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New India Fellowships 2011

The core activity of the New India Foundation are the New India Fellowships, awarded to scholars and writers working on different aspects of the history of independent India. The duration of the fellowships is twelve months. Fellows are paid Rs. 70, 000 a month. Each year, a mix of young and experienced candidates are selected.

The New India Fellowships are open only to Indian nationals, including those currently living abroad. Fellowship holders are expected to write original books. Their proposals should be oriented towards final publication, and outline a road map towards that destination. The Foundation is ecumenical as regards genre, theme, and ideology: the only requirement is that the proposed works contribute to the fuller understanding of independent India. Thus Fellowship holders may choose to write a memoir, or a work of reportage, or a thickly footnoted academic study. Their books could be oriented towards economics, or politics, or culture. They could be highly specific-an account of a single decade or a single region-or wide-ranging, such as a countrywide overview.

The books that result from the New India Fellowship will convey original research in an accessible manner to different constituencies. To that end, each book will be published by a prestigious publishing house. The Trustees have wide experience of publishing with leading firms (Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, Blackwell, Penguin) in India and abroad.

Candidates for the New India Fellowship are Candidates for the New India Fellowship are sought through select advertising in leading journals. The Trustees shall assess the proposals and make a short list from the submissions. The shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview, before a jury consisting of eminent people from the worlds of scholarship, business, and social service.

In December 2004, the first New India Fellows were chosen. They are:

1. Harish Damodaran (journalist, New Delhi), to write a book on the sociology of business communities in independent India.

2. Shashank Kela (social activist, Nagpur), to write a book on adivasi-state relations in central India.

3. Dr Deepak K. Singh (political scientist, Chandigarh), to write a book on the conflicts between Chakma refugees and indigenous tribals in north-east India.

4. Dr Chitra Sinha (historian, Mumbai), to write a book on the Hindu Code Bill debate and the shaping of modern India.

In December 2005, the second New India Fellows were chosen. They are:

1. Dr Venu Govindu (scientist, Goa) and Dr Deepak Malghan (scientist, Bangalore) to write an intellectual biography of J. C. Kumarappa.

2. Dinesh C. Sharma (journalist, Delhi) to write a history of the IT industry in India

3. Dr Indira Chowdhury (historian, Bangalore) to write an institutional history of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

4. Dr S. V. Srinivas (film scholar, Bangalore) to write a social history of the Telugu film industry.

5. Dr Vasanthi Srinivasan (political scientist, Hyderabad) to write a book on the political philosophy of C. Rajagopalachari.

In June 2007, the third round of New India Fellows were chosen. They are:

1. Ayesha Kidwai (scholar of literature and lingustics, Delhi) to prepare an annotated translation of Begum Anees Kidwai's classic memoir Azaadi ki Chayon Mein.

2. Professor Varun Sahni (political scientist, Delhi) to write a history of India's strategic and foreign policy since Independence.

3. Dr Ghazala Shahabuddin (ecologist, Delhi) to write a book on the science and politics of biodiversity conservation in India.

4. Bikramjeet Batra (legal scholar, Delhi) to write a book on debates on the death penalty in India.

5. Ashok Chandran (writer, Palakkad) to write a biography of the politician and social reformer P. T. Bhaskar Panicker.

In August 2008, the fourth round of New India Fellows were chosen. They are:

1. Savithri Preetha Nair (historian, Kottayam), to write a biography of E. K. Janaki Ammal, the distiguished biologist and the first Indian woman to be awarded a Ph D in science.

2. Mani Shekhar Singh (sociologist, New Delhi) to write a book on the social and economic context of Maithil painting.

3. Amrita Shah (journalist, Mumbai) to write a contemporary history of Ahmedabad.

In November 2009, the fifth round of New India Fellows were chosen. They are:

1. Saba Dewan (film-maker, New Delhi) to write a book on the social history of the singer-courtesan in north India.

2. Ajai Shukla (journalist, New Delhi) to write a book on the history of Arunachal Pradesh in the context of the India-China border conflict.

3. Manjima Bhattacharjya (sociologist, Mumbai) to write a book on the glamour economy of modern India.

4. Lawrence Liang (legal scholar, Bangalore) to write a book on the intersection of law and cinema.

5. Kartik Shanker (ecologist, Bangalore) to write a book on culture and conservation, with specific reference to the Olive Ridley turtle.

6. Richa Kumar (social scientist, New Delhi), to write a book on the political economy of agriculture in central India.

How to Apply
Applicants for the New India Fellowships are invited to submit the following:

CV with contact details (email ID mandatory)
Book proposal
Writing sample of at least 5000 words (published or unpublished)

To:
The Managing Trustee,
The New India Foundation,
22 A Brunton Road,
Bangalore 560025.

Entries may be sent by post or courier. Email applications will not be entertained.

The New India Foundation now invites applications for the sixth round of its fellowships. Applications as per the guidelines on the website may be submitted before 31st July 2011.

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  1. Topic: women entrepreneurs: the case of the Ao of Nagaland

    Entrepreneur is one who undertakes and directs a business undertaking assuming a risk for the sake of the business. Entrepreneurship entails the application of economic and personal skills and the ability to take risks with the aim of generating resources from the environment. This demands not only the ability to organize but also the capacity to see organize and transform it into a profitable venture. While entrepreneurship is a form of employment, not all those who are employed are entrepreneurs.

    Based on the perception that trading by women is primarily a characteristic of societies with a primitive or pre-capitalist mode of production- was that with the integration or transition of these economies into the modern economic system, the activities would be gradually phased out and would be replaced by large specialized economic enterprise(Bohannam and Dalton, 1962).

    The failure of the formal sector to absorb the increasing labour force in most developing countries, however it made it clear that these activities are here to stay. This has not only forced development scholars to look at women’s economic activities more closely to understand the dynamics of their operation but has also led them to search for new analytical and concepts that would shed light on women’s relations with the market-dominated macro-economy. This search led to the concept of the informal sector, which encompasses many income-generating activities adapted by the urban poor and which rests primarily on self-employment as distinct from wage employment in the formal sector. The concept of the informal sector had it’s origin in Hart’s study of urban migrants engaged in petty commodity production and petty trade in Ghana in the early 1970’s (Hart 1973).
    It was latter adopted and refined by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Hart who primarily sees the distinction between the informal sector and the formal sector in terms of the sources of income self- employment (informal) and earning from wages (formal). ILO stresses the distinction between the formal and informal sectors on the basis of a number of criteria.
    In sharp contrast to the capital –intensive and regulated nature of employment in the formal sector, the informal sector is seen to be characterized by ease of entry, family ownership, labour-intensive activities, reliance on indigenous resources, skills acquired outside the formal school system and unregulated and competitive market operations(ILO 1972, 6 & 1974).

    In this context of study, an entrepreneur is understood as one who establishes an enterprise, takes all decision regarding its operation and bears the risk of the business.

    Main focus of the study: The main focus is to study the economic activities of the Ao women. Women’s contribution to the economy remains a largely neglected area both nationally and internationally. It is important o note that women’s engagement in trade

    and other micro-enterprise has not received the kind of attention it deserves from analysts. The concern of the study is to highlight the contribution of the work done by the women in the Ao society and to analyze the prospects and constraints that characterize their work It also entails an examination of the women’s familial and kinship roles, gender relations, economic conditions and patterns of development that emerged in Nagaland, as well as the adaptive responses of individual and groups occupying different structural positions in the political economy of the state.

    WOMEN IN TRADE: Trading was primarily a male occupation, with men walking long distances and staying away from home for days. Women took part in trade but on a smaller scale and traded in items of less economic importance. Some questions like what is it that leads to this shift in the trading sector? Does this shift signify men’s occupational mobility, thus leaving the market open for women? Is it else in the socio-economic structure that pushes women into trade? are addressed in the study undertaken.

    A related factor that perhaps has had a more powerful influence in pushing women into trade, especially in more recent times, is their poor access to land. In an agrarian economy, ownership of and access to land are vital for the economic security of the household. In many a case diminished access to land resulted in a multiplicity of occupation as both men and women turned to various occupations to supplement the decreasing family income. While there are many low-skilled jobs such as carpentry, masonry, furniture making, motor repairing and driving available to men, the avenues for women are highly restricted. This means that women either had to reconcile themselves to casual wage labour which is riddled with uncertainties or they had to create their own employment opportunities in areas more in tune with this traditional role. Many pavement sellers and small scale retailers enter the market under these circumstances.

    Women entrepreneurs maybe defined as the women or a group of women who initiate,organize and operate a business enterprise. Like male entrepreneurs a women has many functions. They should explore the prospects of starting new enterprise, undertake risks, introduction of new innovations, coordination, administration and control of business and providing effective leadership in all aspects of business.

    Entrepreneurship entails the application of economic and personal skills and the ability to take risk with the aim of generating resources from the environment. What prompted women to work and how do the variables of gender, family and class affect their activity? Will be some of the questions highlighted in my study
    The study will be anthropological in the sense that it will examine customs, laws, distribution of property and so on in a comprehensive way in relation with the study of women entrepreneurs.

    Today the world is in a state where the rapid flow of capital, people, goods, imags and ideologies draw more and more of the globe into webs of interconnection, compressing our sense of time and space and making the world feel smaller and distance shorter. The process of globalization is a rather uneven process because while some may possess the political and economic resources to trot across the world, others have litte or less access to transport and means of communication.

    It is in the process of creating languages, services, products that apply not just to an individual neighborhood or city or country but to the whole world. Globalization has given access to a wide range of products and services from around the globe and at the same time contributed to the rise of Entrepreneurs among the local community members.

    Objectives of Study:
    • To study the economic activity of Ao women.
    • To examine the reasons for taking up the enterprise, nature of their work and strategies adopted for achieving success
    • To study the possibilities and constraints that characterizes the work of the women Entrepreneurs.
    • To examine the effect of the changes that took place in the region due to Globalization and the effects that had on the Women Entrepreneurs

    Universe of study:
    I choose Dimapur as the area of study because the various agencies of globalization are visibly bringing changes in the city. Various agents like tourism, market complexes, NGOs, KPOs, and BPOs have opened up in recent past. All these changes are making the place a spot of globalization process in a big way. We can see people migrating in and out of the city thus mass mediation and migration are happening here, which are two important feature of globalization. Dimapur is one of the districts of state, Nagaland. It is known as the hub of the state because of its links and exposure to the outside world. It is inhabited by people from all over the country. It is 74 kms away from the capital of the state, Kohima. The state railway station and Airport is situated in in Dimapur, which is one reason for the development of the place.
    Tourism is promoted in a big way in the city. There are resorts, parks, science centre, history sites and natural scenic view which are opened for the public. NGOs are flourishing and women are embracing the initiatives, one of the initiatives being the entrepreneurship among women, taken by the various agencies of globalization which makes them financially independent and uplifts their autonomy in the family and the larger society as a whole.

    Methods of study: METHODOLOGY: The methods employed will be methodological in nature, using both primary and secondary sources. Primary data will be collected through personal interviews and observation, as well as through indirect means such as informal

    talks with employees, former employees, family members and friends of the entrepreneurs.
    Interview will be used to access people’s experiences and their inner perceptions and attitudes. The schedule method will be used to collect data. It is a set of questions which are filled in by the enumerators or the investigators himself or herself. The questions will be asked to the informants according to the sequence in the Performa. Case studies and life histories of women entrepreneurs will be important methods for collecting information regarding particular person, an event, or a group, an institution to understand its dynamics. Case studies are concerned with the how and why things happen. The case study approach is not actually a focus on a particular issue, but a methodological approach that incorporates a number of data gathering methods. Household census method will be used for collecting information on population, number of houses, demographic details etc. the census contains basic biographical data like name, age, sex, kinship links, descent groups, clan affiliation, past and present marriages as well as information regarding the educational background, occupation status, family structure, joint ownership of land and so on.
    Genealogical method is another chief component tools in anthropological research. The interpretation of residence, age at marriage, education, number of children etc. are easy to collect by using this method. The use of mechanical devices like camera can be used to collect information by the way of direct means. Photographs tell more about the appearance of native than verbal description on masses of anthropometric data could even do. Photographs even tend to present accurately a mass of details which is appropriate to escape the human report.

    Ethical concern of the study:
    The main concern of the research is to highlight the economic activities of women and to analyze the prospects and constraints that characterize their work. The research will also focus on the women’s familial and kinship roles, gender relations, economic conditions and patterns of development that emerged in Dimapur, as well as the adaptive responses of individuals or group occupying different structural position in the political economy of the state. I will first explain to the informants the main concern of the research keeping in mind their moral principles and norms of conduct.
    Primary data will be collected through personal interview and observation, as well as through indirect means such as informal talks with employees, former employees, family members and friends of entrepreneurs. The latter will be useful in cross-checking the accuracy of the information given by the entrepreneurs about the nature and scale of their operations.
    Broadly women Entrepreneurs will be divided into three broad category
    • Those engaged in trade in commerce and trade
    • Those in small-scale industry
    • Those in contractual activity
    My sample will constitute 50 women in each category.
    Entrepreneurship as specialized economic activity can be understood as an economic activity that owes its success to the personal qualities of the actor, such as the ability to change and adapt and the wiliness to experiment and take risk. Entrepreneurial success also depends on the availability of resources and the presence of basic infrastructure necessary for carrying out certain task.

    Work done so far:
    I visited central Science Library, Ratan Tata Library and the Department Library to get access to books for the literature review of my research. I have attended a National Conference on “Exploring Disability Experience in Social Science Research” in Jawaharlal Nehru University.

    Reference
    1. Nongbri, Tiplut. 2008. Gender, Matriliny and Entrepreneurship. Delhi: Zurbaan Publication
    2. Boserup, Ester. 1970. Women Rloe in Economic Development . London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd
    3. Dube, Leela. 1997. Women ansd Kinship: Comparative perspectives on Gender in South and South –East Asia. New Delhi: Vistaar Publication

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