South Asian Journal of Socio-political Studies

VOL.XXI NO.1 July - December 2020

Tribute: Prof. Asok Kumar Mukhopadhyay

Prof. (Dr.) M.R.Biju, Dean, School of Social Sciences, Dean, School of Legal Studies and Head, Department of Public Administration and Policy Studies, Central University of Kerala, Kasargode-671320 and M.R.B. Anantha Padmanabha Deputy Editor, South Asian Journal of Socio – Political Studies (SAJOSPS) Prof. A.K. Mukhopadhyay was one of the pillars of the SAJOSPS journal. The inaugural article of the publication was contributed by Prof. Mukhopadhyay. It was titled “Politics, Development and Environment” (PP 6-11, Vol.1, No.1, Jan-June 2000). The Editor of SAJOSPS while pursuing his doctoral studies in late 80’s met him at Baroda University (MSU) while attending an international seminar on decentralization. It was the dawn of a new beginning. From the day of our meeting we had a unique relationship. Later we got opportunity to meet each other and spent weeks during the confidential meetings of a few constitutional bodies in New Delhi. Since it is an annual exercise we could see each other on regular intervals. We always preferred to share the same rooms which provided a new atmosphere to both of us to interact each other on varied aspects of public administration, development administration, public policy and other areas of common academic interest. For me the loss of Prof. Mukhopadhyay is an irreparable one but it was inevitable. After the receipt of the sad news from his son Sri. Samik Mukherjee, I requested him to send a Bio line. He was kind enough to send me a text about the life and career of his illustrious father. We are reproducing the text of Sri. Samik Mukherjee before our esteemed readers without editing. May the soul of Prof. AKM rest in peace.

Role of Sub-State Actors in Outreach: Germany, United States, Canada and India

Abhishek Jain, New Delhi Recipient of the Daksha Fellowship for Technology, Law and Policy. The paper is an attempt to identify the approach of the German diplomacy, particularly recognizing the role of German Landers towards their outreach efforts with other countries. It will also trace the rationale of the direction taken by the German Landers. The paper will start with the basic introduction of concept of diplomacy and its essence in charting a foreign policy. It will move towards substantive questions which will reflect the main conundrum and the debate for autonomy of states versus centralized foreign policy. It will lay out a general understanding of role of para-diplomacy and its significance, while delving onto the implications. The paper will analyze the legislations, including constitutional provisions that vest in the German Landers the freedom to engage with other foreign entities and thereby charting a unique foreign policy of Germany. The paper will also compare the role of sub-state actors, the Landers in the German context and make a comparative analysis with other case studies and examples from countries like Canada and the United States in an attempt to distinguish the nuanced differences in the operation of sub-state actors in these countries. The paper will also delve into the question as to whether the trend of sub-state actors gaining prominence is an advantage and ascertain the implications for countries like United States and Canada. The paper also highlight the efforts of Indian states in engaging with its foreign counterparts and by also entering into treaties with other countries by practicing co-operative federalism. The paper will conclude by offering suggestions for role of states in an attempt to intensify greater outreach and instill a dynamic foreign policy in the Indian context.

India’s strategic interest in SAARC countries:Soft power approach

Dr. Lawrence Prabhakar Williams, Associate Professor, Pooja Raghav and Trishna Rai, Doctoral Fellows, Madras University/ Madras Christian College. The paper is an attempt to identify the approach of the German diplomacy, particularly recognizing the role of German Landers towards their outreach efforts with other countries. It will also trace the rationale of the direction taken by the German Landers. The paper will start with the basic introduction of concept of diplomacy and its essence in charting a foreign policy. It will move towards substantive questions which will reflect the main conundrum and the debate for autonomy of states versus centralized foreign policy. It will lay out a general understanding of role of para-diplomacy and its significance, while delving onto the implications. The paper will analyze the legislations, including constitutional provisions that vest in the German Landers the freedom to engage with other foreign entities and thereby charting a unique foreign policy of Germany. The paper will also compare the role of sub-state actors, the Landers in the German context and make a comparative analysis with other case studies and examples from countries like Canada and the United States in an attempt to distinguish the nuanced differences in the operation of sub-state actors in these countries. The paper will also delve into the question as to whether the trend of sub-state actors gaining prominence is an advantage and ascertain the implications for countries like United States and Canada. The paper also highlight the efforts of Indian states in engaging with its foreign counterparts and by also entering into treaties with other countries by practicing co-operative federalism. The paper will conclude by offering suggestions for role of states in an attempt to intensify greater outreach and instill a dynamic foreign policy in the Indian context.

Demystification of “Personalised” Foreign Policy of India

Dr. Vinod Khobragade, Associate Professor of Political Science, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra. After J.N. Nehru and Indira Gandhi as prime minister of India, Narendra Modi earned great appreciation in the realm of India’s foreign affairs. His foreign policy transformations have invited both praise and criticisms domestically and globally as well. Like Nehru and Gandhi, Modi also applied personal calibres in reshaping India’s foreign policy. Through this paper, attempts are made in mapping the reflection of Mr. Modi’s personality factor in India’s foreign policy such as his ‘militaristic approach’ against hostile Pakistan. This paper also critically looks into India’s neighbourhood first policy, India’s multilateralism and India’s engagement with the major powers especially Russia, the US and China. India tried to balance its relations with the U.S. and Russia. Besides, India made optimum failed efforts in improving relations with China, consequently that led to heavy tensions at the borders. In fact, war or war like situation at the borders occurs when diplomacy fails and unrealistically personalised diplomacy further proved to be fatal.

Understanding the Trans-Himalayan Politics by Revisiting the Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Wangchuk Thinley and Girisanker S.B., Research Scholars, Department of International Studies, Christ University Bengaluru. This research paper through empirical research aims to analyze the unique tradition of the reincarnation system of Tibetan Buddhism since the 11th century. The paper looks into why the tradition is being practiced or established within the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The first part of the paper will deal with the historical account of the institution of the Tulku system and the social, political and cultural factors that lead to the emergence of reincarnation tradition in the Society. The second part will examine China’s ambition to get sovereignty over Tibet by meddling in the reincarnation process of Tibetan Buddhism undermining the very existence of the latter in terms of the fundamental philosophical tenets and historical significance of tradition that has been a practice in Tibet over the last 800 years. Thirdly paper is an attempt to analyze Sino-Tibet relations through the cultural hegemonic theory.

National Security Concerns: Overdependence of India’s Pharma Sector on China

Dr. Reinhart Philip, Assistant Professor, Central University of Kerala¸ Kasaragod. When trade is a way to maximize welfare, overdependence of one nation on the other creates an unfavourable trade balance which even questions the financial stability of the highly dependent nation. A national security concern also arises when the two nations in trade do not have a peaceful political relation and the case of India and China befits the situation. Over the past years, India’s trade with China has created a trade deficit for India, which is not only increasing but also raises serious concerns especially when it comes to overdependence on the import of various items, particularly active pharmaceutical ingredients. Though known as the pharmacy of the world, the intermediates or ingredients for the production of various drugs are mainly imported from China and this has become a matter of serious concern which questions the health security of the nation. The present paper explores India’s overdependence on China for APIs, the national security concerns and the solutions available for India to get over the situation.

State Assembly Resolutions against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Federal Structure

Dr. Deepak Kumar Pandey, Associate Professor, Legal Cell, Regional Officem Higher Education, Dehradun. In the backdrop of CAA protests at Delhi, the idea of citizenship and power of union regarding legislation about citizenship and its applicability across pan India, especially in non BJP ruling states with the outset of state assembly resolutions against CAA bring some serious issues into the debate of Indian polity. The federal structure with assigned subjects, as designed by the constitution makers and which further evolved is being challenged by political actors from those political parties which are in opposition of centre. Though the number of opposing states is comparatively less in number, but it brings some serious questions to think over. In the backdrop of the citizenship amendment act and protests against it in certain areas, this paper attempts to look into the wider issue of centre-state relationship and its implications on the Indian Polity. In this paper CAA is taken only as a reference case to testify the theoretical nuances of federal theory in Indian context.

Power and Soft Power: Theoretical Developments

S. Loganathan, Research Scholar, Centre for South Asian Studies, Pondicherry University. The concept of power is primitive in nature. The power is endless phenomenon and where it starts and where it ends is altogether unfathomable. The search for single conceptualisation of power will become completely illusory and parochial. From birth to death, human existence is driven by endless power relationships. Every human encounter is made up of power. Identifying and observing, evaluating and estimating, comparing and controlling and contemplating the power and its different nuances is really enigmatic. The subtlest and least observable character of power is most effective. Power cannot be compared or equated with any concept or material (animate or inanimate resources) because power is beyond the material wealth, that is, power is a capacity of actors who he involved in the process. Thinkers like Foucault, Pareto, Boulding and Lukes are try to unfold the subtle aspect of power into practical reality, actuality, specificity, observability and usability. Since 1990’s, the subtle aspect of power became very dominant in international relations which was identified as soft power by Nye in the form of inanimate resources. He compared soft power as non-material resources which end up with vehicle fallacy or resource fallacy. To overcome this vehicle fallacy in soft power analysis, Vuving has come out with power currency approach to end all kinds of confusion arises from resource driven approach of soft power.

Digital India Initiatives in Transforming Governance

Prof. Sanjeev Kumar Mahajan, Ex-Dean, Faulty of Social Sciences, Himachal Pradesh University, and Dr. Anupama Puri Mahajan, Researcher based at Shimla. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have an agenda to achieve social, economic and environmental goals by 2030. 196 member nations of the United Nations pledged to work according to the 17 SDGs with proper procedures and processes of implementation and monitoring. This monumental task can be broken down into achievable targets and activities by the nations according to their ecosystem. The one solution to achievement of SDGs that emerges is digital efforts in transforming governance. India has become the leading emerging and fastest economy of the world with the youngest population as its driving force which is empowered by digitalization. The Digital India initiatives have yielded promising results leading an increase in production, ease of doing business and ramping up of government procedures and processes. Its digitally monitoring systems of projects in the infrastructural areas has led to their speedier completion and commencement. India has finally come out of the colonial set up of policymaking trends and administrative procedures by adopting new methods in utilizing the ICTs. It is pushing the manufacturing industry to transform from Industrial Revolution 4.0 to 5.0 which ensures human touch via artificial intelligence to the machines. The manufacturing sector has come to binding machines and intelligent devices through smart networks that are enabled to control each other. However, India has enhanced its basic administrative structure by digitalizing it at the grassroots level with active involvement of local bodies besides the higher levels of administration.

Decentralized Development Planning in Rural West Bengal

Dr. Md. Ayub Mallick, Professor, Department of Political Science, Kazi Nazrul University, Bardhaman. The objective of the work is to enforce and analyse the role of decentralised governance in formulating development planning and development in rural areas with special reference to West Bengal. The work would try to answer whether decentralised governance has been able to meet the demands of growth and redistribution through PRIs in West Bengal. How these competing priorities get reconciled in contemporary West Bengal will depend on how the panchayat institutions steer the ‘politics of redistribution’ at the grass roots level, while the state-level politicians manage the ‘politics of growth’ at supra-local levels. Admittedly, for long the panchayat bodies have been treated as mere extension agencies for dispensing various centrally designed and sponsored poverty alleviation programmes and service delivery schemes. Furthermore, in this designated role, the panchayat bodies have acted under the aegis of centralised party directives and more as bureaucratic agencies than as autonomous representative institutions, internalising a style of bureaucratic governance. Does the decentralised governance in West Bengal been able to reach the goal of participatory development through various welfarist programmes? Emphasis has been made on participation of the people at the grassroots level like gram sansad and gram sabha level, benefits from poverty alleviation programmes and redistribution through land reforms.

E-Governance: An Indian Experiment with the MyGov Application

Sudheesh Kumar J, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Mahatma Gandhi College, Trivandrum, Kerala. E-governance or digital governance is emerging as a game-changer in public administration. The tools and techniques used in e-governance have great potential in transforming organizational behavior in the public sector (UNDESA , 2020, p. xxviii). Today, the people as beneficiaries of the e-services fall dependent on digital governance. The paper examines the features of e-governance concept and the levels of its implementation in India. India has developed its digital administrative ability from the initial provisions of e-services to complex projects like citizen-government interaction tools. The staging of an application called myGov by the government of India is an attempt to promote virtual democracy at least as an opening attempt. The features and content of the application are examined in the paper.

Upsurge of Indian E-Commerce Industry

Prof. M. Sarngadharan, Senior Fellow-ICSSR, Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, Thiruvananthapuram. The aftermaths of demonetisation in 2016 are positive as well as negative in the Indian economy, when viewed from social, economic, political and legal dimensions However, the economic impact on e-commerce industry is considered momentous on account of the boost foreseen in digital deals and online payments. It is a universally accepted fact that technology enabled innovations like digital payments, hyper-local logistics, analytics driven customer engagement and digital advertisements are prone to support the growth of e-commerce industry unquestionably. The growth in e-commerce sector would boost employment, increase revenues from export, boost tax collection by exchequer, and provide better products and services to customers in the long run. The current paper attempts to examine the enrichment of e-commerce industry in India, consequent on the decision for demonetization. The required data, congregated from the research reports and articles published in research journals were bestowed for drawing conclusions of the study.

Financial Literacy and Personal Financial Decision among Households.

Anjali. C.M, PGP Finance, IIM- Kozhikode and Dr. B. Johnson, Professor, Department of Commerce and Management Studies, School of Business Studies, University of Calicut. Being technically independent and having financial security and financial freedom is a crucial factor of financial success. Rather than earning more money, managing the money in proper means creates more wealth. Now a day, tremendous of financial products and services are available in the market along with abundant of credit opportunities. A wise utilization of these opportunities can lead the individuals to the next level. However, the financial literacy level of individual are not significantly considered in our economy. Even the authorities are more concerned about financial inclusion whereas the low level of financial literacy itself is the reason for it. Financial literacy influences the personal lives and in many ways. The level of financial literacy determines the level of success of their personal financial decisions. The present paper attempts to highlights the issues related to financial literacy and personal financial decision among households.

Gender and Development- A Study of Maternal and Child Health Care Policies in Odisha

Dr. Mahapatra Padmalaya, Associate Professor, P.G Department of Public Administration, Utkal University. Gender discourse within the field of development has come a long way from building a case of ‘inclusive’ growth which prevents the marginalization of women to questioning of the predominant notions of development itself. The body of feminist critique continues to traverse new terrains and posit new challenges. The neo-liberal vision of society with a strong undercurrent of economic determinism often celebrates the atomistic, unconnected, self-maximizing individual- a conception which largely inhibits the space of both culture and development. Women’s limited access to and control of material resources and limited decision-making power within the household can produce high fertility rates, under-investment in aspects of family welfare such as child nutrition and education, and sub-optimal allocations of human capital in the economy. Maternal morbidity and mortality along with infant mortality rate is universally considered as human development indicators in a country and determines the health status of the people. In spite of very good plans and programmes, the reduction in MMR & IMR is much below the target set in Odisha. The present study is based on both primary &secondary sources of data. The paper attempts to analyse the impact of maternal health care policies on women’s health status in Odisha. It mainly focuses on maternal mortality relating to socio-economic characteristics of deceased, status of ante natal care, major causes that led to maternal death, major steps taken through various policies & programmes initiated by Govt. of India / Govt. of Odisha & their achievement.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development

Dr. Mrutuyanjaya Sahu, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS, Pilani, Dubai Campus. In the era of liberalization and globalization corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gained importance and has become a common concept whereby corporate sector companies consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities. In India, CSR is in a flowering stage and facing daunting social and environmental challenges due to rapid economic developments, many Indian private sector companies have to go beyond their essential economic functions and to consider social and environmental aspects through CSR for their sustainability and development. CSR covers almost all issues like inequality of employment; environmental impact; involvement of civil society groups and local community; public safety; company cultures; brand image and reputation, etc. Recently, the Indian government has taken a number of regulatory measures to ensure firms support to achieve sustainable development goals. The main objective of these rules and regulations is to achieve triple bottom line growth. This paper highlights the relation between CSR and sustainable development in India in the context of mandatory CSR guidelines in the Companies Act 2013 applicable for both public and private sector companies. This paper is divided into the following sections. First, the literature on CSR is reviewed. Second, the sustainable and inclusive growth challenges of India are highlighted. Third, the paper discusses the role of selected private sector companies as a case study and their related projects and investments at regional, national and global levels. Fourth, it highlights the key challenges in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating CSR projects. Finally, the paper summarizes the findings, discusses their implication for all stakeholders and identifies possible future research.

COVID-19 and Food Security Challenges in South Asia

Dr. Santhosh Mathew, Assistant Professor, Centre For South Asian Studies, Pondicherry Central University. F ood is one of the basic need and after this pandemic period, world is going to suffer food shortage according to the scholars. The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is having an unprecedented impact around the world, both in health and socioeconomic terms. By 11 April, 1.6 million cases and nearly 100 000 deaths had occurred globally (WHO,11 April 2020). South Asia consists of eight countries and most of the country has its agricultural background that also has huge impact on the region’s economy. Before modernisation the main source of economy was agriculture and food production. The region also known as most densely populated region in the world. Emerging economically developed countries of the region could be considered India and Bangladesh. But again these countries has its history of continuous struggle against poverty and unemployment. During and after the COVID-19 lead pandemic, which is believed to be spread from china to the rest of the world, is a new threat in health sector and taking lives around the world. Economically high profile countries along with underdeveloped and poor nations around the globe facing security threat from this virus and they are following the lockdown strategies to avoid coronavirus. South Asia is not different and also following the lockdown strategy, but the problem here is people who live by hand and mouth fearing that they would die out of hunger as this lockdown hampering their means of livelihood. Government is trying its best to support these people in need but corruption, mismanagement and lack of resources misleading the supportive activities. This article aims to find out the challenging facts on food security in South Asian region focusing on Bangladesh and India, during and after the pandemic.

Accomplishing Atma Nirbhar Bharat amidst COVID 19 Pandemic: Prospects of Government Policies and Social Entrepreneurship

Iftekhar Alam, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Pondicherry University. Atmanirbhar Bharat or Self-Reliant India is a noble attempt to realise the past glory of our country which existed ever since ancient India till the colonization of the country happened. The clarion call given by our Hon’ble Prime Minister to be self-reliant or Atmanirbhar is resonated in converting challenges into opportunities, concomitantly reviving the Indian economy. Government policies to propel the Economic Patriotism, Techno-nationalism, bolstering manufacturing ecosystem and conducting translational research in the country have potential to realise the Self-reliance movement in India. The prospects of Social Entrepreneurship & Start-ups to convert challenges faced during pandemic into opportunities to generate income, livelihood promotion, strengthen local economy, check the migration and explore the unexplored areas for growth and sustenance can have overwhelming impact on Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. This paper evolved through the interaction by resource person in the Faculty Development Program on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Incubation organized by Ramanujan College, University of Delhi has attempted to explore the effects of various government policies as well as gauging the potential outcomes of social entrepreneurship in accomplishing Atmanirbhar Bharat at the backdrop of recent global pandemic. It has been conceived on the policy relevance of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and Start-up India, 2016, to Promote entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country and especially in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) through recent National Innovation and Start-up Policy in 2019 and practical implications of the recent crisis.

CSR Practices of Companies to Tackle the Coronavirus Pandemic- A Descriptive Study

Dr. D. Divya prabha, Associate Professor, Department of International Business, PSG College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore. The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people all around the globe in more than 198 countries. As it has a growing impact on the global economy, the world is gearing up to tackle this crisis of unforeseen magnitude and governments issue healthcare advisories and quarantine the infected. From the business front, The Covid Pandemic have begun painting a bleak picture of broken supply chains, disrupted manufacturing, empty stores and flagging demand. Even though the companies all around the globe are facing an economic slowdown, companies are stepping up to support their stakeholders in all possible ways as a part of their corporate social responsibility. This paper analyses the activities undertaken by the Multinational companies around the world to support the society to combat and recover from this coronavirus pandemic.

The Politics of Health Care in Kashmir

Hafizullah Shiekh, Assistant Professor in Political Science, Government College for Women Nawakadal, Srinagar, Kashmir. Proper Health care is considered a basic and fundamental human right endorsed by all the countries of the world. This can be gauged from the fact that every country spends a significant proportion of its GDP on health both in terms of building infrastructure and creating/ generating requisite professionals. Health is political keeping in view that in any other resource or commodity under a neo-liberal economic system some social groups have more of it than others. It is political because its social determinants are amenable to political interventions and are thereby dependent on political action .Further the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being’ (United Nations, 1948) is, or should be, an aspect of citizenship and a human right is also enough indicative that Health is political .Ultimately, health is political because power is exercised over it as part of a wider economic, social and political system .Keeping in view this political nature of Health, armed conflict had a profound impact on Health care and Health professionals in a conflict zone. The past three decades have been a time of global conflict, affecting over 50 countries and causing sustainable impacts on civilian health. While many effects are direct results of violence, Conflict also impinges on health through indirect means. The restricted mobility of health care staff and patients, targeting of health care professionals and stressful working conditions disrupt the ability of health care professionals in conflict zones effectively. The nature of conflict is changing, putting health professionals in harm’s way. Jammu and Kashmir in this regard is no exception and had its own problems responsible for poor health care. The state was engulfed by insurgency in late 1980s that lead to Conflict and collapse of law and order. The first priority of the central and state government was to restore law and order. The Hartal, violent protests became order of the day making it impossible for the health professionals (doctors, paramedical staff, ambulance drivers and others) to attend the hospitals easily and render their services effectively. The paper will examine the problems, issue and challenges in the broader context of Politics of Health care experienced by health professionals in J&K with special focus on professionals operating in conflict ridden Kashmir.

Pandemics and its Ill-Effects on Travel and Tourism Industry: A Case Study of Covid-19

Dr. Shan Eugene Palakkal, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Tourism, Stella Maris College (Autonomous), Chennai. An invisible foe has swept the globe, catching countries by surprise with its deadly virulence. Travellers who spent time in countries where the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was present, unwittingly took it with them far and wide. Many countries, some faster than others, threw a shield around their travel points when the transmission of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease became clear. The U.S., most European countries, Canada and Japan, among others, imposed various levels of curbs on the entry of foreigners and non-essential travel. The frantic effort was to halt the virus on its tracks. As the virus rages on, the challenge of containing the pandemic within national borders looms. Public places are sanitized and people are stopped from gathering in large numbers. Cities everywhere are powerhouses of the economy, but they have become the focus points of risk overnight. Already some global outcomes have started to emerge. Among the sectors worst affected by the prevailing situation is the Tourism and Hospitality industry. It is in this context that the paper examines how pandemics affect the global economy, global lifestyle, and global tourism. The paper will give a brief overview of the history of pandemics and the effects of COVID-19 on tourism and economy on a global context and with special reference to Kerala too. Diseases don’t care for race or class. But whenever there is a pandemic, deep-rooted social prejudices resurface. The paper will also discuss how to manage such situations and ways to explore the world without leaving home and how countries can learn lessons from the past.

Terra Incognita: The Itinaries of Theyyam and its Impact on Eco-Tourism in Kerala

Dr. Mallika A. Nair, Assistant Professor, Dept. of English, Vimala College (Autonomous), Thrissur, Kerala. Although recent trends in tourism industry believes in the demystification of rituals associated with folk art forms like Theyyam, it could indeed contribute towards a more meaningful communication between a culture and its people by emphatically rooting the performer and his performance in its natural space. Rather, in more simple terms, to try not to remove Theyyam from its original locales and move it to the sophisticated quadrangles of theatrical performance. Theyyam has from time immemorial been the façade of North Malabar and its identity to the world. Ecotourism and exercises that indulge in nature treks as well as measures such as documentary/ film festivals to showcase and spread profound awareness of the biodiversity of the Western Ghats will, no doubt, help one of the most vibrant natural resources of the Indian Subcontinent from being extinct. Demarcating areas close to the sacred groves as plastic free zones and preservation of natural water bodies will also go a long way in preserving the environment. Tourism can definitely help in the economic as well as ecological sustenance of the local community. And a regeneration of ritualistic art forms like Theyyam can indeed, return man to a more pristine future. Environmental policies of the world are best implemented locally and in short span of time. It is indeed the need of the hour that the Western Ghats and its signature of Sacred Groves be preserved as a model on how local measures for the conservation of ecology can be applied globally to curb environmental issues like global warming. An icon like the young Environmentalist Greta Thunberg reminds us that the end is not far.

DDevelopment of the Mappila Folklore of Malabar

Hassan. J, Faculty Member, West Asian Studies, University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus, Kerala and Manu. T, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus, Kerala. Abstract: Folk culture as the product of oral as well as a written tradition handed down from generation to generation. The word ‘folk’ denotes farmers, the labors, tribe, and the backward class and so on. Folk arts could be regarded as the products of the past. It is also the outcome of creative ideas of people expressed through verbal arts as well as material forms. It may be originated from a community or an individual. It is transmitted orally or through one written process from one generation to another, without any bookish knowledge. A person may create folk art, which may create Folklore and, in the course of time, could be accepted by the people. Folklore arts have a broad connotation that contains agricultural folk arts, traditional folk arts, festival folk arts, religious folk arts, etc. Thus folk- art of a generation is the admixture of a community living certain religious beliefs, agricultural traditions, tribal practices, enjoyments, habits, customs, etc. The Mappila folk arts have their culture from their age-old practices and deep-rooted belief in religion. Being a converted class, their transformation as the followers of the new religion was quick and amazing. They quickly imbibed the tenets of Islam. The folk arts of Mappilas have both an indigenous and foreign influence. If we are closely examining the folk arts, one could understand that these cultural elements are a combination of an Arab and Indian cultural influence, and by united, each other had developed genuine Mappila folk art has been evolved through the combination of the two. They share some standard features with others but maintain their own identity in every sphere of life, and the Mappila arts are thus distinguishable from others.

Electoral Reforms in India: Committees and Commissions

Bestin Varkey, Research Scholar, Department of Public Administration & Policy Studies, Central University of Kerala. Electoral reform is not an uncharted cognitive territory in contemporary India. Since, the beginning of the electoral politics in India in 1950’s and in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, there has been a lot of debate on electoral reforms. In the first four decades of the electoral process democracy have left the legacy worth preserving and fighting for. The structural attributes of politics of India do not quite the character of the discourse on electoral reforms. On the other hand, electoral system or electoral malpractices have themselves never become significant electoral issues. Nor has the agenda for electoral reform got linked directly to the politics of regime transformation. Based on these malpractices and issues, the Government of India as well as the Election Commission of India has formed various Committees and Commissions to study and suggest the mean to overcome these challenges. These Committees and Commissions have suggested various ways to overcome the Challenges and issues. Some of the recommendations of the Committees and Commissions have been implemented successfully by the Election Commission of India. But most of the recommendations of the Commissions are still pending before Government of India and Election Commission of India for implementation. This paper analyses the various recommendations of the Committees and Commissions formed by the Government of India and the current status these recommendations.

Contemporary Perspective of Disaster Risk Management aiming Sustainable Development

Prayaga M.A, Research Fellow in Public Administration, (ICSSR Doctoral Fellow of 2019), Department of Political Science, University College, Thiruvananthapuram. Activity of disaster management got advanced in a meandering way from running incidents of hazards to managing the risk of such events. Affairs of risk, resilience and sustainability, the trios hold the entire mankind opens a particular mode of action in dealing matters concerning disaster management. Among these actions the field of risk management holds special concern with regard to the up surging concern on the notion of developmental sustainability upon us. Today the mechanism of disaster risk management did under do a change in its approach to a more holistic type wrapped in pragmatism. The very existence of the man tribe is heavily consistent with the accuracy and reliability on the feature of sustainability. This level of sustainability ring upheld the amount of development upon which the contemporary situation revolves and is relied upon. There are different level of courses or happenings and the fundamental process which may negatively crash the pace of development, in their long or short run. In the present scenario disasters of any mode paves deep concern than any other aspect of development, as a result, the different mechanism of the event need to be studied in a multi sided way. This paper sheds light on understanding the novel concept of emerging the risk fact of disaster and how this factor would be seen cross culturally to formulate a well knit disaster risk management formula in a more sensible adaptive method. This novel approach in managing such aspect of hazard could be used as an important tool for ensuring development sustainably.