Sunday, July 31, 2011

Financial Express article "Carbon for CBM Recovery"

Carbon for CBM Recovery
Coal resources that are too deep or thin for making can be targetted for carbon sequestration

by Malti Goel

Financial Express; Monday, July 25, 2011


Clean energy fuel is much in demand today. Natural gas has become a topic of debate as it is a clean and green fuel. It is mainly methane recovered from underground reservoirs and oil fields as associated gas. Combustion of natural gas gives rise to least emission pollution among fossil fuels.
Earlier, gas pipeline infrastructure did not exist and it was not possible to utilise the gas associated with oil. Long after technology has developed to separate natural gas produced from oilfields, efforts have begun in India to recover methane from coal beds. Coal bed methane is methane recovered from un-mineable coal beds. A large amount of methane gas gets associated with coal during coalification, some of it gets released during mining activity.
The CBM resource is estimated to be more than 1,000 trillion cubic metres. Coal mine methane (CMM), which is recovered from active mines, and abandoned mine methane (AMM) recovered upon closure of an active mine form additional resources. Several techniques have been put forward to recover methane stored in coal beds. First commercial CBM recovery was made by Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd (GEECL) in Raniganj coal fields, near Burnpur in West Bengal. A 70-km CBM pipeline has been laid for industry units in the coal belt. Success has been achieved in recovery of CMM. Coal India has ventured into CMM recovery in a big way.
At the same time, there are international concerns for carbon accumulation in the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels, mainly coal combustion, giving rise to global warming mitigation actions. Carbon capture & storage (CCS) is one such pathway to reduce emissions in the atmosphere. It is based on capturing carbon from its large point sources and safely storing it in underground reservoirs so that it is permanently removed from the atmosphere. CCS is considered significant for oil and gas industry for enhanced oil recovery. Worldwide, efforts have been made to test carbon sequestration for enhanced oil recovery from depleted oil fields. In the same way, un-mineable coal beds are considered for enhanced coal bed methane (ECBM) recovery.
In this process of carbon sequestration carbon dioxide molecules get attached to coal and the trapped methane molecule is released. Coal beds have absorption capacity for carbon dioxide which is three times that of methane. In unmineable coal beds or in an abandoned mine, carbon dioxide sequestration by pumping flue gas (containing carbon) from a power plant into coal seams under pressure is being considered a possibility. It is estimated that primary CBM recovers 20-40% gas of what is in place, while injection of carbon can lead to 70-90% recovery of gas. Theoretically, 7.1 billion tonnes of carbon stored can produce about two billion cubic meters of gas. This would certainly ease the energy situation.
Coal resources that are too deep or too thin for mining can be considered as a carbon sequestration target. Several medium-to-large scale field tests have been reported worldwide. San Juan field of the USA has shown a carbon:methane ratio of 3:1 i.e., three molecules of carbon would displace one molecule of methane.
India is coal rich country, third in resources and fifth in production. While a new thrust is mounted on harnessing renewable energy sources, dependence on coal continues to grow. The CCS research and capacity building efforts have begun. India has huge Gondwana resources mainly Permian – 99.5% and remaining Tertiary. A few institutions in India have carried out research in ECBM. Classification of potential coal beds has been done for carbon dioxide storage in unmineable coal beds, grey areas and concealed beds. According to their preliminary assessment, potential sites of carbon dioxide storage exist in several coal beds in unmineable coal beds and grey areas. The contribution of different absorption mechanisms and chemical parameters, however, remain poorly understood and field testing is yet to begin.
Even though limited field experience exists worldwide with ECBM, should not India consider tapping the existing ECBM potential? Questions like whether carbon dioxide will remain entrapped and for how long and what coal types are suitable need further investigation. More studies on geological, geo-morphological and physico-chemical studies of reservoirs and cap rocks are needed. Certainly, ECBM in unmineable coal beds can produce more fuel synergy with carbon sequestration. Moreover, its recovery is feasible at shallower depths as compared to shale gas, which requires cost-intensive deeper drilling technology coupled with horizontal cutting techniques. It would be relevant to make investment to test the efficacy of ECBM in coal fields simultaneously, as the capabilities in CBM recovery or in shale gas are being developed.

The writer is CSIR emeritus scientist at CSSP, JNU and former adviser of department of science and technology.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CfP:: National Workshop on "Women in Scientific Research - Examining the Challenges and Identifying their Needs" at NEHU, Shillong

National Workshop on "Women in Scientific Research - Examining the Challenges and Identifying their Needs"

21 October, 2011

Hosted by Department of Anthropology, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong

Catalyzed and Supported by National Council for Science & Technology Communication, DST, New Delhi

A National Workshop, on the theme "Women in Scientific Research – Examining the Challenges and Identifying their Needs" will be held at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong. The objective of the workshop is to comprehend and record the different situations most working women confront in day-to-day life. This in turn is expected to facilitate an understanding of the different challenges women scientists face in pursuing their professions and allow a discussion on the 'real' requirements of women scientists/ professionals in the contemporary age of liberalization and globalization.

Women participation in science in India is quite low, even though there is no apparent professional gender discrimination in our country. Therefore, efforts are being made to understand the challenges women scientists actually face and what their real needs are. This initiative, taken by the DST which is one of the principal sponsoring agencies for scientific research, may help concerned policy makers in formulating governing rules in such a way that women's practical needs are taken care of and the present and future women scientists of the country do not find it such an uphill task to pursue a career in scientific research. The challenges faced by women scientists are much the same as those faced by all working women, and it is hoped that this workshop on examination of challenges and identification of needs may help benefit all those women who aspire to have a meaningful professional career.

Participant may be any member of society who is (i) interested in the issue, (ii) social thinker, (iii) working woman, (iv) student, (v) research scholar, (vi) teacher, (vii) woman scientist, and/ or (viii) policy planner/ maker.
Women, who could not pursue their career (in any specialization or training) even after adequate education, are specially invited to participate and share their thoughts on this issue, which might help in providing useful solutions to this current global problem. The intention of the workshop is to also provide a platform for analysis, which may provide pathways for converting challenges into opportunities.

  • Analyzing why women do not opt for the profession of scientific research
  • Examining the challenges faced by women scientists/ women professionals
  • Social problems faced by working women
  • Impact of marriage on career and profession
  • Bringing up children – addressing the concerns of working mothers
  • Identifying the needs of women scientists
  • Women friendly scientific policies and programmes

§ Research-based/ thought-provoking/ experience-based papers on any of the issues given above.
§ Paper must be within a single-page in the format given.
§ Paper must contain (i) name (ii) designation (iii) address of participant, (iv) topic (chosen from list of sub-themes), (v) brief discussion of the topic according to one's own understanding of the issue with suggested solutions, wherever appropriate.
§ One participant may submit more than one papers, however each paper must be in context of only one particular sub-theme.
§ Some select papers will be chosen for oral presentation and all remaining accepted papers will be brought out for discussion during the workshop.
§ Accepted papers will be compiled and submitted to DST, New Delhi.

Deadline date for abstract submission: 15th September, 2011
Accepted abstract(s) will be informed: 30th September 2011
Deadline date for full paper submission: 14th October 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Call for Proposal: Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI)

Call for Proposal: Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI)

The University Grants Commission, India, announces an open competition for the "Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI)". The OSI, which is a joint initiative of Indo-US Government, aims and focuses on the formation of higher education partnerships between US Institutions and Institutions of Higher Learning in India. The said joint initiative also aims at the development and enrichment of junior faculty at Indian Institutions of Higher Learning. The Indian Institutions recognized u/s 2(f) and 12B of UGC Act, 1956 and Institutions of National Importance may submit their proposals with a view to encourage mutually understanding and economic development through education cooperation in the field of Higher Learning.

Program Overview
To encourage mutual understanding educational reform and economic development the OSI enables Indian Higher Education Institutions to pursue objectives through exchange visits of faculty, administrators, post graduate Indian students, and US graduate students who can demonstrate the ability to work independently.

Project Objectives
The proposals should explain in detail how the project will enable the participating institutions to achieve specific institutional changes that will support the goals of the OSI. The proposals should outline a series of activities for meeting specific objectives for each participating institution. The benefits of the project to each of the participating institutions may differ significantly in nature and scope based on their respective needs and resource bases.
Project objectives may include the development or revision of courses, curricula, and programs of study at participating institutions to support mutual understanding, educational reform and economic development. Particular areas of interest include Indian junior faculty development programs in respective fields. The proposals may outline the parameters and possible content of new courses; new teaching specializations or pedagogic methodologies; collaborative research; new or revised curricula; and new programs for outreach to educators, professional groups, or the general public. Proposals may also describe strategies to promote administrative reform through faculty or staff development.
In most cases a limited number of related thematic objectives at each institution will be more feasible to achieve than a larger number of unrelated objectives.
The following fields are eligible:
  • Energy Studies
  • Sustainable Development
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Studies
  • Education and Educational Reform
  • Community Development and Innovation

Eligible Institutions
The Universities/Institutions recognized under Section 2 (f) and 12 B of UGC Act are eligible to receive the grant.

Last date for the receipt of proposals is 1st November, 2011.

Call for Registration:: WIPO Distance Learning/ Online Courses on Intellectual Property Rights

DL-101 General Course on Intellectual Property
Summary: This course covers the main areas of intellectual property, namely copyright, related rights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial design, plant breeders' rights, unfair competition and international registration systems.
Tutored: Yes   Duration: 50 hours    Cost: Free of Charge   
Next Session:  October 1 to November 17, 2011 (Final exam: November 16 and 17)
Enrollment: July 1 to August 31, 2011
Advanced Courses
DL-201E Copyright and Related Rights
Summary: This advanced course covers the basic principles of international Copyright Law, international treaties, and recent developments and trends in the area of international copyright.  It also covers the role of WIPO in the worldwide protection of copyright.
Tutored: Yes   Duration: 100 hours   Cost: Fee-based
Next Session: Starting week of October 17, 2011
Enrollment: July 14 to August 14, 2011
DL-204E Biotechnology and Intellectual Property
Summary: This advanced course aims to illustrate how you can use the current IP system to protect and commercialize your biotechnological invention. After completing the study of this course, you should be able to develop a sound knowledge of the different legal instruments related to protection of your biotechnology invention and execute a strategy for commercializing your invention.
Tutored: Yes   Duration: 100 hours   Cost: Fee-based
Next Session: Starting week of October 24, 2011
Enrollment: July 14 to August 14, 2011

DL-302E Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications
Summary: This advanced course is intended to provide training material online to cover intellectual property aspects which are closely related to trade and competition in the globablized market.  Additionally, the course is intended to educate and raise awareness of some of the complex issues that surround the protection and management of intellectual property for branding.
Tutored: Yes   Duration: 100 hours   Cost: Fee-based
Next Session: Starting week of October 31, 2011
Enrollment: July 14 to August 14, 2011

DL-318E Patent Information Search
Summary: The intention of this distance learning course relating to patent information searching is to introduce you to, and illustrate the concepts, of searching patent information.
Tutored: Yes   Duration: 100 hours   Cost: Fee-based 
Next Session: Starting week of November 7, 2011
Enrollment: July 14 to August 14, 2011

DL-401E Managing Intellectual Property in the Book Publishing Industry
Summary: This course is intended to provide a basic guide to publishers who wish to increase their understanding of how to manage intellectual property (IP) rights in a business context. Based on conventional practices of publishing houses, it offers practical information to help publishers both to exploit IP rights as economic assets and to avoid infringing the rights of others. It focuses primarily on publishers of trade books. The concepts covered are equally relevant to publishers of other printed literature, such as textbooks, newspapers, magazines and corporate literature.
Tutored: Yes  Duration: 100 hours   Cost: Fee-based
Next Session: Starting week of November 7, 2011
Enrollment: July 14 to August 14, 2011

DL-450E Intellectual Property Management
Summary: The course, Intellectual Property Management, focuses on intellectual property from the perspective of 'why' and 'how' for participants who have already covered the basics of 'what' Intellectual Property is.  In the first three modules, it teaches about the economic significance of IP. Using management examples and established industry methodologies, it elaborates on IP asset identification, IP incubation, IP commercialization, IP valuation, and IP taxation. In the last three modules it offers an in-depth look at commercial activities in the digital area by looking at e-commerce and IP, digital management of creative works, and the strategic management of IP.
Tutored: Yes   Duration: 100 hours   Cost: Fee-based 
Next Session: Starting week of November 7, 2011
Enrollment: July 14 to August 14, 2011

CfP:: 3rd International Conference on Mobile Communication for Development (M4D2012), 28-29 Feb; Ghaziabad

3rd International Conference on Mobile Communication for Development (M4D2012)

28-29 February 2012

Ghaziabad, India

Institute of Management Studies (Ghaziabad, India) in cooperation with HumanIT (Karlstad University, Sweden) invite you to the 3rd International Conference on M4D - Mobile Communication for Development, following the inaugural conference in Karlstad, Sweden in 2008 and second conference in Kampala, Uganda. M4D2012 aims to provide a forum for researchers, practitioners and all those with interests in mobile communication for development. M4D2012 will combine two days of workshops, discussions, demos, plenary, paper and panel sessions. The conference activities will take place at a reputed hotel in the National Capital Region of Delhi and the campus of Institute of Management Studies, Ghaziabad.
Call for Papers
M4D2012 strives to create an inclusive event where all types of actors and formats are included. If you wish to present a paper, demo or poster you submit either to the practitioner or the research track. The research track has a traditional academic conference design while in the practitioner's track industry, NGOs, and public bodies can discuss experiences, ideas and disseminate knowledge. However, this conference is not only for paper presenters but also for all who have an interest in areas of mobility, communication, social change and their intersections. It is our explicit aim to make room for extensive discussions and interaction between all participants throughout the conference. We therefore also invite the ideas of different kinds workshops, panels, demos and discussion formats. All topics that relate to mobile communication and development are welcome.
The suggested Topics (but not limited to) include:
  • Social implications of mobile communications
  • Mobile health
  • Mobile communication and political participation/ change
  • Agriculture, rural development and mobile communication
  • Economic development and mobile communication such as mobile banking and mobile money
  • Mobile learning
  • Mobile communication and community awareness / development
  • Mobile communication and disaster management
  • Mobile communication and corruption fighting
  • Mobile communication and election / government monitoring
  • Mobile communication and community awareness / development
  • Mobile communication and disaster management
  • Mobile communication and climate control
  • Challenges to the proliferation of mobile technology
  • Mobile communication and women empowerment
  • Mobile communication and surveillance
  • Innovative applications for mobile communication
Important Dates
Paper/poster/demo submission     July 31,2011
Acceptance/review note         Sept 30, 2011
Travel grant application    Oct 15, 2011
Final paper submission        Nov 15, 2011  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Publications of Office of Adviser to the PM Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations

Publications of Office of Adviser to the Prime Minister Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations
  • Industry Innovation Clusters: Draft Concept Paper. The National Innovation Council (NInC) has undertaken efforts to seed strengthen and sustain Industry Innovation Clusters. This note discusses the existing ecosystem in the country and details the proposed interventions of the NInC for fostering a culture of innovations. Download Fulltext PDF
  • University Innovation Clusters: Draft Concept Paper.This paper examines the need for seeding, strengthening and sustaining Innovation Clusters in Indian Universities. Universities are acknowledged as the knowledge and innovation torch bearers globally. Download Fulltext PDF
  • Towards a More Inclusive and Innovative India: Strategy Paper. Strategy Paper on Creating a Roadmap for a 'Decade of Innovation'. Download Fulltext PDF
  • National Innovation Council: An Introduction. PM has constituted a National Innovation Council with distinguished members from various fields. The NInC will seek to create a strategy for fostering innovations at the National, State and sectoral levels by focusing on five key parameters: Platform, Inclusion, Eco-system, Drivers and Discourse. Download Booklet
  • Innovation in India, by National Knowledge Commission, 2007. Download Full-text PDF
Innovation Manifestos
  • Knowledge Swaraj: An Indian Manifesto on Science and Technology, by Knowledge in Civil Society (KICS), India. Download Full-text PDF
  • Innovation, Sustainability, Development: A New Manifesto, by STEPS Centre, UK, 2010. Download Full-text PDF
Other Relevant Documents
  • Unleashing India's Innovation: Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. Edited by Mark A. Dutz, The World Bank, 2007. Download Full-text PDF
  • The Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill 2008. (Indian version of the Bayh-Dole Act). Download Full-text PDF.
  • Analytical Legislative Briefs of the Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill 2008. Download Brief1, Brief2, Brief3
  • Results Framework Document (RFD) for Department of Science and Technology (2010-2011). Download Full-text PDF
  • The National Innovation Act of 2008. Download Full-text PDF 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Training Course on Research Methodology in Social Sciences; CSD, New Delhi; September 12-23

Training Course on Research Methodology in Social Sciences

September 12-23, 2011

Organized by : Council for Social Development, New Delhi


Aims and Scope

A common challenge faced by almost all social science researchers is that of choosing an appropriate methodology for their research and evaluation work i.e. Selection and formulation of the problems; review of relevant literature; conceptual framework; selection of research design; formulation of research questions/ hypothesis and testing of hypothesis; selection of sampling methods and its techniques; preparing of interview schedules, questionnaire and other relevant tools for data collection; collecting data from the field and field management; choosing suitable techniques of data analysis; using computer and information technology for data collection  analysis & report writing;  interpreting the data and reporting on the findings of the research study.

This training course has been designed keeping these problems in view. It aims at enhancing the knowledge of, and skills in, some of the widely applied survey research methods, basic statistical techniques and scientific report writing. The course addresses the needs of academic researchers and of the practitioners of development in the field.


Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to:

  • Explain the difference between social and natural science; pure and applied science and pure, applied & action research;
  • Formulate and test a research questions/hypotheses;
  • Describe different types of sampling techniques;
  • Discuss the techniques of data collection, processing and analysis through the following methods:
  • Participant Observation, Focused Group Discussion (FDG), Case Study, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA);
  • Questionnaire & interview techniques and Statistical methods;
  • Computer Applications – Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and Geographical Information System (GIS);
  • Indicate the implications of social science researches in formulation, planning and implementation of various socio-economic development programmes and schemes; and
  • Discuss the major sections/ chapters to be included in scientific report or thesis writing.


Target Participants

Research students/ academicians/ professionals from any social science background coming from universities, research institutions, government departments and Non-Governmental Organizations.


Interactive class-room sessions, lectures and demonstrations by experts from the field, exercises, assignments, case studies, preparation & testing of questionnaire, interview schedule/guide, field visits, conducting pilot studies, report writing in small groups and presentation of research findings.


Expected Outcome

At the end of the programme, the participants will have enhanced capacity to carry out social science research projects on a scientific basis, to articulate their findings and conclusions in an effective manner, and to make suggestions and recommendations for policy changes in the desired direction.


Duration: Two weeks

Course Contribution

Participant's contribution for attending the training course will be Rs. 2500 (Rupees two thousand and five hundred only)

Important Dates:

Duly completed details of candidates should reach by: July 31, 2011

Selected candidates will be intimated by : August 8, 2011

Contribution of selected candidates should reach by : September 1, 2011


(Demand Draft should be made in the name of Council for Social Development, New Delhi)


Participant should send their details by Post/ Courier/ Hand or E-mail (preferably) to Ms. Purtika Kalra, Research Assistant at (;

Announcement and proforma for participant details can be downloaded from


Note: Though CSD does not provide any accommodation facilities for outstation participants, we can try to arrange the same at moderate rates if request is received by the participant at least one month in advance.


Course Director

Dr.(Ms) M.K.Jabbi

Senior Fellow


Further Details

Applications Invited for the New India Foundation Fellowships 2011

Applications Invited for the New India Foundation Fellowships 2011

The New India Foundation now invites applications for the sixth round of its fellowships. Applications as per the guidelines on the website may be submitted before 31st July 2011.

The core activity of the New India Foundation are the New India Fellowships, awarded to scholars and writers working on different aspects of the history of independent India. The duration of the fellowships is twelve months. Fellows are paid Rs. 70, 000 a month. Each year, a mix of young and experienced candidates are selected.

The New India Fellowships are open only to Indian nationals, including those currently living abroad. Fellowship holders are expected to write original books. Their proposals should be oriented towards final publication, and outline a road map towards that destination. The Foundation is ecumenical as regards genre, theme, and ideology: the only requirement is that the proposed works contribute to the fuller understanding of independent India. Thus Fellowship holders may choose to write a memoir, or a work of reportage, or a thickly footnoted academic study. Their books could be oriented towards economics, or politics, or culture. They could be highly specific-an account of a single decade or a single region-or wide-ranging, such as a countrywide overview.

The books that result from the New India Fellowship will convey original research in an accessible manner to different constituencies. To that end, each book will be published by a prestigious publishing house. The Trustees have wide experience of publishing with leading firms (Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, Blackwell, Penguin) in India and abroad.

Candidates for the New India Fellowship are Candidates for the New India Fellowship are sought through select advertising in leading journals. The Trustees shall assess the proposals and make a short list from the submissions. The shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview, before a jury consisting of eminent people from the worlds of scholarship, business, and social service.

How to Apply
Applicants for the New India Fellowships are invited to submit the following:
  • CV with contact details (email ID mandatory)
  • Book proposal
  • Writing sample of at least 5000 words (published or unpublished)
Entries may be sent by post or courier to the following address. Email applications will not be entertained.
The Managing Trustee,
The New India Foundation,
22 A Brunton Road,
Bangalore 560025.

Deadline: 31st July 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Unexamined Society... by David Brooks; New York Times

The Unexamined Society

by David Brooks

The New York Times; July 7, 2011

Over the past 50 years, we've seen a number of gigantic policies produce disappointing results — policies to reduce poverty, homelessness, dropout rates, single-parenting and drug addiction. Many of these policies failed because they were based on an overly simplistic view of human nature. They assumed that people responded in straightforward ways to incentives. Often, they assumed that money could cure behavior problems.
Fortunately, today we are in the middle of a golden age of behavioral research. Thousands of researchers are studying the way actual behavior differs from the way we assume people behave. They are coming up with more accurate theories of who we are, and scores of real-world applications. Here's one simple example:
When you renew your driver's license, you have a chance to enroll in an organ donation program. In countries like Germany and the U.S., you have to check a box if you want to opt in. Roughly 14 percent of people do. But behavioral scientists have discovered that how you set the defaults is really important. So in other countries, like Poland or France, you have to check a box if you want to opt out. In these countries, more than 90 percent of people participate.
This is a gigantic behavior difference cued by one tiny and costless change in procedure.
Yet in the middle of this golden age of behavioral research, there is a bill working through Congress that would eliminate the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. This is exactly how budgets should not be balanced — by cutting cheap things that produce enormous future benefits.
Let's say you want to reduce poverty. We have two traditional understandings of poverty. The first presumes people are rational. They are pursuing their goals effectively and don't need much help in changing their behavior. The second presumes that the poor are afflicted by cultural or psychological dysfunctions that sometimes lead them to behave in shortsighted ways. Neither of these theories has produced much in the way of effective policies.
Eldar Shafir of Princeton and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard have recently, with federal help, been exploring a third theory, that scarcity produces its own cognitive traits.
A quick question: What is the starting taxi fare in your city? If you are like most upper-middle-class people, you don't know. If you are like many struggling people, you do know. Poorer people have to think hard about a million things that affluent people don't. They have to make complicated trade-offs when buying a carton of milk: If I buy milk, I can't afford orange juice. They have to decide which utility not to pay.
These questions impose enormous cognitive demands. The brain has limited capacities. If you increase demands on one sort of question, it performs less well on other sorts of questions.
Shafir and Mullainathan gave batteries of tests to Indian sugar farmers. After they sell their harvest, they live in relative prosperity. During this season, the farmers do well on the I.Q. and other tests. But before the harvest, they live amid scarcity and have to think hard about a thousand daily decisions. During these seasons, these same farmers do much worse on the tests. They appear to have lower I.Q.'s. They have more trouble controlling their attention. They are more shortsighted. Scarcity creates its own psychology.
Princeton students don't usually face extreme financial scarcity, but they do face time scarcity. In one game, they had to answer questions in a series of timed rounds, but they could borrow time from future rounds. When they were scrambling amid time scarcity, they were quick to borrow time, and they were nearly oblivious to the usurious interest rates the game organizers were charging. These brilliant Princeton kids were rushing to the equivalent of payday lenders, to their own long-term detriment.
Shafir and Mullainathan have a book coming out next year, exploring how scarcity — whether of time, money or calories (while dieting) — affects your psychology. They are also studying how poor people's self-perceptions shape behavior. Many people don't sign up for the welfare benefits because they are intimidated by the forms. Shafir and Mullainathan asked some people at a Trenton soup kitchen to relive a moment when they felt competent and others to recount a neutral experience. Nearly half of the self-affirming group picked up an available benefits package afterward. Only 16 percent of the neutral group did.
People are complicated. We each have multiple selves, which emerge or don't depending on context. If we're going to address problems, we need to understand the contexts and how these tendencies emerge or don't emerge. We need to design policies around that knowledge. Cutting off financing for this sort of research now is like cutting off navigation financing just as Christopher Columbus hit the shoreline of the New World.

[A version of this op-ed appeared in print on July 8, 2011, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Unexamined Society...]

Dr. Anup Kumar Das
Centre for Studies in Science Policy
School of Social Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi - 110067, India


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Article "Tagore and the Idea of Cooperation" by Ananya Mukherjee

Tagore and the Idea of Cooperation

by Ananya Mukherjee

Source: The Hindu; July 1, 2011;

Nearly eight decades ago, Rabindranath Tagore worried about the growing concentration of economic power and the coming destruction of rural India.

"Today, economic power has been captured by a small minority. But it has acquired this power only by accumulating the productive power of others. Their capital is simply the accumulated labour of a millions of working people, in a monetized form. It is this productive power that is the real capital, and it is this power that latently resides in every worker ..." — Samabayaniti/The Co-operative Principles, 1928.

In a compelling set of essays written between 1915 and 1940, Rabindranath Tagore articulated a social vision where exploitation would give way to a just, humane, collectively owned economy. At the core of his thought was the cooperative principle. This is an idea worth revisiting on the International Day of Cooperatives, which this year falls on July 2, and even more so during the lead-up to 2012, which is the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives.

Why cooperatives again? Have they not been tried — and have failed? Well, so have big banks and large corporations. Yet they continue undiminished. The reason they do so with such impunity is that alternatives are hard to come by. With the financial crisis on the one hand, and the (predictable) collapse of the system of microcredit on the other, the need to identify alternative forms of ownership is greater than ever before.

In India, the experience with the century-old cooperative movement has been mixed. There are some stunning successes: Amul, for one. There are others, too, where cooperatives have proved transformational for the marginalised. The problems are also well-known: abuse, politicisation, excessive dependence on the state, and so on. But these are mere symptoms. The real disease lies elsewhere. There is little understanding, much less acceptance, of the cooperative principle and its potential. It is yet to enter the core of our social vision, leave alone public policy. Those spaces are dominated, ever more aggressively, by the competitive principle, the sceptre of 'efficiency' and private gain. This is why India can emerge as one of the top wealth-generators even as 93 per cent of its working citizens toil in the informal sector. That 93 per cent contributes almost half of India's fast-growing GDP. But it has no say over the way that growth is generated — or any voice to claim a fairer distribution of the wealth it produces. The same goes for the majority that survives on the agrarian economy.

Written some eight decades ago, Tagore's thoughts stemmed from these concerns: the growing concentration of economic power and the destruction of rural India. He wrote: "Today our villages are half-dead. If we imagine we can just/ continue to live, that would be a mistake. The dying can pull/ the living only towards death." (from The Neglected Villages, 1934).

He was deeply sceptical about the solutions proposed by the elite — such as charity or moral enlightenment of the wealthy. These were like putting out "a raging fire by blowing at it," he wrote. Instead, he sought an ethical model of production.

What would that entail? Tagore's vision went far beyond notions like 'social responsibility' that are in vogue today. To him, ethical production required that resources (such as land and capital) are collectively owned by producers themselves. This would ensure that the produce is also collectively owned, and that all producers have a say in determining their share of value in the product of their work.

The typical small farmer, indebted and impoverished, was much in need of such a structure. "Imagine if all of our small farmers farmed their land collectively, stored their produce in a common facility and sold them through a common mechanism..." Only then can we prevent profiteering; only then can the farmer recoup the legitimate value of her labour, wrote Tagore.

Without such mechanisms, the farmer would never be able to effectively exercise the right to his land, even if he held the title. Structural conditions would make him powerless. Under these circumstances, giving the small farmer the legal right to land was no more than giving him 'the right to commit suicide.'

Indeed, in the cooperative principle, Tagore saw the possibility of challenging power, of altering power relations. Ordinary people, whose work constituted what was 'the real capital,' could only do so if they collectively owned that 'capital.' Many economists may well reject this as the misplaced idealism of an ill-informed poet. But it will resonate readily with the struggles for producer-ownership in the world today, such as Via Campesina. As the clout of agri-business grows, food inflation rises, and informal work becomes the norm, challenging dominant structures of ownership. And power is the central challenge of these movements.

In India, no amount of tinkering can make growth 'inclusive,' unless people have a say in how that growth is driven. Take the case of cotton textiles, a boom sector that has seen much growth. But has it really benefited those who have produced that growth? The cotton growers, for instance — the largest single group within the 200,000 farmers who have taken their own lives in the past decade? Or the millions of women who work the long shifts in export factories? Even worse, the drive for profits constantly pits the growers and workers against one another. When, at the peak of the cotton crisis, cotton farmers received price support from the government, export sector workers were threatened with job losses because cotton had become 'too expensive.' (Ironically, the worst off among the cotton growers did not even benefit from price support.) As long as prices are globally determined, we are told, not much can be done to save those at the bottom. Yet, the past few months have seen global prices hit a big high — and the government sharply restricted cotton exports to favour the textile lobby. This crippled the growers.

This brings us right back to the question of ownership. When global prices fluctuate, who decides how the gains and losses are to be shared? Certainly not the majority of workers and small farmers. But more important, global prices do not operate by magic. They reflect the same concentration of ownership and economic power. Indeed, several movements today urge consumers to use their purchasing power to counter such power. But consumer movements cannot succeed unless the productive economy is differently organised, differently owned.

Can that happen? Yes, if several conditions are in place. First, the competitive principle must be properly applied. Every institution, from schools to universities to hospitals, is increasingly being judged according to that principle, and forced to forgo its social priorities. At the same time, banks and corporations remain blatantly non-competitive, operating like cabals with little discipline or accountability. Second, among the main points of criticism of cooperatives in India has been their need for state resources. But our corporations have been also been heavily subsidised by state resources. While they flourish, cooperatives flounder. Why? Corporations enjoy state support with no interference; cooperatives do not. State support has come with levels of bureaucratic control that are incompatible with a truly autonomous, member-driven movement. Third, cooperatives cannot survive in isolated sectors. Systematic linkages between sectors and across countries are necessary if we are to harness the full political, social, economic power of the cooperative principle.

Here is a story from Peru. From its mountains comes a special brand of coffee called Cafe Femenino, produced by cooperatives of very poor indigenous women. It grew out of the women's struggle to claim their share of the value they produce. As growers of organic Fair Trade coffee they earn a premium over and above the market price. Before Cafe Femenino, the women had no access to this premium, no say in its use. Now they use it to educate their daughters who would otherwise not go to school; more than that they raise awareness against the tremendous gender violence in their communities.

There is more. In Canada, Cafe Femenino is distributed also by a workers' cooperative, creating as a result an entire coffee chain of cooperatives. Finally, as a mark of recognition of the global character of gender violence, Cafe Femenino is distributed free to shelters for abused women in Canada. The Femenino experiment has spread to six countries in Latin America and grows by the day. In India too, various experiments with women's collective enterprises have long been under way, but do not receive the attention they deserve.

As Tagore had foreseen it, the cooperative principle enables the most marginalised people to mobilise their most abundant resource: their productive power and their solidarity. 'Development projects' or paternalistic policy models for 'empowering the poor' cannot achieve this.

The choice is not between textbook theories. The lessons of everyday life have been stark, more so since 2008. The choice is between two different worlds: one driven by hyper-profit and mass distress, the other holding out the promise of shared prosperity and well-being.

(Ananya Mukherjee is Professor and Chair of Political Science/Development Studies at York University, Toronto. Her latest book, Human Development and Social Power: Perspectives from South Asia, was published by Routledge (London and New York, 2008.))

Source: The Hindu;

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CfPs:: International Conference on Management of Intellectual Property Rights and Strategy (MIPS2012) at IITB

1st International Conference on Management of Intellectual Property Rights and Strategy (MIPS2012)

2–5 February 2012

Organized by Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), India

THEME: IP for Development: The emerging Paradigm

Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay through the support of the Ministry of Human Resources Development IPR Chair Project, Government of India, is hosting the 1st International Conference on Management of Intellectual Property Rights and Strategy MIPS 2012 at IIT Bombay, India. The core focus of this conference is to provide a suitable and conducive platform to discuss, debate and present contemporary research in the area of Intellectual Property Rights and its management.

Theme of the Conference:
The theme for the conference is "IP for Development: The emerging Paradigm". Following are the Track of interest identified, but are NOT limited to:
  • Economics of commons – managing technology, knowledge transfer and spillovers, standardisation and pooling through IPR
  • Identification, Decisions and Strategic management of IPR – IP Informatics and analysis
  • Missing IP management in strategy
  • Myths and realities in IP Quality, Valuation and its branding
  • Navigating the Digital jungle – IPR as the compass
  • Public institutions, requirements and intergenerational equity of IP
  • Rationales and Paradigms in the role of IPR
  • The Public – Private Dichotomy under TRIPS Flexibility and Maximum standards
  • Tripping open innovation – Does IP close the opening of collaborative innovation models?
Early Call for Papers/ Submissions
The submissions are through the online mode only. Register and upload your extended abstract online at towards the submission and review process. The extended abstract would be limited to 750 words [including the keywords]. Workshop / Tutorial proposals <500 words related to IPR are also invited. Full papers are expected by October 1, 2011. Selected and reviewed submissions would be accommodated in Research / Practitioners / Case study stream. Full papers are a must to be eligible for the research papers stream and the related grants. Practitioners' series can be an extended abstract of 3 pages.

Submission Types
The conference attempts to truly balance the academician researcher and the industrial practitioner. This conference has three different modes of presentation for the selected papers – Research Stream, Practitioners Stream and Case study stream.

Conference Awards
In order to enhance, expand and acknowledge the quality of IPR research occurring in the country, the conference is proposing two sets of awards to be presented. The first set of awards is towards the recognition of the top two research, practitioner and case papers under Indian and foreign category.
The second set of awards is for the best thesis in the area of IPR, being defended under Indian and foreign category. Further information on the nomination and application process / guidelines will be released shortly.
Select submissions will be invited for potential publications in two journals – International Journal of IP management and International Journal of Technology Transfer and commercialisation, both by Inderscience Publishers.

Student and Researchers' Support
The conference is in the process of finalising travel support for shortlisted students from India who present their research work and partial travel support for shortlisted international students [especially developing nations] who present their research work.

Important Timelines

  • Extended Abstracts DUE: July 08, 2011
  • Review status: August 16, 2011
  • Workshops / Tutorials Proposals: July 08, 2011
  • Full Paper for Review: October 1, 2011
  • Full paper review and selection status: December 1, 2o11
  • Early Registration: November 15 – December 31, 2011
  • Regular Registration: December 11, 2011 onwards
  • Camera Ready Paper: January 01, 2011
  • Conference Dates: February 2-5, 2012

Conference Components
The conference provides the ideal opportunity for emerging researchers in the IPR domain to interact with experts and practitioners through doctoral colloquium, themed tracks and keynote sessions. Separate workshops and tutorials are also being planned as part of the pre conference event. To enable the industry and practitioners participation, the conference has separate case study tracks across the various industries and also application style papers which apply the various research models into reality. Proposals for workshops, tutorials and sponsorship are welcome.

MIPS 2012 conference Secretariat
IPR Chair Office
SJMSOM, IIT Bombay, Powai
Please contact us at mips2012[at]
IPR Chair Project: Prof. Karuna Jain, iprchair[at]
IPR Chair Office:[at]

17th CEEMAN Case Writing Competition – in partnership with Emerald

17th CEEMAN Case Writing Competition – in partnership with Emerald

CEEMAN, in cooperation with Emerald, is delighted to announce the launch of its 17th Annual Case Writing Competition.

The aim of the competition is to encourage and promote the development of high-quality case material relevant for the realities of transitional and emerging economies and at the same time promote the development of case-writing capabilities in those countries.

In the spirit of a fully inclusive competition, global submissions are encouraged.

The co-organizers will support global exposure of the submitted high-quality cases through a direct link with the Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies collection, new for 2011. All case submissions will be considered for international publication.

Starting from this year, the total award prize money sponsored by Emerald is increased to €4,000. Prizes are awarded to the overall winner and two runners-up.


Compulsory submission criteria:

  • Cases should have a developing and emerging markets focus
  • Case studies submitted should not have been published before in their current or substantially similar form, or be under consideration for publication in any ISSN/ ISBN-registered publication or with any other case-centre
  • All case studies submitted for review must include appropriate signed permissions from case protagonists
  • All submissions should be accompanied by a case teaching note and case synopsis.

As the cases will be considered for publication in Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies collection, submissions must comply with the author guidelines, which include information on editorial objectives and criteria, as well as comprehensive manuscript requirements.

Please also consult the competition evaluation criteria before submitting your case.


CEEMAN and Emerald reserve the right to publish the cases submitted for the competition, but do not have any other claims for the copyright.

If the editorial team of the Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies collection would like to publish a case submission, the editor will contact the author with an offer to do so.

In the event of publication authors will retain the academic freedom to contribute to the wider distribution and readership of their work. This includes the right to use their work as part of their own teaching. The rights retained by the author are explained fully in the Emerald Authors' Charter.

If, six months after the deadline for submissions has passed, Emerald has not contacted the author about publishing his/her case, Emerald will waive its first claim to publication and the authors will be free to submit their case to another publication.

All cases submitted to the 17th CEEMAN Case Writing Competition that are later published in the Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies collection will be made freely available to CEEMAN members.


The author of the best case will be awarded a CEEMAN/Emerald prize of €2,500 plus

  • Publication of the winning case in Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies.
  • Free participation in the 19th CEEMAN Annual Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia on 21-24 September 2011
  • Free accommodation at the conference hotel for up to three nights

The first runner-up will be awarded a prize of €1,000, while the second runner up will receive €500.

If a winning case has more than one author, the prize will be split among the co-authors (the prize may be subject to local taxes).

Full evaluations from the competition judging panel will be made available to authors upon request.

Entry details

To enter the competition, please send your case with the teaching note and filled-in application form by email

Important dates

Case submission deadline: 15 July 2011
Authors notified about the competition results: 5 September 2011
Case Writing Competition Award: 23 September 2011, 19th CEEMAN Annual Conference Gala Dinner, Tbilisi, Georgia

Download Case Writing Competition application form

Instructional materials:

CEEMAN Case Writing Competition evaluation criteria
Case writing guide by Ali Farhoomand, University of Hong Kong
A simplified approach to writing case studies by Dr Melodena Balakrishnan, Chair of the Academy of International Business, MENA chapter and Regional Editor Middle East, Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies.
Case organization chapter from Writing Cases, 4th Edition / Learning with Cases, 4th Edition (Book Set), by Michiel R. Leenders, James A. Erskine, Louise A. Mauffette-Leenders
Case primer by David Wylie, Babson College

Inlaks Research Travel Grants


The Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation has been supporting innovative work in research and scholarship for more than three decades. The "Inlaks Research Travel Grant" is geared to assist registered PhD. students of Indian universities to undertake short-term visits to universities abroad to collect material, use facilities and consult experts.

"Inlaks Research Travel Grant" offers financial support for a maximum of 3 months at a university/institution/library abroad. The Grant will cover:
  •  Discounted air fare
  •  Maintenance expenses at a modest rate
  •  Funds for buying material and books, and making copies of relevant literature.

 The applicants must
  •  hold confirmed Ph.D registration for at least two years but for not more than four years.
  •  have a first class degree at either Bachelor's (Honours) or Master's level, preferably both.
  •  be under 35 years of age on 31 December in the year of applying.


 Fully filled form for "Inlaks Research Travel Grant". The forms may be downloaded from the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation website.
  • Sample of written work (3000-5000 words) on the subject of the candidate's research. This should preferably be a draft (with full annotation and documentation) of a chapter of the PhD thesis along with details regarding the reading list, surveys, or any other work done towards the thesis.
  • Evidence of having communicated with concerned persons or institutions abroad and having received a positive response.
  • A written and signed statement from the applicant's supervisor stating:
  • The candidate's ability, focus and progress in the work done under her/his supervision
  • The candidate's need to go abroad
  • That the funds for the visit cannot be obtained from any other source
  • The fully filled in forms and other enclosures must be sent by post to the following address: 86/87 Atlanta, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021.

  • Any material collected by the selected candidates (books, copies, instruments etc.) must become the property of the candidate's institution for wider use by future scholars.
  • All this material must carry a statement regarding the support received from the Inlaks Research Travel Grants
  • The grants must be utilized within nine months of the date of award.
  • The students must furnish vouchers/evidence for major expenses like lodging, library fees, buying books, etc.

  • The candidates will be expected to go through a two-tier selection procedure.
  • First round: short-listing on the basis of the written record submitted by the candidate.
  • Second and final round: Personal interview of the short-listed candidates.
  • (NOTE: The candidates short-listed for the interview will be informed by early November 2011. The final interviews will be held by early December 2011).