Thursday, 2 March 2017

Are the Australian Left-Arm spin trends headed for an epic turn?

The latest buzz around the lanes of cricket world is all about Australia bringing India’s unbeaten streak of  19 test matches to a juddering halt last Saturday. Australia’s rout of India in the first Test by a huge margin of 333 runs at Pune gets largely credited to the left-arm orthodox spinner, Steve O’Keefe’s superb 12 wicket haul.

This marvellous performance by Steve O’Keefe has interestingly brought back the attention to Australian Left-arm spinners. Australia in fact has never had a great left-arm finger spinner ever in all its 134 years of cricket history and none had ever taken 10 in a match before O’Keefe.

A book Mid-wicketTales: From Trumper to Tendulkarby S. Giridhar and V. J. Raghunath has a chapter dedicated to the Left Arm Spinner. While the art of leg spin bowling has been romanticized adequately in cricket literature, somehow the left -arm spinner has always remained typecast as essential but not with the allure of the wrist spinner; as the honest, dependable craftsman, but not the star element of cricket. This book brings to light the interesting fact that Australia has always remained barren when it comes to left arm spinner while England has remained dominant followed by India and other countries in this particular aspect of cricket. The authors in their book, have also this stat-nugget that out of the 5297 wickets captured by left-arm spinners till 2011, only 4% were taken by Australians. There are more such insights culled from the statistics of this domain of cricket that startlingly reveal how weak Australia has been in left-arm spin. And that is why it would be interesting to see whether more such performances by O’Keefe and his ilk from Australia would change the trends in the stats and mark the beginning of the new era of Australian Left-Arm spin.

This book “Mid-Wicket Tales” by S. Giridhar and V. J. Raghunath is written with the passion of a fan and knowledge of a cricketer. It is for all genuine lovers of cricket from every cricketing nation. It celebrates cricket in all its hues and brings alive the rich history, romance and technical nuances of the game, where diligent research and analysis is blended with rare and interesting anecdotes. This book will ensure that its readers forget neither the rich traditions of cricket nor the players who have contributed to uphold the culture of this fascinating sport.

Grab your copy today to revisit and revive your love for this game of Cricket!

Let us develop an understanding of Effective waste management process!

Disasters are not new phenomena; they have been faced since time immemorial. However, the current set of disasters is fundamentally different from the earlier ones since their cause is not rooted in nature. It can instead be attributable to technological progress which also provides us an opportunity to address them through human actions and behaviours.
One of the most visible disasters facing us today is the growing volume of waste generated in both the production and consumption of goods and services. The increase in waste can be traced back to two specific observations. First, there is a significant increase in world population, primarily due to reduced mortality rates stemming from medical advances. This has resulted in a larger pool of potential waste generators. Second, there has been a rise in per capita incomes of individual consumers driven in part by the fact that two of the largest populated economies, China and India, have started to develop their industrial bases. This growth in per capita income has led to increased demand for goods and services which has consequently led to an increase in the rate of waste generation.
An article from the journal, Vikalpa focuses on this crucial issue of waste management. The ineffective management of waste can pose significant health and ecosystem hazards. It has been observed that waste ‘leachate’ can lead to soil and water contamination; waste burning causes air pollution; and if recycling is not practiced, non-renewable natural resources could get depleted. Additionally, increase in health problems has been noted in the population residing in the vicinity of waste disposal sites.
Limited institutional capacity, scarce financial resources, and political constraints are some of the most pressing issues that have been attributed to ineffective waste management. The changing mix of environmental, social, and poverty aspects especially in developing economies has led to lack of coordination in addressing waste management problems. It is now recognized that a more holistic environmental approach which focuses on reduce, reuse, recycle would be a better strategy to achieve sustainable goals. In addition, this could also generate employment and thereby contribute to economic development and simultaneously address environmental issues equitably.
This article also proposes an integrative framework for waste management across the supply chain. 

To read more about the critical issue of Waste Management, Register here

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A contrast on nostalgia for life in Kashmir with experiences of re-establishing social and political relationships after displacement

How do communities facing protracted displacement deal with the experience of migration and place-making? Second, how do notions of home mediate this relationship? 
An article from Contributions to Indian Sociology approaches these questions by taking the case of Kashmiri Pandits, the upper caste Hindu minority of the Kashmir valley, who were displaced due to the outbreak of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989–90 and a significant section of whom were located in displaced persons’ camps during 1990–2011.

Due to the breakdown of law and order and a series of selective assassinations of Kashmiri Pandits by militants, most of the community fled their homes, relocating to the city of Jammu in the southern part of the state and different parts of north India. Since then, the Kashmiri Pandits have come to constitute one of the most visible groups of internally displaced persons in the region
The article draws upon discussions with Pandits who contrast nostalgia for life in Kashmir with experiences of re-establishing social and political relationships after displacement. Place and migration here are both treated as contexts and products of social activity that involve considerations of objects, physical environment and communal relationships.

The article engages with experiences of settlement of displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the city of Jammu, their memories of past lives in Kashmir and experiences in forging a new relationship with the local inhabitants. The article also discusses the experience of uncertainty among Kashmiri Pandits and whether a possible future can be imagined in the current place of habitation. Through an engagement with nostalgic recollections of home in the past in Kashmir and challenges of rebuilding life and settlement in Jammu, the editor also shows how the Pandits find themselves caught in a tension between the objective conditions of migration and displacement and their desire to seek a stable/secure location.

There are layers in the engagement with place in the present, as some Kashmiri Pandits try to construct a claim and connection with Jammu. The relationship that forced migrants, such as the Kashmiri Pandits have with place—the place where they are from and the place where they find themselves in the present—involves dealing with memory, affection and sentiment and their lived social and political contexts. However, the ability to relate to a place is complicated by a dual process of observing everyday life and habitation, and yet constantly feeling that the next moment of migration or move may come anytime and that one will have no choice in the matter.

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Domestic Violence — an issue so serious, yet ignored and so little understood!

With an effort to fortify the millennium development goal (MDGs) of gender equality and women empowerment (UNO, 2002), many legislations and policies have been formulated and implemented. It is apparent, that over the past few decades, a host of issues related to women are discussed and vigorously debated on various platforms. One of the most important aspects of this discourse has been that of violence against women and within that area close attention is being paid to domestic violence, that is, violence that occurs within the victim’s house or by members of the family.  Despite the enactment of laws, formulation of reformative legal processes, provision of legal aid to the needy, extensive use of the provision of Public Interest Litigation, conduct of Family Courts, Women/Family counselling centres etc., women in India have a long way to go in concretising their Constitutional goals into reality as the problem is embodied in socially and culturally.

An article from the journal, Social Change, hopes to draw the attention of readers to the causative factors of domestic violence and its impact on the victim, her family and on society as a whole. Domestic violence is a global issue reaching across national boundaries as well as socio-economic, cultural, racial and class distinctions. This problem is not only widely dispersed geographically, but its incidence is also extensive, making it a typical and accepted behaviour. Its cost to individuals, health systems and society is enormous. Yet no other major problem of public health has been so widely ignored and so little understood.

Domestic violence is perpetrated by, and on, both men and women. However, most commonly, the victims are women, especially in our country as women were always considered weak, vulnerable and in a position to be exploited. Violence has long been accepted as something that happens to women. Cultural mores, religious practices, economic and political conditions may set the precedence for initiating and perpetuating domestic violence, but ultimately committing an act of violence is a choice that the individual makes out of a range of options.

Violence not only causes physical injury, it also undermines the social, economic, psychological, spiritual and emotional well-being of the victim, the perpetrator and the society as a whole. It has serious consequences on women’s mental and physical health, including their reproductive and sexual health. These physical and mental health outcomes have social and emotional sequelae for the individual, the family, the community and the society at large.

Gender-based violence is entrenched in the culture of developing nations; hence it is the time to change that culture. There is lot of awareness programmes conducted regarding the issue. In almost all the awareness programmes the contents are legal issues, counselling facilities and measures to take the support of the police. In large majority of the cases the audience is women. There is a need for change in this way of thinking and believing. The men and women are integral part of the society and there is a need for the change of attitude in three ways: Attitude of men towards women, Attitude of women towards men and Attitude of women towards women. Apart from this, what is required for a healthy society is not merely the absence of violence but the presences of positive emotions towards their female counter parts.

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Thursday, 19 January 2017

What are India’s and China's commitments and initiatives to combat climate change?

Climate change has come to occupy an important space in international relations today. The recently concluded Conference of Parties (COP) 21 at Paris, France in December 2015 was a testament to the fact that issues hitherto relegated to ‘low politics’ in traditional international relations have become increasingly mainstream.

India and China—two of the largest emitters today—share common concerns arising from climate change. Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and several other studies have concluded that the two countries face imminent threat in the form of ecological degradation, food and water scarcity, agricultural shifts, health hazards, etc. due to climate change. In addition, India and China have shared national circumstances as developing countries. Both nations face serious third world challenges such as socio-economic development, poverty eradication, and health and food security concerns in their respective home fronts. Home to approximately one third of the global population, the developmental needs and aspirations of these countries are enormous and certainly bound to be further complicated by the effects of climate change.

India and China have responded to the issue of climate change rather elaborately within their respective capacities and national circumstances. Invoking the principles of equity, historical responsibility and common but differentiated responsibilities, India and China have continuously fought for a fair and just international climate change deal. They have tirelessly argued that the primary responsibility of cleaning up the carbon mess must lie with the developed economies given their historical culpability. The carbon space must be equitably shared among all peoples of the planet so that growth and development is not confined to a certain section of the world populace alone.
Thus, a joint statement issued by the two premiers during Narendra Modi’s China visit in May 2015 ‘urged the developed countries to raise their pre-2020 emission reduction targets and honour their commitment to provide US$100 billion per year by 2020 to developing countries’. India and China have emphatically stressed the importance of all these while taking cognizance of the fact that it is the responsibility of all to protect the planet, albeit according to one’s capacity.

Although China and India are seen as major growing economies on an equal footing, their actual worth and potential are widely uneven. There are several differences in two countries’ respective economic and energy situations pivotal in the context of climate change. Several strategic issues remain between China and India that hamper the countries’ cooperative efforts in climate change. The boundary issue is a crucial and continuing bone of contention between the two.

Despite the above stated problems in cooperation on climate change there remain several avenues for India and China to cooperate as they both attempt to tackle the problem. It is necessary for the two to find collective measures to deal with climate change given the fact that climate change has the potential to undermine both the countries’ larger security interests if it goes untamed for long.

To Read more on India, China and Climate Cooperation from the journal 'India Quarterly', register here.

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