Committed to social change but not at all enterprising! What may happen?

First published here: As part of the practice-connect initiative of Azim Premji University , we have looked at recently two organizations that creates/supports the self-help groups (SHGs) of women. First one – X – is highly successful in one perspective – it sustains 10000 SHGs, creates 1000 per year, and ensures that almost all these achieve 100 percent repayment... Continue Reading →


Schooling of Children from Fisher Families

First published here: 1. Introduction The world over, marine fishing communities which inhabit the coastal fringes of their countries, have adopted occupational and work practices which establish a special socio-cultural ethos for them and which tends to be different from that of the mainstream society. Historically, whether in Canada, Brazil, Norway, Ghana, Myanmar, Cambodia or... Continue Reading →

One teacher at a time

First published here: S Giridhar, Deccan Herald, JUL 07 2018 I wrote a series of articles over the past eight months describing the attributes of good government schools based on my study across four districts in the country. The often-asked question was: “The heroic government schools are inspiring, but can your study provide insights for... Continue Reading →

The Spread of Hinduism Led to the Decline of Food Diversity in India?

First published here: I have spent a few days in a set of tribal hamlets in the Rayaguda district of Odisha during the last of week of June. An organization is working there to rejuvenate the food diversity among these tribal people. They have exhibited (to us, the outsiders) a wide variety of food materials.... Continue Reading →

New Book by Faculty

Macmillan, New York will be publishing the book as below. Going beyond history of philosophy and interpretive scholarship, it pursues the possibility of Philosophical Praxis through the works of Heidegger, Schelling, Goethe, and Heraclitus. More details at Springer Macmillan website. To be released in a few weeks. ISBN 978-3-319-96910-7.

India’s capable teachers can solve all education woes

First published here: Photo: HT The elderly man was pleasantly drunk at 10am. He was minding the shops, two of seven, on the main road. Most people who were not out of the village earning their livelihoods, including some of the shopkeepers, seemed to have gone to the government primary school where we were headed.... Continue Reading →

Schooling of Scheduled Tribes in India

First published here: Lessons from the Education of Indigenous People in Brazil By: V Santhakumar and Amarendra Das 1. Introduction The Scheduled Tribe (ST) is one social group in India that faces the most difficult challenges in schooling. Though there are efforts being made to address some of these, like providing education in their native... Continue Reading →

In India, the Discourse of Environmental Governance Is Always Rooted in the Future Tense

First published here: Manu V. Mathai is an Assistant Professor at the School of Development at Azim Premji University. In May 2018, the two-decade old protests against environmental violations by Sterlite Copper in Thoothukudi took a tragic turn. The bloody events are emblematic of how the state and us citizens, by and large, think about environmental governance and its... Continue Reading →

Real Life Microeconomics

Economics in action

I did not have any serious exposure to the subject of economics during the first 25 years of my life. As a typical student from a lower middle-class family in Kerala, my aspiration was to be an engineer. During my engineering education, I got to know and started interacting with the popular science movement in the state (namely Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad – KSSP). These connections encouraged me to be a full-timer of KSSP while working as a lecturer in an engineering college.

My job in KSSP was to help setting up `Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC)’, and develop appropriate technologies and plans for small-scale watershed management. We prepared a proposal and received funding from the government of India for a watershed conservation and management project.

The objective of the project was to facilitate water conservation or storage (through small-scale and environmentally appropriate measures) with the objective of increasing the…

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