ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by C Shambu PrasadSubscribe to C Shambu Prasad

Whose Knowledge Counts?

Beyond the obvious claims of evidence-based research policy is the lesser-questioned claim of what qualifies as evidence. This requires an understanding of the politics of knowledge and examining knowledge claims made both for and against any particular innovation. Through the case of a specific agroecological innovation, the System of Rice Intensification in India, the barriers to a sustainable transition from a green revolution to an agroecological paradigm that reveals path dependence on certain agricultural futures—such as the New Plant Type or genetic transformation in rice—are highlighted.

Political Economy of Uncaring

Shadow Spaces: Suicides and the Predicament of Rural India by A R Vasavi; Three Essays Collective, 2012; pp 229, Rs 350 (paperback).

Science and Technology in Civil Society

The role of civil society in influencing public opinion towards more democratic and developmental approaches is now well-recognised in diverse fields such as health, education, livelihoods, issues relating to disadvantaged social groups and the environment. Yet, science and technology in India is predominantly seen as the preserve of the state, and more recently the market. In the linear model of innovation, civil society is seen at best as having a role in extension or the delivery of technology produced elsewhere. This paper, a study of science in civil society, questions this assumption through the case study of the work of a civil society-led initiative in spirulina algal technology. It highlights the need for an institutional transformation of the scientific establishment into learning organisations if they are to focus on development with a pro-poor or human face.

Suicide Deaths and Quality of Indian Cotton

The suicide deaths of farmers is a failure of agricultural science and the historical nature of the crisis needs to be appreciated. This paper seeks to retrace the route by which the present connections between Indian cotton and the mechanised textile industry were first established, a direction that has led to the present crisis on the fields of the cotton farmers. It also explores the alternatives in the khadi movement which with the aim of reintroducing spinning to the masses had to look at varieties of cotton suited for homebased production and evolve tools for use in the movement.

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