Videos

The Azim Premji University regularly organizes seminars, webinars and colloquium lectures involving members of the faculty as well as academicians, activists, artists and other distinguished personalities from a wide array of fields. This section consists of video recordings of  major events conducted at the Azim Premji University.

How to think about the role of power in the social sciences-Part 2

Amit Bhaduri

26/07/2017

About the Lecture

The Social Sciences deal with the exercise of power in economy, society, polity and even culture, but have different views about its origin and its effect. No coherent systematic analysis connecting different fields exists. Is this not possible? If so, why not? And if this is possible, then what is the way forward? The talk will probe such questions and offer some tentative suggestions.

About Speaker

Educated in Presidency College, Calcutta, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A and Cambridge University, U.K, Amit Bhaduri received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University, UK in 1967. He has taught in various universities around the world as Professor/Visiting Professor. These include Presidency College, Calcutta, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Delhi school of Economics, Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, El Colegio de Mexico, Stanford University, U.S.A, Vienna and Linz University, Austria, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Bremen University, Germany, and Bologna and Pavia University, Italy. He has also been a Fellow of various Institutes of Advanced Studies in Austria, Sweden, Germany and Italy, worked on various expert bodies of the United Nations, and served as Member on some national and international commissions. He has published more than seventy papers in standard international journals and is currently on the editorial boards of five. He has written eight books: The Economic Structure of Backward Agriculture (London, Academic Press, 1982); Macroeconomics: the Dynamics of Commodity Production (London, Macmillan, 1986); Unconventional Economic Essays (Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1993); An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Liberalisation (Delhi, Penguin India, 1996), (co-authored with Deepak Nayyar);On The Border of Economic Theory and History (Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1993); Development with Dignity (Delhi, National Book Trust, 2005); Employment and Development (Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006); and The Face You Were Afraid to See (Delhi, Penguin India, 2009). Several of his books and articles have been translated into several European and Asian languages.

Amit Bhaduri was internationally selected Professor (of ‘Clear Fame’) in Pavia University, Italy until 2009, and is currently Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and also Visiting Professor in the Council for Social Development, New Delhi.  Amit Bhaduri has been awarded the Leontief Prize, Global Development and Environment, Tufts University (2016), USA., the Indian Council Of Social Science Research Prize in Economics, (1985) and the Stevenson Prize for the best piece of Ph.D. Research in Economics (1967).

Inclusive Community Development

Girija Satish

21/07/2017

About the Lecture

This talk will discuss how Nav Bharat Jagriti Kendra (NBJK), a non-profit organization, came to be founded in 1974, in the wake of Vinoba Bhave’s Bhudan Andolan and Jai Prakash Narayan’s Sampurna Kranti and its journey since then. NBJK has sought to instill an urge for change and community initiative among people. Working with the ideal of integrated development, NBJK has challenged the complex issues of community, poverty, livelihood, health, education, governance, human rights and continually sought to empower all for sustainable development. It has challenged the exclusive approach of development and formed Lok Samhiti, a voluntary group for decentralised governance across Bihar and Jharkhand and have reached to a million population.

About Speaker

Girija Satish is an engineer of 70s. Motivated by the philosophy of Gandhi and JP Narayan, he left his Public Sector Job and along with his three engineer friends, pledged to work for community development. In the process he set up a NGO, named Nav Bharat Jagriti Kendra in 1974. NBJK is one of the prominent organisations of Bihar / Jharkhand and reaches out to almost a million people in need, directly and indirectly. 

Making Sense of the Jat Agitations

Kalaiyarasan A

05/05/2017

About the Lecture

The recent protest by the Jats for Other Backward Class (OBC) status in Haryana has opened up the debate on the relationship between economic process and changing caste realities in India. This mobilization of Jats and their concerns have to be located in the twin processes initiated in 1991 - market reforms following economic liberalization, and the Mandal commission recommending the implementation of reservation for the OBCs. The liberalization of the market demanded a certain level of education and social skills. Some castes with social capital inherited these skills which others lacked. Since networks play a major role in accessing modern sectors,caste works as a premium. The second outcome of the economic liberalization is that it broke the structural link between agriculture and non-agriculture. Over the years, agriculture has lost its relevance as a driver of economic growth. As agriculture declined, the caste groups that are traditionally associated with agriculture like the Jats have lost their economic power. On the other hand, the Mandal have facilitated the relative mobility of lower castes such as the OBCs and Dalits through reservations in government jobs and education. Both these economic and political mobility of lower castes have challenged conventional caste equations and generated anxieties among the Jats. This paper discusses the nature of the response of the Jats to this crisis, of how there was a change in their discourse from one of domination – a claim of a glorious past and Kshatriya status – to a discourse of deprivation, and a claim on the OBC status in order to get better access to education and jobs.

About Speaker

Kalaiyarasan A. is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development, New Delhi.  His main areas of interest are in the social and political dimensions of Industrialization. His research focuses on the role of social institutions and political regimes in economic outcomes in India and how they influence and characterize the larger dynamics of development at sub-national level. He previously worked at National Institute of Labour Economic Research and Development, the Research Wing of the Planning Commission, Government of India, on policies related to employment generation and skill development. He received his doctoral degree in Development Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His doctoral thesis titled, “Industrialization in Tamil Nadu: Understanding Regional and Socio–Economic Disparities," explored the role of social institutions and political regimes in shaping economic process in the state of Tamil Nadu

The Future We Need: Natural Resources as a Shared Inheritance

Rahul Basu

21/04/2017

About the Lecture

Mining drives corruption, mis-governance, crony capitalism, environment & human rights damage and conflict. Iron ore mining in Goa has become contentious between civil society and the government. The Goenchi Mati Movement uses the Public Trust Doctrine and the Intergenerational Equity Principle to propose a ethical, fair & just resolution to the issue. The ramifications of the proposal are far reaching. The proposed solution has support from the Constitution, our traditions and customs, economics & global best practices. It has also been supported by 4 parties including AAP, the Archbishop of Goa, the Shadow Chancellor of the UK, a broad spectrum of civil society, and has been discussed in the recent Economic Survey. 

About Speaker

Rahul Basu is an activist who is a member of Goa Foundation, Goenchi Mati Movement (GMM), India Network for Basic Income (INBI), mines, minerals & People (mm&P), and The Future We Need (TFWN)

Reforming Public Services for Good Governance

B. P. Mathur

12/04/2017

About the Lecture

The quality of governance is a crucial factor behind the success stories of the developed world. India's dismal record in economic and social development is largely due to the poor performance of our public services. My talk will focus on the problems facing the bureaucracy, the lack of bureaucratic reform and our inability to reinvent for our times an outdated colonial system. I’ll seek to suggest appropriate reform measures based on the perspective of New Public Management so that public services are able to perform and deliver results.

About Speaker

Dr Birendra Prasad Mathur is a former member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service. He has held several significant administrative posts including those of Deputy Comptroller & Auditor General and Chairperson, Audit Board. He has served on the Board of a number of PSUs, such as SAIL, NALCO, Hindustan Aeronautics. He has also served as Advisor to the Government of Afghanistan.Dr. Mathur holds Ph.D. and D.Litt degrees in Economics from the University of Allahabad and has widely written in the areas of Economics, Public Finance and Governance. He has penned two novels in hindi. His books include: Governance Reform for Vision India (Macmillan, 2005); Governance Accountability and Public Audit (Uppal, 2007); Ethics in Governance: Reinventing Public Services (Routledge, 2014); and An Alternative Philosophy of Development: From Economism to Human Wellbeing (Routledge, 2017). He has been Visiting Faculty at the Bajaj Institute of Management, Bombay and Punjab University, Chandigarh. He is recipient of the Paul Appleby Award for services rendered in the cause of public administration.At present he is Vice President, Common Cause and Chief Executive, Sambodh Foundation.

The Future of the Mangar Bani Sacred Grove and the Aravalli Hills of Haryana

Chetan Agarwal

31/03/2017

About the Lecture

Mangar Bani is a sacred forest grove facing considerable odds. It is located in the Aravalli hills between the capital city of Delhi, India, and the neighbouring suburbs of Gurgaon and Faridabad, a rapidly urbanizing area.The grove is reputed to be several centuries old and is protected by the local pastoral Gujar community of 3 villages, who hold that the spirit of an erstwhile saint protects the grove, and have numerous rules restricting extraction of biomass. As a result, and like many sacred groves, it is biodiverse and habitat for numerous trees, shrubs and herbs as well as avifauna. However, despite virtually complete unanimity for protecting the sacred grove in the Mangar village, urbanization and the pressures of real estate interests pose a challenge to its existence, and present a slippery slope for the commons’ stakeholders. The state government has recently declared a 677 acre area of the grove as a no construction zone. Despite the notification, the Mangar bani sacred grove faces numerous challenges.Despite its dense vegetation it is not officially a forest and the draft master plan does not acknowledge the grove. About a third of the sacred grove is owned by a real estate firm whose beneficial owner cannot be tracked and which has claimed to be growing wheat on land falling in the sacred grove. Thus land tenure, the forest and zoning regulations, and the privatization have all been stacked against the grove, and reflect the broader threat to the Aravalli hill commons in the state of Haryana, India. The presentation will walk the participants through the numerous challenges faced by the sacred grove and its stakeholders, in the face of creeping urbanization. It tracks the land tenure changes, the regulatory and zoning processes from the 1960s to the present with a focus on the period from 2010-2017 when many of these threats matured and a few stakeholders in city and village attempted to address some of these threats.  It uses the analysis to provide a window to broader questions of what is a forest, what is aravalli hills, what is a sacred grove, and how these seemingly simple questions have been hanging fire for decades  in India.

About Speaker

Chetan Agarwal is an independent environmental analyst and Senior Fellow with CEDAR (Centre for Ecology, Development and Research). He does research and consulting related to Ecosystem Services – the benefits of nature to society, such as biodiversity, groundwater recharge, etc. In Gurgaon and Haryana he has undertaken research and advocacy related to the Aravalli hills in general and the Mangar Bani sacred grove in particular. The presentation today is based on some of this work.  

Remembering Anupam Mishra: A Faithful Clerk of Ordinary People - Part I

Sopan Joshi

24/03/2017

About the Lecture

On 19th December 2016, Anupam Mishra breathed his last at a New Delhi hospital after an 11-month battle with cancer. He is best known for his 1993 book, Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab (Lakes are still Standing 1993). This book is a lively and exhaustively researched account of how communities managed water across the country. It has been translated into 19 languages, and has sold well over 100,000 copies. He joined the Gandhi Peace Foundation in New Delhi in 1969 as an apprentice in research and publications unit. During 1972-74, he was part of Gandhian leader Jay Prakash Narayan’s three-member team that engaged with rebels and dacoits in the Chambal Valley, and persuaded them to surrender. In 1973, he travelled to the villages of Chamoli district in the Himalaya, where ordinary village women had launched a struggle against commercial logging. He was among the earliest chroniclers of what came to be called the Chipko movement.The early 1980s drew him to Bikaner in western Rajasthan, where social activists were rallying to protect common pastures. These travels gave him a close understanding of how communities harvest rainwater and prosper in the Thar desert. His other popular book, Rajasthan Ki Rajat Boondein (Radiant Raindrops of Rajasthan 1995), is an in-depth illustration of how ordinary desert folk have valued and collected each raindrop.An understated man with a deep sense of social relations and a remarkable aesthetic sensibility, Anupam Mishra continues to live in memories of his colleagues and hundreds of friends and collaborators. At this memorial event, three of his co-travelers will trace the elements of his writing and his work.

About Speaker

Sopan Joshi worked closely with Anupam Mishra over a long period and is currently a research fellow at the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. In July 2016, Gandhi Peace Foundation published his book, Jal Thal Mal.Ramachandra Guha wrote his Ph D dissertation on the environmental history of the region that mobilized the celebrated resistance against commercial tree felling, Chipko. As an academic who along with Prof Madhav Gadgil charted out the environmental history discipline in India, Guha has deeply engaged with Gandhi environmental thinkers and movements.S. Vishwanath echoes the research and writing that Anupam Mishra began. Popularly known as zenrainman, Vishwanath has an avid interest in tracing the communities that engaged with open wells. Trained as a civil engineer, Vishwanath now works on water and sanitation management and governance issues in urban and rural India with equal ease and teaches an elective course on Water at Azim Premji University

Remembering Anupam Mishra: A Faithful Clerk of Ordinary People - Part II

Sopan Joshi

24/03/2017

About the Lecture

On 19th December 2016, Anupam Mishra breathed his last at a New Delhi hospital after an 11-month battle with cancer. He is best known for his 1993 book, Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab (Lakes are still Standing 1993). This book is a lively and exhaustively researched account of how communities managed water across the country. It has been translated into 19 languages, and has sold well over 100,000 copies.

About Speaker

Sopan Joshi worked closely with Anupam Mishra over a long period and is currently a research fellow at the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. In July 2016, Gandhi Peace Foundation published his book, Jal Thal Mal.Ramachandra Guha wrote his Ph D dissertation on the environmental history of the region that mobilized the celebrated resistance against commercial tree felling, Chipko. As an academic who along with Prof Madhav Gadgil charted out the environmental history discipline in India, Guha has deeply engaged with Gandhi environmental thinkers and movements.S. Vishwanath echoes the research and writing that Anupam Mishra began. Popularly known as zenrainman, Vishwanath has an avid interest in tracing the communities that engaged with open wells. Trained as a civil engineer, Vishwanath now works on water and sanitation management and governance issues in urban and rural India with equal ease and teaches an elective course on Water at Azim Premji University

Remembering the Nationalism of Republican Socialist Revolutionaries

Ashok G Choudhary

23/03/2017

About the Lecture

At a time when the nationalist debate is sought to be infused with threats and violence, we should remember that there are different streams of nationalism. The one espoused and propagated by revolutionaries of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) was anti-feudal and anti-imperialist. The ideals for which Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh sacrificed their lives was a Socialist Republic. These ideals were like a breath of fresh air and inspired the educated youth in the 1920s. Perhaps the concept of Republic was introduced for the first time in the nationalist struggle by this group. Later, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar developed the Republican concept in great detail and it has been enshrined in the Indian Constitution along with fundamental rights of citizens. The ideals of the nationalist stream represented by HSRA deserve to be re-visited when there is so much debate about nationalism and democracy. While we remember our forefathers in the Martyrdom Day lecture, we need to take stock of how much their ideas still inspire and how far we have to walk to ensure that their dreams are realized.

About Speaker

Ashok G Choudhary (born 1949) is presently President of Vikalp Social Organisation, Saharanpur. He has been working as a social activist in social and labour movements since the early 1970s. He has been interested in issues like land rights for landless peasantry/ agricultural labour, forest rights for the traditional forest dwelling communities, environmental & climate justice, social justice, community institute building ,women’s rights and secularism. Mr Choudhary is also General Secretary of All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), Founding Member of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai and India’s Member in the Organising Committee of World Social Forum.

'Is the Whole World Becoming a Third World

Upendra Baxi

10/03/2017

About the Lecture

In this talk, Upendra Baxi shares several stories of the entire world becoming a third world. Used judgmentally, the expression cover’s a Philistine world which offers nothing but a solitary, short, nasty, and brutish life. Understood historically, the Third World is a creation of the Siamese twin of colonialism and imperialism generated by the First and erstwhile Second world. It also creates a fourth world of global impoverishment and 'disposable' peoples. Ideologically, one seeks to distinguish between the 'Third World' (of States) from a ‘Third Worldlism' (a state of consciousness of the people). If we were to romanticize a little bit, one would say the latter consists of an attitude of ethical insurgency towards the making and unmaking of the world, and of the peoples (democide). In that sense the whole world becoming a third world is a good thing, indeed!  The flip side of course is authoritarian statism, laced by popular (electoral) populism. We already see in Euroamerica an evacuation of the values fabled to have initiated development, progress, and equity measures, specially by the idea of human rights. Now we live increasingly in the 'endtimes' of human rights. Is the whole world on its way to becoming rightless? And is that a good thing? Also, what may be the future foretold by the advancing Anthropocene?

About Speaker

Upendra Baxi, currently Professor Emeritus, University of Warwick, and has been at the Warwick Law School since 1996. He served earlier as Professor of Law, University of Delhi (1973-1996) and as its Vice Chancellor (1990-1994.) He was also served as: Vice Chancellor, University of South Gujarat, Surat (1982-1985); Honorary Director (Research) The Indian Law Institute (1885-1988.) He was the President of the Indian Society of International Law (1992-1995.) Baxi graduated from Rajkot (Gujarat University), read law in University of Bombay, and holds LLM degrees from University of Bombay and University of California at Berkeley, which also awarded him with a Doctorate in Juristic Sciences. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates in Law by the National Law School University of India, Bangalore, and the University of La Trobe, Melbourne. One of the most prolific contributors to the corpus of legal writing both on India and on many contemporary global concerns, Baxi’s recent works include Future of Human Rights (OUP, 2008) and Human Rights in a Posthuman World (OUP, 2007)