Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Guest Lecture on the role of caste and gender in Panchayats

Prof Anand Inbanathan, Head, Centre for Study of Social Change and Development (CSSCD), Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, delivered a lecture on the role played by caste and gender on the rural Panchayats across the nation with a special focus on how it operates in the Southern states of the country. Prof Inbanathan addressed the students of I and II MA Applied Sociology on September 26, 2017.

This lecture was followed by a vibrant discussion on some of the issues and concerns raised, as the students and faculty members from the Department of Sociology interacted with the speaker.

Teachers Day Celebrations

The students of the Department of Sociology put up a festive and colorful celebration for the faculty members on September 5, 2017. This program was a reinforcement of the commitment that the Department enjoys from its faculty members and the affection from the student community.

Attending an International Seminar at ISEC

The Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru had organized an International Seminar on Change and Mobility in Contemporary India: Thinking M N Srinivas today to mark the birth centenary of the luminary Sociologist. This international seminar was organized on August 29 and 30, 2017, and was attended by five students and two faculty members from the Department. It provided an opportunity to engage with some of the pressing concerns in Indian Society and to interact with some of the leading sociologists. Given below are some of the photographs from the Seminar.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Guest Lecture

On Thursday, the 21st of September, the elective class of Analysis of Contemporary Social Problems taken by Dr. Sudhanshubala Sahu, was addressed by resource persons Ms. Sangeetha and Ms. Varsha, representing the non-profit organisation Janaagraha. This lecture, rather, a productive interactive session, proved to be quite a success, proven by how involved the students seemed to get as the talk progressed.
The resource person, Ms. Sangeetha, spoke about the organisation, its vision, mission and objectives. Their emphasis is on “improving the quality of life” of Indians through active citizenship, and community initiatives. The organisation seeks to bridge the gap between the people and the government, thereby attempting to facilitate good governance and full utilisation of government facilities. Their main focus, therefore, is on strengthening democracy by enhancing civic sense, awareness, and involvement in the urban domain. It also extends to empowering the local government by spreading awareness about the benefits of a more representative government, and high-level citizen-engagement.

A few highlights include their unique corruption-curbing initiatives such as I Paid A Bribe, which serves as a model in countries abroad, where anyone can log onto Janaagraha’s website and lodge more of a “report” than a complaint, about a bribery that they have witnessed or themselves participated in, with complete anonymity, thereby creating a consolidated log book presenting the pervasiveness of bribes in the country, to lobby for stringent action against the same.
Another stellar scheme is I Change My City, a platform to build a network of local elected bodies and citizen communities, to provide a feasible and extremely useful database, training and networking circles, to tap into the local government’s highest potential for effective governance and constituency welfare.
Janaagraha has an important off-shoot called Bala Janaagraha, which aims to establish a reciprocal relationship with student communities of the city that the respective branch of the organisation is set in – by rendering training programs about civic engagement, active citizenship, and change-making. And in return, as Ms. Sangeetha narrated a few exemplary instances of brilliance of young minds, students contribute to the world of knowledge and innovation with ingenious inventions, ideas, and creativity. A plethora of such initiatives are the brainchild of Janaagraha, such as imatter, My City My Budget, City Blueprint, etc.

Reflecting on this session, most students found it quite stimulating, and refreshing as they had previously engaged in or at least been exposed to NGOs that focus only on the underprivileged, or the marginalised. This organisation was considered novel for it concentrates in the urban sector, hence making it more relatable to the students. The motives with which Janaagraha was established and functions, namely, promoting active citizenship and efficient governance, were most appealing. All in all, the session provided exposure, motivation, and information, testified by a show of hands, where a bunch of students were even eager to prospective participation in Janaagraha.