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Penn School of Arts and Sciences Monday, March 14, 2022

The Production of Vulnerability: Generating Aquaculture Profits by Preying on Poverty in the Sundarbans

Megnaa Mehtta
March 14, 2022

In the latest issue of India in Transition, Megnaa Mehtta (Fellow, ICAS:MP, New Delhi) reveals how profit-driven aquaculture businessmen are taking advantage of the most socially, economically, and ecologically disadvantaged communities in the Sundarbans by convincing them to convert their agricultural lands into saltwater chambers.

Read More

This article is the second in a set of guest-edited IiT short series. The articles in this series seek to make sense of India’s multi-scalar response to climate crisis in four distinct ecological regions. India’s first-ever climate change assessment report, published in 2020, found that the intensity of droughts increased between 1951 to 2016 and that water stress, due to both flooding and loss of ground water, has exponentially risen over the previous decades. There is increasing pressure at the state and local municipal levels to come up with mitigation plans coupled with increasing global pressure on India to declare a zero-emission target. At the same time, on the ground-level, political, communal, and ethnic violence has increased in areas that are increasingly “disaster”-prone. This series will map how the effects of extreme weather are manifesting themselves as market-oriented transformations of the agrarian and forest economies, leading to various kinds of ethnic fissures and political violence around the question of land in the Ganga Brahmaputra region.
(Guest Editor: Debjani Bhattacharyya, History Department, University of Zürich)

CASI in the News

CASI Postdoctoral Research Fellow Nafis Aziz Hasan published "Bureaucratic Mediations for Biometric Governance in India’s Northeast—Aadhaar in Tripura" in the March 6, 2022 issue of the Journal of South Asian Studies.

The February 24, 2022 CASI-Nand & Jeet Khemka Distinguished Lecture, "Overlapping Peripheries: How Will India and China Navigate the Asian Century?" by Ambassador Shyam Saran (26th Foreign Secretary of India) was featured in the March 1, 2022 Penn Today article, "Former Indian Foreign Secretary Discusses India, China, and the 'Asian Century'" by Brandon Baker.

CASI Student Programs

Applications for CASI's Sobti Family Fellowship and 2022 Summer Research Funds are NOW OPEN!

Sobti Family FellowshipThe Sobti Family Fellowship will provide a Penn doctoral student with $12,500 to develop independent research interests broadly related to CASI’s agenda. The award will include an unrestricted $10,000 grant with the addition of up to $2,500 in travel expenses, conference attendance fees, and research materials.

Summer Research FundsCASI will provide up to $4,000 to Penn undergraduate students and $5,000 to Penn graduate students for independent research projects related to contemporary India. We strongly encourage applications from undergraduate students working on senior theses and graduate students conducting and analyzing fieldwork for their capstone projects or dissertations.

Deadline for BOTH applications: Sunday, April 3, 2022 at 11:59pm EST

Subscribe to the CASI Student Programs Blog and read about students' experiences in India!

Questions about CASI Student Programs?
Please contact Laura Iwanyk, Assistant Director, CASI Student Programs and Outreach, liwanyk@upenn.edu

2021-22 CASI Virtual Seminar Series

March 17, 2022, 12 noon EDT | 9:30pm IST via Zoom

"Ordering Violence: Explaining Armed Group-State Relations from Conflict to Cooperation"

CASI / South Asia Center / Andrea Mitchell Center / Perry World House / Penn Comparative Politics Workshop Seminar with Paul Staniland (University of Chicago)

March 24, 2022,
12 noon EDT | 9:30pm IST via Zoom

"Marginal Interiors: Architecture, Space, and Governance in the Colonial Indian Mufassal"

CASI / South Asia Center Seminar with Tania Sengupta (University College London)

March 31, 2022, 12 noon EDT | 9:30pm IST via Zoom

"Words Matter: Gender, Jobs, and Applicant Behavior"

CASI / South Asia Center Seminar with Kanika Mahajan (Ashoka University)

REGISTER for CASI Spring 2022 Events

Event Videos:

March 3, 2022: CASI Seminar "Why Discussion Rules Matter for Representation: Experimental Evidence from Rural India" with Simon Chauchard (University Carlos III, Madrid) FULL VIDEO

March 2, 2022: CASI Book Talk
"The Deoliwallahs" with Authors Joy Ma & Dilip D'Souza


VIEW VIDEOS of more CASI past events—Transcripts, English captions, Hindi subtitles available on select events

Campus Location

CASI's office is located close to the heart of Penn's campus at the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science & Economics at 133 South 36th Street (Suite 230) Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215.

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CASI is operating on a hybrid schedule.

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