www.eSocialSciences.org Newsletter Volume 1:1 Jan 2012

We wish our readers a productive and peaceful 2012!

Counting the Days

Why do calendars repeat in some years?  S Srinivasan explains in Predicting Calendars (and saving money if you want to)
First of a two part series. http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/ShowArticle.aspx?acat=Current+Affairs&aid=4570


Identity, Belongingness and Change: Travel as Metaphor: People change jobs, homes and even hometowns and indeed, spouses and significant others. In the face of such change, should we look at travel as a metaphor for understanding and living life? Asks Dhanwanti Nayak.

A Case for Case Studies: Ipsita Sapra argues for more openness in the choice of social science methods to study society taking as an example one approach, the case study, that often acts as a bridge between the positivist and interpretive epistemological positions.  http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/ShowArticle.aspx?acat=eSSays&aid=4526

Reading Savarkar: Disequilibriums in Hindutva’s Notion of National-Unity-at-all-Costs: Nikhil  Govind  argues that Sarvarkar’s case for Unity is at best a cumulative network of agile concepts that are open-ended, and can be used by future sympathetic thinkers. To not grasp this agility is to fundamentally misunderstand why the ideology of Unity-at-all-Costs is so available and compelling to many in India today. One in a series. http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/ShowArticle.aspx?acat=eSSays&aid=4553

eSS is now on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eSocialSciences

eSS Columns

New! Notes from Japan
Yokohama: An ‘Ordered Society’: Binti Singh’s first contribution to this column draws on the contrast between the chaos of Mumbai and the orderliness of Yokohama.

Public Health, Care and Medicines
The Primacy of Public Health Considerations in Defining Poor Quality Medicine: Paul N Newton, Abdinasir A Amin.Poor quality essential medicines, both substandard and counterfeit, are serious but neglected public health problems. An international treaty on medicine quality, under WHO auspices, could be an important step forward in the struggle against both substandard and counterfeit (or falsified) medicines.

‘Free Medicines for All’ in Public Health Facilities: S Srinivasan and Anant Phadke in the eSS Column on  ‘Medicines: Policy and Consumer Concerns’ discuss whether  the Tamil Nadu model for the supply of free medicines for all at public health facilities be adapted nation-wide under the 12th Five Year Plan’s proposed centrally aided scheme? http://www.esocialsciences.org/Ess_Column/Ess_Column_View.aspx?Column=3

The Race Against Drug Resistance: Rachel Nugent:  The Center for Global Development’s Drug Resistance Working Group urges pharmaceutical companies, governments, donors, global health institutions, health providers, and patients to collectively and immediately tackle the global problem of drug resistance. http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/ShowArticle.aspx?acat=Institutional+Papers&aid=3429

A Pilot Study by SAMA, Delhi on Free Treatment in the Private Sector: Myth or Reality? A Pilot Study of Private Hospitals in Delhi - A Report attempts to understand and explore the legal provision of free treatment for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the context of subsidies provided to the private hospitals by the State Government.
On Policy Matters, SAMA comment on the redrafted The Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill & Rules (Draft 2010). Also see full draft bill.

Where There is Work

More and Better Jobs in South Asia
This World Bank report (authored by Reema Nayar et al) investigates how more and better jobs can be created in South Asia. Why? First, this region will contribute nearly 40 percent of the growth in the world’s working-age (15–64) population over the next several decades. Second, creating more productive jobs—with jobs defined to include all wage work and self employment— is the most reliable route out of poverty for a region that is home to more than 40 percent of the world’s absolute poor.

Realising Decent Work
G D Bino Paul comments on final report of the task force on domestic workers. http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/ShowArticle.aspx?acat=Current+Affairs&aid=4658
For the full report: http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/ShowArticle.aspx?acat=Reports&aid=4582

Poor Diet in Shift Workers: A New Occupational Health Hazard? With the world of work becoming increasingly 24 hours, this PLoS editorial warns that  shift work has the potential to accelerate the progression of the global epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

Rural to Urban Migration in Pakistan: The Gender Perspective This PIDE Working Paper by Shahnaz Hamidanalysing gender dimensions in rural to urban migration in Pakistan shows that over time, the share of rural to urban migration has increased while urban to urban migration has declined but remains high. [PIDE WP] http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/showArticle.aspx?acat=Recent%20Articles&aid=4717

Are All Migrants Really Worse Off in Urban Labour Markets? New Empirical Evidence from China: Jason Gagnon, Theodora Xenogiani, Chunbing Xing
This IZA working paper, mirrored on eSS, uses data from a random draw of the 2005 Chinese national census survey to investigate discrimination in urban labour markets against rural migrants, by comparing their earnings and the sector (formal vs. informal) they work in with those of urban residents and urban migrants. http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/showArticle.aspx?acat=Recent%20Articles&aid=4698

A Study on Emigration Attitudes of Young Singaporeans:  Leong Chan Hoong, Debbie. Why do Singaporeans seek work abroad? A study of a representative sample of young Singaporeans. An IPS Working paper. http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/showArticle.aspx?acat=Recent%20Articles&aid=4742

Studies in Goan Migration: Dr Stella Mascarenhas Keyes: Listen to the talk by prominent researcher in Goan migration, Dr Stella Mascarenhas-Keyes, at the St Xavier's College (Mapusa). Audio file first posted by Frederick Noronha.

Populations at Risk: Other End of Youth Bulge Lakshmi Priya points out that while much is written on the youth bulge in developing countries, little appears to have been done to address the problems of the elderly. And yet demographically, it is this section that is showing high growth rates.

Emigration of Women Domestic Workers from Kerala: Gender, State Policy and the Politics of Movement: Praveena Kodoth, V. J. Varghese. Restrictions imposed by the Government of India on the emigration of women in ‘unskilled’ categories such as domestic work are framed to protect women from exploitation. What is the nature of women’s agency involved when domestic workers resist state policy and social norms to emigrate through informal / illegal means. [CDS WP].

Prompted by worldwide concerns over the growing youth bulge in the context of  unemployment and economic stagnation, the UN has stepped in announcing the setting up of a UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Youth.  Do you want know how actively youth are involved in this decision and its framework?  Log in to UN-HABITAT-Global Youth Helpdesk eDebate on Youth and the UN: http://edebates.globalyouthdesk.org/

Food and Hunger

India’s Food Security Bill: A Waste or Win for the Hungry? Sally Trethewie explores whether the National Food Security Bill in the Indian Parliament can alleviate the country’s food insecurity? [RSIS Commentaries]

Redifining Food Security in the Face of Foreign Land Investors: The Philippine Case. Ben Shepherd proposes to redefine food security in terms of protecting vulnerable populations from the structural violence of involuntary hunger. [NTS-Asia Research]

Cultural Studies

Antiques and Adat: The Changing Face of Paka’s Mini-museum, Kampung Benuk, Penrissen, Kuching: Liana Chua describes the process of creating English text panels for a mini museum, a personal collection of Paka anak Otor, a descendant of Kampung Benuk’s original Tua Gawai (ritual head) lineage --- a project which turned out to be deeply instructive on ‘native curatorship that impact  on broad range of issues related to ‘non-western’ or indigenous museums.

Books and Book Reviews
Book reviews are linked to the related book listed on eSS Books section.
New books are listed promptly on eSS.  We also post publications of NGOs and various government institutions. 
Please do note and use the QR image posted on the page. Scanning the image into your android phone immediately stores on your phone all the information on the book!

Transparency, Democracy and Empowerment

Transparency in Parliament: A Review of the Procedures and Practices in South Asia along with Recommended Guidelines for Increasing Openness: This South Asians for Human Rights paper examines the functioning of Parliaments in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka1 in order to gauge the extent of openness and access from the point of view of both Members of Parliament (MPs) and citizens. http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/showArticle.aspx?acat=Reports&aid=4752

Does Budget Transparency Lead to Stronger Human Development Outcomes and Commitments to Economic and Social Rights? Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Patrick Guyer, Terra Lawson-Remer in this International Budget  Partnership paper explore the relationship between the quality of the budget process and human development outcomes, in particular at the relationship between the OBI and human development as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI) as well as the Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index

Toward a Framework for Implementation of Climate Change Treaty through Self-enforcing Mechanisms: Meeta Keswani Mehra, Saptarshi Mukherjee, Monica Dutta  discuss the pros and cons of the already proposed international cooperative mechanisms toward climate change mitigation and highlights the problem of information revelation, particularly related to the abatement issues. [ICRIER]

Contested Relationships: Women’s Economic and Social Empowerment, Insights from the Transfer of Material Assets in Bangladesh: Lucy Scott examines the relationship between women’s economic and social empowerment in the context of extreme poverty based on the findings of primary fieldwork on the Char islands of north-west Bangladesh. [UNU-WIDER Working Paper].     http://www.esocialsciences.org/Articles/ShowArticle.aspx?acat=Institutional+Papers&aid=4705

Faith in Exile: The Lessons of Tibet: This video feature (2004) by Guerilla News Network  from Internet Archive. Since 9/11, Tibet has all but disappeared from the front page. With its economy booming, China has become desperate to exploit Tibet's vast mineral and fuel reserves - and that has meant keeping a tight grip on any moves towards Tibetan autonomy.

Myanmar’s Reforms: The Challenges Ahead: Kyaw San Wai comments on the release of many high-profile political prisoners by Myanmar’s government and discusses the still existing obstacles to reform.. [RSIS Commentaries].

Do you want to know what is happening in the Indian Parliament and in the legislatures of Asian countries? Click on http://www.esocialsciences.org/News/InParliamentNews.aspx  to read synopses/full proceedings.

Money, Markets and Corporates

Power, Profits and Inflation: A Study of Inflation and Influence in Pakistan: Syed Ozair Ali’sanalysis looks at inflation as a political economic phenomenon, based on a framework devised by Jonathan Nitzan and christened differential accumulation that integrates the definitions of power and capital. [SBP WP]

Inter-connectedness of Banks and NBFCs in India: Issues and Policy Implications: Karunagaran A’s brief study attempts to explore the financial inter-connectedness between NBFCs (both deposit taking and non-deposit taking) and the banking system. [RBI WP]

Building World Class Businesses for the Long Term: Gillian Lee, Roger Malone. Short-term thinking by both companies and their investors is widely seen as a key fault behind the global financial crisis. But what does a long-term approach look like in practice, and what challenges face companies that want to lengthen their horizons and create sustainable enterprises? [CIMA Report].

State Focus Paper 2012-13: Karnataka: This paper published by NABARD, consolidates the PLPs of all the 30 districts and highlights the potential for flow of credit to various sectors in agriculture and rural development.

Energy, Environment

Energy in the Development Strategy of Indian Households-The Missing Half B. Sudhakara Reddy, Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan. This IGIDR Working Paper explores the nexus between gender-energy-poverty, highlights areas of gender concern, and suggests measures.

Can Lease Hold Forestry in Nepal Benefit People and the Environment? Bishnu Prasad Sharma analyses the role of Nepal’s innovative forestry management programme, the Leasehold Forestry Programme, in improving household welfare in Nepal. A SANDEE Policy Brief.

Would you like to be an eSS Reviewer for Books or Referee for our Papers?  Please send us your areas of interest, with your professional status and location. Research students and young scholars are particularly encouraged to write to us.


Parental Education as a Criterion for Affirmative Action in Higher Education: A Preliminary Analysis: Rakesh Basant, Gitanjali Sen explore if criteria other than caste and community can be used to form the basis for affirmative action. More specifically, is parental education an appropriate criterion for this purpose? [IIMA WP]

K to 12: The Key to Quality Education? The continuous deterioration of the quality of education in the Philippines has prompted the Dep Ed to push for the implementation of the K to 12 program, which entails the institutionalization of kindergarten and the addition of two more years of high school in the basic education cycle. [A Senate Report]

Coming Soon!
Media and Ethics: Asian Perspectives
Eminent commentators from India, Turkey and elsewhere explore ethical issues impacting the media across the region.

For all editorial matters please contact: editor@esocialsciences.org. For all other technical matters please contact: support@esocialsciences.org

eSocialSciences Team,

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