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The Centre for Development Practice and Research is a Patna-based independent centre of TISS, Mumbai. Established on 6th March 2016, the Centre has been actively pursuing research, short-term courses, lectures, seminars and conferences, publications and student mentorship.
PRIORITY RESEARCH AREAS
The centre's priority research areas include migration and labour studies, justice, and school education. The research carried at the Centre is multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary in nature. The Centre also intends to promote research both in vernacular and English languages.
A Five-year Research Programme on Migration: The idea behind this long-term research programme is to contribute to developing new frameworks of analysis and introducing methodological innovations. Priority has been given to study the relationship between migration and the land question, impact of Green Revolution, the issues related to identity formation, urbanization and labour processes, popular movements, refugeehood and citizenship, child labour, environment, forced migration, public policy, and histories and cultural significance of migration in the modern age.
In 2019, the Centre's faculty formulated a collective research programme on “Rural Labour Markets, Small Town Mobilities and Migration”, under which empirical research is being taken in the two clusters of rural labour markets and small-town mobilities. The Centre faculty is also engaged in developing an overview paper on labour and migration in Bihar.
Orientation Course on Migration: The Centre offers a certificate course on migration for postgraduate students, research scholars, and young faculty from India and other SAARC countries. This is an annual course of two and a half months for research scholars and young college/university faculty from all over the country. The third course was completed in February 2019. The course is in high demand, as is evident from the large number of applications received. The faculty of the third orientation course came from TISS Patna Centre, TISS Mumbai and Hyderabad campuses, ILO South Asia Office, National law School of India University (Bangalore), Calcutta University, Ambedkar University Delhi, International Institute of Population Sciences, and Indian School of Development Management.
Lecture Series on Migration: The Centre started a lecture series on migration in July 2016. So far, the Centre has organised 16 lectures on migration.
Lecture Series on Justice: The Centre started a lecture series on justice in September 2017 to explore the themes related to the notion of justice and injustice in India's present context. So far, five lectures have been organised.
Lecture Series on Dialoguing between the Posts: In 2018, the Centre started a lecture series on ‘dialoguing between the postcolonial and postsocialist conditions. Dr Kasia Narkovicz delivered the first lecture of York University, the second lecture on 30th September 2018 by Prof. Madina Tlostanova of Linköping University, Sweden, and the third lecture on 29th Nov. 2019 by Prof. Aditya Nigam of Centre for the Study of Developing Countries (CSDS), Delhi.
Hetukar Jha Memorial Annual Lecture: In February 2018, the Centre started an annual lecture in the memory of renowned sociologist Prof. Hetukar Jha, who was closely associated with the TISS Patna Centre. The first memorial lecture was delivered by Prof. Ratneshwar Mishra and the second by Prof. Savyasaachi on 17th February 2019, and the second lecture by Prof. Savyasaachi on 17th Feb. 2019.
TISS-Takshila Annual Lecture on Contemporary Challenges to India’s Democracy: The Centre has initiated TISS-Takshila Annual Lecture on Contemporary Challenges to India’s Democracy. The first lecture was delivered by Shri Gopal Krishna Gandhi, eminent thinker, scholar and former diplomat, on February 10, 2019.
Field Action Project: A four-year field action project on “Deepening Democracy through Gram Panchayats” was launched in mid-August in Mian-Ke-Bhatkan Gram Panchayat in the Jiradei block of Siwan district of Bihar. This is a large Panchayat consisting of seven revenue villages inhabited by various castes and tribes and people from both the Hindu and Islamic faith.
The project aims at strengthening the representation, participation and capacities of the functionaries of the Gram Panchayat. The interventions include twin components of research and action. The initial phase has emphasised ethnography to develop a deep understanding of the socio-economic, political and cultural realities of the people. The team has documented ethnographic accounts in the form of stories and plans to bring out a series of thematically organised volumes in a series “Gaon Ke Dastavej”. The first volume under preparation focuses on political institutions and village politics – Gram Sabha and Ward Sabhas, Gram Kachahari, local politics, Gram Panchayat functionaries such as Mukhiya, Sarpanch, Ward Members, Panchayat officials, etc. The Centre has published three working papers from the ethnographies coming out of the project.
National and International Conferences: The Centre has organised three national conferences and one international conference so far. The Centre plans to organise a series of conferences in 2019.
Mentoring Young Researchers in Social Sciences: The Centre has undertaken an initiative to mentor young researchers in social science research. Under the programme, 10 researchers have been selected to undergo a series of workshops on research. Two workshops have been conducted so far. The inception workshop was conducted on November 19 and 20, 2018 and the second workshop was conducted on January 28, 2019. Each researcher is assigned a faculty for regular consultation.
MoU between TISS Patna Centre and Patna University: The Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Vice-Chancellor of Patna University signed an MoU on 30th September 2018 for a collaborative five-year project entitled “The City, the River and Migration: A Research Project on Patna and Ganga”. On behalf of TISS, its Patna Centre and Patna University's three departments – English, Geography and History – will participate in this collaboration. The key deliverables of the project, inter alia, are a three-credit choice-based course on “The City, The River and Migration” to be offered by each of the participating departments of Patna University with support from TISS Patna Centre, digitalization of existing documents/records available with Patna University which are relevant for the project, jointly organizing research methodology courses and seminars/conferences, and publications.
Publications: The Centre has launched print as well as the online edition of two occasional paper series – Public Arguments in English and Sarvajanik Bahas in Hindi. So far, twelve papers have been published in English and two in Hindi under the respective series. A Working Paper Series has also been started. Nine working papers have already been published. The papers are downloadable from the TISS Website.
Journal of Migration Affairs: In September 2018, the Centre launched its online bi-annual journal, entitled “Journal of Migration Affairs”. The second issue was published in March 2019. This is a unique journal of its kind in the country which is focused on internal migration. This will be developed as a double-blind peer-reviewed journal. The journal can be accessed from its website: www.migration-affairs.org.
Series on "Migrations in South Asia": The Centre has signed a contract with the Routledge for a series on “Migrations in South Asia”. Ten volumes, edited and authored, are envisaged under the Series.
Publications by Faculty: The centre's faculty have published papers in peer-reviewed journals and contributed papers in edited volumes. Some of them have also written in popular magazines and newspapers.
Digital Archive on Migration: The Centre aspires building a digital archive on labour migration. It will be a repository of documents related to the trends of labour migration in Bihar from the mid-nineteenth century to contemporary times. Official records from different archives in Bihar and within and outside the country, records held by trade unions, erstwhile estates, old libraries, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, old newspapers, and private papers of individuals will be digitalised. Besides, the project aims at creating oral testimonies to enrich the historical material.
Short-term Courses on Migration for Practitioners: The TISS Patna Centre imparted training on “Labour Migration and Mitigation Strategies” for ActionAid India Society and Labour Resources Department, Government of Bihar from August 9 to 13, 2018. This five-day training programme was attended by the Labour Enforcement Officers (LEOs) of the Department, and field functionaries of ActionAid posted in the district of Gaya where ActionAid, in collaboration with the Labour Resources Department, has initiated a pilot project aimed at protection of the rights and entitlements of the migrants. ActionAid is engaged in intensive work for supporting the migrants at the source end by strengthening local institutions and mechanisms under this project. Further, the Centre’s faculty also anchored the Inter-departmental Project Inception workshop at Gaya on September 24, 2018.
RTE Forum, CSD and TISS Patna Centre: The Centre collaborated with Right to Education Forum and Council for Social Development, New Delhi, to organize on 6th August 2018, a consultation on “Baseline Survey of Out of School Children: Focusing on Girls in Bihar”.
Research Internship: In 2018, the Centre hosted student interns from various universities. A total number of 14 students did a one-month internship with TISS Patna Centre. These students belonged to TISS Tuljapur and Mumbai campuses, Banaras Hindu University, Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Patna University, D.A.V. College, Siwan, IIT Guwahati and NIT Rourkela. The interns did work on four projects, viz., “Logistical Operations and Labour Processes in Transport Nagar, Patna”, “Understanding the Dynamics of Labour Chowk in Patna”, “Parent’s Preference for Private Schooling - A Case Study of Miya-Ke-Bhatkan Village, Siwan District, Bihar”, “digital Archive on Migration”, “Profile of households from which at least one person has migrated to Gulf countries in last one year” and “Health and health care profile of Mian-ke-Bhatkan Panchayat, Siwan district, Bihar”.
Research Fellowship: In 2016, the Centre started a fellowship programme under which five researchers of the Centre worked on diverse themes like labour migration and logistics of Bihar-Nepal border; women in the absence of male out-migrants; caste practices among Muslims; gender issues in residential schools for girls; and fringe lives in a slum of Patna.
Research in 2017-18: During this period, the Centre concluded research on logistical labour on Bihar-Nepal border; migration and the questions of urban transformation in Patna; the impact of male outflow on women in rural Bihar; flood and migration in the Kosi region; and agrarian transition and migration. The research output – a paper on each of the themes - was put through academic scrutiny by inviting discussants to comment on the papers. Some of the papers also got published.
Symposiums and Conferences on Migration and Labour (2017-18): The Centre has organised one symposium, two national conferences and one international conference. The titles of the symposium and conferences were as follows:
i. Exploring New Grounds of Studying Bihar (Feb. 2017)
ii. Cultural Practices of Labour in Migration (April 2018)
iii. Multiple Contexts of Migration – Multitude of Migrants (May 2018)
iv. The Migrant and the State: From Colonialism to Neoliberalism (Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2018)
Knowledge Partnership with the Department of Labour Resources and ILO: The Centre acted as a knowledge partner for a consultation in October 2017 on migrant labour from Bihar organised by the Department of Labour Resources, Government of Bihar and ILO, New Delhi. For the consultation, the Centre, in collaboration with the Aajeevika Bureau, prepared a policy document for consideration of the policymakers.
Academic Writing Workshop: In December 2016, with the support from the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development and the Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, the Centre organised an academic writing workshop for PhD Scholars belonging to the SC and ST community registered with universities in Bihar.
One Day Workshop of Elected Women Representatives of Patna Municipal Corporation: In February 2017, the Centre, in collaboration with a local NGO, NIDAN, organised a one-day workshop of the elected representative of the Patna Municipal Corporation on “Challenges and Opportunities for Elected Women Representatives in Urban Local Bodies”.
Scoping Mission on the Correlates of Decline in Early Marriage of Girls in Bihar: The Centre undertook the scoping mission at UNICEF Bihar's request. While trying to identify drivers of change, the report of the mission presented an outline of a larger study to understand the phenomenon.
Preparation of Reference Material for Gram Panchayat Functionaries: During 2016 and 2017, the Centre made a major contribution by completing a large project for the Department of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, by preparing a set of 20 booklets, both in Hindi and English, which are self-study material for functionaries, both elected representatives as well as officials of the Gram Panchayat. UNICEF funded the project. The Union Minister of Panchayati Raj released the booklets during Panchayati Raj Ministers' national conference in Bhopal in 2017. The booklets have received high appreciation from the Central and state governments.
Other Activities: In 2016 and 2017, the Centre organised two lectures – one by Dr Vishnu Bisram from the Indian Diaspora Council, New York on 100 years of the abolition of indentured labour in 2017 and another by Dr Manisha Priyam of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration on primary education in Bihar. The Centre collaborated with ASSERT, a research organisation of psychologists, to organise a research methodology workshop for the BA (Hons.) students of the Psychology Department of the Patna Women’s College (Patna University). Besides, the Centre's faculty have delivered invited lectures, chaired sessions, participated in discussion panels and Committees of academic institutions, civil society organisations and government bodies. The Chairperson of the Patna Centre has served in the University Advisory Committee of the Chancellor of the universities of Bihar. In 2016, the Centre also assisted the Chairperson of the State Assembly to revive the Bihar Chapter of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Forum by anchoring the first meeting of the elected representatives of the state legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council and also organising an interface between the Forum and the civil society.
The centre has jointly organised programmes with the History Department and English Department, Patna University; Jagjivan Ram Institute of Parliamentary Studies and Political Research; A. N. College and College of Commerce, both Patliputra University; Law College, Patna University; Department of Labour Resources, Government of Bihar; International Labour Organisation (ILO), New Delhi; UNICEF Bihar Field Office; Aajeevika Bureau, Udaipur; Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, Bihar; Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur; Kedar Das Institute for Labour and Social Studies, Patna; Chanakya National Law University, Patna; and Takshila Educational Society, New Delhi. New collaborations are being discussed with other universities in India and abroad.
PARTNERS AND DONORS
The core funding of the Centre is provided by the Takshila Educational Society, New Delhi. Project fundings have come from UNICEF (PPE Division, New Delhi and Bihar Field Office) and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
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