Publications & Resources

Explore key scholarship, reports, resources and work from our community. 

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.

  • Lakes Reservoirs 2022 Issue Information Page 1
    Published
    Authors

    Abstract

    The present study analyses civic and community-based initiatives in conserving urban ecological commons in India, which have been increasingly polluted, encroached upon and degraded because of rapid land-use transformations. Bangalore, a city in south India, has one of the largest networks of manmade lakes, some of which are restored and managed by citizen groups, civil society, environmental activists and voluntary private bodies. The restoration process interfaces with urban policy making, shaping predominant management agendas in association with the State. Community initiatives in conserving the lakes are not only well-organised, but also play a crucial role in making city commons vibrant and integral nodes of cultural and social identification. However, the contemporary management system involving citizen groups in lake conservation is largely at odds with the tradition of community-managed lake systems previously existing in the city, which have eroded as the city became industrialised and increased in size and population, resulting in rapid landscape transformations. Against this background, the present study aims to illustrate that a seemingly representative community management of city ecologies is often embedded in an overwhelming political context. It also discusses the need for an urgent deconstruction to better understand how overtly flexible and dynamic restoration actions interact with inequality, power and conflicts. The results of the present study emphasise that the current participatory and community-driven initiatives of ecological restoration in Indian cities unfortunately accord limited significance to the overarching questions of social justice and relations of power.

    More →

  • Magazine

    Learning Curve Issue 14

    in Azim Premji University

    LC Issue 14 Cover
    Published
    Authors

      Abstract

      This issue is about a term that is very much in the minds of educators today: Socio-emotional Learning (SEL), and which has become an integral part of learning and school life. Schools have Happiness Curriculums’ to develop self-awareness, enable effective communication, and work collaboratively towards collective goals instead of individual ones to bring equity to the learning process by becoming inclusive and empathetic. Teachers are looking at children as citizens who need to take their place in the larger social setting and learn to contribute to society while themselves leading meaningful and mindful lives.

      More →

    • Article

      Published
      Authors

      Abstract

      Batesian mimicry imposes several challenges to mimics and evokes adaptations in multiple sensory modalities. Myrmecomorphy, morphological and behavioral resemblance to ants, is seen in over 2000 arthropod species. Ant-like resemblance is observed in at least 13 spider families despite spiders having a distinct body plan compared to ants. Quantifying the extent to which spiders’ shape, size, and behavior resemble model ants will allow us to comprehend the evolutionary pressures that have facilitated myrmecomorphy. Myrmaplata plataleoides are thought to closely resemble weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina. In this study, we quantify the speed of movement of model, mimic, and non-mimetic jumping spiders. We use traditional and geometric morphometrics to quantify traits such as foreleg size and hindleg size, body shape between the model ant, mimic, and non-mimics. Our results suggest that while the mimics closely resemble the model ants in speed of movement, they occupy an intermediate morphological space compared to the model ants and non-mimics. Ant-mimicking spiders are better at mimicking ants’ locomotory movement than morphology and overall body shape. Some traits may compensate others, suggesting differential selection on these mimetic traits. Our study provides a framework to understand the multimodal nature of mimicry and helps discern the relative contributions of such traits that drive mimetic accuracy in ant-mimicking spiders.

      More →

    • WPS Issue 25 cover
      Published
      Authors
      • School of Development

      Abstract

      In a homogenised imagination of human aspirations, development interventions replicate popular models, including intensive farming in Adivasi landscapes. In the process, they try to sedentarise and individualise Adivasi communities living in the forest peripheries. Even as modernisation remains an elusive target in most of the tribal belts, ethnic socio-ecological institutions become redundant, leaving the community deskilled — ecologically, socially, and economically. Adivasi’s concerns about this conventional development process entailing detribalisation are seldom deliberated in literature and among the community. 

      More →

    • Pathshala Issue 13 Cover
      Published
      Authors

        Abstract

        The 13th issue of Pathshala Bheetar aur Baahar carries many articles on classroom experiences of teaching language and mathematics. It carries a dialogue among educators on the after effects, programs initiated for and lessons for education arising from the COVID episode. There are articles that reflect on diversity of children and in particular an article on children of forest areas points out that in spite of difficulties in finding time for school, they have a lot of confidence and competence in EVS and even in Mathematics. Another interesting piece is on Science, Scientific temper and Science education which brings out the seriousness of the challenge we face.

        More →

      • CSE working paper 49
        Published
        Authors

        Abstract

        We investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on income levels, poverty, and inequality in both the immediate aftermath and during the long uneven recovery till December 2021 using high-frequency household survey data from India. We find that the average all-India household income dropped between 30 to 38 percent during the months of the nationwide lockdown of April and May 2020. The subsequent recovery remained incomplete and was unevenly spread over the population even twenty-one months after the start of the pandemic. Households, on average, continued to make 16 to 19 percent lower cumulative income in the post-lockdown period, but have mostly recovered after the second wave in the second half of 2021. Poverty more than doubled during the lockdown and was 50 to 80 percent higher in the post-lockdown period in comparison to the pre-pandemic levels. In the post-second-wave phase, poverty was still slightly higher than in the pre-pandemic period, and any progress in poverty reduction that would have been achieved under normal circumstances over the two years was lost. Inequality too spiked during the lockdown, but returned back to the pre-pandemic levels. Using an event study model we find that the initial shock of the lockdown was more severe for the bottom of the income distribution, but the bottom also experienced a faster recovery. On the other hand, the top end of the distribution experienced smaller declines during the lockdown but they have been slow to recover. The bottom deciles in any period typically constituted households working in contact-intensive, informal, less secure occupations that were hit the hardest during the lockdown, but were quick to recover when the economy opened up. The upper end of the distribution constituted households working in less contact-intensive, formal, secure occupations that were shielded from the sudden shock but were slow to recover.

        More →

      • Magazine

        Learning Curve Issue 13

        in Azim Premji University

        LC Issue 13 Cover page
        Published
        Authors

          Abstract

          This issue of the Learning Curve tries to answer some hard questions about the present environmental crisis : who can we turn to make the changes required? How can we attempt to restore some of the lost balance? How can we make sure that this planet does not become extinct by the next millennium? Schools across the country are doing their bit, beginning with primary school, to create a well-informed, environmentally-aware generation. 

          More →

        • Article

          Published
          Authors

          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.

          More →

        • Article

          Published
          Authors

          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.

          More →

        • Article

          Published
          Authors

          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.

          More →

        • Article

          Published
          Authors

          Abstract

          Increasing community and parental connection with schools is a widely advocated means of improving levels of student learning and the quality and accountability of education systems across South Asia. This paper draws on a mixed-methods study of accountability relations in education in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Bihar. It explores two questions: what formal platforms exist to enhance connections between socially disadvantaged families and the schools serving them; and (how) do they influence engagement with student learning? It finds that various platforms have proliferated across public, low-cost private and non-government schools. But, while they promote enrolment attendance and monitoring, a substantive focus on student learning is empirically demonstrated to be missing everywhere. The paper argues that an apparently surprising similarity of (dis)connection is located in system features that are common across school types, locations and social structures. It proposes that this is a field’ in which connection, facilitated by various platforms, is performed according to bureaucratised norms of accountability that even pervade family and community responses. Seeing this as a socially constituted field’ that constrains meaningful discussion of learning across schooling provision for disadvantaged families contribute new insight for accountability-focused reforms in education.

          More →

        • Chapter in a Book

          Published
          Authors

          Abstract

          This chapter discusses collective and multiactor interventions by local communities in Bengaluru, in conserving urban ecological commons — specifically, urban lakes — which provides a range of services to residents, as well as protecting the overall resilience of the city. Bengaluru, which once had an agrarian ecological landscape nourished by a large network of interconnected rainwater harvesting structures — tanks or lakes, has now grown to a megacity. Rapid urbanization has been accompanied by conversion of many of these lakes into other forms of land use, with a decline in the functioning of lakes and their surrounding reliant socio-ecological systems. With the import of piped water to the city since the early 20th century, lakes lost much of their perceived relevance for policymakers. Waste discharge and sewage eventually polluted most of the lakes and choked the overflow channels that connected lakes along a topographic gradient, reducing the flow of water. In recent years, spurred by a resurgent awareness of the importance of lakes, a growing number of civic and community efforts have resulted in lake restoration, in collaboration with the Government.

          More →

        • Pathshala Issue 12 Cover
          Published
          Authors

            Abstract

            The June 22 Issue of Pathshala carries interesting articles on pedagogy and classroom experiences. They bring out contemporary challenges and ways to overcome them. The Samwad is also focused around the post corona challenges and way forward. Apart from perspective articles dealing with inclusion and participation involving caste and language diversity, the teacher interview brings out the rich life experience of a teacher who traces her journey, joys, challenges and learnings. 

            More →

          • Magazine

            i wonder… Issue 8

            in Azim Premji University

            I wonder Issue 8 June 2022
            Published
            Authors

              Abstract

              What role do chemical experiences’ play in helping children grasp the particulate nature of matter and use this idea to explain observed phenomena?

              How do we use the art and aesthetics of lithography to introduce children to chemical reactions? What skills would children learn from this multisensorial and fun approach to science? 

              Why is it important for teachers to trace the history of evolving definitions of elements and atoms, and communicate the conditional nature of their validity? 

              Can we use poetry to teach chemistry? How would it change the ways in which students engage with science? 

              Join us in exploring these questions in three sections of our latest issue – Our Chemical World, I am a Scientist, and Snippets. 

              More →

            • CSE working paper 47 full Page 01
              Published
              Authors

              Abstract

              Drawing on results from a panel of 2778 workers interviewed during and after the 68-day hard lockdown imposed in India, the following study examines the livelihood impact of the pandemic and the extent of subsequent recovery or lack thereof. Focussing specifically on workers located in the informal economy, the study is a useful addition to the burgeoning body of work on the economic impacts of Covid-19 by providing an insight into the employment and earnings recovery of those located at the margins. These findings are spliced across socio-economic groups to showcase the differential impact of the pandemic on different demographics within the informal sector.

              More →

            • Article

              The Social Contract and India’s Right to Education

              in International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague; Wiley

              Article

              Published
              Authors

              Abstract

              India’s 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act presents an idealised social contract which assigns roles to multiple actors to uphold a mutual duty, or collective responsibility, to secure children’s access to a quality school education. This article explores how the social contract assumed by the RTE Act misrepresents the conditions required to enact mutual responsibilities as well as actors’ agreement to do so. Qualitative data from Bihar and Rajasthan show how state actors, parents, community groups and teachers negotiate and contest the RTE Act norms. The analysis illuminates the unequal conditions and ever-present politics of accountability relations in education. It problematises the idealisation of the social contract in education reform: it proposes that if the relations of power and domination through which contracts’ are entered into remain unaddressed, then expressions of mutual’ responsibility are unlikely to do other than reproduce injustice. It argues that policy discourses need to recognise and attend to the socially situated contingencies of accountability relations and that doing so would offer an alternative pathway toward addressing structural inequalities and their manifestations in education.

              More →

            • Issue 24 Cover
              Published
              Authors

              Abstract

              This case study is of India’s First Fully Solar Powered Village”2 — Dharnai. It is a case of the promises of and challenges facing the realisation of energy democracy” — the idea that distributed renewable energy systems have the potential to democratise the economy and society.

              More →

            • Magazine

              Learning Curve Issue 12

              in Azim Premji University

              LC Issue 12 Dec 2022 Cover
              Published
              Authors

                Abstract

                In the list of new teaching methods that teachers quickly thought of for online classes during the pandemic, the worksheet emerged as a learning aid that is creative, and participative, making children want to use their minds more independently. This issue features articles that showcase tried and tested methods of creating and using worksheets.

                More →

              • Working Paper Series Issue 23 Cover
                Published
                Authors

                  Abstract

                  Constitutional measures to ensure fair compensation and livelihood security to the land losing refugees of development processes, overlook the complexity of public purpose’ — the dominant rationale behind operationalizing eminent domain’ of the state. Popular perception of public purpose as urbanization muffles the de facto social citizenship around plural values of agricultural landscapes. Ignoring the enduring public purposes served by agrarian landscapes aids in underestimating the longterm welfare impacts on displaced farmers.

                  More →

                • FPC 2022 Azim Premji University
                  Published
                  Authors

                  Abstract

                  This report examines the changes in the producer company landscape in the last two years by analysing data on producer companies registered in the country from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2021. The report examines changes in geographical spread and capitalization of producer companies in the last two years, in order to determine the extent to which the gaps in the previous promotion efforts have been addressed. It also analyses recent policies to understand their impact on the producer company ecosystem. The report identifies five focus areas to enable the sector to reach its full potential in enhancing the incomes and reducing the vulnerabilities of small producers.

                  More →

                • Issue 11 Cover
                  Published
                  Authors

                    Abstract

                    The March issue of Pathshala is focused on Teaching and Learning Mathematics. There are article exploring mathematics & culture, teaching mathematics in early years, fear of mathematics & origin, concrete material and developing mathematical thinking. As always you also have articles on different dimensions of school education.

                    More →

                  • Jha Basole PLFS CPHS Labour Incomes Page 01
                    Published
                    Authors

                    Abstract

                    The COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for high-frequency employment and income data to gauge the nature and extent of shock and recovery from month to month. Lack of such high frequency household-level data from official sources has forced researchers to rely almost entirely on the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS) conducted by the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE). Recently, the CPHS has been criticised for missing poor and vulnerable households in its sample. In this context, it becomes important to develop a detailed understanding of how comparable CPHS estimates are to other more familiar sources. We examine the comparability of monthly labour income estimates for the pre-pandemic year (201819) for CPHS and the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). Across different methods and assumptions, as well as rural/​urban locations, CPHS mean monthly labour earnings are anywhere between 5 percent to 50 percent higher than corresponding PLFS estimates. In addition to the sampling concerns raised in the literature, we point to differences in the way employment and income are captured in the two surveys as possible causes of these differences.
                    While CPHS estimates are always higher, it should also be emphasized that the two surveys agree on some stylised facts regarding the Indian workforce. An individual earning INR 50,000 per month lies in the top 5 percent of the income distribution in India as per both surveys. Second, both PLFS and CPHS show that half the Indian workforce earns below the recommended National Minimum Wage.

                    More →

                  • Article

                    Published
                    Authors

                    Abstract

                    Since the last few decades of the twentieth century, we have been witnessing a major push towards universalization of school education in the countries of the Global South, both from policy advocates and from the grassroots. This verve in societal aspirations and policy action is definitely encouraging. However, this dynamism should also inspire us to rethink and reimagine the aims and practices of education in a rapidly changing context. Education as an organized human enterprise is intimately linked to the broader aims of human wellbeing, good life and justice. The policies and practices of Education for all, therefore, aim to realize these ideals. This special issue of the Journal of Human Values explores the significance of the prevailing conceptualizations of wellbeing, a good life and justice on education theories, policies and practices in the Global South.

                    More →

                  • IB 17 6 Final Highres Page 01
                    Published
                    Authors

                    Abstract

                    During our frequent visits to the countryside of Solapur city, we observed an unusual behaviour in a pair of Indian Robins Copsychus fulicatus. It was a hot summer day in May 2021 and we noticed the pair collecting nest material such as grassroots, twigs, and hair. The nest was situated on a 1.5 m high mound of soil. To avoid disturbing them, we observed them from a distance of c. 9 m, with the help of 10x binoculars and 65x camera. The location of the nest was clearly visible — in a westward-facing hole, 1.4 m above the ground.

                    More →