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An IiT Blog


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Unsafe After Sunset

The Hindu published the final part of our 4-part series on the Aspirations and Anxieties round of the Lok Surveys on Friday February 27. The article, “Unsafe after sunset”, highlights how respondents answered the question, “What is the latest time that you feel safe returning home alone?” and was written by Milan Vaishnav of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Neelanjan Sircar of CASI.

Our data also show that urbanisation is not a panacea for concerns about public safety. Rather, cities must invest in the “right kind” of urbanisation, with the sort of infrastructure seen in the largest cities. These cities have better amenities (such as street lights) and often have buses or even a metro that runs reliably until late at night. This demonstrates the positive secondary effects on the larger social environment when building infrastructure.

Follow the authors on Twitter: @MilanV @NeelanjanSircar

Read the other parts in the series:

Part 1: Being middle class in India

Part 2: Choosing thy neighbour

Part 3: The love for sons and appropriate attire

Read more about the Lok Pre-election Survey


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The love for sons and appropriate clothing

In the third installment of CASI’s 4-part series in The Hindu, we discuss findings from the latest round of the Lok Surveys on questions related to gender. We find that attitudes on the appropriateness of women’s clothing, which we feel to be a measure of social control, are quite different between rural and urban India. The urban, wealthier, and more educated were the least conservative about what women should wear. However, when we examined the preference that respondents have for sons over daughters, levels of son preference did not vary significantly by the income level, education, or rural/urban status of the respondent, highlighting how deeply rooted this attitude remains in Indian society. Read the article “The love for sons and appropriate clothing” by Megan Reed and Devesh Kapur.

The other two parts in the series:

1) “Being Middle Class in India”

2) “Choosing thy Neighbor”

Also read about the Lok Pre-election Survey

Dressing UP


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Choosing thy neighbour

OPED_MAP_new_eps_2273951g

Read new analysis from the Lok Surveys on social bias in today’s The Hindu. This article comes as the latest installment of a four-part series presenting results from the second round of the Lok Surveys. In the article, CASI’s Post-doctoral Research Fellow Neelanjan Sircar and Research Coordinator Megan Reed discuss findings regarding caste and religious bias in preferences for neighbors. Those identifying as middle class displayed much higher levels of social bias than those who do not. To the extent that the social mobility associated with middle class identification results in people from different identity groups competing for the same jobs and resources, middle class identity, we speculate, may actually amplify rather than attenuate social conflict explaining this difference is reported bias. Read more of the findings in “Choosing thy Neighbour.”

The Lok Surveys are a multi-year panel study sponsored by the Lok Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Lok Surveys aim to track the attitudes of Indians over the next several years, as part of a significant new effort to understand the social and political reconfigurations taking place across India today. CMIE, on behalf of the Lok Foundation, conducted face-to-face interviews of 69,920 randomly selected Indians across 25 states and union territories between January and May 2014. 2011 Read the first article in the series “Being Middle Class in India.” Also read about and view data on the Lok Pre-election Survey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Being Middle Class in India

CASI has just released new analysis from the second round of the Lok Surveys! The article, the first in a four-part series to be published in The Hindu, is the first public presentation of the emerging findings from the Aspirations and Anxieties round of the survey. The Lok Surveys are a multi-year panel study sponsored by the Lok Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Lok Surveys aim to track the attitudes of Indians over the next several years, as part of a significant new effort to understand the social and political reconfigurations taking place across India today. CMIE, on behalf of the Lok Foundation, conducted face-to-face interviews of 69,920 randomly selected Indians across 25 states and union territories between January and May 2014. Because our sample is about two-thirds urban and one-third rural, 2011 Census data is used to reweight the sample to ensure urban/rural representativeness.

Read the article “Being Middle Class in India” here.

Dr. Devesh Kapur, Director of CASI

Devesh Kapur

Milan Vaishnav

Milan Vaishnav

Learn more about the authors: CASI Director, Devesh Kapur, and Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Milan Vaishnav.

Follow CASI on Twitter @CASIPenn
and Milan Vaishnav @MilanV


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Upcoming NYC Event- A Billion Votes

The Roosevelt House and Political Science Department at Hunter College will be hosting an exciting panel discussion event on Monday May 5, 2014 in New York. If you are in the city, be sure to check it out. You can read more details and register for the event here.

A Billion Votes:Making Sense of India’s 2014 General Election 

Monday, May 5, 2014
Reception 5:00 PM, 
Program 5:45 PM

Roosevelt House at Hunter College
47-49 East 65th Street
between Park and Madison Avenues
New York, NY 10065

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera

India’s general elections are not only fascinating and consequential in their own right; they are also an important indicator of democracy’s global health. This campaign season party competition is intense and public advocacy full-throated; Indian democracy is in vigorous condition. Yet, trends such as economic inequality, rampant corruption, and social violence raise concerns about the direction in which politics may be heading. Join us for a roundtable on the significance of India’s elections – in which, to put things in perspective, newly eligible voters (those who turned 18 since India’s last election in 2009) exceed the entire voting electorate in the 2012 US presidential election.

Speakers:

Atul Kohli  David K. E. Bruce Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University

Sanjay Ruparelia  Assistant Professor of Politics and Fellow of the India China Institute, The New School

Milan Vaishnav  Associate, South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Lok Surveys Research Affiliate at CASI

Rob Jenkins  Professor, Department of Political Science, Hunter College

REGISTER


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India’s new voters: We are connected

EconomistThe Economist has dedicated significant coverage in their April 5th issue (including their cover) to the Indian elections. Check out their briefing on the youth vote in India which features data from the Lok Surveys. They argue that India’s political climate is undergoing dramatic shifts due to changes in the electorate (more young people and female voters), rapid urbanization, and rising incomes. The article also discusses the cult of personality around Narendra Modi and the voter’s prioritization of economic growth. Vaishnav and Swanson’s graph, highlighted in the issue, shows how voters today, more than in the 1990’s, are making their decisions on whether to re-elect incumbents based on the economic growth over their term.

The trend is towards pragmatism, says Rajiv Lall of the Lok Foundation; politicians need to focus more on delivering development. Not everyone welcomes that. A political commentator in his club in Kolkata—West Bengal is India’s strongest bastion for lefties—harrumphs that “the post liberalisation generation, the 22-year-old, thinks there is only one God, that is GDP.” Read more…
 
 

 


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The rural/urban divide dies out

Neelanjan Sircar and Milan Vaishnav from the Lok survey team have released new analysis of the survey data in a recent guest post on the beyondbrics blog at FT.com.

Come election time, a standard trope goes that India is engaged in a relentless tug-of-war between its rural and urban populations. On the one hand sit urban metropolises like Mumbai and Bangalore, whose cosmopolitan citizens rail against corrupt politicians, fetishise growth and care little for parochial concerns, like caste. On the other hand sits India’s vast rural hinterlands, where caste dictates social relations and corruption takes a backseat to basic sustenance. Yet if this divide did once provide an accurate description of the country, there is good reason to doubt it as India heads to the polls in 2014. Continue reading…fig-1-vaishnav-gp