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Sudarshan Iyengar

Dialogue Needed on Sardar Sarovar

The following is an Open Letter to Uma Bharti, Minister for Water Resources, Government of India:

We the undersigned believe that the recent decision of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam by 16.76 metres (m) taking the height to the designed final height of 138.68 m within two weeks of oath by the new government is a hasty, unwise and disastrous decision.

Ethics in Social Sciences

To debate ethical considerations in current social research practices, to identify critical areas that require special attention in terms of ethical issues and to institutionalise mechanisms conducive to ethical concerns - these were the critical issues that were discussed during a national level consultation held in Surat in December 2005.

Environmental Damage to Land Resource

The main objective of collecting land use statistics in India has been to facilitate agricultural accounting. Rise in human and livestock population and development of modern agriculture have led to degradation of land and environment. If unchecked, the land resource may become increasingly less productive and may get irreversibly damaged. It is important therefore that a systematic data base is built to assess changes in land use and the type and extent of environmental damage to land resource. This paper describes the existing system for generating land use data and shows that it is not adequate to enable environmental assessment of land use. It makes a case for technological advancement and institutional changes to improve the land use data base in the country.

Role of Non-Governmental Organisations in Development of Gujarat

Gujarat has had a long tradition of voluntary work. The Gandhian influence in social reconstruction and the continuing philanthropic proclivity has helped to cover a large field of development activity in the state. This paper attempts a review of non-governmental development activity in the last 80 years with the focus on changes after the 1960s in the role and relevance of NGOs. What have been the development-related problems that Gujarati civic society is likely to confront in the 21st century and where do NGOs fit in?