Lecture Series

CSSP Special Lecture on "Rapidly Growing Asian Economies and the Himalayan Waters" by Prof. Jayanta Bandyopadhyay; on 29th Oct

Centre for Studies in Science Policy

School of Social Sciences, JNU

Invites you to a

 Talk on

 Rapidly Growing Asian Economies and the Himalayan Waters


 Prof. JayantaBandyopadhyay

Visiting Professor, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi


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

Time:   3:00 P.M.

Date:    Thursday, 29th October 2015

Abstract: In the period since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the importance of the world's mountains as provider of most of the water used by the human societies and economies has come to take the centre-stage of global environmental discourse. The talk goes into the details of the role of the Himalaya as 'Water Tower of Asia' on which life and livelihood of about 3 billion people depend. It further examines the future water scenario of two Asian economies, of China and India, and policy interventions these countries are considering or have made. The potential impacts of global warming and climate change is very important in the making of such future scenarios as the Himalayan region is expected to be impacted very strongly by global climate change and alter the hydrological features of the rivers originating in the Himalaya.


All are welcome to attend the lecture.

Coordinators, CSSP Lecture Series


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Media Workshop and Innovation Award; at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Centre for Work, Technology and Social Change in collaboration with SASNET at Lund University will award 100,000 INR to one enterprise or individual from India for their work in social innovation in a digital context. The award will recognise innovators who have created platforms that bring together technology media and human rights. In eligibility:
  • Your venture can be for or not for profit
  • It should be under operation for at least 6 months
  • Should have strong connect to social innovation and media

Send in your entries to with an essay of up to 1000 words on how your venture fits in the idea of social innovation in a digital context, the human rights aspect that it is targeting and the expected outcome. Deadline: November 10, 2015

  • If you are applying as a team, send a 100 word profile of your key members.
  • If you are applying as an individual, send in your resume along with your proposal.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Begum Rokeya Annual Lecture “Towards Evolving A Survivor Centric Approach” By Flavia Agnes Majlis, Legal Center Mumbai





Begum Rokeya Annual Lecture


Towards Evolving A Survivor Centric Approach




Flavia Agnes Majlis
Legal Center Mumbai








Even thirty years after the anti rape campaign was launched during the early 1980s; we are yet to evolve a viable victim support programme. The demand of the anti rape protests has been to render the law more stringent (death penalty, life imprisonment, denial of bail to the accused, etc.) rather than emphasizing the need to provide long term support to victims to transform them into survivors. The rape trials continue to be harrowing, the cross-examination grueling and victims continue to be humiliated in police stations and in courtrooms.  The conviction rate continues to be dismal and a popular perception that "acquittals = false cases" prevails.  In 2011, Majlis started a victim support programme, RAHAT, which has recently published a report based on analysis of 490 cases in which we provided support, as well as 140 trial court judgments. The findings are revealing and break popular myths about rape and highlight the need for evolving a viable victim support programme, beyond the legal case.




TIME: 4:00 P.M.






(Poster Attached)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Today Special lecture at CSSP on "Pongamia pinnata in Hassan Bio-Fuel Park: a qualitative study" by Evelien de Hoop

Centre for Studies in Science Policy

School of Social Sciences, JNU

Invites you to a

Talk on

Pongamia pinnata in Hassan Bio-Fuel Park: a qualitative study



Evelien de Hoop


Eindhoven Technical University, Netherlands




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

Time:   3:00 P.M.

Date:    Friday, 23rd October 2015


Abstract: One of India's most famous projects on biodiesel research and production is the Hassan Bio-Fuel park, run from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka. The paper concludes that the interaction of water shortages, various other land use opportunities, farmers' needs, the characteristics of the oilseeds and labour division among farmers result in practices that are far from the aims set out by Hassan Bio-Fuel Park. This raises important question marks with regard to the role this project plays as "successful example" in the wider Karnataka and national biofuel policy arena

About the Speaker: Ms. Evelien de Hoop is a PhD candidate from Eindhoven Technical University, the Netherlands. Her PhD is in the field of science and technology studies (STS), and uses qualitative methods to study the making of India's biodiesel policy, the role of wastelands in that policy, and the practices of one of India's most long-standing biodiesel production projects – Hassan Bio-Fuel Park.

All are welcome to attend the lecture.

Coordinators, CSSP Lecture Series




Dr.Madhav Govind
Associate Professor
Centre for Studies in Science Policy
School of Social Sciences
New Delhi-110067
Mob:91 9868732956


Monday, October 19, 2015

J.P. Nadda "Let’s Leave No Child Behind: Mission Indradhanush is a successful intervention in scaling up immunisation for full coverage" | Indian Express

Let's Leave No Child Behind: Mission Indradhanush is a successful intervention in scaling up immunisation for full coverage.
by J.P. Nadda | Oct 15, 2015 | Indian Express

Even a single child without the necessary vaccination has the potential to make other children in the vicinity vulnerable, and there are 89 lakh such children in our country who have missed one or more doses of vaccines.

Around the world, vaccines are considered to be one of the most cost-effective solutions for preventing child mortality and morbidity. The Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) started in 1985 by the government of India has helped India make remarkable progress towards reducing child mortality rates in the country. Through the UIP, India has achieved the momentous elimination of diseases such as polio, smallpox and, recently, maternal and neonatal tetanus.

However, despite achieving a decline in child mortality, serious challenges still remain. The progress of full immunisation coverage seemed to have become stagnant. Immunisation coverage, which was 61 per cent in 2009, increased only to 65 per cent by 2013. That is, between 2009 and 2013, the rate of expansion in immunisation coverage was merely 1 per cent per year. At this rate, India will take another 25 years to achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage.

Even a single child without the necessary vaccination has the potential to make other children in the vicinity vulnerable, and there are 89 lakh such children in our country who have missed one or more doses of vaccines. A survey conducted to gauge awareness of vaccines among parents found that, in more than 60 per cent of instances, parents were either not aware about the benefits of immunisation or had apprehensions regarding its side effects. Therefore, in order to make the community aware of the importance of vaccination, a nationwide intervention was needed. To achieve the objective, something had to be done — not different, but differently. And thus, the initiative of Mission Indradhanush was envisaged to scale-up immunisation in India.
The Indradhanush initiative was launched in December 2014 to further boost the reach of the routine immunisation programme, with the ultimate aim of immunising every Indian child by 2020. To begin with, 201 high-focus districts, across 28 states, with poor immunisation coverage were identified. Of these high-focus districts, 82 were located in high-focus states, namely, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which alone accounted for the highest number of unimmunised and partially immunised children in the country.

The first round started on April 7, which also happens to be World Health Day. With meticulous micro-planning and the mobilisation of more than 5,00,000 trained frontline workers, the focus of the initiative was to build sustainable health systems. By keeping communication at the centre stage and enabling better monitoring and sharing of feedback between all levels of the health system, a sense of primacy and urgency was inculcated right from the top management down to the frontline healthcare workers. Under the first phase of Mission Indradhanush, four special vaccination drives were conducted in high-focus districts in the months of April, May, June and July. Generally, under routine immunisation over a four-month period, about 13 lakh immunisation sessions are held throughout the country.

But with the impetus from Indradhanush, 40 per cent more sessions were conducted, where 21 lakh pregnant women and about 20 lakh children were fully immunised. Running a robust delivery mechanism is another challenge in scaling-up immunisation in a vast and diverse country such as India. Last year, under routine immunisation, more than 400 million doses of vaccines were delivered to 2.7 crore children that protected them against life-threatening diseases. This is much more than the combined number of packets delivered annually by top logistics companies such as DHL and FedEx.

What makes the process even more challenging is the fact that vaccines have to be kept at a particular temperature — right from the moment they are manufactured to the time they are administered to children. To streamline the vaccine-delivery system, an innovative cold supply chain management system is being implemented to enable health workers to monitor and ensure that vaccines are delivered even to the remotest corners of the country without getting spoilt.

By filling the gaps in routine immunisation through innovative strategies and solutions, Mission Indradhanush has become an important intervention that has helped scale-up immunisation for full coverage in India. The initiative has helped accelerate the momentum of immunisation, setting in motion the aim to achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage by 2020.
Building on the success of the first phase, the second phase begun on October 7. Week-long intensive activities to cover those children who were missed during the routine immunisation rounds are being taken up from October to January next year. A total of 352 districts have been selected for this phase across the country. The same level of preparedness and meticulous planning, with keen attention to the monitoring of each round, characterises this round too.

India stands committed to covering each and every child with the protection of full immunisation.

The writer is Union minister for health and family welfare.
- See more at:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Angus Deaton: "High quality and transparent data needed for informed debates"

Research and Democracy: High quality and transparent data needed for informed debates.
by Angus Deaton | Oct 17, 2015 | Indian Express

I am thrilled to have been awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2015. I am even more thrilled that the Nobel committee highlighted the work that my collaborators and I have done on India. My work shows how important it is that independent researchers have access to data, so that government statistics can be checked, and so that the democratic debate within India can be informed by the different interpretations of different scholars. High quality, open, transparent and uncensored data are needed to support democracy.
I have used data from India's famous National Sample Surveys to measure poverty. Perhaps the biggest threat to these measures is that there is an enormous discrepancy between the National Accounts Statistics (NAS) and the surveys. The surveys "find" less consumption than do the national accounts, whose measures also grow more rapidly.

While I am sure that part of the problem lies with the surveys — as more people spend more on a wider variety of things, the total is harder to capture — there are weaknesses on the NAS side too, and I have been distressed over the years that critics of the surveys have got a lot more attention than critics of the growth measures. Perhaps no one wants to risk a change that will diminish India's spectacular (at least as measured) rate of growth?

We need better work resolving this issue. Without it, we cannot be sure what is happening to either poverty or inequality in India today. Measures that should be known and indisputable become instead the subject of bitter partisan debates.

Poverty is more than the lack of money and my work with Jean Dreze has documented the improving, but still dreadful, state of nutrition in India. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called stunting among Indian children a "national shame", and so it is. Our work highlighted that malnutrition is not just about a lack of calories, and certainly not about a lack of cereal calories, but is more about the lack of variety in the diet — the absence of things like leafy vegetables, eggs, and fruit. It is also crucially linked to inadequate sanitation, to the fact that women often do not get enough to eat when they are pregnant and to (in many areas) poor maternal and infant health services.

Another strand of my work is about the strengths and weaknesses of randomised controlled trials and their use for policy development. My main message here is not to claim too much. These tools are not magic. For example, if we want to think about using cash transfers instead of the public distribution system, we have to consider all of the subsequent changes, what would happen to procurement and storage, and what would happen to the free market prices of grains. An experiment can be useful for part of this, but only a part, and without all the parts we cannot judge what to do. I worry too that experiments are technical solutions to political problems that really ought to be decided by democratic discussion; that experiments are often done on the poor and not by the poor is hardly an encouraging sign.

Finally, I have written about inequality, and about the threat that extreme inequality poses to democracy. India has been hugely successful in building a better life for many. Some of them now have consumption patterns that look like those of the Americans or Western Europeans, and not a few have become fabulously rich. In an ideal world, the gap that has opened up between them and those left behind can be bridged if the former help pull up others. Poor people can see the new opportunities and understand that, with education and luck, their sons and daughters can prosper too. But there are also terrible dangers of inequality, if those who have escaped from destitution use their wealth to block those who are still imprisoned by it. Decent education, available and effective healthcare, and functioning sanitation are goods that benefit everyone, and the new middle class should be more than happy to pay the taxes that help others share their good fortune. Adam Smith said that "Every tax is to the person who pays it a badge, not of slavery, but of liberty." And if taxes are spent wisely, liberty can be widely shared.

The writer is professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University. This is his statement to the Indian press
- See more at:

Useful Altmetrics Papers

Useful Altmetrics Papers
  • Neylon, Cameron, and Shirley Wu. "Article-level metrics and the evolution of scientific impact." PLoS biology 7.11 (2009): 2459. [Most read #altmetrics paper to date]
  • Thelwall, M., Haustein, S., Larivière, V., & Sugimoto, C. R. (2013). "Do altmetrics work? Twitter and ten other social web services". [Most cited #altmetrics paper to date]
  • Das, Anup Kumar (2015). Research Evaluation Metrics [Open Access for Researchers, 4]. Paris: UNESCO, ISBN: 9789231000829. Download. [UNESCO OER curricula ]
  • Das, Anup Kumar; Mishra, Sanjaya (2014). Genesis of Altmetrics or Article-level Metrics for Measuring Efficacy of Scholarly Communications: Current Perspectives. Journal of Scientometric Research, 3(2): 82-92.

CSSP Talk "Integrating Earth System Science and Public Policy Research: The Indian Perspective" by Dr Shailesh Nayak, Former Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences; on 21st October

Centre for Studies in Science Policy

School of Social Sciences, JNU

Invites you to

Talk on

Integrating Earth System Science and Public Policy Research: The Indian Perspective


Dr Shailesh Nayak

Earth System Science Organisation, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi

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

Time:   11:00 A.M.

Date:    Wednesday, 21st October 2015

Abstract: The Earth behaves as a single, interlinked and self-regulating system.  Its components, atmosphere, ocean, geosphere, cryosphere and biosphere, function together and interactions related to transfer of energy and material are complex.  The earth system processes helps to understand prediction of weather, climate and hazards and sustainable use of resources.  The public policy should be guided towards providing new perspective of earth system and discovery of new phenomena, understanding of earth processes as well as their interaction with human system, and application of this knowledge to develop services for societal, environmental and economic benefits. The policy priorities should focus on the following aspects: (i) Earth observations, including in situ, satellite as well as indirect measurement of earth properties, and data policy. (ii) Understanding of processes, through modelling and investment in necessary infrastructure, computing resources and networking. (iii) Development of services to build resilience to hazards and climate change; clean energy and sustainable use of resources. (iv) Innovation and business development. (v) International cooperation. (vi) Education, research and development of human resources. (vii) Financial resources, essentially investments towards basic research, education and building infrastructure. The above mentioned aspects will be discussed in the Indian context.     

About the Speaker: Dr. Shailesh Nayak currently is 'Distinguished Scientist' in the Ministry of Earth Sciences. He was the Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, during August 2008-2015, and provided leadership for programs related to earth system sciences. He obtained PhD degree in Geology from the M.S University of Baroda in 1980. He has been credited with launching many research programs related to monsoon, air-sea interaction, changing water cycle, atmospheric chemistry, coastal vulnerability, climate services, etc. with US, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Norway, South Korea. He had set up HPC system having 1.1 Peta flops capacity for weather and climate research and operations.  He had restructured meteorological activities in the country and thus improved weather and hazard related services. He had set up the state-of-the-art tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean in 2007 in just two years time, and providing tsunami advisories to the Indian Ocean rim countries. He pioneered in development of algorithms and methodologies for application of remote sensing to coastal and marine environment, and generated baseline database of the Indian coast, and developed services for fishery and ocean state forecast. He is Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, He has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Science by the Andhra University in 2011, Assam University in 2013 and Amity University in 2015. He was conferred the prestigious ISC Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award 2012 as well as Bhaskara Award for 2009, Fellowship of the International Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and Elected Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) for his outstanding contributions in remote sensing and GIS. He has published about 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

All are welcome to attend the lecture.

Coordinators, CSSP Lecture Series

Friday, October 16, 2015

"The Unmaking of History" - ICHR Past and Present, by Prof Dilip K Chakrabarti

The Unmaking of History
From the beginning, the ICHR has been beholden to the political and historical beliefs of whoever was in power. This aspect of its leadership has not changed.
by Dilip K Chakrabarti | Oct 15, 2015 | Indian Express

Around 2013, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) published "performance audits" of the Indian Museum, Asiatic Society (Kolkata), Victoria Memorial, Visva Bharati and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). After going through these reports — all available in the public sphere — the first reaction is that of sadness: What have these people been doing all these years! In the case of the ASI, it is pointed out that it does not have a defined conservation policy and possesses only marginal interest in doing archaeological research and caring for explored and excavated antiquities. The report further states: Governance from the ministry of culture was lax and found deficient on all aspects of adequacy of policy and legislation, financial management, monitoring of conservation projects and provision of human resources to these organisations."
In the case of historical research, these limitations generate a stronger public reaction, because historical research has an influence on how the nation perceives its past and is thus involved in the formation of the nation's identity.
The government of India sponsors two more organisations like the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) — the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR). Both history and philosophy should fall under the ICSSR's purview, and the fact that they do not is because of two Central ministers — S. Nurul Hasan for the ICHR, who was education minister in 1972, when it was created. The man he appointed as the chairman of the University Grants Commission, S. Chandra, a medievalist like himself, was not known to have any significant publications to his credit. R.S. Sharma, another associate, specialised in ancient India. He was appointed chairman of the ICHR. All three were former or active communists and strongly believed in helping fellow travellers.
The precise context of the beginning of the ICHR has been narrated by historian Tapan Raychaudhuri in his Bengali autobiography. An earlier education minister, V.K.R.V. Rao, allocated Rs 3 crore for the translation of the volumes on Indian history published in English under the editorship of R.C. Majumdar by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. This project was cancelled, and the ICHR was established with this money. Once it was established and became the chief funding agency of historical research in the country, the wishes of its controllers became the command for teachers of history all over the country.
It is not necessary to carry forward this contextual and historical story. Right from the beginning, this organisation has cared for nothing except the political and historical beliefs of whoever was in power. This aspect of its leadership has not changed. Some sort of overall political control is probably inevitable, because funding comes from the government. What is, however, required is a well-defined professional framework, which the ICHR has lacked throughout. As a result, its operations have far too often been subject to past practices in various matters.
The area in which the absence of professionalism is most visible lies in the award of fellowships and grants for doing research. A huge amount of money has been spent on this since the early 1970s. Fellowships are of four kinds: Junior research fellowships for helping young people to do their PhDs, postdoctoral fellowships, senior academic fellowships generally given to retired people, and finally, "national" fellowships to outstanding scholars active in research. Grants are awarded not merely for scholarly research, but also for organising seminars. Grants are also given for the publication of books and for attending international conferences. There is also money for initiating research projects on its own. On paper, the whole scheme is marvellously equipped, and the government of India deserves praise for putting it in place.
The reality, however, is different. Junior fellows are currently selected through written examinations and interviews, but are they conducted openly and fairly? Who gives that assurance, and where is the published record with the relevant details? The same is true of the postdoctoral scholars, although in that case written examinations and interviews are unnecessary because people should be able to judge the quality of the PhD thesis on the basis of which they will be trying for postdoctoral fellowships. Senior fellowships, which are given mostly to retired people with access to the dominant group, are a nightmare. Senior Indian academics in the humanities and social sciences are generally too lazy to do research, and these fellowships in most cases are a pure waste of money. National fellows are supposed to be outstanding scholars. I have met some national fellows calling themselves national professors of subjects they know hardly anything about. Of the two national fellows I can presently think of, one is 86 and the other must be older than 80. Basically, "senior" and "national" fellowships may be considered the retirement benefits of people with contacts.
Indian academics are also enthusiastic organisers of seminars, even though there may be nothing new or exciting about them. The state of official projects is downright scandalous. The principal investigators are, in most cases, simply lazy, without a clear idea of the relevant research framework. If anyone were to ask me if the ICHR has had a positive impact on historical research in the country, I would categorically say "no". And yet, with transparency and some academic commitment, it can turn itself around and be the agent of a new kind of history that Sister Nivedita wrote about: "In all that lies around us then, we may, if our eyes are open, read the story of the past. The life we live today has been created for us by those who went before us, even as the line of seaweed on the shore has been placed there by the waves of the tides now over, in their ebb and flow."
This approach should be the core of a properly nationalist approach to the study of history in India.

The writer is emeritus professor of South Asian archaeology and senior fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University. He is also a member of the ICHR.
- See more at:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NEISP Jayashree Roy Memorial Essay Competition 2015; Topic: Environment, State and Society in North East India

North East India Studies Programme, JNU

Jayashree Roy Memorial Essay Competition, 2015

Topic: Environment, State and Society in North East India

North East India Studies Programme, JNU, invites submission of essays for the Jayashree Roy Memorial Essay Competition, 2015. The topic is Environment, State and Society in North East India. Submissions are invited from students of JNU.

North East India is located in one of the distinct bio-diverse and fragile ecological zones of the world. Historically, the role of ecology has been important factor in socio-economic, political and cultural life of the people of the region. In the last century, the relation between society and environment witnessed major changes, such as in the form of infrastructural and urban expansions. In the recent times, environment has also emerged as a significant issue in public policy such as regarding land or multi-purpose hydro power projects. People's responses to such policies have been diverse. NEISP invites submissions of essays from students of JNU on the above topic, engaging with some of the above issues.

Essays adjudged first and second would be awarded certificates and cash prizes.

Word Length: 4000 words

Last Date of Submission: November 2, 2015

Essays may be submitted to:
North East India Studies Programme
Room 416, 4th Floor
School of Social Sciences – Building I
JNU, New Delhi - 67
Or email:

Friday, October 2, 2015

New SouthCentre Paper: Foreign Direct Investment, Investment Agreements and Economic Development: Myths and Realities

Announcing a New Research Paper from the South Centre


Foreign Direct Investment, Investment Agreements and Economic Development: Myths and Realities


South Centre Research Paper No. 63

October 2015

45 pages


ISSN 1819-6926

The South Centre recently published Research Paper No. 63: Foreign Direct Investment, Investment Agreements and Economic Development: Myths and Realities, authored by Yılmaz Akyüz.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the most ambiguous and the least understood concepts in international economics.  Common debate on FDI is confounded by several myths regarding its nature and impact on capital accumulation, technological progress, industrialization and growth.  It is often portrayed as a long term, stable, cross-border flow of capital that adds to productive capacity, helps meet balance-of-payments shortfalls, transfers technology and management skills, and links domestic firms with wider global markets. However, none of these are intrinsic qualities of FDI.  First, FDI is more about transfer and exercise of control than movement of capital.   It does not always involve flows of financial capital (movements of funds through foreign exchange markets) or real capital (imports of machinery and equipment for the installation of productive capacity).  Second, only the so-called greenfield investment makes a direct contribution to productive capacity and involves cross-border movement of capital goods, but it is not easy to identify from reported statistics what proportion of FDI consists of such investment as opposed to transfer of ownership of existing assets.  Third, what is commonly reported as FDI contains speculative and volatile components.  Fourth, the longer-term impact of FDI on the balance of payments is often negative even in countries highly successful in attracting export-oriented FDI.  Finally, positive technological spillovers from FDI are not automatic but call for targeted policies of the kind that most investment agreements prohibit.

To access the research paper directly, go to this webpage:

To access the South Centre website, where you can also find other research papers, publications and news items, go to this webpage: .

South Centre
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PO Box 228
1211 Geneva 19
Telephone: (41 22) 791 8050
Fax: (41 22) 798 8531
Copyright © 2015 South Centre, All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

AJSTID CfPs/ EoI for Special issue on Exploring Methodologies for STI Research

Call for Expression of Interest

Special issue on Exploring Methodologies for STI Research

in African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (AJSTID)

Guest Editors: Mika Raunio, Sheikh Fayaz, Abiodun Egbetokun and Rhiannon Pugh

During the Globelics Academy Alumni Meeting in Tampere, Finland 4-5th of June 2015, the need for a special issue introducing variety of less traditional methodologies in innovation studies was recognized. This concept note summarize the guidelines for the potential special issue that will appear in the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (AJSTID). The Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Mammo Muchie was open to support the idea, and co-operate with the editors of the issue. The further development of special issue into a book is also being considered, as it could be useful for students, especially, although not only, in less developed countries.

The most traditional approaches to understanding innovation and its relations to economic and societal development, or simply economic growth, are survey based analyses using international databases like the European Community Innovation Surveys (CIS), or international patent data (e.g., PATSTAT, ORBIT). Case studies form the other wide stream of research methodologies.

In this special issue, we want to discuss more qualitative approaches (e.g., ethnographic studies) or more recent quantitative methodologies (e.g., computational data analysis and mining of digital data sources, "big data"). Also, conceptually different approaches (e.g., in political economy) may require different scope for analysis, and different methodological approaches. The special issue aims to recognize new (in innovation studies) and promising methodologies and discuss their role especially (but not exclusively) in emerging economies and developing country contexts; what specific benefits these methodologies may provide in these contexts, and what are the obvious handicaps or barriers to their widespread take-up.

The need for wider scope of analysis is not only to increase and to enrich our understanding of the phenomenon, but also to account for changing focus of innovation studies in terms of content (inclusive innovation, pro-poor policies, ecosystems) and new geographical divisions with different socio-economic realities (namely in developing countries), as well as availability of data. The special issue, and potential book, could be used in teaching among those who are interested in innovation studies especially in the context of the global South.

We are looking for approximately 10 high-quality articles on this topic. All articles will go through a double-blind review process. At this stage, we invite interested author(s) to send an expression of interest (EoI) via email to Please include Expression of Interest in the subject line of the email and provide a one-paragraph summary of the paper that you intend to write.
The deadline for the EoI is October 31, 2015. We will invite extended abstracts based on the EoIs within one month of this date.

Indicative Timeline:
Call for expression of interest: September 2015
Call for extended abstracts (max two pages): November 2015
Notification to authors of extended abstracts: December 2015
Full papers due: April 2016
Notification to authors of full papers: August 2016
Final papers due: November 2016
Send all submissions and queries to: