USIPI Research and Policy Analysis Program

1. Relevance of the US-EEOC in the formation of Equal Opportunity Commission in India

USA is in the forefront of to address various issues of discrimination and deprivation of specified social groups through a number of affirmative action policies. One of the dominant institutional response has been establishment of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which extends is coverage to both public and private sector employment. it is therefore, useful to identify channels that underscore importance of diversity into the public discourses, narratives following questions relevant to India: How will an Equal Opportunity Commission help improve Diversity in public spaces in India? What is the government position in establishing the EOC? What is the link between diversity and United Nation’s millennium development goals? In India, the decision to establish the EOC or not is currently kept in to cold storage by the Group of Ministers. This research lead advocacy will bring back the demand to establish EOC which was first made by the Sachar Committee in 2006.

2. Corporate Investments Promoting Diversity in India

Recent economic development in India has considerably benefited from regular and large flow of ‘foreign direct investments’ and ‘foreign institutional investments’ from across the world. U. s. is one of the leading investors in India through these mechanisms. Often such investments do come with technological improvements including importing machinery and ‘floor level work practices’, accounting and marketing strategies. however, there is no documentation as to whether the American labor and safety standards are complied with during manufacturing and industrial production within India. further, it is important to research whether the Indian minimum-wage laws are complied with in production (often sub-contracted) of goods and services using FDI and FII flows from the USA.

3. Lessons from the US Diversity Programs in Elementary and High Schools

American education system is one of the most equitious in the world. Besides being qualitatively good there are a number of affirmative actions at the local (school district and county) levels that enhances diversity in class rooms. in fact the social diversity within the geographic area of a school district should reflect in the school system both at elementary and high school levels. further, a delicate balance between the publicly (government funded) schools and the private school system seems to be intelligently maintained. such a balance do address the cost as well as quality of education issues and enable households with relatively lower income levels to access education for their children. It is essential to document these procedures and technology (GPS aided) based solutions so that Indian educational system is improved on similar lines. it would be possible to adopt selected districts in India to try out a ‘diversity’ enabled schooling system.

4. How inclusive are the post-Sachar development and welfare policies in India?

It is about five years that Sachar Committee report was submitted to the prime minister of India and subsequently to the parliament. The government made a number of announcements during this period about exclusive implementation of policies and programs, such as the pm’s 15 point programs and minority concentration district programs. however, there has been no credible and methodologically sound study to evaluate and assess the above cited initiatives. Besides, the main philosophy of the Sachar report was to enable minorities including the Muslims, find their place in accordance with their population (eligible groups) share in the nation’s flagship programs and programs aimed to enhance education and employment; and improve income earning opportunities including access to credit and markets and other poverty alleviation programs. The USIPI will sponsor a segment of this study with a focus on evaluating the educational programs and access to bank credit to the minorities in India.

5. ‘Diversity and Development in India’

This is the title of a book which will be edited by the staff of the USIPI, by commissioning a number of book chapters each written by a well known expert in the respective area.

The following themes are identified:

• Why and how diversity is essential for India’s development?
• Policy and Public response to diversity and development
• Diversity in Employment in the Productive Sectors including Government Employment
• Diversity in employment in private sector
• Socio-religious Differentials in higher education in India
• Gender double whammy: A case of religious minority women
• Relative contribution of the Socio-religious communities to India’s gdp
• Computing Diversity Index for India and its major states
• How media responds to diversity and religious identity in India?
• Role of civil society in promoting diversity in public spaces
• Mechanisms of inclusive Panchayatraj system in India
• Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Development: a global perspective

6. Assessing the Curse of Child Labor on Schooling and Higher Level Education

Recent empirical evidence seems to suggest that the a substantially higher proportion of Muslim children in ages 7-14 and 15-19 years are out of school relative to all other communities in India. This suggests that children are being withdrawn from school and are pushed to work in a fast expanding informal sector of the economy across India. This is the key factor as to why there are fewer Muslims enrolled in higher levels of education such as at the graduate and post graduate levels. There is an urgent need to analyses the status of child labor in all states of India according to socio-religious groups for a strong pro-universal education policy in India.

7. Mechanism of Inter-generation Transfers in India and the Role of Women

Inter-generation (wealth) transfer is a mechanism for communities to build a secure existence and a bright future. in this regards to human development parameters which are essential are healthiness and pedagogy of our children. to achieve both these objectives, one needs to focus on women’s health and her education. Children’s health in fact depends upon the healthiness of mothers. reproductive health, access to food and nutrition to women within households and their capacity for independent decision making are corner-stone of the human development research across the world in the context of MDG’s. This research has not been given adequate attention amongst the Muslim communities and one should not miss this opportunity to work towards such goals.

8. Bridging Cultures: The ‘Ordinary-Extraordinary’ Citizens’ Contribution to Nation Building

Societal, economic, political and cultural discrimination continue to pose enormous challenges for the Muslim community in India. many mainstream historians have glossed over the contribution of the Muslim community to the freedom struggle, and indeed even now Muslims continue to live with the label of being, both outsiders as well as separatists. it is perhaps the reason why the contribution of Muslims to growth and development in contemporary India has been all but missing.it thus becomes imperative that the role of Muslims in various spheres of the country is highlighted, documented and disseminated. This study proposes to take a look at some issues that Indian Muslims face in their attempt to become valuable contributors to the progress of the nation. it will be a narration of the greater resilience that Muslims have shown in their attempt to integrate into the weave of the Indian fabric, a narration of those who endeavored for a better world against all adversities. This book will not merely be a story of individual achievement alone; rather it will be the depiction of the lived experiences of those Muslims who have contributed to the nation and nation building process; a process which spans several decades in different places, settings and situations, making it a unique social history of our times.

9. Poverty and Human Development Impact of (internal) Migration

migration both within a country and international has always been an essential source of economic and social development. given India’s large geographic spread and diversity, internal migration especially from rural to urban areas has generated huge human development impacts. This study will document the relative impact of internal –migration amongst various socio-religious Categories.

10. Distress and Vulnerability according to Socio-Religious Categories

Poverty in India is in fact the culmination of distress and vulnerability faced by millions of households living both in rural and urban areas. Often while measuring poverty no emphasis is placed in understanding the deep routed causes of such poverty. Therefore, this study will document the basic causes and source of poverty which can be labeled as distress condition and vulnerability according to socio-religious categories.

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