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The Contribution of Mira Behn and Sarala Behn to Social and Environmental Transformation in the Indian State of Uttarakhand

Description: The influence of Mohandas K. Gandhi on social and environmental movements in post-colonial India has been widely acknowledged. Yet, the contributions of two European associates of Gandhi, Madeleine Slade and Catherine Mary Heilemann, better known in India as Mira Behn and Sarala Behn, have not received the due attention of the academic community. This dissertation is an examination of the philosophy and social activism of Mira Behn and Sarala Behn and their roles in the evolution of Gandhian philosophy of socioeconomic reconstruction and environmental conservation in the present Indian state of Uttarakhand. Instead of just being acolytes of Gandhi, I argue that these women developed ideas and practices that drew upon from an extensive intellectual terrain that cannot be limited to Gandhi’s work. I delineate the directions in which Gandhian thought and experiments in rural development work evolved through the lives, activism, and written contributions of these two women. Particularly, I examine their influence on social and environmental movements, such as the Chipko and the Anti-Tehri Dam movements, and their roles in promoting grassroots social development and environmental sustainability in the mountain communities of Uttarakhand. Mira Behn and Sarala Behn’s integrative philosophical worldviews present epistemological, sociopolitical, ethical, and metaphysical principles and practices that have local and global significance for understanding interfaith dialog, social justice, and environmental sustainability and thus constitute a useful contribution to the theory and practice of human emancipation in our times.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Mallik, Bidisha

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission

Description: The objective of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) under the brand 'Solar India' is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible. The scope of these guidelines is to select new projects and provide the necessary policy framework for development of projects under the "bundling scheme" for Phase I of the JNNSM.
Date: October 2010
Creator: India. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

Microcredit, Women, and Empowerment: Evidence From India

Description: Microfinance programs, by providing financial services to economically disadvantaged individuals, generally women, are intended to help poor self-employ and become financially independent. Earlier research in India has documented both positive and negative consequences of microfinance programs on women, from financial independence to domestic abuse. However, most of the research has been geographically limited to the southern states of the country, with a matured microfinance industry, and has given little attention to how variations in cultural practices across different regions of the country may influence the impact of microfinance programs on its members. To fill the gap in the existing literature, three related studies of Indian women were conducted. The first study was a qualitative study of 35 women engaged in microfinance programs in the northern region of India. The study found that women engaged in microfinance programs reported having increased social networks, higher confidence and increased social awareness. The second and third studies used nationally representative data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) 2005-2006. Controlling for a variety of other individual-level and community-level characteristics, the second study examined if getting a microloan affected women’s access to public spaces, and the third examined if getting such a loan influenced married women’s participation in household decision-making. Both studies further investigated if the microloan effect on these dimensions of women’s empowerment varied by the normative context of woman’s respective communities. The results indicated that, all else equal, women who had ever taken a microloan were more likely to go alone to places outside their home such as market, health clinics and places outside the community compared to women who had never taken such a loan. Getting a microloan also had a positive effect on women’s participation in decisions about large household purchases and husband’s earnings. The hypothesized moderating effect of the normative ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Singh, Swati