Publications & Resources

Our faculty, students and researchers work together everyday to contribute to a better world by grappling with urgent problems we are facing in India. We conduct rigorous work to produce high quality learning resources and publications to contribute to public discourse and social change. Here, we feature a sample from our work for everyone to access. You can explore featured resources, policies, and the latest publications from the University. 

To explore all the work of our University, please visit our publications repository.

  • MOL Newsletter Apr 22 2024 Earth Day Planet vs Plastics Coverpage PNG
    Published
    Authors

    Abstract

    Building on the success of the Forests of Life newsletters last year, and with the upcoming Mountains of Life festival scheduled in November 2024, we are excited to bring you a collection of mountain wonders through captivating stories, insights into challenges faced by the communities and calls for action. Additionally, we facilitate a platform for young voices to showcase their creative renditions, encouraging them to explore the various facets of the mountain ecosystems and the need for their conservation. With Planet vs Plastics” as the theme of this newsletter, we intend to raise awareness about the danger of plastic pollution in the mountains, advocate for the reduction of single-use plastics, acknowledge the efforts of some unsung heroes, and call for more sustainable alternatives.

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  • Book

    From Sea to Surwa

    in Azim Premji University

    Cover English Sea to Surwa
    Published
    Authors

      Abstract

      Food is the product of a community’s culture and environment. Hence a study of foodways’ can tell us about what food resources are available as well as how customs, beliefs and practices shape the use of these resources. In this report, we share some of the stories and recipes we collected from women in different settler communities between June to November 2023. Our report showcases how these women use marine resources in creative and careful ways to improve the nutritional security of their families. In the process, the report offers a glimpse of the cultural, historical and ecological connections of settler communities of the Andaman Islands.

      Authors:

      Madhuri Ramesh
      Chandralekha C

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      Links
      Language Editions
    • Essays on Transformation and Permanence 13 march
      Published
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        Abstract

        The Azim Premji University has been encouraging the expression of diverse and disparate views on a variety of subjects in the past too. Over the last two decades of its existence, the Azim Premji Foundation under which the University operates has been consistently focusing on its vision of contributing towards a more just, equitable, humane, and sustainable society through extensive on-the-groundwork across the country as well as through its partners. In this context we may venture to say that the present collection of essays is an expression of that focus, while encouraging views and counterviews on various perspectives on the national endeavour, with the goal of working towards the Foundation’s vision.

        Amidst the Corona crisis of 2020 to 2022, another compendium of essays entitled Understanding Post-Covid-19 Challenges in India had been published in March 2022. The essays in that collection too had looked at certain key domains such as Health, School Education, Impact of Covid on vulnerable groups, urban development, the systems of recording deaths etc. While that collection tried to document how the nation navigated through a short period of the toughest challenge, this collection tries to offer a snapshot of more than 75 years of history
        since Independence.

        It is hoped that this collection of essays will encourage its readers to think about the myriad activities that India as a nation has undertaken in its unending search for building a better society, the complexities that it has to encounter and the challenges that it has had to overcome, in trying to achieve that objective. The essays here are collected over a year’s time following the 75th year of Independence, and as such some of the essays might not have captured the latest developments in the themes that they focus on. The readers’ responses are welcome.

        Editors:

        CK Mathew

        A Narayana

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      • Learning Curve Issue 18 Cover page
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          Abstract

          The National Curriculum Framework for Foundation Stage (NCF-FS) document has not reached all teachers and is yet to be translated into regional languages. But as we wait for this, we thought we could start to understand it and the experience of some teachers in Azim Premji Schools and those who we work with in government schools in several states who have been implementing parts of it in their classrooms.

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        • Article

          Published
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          Abstract

          Fifty years ago this week, Gaura Devi, an ordinary woman from a nondescript village in India, hugged a tree, using her body as a shield to stop the tree from being cut down. Little did she know that this simple act of defiance would be a seminal moment in the history of India and the world. Or that Reni village, where she lived, would come to be recognised as the fountainhead of the Chipko environmental movement. What the foot soldiers of Chipko wanted was an acknowledgement of their Indigenous rights to access forest resources that were crucial for their survival. What they got instead was a national law and a ministry populated by a new breed of power brokers — who, in the years to come, would decide at times that habitat preservation is possible only by keeping local communities out.

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        • IJME COVER Jan Mar 2024 230x300 1
          Published
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          Abstract

          Background: Care provision received renewed attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as several healthcare providers vied for the coveted title of frontline warrior” while they struggled to provide care efficiently under varying health system constraints. While several studies on the health workforce during the pandemic highlighted their difficulties, there is little reflection on what care” or caring” itself meant specifically for community health workers (CHWs) as they navigated different community and health systems settings. The study aimed to examine CHWs’ caregiving experiences during the pandemic.

          Methods: Twenty narrative interviews with CHWs including ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) and ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) were conducted in different states between July and December 2020.

          Results: Our findings highlight the moral, affectual, and relational dimensions of care in the CHWs’ engagement with their routine and Covid-19 related services, as well as the technical” aspects of it. In this article, we argue that these two aspects are, in fact, enmeshed in complex ways. CHWs extend this moral understanding not just to their work, but also to their relationship with the health system and the government, as they express a deep sense of neglect and the lack of being cared for” by the health system.

          Conclusion: CHWs’ experiences demand a more nuanced understanding of the ethics of care or caring that challenges the binaries between the technical” and moral aspects of care.

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        • Pathshala Issue 19 Cover page
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          Authors

            Abstract

            पाठशाला भीतर और बाहर के उन्नीसवें अंक के ज़्यादातर लेख पुस्तकालय और भाषा की पढ़ाई के विविध पहलुओं पर केन्द्रित हैं। इन लेखों में, अच्छी किताबों से ही अच्छे स्कूल पुस्तकालय की कल्पना साकार होती है व पुस्तकालय को जीवन्त और सक्रिय कैसे बनाया जाए, जैसे विषयों को उठाया गया है। एक लेख लोकतंत्र में संवाद की संस्कृति बनाने व इसके महत्त्व के बारे में है। साक्षात्कार में चिन्तनशील शिक्षक और इनकी रचनात्मकता के विकास की प्रक्रिया पर चर्चा की गई है। संवाद में, संवैधानिक मूल्य बन्धुता के भाव को विकसित करने के लिए स्कूली स्तर पर किए जाने वाले प्रयासों के बारे में अनुभवपरक विचार रखे गए हैं।

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          • IJME COVER Jan Mar 2024 230x300
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            Authors

            Abstract

            The mental health discourse in India has been primarily viewed through a biomedical lens that often overlooks the cultural context and social inequalities. To ensure equitable access to preventive, promotive, curative, and rehabilitative mental healthcare, India needs practitioners who combine a social perspective with an empathetic approach. To address this need, we designed a course titled Critical Perspectives on Mental Health” that aims to introduce the relevant perspectives and community-based approaches to mental health. In this article, we share our reflections on designing this course and facilitating it in the form of a post-graduation programme.

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          • BMC Advances in Simulation
            Published
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            Abstract

            It has been reported from various contexts that learning quantitative methods for public health and social research is challenging for students. Based on our observations of these challenges, we designed a simulation-based pedagogical tool called Surveypura to support classroom-based learning of quantitative research methods. The tool includes a large illustration of a fictional village with 155 houses, alongside data for each of the households. The features of the houses, household characteristics, and the village have been carefully designed to give the visual feel of an actual village and better assist the pedagogical process. The tool was used by five facilitators with their master’s students at Azim Premji University in courses on social research and epidemiology. Our observations of the sessions and interactions with facilitators and students suggested that the tool supported more engaged learning of quantitative research methods in a non-intimidating manner. We believe that Surveypura can be a useful simulation-based pedagogical tool to teach quantitative research methods in epidemiology and social sciences even in other contexts.

            Explore more here.

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          • EPW Jan 2024
            Published
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            Abstract

            According to the Government of India, linking Aadhaar with the delivery of welfare schemes has saved nearly INR 2,73,093 crore till March 2022 due to, apparently, the removal of duplicate/​fake beneficiaries and plugging of leakages, etc. What is the overall impact of Aadhaar on welfare delivery? We try to understand this through a case study of MGNREGA in Jharkhand. Surveying nearly 3,000 workers in eight villages in Jharkhand to assess both the costs and benefits of linking MGNREGA with Aadhaar, the paper focuses on its impact on errors of inclusion and exclusion.

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          • South Asia Chronicle
            Published
            Authors

            Abstract

            This article explores the birth of multiple shipbreaking yards in India, such as Darukhana, Mumbai (1912); Sachana, Jamnagar (1977); and Alang, Gujarat (1983). It tells a story of how, specifically, the inception of the Alang shipbreaking yards is intricately linked to the changing geographies of ship disposal facilities in the 1970s and 1980s. This article demonstrates how India’s domestic policies on importing obsolete vessels for scrapping were in tandem with the shift in global waste flows. As major ship scrapping facilities closed in Western countries followed by Southeast Asian countries, shipbreaking yards mushroomed in different parts of South Asia, primarily in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This article scrutinises the convoluted image of the Alang shipbreaking yards as a passive recipient of waste” in the form of end-of-life vessels from the Global North.

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          • Pathshala Issue 18 cover
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              Abstract

              पाठशाला भीतर और बाहर का अठारहवाँ अंक पुस्तकालय पर केन्द्रित है। एक जीवन्त पुस्तकालय के बिना स्कूल की कल्पना अधूरी है। जीवन्त पुस्तकालय की कल्पना को साकार करने के लिए किए जा रहे कई अलग-अलग अनुभव इस अंक में शामिल हैं। इस अंक में शामिल संवाद’ पुस्तकालय और पढ़ने की संस्कृति पर केन्द्रित है। क्या पुस्तकालय एक शान्त जगह हो या यहाँ बच्चों को बात करने की छूट हो, स्कूली विषय व इतर पुस्तकें, आदि विषय भी इस अंक में शामिल हैं। कुछ लेख पढ़ने और लिखने के सन्दर्भ में नए अनुभवों व दृष्टिकोणों को प्रस्तुत करते हैं। एक लेख सामाजिक विज्ञान की विषयवस्तु और पढ़ाई से विद्यार्थियों में आलोचनात्मक जागरूकता पैदा करने के तौर‑तरीक़ों के बारे में है।

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            • LC Issue 17 Cover Page
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              Authors

                Abstract

                What exactly is reinforcing learning? Reinforcement is nothing other than a reflection of teaching on the one hand and learning on the other. Reinforcement should ideally be an aid to learning the principles that constitute a concept, since the basis of learning is to grasp the fundamental propositions of a topic. This issue includes reinforcement in the most important primary school subjects — so there are experiential articles in maths, language, EVS and science as well as an article on assessing reinforcement which illustrates that assessment, if done holistically, is in itself a reinforcement tool. 

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              • Resonance Nov 2023
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                Abstract

                The skin microbiome is mainly comprised of commensal and mutualistic bacteria. Some commensal species can behave as pathogens under the right circumstances, and one of the most common examples of this is Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium can damage multiple parts and systems of the human body, both directly and indirectly. The factors responsible for the pathogenesis of S. aureus are discussed in this article, along with its particular role in the skin disorder atopic dermatitis, shedding light on how bacteria can use complex strategies to survive in a host.

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              • Forest of life Oct 2023 Page 01
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                Abstract

                Forests of Life Newsletter is a monthly limited edition newsletter curated by Azim Premji University, offering glimpses of our upcoming mega festival, Forests of Life, which will be held at our Bengaluru campus from 02 to 24 November 2023. This month, we celebrate World Animal Day which is commemorated on 04 October every year to celebrate animal rights and their welfare with the collective aim to bring together people who are promoting the improved treatment and welfare of animals, both in the wild and on farms.

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              • Book

                English Romantic Literature

                in Cambridge University Press

                English Romantic Literature
                Published
                Authors

                Abstract

                This book analyses the key intellectual debates and sociopolitical and cultural events that shaped writings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in England. It approaches Romantic Literature’ as a literary-historical term and adds a broad range of texts to those traditionally studied — bio-notes, letters, pamphlets, advertisements in periodicals, political cartoons and satirical prints, to name a few — to allow a sense of this period to emerge. This book will serve as a useful aid while preparing a syllabus and lesson plan for teaching English Romantic literature.

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              • Association between Caste and Class in India Evolution of Caste Class Dynamics during Economic Growth
                Published
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                Abstract

                Caste and class are two major markers of social and economic stratification in India. They play a crucial role in sustaining and strengthening the process of social exclusion. It has been often expected that the process of economic growth and modernization may weaken the congruence between caste and class structures and induce social and economic mobility, thereby bringing about a change in the socio-economic environment. In this paper, we focus on the celebrated period of high economic growth in India during the previous decade to study the evolution of caste-class dynamics, to analyse the pattern of association between caste and class positions, and examine whether this association/​congruence has weakened during this period. The analysis is based on four rounds of employment-unemployment surveys of the National Sample Survey Organization covering the period 1999 – 2012. We construct a matrix of caste and class positions of repeated cross-sections of individuals that shows whether different caste groups are over- or under-represented in different class positions and how these representations have changed over time. We then use a multinomial logistic regression framework to capture the role of caste in explaining the conditional probability of an individual to belong to a particular class position, after controlling for other critical explanatory variables. We further examine how the explanatory role of caste has changed over time. Additionally, we explore the role of education, a crucial channel for socioeconomic mobility, in explaining the class positions of individuals belonging to different caste groups over time. Finally, we examine the impact of high economic growth in determining the class position of an individual in general, as well as for different caste groups over time. The analysis shows that caste has continued to remain an important factor in explaining class locations of individuals during the period of high economic growth. Further, the caste-class associations have continued to persist across different categories of education over time. While there has been a partial weakening of certain associations during the period, particularly for the Other Backward Castes and in some parts of the rural sector, the overall picture is more of continuity than change, with further strengthening and reinforcement of caste-class congruence along several axes. This calls into question the expectations about social mobility with economic growth as well as the nature of economic growth in India.

                Author:

                Vaishali Kohli

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              • A History of Economic Policy in India
                Published
                Authors

                Abstract

                Economic Policy in Independent India provides an immersive, accessible yet rigorous understanding of the Indian economy through a political economy analysis of economic policies. It provides a birds-eye view of the politics, context, and ideas that shaped major economic policies in independent India and argues that they are the product of crisis, coalitions, and contingency — not necessarily choice. Each chapter focuses on specific political regimes: Colonial Rule, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, liberalisation under coalition governments, the UPA Government, and the NDA Government. The book evaluates how well a government executed its policies based on the economic and political constraints it faced, rather than economic outcomes. Using theories to make sense of the economy, political ideology, historical conditions, and international context, the book’s framework provides multiple perspectives and analyses economic policies as an outcome of interactions between dynamics in the economy.

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              • Telephone surveys for data collection some reflections
                Published
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                Abstract

                The last few years have seen an upheaval in practices of data collection and survey methods. Even before the pandemic, several data collection endeavors had begun the transition to digital, computer-assisted, and tablet-based surveys. India’s labor force surveys themselves had moved away from traditional paper- based surveys to computer-assisted PI techniques. The Covid-19 pandemic imposed a massive shock to these practices. Across several countries, ongoing surveys had to be prematurely terminated or put on hold in the interest of the safety of enumerators and interviewers.

                Authors:

                • Rosa Abraham
                • Mridhula Mohan

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              • Tree planting guide sep 2023 cover page
                Published
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                Abstract

                We stay in an apartment, and there is very little space around. What trees can we plant?”

                I live in an independent house, and we would like to have trees. But we are worried the roots will damage our walls and underground sump.”

                These are questions we have often been asked by residents of Bengaluru. What it tells us is that while there is an interest in planting trees, there are also concerns about what kind of trees are most suited owing to constraints of space and potential damage to infrastructure. 

                This guide is aimed at addressing some of these concerns. We have included 26 species of trees that can be grown in independent houses or apartment complexes in Bengaluru. We have included a basic description of each of the species, how to plant and care for the trees, the different kinds of uses and a fun fact or information nugget. The guide also contains information on installing root barriers to protect infrastructure from being damaged by tree roots. We have also included how diseased or damaged trees can be treated.

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              • What did they say Respondent identity question framing and the measurement of employment
                Published
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                Abstract

                In developing countries, a precise approach to measuring women’s employment remains elu- sive. Emerging evidence underscores the pivotal role of survey methodology, encompassing respondent selection and question framing, in shaping the assessment of women’s employ- ment. Drawing from two labor market experiments in rural India, this study offers insights on the influence of survey design on the measurement of women’s employment. The first ex- periment contrasts self-reported women’s and men’s employment figures with proxy-reported data from spouses. Women’s self-reported workforce participation surpasses proxy-reported estimates by six percentage points, while men’s estimates exhibit negligible differences. There are significant differences in the type of employment activities reported by self and proxy for both women and men. These divergences emanate from asymmetric measurement errors, stemming from gender-based norm disparities between spouses, and divergent interpretations of employment. Additionally, information asymmetry between spouses concerning women’s marginal activities and disparities in spousal characteristics contribute to these self-proxy differences. The second experiment investigates if framing of questions and recall period has an impact on reporting of labor market outcomes. We find that employing multiple ques- tions to capture weekly employment status yields a 10-percentage-point increase in reported women’s workforce participation, but men’s participation rate decreases by six percentage points. Furthermore, when a distinct employment query is directed at each day of the pre- ceding week as opposed to a single query for the entire week, reported women’s workforce participation increases by seven percentage points, and men’s by four percentage points.

                Authors:

                • Rosa Abraham
                • Nishat Anjum
                • Rahul Lahoti
                • Hema Swaminathan

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              • SWI FINAL cover page
                Published
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                Abstract

                The Indian story of economic growth and structural transformation has been one of significant achievements as well as continuing challenges. On the one hand, the economy has grown rapidly since the 1980s, drawing millions of workers out of agriculture. And the proportion of salaried or regular wage workers has risen while that of casual workers has fallen. On the other hand, manufacturing has failed to expand its share of GDP or employment significantly. Instead, construction and informal services have been the main job creators. Further, the connection between growth and good jobs continues to be weak.

                Report Files

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              • Pathshala Issue 17 Cover page
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                  Abstract

                  गणना करना सीखना और संक्रियाएँ सीखना ही गणित सीखना नहीं है। गणित सीखने में बहुत कुछ है। इसके लिए गणित की भाषा सीखना और स्वयं गणित करना अहम है। ऐसा गणित, जो आपके दिमाग की क्षमता को खींचे व कर पाने की खुशी भी दे । इस अंक में गणित के लेख इन बातों को बखूबी दिखा रहे हैं। बच्चों को लिखना सिखाने पर भी इस अंक के लेखों में विस्तृत बात हुई है। संवाद व अन्य लेख लिखने के आयामों यथा लिखना और पुस्तकें पढ़ना-लिखना और मौखिक अभिव्यक्ति आदि को उभारते हैं। सीखने में अर्थ की भूमिका अहम है। जो भी सीखा जाना है, सीखने वाला अपने लिए उसका अर्थ खुद गढ़ता है और जब वह यह अर्थ गढ़ पाता है, तभी सीख पाता है। बच्चों को कविता का अर्थ खुद गढ़ने देने की बात करता एक लेख, कविता ही नहीं बल्कि कुछ भी सीखने में अर्थ की भूमिका क्या हो सकती है, रेखांकित करता है। शामिल पुस्तक चर्चा भी बच्चों के सीखने के बारे में बहुत से महत्त्वपूर्ण बिन्दु रखती है।

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                • Forests of Life September 2023 Newsletter page 0001
                  Published
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                  Abstract

                  This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. In this edition, we celebrate National Forest Martyrs Day which is commemorated on September 11 each year to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to protect forests and wildlife. The day is aimed at creating awareness about protecting forests and the environment at large.

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                • Tracking workers across generations a cohort based analysis
                  Published
                  Authors

                  Abstract

                  Alongside rapid economic growth, India also saw steady de-agrarianisation of its economy in terms of contribution to GDP. In terms of employment, however, the movement out of agriculture was slower, and when they did exit, it was often a withdrawal from the workforce entirely. In general, more of the workforce are in salaried employment, however, these have filtered differently by gender, caste and religion. While cross-sectional data gives us a sense of how these structural changes affect workers at any given point in time, it cannot tell us how these play out for workers over their lifetime as well as how different generations or cohorts of workers have been affected. Here, we use seven rounds of nationally representative official data to construct cohorts who are tracked over these periods to observe employment participation and the patterns over time. We find that younger generations of women systematically less likely to be in paid employment whereas for men, after a certain age, generations look similar in terms of employment rate. Similarly, when examined from the perspective of cohorts, we find that access to salaried employment has changed by gender and caste, and increase in earnings over time over their lifecycle has slowed for certain groups.

                  Author:

                  • Rosa Abraham

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                • Reviewing the Republic Cover
                  Published
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                  Abstract

                  The Constitution of India has been amended over a hundred times in the last seven decades. Yet, its basic principles remain supreme. For young students of India’s growth and progress, a deeper understanding of its Articles is essential. The maturing of our democracy and the deeper social consciousness pervading our people, owes much to the manner in which we have been guided by its timeless precepts. A reading of Reviewing the Republic’ will help any reader appreciate how our Constitution came into being and its powerful impact on the daily life of our citizens. 

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