Transitions

An IiT Blog


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Latest from India in Transition

Transitions is the blog companion of the Center for the Advanced Study of India’s bi-weekly online publication, India in Transition (IiT). IiT presents brief, analytical perspectives on the ongoing transformations in contemporary India based on cutting-edge research in the areas of economy, environment, foreign policy and security, human capital, science and technology, and society and culture. A Hindi translation accompanies each published article and can be found on CASI’s website along with related online resources.

Here are some of the latest from IiT:

Of Pipes and Slums: Understanding Mumbai’s Proposed New Water Rules for Residents of “Illegal Structures” by Lisa Björkman, March 23, 2015

Assessing Regional Cooperation in South Asia and Beyond by Arndt Michael, March 9, 2015

Non-Communicable Diseases in India: Dispensing with the Global and Zeroing In on the Domestic by Karthik Nichiappan, February 23, 2015

Moving Toward an Analytical Base for Energy Planning by Radhika Khosla, February 9, 2015

Assessing the Subramanian Committee Report by Shibani Ghosh, January 26, 2015

Responses to Russian Interventionism: India and the Questions of Hungary, 1956 and Crimea, 2014 by Swapna Kona Nayudu, January 12, 2015

NREGS: Revamp or R.I.P.? by Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, December 29, 2014

Decoding India’s Stand on International Sanctions by Rishika Chauhan, December 15, 2014

Public Purpose and Accountability in the Indian State by Akshay Mangla, December 1, 2014

The International Politics of Status by Rohan Mukherjee, November 17, 2014

 

 


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India on the Move: Unraveling the Black Box of Commuting

S Chandrasekhar

S. Chandrasekhar

“We need to put commuting on equal footing with migration in any conversation on worker mobility, since it is no longer a case of either/or” argues CASI Visiting Scholar S. Chandrasekhar in the latest India in Transition (IiT) piece. Chandrasekhar is an Associate Professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) and has worked extensively on labor mobility. In the article, he presents data and case studies which convincingly demonstrate the massive growth of the commuter population in India. Read the full article.

Read more about Chandrasekhar’s research on his website and attend his lecture at CASI on November 14. Details about the event will be posted soon here.


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Designing Data Systems for Skilling India

If you haven’t already, check out the latest IiT article, “Designing Data Systems for Skilling India.” Stefan Bender, Jörg Heining, and Kaushik Krishnan show some lessons from Germany on how India can collect better data on employment, wages, and the labor market. They argue that collecting this data need not be costly or time-consuming since much of it is already being collected by various departments.

“India’s unemployment rate currently sits at 9 percent. Yet, one in three citizens with at least a bachelor’s degree is out of work. Its working age population,is projected to rise from over 750 million today to almost a billion by 2020. At the same time, agricultural employment is in decline, accounting for less than 50 percent of total employment for the first time in Indian history. These market pressures are pushing the labor force towards higher skilled occupations. Yet, even young, college-educated,Indians often lack the requisite skills to obtain these jobs.” Continue reading..

Read more of CASI’s India in Transition (IiT) bi-weekly publications on the CASI website.

Stefan Bender

Stefan Bender

Jorg Heining

Jorg Heining

Kaushik Krishnan

Kaushik Krishnan


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Negotiating Normality between Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir

Rahul Pandita

Rahul Pandita

Fall 2014 CASI Visiting Fellow, Rahul Pandita, is the author of this week’s India in Transition (IiT) article. He writes about the path towards reconciliation between the exiled Kashmiri Pandit community and Kashmir’s Muslim population.

Read “The Gorge of Personalized Violence” here.

Rahul Pandita is the Senior Editor of The Hindu. He is the author of Our Moon has Blood Clots: The Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. He will speak about the Maoist movement in India on October 16. Follow him on Twitter @rahulpandita.


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Political Mirage: Through the Lens of Mewat

Preeti Mann

Preeti Mann

Preeti Mann, a professor in the School of Development Studies at Ambedkar University-Delhi, has written this week’s IiT piece. Mann provides an insightful anthropological perspective on the recent election using Mewat district in Haryana as an example. She discusses the barriers that the Aam Admi Party faced in getting a foothold in the region and circumventing local thondas (middlemen).

“Each thonda represents a certain vote bank: depending on his clout, he could influence more than two thousand votes. The web of associations between the thondas and the locals has created a fine network of political ties in the region. Due to this, there is hardly a free floating, independent or disassociated vote in Mewat.”

Read the article here. 


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Rethinking undergraduate education in the IITs

Anurag Mehra

Anurag Mehra

This summer’s CASI Visiting Scholar, Anurag Mehra, is a professor of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. He is also the author of the latest India in Transition (IiT) article about the need for reform of the IIT undergraduate system.  From coaching-induced burnout to student disinterest in technical fields to teacher apathy, Mehra exposes how India’s most celebrated academic institution may be falling short of its initial objective.

“The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were founded almost five decades ago with the objective of providing technological leadership to a new and resurgent India, driven by Nehru’s deep commitment to science-led development. Whether they provided technological leadership to India or not remains debatable given the large numbers of their (under) graduates who have migrated abroad or have shifted to non-technical careers. India has changed much since the Nehruvian vision, begging the questions: how have the IITs adapted and how relevant are these institutions today, in particular their core undergraduate programs?” Continue reading…

 

 


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Pivot to Africa

 

Arndt Michael

Arndt Michael

Dr. Arndt Michael,  Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Freiburg, Germany and author of the multi-award winning book India’s Foreign Policy and Regional Multilateralism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), has contributed the latest article to CASI’s bi-weekly publication India in Transition (IiT). He discusses the “Indian way” of dealing with Africa and recent evidence of India’s pivot to Africa.

“The drastic increase in trade volumes over the last few years is an impressive testament to the new Indian pivot to Sub-Saharan Africa; trade between India and Sub-Saharan Africa stood at $60 billion in 2012. Still, trade volumes in the same year were markedly eclipsed by those of the EU ($567.2 billion), the U.S. ($446.7 billion), and China ($220 billion). Nevertheless, India’s engagement shows a successful new focus on the region where it has implemented specific programs in the economic, political, and, especially, pan-African sphere. From an economic perspective, there are three pillars of Indian engagement….” Continue reading