Monday, February 29, 2016

Call for Participation| Webinar: The Paris Agreement, SBSTA and agriculture in 2016: Perspectives for Asia| 1st March

Call for Participation:

Webinar: The Paris Agreement, SBSTA and agriculture in 2016: Perspectives for Asia

Date: 1 March 2016, 15:00 – 17:00, GMT +7.

Organized by CCAFS and FAO

The webinar is to assist countries in Asia-Pacific, interested in making a submission for the SBSTA44 workshops or better preparing their negotiating teams for the workshops.


More information at - Webinar: The Paris Agreement, SBSTA and agriculture in 2016: Perspectives for Asia

Register Online



International Water Management Institute – India office

2nd Flr, CG Block C
NASC Complex, DPS Marg
New Delhi 110012, India

IWMI is also a partner in the CGIAR Research Programs on:

• Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS)
Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Dryland Systems
Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics


1st National ‪Essay Competition‬ on ‪Water‬ Conservation 2016

1st National Essay Competition‬ on Water‬ Conservation 2016

Organized by Central Ground Water Board & Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, India


Last Date: 12.03.2016 (by hand or post)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Invitation: Launch of Book "Informal Sector Innovations: Insights from the Global South" | JNU Central Library | February 24 at 4:30 pm

Central Library, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Cordially invites you to the Launch of Book

"Informal Sector Innovations: Insights from the Global South"

Edited by Mammo Muchie, Saradindu Bhaduri, Angathevar Baskaran, and Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh

Book Launch by Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

On February 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm

at Committee Room, Central Library, JNU


  • Welcome Address by Dr. Ramesh C. Gaur, University Librarian, JNU
  • Introduction: Prof. Mammo Muchie, DST/NRF Research Professor of Innovation Studies at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation at Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa; Visiting Professor, CSSP JNU, and Senior Research Associate at the TMCD Centre at the University of Oxford, UK.
  • Dr. Saradindu Bhaduri Associate Professor, Centre for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Visiting Professor at Prince Clause Chair, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Mr. Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh, currently pursuing his PhD on informal sector innovations from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Book Launch and Address by:- Prof. M.Jagadesh Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Vote of Thanks
  • 5.15 pm High Tea

Baillie Gifford Prize Fellowship for MRes Contemporary India | at King's College London

Dear friends and colleagues


I wanted to bring to your attention – and for circulation to people who might be interested – a dedicated prize fellowship that we host at the India Institute for study on our MRes Contemporary India programme. This is a tailored research-track Masters programme which leads to the production of a c. 30,000 word dissertation. 

The fellowship provides full funding for fees and stipend, and we welcome applications from both promising students coming from an academic background as well as applications from mid-career professionals who are interested in taking time out to work on a specific issue or policy problem. If you know strong candidates who might be interested, please do pass details on to them and encourage them to apply. The deadline is March 15th 2016. 

Candidates especially interested in history of / contemporary science and technology in India may write to me directly.


Warm regards


J A H N A V I    P H A L K E Y

Senior Lecturer in History of Science and Technology
India Institute
King's College London
Strand, London WC2R 2LS
+44 (0) 797 080 8369   I   +91 (0) 805 613 4939 (India) |

Thursday, February 18, 2016

In a Corner of the Himalayas, India now has its First Organic State

In a Corner of the Himalayas, India now has its First Organic State
by Madhura Karnik, Manu Balachandran | January 15, 2016 | Quartz india|

Sikkim, the northeastern Indian state snuggled between Bhutan and Nepal, has now rid its agricultural land of pesticides and fertilizers making it the country's first organic state.

The 75,000-hectare area was transformed as per the policies of the Indian government's National Programme for Organic Production, meant to promote organic farming. This form of agriculture typically avoids the use of pesticides, fertilisers, genetically modified crops, and other artificial inputs. Instead, farmers use natural alternatives such as green manure and compost.

"We achieved fully organic status by the end of December. Prime minister Narendra Modi will formally announce this at a sustainable agriculture conference in Gangtok on Jan. 18," S. Anbalagan, executive director of the Sikkim Organic Mission (SOM), told the Press Trust for India on Jan. 14.

Harmful pesticides
In 2003, Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling passed a resolution in the state legislative assembly, vowing to make the Himalayan state completely organic, and subsequently banned synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. Sikkim has one of the smallest agricultural land area in the country and it mainly produces maize, paddy and cardamom. This is what the SOM website wrote about the ban:

The ban of synthetic fertilisers, and pesticides at local level has led to reduction in the use of fossil fuels and emission of green house gases in addition to sequestering native soil and ecology of the state thereby playing an important albeit small role in mitigating the effects of climate change which is very significant in the fragile Himalayan ecosystem.

For long, India has grappled with challenges relating to the safety of pesticides and fertilisers. Much of that was a result of the Green Revolution, an initiative launched in the late 1960s to increase food production. This led to an increase in the use of modified seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, but also had socioeconomic cost due to environmental damages.

For instance, in May 2011, India's supreme court passed an interim order banning production and sale of endosulfan, a deadly pesticide, after over 150 people in the south Indian state of Kerala were affected by hydrocephalus, which causes a swelling of the head, and mental retardation.

"It is a great initiative. States are now taking the lead on their own to implement such policies, and we believe they (policies) are in the right direction," Amit Khurana, the programme head of New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment's food safety team, told Quartz.

"India's pesticide management programme has a lot of gaps," Khurana added. "For instance, we need a system in place that regulates the daily acceptable intake of pesticides. There are also concerns that close to one-fifth of pesticides used in the country don't have their minimal residual limit approved by food safety authorities."

On the flipside, as states gradually adopt organic farming, there could also be a drop in yields. According to a research report by Jitendra Pandey and Ashima Singh of the Banaras Hindu University, organic farms yield between 10% and 15% less than traditional farms. However, the report added, the lower yield was balanced by "lower input costs and higher margins."


How Sikkim Beat Himalayan Odds to Become India's First Organic State

How Sikkim Beat Himalayan Odds to Become India's First Organic State
by Ranjini Sivaswamy | February 12, 2016 |

Prime Minister Modi recently announced that Sikkim has become the first Organic State of India. The journey wasn't easy, the questions were hard and the challenges looked insurmountable. But today, the demand for Sikkim's organic produce has soared and farmers in the state are already earning 20% more than they did earlier.

"Hum Log ab khusi khusi se kaam karte hain. Ham sab gaao waale milke kaam karte hain. Sab bahut active ho gaye hain organic mission ke baad." (We villagers work happily now, in a spirit of togetherness. Everyone's become very active after the organic mission was announced) – Norkit, an organic farmer, Sikkim.
Up in the Himalayas, there's an organic spirit that is running high. Farmers are happy, youngsters are becoming entrepreneurs, tourists are flocking and business is flowing in from all over the country to the state of Sikkim. This upsurge is the result of a Himalayan task that Sikkim believed it could achieve – that of transforming itself into a fully organic state. The state still awaits its first airport, does not have a Doordarshan Kendra, has a GDP that is the third smallest in the country – but Sikkim has taken on a bold mission.

In 2003, the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling, made a momentous declaration. He said Sikkim would shun chemical pesticides and fertilizers and return to natural methods of farming.

There were protests, dissent and resistance. People asked, "How could a state that does not produce enough for itself turn to organic methods?" There were worries that production would fall and there would be costs involved — the farmers were barely sustaining themselves.
"But we were convinced, if we went organic, there will be a value addition that we can offer to both farmers and the consumers of our products. We have a terrain that cannot make us self-sufficient in food production. So we decided to focus on what we can grow in Sikkim and give them the value of being organic", says Khorlo Bhutia, Secretary of the State for Agriculture, and Chief Executive Officer of Sikkim's organic success. "Whatever we produce will be chemical free. Organic produce carries a premium demand, which can fetch good revenue for the farmers. We will have clean air, water and soil and we will do immense good for the biodiversity that Sikkim is blessed with. Also, the Himalayas are the source of water and when we have a clean land at the source, the rest of the country will greatly benefit." With this conviction, the mission was on.

A Himalayan change in motion
Rough mountainous terrain, severe weather and 77,000 hectares that are scattered into small pockets of land holdings – that's the canvas that Sikkim had to paint organic. Making the most of these small land holdings, which are unlike the vast lands of agrarian states like Punjab and Haryana, was a challenge. The biggest advantage was that Sikkim was never an extensive user of chemical methods of farming like these states. So the reversal, though immensely difficult, had a pedestal to begin with.

Initially, the government cut the subsidies on chemical pesticides and fertilizers. But it eventually banned their use.

The Sikkim Organic Mission, which was carrying the baton of change, went out and out spreading awareness on the 'why', 'what', and 'how' of the mission. It provided seeds and manure, trained the farmers in organic methods, and even sent some farmers outside the state to get advanced training. The farmers slowly began to embrace the change.
"One of the most heartening aspects of the whole endeavour was that our farmers were ready to listen," says Binita Chamling, a young entrepreneur who returned from London to be a part of Sikkim's change. Binita's start up, Organic Sikkim, reaches farmers like Norkit and finds markets for their produce. Norkit says earlier she was producing just what was enough for her family because she did not know how to sell, where to sell. She was not earning anything from the land. Entrepreneurs like Binita are eliminating the middlemen and dealing directly with the farmers to sell their produce to the rest of the country and the world. Norkit says she and her friends in the village are now cultivating together and producing in large quantities. The start-ups are buying directly from the farmers and Norkit is happy that she is able to sell and earn good money.
The farmers fought against plant diseases with pesticides made from locally available plant materials. They won over the Rhizome Rot Disease that plagued Sikkim's most important cash crop, ginger. They rejuvenated Sikkim's very own Mandarin orange orchards which were failing.
While the farmers tilled the land, the government made the infrastructure robust. Khorlo Bhutia says "We started building the entire infrastructure that was needed for this massive change. Bio fertilizer production units, seed processing units, automated green houses, soil testing labs, mobile soil testing labs, cold storage units and food processing units – all that was needed to complete the organic cycle started springing up in Sikkim."

The fruits of a great endeavour
Sikkim's 13 year penance became fruitful by the end of 2015. And on January 18, 2016, Prime Minister Modi declared Sikkim as the first organic state in India. Khorlo Bhutia says, "We are proud to have achieved this feat spending just Rs. 55 crores (as of November 2015)." The state is now in an ecstatic mood. The demand for Sikkim's organic produce has soared and the farmers are now earning 20% more. New jobs have been created and one also gets to see a new breed of entrepreneurs springing up. Sikkim is now host to a new vogue – organic tourism.
Going forward, the state has to tackle the challenges of logistics and supply. It has to set up food processing units and find ways to manage perishable goods. But for sure Sikkim's Himalayan determination will carry them through all these challenges.
Having shown the country that development can mean being close to nature as well, this small state is inspiring the whole nation to go back to its roots.  States like Kerala, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are already working towards becoming organic.

Sikkim is calling
Aren't we enthralled by the idea of getting rid of waxed, bloated and chemically loaded food? As Prime Minister Modi put it, Sikkim is indeed a sukh sthaan (happy place). If you are an entrepreneur, the Sikkim government is inviting you to engage in contract farming in the state, says Khorlo Bhutia. And Norkit says, "Aap Sikkim aa jaao, main aapko thoda organic farming sikha dungi." (Come to Sikkim and I will teach you organic farming).

About the author: Ranjini Sivaswamy is a freelance writer and one of the first team members of The Better India. She comes from a mass communication background and is currently a consultant with IIM Bangalore.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

CfPs: 9th Conference on Model-based Evidence on Innovation and Development (MEIDE) | 16-17 June 2016 | Moscow, Russia

9th Conference on Model-based Evidence on Innovation and Development (MEIDE)


16-17 June 2016
Moscow, Russia

The 9th Conference on Model-based Evidence on Innovation and Development (MEIDE) will be held on 16-17 June 2016 in Moscow, Russia. The conference will gather researchers from around the world to discuss various aspects of innovation and its relation to economic development. We have slightly changed the title of the conference to stress the particular aspects of this year's edition, namely the topics of innovation and development and the model-based evidence approach. In other words, we have enlarged the scope of the conference to include papers based on macro or industry data (see the list below for possible topics).

Priority will be given to empirical papers, but there is also room for methodological and theoretical papers as well as for case studies, so long as they address the issue of innovation and development. Here innovation is to be understood broadly as any kind of innovation linked to what firms, households, communities and governments do, or how they operate. It also includes knowledge creation, diffusion, measurement and evaluation issues. Development comprises growth but also welfare, poverty alleviation, environmental concerns and fairness in the distribution of wealth / income.


Researchers are invited to submit their paper by 12 March 2016. Extended abstracts and incomplete papers are accepted for submission, but preference will be given to full papers. Please submit by clicking on Paper submission. Notifications of acceptance will be given no later than 25 March 2016. All accepted participants will receive an official invitation letter to apply for a visa to enter Russia. The conference will take place in the Russian National Research University – Higher School of Economics located in the centre of Moscow. To minimise administrative burdens there will be no registration fees, but each participant will be responsible for his/her own travel and hotel costs, and for the conference dinner.

Selected papers from the conference will be invited for inclusion in a special issue of the bilingual (English-Russian) journal 'Foresight and STI Governance' (indexed in SCOPUS):

Local Organiser:

  • Russian National Research University – Higher School of Economics


  • Russian National Research University – Higher School of Economics
  • Inter-American Development Bank

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline: 12 March 2016
  • Notification of acceptance: 25 March 2016
  • Sending paper to organisers: 9 June 2016
  • 9th MEIDE conference: 16-17 June 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Why India's Urban Researchers Need to Move beyond Megacities | STEPS Centre's Blog

Why India's Urban Researchers Need to Move beyond Megacities

by Dr Aviram Sharma

In STEPS Centre's Blog | February 9, 2016 |

APO invites participation in two Self-Learning e-Courses: Waste Management in Agribusiness | Organic Agriculture and Organic Agribusiness

Asian Productivity Organization (APO) invites participation in two Self-Learning e-Courses:These e-Learning Courses:
  • Free of charge
  • APO e-certificate for successful participant.

CSRD JNU organizes "Research Methodology Course for PhD Students in Social Sciences"| 8-18 March

Centre for the Study of Regional Development (CSRD)
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi,

is organizing a

"Research Methodology Course for PhD Students in Social Sciences"

Funded by ICSSR, New Delhi 

Dates: 8-18 March 2016

Interested PhD Scholars may apply by _th February 2016.

For Application Form, Contact:,,,

Monday, February 8, 2016

Book Review: "Science, Technology and Development in India: Encountering Values" by Dr M Govind, CSSP

Book Review
  • Govind, Madhav (2015). Book Review: Science, Technology and Development in India: Encountering Values. Sociological Bulletin, 64 (3), 414-416. Download.

Other Publication
  • Jain, Sarandha (2015). Oil and the Everyday in Colonial and Independent India (1880–1975). NMML Occasional Paper, Perspectives in Indian Development, New Series #61. Download

Monday, February 1, 2016

RIS Discussion Paper | Science, Technology, Innovation in India & Access, Inclusion & Equity: Discourses, Measurement & Emerging Challenges

Science, Technology, Innovation in India and Access, Inclusion and Equity: Discourses, Measurement and Emerging Challenges
by Sachin Chaturvedi, Krishna Ravi Srinivas, Rashmi Rastogi
RIS Discussion Paper #202 | 2015

Abstract: The role of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in economic growth is well accepted. Tracing the debate on the role of science in Indian society in the pre-1947 India, the discourses and narratives on science, technology and society in India are mapped and their impact on policies is discussed. However, in the backdrop of growing inequalities and access to technology the debate on technology and development has assumed greater policy relevance. In this paper, we have used qualitative analysis and quantitative methods to discuss the issues in understanding and evaluating S&T policy in India and measuring access, equity and inclusion (AEI) through indicators. Although AEI as principles can be used for policy analysis and studying the impacts of S&T policies, the need for robust indicators is obvious. But the current indicators of impacts of S&T, or innovation indicators do not capture AEI nor consider them as important values to be measured. In development economics attempts are being made to measure inclusion and exclusion and to study marginalisation or marginality. We have constructed three indices using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) where weights in each index are the variances of successive principal components. The paper suggests that research on AEI should become part of S&T policy process. It is suggested that in major technology initiatives and policy proposals 3 to 5 per cent of the proposed budgets could be allotted to such research. Another suggestion is to develop new methodologies and models, in the context of emerging technologies and S&T related indicators should be linked to socio-economic indicators.

Keywords: Access, Equity, Inclusion, S&T indicators, S&T policy, innovation policy

Download Full-text PDF