In response to the 8th November 2016 decision by the Government of India to demonetised existing 500 and 1000 rupee currency notes, the OICSD hosted a panel discussion on impacts of demonetisation on world’s fastest growing economy.
Dr Maan Barua (Chair), British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Geography and Environment, Oxford, and Early Career Fellow, OICSD.
The panellists discussed the consequences of 86 percent of Indian bank notes no longer being legal tender. Put forward by the Government as an essential move to fight corruption and stop the circulation of fake currency notes, critics are concerned about impacts on individuals most reliant on the cash economy, including the difficulties arising as 1.25 billion people attempt to change currency.
Every Wednesday during Michaelmas and Hilary term the OICSD hosts the India Ideas Room; a weekly discussion forum – an ‘Idea Room’ – at Somerville where we hope to bring together young and enthusiastic students and early career academics who work on, or are interested in, India and its diverse set of sustainable development challenges. This space will initiate conversations that will spark innovative ideas and imaginative thinking. These ideas may range from scientific to artistic, concern gender or political ecology.
The idea room will be an informal, non-judgemental, space to test out ideas, whatever they are.
In 2016-17 we hosted many Ideas Rooms, covering subjects from Smart Cities to Pakistani and India artists’ collectives, to river systems and child slavery.
If you would like to come along do email firstname.lastname@example.org or join us at 5.15pm on Wednesdays during Michaelmas and Hilary terms.
At this meeting, we brought together researchers interested in exploring potential collaborative, interdisciplinary research opportunities integrating Environment, Health and India. This meeting enabled discussions about participants’ current research and potential opportunities for collectively addressing the intersection of their research areas with health (India focused).
In the backdrop of India ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the prominence with which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were discussed during the recent UN General Assembly in New York, we feel that it is timely for us to facilitate the bringing together of those with interests in health, environment, gender issues, food and nutrition, air and water quality, climate change etc., to name a few.
Following this meeting there was a networking reception for India focused researchers and students to highlight their research, interact, network and establish contacts in an informal setting.
The OICSD held a small roundtable discussion entitled ‘A fine balance: India negotiating her own environmental legal path’ on Monday, 3rd April 2017 at Somerville College. The speakers were Prof Catherine Redgwell and Hemant Sahai. Mr Sahai is a leading Indian laywer, and founder of HSA Advocates, a Delhi-based firm which specialise in energy, infrastructure and environmental law. Prof Regdwell and Mr Sahai held a conversation which bridges theory and practice, which spanned topics such as ‘How should the Indian legal system negotiate conflicting goals of development and the environment? What are the legal ramifications of major campaigns such as the Narmada dam? How can India navigate international and domestic law alongside her climate change commitments?’
On 25th April 2017 we were honoured to be visited by Nobel-prize winner Kailash Satyarthi. Mr Satyarthi shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai, which was awarded “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
A former teacher from the Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh in India, Kailash Satyarthi founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) in 1980, which has freed thousands of children from “slave-like” conditions. He has also been active with a number of other organisations, combating child labour and promoting children’s rights to education, and contributing to the development of international conventions on the rights of children.
Mr Satyarthi joined us in conversation with around 25 staff and students, and he spoke about his new campaign called ‘100 million for 100 million’, which aims to ensure all children are safe and educated within the next five years. Dr Gita Piramal introduced Mr Satyarthi, and there was significant questions and discussions afterwards with the small audience.
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