Thursday, August 31, 2017

AJSTID Paper "In-vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) Innovations for Resource-Poor settings: The Indian Experience" by Nidhi Singh & Dinesh Abrol

In-vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) Innovations for Resource-Poor settings: The Indian Experience 

by Nidhi Singh & Dinesh Abrol, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 2017, DOI: 10.1080/20421338.2017.1359465.

Abstract: This article illustrates how the present institutional arrangements and the policy regime under perusal have not been able to support the development of an ecosystem for innovation-making for in-vitro diagnostics (IVDs) for resource-poor settings. Policies favouring trade liberalization and foreign direct investment, market deregulation, strong intellectual property rights, absence of stringent regulations of accreditation and quality control and limiting public R&D support to basic research and development of scientific and technical manpower have defined the dynamics of innovation-making for the IVDs in India since the year 2000. Investment in the IVDs for the management of priority diseases for resource-poor settings continues to be only a small fraction of the R&D investment, translational research and market formation in India. Seventy-five per cent of diagnostics needs are still met through imported and maladapted diagnostic innovations. Although with the help of public-funded policy initiatives undertaken by the government there are now some young start-ups that have emerged and are beginning to focus on some of the diagnostic needs and challenges facing resource-poor settings, but they have not been able to enter the market with fully developed products in any kind of significant way. Low levels of interest in innovation, making for resource-poor settings, is reflected in the system-building activities of public sector R&D institutions, industry and the healthcare system. Lack of collaboration between national R&D institutions and large domestic firms continues to be the defining feature of the national innovation system in the case of IVDs. Innovation making for resource-poor settings is yet to become a priority for the challenge-based innovation system-building approach. Analysis confirms the impact of convergence of neo-liberal deregulation, trade liberalization and investment liberalization on the processes of fragmentation and underdevelopment of capabilities, preference for market calculations over social calculations and undervaluation of the needs of resource-poor settings. Since the relevant actors have been bidding a good-bye to the values of universality, equality and comprehensiveness, the neglect of non-market based social calculations is reflected in the innovation-making practice of R&D institutions and industry. The article suggests that the challenge of innovation-making for resource-poor settings cannot be tackled without shifting away from the path of deregulation, liberalization of trade and investment, and moving into the implementation of a challenge-based innovation system-building approach by the state, in the case of IVDs.

Keywords: in-vitro diagnostics, resource-poor settings, innovation, system-building, market calculations, non-market based social calculations.

Open Educational Resources: Removing Barriers From Within | by Sanjaya Mishra, COL

Open Educational Resources: Removing Barriers From Within

by Sanjaya Mishra, Distance Education, 2017, DOI: 10.1080/01587919.2017.1369350.

Abstract: Enthusiasts and evangelists of open educational resources (OER) see these resources as a panacea for all of the problems of education. However, despite its promises, their adoption in educational institutions is slow. There are many barriers to the adoption of OER, and many are from within the community of OER advocates. This commentary calls for a wider discussion to remove these barriers to mainstreaming OER in teaching and learning and argues for a rethinking of the idea of 'open' to make it more inclusive by redefining the concept. It reminds us of the original thinking behind OER – which was to create universally available educational resources that can improve the quality of teaching and learning. This commentary posits arguments against conflating OER and open education, questions the narrow definitions of OER, and raises issues around how to be more flexible and open to mainstreaming OER and removing barriers from within the OER movement.

Keywords: Open educational resources; open educational practices; open licenses; open pedagogy; open education; barriers

Download Full-text Article


AJSTID Article "Exploring the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM): Impact on Innovation Ecosystem in India" by AS Akoijam & VV Krishna

Exploring the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM): Impact on Innovation Ecosystem in India
by Amitkumar Singh Akoijam and V. V. Krishna
African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 2017, DOI: 10.1080/20421338.2017.1359466.

Abstract: To make India one of the leaders in solar energy generation and to promote ecologically sustainable growth that addresses the nation's energy security challenge is one of the promising goals of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) or National Solar Mission. This paper presents the country's current solar energy scenario and explores ways in which various actors, agencies and policies shape the mission from the different perspectives on innovation literature. The innovation ecosystem is one of the perspectives where the sense of environment or ecology of various institutions, actors and other factors surrounds the activity of research and innovation. In this ecosystem, there is no single actor that can perform independently. The research outcomes, especially the patents, research publications and R&D investment, have become an increasingly essential area after the announcement of the JNNSM. The study also highlights that the number of research papers published in relation to solar energy has increased and there is a significant presence of productive R&D institutions, universities and supportive policy initiatives in the country.
Keywords: solar energy; innovation ecosystem; sectoral system of innovation; Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission; India.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Just Released | India: Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20 | by NITI Aayog, 2017

India: Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20
by NITI Aayog, New Delhi, 2017.

On 1st January 2015, the National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog came into existence as the government's premier think tank. Subsequently, vide Office Order dated 09/05/2016, the Prime Minister's Office advised the NITI Aayog to prepare Fifteen Year Vision, Seven Year Strategy and Three Year Action Agenda documents. Accordingly, the present document is being published to recommend policy changes and programmes for action from 2017-18 to 2019-20, the last three years of the Fourteenth Finance Commission. A second document containing the Fifteen Year Vision and Seven Year Strategy is currently under preparation at the NITI Aayog.
The Vision, Strategy and Action Agenda exercise represents a departure from the Five Year Plan process, followed with a handful of discontinuities until the fiscal year 2016-17. The 12th Five Year Plan was the last of these plans. It has been felt that with an increasingly open and liberalized economy, we needed to rethink the tools and approaches to conceptualizing the development process. The proposed shift represents an important step in this direction. 
The Action Agenda has been prepared as an integral part of the exercise leading to the Vision and Strategy document. It has been fast tracked and released first, keeping in view that with the start of fiscal year 2016-17, it is of immediate relevance for policy implementation. Work on the Vision and Strategy document is already far advanced. 
The Three Year Action Agenda offers ambitious proposals for policy changes within a relatively short period. It is understood that while some may be fully implemented during the three-year period, implementation of others would continue into the subsequent years. Where relevant, we have included possible actions by the states to complement the efforts of the Centre. 
For holistic development, all ministries and departments must progress simultaneously and harmoniously. Therefore, as a roadmap for future progress, the Action Agenda attempts to cover nearly all aspects of the economy. Despite this wide coverage, an effort has been made to present all action points with the utmost clarity. To ensure that the document does not become unduly long, however, we have deliberately refrained from providing the detailed rationale for each proposed action. Where appropriate and necessary, we propose to undertake this latter task in the Vision and Strategy document.
The Action Agenda is the result of the hard work and efforts of a vast number of individuals and institutions. The NITI Aayog has been lucky to have three world-renowned scholars as its Members: Shri Bibek Debroy, Dr. V. K. Saraswat and Dr. Ramesh Chand. It also has a number of outstanding Advisers leading its work in different areas of policy. Working under the guidance of the Members, the Advisers and their teams prepared the core inputs that formed the backbone of the final document. I greatly appreciate the contributions of the Members, Advisers and their teams to the Action Agenda. 
Inputs were also sought and received from State Governments, Union Territories and Ministries of the Central Government. Extensive consultations were held with groups of scientists, economists, journalists, voluntary organisations, industry associations and experts in education, health, culture, transport and other fields. Many outside experts also provided extremely useful written inputs. Annexure 2 at the end of the document lists the outside experts exhaustively with the hope that I have not missed anyone. I sincerely thank the states, union territories, Ministries, outside experts and institutions for the gift of their ideas and time.
Shri Amitabh Kant, the Chief Executive Officer of the NITI Aayog, skilfully steered the entire process to its logical conclusion. The task simply could not have been completed without his leadership in navigating and guiding all those involved throughout the process. I am deeply appreciative of the energy and time he generously provided. 
A dedicated team of six talented young policy analysts, who recently joined the NITI Aayog, worked under my close direction to convert the inputs provided by the Advisers and outside experts into a unified document. They are: Chinmaya Goyal, Atisha Kumar, Urvashi Prasad, Vaibhav Kapoor, Rahul Ahluwalia and Devashish Dhar. This part of the exercise consisted of preparation of different chapters, fitting them into a single whole and revising the draft multiple times. The process also included several discussions lasting hours. Atisha and Chinmaya jointly performed the key functions of coordination and editing of the document throughout the process. It was a real pleasure for me working with this brilliant, energetic and enthusiastic team of young analysts. Pavithra Rangan oversaw the publication and production of the document. My office staff, headed by Dr. Prem Singh, provided critical logistical support. Prem not only saw to it that all went smoothly but also provided critical intellectual inputs at all stages of the work.
In draft form, the Action Agenda was circulated to all members of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog at its third meeting on 23rd April 2017. Subsequently, several states and their Chief Ministers provided comments on that draft document. A concerted effort has been made to incorporate these inputs as well as the remarks made by the Chief Ministers at the Governing Council meeting in this final version.
It is hoped that the Three Year Action Agenda will help launch a new phase in our journey towards a New India.
Arvind Panagariya | Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, New Delhi | 1 August 2017

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Three Year Action Agenda: An Overview
Part I: Three-Year Revenue And Expenditure
Chapter 2. Context and Strategy
Chapter 3. Growth Outlook and Resource Envelope Forecasts
Chapter 4. Expenditure
Part II: Economic Transformation In Major Sectors
Chapter 5. Agriculture: Doubling Farmers' Incomes
Chapter 6. Trade, Industry and Services: Creating Well-Paid Jobs
Part III: Regional Development
Chapter 7. Urban Development
Chapter 8. Rural Transformation
Chapter 9. Regional Strategies
Part IV: Growth Enablers
Chapter 10. Transport and Connectivity
Chapter 11. Digital Connectivity
Chapter 12. Public Private Partnerships
Chapter 13. Energy
Chapter 14. Science and Technology
Chapter 15. Creating an Innovation Ecosystem
Part V: Government
Chapter 16. Governance
Chapter 17. Taxation Policy and Administration
Chapter 18. Pro-Competition Policies and Regulation
Chapter 19. The Rule of Law
Part VI: Social Sectors
Chapter 20. Education and Skill Development
Chapter 21. Health
Chapter 22. Towards Building a More Inclusive Society
Part VII: Sustainability
Chapter 23. Environment and Forests
Chapter 24. Sustainable Management of Water Resources

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

JNU Library Lecture "Online Archives of Indian Photography: Towards an Accessibility of Visual Cultural Heritage" | by Dr. Katja Müller, Germany | August 25, 4:00 pm

Dr B R Ambedkar Central Library
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
cordially invites you to the

28th Library Lecture Series and Outreach Programme

Online Archives of Indian Photography: Towards an Accessibility of Visual Cultural Heritage

Dr. Katja Müller | Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Regionalstudien | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg | Reichardtstr. 6, 06114 Halle, Germany | +49 345 5524173 | |

Chairperson: Professor Kavita Singh, Dean, School of Arts & Aesthetics (SAA). JNU

Date: Friday, August 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Venue: Committee Room, Central Library, JNU, New Delhi

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

[apeid.higher_education.bgk] Dr Gwang-Jo Kim, Director, UNESCO Bangkok

Dear all,


It is with great sorrow that we have to share this extremely sad news. On Friday 11 August, Dr Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok, passed away in South Korea. The tragic news has been more than a shock to us all here at UNESCO Bangkok.


We are preparing a message book to be signed by anyone who wishes to do so. If you wish to join the initiative, please send your messages individually to the ( by 21 August. All messages will be included in the book and will be conveyed to Mrs Kim and family. 


GJ was a caring and supportive leader for all of us in the Office. We will miss him terribly, but he always wanted us to be happy - so we can make others happy. We will try to be strong even during this difficult time.  

Thank you in advance for your continued support and cooperation.




Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development (EISD)

UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education

Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building

920 Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Tel.: +66 23 91 05 77

Fax: +66 23 91 08 66


Friday, August 11, 2017

Call for Applications for ASEAN-India Research Training Fellowships (AIRTF) for ASEAN Researchers

Call for Applications for ASEAN-India Research Training Fellowships (AIRTF) for ASEAN Researchers

Supported by ASEAN-India Science & Technology Development Fund (AISTDF)

Objectives: The AIRTF scheme is a fellowship scheme with the following objectives:

  • To promote mobility of scientists and researchers from the ASEAN Member States to India and provide them opportunity to work at Indian R&D/ academic institutions to upgrade their research skills and expertise.
  • To facilitate exchange of information and contacts between the scientists and researchers of India and ASEAN Countries and create a network for building research collaborations.

As a spin-off, the Fellowship awardees may also have opportunity to get co-supervisors from India for their research projects for Ph.D. or Master's degree on their return to their home countries.

Number of Fellowships: Initially to start with 100 (One Hundred) Fellowships per year shall be awarded to young scientists and researchers from ASEAN Member States to get affiliated with Indian academic and R&D institutions. These Fellowships shall be equally distributed among ASEAN Member Country. Initially, 10 Fellowship shall be allocated for each ASEAN country. However, this number could be re-adjusted in accordance with the number of applicants from respective each ASEAN Member State.

Duration of Fellowship: The duration of the Fellowship will be for a period of up to six months. A minor variation in the duration would be allowed on recommendations of the Indian host Institute/ University depending upon the actual requirement of the research project as mutually agreed between the Fellowship holder and the Indian host institution.

Areas in Which Fellowships Are Available: The area/ topic of research for availing AIRTF must be ASEAN centric and must be aligned with the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI)-2016-2025. A copy of the APASTI is placed at Appendix-I. Fellowship will be offered for working in research topics under any of the following broad disciplines:

  • Science Policy / IPR Management / Technology Transfer & Commercialisation
  • Other multi-disciplinary areas of Science, Technology and Innovation in alignment with APASTI (e.g., Open Access Movement, Scientometrics, Open Science, Open Research Data, Open Innovation, Grassroots Innovation, etc.)

A suggestive list of Indian institutions along with the areas of research offered by them is enclosed as Annexure-I. The Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP) of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is one of the research centres identified to host AIRTFs. For further information/ scientific collaboration please contact the undersigned.

Further Details | Annexure-I: List of Indian Institutions | Annexure-II - Application Form

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

CfPs: The Indian Media Economy: Social Transactions in Digital India | 6-8 December | IIT Bombay, India

The Indian Media Economy: Social Transactions in Digital India (IME 2017)
6th-8th December 2017
Venue: IIT Bombay, India

Call for Papers
The reconfiguration of social, cultural, economic and political relationships in parallel with the pervasive application of digital technologies has been regarded as an epochal shift in the Western world. In India, the breathtaking rapidity and scale of digitisation provides us with an even greater remaking of human relationships. This is an era where rapid commodification proceeds in tandem with the spread of digital media devices. For ordinary people, social media platforms bring new economic opportunities along with the monetisation of the personal and the everyday. In this context, it is evident that the rise of a Digital India is being accompanied by new aspirations and understandings of modernisation, participation and development.
This conference will explore the challenges and opportunities for the media industries in the context of ambitious plans for a 'Digital India'. From the academic perspective, the event will explore the complexities of infrastructure provision, service demand and media labour in the changing landscape of 'Digital India', along with the instances and processes through which new sets of social, economic and political transactions are being established between citizen and state, markets and publics, cultures and commodities in the 21st century.
The symposium is co-hosted by the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland, and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Our key themes will be:
  • Digitisation in the Media Industries
  • Remediation of Markets and Currencies
  • Digital Media Commodities and Content
  • Digital Publics and Mediated Politics
  • Media and Development Infrastructure

Organising Committee:
  • Adrian Athique (University of Queensland)
  • Shishir Jha (IIT Bombay)
  • Vibodh Parthasarathi (Jamia Millia Islamia)
  • Sunitha Chitrapu (Sophia Polytechnic)
Our call for applications is now open. There will be a limited number of places, so timely submission will be essential as per the following schedule.
  • Submission of Abstracts (200 words): 1st September
  • Selection of Abstracts: 21st September
  • Submission of Papers (5000 words): 24th November
Please use skjha9[@] and a.athique[@] for all correspondence with the subject heading as "Proposal for IME 2017".

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CfA: CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science | Sao Paolo, Brazil | 4-15 December 2017

CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science
4-15 December 2017
ICTP-SAIFR, Sao Paolo, Brazil

About the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science
What can justly be called the 'Data Revolution' offers many opportunities coupled with significant challenges. High among the latter is the need to develop the necessary data professions and data skills.  Researchers and research institutions worldwide recognise the need to promote data skills and we see short courses, continuing professional development and MOOCs providing training in data science and research data management.

In sum, this is because of the realisation that contemporary research – particularly when addressing the most significant, inter-disciplinary research challenges – cannot effectively be done without a range of skills relating to data.  These skills include the principles and practice of Open Science and research data management and curation, the use of a range of data platforms and infrastructures, large scale analysis, statistics, visualisation and modelling techniques, software development and annotation, etc, etc. The ensemble of these skills, we define as 'Research Data Science', that is the science of research data: how to look after and use the data that is core to your research.

The CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science has developed a short course, summer school, style curriculum that addresses these training requirements.  The course partners Software Carpentry (using the Shell command line and GitHub), Data Carpentry (using R and SQL) and the Digital Curation Centre (research data management and data management plans) and builds on materials developed by these organisations.  Also included in the programme are modules on Open Science, ethics, visualisation, machine learning (recommender systems and artificial neural networks) and research computational infrastructures.

The school has been successfully piloted at ICTP in Trieste in 2016 and 2017.  The vision of the CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science is to develop into an international network which makes it easy for partner organisations and institutions to run the schools in a variety of locations.  The annual event at the ICTP in Trieste will serve as a motor for building the network and building expertise and familiarity with the initiative's mission and objectives.  The core materials are made available for reuse and the co-chairs and Working Group team will provide guidance to assist partners in organising the school, in identifying instructors and helpers etc. The first school to expand this initiative will take place at ICTP-SAIFR (South American Institute of Fundamental Research), Sao Paolo, Brazil in December 2017.

Further information about the CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science.

Short Report on the First CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, August 2016.

Programme for the First CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, ICTP, Trieste, August 2016.

Materials from the First CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, ICTP, Trieste, August 2016.

Programme for the Second CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science, ICTP, Trieste, July 2017.

CfPs: ARJ Special issue on "Climate Change and Action Research: Creating Transformative Knowledge With Stakeholders"

Call for Papers: 
Action Research Journal (ARJ)'s Special issue on "Climate Change and Action Research: Creating Transformative Knowledge With Stakeholders"

Special Issue Senior Editor: Hilary Bradbury, Ph.D. Editor in Chief.

Special Issue Editor Team: Steve Waddell; Marina Apgar; Tom Wakeford; Karen O' Brien, Ioan Fazey, Rik Peters, Benito Teehankee.

Papers due to ARJ January 30, 2018

The science of climate change tells us that too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is disrupting climate patterns (IPCC, 2014). It is clear that we must halt catastrophic climate change and at the same time adapt to its near-term impacts. However, mobilizing social changes at the rate, scale, magnitude and depth that is called for has mostly confounded us. New understandings of the relationship between knowledge and action are called for, as well as a new approach to research (Future Earth 2013). The aim of this special issue is to highlight what Action Researchers can offer to meet this transdisciplinary, integrative challenge. We frame action research as broadly as possible to include scholarship-practice with a change agenda that encourages appropriate stakeholder engagement throughout, (Bradbury, 2015). Additionally, we encourage diversity of expression, from interweaving multiple epistemological voices to the arts – and more - because we understand that the conventional practices of knowledge creation (which separates production from application, scholars from stakeholders) is itself part of the problem that must be addressed. Questions that animate our interest include:
  • How do action researchers generate transformative knowledge creation within a domain that has been largely dominated by conventional natural sciences and economics? How can action researchers and conventional scientists work better together to navigate the power and politics of scholarship to realize epistemological complementarities required for meaningful outcomes? 
  • How can conventional science's research designs be re-designed/complemented/influenced by Action Research design?
  • How do subjective & intersubjective knowledge claims interweave with objective knowledge claims in a way that furthers a transformative change agenda in response to climate change? 
  • How are the material differences of specific spaces and places to be accounted for in what needs to be a global transformation? 
  • What are relevant examples and exemplars of transformative knowledge from which we can learn?
  • How is indigenous knowledge, traditional knowledge, knowledge democracy, and other excluded epistemologies to be included?
  • What is required for good exemplars of action research that link across scale (e.g., between a community base and institutionalizing powers)?
  • How do we develop truly integrated efforts that are actionable - combining the exteriorizing focus of systems thinking with the interiorizing focus on relationships, gender and racial power dynamics (etc) that can allow for authentic transformation to happen?
  • What happens when more attention is given to convening convivial and purpose-driven relational spaces as a prelude to transforming behavior, i.e., spaces that balance between agency and community to avoid the dulling of the radical spirit of transformation that many change agents carry?
  • What does planning look like in transformational efforts? How different is it from conventional ideas of planning in related spaces (such as international development)? Many action researchers assume planning needs to be more emergent and generative, but what does that really mean in practice?
We view this special issue on climate change and Action Research as a timely update to a theme that has been at the heart of Action Research since our inception as a journal. Indeed, the first special issue of the journal (in 2005) was on sustainability. As current ARJ editor-in-chief Hilary Bradbury explained in her editorial back then:
"In calling for articles to this special issue we wanted to draw attention to human dimensions of sustainability and social change. We believe that for too long the field of sustainability has operated with a technical-rational logic that leaves little room to attend to the more complicated behavioral and cultural aspects of creating a sustainable society. Some of humanity's most key tasks concern our capacity for better collaboration and learning. As a consequence of the lack of consideration these complex human issues have received in the field of sustainability, we see little uptake of great technical insights. Current patterns of behavior among individuals and within institutions and organizations have proven durable and quite difficult to change." (Bradbury and Waage, 2005). 
Over a decade later, these concerns are more urgent now. A call for more attention to human dimensions of sustainability and social transformation are precisely what motivate this call for papers on climate change.
ARJ makes every effort to be as inclusive of diversity as possible. Full drafts of papers should be submitted through on our online submission process (go to for details) no later than 31 January 2018. Please note: all papers should follow regular ARJ submission recommendations, which length of 5000–7000 words inclusive, using APA style. 

Note: We do our best to host translations of the accepted English manuscript on our companion website. Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and French are of special interest. 

Note to authors:
  • Read our Author Resources and more which describe - in a way considered more transparent than most - what we look for from authors:
  • Pay close attention to the Choice-points for quality. Be aware that ARJ, as a rule, is not inclined to accept contributions that remain ungrounded in practice with stakeholders. Be sure to read previous issues so you have a better sense. 
  • Direct brief, preliminary questions to editor in chief, Hilary Bradbury,
  • All detailed inquiries - including request to review drafts, are welcome but must use the peer review system when seeking any feedback. This ensures that nothing gets lost.
  • Include the words Climate Change Special Issue as a subtitle for your paper upon submission.
  • Our companion AR+ website,, enables the publication of material in multimedia format, including video; we welcome submissions that take creative advantage of this opportunity.