Thursday, November 26, 2015

Common Property Resources —its governance and management!

Millions of people across rural India depend on and share the ‘common’ (community) natural resources like forest, wasteland, grazing land, water resources, etc., for their livelihoods, whereas developing such ‘common resources’ through collective action for the sustainable village development is a challenging task for the rural community. Many a time, Common Property Resources (CPRs) also work like the shock absorbers (both income and employment) for the vulnerable poor during the lean seasons wherein no wage employment is available to sustain their livelihood, whereas developing the ‘common resources’ through collective action at the village—panchayat—level is a challenging task for the rural community.
An article from the Land and Rural Studies analyses how the CPR is managed and sustained by the village panchayat along with its impact on rural community. There are, however, some initiatives of long-standing community self-regulation of common resource management for farm and non-farm development, which need to be understood and replicated elsewhere by suitable and sustainable mechanism.
The active and responsible community participation is one of the prime requirements for promoting and sustaining the common natural resources. The public–private people partnership between the government, private institutions and the community is apparent for the integrated and sustainable village development. The study demonstrates that strong community participation with a vision, new institutional set-up and an efficient management and governance of CPR would benefit the society in many folds. Policy needs to be designed for CPR management from the bottom-up approach with the involvement of community to make development sustainable.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

India’s Diversity and Globalization: Unifying Forces and Innovation

India is a multilinguial, multireligious, and multi-caste country and has been a dominant player in the world system and part of the global economy for ages. Its civilizational past has been shaped and has evolved through a number of events, crises, people, and communities. It has not been an isolated country at any point of time, as there has been a continuous exchange of ideas, products, and people with other countries and civilizations.
An article from Emerging Economy Studies attempts to examine the following questions: How has India evolved as a civilizational entity over a period of the last 2000 years? How has globalization influenced its evolution during the last few centuries? What are the unifying factors of India in terms of culture, constitutions, and social processes? It also proposes that how a good governance system can direct India’s diversity and socioeconomic challenges to develop an innovative society.
New institutions and governance systems have been created over time. India has had several achievements in terms of social and economic activities during the last 65 years, and has made it to the third largest economic power of the world, after USA and China, on PPP basis. However, there are several problems that continue to challenge the country, as discussed in previous sections. A large number of problems exist because of poor appreciation of its wide socioeconomic and geographical diversity, and because of the discrimination that arises from misinterpretation of this diversity. It therefore becomes impertive for the country to achieve its lost glory by sustaining and enhancing what has already been achieved, and further improving its existing performance in those areas where it lags, so as to bring prosperity to all the people of the country

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Do Consumers hold the power of pushing Corporate Social Responsibility towards Sustainable Development?

Today sustainable development is a prime focus both globally and nationally as it revolves around fulfilling the needs of the present generation without hindering future’s ability to meet their needs. World Business Council on sustainable development states, ‘Sustainable development involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity. Thus, Sustainability runs on Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach which is called as three pillars of sustainability—Environment, Economy, and Society’.

An article from the Indian Journal of Corporate Governance explicates that mounting ethical concerns about the impact of modern consumption culture on society and the environment, the rising prominence of these environmental and social issues within mainstream media, the emergence of organised consumer activist groups etc. have all led to a growing awareness by consumers and impacts their purchasing and consumption behavior.

Corporations utilise the limited natural resources for their benefit and thus there has been an increasing realisation that corporations need to give back to the society through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR encompasses the ideas of corporate governance, sustainable wealth creation, corporate philanthropy and advocacy for the goals of the community. In the contemporary world of business identified by cut-throat competition and powerful strategies, the nature and quality of CSR practices goes a long way in determining the survival and sustainability of the business.

Corporate accountability and transparency in business practices is the need of the hour. Thus, the fast food giant Starbucks in their annual report of CSR remarked how socially responsible organisation can go far ahead of its competitors and create stronger and better impressions amongst stakeholders. The article cites examples of a number of instances where corporations devote large resources for social causes and it turns to be beneficial, such as LIC and Hindustan Unilever Limited.

The article attempts to highlight how consumer can be a key driving force for CSR and subsequen
tly pressurise business firms to go for more CSR activities that will lead to societal growth and development.

Register now to read more about how both corporation’s and consumer’s high orientation towards social responsibility could proceed towards not just sustainable development of the society but also ensuring corporate sustainability.

Friday, November 06, 2015

A relook into the causes of decline in rural female labour force participation in India

As an economy transforms from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy, a decline in participation of female labour force is observed. The decline observed in rural female labour force participation is due to a complex mix of several forces working simultaneously. An article from Vikalpa takes a look at structural transformation of the economy and its resultant impact on the female labour market in the whole process.

With an increase in income levels of the households, a woman no longer prefers working as an unpaid worker or a helper or as a casual worker unless the work is remunerative. However, such opportunities are limited in rural India and as a result women are not finding jobs matching their preference (regular part-time jobs close to their households). Furthermore, with low skill levels, the opportunities available in rural India which are compatible with their education levels are dying out.

Dedicated efforts in improving their educational outcomes through infrastructure development, female teacher availability, incentives along with creating an adequate number of favourable job opportunities are necessary to harness their potential. Considering the constraints experienced by the rural females to enter the labour force policy initiatives are required to make them economically active. The initiatives should focus on microfinance-supported self-help group-centred activities, which will make them economically active along with handling domestic duties. Furthermore, rural manufacturing should create jobs that can be undertaken by women in their household or as a community. Such focused steps can increase the participation of rural females back into the labour force.

For females in the 15–24 age group who are about to enter the labour force, vocational and basic skills training need to be provided so that they can enter the labour market overcoming social inhibitions and restrictions. Lack of adequate infrastructure in terms of roads and connectivity can also be deterring women from undertaking work in the nearby areas. Thus, improving connectivity between the villages and the satellite towns and small cities will also enhance female labour force participation.

India has already started realizing its demographic dividend and female population which account for nearly 50 per cent of the population is an asset to be utilized carefully if we have to reap this window of opportunity. A bubbling rural economy is the need of the hour to create jobs and absorb the bulging economically active female population.

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Monday, November 02, 2015

'Practicing' Cosmopolitanism—Making a progress towards the understanding of a humane cohabitation across differences

Cosmopolitanism may be understood as an interaction of the individual with the other through dialogues and intermingling in different cultural spaces, such as, academic institutions, habitats and marketplaces. With the recognition of the individual, there arises the significance of the local (as a place of habitation like the city), the need to interact along the gross and mundane aspects of life involving everyday interaction at places like marketplace. These everyday exchanges eventually open up the possibilities to realize the sublimity of an intercultural connection not only with people within institutions but also with humanity at large. Cosmopolitanism, conceptualized in this manner thus allows an understanding of both the familiar and the unknown with a respect for differences within human society rather than limiting the idea to conceptualization. Cosmopolitanism, realized through different pragmatic spaces within social institutions lay out the future vision of moving beyond theoretical discourses, making a progress towards the understanding of a humane cohabitation across differences.

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The Journal of Human Values provides an understanding of how in order for individuals, organizations and societies to endure and function effectively, it is essential that an individual's positive exalting forces be rediscovered and revitalized. addresses the impact of human values along a variety of dimensions: the relevance of human values in today's world; human values at the organizational level; and the culture-specificity of human values.

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