Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania


A Critique of the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors in India, 2009

Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay
Monday, September 26, 2011

Street vendors occupying public spaces such as pavements, parks, and thoroughfares, and thereby appearing to deny access to their “rightful” users has been, over the years, a highly contentious issue in major cities across the globe. Addressing the problem of “hawking” generally involves a range of complex and interlinked issues such as the informal economy, rural-urban linkages in commodity production and marketing, survival of the urban poor, urban renewal and middle-class politics, changing street cultures, shopping as well as selling behavior, and commodity circulations.

A Ray of Light in the Forests of India

Varad Pande & Pranjul Bhandari
Monday, September 12, 2011

The 250 million forest-dependent people in India have been victims of major historical injustices such as continuation of repressive colonial forest laws and are amongst the poorest in the country. To empower forest communities, India has passed two historic laws in the last 15 years. However, their effects on the ground have been disappointing. While all of this sounds desultory, a number of “transformations” have been taking place recently, which if harnessed properly, could significantly better the lives of these communities.


Beyond Acquiescence and Surveillance: A Modular and Grounded Approach to Media Regulation

Sahana Udupa
Monday, August 29, 2011

The increasingly complex and elusive media landscape has thrown fresh challenges to an unsettled ecosystem of media policy in India. Advanced communications technologies have fundamentally altered the ways in which information and meanings are delivered, organized and received. These new advancements call into question the efficacy of existing policy approaches to media, including the still-dominant conventional media.

Adding Fuel to the Fire: Political Parties and the Struggles Over Land Acquisition

Sanjoy Chakravorty
Monday, June 20, 2011

Nandigram. Singur. Posco. Yamuna Expressway. Jaitapur. Maha Mumbai. Anyone who follows the news in India knows these names as sites and projects where land acquisition efforts have run into serious trouble. But who has heard of Hukkeri in Karnataka, Nanded in Maharashtra, Lower Penganga Valley in Andhra Pradesh, or Mahuva in Gujarat? Each of these is also a site of a land acquisition process facing resistance. But there have been no shootings, no one has died; so there is less drama, less visible conflict, and few cameras.

Dangerous Misperceptions: Chinese Views of India’s Rise

Minxin Pei
Monday, May 23, 2011

The rapid economic ascendance of India as a global power is, without a doubt, a historic development that will reshape the balance of power in the world in the coming decades. Because of its democratic political system and private-sector entrepreneurial dynamism, India’s rise is warmly welcomed in the West. The West’s endorsement of India’s rise and its democratic development model is based on deeply rooted ideological affinity, mutual economic interests, and strategic considerations.

Institutional "Software": The Hidden Dimension of Nuclear Instability in South Asia

Gaurav Kampani
Monday, April 25, 2011

Since India and Pakistan claimed formal nuclear status in 1998, a debate has revived among nuclear optimists and pessimists on the consequences of nuclear proliferation. The original Sagan-Waltz debate has been followed up by Ganguly on the one hand, who optimistically argues that South Asia is stable, and Kapur on the other, who pessimistically maintains that there remain serious grounds for instability.

The Indian Parliament: Frozen in Time?

C. V. Madhukar
Monday, March 28, 2011

India is widely lauded as a model for emerging democracies around the world.  An unlikely survivor as a democratic nation, it has managed to maintain and strengthen its democratic traditions over the past six decades. However, the Indian Parliament, which is expected to reflect and give shape to the aspirations of a billion people, has been under some strain in recent years.

Perspectives on Muslims in India: Sachar Committee Report and its Aftermath

Rakesh Basant
Monday, March 14, 2011

In March 2005, within six months of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government coming to power, the Sachar Committee, was set up to analyze the conditions of Muslims in India and suggest ways to ameliorate their socio-economic and educational conditions. The cabinet approved the recommendations of the committee with alacrity and the Ministry of Minority Affairs was made the nodal ministry to monitor implementation.

Civil and Uncivil Codes

Rohit De
Monday, February 14, 2011

In 2010, the Khap Panchayats of Haryana launched a vociferous demand to amend the Hindu Marriage Act to prohibit marriages between persons of the same gotra, who are descendants in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor. Khaps are caste councils among the Jats who function as a deliberate adjudicative body over their caste members.