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

Society & Culture

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.

Background

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.

Community Radio in India: Redefining the Media Landscape

Vinod Pavarala
Monday, August 15, 2011

Twenty-two year old Manjula reached the radio station before daybreak one day in August last year and started broadcasting Tsunami alerts at 5:00 a.m. Early morning listeners were caught unaware as they are used to the community radio station, Kalanjiam Vaanoli, beginning its broadcast only at eight. By mid-morning, Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and the surrounding region were given the all-clear by the district administration, but Manjula had already done her job effectively and efficiently that day.

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.

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.

Climbing Up the Downward Timeline: A Reflection on Indian Dance Today

Justin McCarthy
Monday, January 31, 2011

Attired in bright silks, adorned with elaborate jewels, bells on ankles, and moving with stylized facial expressions and hand gestures to artfully sliding melodies atop a continuous, complex percussion accompaniment; this performer would be the visual representation of Indian dance for audience members ranging from first-time viewers to spectators more familiar with the art form.

Organizational Forms in Flux: Cooperatives and Producer Companies

Vivek Bhandari
Monday, December 20, 2010

Sustained economic growth over the past decade has triggered dramatic changes in the way that Indian cities relate to villages, a relationship that is often described as a continuum.Whether associated with the aggressive expansion of private enterprise that sees great potential in rural markets, or the government’s burgeoning welfare schemes, or indeed, the policies shaped through “public-private partnerships,” the pressures associated with this churning are felt at many levels.This is especially true for those organizations working in rural areas that were est

The Road Transport Energy Challenge in India

Madhav G. Badami
Monday, November 22, 2010

The rapid growth in motor vehicle ownership and activity in India – motor vehicle numbers have doubled every six or so years from 1980 to 2004 – has provided mobility to millions, and contributed to employment and the economy. This trend is, however, causing a wide range of adverse impacts. Perhaps the most serious of these impacts, in health and welfare terms, result from road traffic accidents.