Rethinking Development: Emerging Issues and Contemporary Debates

by ayanendu1

Kishinchand Chellaram College

DinshawWacha Road, Churchgate, Mumbai – 400020

UGC Sponsored National Level Conference On

Rethinking Development: Emerging Issues and Contemporary Debates

11th – 12th, December, 2012.

Call For Papers

Concept Note

Development has generally been identified with economic growth and the consequent growth in per capita income. The social, human and environmental aspects of economic development remained on the margins of the development discourse for a long time. It was only after the 1990’s,that there was a perceptible shift in the focus of development planning from mere economic growth to development as the process of enhancing people’s capabilities for improving their quality of life.

Today, in India, the development scenario appears to be paradoxical as ‘growth’does not easily translate into ‘development’ and the social, cultural and political landscape is filled with resistance movements and growing resentment at the uneven and inequitable process of development. The ceaseless pursuit of growth, overriding concerns of environmental degradation and forced displacement of subaltern groups in the name of the ‘larger social good’ is being fiercely contested. How does one understand this paradox which counterposes growth against development?

The ecological implications of such developmental processes are many and analysing them may be part of the challenge. The increased level of green house emissions and the growing divide between the developed and developing countries on limiting carbon emissions is well documented. The degradation of the environment affects people indirectly by undermining their livelihood base, as well as directly by increasing their exposure to health risks. New production and processing methods driven by biotechnology, not only affect food production but have also raised the frightening spectre of commoditisation of humans. At this juncture it is pertinent to ask whether alternative, inclusive and more sustainable forms of development are feasible?

Literature, Cinema and Media in general, help articulate/map the human face of developmental processes,–thus unearthing the complex interplay of factors influencing destinies of various groups of people. Though conceptually Development may not imply “the literary”, the ability of a people to write itself must be seen as pivotal to their potential to develop and change. Critiquing the role of powerful writers, in voicing concerns of the vulnerable is one way to assess the intervention made possible through literature. Of equal interest to explore is, the role of media, especially magazines, newspapers and films as capable of promoting and reinforcing the need for change through analyses of culture evolving around.

The concept of social capital has added a new dimension to the dialogue on development. How do we evolve a decentralised, democratic and effective system of governance where citizens have a right to participate both in the decision making processes and to enjoy the fruits of development in all spheres? The belief that non government organizations can aid in the process of delivering development benefits to the people, by making governments more responsive and accountable has come under a cloud in the wake of the recent controversy on whether NGO’s have become tools of an imperialist agenda.

It is in the context of this development paradox that this two day conference seeks to engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of the development discourse in contemporary times.


  • To explore the colonial legacy of the post independence international development aid industry
  • To engage with and explore ways in which an upward development strategy can be maintained without compromising on principles of equity, inclusion and sustainability
  • To debate and deliberate upon issues of governance in development
  • To interrogate the current growth model built on consumption for wealth creation and to explore alternative ways of measuring growth and development.

Sub-themes of the conference

  • Historicising Development (situating the colonial legacy of ‘Development’)
  • Governance and Development (community participation, role of NGO’s, role of social capital, RTI, RTE, local and urban self government)
  • Gender and Development (engendering development, land rights, reproductive rights, marginalised people)
  • The Politics of Development and Social Movements ( land acquisition, mining, power projects,environment, development induced displacement)
  • Towards a New Paradigm (inclusive, sustainable and participatory models of development)
  • Cultural spaces as markers of developmental change (performance in the public domain, literary festivals)

We invite papers from academicians, researchers, activists, policy makers on any of the sub-themes of the conference. You are requested to send a brief abstract(500 words) of your paper to conference.kc not later than 15th October,2012. The abstract must also contain authors’ names, institutional affiliations, email and postal address. The full length papers of accepted abstracts should be between 4000 to 5000 words and typed with double line spacing in Times New Roman 12pt. in MS-Word. Papers presented in the conference shall be published in an edited volume.

Registration Fee

Academicians, research scholars and activists – Rs 750

Students – Rs 250

Outstation paper presenters may send a demand draft in favour of K C College, payable at Mumbai.

Hospitality and Travel

Participants are requested to bear their own travel expenses. We shall be happy to offer suggestions on accommodation to outstation paper presenters if approached latest by 10th of November, 2012.

Key Deadlines

Title of the paper and brief Abstract of 500 words – 15th October, 2012

Confirmation of acceptance of the Abstract – 1st November, 2012

Submission of complete paper – 20th November, 2012

Contact Details

Convenor – Dr LeenaPujari

Email – leena_pujari(9820474197)

Co-coordinator – Jayashree Deshpande

Email – jayamukund (9892551547).

Co-coordinator – Dr NiveditaRao

Email – nivarao (9867158367)