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Sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi
This study looked into the socio-cultural dimensions of legal provisions and policies for protection of children in India and Rajasthan. It also attempted to analyze various issues for prevention: policy/ legal provisions/ programmes in place, redressal mechanisma and challenges faced. The study also suggests measures to upscale the effective implementation of child protection schemes in Rajasthan. The study explored the extent of awareness and linkages of family and community with the district, state and national child protection system, perception of communities for government mechanisms such as the police and legal system, gaps in these linkages, views of people to recognize childhood and children’s development. The research used systematic, qualitative methodology to provide richness and in-depth understanding of the problem, as well as to elicit and learn about views of functionaries of child protection system and teachers, parents and children themselves. By eliciting their own views, values, and practices, a rich, grounded picture of their beliefs and practices with the added value of giving voice to local people has been obtained.
Kanchan Mathur, Shobhita Rajagopal and Radhey Shyam Sharma
(Sponsored by ICSSR, New Delhi)
This research study aimed to explore the shifting meanings of empowerment from the perspective of women who have been part of two innovative programmes i.e. the Women’s Development Project (WDP) of the Government of Rajasthan and the Mahila Samakhaya Programme (MS) of the Government of India. The purpose was to examine these innovations with a gender lens in order to establish the pathways to women’s empowerment, agency and gender equality and the impact on transforming gender relations together with women’s lives. The research explored the transform potential of these two programmes to initiate a process where women perceived the need to move from a state of passive acceptance of their life situation to one of active self determination of their lives and their immediate environment.
The study was qualitative in nature and centred on women’s testimonies/ narratives. It also analyzed the larger structural factors that have determined the process of change. The focus was on women in the two initial districts of Rajasthan where the WDP programme was launched along with the state of Uttarakhand (Nainital and Dehradun districts) where MS was initiated in the first phase.
The narratives of the women in the two programmes amply demonstrate that empowerment is not just about enlarging the boundaries of action but is also about extending the horizon of possibilities of what people imagine about themselves being able to do and do. It is not a simple equation in which there is a linear connection between choice, action and outcome. Many of the women who were part of these initiatives have gained greater confidence, capabilities and consciousness and capacity to act collectively to demand rights and recognition. They have found ‘voice’ through these programmes and have been enabled to challenge entrenched patriarchal structures. The research study makes a case for sustainability of innovative programmes and suggests that given the uniqueness of both the initiatives that succeeded in mobilising women from the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups to fight for their rights, it is pertinent that the insights and learning from these programmes be fed into all future policy and design of programmes for women’s empowerment and development in the country.
Sponsored by ICSSR, New Delhi
Since the very introduction of MGNREGA, its impact on different walks of rural life including the labour market has been measured in terms of rural households enrolled for jos under MGNREGA, days of employment made available to households and significant variation in percentages across different states and districts among job seekers and finder households have been observed. It is against the backdrop that the study was placed. The study aimed at identifying factors influencing MGNREGA implementation and its impact across regions in India. Primary objectives of the study were to assess impacts of MGNREGA on rural labour market in Kerala and Rajasthan and examine the impact of MGNREGA on diary sector in Kerala and Rajasthan. The choice of Kerala and Rajasthan as sample regions for the study was based primarily on differences in the characteristics of rural labour market. Some of the major findings highlighted by the study were proportion of women workers in MGNREGA is higher in Kerala than in Rajasthan; women workers joined MGNREGA because it was considered a government job; the difference between market and MGNREGA wage is the primary variable influencing the effectiveness of MGNREGA; and MGNREGA has impacted the supply of labour in both agriculture and animal husbandry sector. The study concluded that MGNREGA has impacted significantly on the rural labour markets and the dilution of the programme without placing alternative source of employment would lead to immiserisation in rural area.
Varinder Jain and Surjit Singh
Sponsored by National Rainfed Area Authority, Planning Commission, Government of India
The study has delved into the question of input gaps and the yield gap in rain fed agriculture with specific reference to the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. In meeting its goals the study conducted a comprehensive sample survey of 3360 farm households selected through stratified random sampling from fourteen districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan– Seven sample districts selected from Gujarat are Anand, Banaskantha, Mehsana, Panchmahal, Rajkot, Sabarkantha and Vadodara and the seven sample districts of Rajasthan are Ajmer, Barmer, Bharatpur, Kota, Sikar, Sri Ganganagar and Udaipur. In addition, the study has also interviewed 84 input suppliers in both the states. Based on the information collected through pre-designed schedules, the study examined at length aspects such as : pattern of input usage (with specific reference to seeds, fertilizers, pesticidies / insecticides, bio-fertilizers, micro-nutrients, farm yard manure etc.), usage of machinery and the state of irrigation, farmers’ knowledge and access to institutional support, and the incidence of yield gaps. The study found that there exists a large gap in the usage of inputs – a large part of which is due to constraints in the supply of inputs. Farmers’ knowledge of latest agricultural techniques is also limited and the situation gets worsened due to fragile institutional support. All this leads to the presence of wide gaps in the attainment of crop yields. Keeping these findings in view, the study urges for strong policy interventions for strengthening the rain fed agriculture in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Sponsored by ICSSR, New Delhi
The study was carried out in two phases. The first phase of the study aimed at a detailed analysis of the secondary data on production, structure, impact of different programmes and policies like MGNREGA and external trade of animal husbandry sector in India. The second phase of the study was primarily based on field survey of cattle rearing farmers from six major as well as minor milk producing states in India. It included: Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Kerala. The major objective of primary survey was: to arrive at an estimation of the cost of production of milk in different states by type of farmers; analyse the association between crop production and cattle rearing; analyse changes in the milk production sector in terms of organisation of production and; study the impact of different employment and anti-poor programmes of the state on animal husbandry sector.
The study revealed that the analysis of animal husbandry sector employing secondary data poses serious problems. Availability and reliability of existing data, data gaps the coverage are major problems. The first phase of the study revealed that there has been a serious lacuna in reliable and time series data on several essential facets of structural shift in milk production in India over the years. The shift has happened primarily in terms of the organisation of production. It is found that introduction of MGNREGA has impacted differently in different states. More often, the MGNREGA has impacted on the diary sector through rural labour market and its manifestation was on hike in labour cost on the one side on account of the availability of fewer hands for cattle rearing work. Alongside, the crisis in the crop production sector has also extended its consequences on the diary sector. Unless strong and effective mediation in the sector from the central and state government is made sooner than later, the sector may head towards a kind of situation that the crop production sector has been into for the last two decades. It is found that the sector is heading towards elimination of small and marginal farmers from the sector.