Social Science Baha
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18-20 July: Inequality and Affirmative Action: Situating Nepal in Global Debates

18-20 July: Inequality and Affirmative Action: Situating Nepal in Global Debates

Hotel Shanker, Kathmandu

Sponsored by the British Academy UK-South Asia Partnership Scheme and organised jointly by the Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, and Social Science Baha with additional support from Goldsmiths, University of London; Yale University; Social Inclusion Research Fund (SIRF) (SIRF is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Nepal and managed by SNV in Nepal), and Open Society Foundations, New York. The organising team of the conference consists of: Om Gurung (Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University); Alpa Shah (Goldsmiths, University of London); Sara Shneiderman (Yale University); Mukta Singh Lama-Tamang (Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University); and Deepak Thapa (Social Science Baha).


There is general recognition of the need to address inequality due to marginalisation and exclusion resulting from various historical and social processes. The conference will provide a venue for an exchange of ideas and frank discussions on inequality and affirmative action among academics, policy-makers and activists. The conference is being organised at an opportune moment since Nepal is undertaking an exercise in constitution-drafting and state restructuring meant to lead towards a more equitable future.

This conference will conclude the three-year British Academy UK South-Asia Partnership Project ‘Inequality and Affirmative Action in South Asia: Current Experiences and Future Agendas in India and Nepal’, which has fostered an interdisciplinary partnership between scholars in Nepal, India and the UK since February 2009. These scholars have worked together to analyse historical and contemporary debates on affirmative action in India, and their implications for emerging policies on affirmative action in Nepal.

In particular, the conference will seek to understand and inform the debate on affirmative action by generating theoretical and empirical frameworks of analysis under five themes: 1) the incongruity between and complements of democratic ideals and affirmative action to address inequalities; 2) the historical and contemporary processes leading to exclusion and marginalisation, and inventing new classificatory processes to map the existing terrain of exclusion and marginalisation; 3) the debate on eligibility for and extent of affirmative action; 4) an understanding of various country experiences of design and delivery of affirmative action measures; and 5) reconciling the seemingly controversial and at the same time incontrovertible need for affirmative action in Nepal. (Please click here to download the concept note on the conference.)

The first two days of the conference will be a by-invitation-only event in which the discussions will be carried out in an academic setting. The evenings will be devoted to two keynote addresses to which a larger group will be invited.

The third day of the conference will comprise three or four open plenary sessions around the themes identified for the conference to which invitations will also be sent to a select group of politicians, senior bureaucrats, civil society leaders, the media, and representatives of development agencies. The event will also be publicised through various media and will be open to the public.

 

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
(Admission to this part of the conference is by invitation only.)

18 JULY, 2012

Inaugural programme: 8.30 – 9.30 am

1. Welcome: Dr Mukta Singh Tamang, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University

2. Highlights of the British Academy UK South-Asia Partnership Project ‘Inequality and Affirmative Action in South Asia: Current Experiences and Future Agendas in India and Nepal’ & the conference ‘Inequality and Affirmative Action: Situating Nepal in Global Debates’: Dr Alpa Shah, Goldsmiths, University of London

3. Remarks: Prof Ganesh Man Gurung, Chair, University Grants Commission

4. Remarks: Chief Guest, Honourable Bijay Kumar Gacchedar, Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal

5. Remarks by the Chair: Prof Om Gurung, Head of the Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University


Panel 1
10 am – 12 noon
Chair: Chaitanya Mishra, Professor, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University


Neera Chandhoke
Professor of Political Science, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
Read Bio
Locating Affirmative Action in the Concept of Equality
Read abstract
Krishna B. Bhattachan
Senior Lecturer, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
&
Dilli Ram Dahal
Professor, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
Read Bio
Inequality and Affirmative Action in Nepal: Issues and Challenges
Read abstract

Chair: Marc Galanter, John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law and South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison and LSE Centennial Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science


N R Madhava Menon
Dr S Radhakrishnan Chair on Parliamentary Studies, Upper House of Indian Parliament, New Delhi, India
Read Bio
The Case for an Independent Equal Opportunity Commission to Address Inequalities in Multi-Cultural Societies
Read abstract
Mahendra Lawoti
Professor of Political Science, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
Read Bio
Affirmative Action and Political Representation across Time, Groups and States: Testing Claims for and against with Cases of India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
Read abstract

BREAK: 12 noon – 12:30 pm


Panel 2
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Chair: Madan Pariyar, former Chair, State Restructuring Commission


Susan Hangen
Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, Ramapo College, New Jersey, USA
Read Bio
Diversifying and Decentralising the State: Affirmative Action in Education
Read abstract
Pramod Bhatta
Researcher, Martin Chautari, Kathmandu, Nepal
Read Bio
Beyond Affirmative Action: Overcoming Inequalities in Higher Education
Read abstract

LUNCH: 1:30 – 2:30 pm


Panel 3
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Chair: Gérard Toffin, Senior Researcher, CNRS, Paris


Ajay Gudavarthy
Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Read Bio
Can We De-Stigmatise Reservations in India?
Read abstract
Mukta Singh Tamang
Lecturer of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
Read Bio
Breaking Hierarchy, Making Identity: Social Classification and Challenges for Affirmative Action in Nepal
Read abstract

BREAK: 3:30 – 4 pm


Panel 4
4 – 5 pm
Chair: Krishna Hachhethu, Professor, Central Department of Political Science, Tribhuvan University


Mara Malagodi
Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, UK
Read Bio
Legal Equality between Recognition and Redistribution: Constitutional Drafting and Adjudication in India and Nepal
Read abstract
Kåre Vollan
Director, Quality AS and Electoral Expert, Norway
Read Bio
Affirmative Action and Power Sharing Instruments: Possible Electoral Arrangements for Nepal
Read abstract

BREAK: 5 – 5:30 pm


Keynote presentations
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Ashwini Deshpande
Professor of Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
Read Bio
Caste Discrimination and Exclusion: Assessment of Affirmative Action as a Remedy
Read abstract
Glenn C Loury
Merton Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA
Read Bio
The Simple Economics of Affirmative Action Policies
Read abstract
Discussant: Bandita Sijapati, Social Science Baha & Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Moderator: Hari Sharma, Social Science Baha and Nepa School of Social Science and Humanities


19 JULY, 2012


Panel 1
9 -11 am
Chair: Laurie A. Vasily, Director, Fulbright Commission Nepal


Anand Teltumbde
Professor of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
Read Bio
Pursuing Equality in the Land of Hierarchy: Positive Discrimination Policies in India
Read abstract
Khyam Bishwakarma
Freelance Development Consultant, Kathmandu
Read Bio
Affirmative Action in Nepal: What Does It Mean for Dalits at the Grassroots Level?
Read abstract

Chair: Ashwini Deshpande, Professor of Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India


Meena Acharya
General Secretary, Tanka Prasad Acharya Memorial Foundation, Kathmandu
Read Bio
Design and Delivery of Affirmative Action for Gender and Inter-caste Equality in Nepal
Read abstract

BREAK: 11  – 11:30 am


Panel 2
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Chair: Michael Hutt, Professor of Nepali & Himalayan Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies


Ram Bahadur Chhetri
Professor, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
Read Bio
‘Women and Men Are the Two Wheels of the Chariot’: Rhetoric and Realities of Quotas for Women in Politics and Governance in Nepal
Read abstract
Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya
Visiting Professor of Political Science, Central Department of Political Science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
Read Bio
Affirmative Action and Women in India
Read abstract

Chair: Chaitanya Subba, former Member of National Planning Commission


Debipriya Chatterjee
Assistant Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy, Department of Africology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Read Bio
Can Affirmative Action Policies Succeed in the Presence of Social Marginalization?
Read abstract
Uddhab Pyakurel
Lecturer, Kathmandu University, Nepal
Read Bio
Caste-based Discrimination and Discourse of Affirmative Action: Perspectives of Successful Dalits in Surkhet
Read abstract

LUNCH: 1:30 – 2:30 pm


Panel 3
2:30 – 3:30 pm
Chair: Pitamber Sharma, former Vice-Chair, National Planning Commission


Sara Shneiderman
Assistant Professor of Anthropology & South Asian Studies, Yale University, Connecticut, USA
Read Bio
Disentangling ‘Ethnic Federalism’ and Affirmative Action (co-authored with Louise Tillin)
Read abstract
Tulsi Ram Pandey
Associate Professor, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Read Bio
Subject Citizen Identity and Class: Contesting Dimensions of Social Inequality and the Implication of Affirmative Action for Change
Read abstract

BREAK: 3:30 – 4:00 pm


Panel 4
4 – 5 pm

 
Chair: N R Madhava Menon, Dr S Radhakrishnan Chair on Parliamentary Studies, Upper House of Indian Parliament, New Delhi, India


Om Gurung
Head of Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
Read Bio
Implication of Rescheduling Indigenous Peoples for Affirmative Policy in Nepal
Read abstract
Alpa Shah
Senior Lecturer of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK
Read Bio
A Step Back from Ethnic and Indigenous Rights
Read abstract

BREAK: 5 – 5:30 pm


Keynote Presentations
5:30  – 7:30 pm
Marc Galanter
John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law and South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and LSE Centennial Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science
Read Bio
Designing Affirmative Action for Nepal: A Tour of the Choices and Problems
Read abstract
Hilary Silver
Professor of Sociology, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA
Read Bio
Social Inclusion and Affirmative Action: Conceptual and Policy Distinctions
Read abstract

Discussant: Mukta Singh Tamang, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University

Moderator: Hari Sharma, Social Science Baha and Nepa School of Social Science and Humanities


20 JULY
Public Panels
(Participation to these events is open to all.)


Panel 1
9 – 11 am
Mara Malagodi
Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, UK
Read Bio
Legal Equality between Recognition and Redistribution: Constitutional Drafting and Adjudication in India and Nepal
Debipriya Chatterjee
Assistant Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy, Department of Africology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Read Bio
Can Affirmative Action Policies Succeed in the Presence of Social Marginalization?
Susan Hangen
Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, Ramapo College, New Jersey, USA
Read Bio
Diversifying and Decentralising the State: Affirmative Action as a Potential Tool for Empowering Local Communities
Respondent: Gagan Thapa, Former Member of the Constituent Assembly

Moderator: Hari Sharma, Social Science Baha and Nepa School of Social Science and Humanities


BREAK: 11 – 11:30 am


Panel 2
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Ajay Gudavarthy
Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Read Bio
Can We De-Stigmatise Reservations in India?
Hilary Silver
Professor of Sociology, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA
Read Bio
Social Inclusion and Affirmative Action: Conceptual and Policy Distinctions
Neera Chandhoke
Professor of Political Science, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
Read Bio
Locating Affirmative Action in the Concept of Equality
Respondent: Pratyoush Onta, Martin Chautari

Moderator: Ram Bahadur Chhetri, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University


BREAK: 1:30 – 2:30 pm


Panel 3
2:30 – 4:30 pm
Kåre Vollan
Director, Quality AS and Electoral Expert, Norway
Read Bio
Affirmative Action and Power Sharing Instruments: Possible Electoral Arrangements for Nepal
Sara Shneiderman
Assistant Professor of Anthropology & South Asian Studies, Yale University, Connecticut, USA
Read Bio
Disentangling ‘Ethnic Federalism’ and Affirmative Action (co-authored with Louise Tillin)
Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya
Visiting Professor of Political Science, Central Department of Political Science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
Read Bio
Affirmative Action and Women in India
Respondent: Prashant Jha, Journalist

Moderator: Basanta Thapa, Social Science Baha and Himal Association


BREAK: 4:30 – 5 pm


(Participation to this part of the conference is by invitation only.)

Panel 4
5 – 7 pm
(Special session with policymakers)
Moderator: Om Gurung, Central Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University
Glenn C Loury
Merton Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA
Read Bio
The Simple Economics of Affirmative Action Policies 

 

Alpa Shah
Senior Lecturer of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK 
Read Bio
A Step Back from Ethnic and Indigenous Rights
Anand Teltumbde
Professor of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
Read Bio
Pursuing Equality in the Land of Hierarchy: Positive Discrimination Policies in India