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Gender and Science

A narrative of the struggles that a woman has to go through in order to establish herself in an area of research dominated by men and by ideas rooted in patriarchy shows how the mathematical playing field is skewed against women. Not only do they have to struggle much more than their male counterparts, but women mathematicians who have made important contributions are still not given their due. The problems that women in the natural sciences face and the possible ways in which these can be addressed in order to create a more equitable work atmosphere in science research institutions and universities is discussed.

The Production of Science

The discourse on gender and science in India remains largely oblivious of the ways in which caste and class shape the gender experience of those who do science, and operate with gender to shape the project of science itself. There are many ways in which science and the process of producing it are gendered and bear caste that are detrimental to the very project of doing “good” science in India. A collaboration between three scientists with differing caste, gender and nationality locations— one addresses the issue as a Scheduled Tribe student from one of the states in North East India, another addresses the structures of caste and gender as a Scheduled Caste student from Hyderabad, and a third addresses the same as a dominant caste genderqueer transgender professor—their experiences of science are shaped in multiple contexts in this article.

Leaving Labour?

This article surveys recent development in Indian employment relations, broadly defined, from the perspective of a visiting British academic. The author finds traditional academic industrial relations, centred on trade unions and collective bargaining, in decline as globalisation, the new economy and the expansion of business schools and disciplines reshape the study of Indian work and employment. The article discusses the emergence of human resource management as a potentially managerial and individualist alternative to critical, labour-sympathetic intellectual traditions. The author discerns hope for the future in the strong Indian traditions of labour history and labour economics, while stressing the need for a strong critical, empirical sociology of work that can establish what the new Indian workplace(s) are really like.

Urban Planning and Violence

This paper argues that exclusion and violence are imprinted on the social and spatial fabric of cities and neighbourhoods, and that social and political divides are often manifest in the control and policing of public space. Urban violence has many drivers and manifestations. However, the challenge is how to retrofit cities once violence takes hold, and to examine whether urban planning has a role in recovery. Can urban planning breed a new transparency and confidence that breaks embedded exclusionary urban management practices, and create new spaces of engagement, or is urban planning a root cause of the problems?

Colonising the Slum

Significant continuities and critical shifts in the forms, intensity, sources and instruments of violence have taken place since the 1990s when a number of changes were brought about in land markets of Mumbai. This paper views the impact of these shifts and the violence/s embedded therein along the state–market axis. Intense everyday violence enhances insecurity among residents, women and young girls in particular in highly complex ways. However, far from being passive victims of this violence/s they are engaged in highly creative struggles to confront the multi-institutional injustices experienced by them.

The Violence of Worlding

Over the last two decades, the state-led production of space, as part of worlding cities, has introduced new structural violences into the lives of poor groups in Durban, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro, and has met with resistance. Three main mechanisms have been adopted to produce space—infrastructure and mega-projects, redevelopment, and creating exception regimes for “slums.” The nature of the state that enacts structural violence through worlding processes is simultaneously “strong” and “weak.” It is strong in its bid to open up new spaces for capital accumulation that integrate specific economic circuits, classes and groups “globally,” while weak in its responsibility to protect and strengthen the life chances and claims of poor groups/spaces.

Ecology vs Housing and the Land Rights Movement in Guwahati

Selective state interventions to mitigate natural disasters such as floods, the compulsions under which the urban poor inhabit ecologically marginal lands and in the case of Guwahati, the “encroachments” on wetlands and hills, have set the stage for conflict about housing rights, especially for those without legal land tenure. The “encroachments” of the poor are delegitimised and they become victims of eviction drives while encroachments by the state and the middle- and high-income classes on ecologically vulnerable areas are legitimised. In Guwahati, this has led to a cycle of violence and counter-violence. This paper sets this sequence of events against the historically contested land rights issue in a city with limited habitable land due to its natural ecology.

Water and Conflict in Bombay Hotel, Ahmedabad

The causes, conditions and consequences of poor water access in Bombay Hotel locality, a predominantly Muslim informal settlement located in Ahmedabad’s southern periphery, are studied through the lens of urban violence and conflict. This is done by tracing the dynamics of urban planning and governance that have produced two interlinked types of infrastructural violence in the locality—municipal water denial and violent articulations of infrastructure by informal water providers—and the experiences of everyday conflict and violence that emerge in residents’ lives as a consequence. How conflicts and violence shape residents’ attempts to negotiate and attain better water access are also discussed.

Resistance and Its Limits

Lyari, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Karachi, has been the site of ongoing violence for most of the past two decades. This paper explores the impacts of the ongoing conflict involving criminal gangs, political parties and state security forces. Residents have adopted tactics and strategies ranging from negotiation to active resistance in response to the varied forms of everyday violence. Specifically focusing on street protests between 2012 and 2014, it evaluates the possibilities and limitations of protest in the context of urban violence. More broadly, it argues that studies of urban violence need to move away from viewing the urban poor as exclusively clientelistic or insurgent. It argues that acts of resistance in the form of protest are constrained, determined by, and productive of particular configurations of power.

‘Do Only Girls Suffer? We Too!’

Research in India has been oriented towards understanding the causes and consequences of early marriage on girls, while ignoring the condition of “child grooms.” There are many “hotspots” in India, where early marriage of boys is an accepted norm. Using available evidence from national surveys and qualitative data collected from Shrawasti district of Uttar Pradesh, attempts are made to understand the reasons behind the early marriage of boys and the difficulties faced by these young men who are forced into marriage. In such regions, raising the age at marriage for boys will automatically raise the age at marriage for girls. If we have to address the problem of “child brides,” we can no longer ignore the presence of “child grooms.”

Making Smallholder Farming Climate-smart

Climate change is accompanied by increasing weather uncertainty. Farmers, especially smallholder farmers, need advance warning of emergent weather conditions at a local level. Mobile telecommunication systems are increasingly cost-effective and an efficient way of delivering weather-based agro-advisories to farmers at a large scale. Agrometeorological services facilitate flexible, weather-based agriculture planning and help build evidence and capacities of communities, technical and developmental agencies to plan and implement climate-adaptive responses. The relevance and innovativeness of multi-institutional collaboration lies in the institutional, technical and pedagogical strategy adopted which offers important lessons on how agrometeorological services can be organised to make smallholder farming climate-resilient on a larger scale.

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