Scope of Themes under TTI
Local Governance (Theme leader: Prof. Debiprasad Misra)

IRMA’s  research and policy engagements under the broad theme of local governance has been informed by two clear principles discernible in the Constitutional provisions; first, local governments, irrespective of the differences in their forms for rural and urban areas, are Constitutional entities with a ‘right to life’ and recourse to the ‘eminent domain’ doctrine and hence central to the democratic project of the state; and second, the principal function of local governments is ‘planning for economic development and social justice’. Further that the District Planning Committees, set up in every district governed under the said Constitutional provisions, are meant to be the bedrock of such planning, animating processes from below and ensuring that such plans reach the state level and are reflected in the larger scheme of planned development. Thinking spatially or thinking through the organisation of settlements is said to be the most important dimension of planning when viewed in the context of a locality. If the Constitutional vision of local governance were to be a reality, planning could be expected to gravitate to its rightful place of ‘seeing in three dimensions’ – a distinct departure from planning in the single dimension of ‘economics’ as has been the case up until now. This viewpoint continues to guide IRMA’s research and policy influencing efforts.

Proposals under the theme:
Proposal 1: Institutional design for local governments (Prof. Debiprasad Mishra)
Proposal 2: Emerging trends in Participatory District Planning (Prof. Debiprasad Mishra)
Proposal 3: Promotion of Palamur Development Forum (Prof. K.V.Raju and Prof. Harekrishna Misra)

Non-for-profits: Policy, Institution, Practices (Theme leader: Prof. Pratik Modi)

The not-for-profit sector encompasses any organization or institution that is not a for-profit business entity. Not-for-profits, thus, could be private or public organizations whose primary goal is not profit making. They, however, may earn profits/surplus for self-preservation or expansion. The activities and scope of not-for-profit (also referred to as nonprofit) organizations has been steadily increasing over the years as their market based/linked activities are growing. The interaction, collaboration, and linkages between not-for-profit and business organizations have also grown in recent past. Hence, their role in bridging the market separation is crucial. There is a need to develop research based policy on the issues related to not-for-profit management, effectiveness, and linkages with other sectors, governance, and their role in bridging the market separation.

Proposals under the theme:
Proposal 1: Voluntary Sector in India: Challenges, Opportunities, and Voices from the Field (Prof. Pratik Modi and Anupama Datta, Director, Policy Research & Development, HelpAge India) Mentor: Mr. Methew Cherian
Proposal 2: Exploration of the CSR activities of companies and NGOs link (Prof Ramendra Singh, IIM Calcutta and Prof Pratik Modi)
Proposal 3: Enhancing Rural Women’s Market Access: Approach of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (Gujarat), India. (Prof. Ila Patel and Prof. Preeti Priya)
Proposal 4: Corporate Foundations In India: A ‘Third Sector’ Of Development? (Prof. Ila Patel)

Conflict and Conflict Resolution ( Theme leader: Prof. Ajay Dandekar)

There is a veritable crisis in several areas of the country today – a damaging mix of governance deficit, alienation and a violent insurgency that has involved people across the spectrum of tribes to ethnic groups. The major issues around which the conflicts are being centred revolve around rights and perception of rights, resources, resource use and the people’s perception of the ownership. It is then played out in the arena of   the use of   resources. The conflict is in some areas is also being fuelled in due to the other non-state non democratic players who want to use the governance deficit of the area to create a trust deficit between the state and the people and then step in the vacuum with an alternative formation of the Indian State. The dialogue with policy on matters pertaining to the issues that are germane to the arena of conflict, namely, land, perceptions of rights and contestation of rights, especially with regard to participatory governance and development would be developed, through more grounded research, workshops and position papers.

Proposals under the theme:
Proposal 1: Policy Initiatives in Schedule V Areas on PESA, Education and FRA. (Prof. Ajay Dandekar and collaborators)
Proposal 2: Poverty Pathways: Comparison of Two Hill States. (Prof. Ajay Dandekar, Prof. Pratik Modi)
Proposal 3: Land Use in India: Policy Implications (Prof. P. K. Singh)
Proposal 4: Conflict Between Labour and Capital: Re-examining the Labour Market Flexibility Debate (Prof. Atualan Guha)

Rural-Urban Linkage and Dynamics (Rural Transformation/ Urban Development and Poverty) (Theme Leader: Prof. Mukul Kumar)

The relationship between rural and urban areas is now more dynamic than ever before. This is happening in the backdrop of transformation of rural areas into urban areas and increased pace of urbanisation. Keeping this landscape in view rural transformation, urbanisation, urban development and poverty would be focussed under this theme. Rural and urban are integrated in inexplicable ways now and policy decisions should ideally be based on a good understanding of the phenomenon. As part of the theme, issues (migration, remittances, ethnicity/identity etc.) affecting marginal communities/peoples in both rural and urban areas would be understood.  Field studies under the theme would be guided by the motive of developing sound policy advices based on solid evidence emerging from the field. Appropriate efforts would also be taken for dissemination of policy advices. Research and policy work would be geared towards ensuring inclusive development.

Proposals under the theme:

Proposal 1: Income Inequality, Urbanisation and Services Sector (Prof. Atulan Guha)

Proposal 2: Subjective Well- Being and Poverty Analysis of Rural India. (Prof. Preeti Priya and Prof. Saswata Narayan Biswas )

Proposal 3: Assessment of Effectiveness of Industrialization as a Policy Instrument for Regional Planning:  A Study of Mundra Region in Kutch. (Prof. Anand Venkatesh, Prof. Ila Patel, Prof. Preeti Priya)

Proposal 4: A comparative study of potential rurban markets by developing cooperative approaches to meet the urban demand. (Prof. M.V. Durga Prasad)

Proposal 5: Rural Transformation, Migration and Urbanisation: An Anthropological Enquiry. (Prof. Mukul Kumar)

Proposal 6: Providing Last Mile Connectivity through Rural Roads: A Socio – Economic Analysis of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). (Prof. Anand Venkatesh) Proposal 7: Sprawl of Urban Centers in Gujarat and its Policy Implications. (Prof. P. K. Singh)
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