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Tag: University of Delhi


Large Audience, Rich Dialogue at Launch Conference for Delhi’s Nyaya Global Justice Programme

An audience of nearly 500 joined the conversation with political theorists and philosophers, development scholars, journalists, physical scientists and NGO practitioners at the launch conference for Nyaya: The Global Justice Programme at the University of Delhi.

The conference, \”Global Justice and the Global South,\” featured more than 40 presentations by researchers from around the world, including South Africa, Mexico, the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany and China. About half of those presenting were Indian academics, from the Delhi area and universities around the country.

The conference was organized by Academics Stand Against Poverty global Board of Directors Member Ashok Acharya, with assistance from ASAP President Thomas Pogge and Board Member Luis Cabrera, as well as a large team of Delhi University volunteers.

\”We couldn’t have expected more from this conference,\” Acharya said. \”It certainly has brought issues surrounding global justice to the centre of academic dialogue in India. This augurs well for the Nyaya initiative at the University of Delhi and the future of research and advocacy on global justice in India. Everyone who attended this conference has remarked that both in terms of the quality of scholarship and the diversity of issues covered, the deliberations were extraordinary and inspiring.\”

The conference also served as an important learning experience for participants from outside South Asia, Cabrera said.

\”Many participants had never visited India before, and the early feedback indicates that they have come away with a much better understanding not only of the daily challenges so many people face in large South cities such as Delhi, but also what a rich tradition of social justice theorizing and research there is in India,\” he said. \”Hopefully we’ve started a fruitful, ongoing exchange amongst justice theorists and researchers in many countries.\”

Keynote speakers at the opening session, April 25, included Pogge, who at his opening session offered recent figures on global poverty and shared new data for his argument that large poverty reductions publicized by the Millennium Development Goals campaign are mostly sleight of hand, achieved through changing methods of counting the poor in mid-stream.

Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh then shared insights from his own study of Indian figures such as former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. He cautioned the audience to conceptualize global justice carefully, and proposed that they approach international moral issues from a standpoint firmly rooted in the local.

Journalist P. Sainath, author of the influential book Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India’s Poorest Districts, then offered a rousing, impassioned critique of political and economic trends in the country. He drew links between the liberalizing, freer-trade economic policies India has followed since the early 1990s and increasing inequality, farmer suicides and access to basic resources.

On Day 2, globally prominent biotechnologist V. Sitaramam, retired of the University of Pune, offered detailed empirical evidence challenging rigid poverty lines and arguing for a more nuanced view of poverty that takes multiple variables into account. Prof. Brooke Ackerly of Vanderbilt University delivered the closing keynote on Day 3. She shared recent field work in Bangladesh and argued for a conception of human rights focused not on distribution of goods but on a relational approach. Until the rights of all persons are secured, Ackerly argued, none are.

The conference was supported by a grant from the British Council’s UKIERI programme and by the School of Open Learning at the University of Delhi. A number of conference participants will be contributing instructional videos for classroom use at the School of Open Learning, which serves students mostly from deprived backgrounds.

Future conferences and collaborations are in the planning stages. For details on those or other ways to contribute to the developing Nyaya Global Justice Programme, please contact Dr. Ashok Acharya at


Global Justice and the Global South Conference at the University of Delhi

Nyaya, the Global Justice Program at the University of Delhi, in partnership with the Yale Global Justice Program and the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics at the University of Birmingham, is proud to present its inaugural conference, Global Justice and the Global South.


Bringing South Voices into the Dialogue: ASAP Helps Develop Global Justice Center at Delhi University

Delhi University students

As an emerging global power, India has increasingly felt the domestic effects of its international immersion in networks of trade, investment and security. A new global justice program at the University of Delhi will explore the moral and ethical dimensions of such issues, with an emphasis on bringing more voices from India and the Global South into global justice debates.

The Nyaya program — Hindi for justice — is being developed by ASAP Board Member Ashok Acharya, a longtime faculty member at Delhi University, with support from ASAP Chair Thomas Pogge at Yale University and Board Member Luis Cabrera at the University of Birmingham. The three partnered to secure funding from the British Council which will support short-term doctoral student exchanges, a major conference in Spring 2014, \’Global Justice and the Global South,\’ at Delhi University, and a doctoral student workshop at Birmingham, along with a continuing seminar series at Delhi.

\”Setting up a global justice programme in India, and especially at the University of Delhi, has been a dream project that I have been nurturing for the past 10 years or so,\” Acharya said. \”I\’m sure, once established, this will grow from strength to strength and bring together the best of the minds from across the world and apply them to resolve key global inequities.\”

Pogge said he sees the project as \”bringing together three strong and dynamic research communities into sustained collaboration. This is a highly cost-effective way of enhancing the global Delhi Universityjustice work each of these communities is already doing: improving its quality, extending its reach and strengthening its practical impact. We are very grateful to the British Council for this far-sighted and profoundly important initiative.\”

Mobility exchange students from Delhi will be hosted by Yale\’s Macmillan Center Global Justice Programme, and at Birmingham in the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics.

The Nyaya progamme\’s development is funded through the British Council’s Trilateral Research in Partnership (TRIP) Awards, the first strand of the successful UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) to partner with the United States.

For more information, contact Luis Cabrera at


ASAP Delhi Students Chapter Launches with Expert Workshop on Food Security and Exclusion in India

Members of the new ASAP Students chapter at Delhi-area universities staged a successful launch workshop bringing together experts on food security and exclusion. Students from the University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Ambedkar University Delhi came together on the Delhi University campus to engage on crucial issues of poverty, to strategize and elect officers for the new chapter.

They were joined by a five-member delegation from the ASAP Students chapter at the University of Birmingham in the UK, as well as by ASAP Board Chair Thomas Pogge, who was visiting Delhi to speak to various audiences about his Health Impact Fund initiative. Pogge led the students in dialogue about current and potential ASAP projects, and ways in which the two chapters could work together to have concrete impact on poverty-related issues in India, the UK and elsewhere.

Suparna  Priyadarshini, a PhD student at Delhi University, was selected as the first Chair of the Delhi ASAP Students chapter, and several other members were chosen for officer posts. The group will be advised by Dr. Ashok Acharya, ASAP Board member and Associate Professor of Political Science at DU. An initial emphasis at the chapter will be the inauguration of the All Rights India project, aimed at helping the very poor learn about and actually claim their social entitlements.

At the July 19 workshop, discussion focused initially on problems with the way India’s government counts the poor. Utsa Patnaik, professor emeritus of economics at JNU, provided detailed evidence showing that the number of those unable to buy sufficient food has dramatically increased in recent years, even as government poverty-line figures have decreased. Dr. Arindam Banerjee, assistant professor of economics at Ambedkar University, provided further detail on ways in which the government\’s counting methods ignore recent worsening of conditions in how the poor actually live. In terms of access  to food, shelter, decent housing and other indicators, he said, India\’s new economic dynamism has not filtered down to the poor.

Narayan Sukumar Associate Professor at Delhi University, gave an impassioned talk about the persistence of discrimination against lower-caste persons in universities across India, as well as outside the academic sector. Despite laws formally banning caste discrimination, he noted, it remains pervasive in virtually all aspects of university life and the broader Indian social context.

For information on the ASAP Students Delhi chapter, including on how to join, contact Suparna Priyadarshini at


Academics Campaign on India\’s Missing Girls

In this article, Delhi University faculty member Bijayalaxmi Nanda details the efforts of academics, students and activists to challenge deep discrimination against girl children and women in India. / Census data affirms that sex-selective abortion has become increasingly prevalent in India, including among the urban and rural poor. Government attempts to regulate the practice are often harsh or manipulative, and unscrupulous medical practitioners play a significant role…