A constituent institute of the University of Allahabad

Completed Projects

 

Projects Completed (2013-14)

 

Cultural Resources and Forging a Democratic Order: Marginalized Groups in Northern India: A Research, Documentation and Dissemination Project’.

 

The project was sponsored by Ford Foundation on 1st August 2009 for a period of three years.

 

(Badri Narayan)

 

The project focused mainly on the contemporary socio-cultural political situation of Uttar Pradesh. It planned to explore the socio-cultural roots of Dalit empowerment and their struggle against inequality generated through the hierarchical caste system which deprived them in all spheres of their socio-cultural and political life. It aimed to do an extensive and intensive study of the socio-cultural roots of Dalit life which appear as the basis of the formation of contemporary Dalit political language and mobilization for equality against the deprivation and exclusion of marginal communities in Indian society.   This project also studied the various innovative processes of cultural production, reproduction and circulation among marginalized communities and their role in the making of the subversive socio-political consciousness of the Dalits in their everyday life-culture. It also investigated how the dalit’s democratic consciousness, visible in the contemporary period is being used by them for strengthening their struggle against social inequality and their socio-political and cultural exclusion. Alongside, the project also analysed the cultural resources of the sects in question that are the underpinning of the present day Dalit cultural resources, in order to explore how they are facilitating the dalits to develop a critical thinking to fight against the century old social injustice faced by them and to participate in the democratic discourse of the society. The project studied how the interaction with sects like Kabirpanth ,Ravidas panth, Satnami panth, Shiv Narayani panth, Mahima Dharma  have led to the formation of cultural notions of social justice within marginalized communities that is sustaining them in their struggle against the social, cultural and political exclusion which they face in their everyday life. 

 

 

 

 

‘The case study of best performing Panchayats’ by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj’. The report of 9 Panchayats(4-UP.2-Rajasthan, 2-Odisha and 1-Uttarakhand)

 

(G. C. Rath)

 

There are three purposes in the study of the best performing Panchayats as assigned to me by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Govt. of India : i) to understand the dynamics of these Panchayats that lead to favourable outcomes, ii)  to disseminate these practices and iii) to use the collected materials in training programmes.  I have undertaken study of the Panchayats spread over the states of Uttar Pradesh (4 no.s), Odisha (2 no.s) Rajasthan (2 no.s) and Uttarakhand (1 no.). Each Panchayat was visited four to five days. Though it is a very short period for a case study but it provides a comprehensive understanding about the ongoing political process in grass root democracy, mostly across the Panchayats of central India. I have submitted the reports to the Ministry.

 

During the study, I found that the people are seriously thinking for a change in the existing structure of the Panchayat. One stream of such thinking was to conduct the Panchayat election in the party line, so that, according to them, it could lead to an effective decentralization. The present study will discuss about this debate on the basis of the views of the Panchayat members and common villagers.  As these awards winning Panchayats have been selected through a government process, the view of its members and the villagers will possibly carry immense importance in this case.  I will take six months to write a paper after analysing it.

 

Projects Completed (2012-13)

 

Research Support to Education - Leadership Programme in Uttar Pradesh (Phase II) (funded by the NEG FIRE) 

 

(Pradeep Bhargava)

 

This project provided research support to the Education-Leadership Programme of the NEG-FIRE (New Education Group - Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education, Delhi. It monitors the programme visualizing the final outcome of the programme given the milestones in different programme phases for which key indicators were identified. This would help bridge the gaps between expected output and actual performance suggesting various measures including key inputs required for edu-leaders, interaction with community, innovation in pedagogy, and community support.

 

The eduleadership programme tends to promote quality education in primary schools through leadership. Its prime objectives are to increase access of marginalized children to schools and increase the learning level of children with the support of community and local governance. The eduleaders are the key components of the program and they will strive to bring changes in the way school functions, teachers teach, children learn, communities participate and accountability of officials. This programme has been running in the four districts which are relatively backward in education namely Maharajganj, Badaun, Muzaffarnagar and Azamgarh. The project studies the emergence of eduleaders as a transformative force; the transformation that takes place in schools and among teachers; the transformation of the children of marginalities; struggle of the community to engage with educational processes and the progress made as per the Base line survey.

 

The Project is supported by NEG-FIRE, New Delhi

 

Cultural Resources and Forging a Democratic Order: Marginalized Groups in Northern India: A Research, Documentation and Dissemination Project’

 

Badri Narayan

 

Working on a major project ‘Cultural Resources and Forging a Democratic Order: Marginalized Groups in Northern India: A Research, Documentation and Dissemination Project’ sponsored by Ford Foundation on 1st August 2009 for a period of three years.

 

The project focuses mainly on the contemporary socio-cultural political situation of Uttar Pradesh. It plans to explore the socio-cultural roots of Dalit empowerment and their struggle against inequality generated through the hierarchical caste system which deprived them in all spheres of their socio-cultural and political life. It aims to do an extensive and intensive study of the socio-cultural roots of Dalit life which appear as the basis of the formation of contemporary Dalit political language and mobilization for equality against the deprivation and exclusion of marginal communities in Indian society.   This project will also study the various innovative processes of cultural production, reproduction and circulation among marginalized communities and their role in the making of the subversive socio-political consciousness of the Dalits in their everyday life-culture. It will also investigate how the dalit’s democratic consciousness, visible in the contemporary period is being used by them for strengthening their struggle against social inequality and their socio-political and cultural exclusion. Alongside, the project will also analyse the cultural resources of the sects in question that are the underpinning of the present day Dalit cultural resources, in order to explore how they are facilitating the dalits to develop a critical thinking to fight against the century old social injustice faced by them and to participate in the democratic discourse of the society. It must be clarified that we are not proposing to study the sects Kabirpanth ,Ravidas panth, Satnami panth, Shiv Narayani panth, Mahima Dharma, per se but will only study how the interaction with these sects have led to the formation of cultural notions of social justice within marginalized communities that is sustaining them in their struggle against the social, cultural and political exclusion which they face in their everyday life.

 

Completed project Violence and political process in UP (1989-2009) by the ICSSR as an Individual scholar 

 

Projects Completed (2011-12)

 

An Assessment of the Family Strengthening Programme

A study funded by SOS

(Pradeep Bhargava)

 

The project evaluated Family Strengthening Programme run by SOS, Varanasi. The evaluation covered child holistic development within a caring family environment, strengthening social support network in their families and quality management of the organization. The study found that the programme has inculcated a spirit of living into the beneficiaries. Children are now more healthy, enrolled and regular in schools; and the gender difference among them has lessened. Women are more autonomous, organized and aware of their rights and duties. They negotiate their relations with husbands and also challenged government authority. The programme has enhanced livelihood and employment generation opportunities of the poor. There is substantial increase in income due to expansion in economic activities. A report titled “Mother Courage and her Children” was submitted.

 

5% Sample Checking of DISE Data of Varanasi and Khusinagar Districts of U. P. (funded by the MHRD)

(S. K. Pant)

 

            Planning, in the modern time, has assumed a far more significance than it used to have earlier. In an effort to speed up the growth, no nature, how so ever small or big, can afford to commit mistake in planning and get away with it because a single mistake, no matter have trivial by nature, could not only push back the nature on the development path but may also herald upteam unforeseen disastrous consequences that may take unprecedented amount of time and resources to put back the deranted economy into a higher trajectory of growth. The success of planning, these days, not only depends upon the availability of infrastructure and its efficiency in creating the plans, but also on the latest update and current status of data on the resources available. Obsolete, out dated and irrelevant data on resources not only make the planning highly superficial and ritualistic but also unrealistic.  Thus, realising the need, relevance and importance of data, the government created District Information System for Education (DISE) at district level in 1975. DISE since its inception has undergone extensive reviews and modifications that has not only enlarged its coverage and scope and has also made it more compatible to the needs and requirements of the situations.          Acknowledging the importance of validation exercise, the government has now made it mandatory to get all the records periodically validated on sample basis. The existing exercise proportion of un-aided schools was reported to be over 26 percent. The study found in the majority of cases, the DISE data matched with sample survey data on a large numbers of parameters pertaining to school information. However in some few  indicators like establishment year of schools, the position of class rooms in the schools, the level of variation was quite large, whereas in most of the cases, it was quite marginal and non significant. The study also found that the overall level of supervision and monitoring was not high and quite a few of the sample schools also suffered from high incidence of absenteeism. Similarly most of the Principals/Head teachers had remained untrained, which was in contravention to SSA guidelines.

 

External Evaluation of Mid Day Meal in 10 Districts of Uttar Pradesh (funded by the MHRD)

 

(S. K. Pant)

 

            The study intends to cover the overall performance of MDM programme in the following ten districts of Uttar Pradesh namely Sitapur, CSM Nagar, Kannauj, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Aligarh, Shravasti, Basti, Chandauli and Rampur. In other words, it intends to examine how is MDM being implemented in these sample districts. The study follows the research design suggested by the sponsoring agencies viz. Mid Day Meal Authority, Lucknow. Accordingly, it covers a total of 100 schools from each of the sample districts. The study focuses on the following aspects:

 

Whether MDM is being served in the sample schools or not? Whether the menu of the day for MDM programme is being displayed in the school premises, preferably, on the black board on the school’s wall? Study whether the quantity of food being served under the programme is adequate and served according to the norms of the programme. Examine whether the quality of food served under MDM is being maintained. Attempt would also be made to study whether the socio-economic and gender profile of the persons entrusted with the task of cooking MDM has been as per the prescribed guideline’s norms. Study whether the venue of cooking of Mid Day Meal has been as per the programme’s guidelines or not? Whether the food grains are being kept within the school premises or not? Suggest appropriate measures to improve the overall functioning of MDM programme.

 

The detail analysis of MDM programme in the ten sample districts provides a bag of mixed experiences and outcomes. It has succeed in areas like ensuring the functionality of the programme, following the guidelines regarding display of MDM menu, quality and quantity of meals, providing separate kitchen shed, providing gender sensitization in the recruitment of cooks, utensils for cooking, provision of potable water for cooking of meals in an overwhelming proportion of schools. However, in other aspects like organizing health check-up camps or maintaining health register/health cards, distribution of micro-nutrients, or even invoking the community participation and supervision etc., it has not met with success as was expected of it. Nevertheless, it could be safely argued that MDM has succeeded in positively influencing the perception of children as well as parents towards school and school related activities. What is required is to not only sustain the relevant and appropriate social interventions but also apply it more regoursely and intensively in those areas where the outcome/results have not come up as per our expectations. What needs to be remembered is that MDM in a social intervention, which is being applied in what is called is a traditionally hard or difficult states (one of the BIMARU) that has been a traditional seal of conservatism, feudalism, backwardness etc. These intervention may take a relatively more time to fructify. The other positive fallout of the Mid Day Meal programme was that it has succeeded in promoting not only the process of gender sensitization but also mitigating the incidence of caste discrimination. Hence, it could be said that the MDM programme has succeeded to a large extent in influencing the mind set of the people in the state and therefore, it can be safely stated that the beginning has already been made, though much more is to be achieved.

 

External Evaluation of Resource Centre for Adult & Continuing Education (State Resource Centre) BHOPAL and Indore, M.P. (funded by the MHRD)

 

(S. K. Pant)

 

            State Resource Centres could be defined as the professional institutions sanctioned to reputed NGOs and universities under the scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Agencies. The SRCs receive cent percent grant from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, Department of School Education and Literacy. Their main responsibility has been to provide technical and academic support to all agencies working in the field of adult and life long education in the states in which they are located.

 

            The study follows the research design suggested by the sponsoring agencies viz. National Literacy Mission Authority, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India. The study covers the SRC Bhopal and SRC Indore for the evaluation exercise. The general objective of the evaluation, as stated in the guidelines, has been to ascertain the extent to which the SRC has been able to achieve the objectives or the purpose and identify the factors that have been hampering its performance or achievement level.

 

            Since SRC is expected to achieve its objectives by organizing an array of activities in producing materials, training, networking and research, the evaluation exercise, therefore, seeks to find out what inputs, human and non-human (like resource persons, administrative personnel and financial resources), have been available for these activities. It also analyses how the activities (the through-put) have been carried out by SRC and what has been its outcome (output).

 

            It is relevant to recall that a comprehensive evaluation goes beyond the assessment of various elements of input, throughput and output, and tries to explain the success or failure of SRC in achieving its objectives by identifying the factors that have affected the activities of the SRC both positively and negatively.

 

 

 

 

 

Socio Economic Survey of NTPC Barethi Super Thermal Power Project, District Chatarpur, Madhya Pradesh (funded by the NTPC)

 

(Bhaskar Majumder)

 

The NTPC is setting up a power plant in  Barethi and Sandni in Rajnagar Tehsil of Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh for which 1123.6 hectare of land has to be acquired out of 5178 hectare land in these villages. Water is proposed to be drawn from river Ken flowing at a distance of about 35 kms. from proposed site. For Setting up the power plant, adequate area of land is to be acquired from various sources like government, private and others. The objective of this study is to assess the number of project affected persons and to document base line conditions of Project Affected Families (PAFs) and assess the socio-economic impact due to land acquisition and project activities, and how livelihood is likely to be affected and to what extent. The number of Project affected Persons were 1026 out of which 763 could be traced and their information collected. Cultivators accounted for 56 percent, agricultural labour 12 per cent, non agricultural labour 13 percent of total Project Affected Persons (PAPs). Seventy five per cent of these have incomes below Rs. 75,000 per annum, 15 percent are Below Poverty Line households, 10 percent will loose more than 75 per cent of their land. AS many as 22,600 fruit trees will be lost and 260 wells may be in disuse. A number of public properties such as playground, pasture land, panchayats bhawan and a school building will be lost. Per annum per acre Recurring Loss of Production by Private Land shall be Rs. 22,448 per hectare. Only 30 percent persons were not eager to surrender their land. Others were willing, given adequate compensation. The Report has suggested new livelihood options and Self-Employment Generation through Micro Financing and Cooperative Societies.

 

Socio Economic Survey (SES) for NTPC-Tanda Stage-II, District Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh (funded by the NTPC)

 

(Bhaskar Majumder)

 

The capacity expansion of the NTPC Tanda Stage II power plant is contingent on adequate area of land be acquired from various sources like government, private and others. Tanda Thermal Power Project, Stage–II shall be established within existing premises of Tanda TPP, Stage-I. However, about 809 acres of additional land is required for Stage-II (2X660 MW) of the project of which about 243.5 acres land required for main plant, and about 565 acres is required for ash Dyke-I and II. Overall, about 672 acres (83.1per cent) land to be taken from private cultivators and remaining 136.66 acres (16.9 per cent) from the Government and Abadi land. The objective of this study is to assess the number of project affected persons and to document base line conditions of Project Affected Families (PAFs) and assess the socio-economic impact due to land acquisition and project activities, and how livelihood is likely to be affected and to what extent. The study shows that out of the total 1699 PAPs, 47.3 per cent are only land losers and 26.3 per cent are losers of both land and house; 5.4 per cent are only losers of house. The percentage of affected agricultural labour is 5.4 while the percentage of affected non-agricultural labour is 3.7. Of the total PAPs, 9.4 per cent PAPs could not identified during field survey while 2.5 per cent PAPs has been added by the district administration during certification of PAPs list. All these percentages vary over affected villages. Of the affected villages, the loss of trees would cover fruit trees, firewood, environment-friendly trees, and commercial trees, the loss varying over villages.  Of total loss of trees, 74.1 per cent are fruit trees, 18.2 per cent commercial trees, 5.9 per cent firewood and 1.8 per cent environment-friendly trees. The major occupations of PAPs Households by Villages, Sarifpur and Kakrahi villages have more than 70 per cent of households in cultivator category. The villages Husainpur Sudhana, Hasimpur, and Asopur have 22.6 per cent, 33.3 per cent and 28.0 per cent of the households in skilled labour category. The highest concentration of households in all villages in percentage terms is found in the monthly income bracket of Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 followed by Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 4,000.

 

Forced Migration and Human Right: In-Migration in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh (funded by the Institute)

(Bhaskar Majumder)

 

The study focuses on in-migration of labour in the city of Allahabad. Because of the very nature of works in the unorganized sector of the economy where the workers float, the study covers the outskirts or circumference zone of the city. While workers in agriculture and related activities enter into the city from circumference villages mainly during off-agricultural seasons, some of the workers also remain on the circumference by the very location of the job, like the brick kilns.  The specific objectives of the study to examine the processes of in-migration, including the major reasons for in-migration in the city of Allahabad and living and working conditions of the migrant workers at the destination. The study covers a total of 140 migrant workers who stay in different parts of the city. For existence of migrant workers in the city by sectors, the study relied on unrecorded secondary data collected from different segments of the city through various pilot visits. The study find out that almost all the in-migrant workers in and around the city of Allahabad are from within Uttar Pradesh and adjoining states, namely, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, excepting one from West Bengal. The major reasons for migration are economic: earning support income for education, construction of house, marriage, to repay outstanding debt, and to get rid of poverty. The socio-cultural reasons that also determine migration are local/family disputes, following past practices at the root (villages) etc. Absence of work opportunity at the root is the most cited reason (41.4 per cent) for migration, followed by deficit family budget at home (22.1 per cent). The migrant workers are in the habit of moving out from the root by varying number of years that varies by states. Mostly (48.6 per cent) they have been moving out for a period less than five years, followed by a period between six and ten years (for 22.1 per cent of the migrants). The higher the time-span, the less the percentage of migrants moving out, excepting the state of Jharkhand where the migrant workers have been moving out from the root for a period above 25 years.

 

 

 

A study of Value Chain of Rice in India, in collaboration with IFPRI (funded by IFPRI)

(Sunit Singh)

 

This study was part of a larger research study that addressed three major questions relating to domestic staple food value chains in Asia: (1) Are staples value chains transforming structurally? (2) Is the conduct of staples value chains’ actors transforming? (3) Is the performance of staples value chains leading to the inclusion of small-scale farmers, small-scale midstream actors, and workers, and (all else being equal) to lower food costs for consumers? To address the questions, about 3,500 farmers, traders, millers, cold storage facilities, and modern and traditional retailers of rice and potato value chains were surveyed in key rural producing centers that serve the large urban centers (Dhaka, Beijing, and Delhi) of three economies (Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China [PRC], and India). Domestic value chains were chosen, as they accommodate 98% of the staples in the region. Rice and potatoes are the main grain and the main vegetable staple in these countries. The survey’s findings indicate that a transformational modernization is under way in these staple food chains, albeit at different speeds. In the rice value chain transformation, the leader is the PRC, which appears to be changing faster or has transformed further, especially in the remarkable development of its rice milling sector. In the potato value chain, India is taking the lead, with the spectacular rise of potato cold storage facilities (CSFs) in Agra.

 

Rapid but Differentiated Transformation

 

This transformation is a “quiet revolution,” as these changes are grassroots in nature. Important drivers of the transformation of rice and potato value chains have been the increase in scale and change in technology of rice milling and potato storage. On the demand side, there was a surge in the demand for potatoes and other vegetables with increases in incomes and in megacities’ populations. This created, in turn, a demand for offseason supply of potatoes and for higher-quality rice. On the supply side, the number of medium–large mills with modernized technologies and of modern CSFs has increased rapidly. Both the diffusion of CSFs and the modernization of mills have been favored by direct government subsidies as well as indirect government support through major investments in road improvement and the installation of energy grids so crucial to milling and cooling. Specific features of the transformation by value-chain segment are as follows:

 

Upstream segments of the value chains. There is great heterogeneity in farm sizes and distribution of non-land assets. But all farmers, regardless of how small their plots are, are commercializing as they engage in nonfarm labor markets and use more external inputs per hectare. Factor markets for farm machines, water, and land rental are vibrant. Armed with mobile phones, farmers are more informed of what, how, and for whom to produce.

 

Midstream segments. Rice mills are modernizing. Driven primarily by the private sector, and coupled with technological change, mills are consolidating. The number of small village mills has declined rapidly, particularly in PRC and India. Especially in the PRC, and to some extent in Bangladesh, rice mills have changed their procedures and are buying directly from farmers, selling directly to agents in wholesale markets, and branding and packaging the rice. These changes may make the chain more efficient, and certainly help in quality differentiation and traceability. The rice and paddy wholesale segment has also been transforming rapidly, especially in the PRC and Bangladesh, and somewhat in India. The roles of village traders linking farmers and rural wholesale markets or mills, and of semi-wholesalers linking rural mills and urban wholesale markets or supermarket chains, have diminished greatly. Traders in wholesale markets have made important investments in warehouses and trucks and have on average increased their scale.

 

Downstream segments. Supermarkets have penetrated urban rice retail, most deeply and widely in Beijing, where they have about half the market. Delhi supermarkets have only started to penetrate the rice market, with about 7% of sales. This penetration can be expected to accelerate, given that foreign direct investment in retail was liberalized in September 2012. In Bangladesh, supermarkets have barely started to enter the market. Supermarkets and traditional rice shops and stalls have been shifting from loose, unbranded rice to packaged, branded rice. This has progressed furthest and fastest in the PRC, driven by the practices of modernizing rice mills. Supermarket chains buy some rice from the wholesale markets, and some directly from large mills. Governments in Bangladesh and the PRC no longer directly engage in rice retail, but the government still does so in India. The survey showed that the Fair Price Shops’ share of retail sales was only about 15% in Delhi.

 

The survey results have come out in the form of a published book entitled The Quiet Revolution in Staple Food Value Chains: Enter the dragon, the elephant and the tiger, (Reardon, Minten, Chen & Adriano, IFPRI  2012)

 

Projects Completed (2010-11)

 

Research Support to Education - Leadership Programme in U. P.

(Pradeep Bhargava)

 

This project provided research support to the Education-Leadership Programme of the NEG-FIRE (New Education Group - Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education, Delhi.

 

The Research monitored the programme visualizing the final outcome of the programme given the milestones in different programme phases for which key indicators were identified. This helped budge the gaps between expected output and actual performance suggesting various measures including key inputs required for edu-leaders, interaction with community, innovation in pedagogy, and community support.

 

The Report pointed out the complex structure of the programme that involved laid back formal school teachers, NGOs with partial involvement, a specialised agency, young edu-leaders and the staff of the project office of the agency in suggested remedies therein.

 

The Project was supported by NEG-FIRE.

 

Children Education in Conflict and Crises Situations

(Pradeep Bhargava)

 

The project on Children’s Education in Conflict and Crises Situations explored the naxal belt of Chattisgarh to understand the relationship between conflict and education. The project funds that the State Centric Development: exploiting natural resources, land alienation, exiting/migrating from habitat, detribalization, with its  homogenizing praxis of education and knowledge, evidently left least space for alternative development, worldviews, cultures and  possibilities of knowledge systems. 

 

The response of the conflict society to such dominant modes of educational assimilative strategies was found to be either steeped in violence or deafening silence. The experience of Salwa Judum, a civilian armed response under the aegis of the State shattered the world of many children who were trapped in-between. The impregnated memory of the bloodshed has stirred their serene village life and transmuted their personality. Their choices are limited as each side wants to drag them to their side with no certainty of future, the bruised self has no space of its own to breath.  NGOs stepping in to provide relief to these children have again relied on regimentation and consentization of young minds.

 

The project was funded by New Education Group-Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education.

 

Agrarian Distress in Bundelkhand and the Response of Civil Society

(Pradeep Bhargava)

 

The Project "Agrarian Distress in Bundelkhand and the Response of Civil Society" engaged with three villages in Chitrkoot, Banda and Julaun districts of the Bundelkhand region. In order to enquire the cause of agrarian distress the study particularly focused on issues of water scarcity emanating from widespread encroachment over local water resources. The experience of three villages exposed how encroachment (of village pond) became an acceptable regular practice in the day-today discourse of village life, violating the norms of collective usages of common water bodies. Violation in this case is the outcome of a peculiar social understanding that emerged over a period of time (i) by ineffective functioning of state apparatus and the subsequent proliferation of corrupt network; (ii) by the arrival of new technologies of development which replaced the collective action for local resource management and reversed social trust to support violation. Though the vulnerability of the fragile households has increased, the inaction of the society has only consolidated further. The study of this inaction has been done by capturing the everyday village discourse around the issue. The aim is to understand the processes as they operate at the ground level and how they make agrarian distress a natural evolutionary outcome rather than a manmade disaster.

 

The project was sponsored by CASA

 

ICT and Women in the Informal Sector (In collaboration with Working Women’s Forum, Chennai)

(U. Kalpagam)

 

The study based on a survey of 200 women respondents who are informal sector workers and members of Working Women’s Forum revealed the following. The factors that determine the adoption of ICT at the level of the organization are different from those at the level of individuals. But when the two are combined it has a significant potential for empowerment. The analysis clearly suggests that differentiating the ICTs yield better insights into the needs of poor women better than an aggregated notion of ICT. Being poor, illiterate informal sector workers they have no requirements of computer skill or computer use, although they understand that such skills opens up pathways of economic mobility which they are eager for their children to access them. The mobile phone though serves useful purposes in promoting women’s micro-businesses through access to market information and reduces transaction costs. Further it improves communication in family and social life and thus the analysis supports the observation that mobile phones create ripple-effects in society, increases the density of social network and promotes trust and social capital.  Most importantly, mobile phones increases the ‘capabilities’ and ‘functioning’ of poor informal sector women. The analysis shows how these women are handling multiple roles, how it has fostered their entitlements through business promotion and increased incomes, and has enabled them to access more freedom and choice in different aspects of their lives thus contributing to increased empowerment.  The women are able to adjust the cost of mobile phone usage according to their affordability. In terms of policy, there is a need to move toward a universal coverage of mobile phone, perhaps through free distribution of the equipment for those below the poverty line and provide free help-line services for accessing various services. Three papers are published from this study.

 

Survey on Aging among Women in the Informal Sector (In collaboration with Working Women’s Forum, Chennai)

(U. Kalpagam)

 

This survey is part of a larger study on Aging in Chennai. The study found that the urban experience for the aged is not one of alienation. In many ways the aged have tried to retain and build social networks and are actively involved in the making of culture. Social networking by the aged has several gender dimensions as well.  Tendencies for nucleation, aspirations for independent living and the ability to do so, vary by socio-economic class. The processes of family nucleation and intergenerational property transfers have affected the housing condition of the aged and the living arrangements of family and kin thereby affecting their social relations. Contrary to expectations, although the poor live wretched lives, they do retain the elders within the family fold and do not abandon them but such abandonment is a growing problem among the lower middle classes. Aged women of the poorer classes have shown ingenuity in taking care of their social security concerns. New institutions have come up to address some of the needs of the aged. Much more needs to be done for better and affordable health care for the elderly of all classes and social biases against the neglect of aged women’s health needs to be addressed. More importantly, this study signals the need for culturally sensitive sociological studies on the ageing experience in the urban micro-settings to fully comprehend the lifestyle changes ushered by globalisation and modernisation. Attempts to mobilize the elders into social networks need to take account of the fact that the needs of the senior citizens and those of the ‘very elderly’ are different. Given the differences in social and gender roles, gender specificity is required in such networking and mobilisation. The needs of the elderly poor require separate consideration and different interventions.

 

Survey on Tsunami affected women and households (In collaboration with Working Women’s Forum, Chennai)

(U. Kalpagam)

 

Data was collected from 150 women affected by the Tsunami in 2004 after a five year period to assess how they coped with the disaster. This study examined the effects on women of a natural disaster, the coping strategies and relief and rehabilitation efforts with a view to understand the appropriate institutions and interventions that would be empowering to poor women in such circumstances. Disaster mitigation and risk reduction strategies are not generally gender-sensitive based as they are on the assumption of disaster being gender- neutral in its effects. Gender mainstreaming in disaster reduction strategies requires that the vulnerabilities that women are loaded with as a consequence of a patriarchal system are adequately addressed, for only by minimising these vulnerabilities can disaster-effects be reduced. Women’s vulnerabilities are not only exacerbated in the post-disaster situation but they are also forced to accept greater responsibilities as well. The efforts of WWF (I) before and after the Tsunami addressed both the needs and vulnerabilities of poor fishing women and thus helped them cope with the disaster situation.

 

School Sanitation and Hygiene Education Programme, 10 Districts of U.P.

(S. K. Pant)

 

The UNICEF contracted the G B Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad to document the learnings of the School Sanitation and Hygiene Education Programme in Uttar Pradesh. The Programme provides for water, sanitation and hand washing along with hygiene education in primary and upper primary schools. The programme inputs include active children, i.e., children learn and practice good hygiene habit, community and parent participation, management groups in schools, trained and active teachers, health and hygiene education forming healthy behaviours, school, water and sanitary facilities, good use and maintenance, linking schools with community and family, and monitoring. The purpose of this assignment is to document the best practices and results (at output/outcome level) of SSHE programme in 50 schools, five in each of the ten districts: Agra, Lalitpur, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Mahrajganj, Varanasi, Barabanki, Raibareilly, Mirzapur and Allahabad.

 

The Project was sponsored by UNICEF, Lucknow

 

5% Sample Check of DISE Data in Mirzapur, Chandauli & Kaushambi Districts of U.P., Mirzapur, Chandauli & Kaushmabi Districts of U.P.

(S. K. Pant)

 

The District Information System for Education (DISE) is basically a statistical software developed by the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), New Delhi in the year 1995. It is a comprehensive package that facilitates collection of school level information/data and its subsequent computerisation. The nodal point for collection of data is done at the level of district.

 

The DISE, since its inception, has undergone extensive reviews and modified accordingly. With the advent of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) in 2001, the scope of its latest version named as DISE 2001 has further been extended to cover the information up to the elementary level of education. Thus, DISE now collects the information from elementary schools up to upper-primary level in a very concrete and comprehensive way.

 

In DISE, the flow of information/data plays a very crucial and significant role. The basic data is collected at the school level in the prescribed formats. It is then subsequently verified and whetted by the Block Education Officer or Block Resource coordinator for its accuracy and completeness and passed on to the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) In charge at the District Project Office where it is fed into the computer. However, the responsibility for checking the consistency of data ultimately rests with the District Project Office.

 

The validated data, thus collected, is subsequently stored at the district level and is made available to the State Project Office where it is aggregated and collated with the help of another software called DISE which has been specifically designed for not only the analysis at the state level but also monitoring and tracking the progress of key performance indicators.

 

The Project was sponsored by State Project Directorate, U.P., Lucknow

 

Sample Study on Declining Enrolment in Primary Schools of U.P. & Ascertaining the Status of Girl’s Toilet : A Study of Jaunpur District

(S. K. Pant)

 

The study primarily focuses on identifying factors responsible for decline in the enrolment level of students at the primary level and also ascertains the status of girl student’s toilet. This has to be achieved by taking 5 percent sample of all the primary parishadiya schools in the district. More precisely, it aims at the following objectives:

 

(a)To ascertain and analyze the decline in the enrolment of students during the recent years and ascertain the reasons gender-wise and social category wise in the parishadiya schools of the district.

 

(b) To ascertain and analyze variation in the number of girls toilet in the parishadiya schools, and

 

(c) To work out the percentage of functional girls toilets, boy’s toilets and common toilets against the total number of available toilets in the respective categories and also analyze the reason for their non-functionality.

 

For studying the enrolment pattern and the status of girl child toilet, Jaunpur district has been purposively selected. The selection of the district has been as per the ‘Terms of Reference’ (TOR) signed between the sponsoring agency viz. the State Project Office, Lucknow and G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad. Likewise, for drawing the sample for the study, a total of 5 percent of the total number of parishadiya schools from each of the block of the district has been randomly selected with the help of secondary school list provided by the sponsoring agency. Further, care was taken to select the sample schools that were located at both the rural as well as urban areas. Thus, the total sample contained 115 sample schools.

 

The Project was sponsored by State Project Directorate, U.P., Lucknow

 

Socio-Economic Survey for NTPC – Tanda Stage II

(Bhaskar Majumder)

 

Displacement of people by a development project and their involuntary settlement causes social, economic, cultural and environmental problems. It affects the productive assets and sources of income, the habitats, families and kinship, community structure, social relations, cultural identity, and traditional authority of the community in significant ways. A thorough understanding of issues related to social, economic and cultural factors causing these, is important for formulating an appropriate resettlement and rehabilitation plan. For this, a detailed enumeration of socio-economic impact has been done for assessment and understanding of the actual status of the affected area.

 

Recommendations of the research include promotion of the cultural identity of the villages, rehabilitation near the NTPC plant; conservation and restoration of CPRs and so on.

 

The Project was sponsored by NTPC, Tanda, Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.

 

Forced Migration and Human Rights

(Bhaskar Majumder)

 

The study explores the process and reason of in-migration in unorganized sector of Allahabad. It also studies the living and working conditions of the migrant labourers. The study covers hired workers along with self-employed workers. The study points out that while workers in agriculture and related activities enter into the city from circumference villages mainly during off-agricultural seasons, some of the workers also remain on the circumference like the brick kiln workers.

 

The study recommends (1) Targetting Migration prone Areas through NREGA, SGSRY and other schemes; (2) establishment a Department for Migrant workers; and (3) Establishment of a toll free number, called 'Labour Help Line' in each million plus cities.

 

The project was Self-initiated, supported by G. B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad

 

 

 

 

Social Watch Uttar Pradesh: Access to Judiciary, An Internal Project

(K. N. Bhatt)

 

Indian Constitution strives for an inclusive, egalitarian, just and fair society. The Judiciary in the country is independent and separate from the legislative and executive bodies of the government. It still commands the respect of the common people which makes its position of pre-eminence for the superior courts among the three organs of the state. However, the system has not been successful, as noted by many observers, in the matter of speedy delivery of justice largely because of the explosion in litigation. This has led to evolving of a proposed three-pronged approach of judicial reforms including judicial strength, judicial or court productivity and court information technology systems.  The Social Watch Process is a result of the initiative taken by civil society groups in UN World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 1995 which came out with a new consensus on the need to put people at the centre of development. Keeping in view the study examines the people’s access to judiciary and focuses on the overall functioning of the judiciary in U.P., its structure and processes and desired policy interventions.

 

Presently, the formal court structure in India is pyramidal in nature.  Nyaya Panchayats in some States under various names also function to decide civil and criminal disputes of petty and local nature. The real question for exploration here is where the system stands today? According to Prashant Bhushan: justice through the present judicial system remains an expensive illusion for the vast majority of even those who have the means to access the system. As per the latest data released by the Central Law Minister 31.39 million cases are pending in Indian Courts in 2010. The huge backlog is noted to be directly proportional to lack of judges as during past three years nearly 30 per cent vacancies of judges are there in the High Courts while the Lower Courts continue to have 16 per cent vacancies.

 

Uttar Pradesh is the single largest contributor to the backlog of cases with 0.95 million pending cases in the Allahabad High Court and 5.4 million cases in the Lower Courts,  contributing  to nearly 25 percent of the total backlog of cases in the country. One of the main reasons for the steady rise in pendency of court cases at all levels in the state is also the complete neglect of Nyaya Panchayats, the grassroots level justice delivery system. Apart from the problem of pending cases in courts, observers have raised the issue of corruption in judiciary. If the credibility of the judiciary is to be restored public confidence in the administration of justice is of paramount concern. An analysis of cases delivered by the high court reveals that the court has very carefully examined the cases, rightly made its detailed observations, delivered the judgments and in most of the cases directed the state to protect the fundamental rights of the people. Welfare of the people in general by correctly interpreting the existing laws of the country appeared to be the top priority of the court. Such clear attitude of the court in delivering justice with fairness keeps the confidence and belief of the common people intact in judiciary and therefore they look at the courts as last resort for demanding justice.  People also look at the court for delivering fair, transparent and realistic judgments.

 

The project was sponsored by G. B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad, Completed, January 2011

 

Agri-services in Uttar Pradesh for Inclusive Rural Growth, May 2011 (in collaboration with IFPRI, New Delhi)

(Sunit Singh)

 

The purpose of the project was to study the farm household s’ choices, preference and satisfaction over the three set of suppliers of agri-services in UP. The three sets included were (i) traditional private sector suppliers of services (rural/field brokers, mandi wholesalers, small input retailers, money lenders, private banks), (ii) and public sector suppliers of services (state and coop stores, state banks) and (iii) the modern private sector supplier of services (the “rural business hub”- RBH company the Hariyali Kisan Bazar and input manufacturers’ extension / promotion units).

 

Household survey of 810 households (i.e. 420 RBH users and 390 non-RBH users)was conducted in 30 villages in the catchment area and just beyond, of 6 HKB stores, equally distributed over the Western, Central and Eastern zones in UP. The sample was composed of 77 percent of marginal and small farmers and 23 percent of medium and big farmers. The average farm size of the sampled households was about 1.7 ha per farmer (about 2 ha for the western and central while 1.1 for the eastern UP). Besides, the sample was consisted of 78 wholesalers/traders and 190 input retailers.

 

It was found that while marginal and small farmers dominate rural populations, the medium and big farmers sell the majority of crops and buy the majority of inputs. The asset poor marginal and small farmers are less engaged in crop and input markets and therefore they need special programs focused on them. In the seed market 82 percent is private (mainly traditional), marginal/small farmers mainly depend on them. The cooperative and government seed stores were strong bias towards medium/big farmers. In case of fertilizers there is a severe problem of availability for the poor. About 73 percent of fertilizers sold from the state/coop stores has gone to medium/big farmers, the marginal and small farmers were left with no choice but to purchase fertilizers from traditional private stores with the problem of over-price and poor quality. As regards farm chemical market, it has expanded fast over the past five years. The state/coop stores have tiny share in this market and sell almost all to medium/big farmers. Most of the chemicals are sold by the small shops. The market share of the RBH was higher in chemicals than it was in seeds and fertilizers. Regarding financial services market the lion’s share of credit comes via Kisan Credit Cards; KCC ownership increases rapidly with farm size-from 17 percent of marginal farmers to 58 percent of medium /big farmers; and drops west to east from 35 percent to 25 percent. RBH plays a very little role in financial market todate. In case of extension services only 18 percent farmers get extension advice from any source. About half of the farmers reported that they wanted it but could not find it. Out of the 18 percent only 7 percent received extension from state extension officers, that means the reach of government extension departments was limited to only about 1 percent of the farmers in UP.  The main extension agents in UP right now are input companies and the RBH. The crop market survey showed that the marginal farmers are mainly semi-commercialized/semi-subsistence, while small and medium/big farmers are small commercial farmers. The market is very much product-concentrated with wheat, paddy and sugarcane having 77 percent of the crop market. Potato is by far the most important vegetable and has only 11 percent share in of total sales. Grain supply chains are becoming shorter than the traditional image, with village collectors and haats playing a minority role. Selling directly to the mandi is strongly correlated with farm size. Diversification into horticulture is still small in UP, and in pockets.

 

Projects Completed (2009-10)

 

Preliminary Analysis for Proposed Interventions by Aga Khan Foundation in Uttar Pradesh

            (Pradeep Bhargava)

 

The Institute made a situational analysis to identify possible areas of intervention by the Aga Khan Foundation for its multi-input area development programme in the state of Uttar Pradesh. For this purpose, the Foundation had identified two district clusters of Rampur, Budaun and Bareilly; and Barabanki and Bahraich. These districts are among the poorest districts in the state, with a proportionately higher concentration of marginalized communities, including minority communities; have low development indicators, which also indicate significant development potential; and that these districts are not so vulnerable that might negate or seriously diminish the impact of area development interventions over time. Based on the strengths, weaknesses, and civil society interventions, and government interventions in the four districts, the Institute suggested interventions in Barabanki and Bahraich cluster, where development potential was higher and risks of diminishing impact of area development interventions lower. In Barabanki interventions could include innovations in madarsa education, girl schooling,  engagement with muslim women in economic activities including nascent intervention of chikankari and zardozi work, handloom weavers in Banki, Masauli, Zaidpur and Fatehpur blocks, and extending the horticulture experiment in Harakh block with other farmers. In Bharaich the report suggested working with flood affected communities simultaneously on (i) Understand peoples systems of recovery from floods and their knowledge base and help them build a resilient system against meeting floods; (ii) strengthening livelihoods by developing diverse farming systems, and undertaking nonfarm activities with women; and ensuring credit needs for both farm and non-farm; and (iii) addressing women’s health, RCH practices and the social practice of early marriages and consummation. The Project underlined the necessity for understanding multiple constraints before suggesting a development intervention.

 

Monitoring And Evaluation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan in the Eighteen districts of Eastern Districts of U.P., sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi. January (Second Phase).

            (S. K. Pant)

 

The whole exercise of monitoring and evaluation has been carried out on the basis of terms of reference (TOR) that was signed between the Ministry and the Institution and covers a total of one hundred ninety four schools which is more than five percent of the total schools in the district. However, adequate care was taken to include every type and form of schools that were operational in the district, in the sample.

 

Further, the analysis of the educational scenario has been attempted at the two levels viz. at the macro or district level and the other at the micro or sample level. At the macro or district level, the analysis has been attempted by comparing the status of some of the broad parameters of education like the number of primary and upper primary schools, the enrolment levels of Scheduled Castes Students, the number of class rooms, etc that existed as on 2001 viz., prior to the launching of project SSA, with subsequent years when SSA come into being, upto the year 2009, when the validation exercise was carried out. The macro level analysis is primarily based on the secondary records provided by BSA office, of the respective districts.

 

It is presumed that the comparison of variables in the pre and post SSA phase, on a cross-sectional framework, would provide us an opportunity to comprehend and analyse the trend or direction at which the performance of SSA was moving. In other words, the analysis would enable us to understand how the ensuing SSA project has affected the level of universal access to education of children, facilitated their universal participation which includes their enrolment, retention and regular attendance levels and in the process also enhance their achievement levels.

 

The micro level or the sampled based analysis, on the other hand, helps us to examine the current status of education. It primarily focuses on the following aspects:

 

(a)        Physical progress of schools

(b)        Training status of teachers and community leaders

(c)        Progress of the civil work, carried out by school authorities

(d)       Various intervention strategies carried out by schools to mop-up out of school children, and

(e)        Preparatory activities undertaken for micro level planning.

 

 

 

Five Percent sample Checking of DISE data of Maharajganj and Allahabad Districts of U.P., sponsored by State Project Directorate, Vidya -Bhawan, Nishatganj, Lucknow.

            (S. K. Pant)

 

Under SSA, greater emphasis has been placed on increasing the coverage of schools. The state government has been devising and relaxing the existing norms to enhance the coverage of schools. All these initiatives have resulted in enhancement of the schools both at the primary as well as upper primary levels. The study aims at validation the norms by which these new schools have been opened. The study covers about eighteen districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

 

Household Survey for Identifying out of School Children in Varanasi district in the Primary and Upper Primary School under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, sponsored by State Project Office, Vidya- Bhawan, Nishatganj, Lucknow.

            (S. K. Pant)

 

Attempt to address the issues of mass illiteracy, marginalisation, incidence of drop-outs and provision of quality of education have been the primary concern of Sarve Siksha Abhiyan – a programme  that was launched in 2001 in an effort to universalise elementary education through community ownership of the school system. The programme primarily targets the children in the age group of 6 – 14 years and aims to bridge down social, regional and gender gap with relevant social interventions. The ensuing exercise aims to identify out of school children who have either dropped out of the main stream of learning or have never been to school in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. For this two blocks viz. Araji limes and Bargaon were randomly selected and from these two blocks two villages were also randomly selected. The study shows that about 97 percent of the children in the age group of 6-14 years were enrolled in the schools. However, about 3 percent were not found to be going because they had dropped out mid way or have never been to the school.  The inter-caste analysis shows that the highest incidence of children dropping out or never been to school had come from Muslim community (2.6 percent ) followed by OBC (1.3 percent).

 

Socio-Economic Survey for Meja Urja Nigam Pvt. Limited, Allahabad Sponsored by MUNPL, Allahabad

            (Bhaskar Majumder)

 

In order to set up a thermal power unit of 1,320 MW at Kohrarghat of Meja tehsil in Allahabad District NTPC needed around 2500 acres land. We studied the overall impact of land acquisition. We selected seven affected villages. We collected data from 2922 households based on census method and 469 affected households for assessing the economic impact of land acquisition.

 

            The major impact of acquisition of land on domestic animals was loss of grazing land. The associated concern was less availability of green fodder. Nearly half of the households reported that their condition would be worse with respect to infrastructure, agriculture, employment, education, health and livestock following land acquisition. By landlessness the worst affected households were SCs followed by OBCs. Food insec