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.

  • Article

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    Abstract

    When NASA provided free worldwide access to the Landsat data archive, scientists greatly expanded the analysis of new locations and novel topics. Of course, data democracy is not just for scientists. When citizens own the rights to generate and access data that speaks to their concerns, democracy is strengthened. Data democracy began to gain prominence in the early 2000s, with the growth of the open data movement. In today’s era of climate change, the term assumes increasing significance. Yet despite the large volume of opensource climate data, access remains largely limited to academia and business. Climate data democracy enables all sections of society to access climate data; understand how to use and interpret it; and be able to use data for climate action. Given the lack of data and severity of the crisis in the Global South, we argue that these regions must take the lead in driving conversations around climate data democracy.

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  • Ajs 2023 129 issue 1 cover
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      Abstract

      Research on democracy has shed much light on two kinds of democratic politics: patterns of voting and patterns of associational or movement politics. But there is growing recognition that in order to better understand the quality or depth of democracy, we need to move beyond this dualistic focus to better understand the everyday practices through which citizens can effectively wield their rights; these practices often diverge from the formal equality enshrined in laws and constitutions. The researchers study this question through a large, unique sample survey carried out in a South Indian city. We find that effective citizenship is refracted through the institutional specificities of urban India and that, as a result, the poor access the state through political participation and the rich through particularistic connections to persons of influence. But unlike the conventional celebration of participation as a citizenship-deepening activity, we also find that a substantial part of participation is associated with forms of brokerage that compromise democratic citizenship.

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    • Article

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      Abstract

      If one asks a teacher in preschool learning spaces in India, about the most usual story that is narrated to children, what is the most common answer? Will there be unanimity in the fact that the story of Thirsty Crow works just as well in many Indian languages, as it does in Indian Sign Language? Those who engage with early childhood care and learning would often stress upon the need to have a visually rich environment in these learning spaces, full of picture books and enthusiastic teachers who never give up a chance to bring out yet another story. Bringing Indian Sign Language to early childhood learning spaces, creating an immersive experience for children before they enter school years by making available in these spaces Indian Sign Language resources (and then taking such initiatives to schools, colleges, and community spaces) would allow us to slowly move toward the dream cherished by deaf adults.

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    • 9781003155065
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      Abstract

      This chapter provides the emergence and practice of Dalit Studies within academia through a critical engagement with curriculum structures that exist within pedagogic discourses. It explores different kinds of academic writings that have prevailed within Dalit discourse by looking into their composition, engagement with the curriculum, and pedagogic practices. The Dalit community has created spaces for the emergence of public debates and conferences, study groups, and seminars that enable discursive engagement with Dalit Studies. One of the major milestones in Dalit discourse was taken up by Sukhadeo Thorat, who, under his chairmanship of University Grants Commission, granted the institutional setup of the Center for the Study of Social Discrimination and Exclusion for a systematic engagement with Dalit discourse. Dalit feminist scholars have highlighted contradictions in schooling in that curricula and school cultures reproduce Brahmanical values”.

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    • Article

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      Abstract

      Urbanisation is one of the most transformative drivers of global environmental change today, with India representing one of the fastest urbanising countries. The researchers map the urban expansion of India’s ten largest cities from 2001 to 2016, through a regression tree classification of Landsat data in Google Earth Engine. Indian cities are growing through sprawl, and simultaneously densifying through in-filling. In Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, urban growth is multinucleated, aggregating to form a larger urban region. However, the dominant pattern in most cities is mono-nucleated growth via edge-expansion. The colonial signature is visible in many cities such as Bengaluru, where due to the British colonial practice of planting trees in the cantonment, the city interior has lower urban density at the core as compared to the periphery. Much of the urban growth between 2001 – 2016 is at the expense of agriculture and fallow areas. Across all cities, urban patches have expanded and coalesced into larger units. At the same time, there is an overall loss of surface water cover within cities. Urban growth has led to fragmentation of tree cover, agriculture/​fallow and water bodies. This paper demonstrates that India’s urbanisation is leading to severe impacts on water security (because of the loss of surface water), biodiversity (because of the fragmentation of tree cover and the conversion of agriculture and fallow lands to built-up urban cover), factors which if left unaddressed will severely impact the sustainability of Indian urbanisation.

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    • Forests Of Life July 2023 Newsletter Page 1
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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 International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems.

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    • Language and Language teaching issue 24
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      Abstract

      Globalisation has resulted in ever increasing linguistic diversities and a worldwide recognition of the need to support linguistic pluralism through education (UNESCO, 2003). Keeping abreast with the global trend, India’s education policy has provided for the cultivation of multilingualism by including at least three languages in the curriculum. However, in reality, India’s education system is guided by monolingual ideologies that disregard multilingual realities and promote a form of monolingual multilingualism” (Neumann, 2015). This translates into separatist pedagogy and practices that keep languages strictly compartmentalised at schools. Different time slots are allotted to teaching learning of disparate languages. Proficiency in a language is interpreted as the ability to use it without resorting” to any other language. In effect, monolingual ideologies function to reject translanguaging (Garcia, 2009), or natural language practices of multilinguals, that enter into classrooms. Strategies such as code-switching and translating are invalidated when they occur in spoken or written conversations in classrooms. This article aims to study the monolingual ideologies that permeate the education system to understand their implications for the process of teaching and learning in Indian classrooms.

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    • Article

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      Abstract

      Historical experience suggests that a sustained rise in per capita incomes and improvement in employment conditions is not attainable without a structural transformation that moves surplus labour from agriculture and other informal economic activities to higher productivity activities in the non-farm economy. In this paper, I analyse India’s performance from a cross-country comparative perspective, estimating the growth semi-elasticity of structural change. Using a cross-country panel regression, I estimate the effectiveness of growth in moving workers away from agricultural and informal activities as compared to other developing countries at similar levels of per capita income. I show that the performance in pulling workers out of agriculture is as expected given its level and growth of GDP per capita, but the same is not true for pulling workers out of the informal sector. I also propose the following five indicators that need to be kept track of when evaluating the growth process: the growth elasticity of employment, the growth semi-elasticity of structural change, the growth of labour productivity in the subsistence sector, the share of the organised sector in total employment and the workforce participation rate. Comparing these indicators across periods, states, regions or countries, allow us to understand which sets of policies have worked better than others to effective improvements in employment conditions. When taken together the indicators allow us to set structural change targets as well as to say whether the current pattern of growth is going to be sufficient to meet those targets.

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    • Article

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      Abstract

      Multilingual education is an urgent and pressing concern in the Indian educational scenario. While the National Education Policy (2020) acknowledges multilingualism as a resource in educational contexts and reiterates earlier policies calling for mother tongue-based education in elementary classrooms, it does not provide guidance in terms of how to productively accommodate multiple languages in the classroom. Multilingual education will be much stronger if it is based on a strong understanding of multilinguality — the idea that the human mind is fundamentally multilingual in nature. A new, but substantial paradigm of scholarship addressing multilinguality is that of translanguaging’, which views named languages as socio-political constructs and argues that multilinguals have a unified linguistic repertoire that they flexibly, creatively and adaptively draw upon. Accepting the grounding assumptions of translanguaging would has important implications for curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in educational spaces. In this article, we describe and critique the translanguaging perspective, even while acknowledging its positive contributions. We point out, especially its failure to provide guidance in terms of how to productively accommodate translanguaging in classrooms.

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    • Article

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      Abstract

      Institutional births increased in India from 39% to 79% between 2005 and 2015. Drawing from 17 months of fieldwork, this article traces the shift from home to hospital births across three generations in a hamlet in Assam in Northeast India. Here, too, one finds that most births have shifted from home to hospital in less than a decade, aided by multiple factors. These include free’ birthing facilities and financial incentives offered by government schemes, idiosyncratic changes within the hamlet, such as the introduction of biomedical practices through home births where oxytocin was used, and changes in cultural belief systems among local people. The exploration reveals significant transitions between (and fluidities of) categories such as local/​global, tradition/​modernity, past/​present and nature/​technology, creating a complex and ambivalent narrative of change, in which the voices of mothers should not be ignored.

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    • CSE Rahul paari42 July2021
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      Abstract

      Using two rounds of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) covering the periods 2017 – 18 and 2018 – 19, we construct a panel of urban Indian individuals aged 15 to 65, and analyse the dynamics of their participation – or non-participation – in the labour force. We construct transition probabilities to study the movement of individuals through three distinct statuses — employment, unemployment and non-participation – at the aggregate level and for different demographic groups. We find evidence of considerable movements from the labour force to non-participation; there exists a significant discouraged worker effect as well as a pronounced movement from employment outside the labour force, specifically for women. A majority of those unemployed in the beginning of the year remain so at the end of the year, indicating the presence of long-term unemployment. The reduction in unemployment rates from 2017 – 18 to 2018 – 19 hides significant weaknesses in Indian urban labour markets. This study represents an original contribution to the field of Indian labour economics, given the paucity of large-scale studies of the dynamics of Indian labour.

      Authors:

      • Rahul Menon
      • Paaritosh Nath

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    • Article

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      • School of Policy & Governance

      Abstract

      A recent writ petition on renaming India as Bharat, which got dismissed by the Supreme Court, is discussed. There are political motives behind naming or renaming a place, but Hindustan, Bharat, and Hind — are all part of the package that is India.

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    • Building a Social Security Architecture for Informal Workers in India Finally
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        Abstract

        Social protection and social security have very limited coverage in India. This reality has not changed since independence, one of greatest failures of the development strategy India adopted in the early fifties. The labour force is predominantly unorganized. As much as 91 per cent of the labour force are in informal employment, i.e. without any social insurance we estimated from the NSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (2017−18) (Mehrotra and Parida, 2019). This is barely down 2 percentage points from 93% in 2011-12 (NSO’s 68th Round). In fact, regardless of the growth rate of GDP, this high share of informality in the workforce had not changed until 2012, and when it fell recently, it did so by merely 2 points. The rest 9 per cent of the workforce has varying levels of social security in the form of provident fund, paid leave, medical insurance and other benefits.

        Author:

        • Santosh Mehrotra

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      • ARA July2020
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          Abstract

          As the world goes through lock down and social distancing, it is easy to feel less and less a part of the whole and more and more a small, isolated part. But that does not make us or anybody else, any less a part of the whole and we need to realise that every part of the whole matters. 

          But are all the parts of the whole equal? If not, what can we do to redress the balance?

          Think mathematically!

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        • RA Issue 4 July 2019 English Cover Page
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            Abstract

            The July 2019 issue features Fractals on the cover — those distant and beautiful and highly mathematical creations have been brought a click away in our TechSpace section. Enjoy creating them and adding to your repertoire. We also take you through the magical tour of the beauty of mathematics starting with an article on Pentagons. Pi enters the ClassRoom section and the primary has plenty of learning — have fun joining the dots and exploring geometrical figures with different lenses. Students share their mathematical findings in two exciting articles. Our pedagogy article helps you to Understand Learners’ Thinking. And the Middle School problem corner is a Do_​It_​Yourself hands on problem solving section. The PullOut is on Ratio. 

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          • Mehrotra Gendered Labour Market July 2019
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              Abstract

              Globally, research has shown that, there is a high correlation between the level of per capita income and the rate of female labour force participation. At the same time the agency and autonomy of women in a country improve with the level of female labour force participation.

              Authors:

              • Santosh Mehrotra

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            • Magazine

              At Right Angles | July 2018

              in Azim Premji University

              RA Vol 7 Issue 2 July 2018 English Cover Page
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                Abstract

                Volume 7 Issue 2: And it’s out! Most of you would have already received your copy of the July issue of At Right Angles, here’s the official announcement and the link with the welcome news that AtRiA is finally a whole school math resource! The shift all the way to Primary is marked with several new sub-sections in ClassRoom: from Sense-Making in Mathematics – the cover says it all- to TearOut- where all a busy teacher has to do is to tear out a ready made worksheet – complete with facilitator notes- and use it to challenge students to think in fun mathematical ways. As always, PullOut shares strategies and tips on a specific theme, this time we continue our series on Algebra.

                And to top it all, we have not one but two students contributing articles to the Features section, no less! Enjoy a great read!

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              • Pathshala Issue 1 July 2018 Cover Page
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                  Abstract

                  पाठशाला भीतर और बाहर का यह पहला अंक है। इस अंक में कक्षा और शिक्षकों से जुड़े विभिन्न विषयों पर कई लेख केन्द्रित हैं जो इनसे जुड़ी चिंताएँ और सवाल उठाते हैं। क्या कक्षा में सीसीटीवी कैमरों का उपयोग करना उचित है; क्या शिक्षक पेशेवर है और पेशेवर शब्द का मायने क्या है, जैसे सवाल इसमें शामिल हैं। अन्य लेख जिन मुद्दों से सम्बन्धित हैं, वे हैं- बोर्ड परीक्षाओं के प्रति हमारा दृष्टिकोण क्या होना चाहिए; हमें पर्यावरण अध्ययन की कक्षा में बातचीत कैसे शुरू करनी चाहिए; बच्चों की उच्चारण सम्बन्धी गलतियों पर प्रतिक्रिया कैसे देनी चाहिए; क्या एक अच्छी कक्षा’ गणित की सफ़ल कक्षा’ भी हो सकती है? आदि।

                  The first issue of Pathshala ..” covers matters of classroom and teachers through many articles and raises a few areas of concern and questions. This includes appropriateness or otherwise of using CCTV cameras in classrooms, whether the teacher is a professional and what does the word professional mean. Other articles deal with what should be our attitude to board examinations, how should we begin to have a dialogue in an environmental studies class, how should we react to pronunciation mistakes of children and whether a mathematics class perceived to be good’ is also a useful learning class.

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                • WIP7
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                    Abstract

                    This working paper will focus on conceptualising why informal labour continues to persist in the Indian economy. More specifically, it will try to theorise why, despite generating growth, informal labour has been locked in unequal and exploitative terms of contracts. Crucially, it will try to understand why informal labour processes do not evolve mechanisms for providing security and support to labour in the form of benefits and rights. In this paper, I will focus specifically on highly exploitative and unequal informal labour processes. I categorise under this category those labour processes that do not provide a mechanism to reproduce labour power. These processes are predicated on maximising the appropriation of surplus from labour, without providing any provision to support the workers in ill health, facing work related accidents and injuries, or due to retrenchment. While informal labour is defined as labour without legal rights or contracts, I specifically focus on those processes where there do not exist any norms or mechanisms of providing security to labour within the production process. Hence, I refer to these processes as highly exploitative and unequal labour processes. This paper will be structured in the following manner. Firstly, it will introduce the concept of labour process and argue that highly exploitative informal labour processes in India broadly fall into two distinct labour processes namely: informal coercive accumulation process and petty commodity production. It will then derive concepts from the Paris Regulation School to modify the labour process framework. It will then describe concrete case studies conducted by other researchers, to demonstrate that this framework can be utilised to make sense of field work based research on the informal sector. Lastly, I will assess the questions posed in this paper based on the derived framework and will argue that informality is connected to the nature of capitalist development in India.

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                  • Magazine

                    Learning Curve Issue 3

                    in Azim Premji University

                    LC Issue 3 July 2004 Cover Page
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                      Abstract

                      In this issue of the Learning Curve, the utility of researches in the development sector is discussed along with the outcomes of two such research studies, namely, Factors differentiating the successful schools from others in the Learning Guarantee Program’ and Impact of Computer Aided Learning on Learning Achievements’.

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