National Seminar on Frontiers of Development Practices in India
Reconfiguring the Development of Underdevelopment
- Dates : 13-14 April 2013 -

Organized By


About the University Ravenshaw University has been functioning since 15th November 2006 in Cuttack. The University, an upgradation of Ravenshaw College (subsequently achieved the status of autonomous college with CPE status by UGC and ‘A’ grade by NAAC), was established in 1868, one of the oldest and largest colleges in India. With all its scholastic achievements, the College had already established a distinct intellectual vibration in the academic landscape of India and beyond. This historic institution, in a sense, is one of the illustrious institutions in India that started to foster the idea of modern education.

The institution is famous for nurturing the ideas - national unity and nationalism, promoting social mobilization and gearing up the freedom struggle in the then Odisha – that ignited the minds of thousands of individuals at several times. The institution was also a great avenue for certain historic achievements of the then Odisha: the Declaration of Orissa (present day Odisha) as a separate province on the 1st April 1936, inauguration of Odisha’s first legislative assembly till it’s shift to Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Odisha, and the initiation of Utkal University, which is currently functioning in Bhubaneswar. Recognizing its great heritage, the Institution has been awarded as National Honour by the Government of India through the issue of a commemorative stamp in 1978. This much celebrated institution is rightly considered as one of the greatest educational institutions that India has so far produced.

Prior to its upgradation as a University, the institution had started its first post-graduate teaching in 1922 especially in the subject of English. Currently, the University has twenty-seven departments in several disciplines; twenty-three departments are offering post-graduate programmes.

The university is also offering research programmes: M. Phil, Ph. D. and D. Litt. The Department of Sociology offers B.A. (Hons), M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in Sociology. The department is known for its both teaching and research activities in core as well as applied areas of Sociology. The Department had successfully organized the 37th All India Sociological Conference in December 2010, the annual event of Indian Sociological Society. About the Seminar As a matter of great concern, the trajectory of development with specific reference to developing world has begun its journey soon after the Second World War. It is very difficult to unearth the politics and polemics of development especially at a time when development itself continues to be a heavily-conferenced, much-debated and enormously-challenged terrain in world academia.

Development studies both as an academic as well as policy-oriented (sub)-discipline has witnessed several perspectives, each perspective being contested by another innovative/ alternative one in addressing the issues relating to development of the underdevelopment. In fact, such issues are being constantly conceptualized, contemplated, approached, examined and contested by peers and practitioners through various perspectives, policies in various platforms, which has profusely contributed to a plethora of literature in the field and that, in fact, makes the discourse of development endlessly enriching.

No wonder, since Independence India has been launching several developmental projects in various fields such as education, polity, environment, health, science, technology, industry and communication in consonance with the triple forces of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG). True to the spirit of a socialist, democratic and welfare State, it seeks to make development an inclusive project and secure to all its citizens justice, social, economic and political; equality of status and opportunity. However, the very practice of development is not free from its own share of problems. It has evoked a heap of reactions from diverse sections: optimists, skeptics and cynics.

As one goes through the discourse of development and tries to make sense of the same in ground realities, one is confronted with a series of arguments both in favour of and against development. Optimists vouch for development with the claim that it seeks to produce a better world for all. On the contrary, skeptics opine that it privileges some and dis-privileges others. They frown upon the project with a barrage of questions. For instance, is the present mode of development indeed emancipatory?

Does it retain its inclusive and participatory character? How consistent is it with the broader task of nation-building and social justice /obligations? On the other hand, there are cynics who dub development as utterly undesirable. It only contributes to increasing marginalization, exploitation, alienation, and exclusion of others. Finally what one realizes, in the ultimate analysis, is that ‘development’ is not free from its inherent ‘discontents’.

At this juncture, it calls for a critical review and re-examination of the ‘project of development’ itself. It is in this context, the proposed seminar wishes to create an intellectual platform for academics and practitioners in the field to revisit the discourse and have a meaningful dialogue on the score.

The seminar is broadly based on the following sub-themes:
o Understanding Development: Concepts, Theories and Issues
o Development and Participation: Individuals, Communities and Civil Societies
o Development and Environment: Communities, Conservations and Crises
o Development and Health: Communities, Care and Contestations o Development and Marginalized Communities: Women, SCs and STs
o Development and Communication: Perspectives, Practices and Problems
o Critiquing Development in Practice: Plans, Policies and Programmes
o Development and the Issues of Displacement, Rehabilitation and Resettlements.

However, papers that may not fit in the above sub-themes but are reflective of the broad theme of the seminar are also welcome. Travel and Accommodation Third AC rail fare by the shortest-route would be provided to the delegates whose paper would be selected for deliberation. Accommodation for out-station participants will be arranged by the organizers only on prior intimation (at least 15 days in advance of the seminar). Rail fare and accommodation would be provided to only one author per paper.

About Cuttack Cuttack - the cultural capital of Odisha - situated in its coastal track is one of the oldest cities with its glorious history, heritage, unique culture and scenic beauty. With the change of time, Cuttack has not failed in preserving its rich cultural distinction. It is also known as the millennium city and considered as a scenic peninsula surrounded by three rivers namely Mahanadi, Kathajodi and Kuakhai. There are certain places worth visiting in and around Cuttack city, for instance Barabati, Dhabaleswar, etc. Cuttack is just 30 km away from Bhubaneswar and is well connected to the major cities of India by air, railway and bus.

Chairperson of the Seminar
Prof. (Dr.) B. C. Tripathy
Hon’ble Vice Chancellor Ravenshaw University Cuttack

Prof. Mamata Swain
Chairperson, Council of Deans-cum-Head, Sociology,
Ravenshaw University, Cuttack.

Organizing Secretary
Dr. Bikram Keshari Mishra
Faculty Member
Department of Sociology
Ravenshaw University Cuttack

Important Dates

Submission of Abstracts: 10th March 2013
Acceptance and Confirmation of Abstracts: 15th March 2013
Submission of Full Paper: 31st March 2013

All correspondence should be sent to:
Dr. Bikram Keshari Mishra
Organizing Secretary
Faculty Member
Department of Sociology
Ravenshaw University,
Cuttack Odisha – 753 003,

* This info was sent by Khwairakpam Rakesh (PhD Scholar School of Social sciences, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.) who can be contacted at khulakpakh(at)gmail(dot)com
This Post is webcasted on March 07 2013.

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