Building Resilience:  Gender, Vulnerability and Adaptive Strategies in India

By AHMED, Sara, Independent Social and Environmental Policy Researcher, India

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel B – Gender and Education Issues 


Dominant perceptions of disasters typically construct them as naturally occurring, largely environmental hazards which may occur relatively suddenly (earthquakes, tsunamis) or with some degree of seasonal regularity (drought, floods). However, disasters unfold in varying socio-economic and cultural contexts and the conceptualization of ‘victims’ as a homogenous group overlooks the differential ability of men, women, the elderly and children, particularly from marginalized communities, to respond. Vulnerability, a more dynamic concept than poverty, recognizes the role of interlocking systems – spatial (e.g. geographic location of the poor in a village), physical (infrastructure), financial (access to credit) and socio-political (institutions) in structuring individual or collective responses to disasters. Drawing on action-research from drought and flood-prone regions in India, this paper looks at how some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have enabled vulnerable communities, especially women, to adapt to recurring disasters through livelihood diversification, resource mobilization, infrastructure development and strengthening participation in community institutions.




Poverty and Food Security: Bangladesh Context

By AHSAN, Ekramul, Consultant, European Commission, Bangladesh

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel B – Economic Development


Bangladesh is a poverty stricken country with about 50 per cent of total population lives below poverty line and 36 per cent being malnourished. Among the children under 5 years of age malnourishment is among the highest in the world (52 per cent).


Poverty and food security are closely linked. Macro level availability of major cereals has improved with the country attaining self-sufficiency in domestic production of rice and wheat but large numbers of people are food insecure because of lack of their access to food for inadequate purchasing power.


Bangladesh economy being basically agrarian, agriculture will remain as the driving force for economic growth for poverty reduction and to achieve food security. The process is confronted with challenges like, low productivity and income from agriculture, decrease in land for farming and low-level investment in agriculture immediate need is transformation of the present subsistence agriculture to competitive and profitable commercial agriculture. Appropriate policy is needed to facilitate necessary development interventions to achieve food security and nutrition objectives of the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategies and the Millennium Development Goals.


Predicament of the Silent Gender:  Trafficking of Women in Bangladesh

By AHSAN, Rosie Majid, Professor, Department of Geography and Enviornment, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and PURKAYASTHA, Moushumi Das, Managing Director, Crystal Wave, Bangladesh

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel B – Gender and Education Issues


The number of people in Bangladesh is on increase while the resources for livelihood are finite and on decrease. Because of the country’s particular geographical setting, natural calamities namely, cyclone, flood, water surge, river erosion are regular phenomena causing increasing trend of landlessness and poverty. Poor women, ‘the silent gender’ with least capacity to cope with the adverse situation are the direct hit in the process which causes further economic and social imbalance in the society. These poor women are further pushed to adverse means of livelihood like ‘prostitution’ through trafficking. The study of these trafficked women in Bangladesh based on analysis of the environment at their place of origin and tracing the routes to the destination reveals that the poor landless rural people, affected by natural and man made disasters, sell their daughters for money, girls are tricked into ‘prostitution’ and are trafficked out to brothel in the country and across the border. In this age of globalization trafficking of women, a symbol of social degradation, should be stopped with international efforts.




South Asia – Security Perspectives Implications for Development

By ANANT, Geetha Reddy, Faculty Member, Centre for Indian Ocean Studies, Osmania University, India

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel A – Macro and Micro Political Elements in South Asia


South Asian community is impacted by the multi-layered socio-historical experiences transcending the concepts multiculturalism espoused by Canadian and Australian discourses. It is governed by frictions, conflicts, interactions and interconnections as much as common geo-historical base and experiences. External factors (globalisation), and internal dilemmas (inherent and inculcated), present numerous issues of ‘security’, rendering it a complex area impeding the diverse facets of development.


This paper seeks to examine some dimensions of security in South Asia, and include the fundamentalist and terrorist oriented as also the socio-cultural lifestyle based factors impacting the home, family and household and the institutions and nations, hitherto structured by societal expectations and norms rather than present professional-occupational demands and individualistic orientations. The objective is to project the deep impact of terrorist activity, the breaking down socio-cultural fabric and the declining commitment to ‘human good’, on human welfare and development.



Community Building and Insecurity in South Asia:  Challenges Ahead

By BABU, B. Ramesh, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Policy, Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI), India

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Concurrent Session 9, Panel C – Past and Present Governmental Policies and Their Impact on South Asia


The South Asia we are concerned with today is an altogether different entity geographically, politically, economically, culturally, and emotionally.  Today the region consists of seven “sovereign”, “independent” countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maladies. All of them are grappling in their different ways with the impossible task of “nation building” in a completely transformed international context, a rapidly globalising world. All the countries are confronted with innumerable internal challenges and external threats.


To say corruption, bribery, nepotism and lawlessness are widespread in South Asia would be an understatement of the century. Criminalisation of politics has degenerated into politicization of crime. There is a “compact revolutionary corridor” stretching from Andhra Pradesh to Nepal!


There is a widespread sense of personal insecurity and fear throughout the land. The situation in the rest of South Asia is not much better, nor is South Asia unique in this respect. Several countries and regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America are afflicted with the same malaise of hunger, unemployment, underemployment, ill health and illiteracy, destitution, deprivation despair, and a pervasive sense of personal and national insecurity.   


Change is the law of life. Nations and individuals must adapt as the situation and context change. We must learn to adopt new and relevant strategies suited to our situation as we move into the twenty first century. But, the goals of welfare of the people and the betterment of the lot of the poor and the marginalized millions should remain unchanged.




Journalism Facing Threats

By BULBUL, Monjurul Ahsan, Executive Editor, The Daily Sangbad, Bangladesh

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Plenary Session 11 – Media – Reporting Conflict


Estimated 7,750 journalists have been working in different news agencies in Bangladesh.  the profession, however, becomes more and more risky and vulnerable as evidenced by increasing incidences of  harassment, brutality, torture, death threats against journalists and even killing of journalists. Besides law is used to curb freedom of expression. Journalism is still regarded as a noble profession and more and more qualified and competent youth are joining this profession of journalism. 


Unfortunately, disunity exists among the journalists as well causing great harm to the community in particular and to the country in general. Time is now to face the challenge and move ahead. Unity amongst the journalists is very much a requirement as unity is strength and the right to inform is the crucial legal instrument.




Understanding Islamic Perspective of Mental Health and Psychotherapy

By FAROOQI, Yasmin, Professor of Applied Psychology, University of Punjab, Pakistan

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel C – Understanding Cultural Components in Building South Asian Community


This paper is an attempt to provide foundational information about Islamic perspective of mental health and psychotherapy so that the Western psychologists could understand Muslim contribution to psychotherapy and work more effectively with their Muslim clients in the post 9/11 climate.


Despite the growing number of Muslims in United States, many Americans remain ignorant or largely suspicious of Islam. Blank (1998) found that 50% of the people in United States (who were surveyed) endorsed the view that Islam is “inherently anti-American, anti-Western or supportive of terrorism” (p. 22). Another misconception is that all Arabs are Muslims and all Muslims are Arabs. In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedies, there has been a growing need to understand the Islamic perspective and gain insight into the followers of this faith otherwise perceived as “mysterious and Far Eastern”.


Among the South Asian countries, Pakistan stands out with 36 million identified Muslims-the followers of Islam-who got their independence in 1947 from the British Regime (Ash, 1997). As a result, the majority of the Pakistanis adhere to the basic Islamic faith: submission to the Will of Allah and development of a strong superego as positive aspect of a healthy personality. Contrary to it, the Westerners see a highly developed superego as confining and limiting the parameters of thought and personality development. Thus, it may be argued that by understanding the diverse Islamic perspective, clinicians can better provide culturally sensitive treatment




Building Community Through Better Connectivity

By GHATE, P.B., Independent Research Consultant, India

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel B – Economic Development


It is almost a defining characteristic of a sub-region that its members take advantage of contiguity to benefit from a dense network of surface connectivity links with each other. However, largely for political reasons, South Asia is one of the least internally connected sub-regions of the world. This handicaps not just trade within the region, but South Asia’s ability to take advantage of globalization to promote trade, tourism, and cultural links with countries beyond the region. Because the countries of the region tend to use access and transit issues as a bargaining tool rather than as a duty towards neighbours, they not only forgo considerable revenues that could accrue from transit traffic, but are constrained in their ability to connect with countries to the east and west of the region. The paper will look at some of the issues surrounding efforts to promote connectivity in the region and beyond, such as the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar) Forum (also known as the Kunming Initiative) which seeks to enhance some of the cultural and economic ties that existed in the region once traversed by the southern Silk Route, the ESCAP-promoted Asian Highway and Trans Asian Railway projects, the advantages of reviving the war-time Stilwell road connecting Yunnan with Assam, and Bangladesh’s potential role as a entrepot and transport hub not just for east-west traffic, but for Nepal, Bhutan and the Indian Northeast.




A Dialectics on Women Labour Force:  How Marginalized Are They?

By GUPT, Pragya Tiwari, Doctoral Researcher, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel A – Gender Issues


Female labour force is not a forgotten section of labour force nevertheless the women labour force represent a highly underestimated and marginalized section of the economically active section. Casualisation is not something new in the work field in the 21st century and has greatly affected the working practices in every sphere of work but so far the women labour force may be the worst affected segment. Women labour force, which is a marginalized and under represented in India, has been a sever victim of such structural changes in the economy.

The present paper looks in to the situation of labour force form the angle of marginalisation and Casualisation of female labour force while seeking explanation in the current and erstwhile economic conditions. The present paper investigates the evolved situation of labour force over three decade while digging into the available data (census and National Sample Survey). The changes are quite intriguing at times and overwhelming sometimes. The paper has taken an evolutionary step to understand and analyze change in the female labour force.




Human Development and the Women of Bangladesh

By HAQUE, Najma (Rosie), Professor and Chairman, Department of Geography and Environment, Govt. Jagannath University College, Bangladesh

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel A – Gender Issues


Social reformers, writes and even noble laureates have advocated the equality of man and women in Bangladesh. In reality even though achievements have been impressive, still, much remain to be desired. Women in Bangladesh do not have equal access to job opportunities, benefits, and responsibilities of citizenship, development and choices. Bangladesh with a Muslim majority population is still considerably conservative and traditional. After 1971, subsequent hardships in the following years plunged the country into such levels of economic crisis that women were forced to leave the confines of the house out of sheer desperation in a bid to survive.


Today women are gainfully employed largely in the social (garment) and economic sectors. Thus the discriminations and inequalities and the gender gap in terms of access to tangible and quantifiable and also intangible dimensions became more apparent.


Despite of the government's commitment and NGO intervention female child mortality and maternal mortality in Bangladesh are the highest in the world. Human development is a process of enlarging people's choices. How far these have been achieved in a women's life will determine human development in Bangladesh. The talk has begun; it is for us to see that it is achieved.




Marketing Heritage: Promoting Community Based Tourism in the Himalayas

By HOON, Vineeta, Managing Trustee, Centre for Action Research on Environment Science and Society, India
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Concurrent Session 6, Panel B – Economic Development


This paper discusses Community based tourism (CBT) as part of the Bhotiya heritage revival program aiming at developing sustainable livelihoods (SL) in order to enable the Rung Bhotiyas of Kumaon to carry on with their transhumant life style.


The Bhotiya are legendry traders who crossed the transhimalaya and developed trade between Tibet and the Gangetic plain. They have a vibrant culture based on trade, pastoralism and Agriculture. They live in high altitude villages in the summer and migrate to lower altitude villages in winter. There culture is in jeopardy because the youth are trying to mainstream themselves and have lost their enterprising spirit. 


CBT is a SL option since tourism brings the market to their doorstep and provides motivation to preserve their architecture, boost traditional handicrafts, crops and horticulture production. The Centre for Action Research on Environment Science and Society is supporting the Rung people to come together and form the Rung Heritage tours based at Dharchula, Uttaranchal.            




Urban Averages Mask the Poor Condition of RCH:  Evidences from Analysis of NFHS-2 Data by Standard of Living Index

By JHA, Pravin K., Researcher, Plan International, India

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Poster Session


India, long considered a land of countryside (villages) is projected that majority of the population would get urbanized by 2015. This shift in urbanization mainly dominated by economically backward group who migrate to urban cities from countryside to earn their livelihood. These migrants bring the wide variation between economy and nutritional heath status of urban population. The most studies provide data on health and nutrition only rural – urban, which commonly leads to false conclusions about the relative conditions of the urban poor.  The parameters desecrating the overall status of economy and health of urban population marks the inequalities that exist. It is separated through the data on IMR, for example the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for urban Madhya Pradesh is 62 while the analysis shows that IMR among 0urban poor of Madhya Pradesh is 100.   The program managers and policy makers have been at the same time harping on the issue of identifying vulnerable groups to prioritize the program to meet demand-supply gap in-term of basic facility. The present paper is trying to identify the urban poor and compare with other groups of populations with special reference to mother and child’s health and nutritional status in an Indian state.



The main objectives of this paper to find out possible factors to gauge the real plight of underserved urban poor.




Prospects for Further Demographic Transition in South Asia

By KARIM, Mehtab S., Professor of Demography & Head of Reproductive Health Program, Aga Khan University, Pakistan

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Plenary Session 10 – Population and Demographic Transition


During the past three decades, some of the South Asian countries or their regions have experienced a rapid demographic transition, especially Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Southern Indian States.  On the other hand, the transition has been very slow in the largest North Indian States, Nepal as well as in Pakistan. The paper will highlight the major features of this demographic transition in the region and will explain why it has been so slow in some major states of India in general and Pakistan in particular.  It will also examine the prospects of further demographic transition in South Asian region in general and Pakistan in particular, during the next two decades.  For the purpose, data from censuses and surveys conducted in each of the countries are utilized as well as population as projected by the United Nations for each of the South Asian countries.


A Deconstructive Analysis of the South Asian Community in a Global Context

By KHALIDI, Manzoor A., Assistant Professor, Institute of Business Administration, Main Campus, Karachi University, Pakistan

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Concurrent Session 9, Panel C – Past and Present Governmental Policies and Their Impact on South Asia


The paper involves an application of Jacques Derrida’s philosophy of ‘Deconstruction’ to the problems of the South Asian Community. It involves a re-examination of some of the basic concepts which we employ for examining, understanding, and resolving the problems facing our society and our nations. There are a number of concepts which despite being deeply problematical are accepted as a priori truths. Examples are space, nation, country, culture, freedom, ideology, etc. Perhaps the most basic of these concepts is ‘Space’ which we understand as the Cartesian Space or the Physical Space. It is the limitation of this concept that is at the heart of the territorial disputes between nations. Henri Lefebvre’s concept of Social Space overcomes the limitations of Cartesian Space or the Physical Space. According to Lefebvre space contains not only the stage but also the actors, their relationship with the other actors, and their act. This is not a static space; it is a dynamic space, a space that is continuously in the process of change. Lefebvre’s concept allows us to examine the space at a point of time (the present state of the space of the South Asian Community in a Global Context), as well as the change in space over a period of time (the change and development of the South Asian community over a period of time).




Health Concerns of Women Before and After Menopause in Rural North Karnataka, India

By KHAN, C.G. Hussain, Department of Anthropology, Karnatak University, Dharwad, India and HALLAD, Jyoti S., Research Investigator, Population Research Centre, Dharwad, India

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Poster Session


Menopause is a normal but one of the major transitional periods in the life of every woman. Due to declining levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone women may experience many symptoms and conditions. The conditions women experience before and after menopause are very real and sometimes need medical attention also. An attempt is made in this paper to understand the concept of menopause by addressing its various issues like age at menopause, menstrual experiences, menopausal symptoms, health seeking behavior and after effects of menopause.


Methodology: Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were adopted. The findings are based on the census of 588 households, personal interviews of 399 women between 30 –54 years and six focus group discussions in rural areas of Dharwad district. The field data collection was done during June 2004 to May 2005


Who Contest and Why Contest? An Analysis of Women Candidates as Union Councilors in District Kasur, Punjab, Pakistan

By KHAN, Haider Ali, Affiliate, CIDA Devolution Support Project, Pakistan

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel A – Macro and Micro Political Elements in South Asia


In the backdrop of increasing constitutional reservations for women in local government institutions, it becomes relatively significant to explore important aspects of women political participation such as soci-economic back of women candidates and the reasons to contest election. The present study explores these aspects of women political participation in District Kasur, Punjab, Pakistan. A total of 150 women candidate as union councilors were interviewed to explore socio-economic background which included: age, education, occupation, marital status, personal political history, family political history, involvement in community welfare activities and reasons to contest election. Findings show overwhelmingly women candidates are from low-income households and illiterate. Similarly, significant proportions of women candidates have no interest in politics and are contesting elections out of compulsion. The most cited reasons of participation in election are lucrative economic benefits, persuasion from larger political panels, wish of family members and friends. Implication of findings for women role and empowerment are discussed.   




Geospatial Technologies and Their Integration with Socio Economic Factors for Sustainable Regional Development in Global Context

By KRISHNA, I.V. Murali, Professor and Head, Centre for Spatial Information Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India

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Plenary Session 15 – Taking the Conference Forward:  A Roundtable Discussion


The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, says in his Millennium Report that it is impossible to devise effective environmental policy unless it is based on sound scientific information.  While major advances in data collection have been made in many areas, large gaps in our knowledge still exist. This statement in fact is applicable very much for many of the developing countries including the South Asia Region.  The issues elated to education, health, population, environmental changes, natural disasters and security attain top priority for sustainable development.  In addition, land for farming, its identification, its ownership and proper documentation are a major techno-socio-economic problem today in many parts of the world in developing countries. As such, identification and implementation of processes that are adoptable, creative, collaborative and comprehensive are required for any development initiative.  Extensive utilization of the advanced tools of information technology and space technology and internet are bound to create a viable infrastructure which addresses the past short comings and integrates new approaches for data collection, verification, analysis and usage. Capacity building by involving the local communities in various developmental activities happens to be the key for sustainable development.


Ageing Population in a Less and a High Developed States of India

By KUMAR, Abhay, Doctoral Scholar, CSRD/School of Social Sciences/Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

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Poster Session


Objectives: The objective of this paper is to study the demographic, social and economic profile of the ageing population in India in general and to study comparatively ageing in Bihar (a relatively less developed state) and Tamil Nadu (a relatively developed state) in particular.


Data Source: Census of India, NSSO, India, and SRS, India has been used for this study.


Methods: The coefficient of old age and dependency ratio of the old age have been calculated. Several other statistical and mathematical tools have been applied for the analysis of the data. Few Maps have also been prepared to show the profile in India as a whole as well as in Bihar and Tamil Nadu.


Policy Implications: This study emphasizes the inclusion of elderly people in the development and other activities. The need to generate mass awareness has also been put forward in this study.




Domestic Violence:  A Comparative Analysis of Northern and Southern States of India Based on NFHS-2 Data

By KUMAR, Prerna, PhD Student, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel A – Gender Issues


Gender based exploitation and discrimination is widespread and ever growing. Every phase of woman’s life is marred by violations- emotional, physical, mental and sexual (Kosambi, 1998; Subadra, 1999). Domestic violence is not alone a human rights violation, but has increasing health burden and demographic consequences. It is seen as a tool to control women and suppress their rights. However due to the sacrosanct image of family it is the least reported act of violence and is socially legitimate (Mahajan, 1990; Subadra, 1999).


Women in the northern states are viewed as more vulnerable compared to their southern counterparts (Jejeebhoy, 1998). The present study empirically analyzes the relationship between independent and dependent variables in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The empirical findings of the study show that education of the respondent has a consistent effect on the risk of violence in all the four states. The effect of standard of living, autonomy and media exposure is positive in some states and negative in others. The results from the study indicate that socioeconomic variables, which are affecting women’s risk of violence, are related to women’s overall empowerment and change in the dominant social system.


Recent Trends in Urbanisation, Migration and Development in Uttar Pradesh

By MAHMOOD, Aslam, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

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Plenary Session 13 – Planning for Regional and Local Change


The intrinsic relationship between urbanization, migration and development has always been changing with time and space. In the developing countries of Asia and Africa the process of urbanization is even influenced by the changing international economic scenarios also. The last century has witnessed significant changes in almost every aspect of the human society and the age-old relationship integrating local, regional and national system of the economy has been the worst victim of these changes. The symptoms of such changes can be traced back to the third quarter of the last century, but became quite obvious during the post globalization era of the last decade of the twentieth century. In the present study changing patterns of relationship between Urbanization, migration and development have been studied to highlight these changes by taking a case study of Uttar Pradesh one of the important states of India.


In this paper the spatio-temporal process of urbanization has been analyzed with reference to the hierarchical framework of local, regional and national economic systems by taking a case study of Uttar Pradesh. The study traces the growth of different class I towns of Utter Pradesh over ten decades of the last century and explain them in the light of changing role of different tiers of the economic system and the level of integration among them.




Building South Asia Community in a Global Context:  Historic Perspective

By MITRA, Priti Kumar, Professor, Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS), Rajshahi University, Bangladesh

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Concurrent Session 9, Panel C – Past and Present Government Policies and Their Impact on South Asia


Historically, South Asia has been perceived as a melting pot where ethnicities, cultures, faiths, speeches and technologies have merged to create a uniquely plural and adjusting society. Invaders, traders, preachers, travelers poured in, since ancient times, from all the four directions, and all those (except invaders) radiated from South Asia to distant lands. Commodities, ideas, symbols, art and architecture traveled far and wide to be inter-exchanged, cross-fertilized, and recreated. British colonial ascendancy in the nineteenth century caused import of modern European ideas, science, philosophy, technology and aesthetics which permanently redefined South Asian mind, society, and institutions. Thinkers, reformers, freedom fighters, revolutionaries alike looked at their region in global context in their efforts to free it from colonial shackles. Science and democracy took root deep in the region. Intellectuals kept searching for terms for a grand East-West inter-exchange.  This paper would seek to highlight the historic background against which to design the present mission of building a South Asian community in global context.


Mainstreaming Gender Equality in Development:  The Bangladesh Perspective

By MITRA, Priti Kumar, Professor, Institute of Bangladesh Studies (IBS), Rajshahi University, Bangladesh

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel A – Gender Issues


Gender equity has been a sustained pursuit since the 1970’s and has passed through several stages such as WID and GAD. Experience has shown that all those experiments, despite some success, displayed pitfalls, and their goal remained unfulfilled. This is more or less a general pessimism regarding all underdeveloped countries concerned. Hypothetically, the main reason behind the set back is failure in ‘mainstreaming’ gender equity. In Bangladesh the experiment intensified since mid-1980 and, apart from some significant steps forward, has similarly failed to achieve any remarkable progress in the task of mainstreaming gender equity in development efforts. This paper seeks to determine Bangladesh-specific reasons for the futility and offer remedies/alternatives. After all, both for the sake of Bangladesh’s development and also in the interest of building the South Asian Community in a global context mainstreaming gender equity in development is imperative. And that could be the raison d’ętre of this exercise.




Internet News – A Case Study of Chennai Online

By MUJTABA, Syed Ali, Journalist, Senior Editorial Staff, Chennai Online, India

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Concurrent Session 9, Panel A – Perspective on the Burgeoning Non-Print Media (TV, Internet)


The seminar paper “Internet news- A case study of ChennaiOnline,” tries to trace the origin of the Internet news and goes on to compare it with other news mediums- newspaper, radio and TV. It places in perspective how news is being packaged in the different news mediums. It then tries to compare the Internet news with other mediums and highlights its advantages and disadvantages. It sums saying that Internet news has established a distinct position as a fourth medium in the fourth estate. 


The paper focuses on the origin and growth of ChennaiOnline as a web portal and its dalliance with news. It discusses the working of the news desk in some detail and the contemporary issues concerning the news on ChennaiOnline. The papers tries to argue that the news content of ChennaiOnline is geared for a distinct clientele and within that narrow mandate, the port has established a distinct position for its news content. The paper also talks about the growth prospects and the future of the news division of ChennaiOnline. 


The paper concludes saying that Internet news media despite its tremendous reach and accessibilities, has yet to realize its full capabilities. It is unable to attract that kind of revenue that other media outlets generate. The paper predicts that the future development of the Internet news is tightly connected to the progress of the Internet technologies. This means that the biggest shifts of news media influence is yet to happen.




Putting Pro-Poor Tourism in Action: Issues and Considerations in an Indian Context

By NADKARNI, Sanjay*, School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii, USA and PHADKE, Manasi**, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, India

Contact e-mail address:  * and **


Concurrent Session 6, Panel B – Economic Development


The potential of tourism as an instrument for poverty alleviation has received scant recognition for most part of post-independent India’s history. The reasons for this can in part be attributed to the protectionist mindset prevalent among the policy makers for whom import substitution driven manufacturing, five year plans and the licence-quota raj were vehicles that would provide deliverance from the shackles of poverty.


With the era of economic reforms, however, the tourism industry has been able to gradually consolidate its profile on the national stage. Policymakers are beginning to recognise the role of tourism in employment generation, foreign exchange revenues, and its contribution in projecting ‘brand India’ on a global scale. Against the backdrop of the unprecedented growth that the country’s tourism sector has been witnessing, an important vector in the Indian context, which should not be overlooked, is that of poverty alleviation through sustainable tourism development.


At the macro level, this paper makes an attempt at understanding the tourism-multiplier effect as also the leakages associated therewith. The underlying conjecture is, more the investment in economically disadvantaged zones rich in tourism assets, more will the multiplier contribute towards sustainable tourism with its attendant economic benefits. From a micro perspective, a sample action plan that draws on the contribution of all the stakeholders is proposed in this paper. The overall objective is to provide a conceptual case for consolidating the multiplier effect along with the blueprint for a feasible scheme to channel the economic benefits that accrue from tourism towards poverty alleviation.  





HIV/AIDS in South Asia and South-East Asia

By  PANDEY, Haresh Narayan, PhD Student, CSSS/School of Social Sciences, JNU, India

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel C – HIV/AIDS and Related Issues


This paper aims to portray the problem and perspective of HIV/AIDS epidemic in few selected countries of South Asia and South East Asia in two sections. The first section touches upon the country wise problem like- routes of transmission, general peoples perception and awareness, misconception, discrimination and stigmatization practices, available health services, role of respective governments in its control and dealing the problems of people living with HIV/AIDS, impact of the HIV/AIDS in the family, group community and nation-state, role of public, private and voluntary organizations in handling the problem. The second section deals with the problem of HIV/AIDS epidemic with its various dimensions such as development, women, human rights, and role of international organizations handling the perspective of   underdeveloped world in the contemporary global era.




Indigenous Cultures & Globalization

By PATWARDHAN, Nachiket, Architect and Film Maker & PATWARDHAN , Jayoo, India

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Concurrent Session 9, Panel B – Art and Culture – Changing Images in South Asia


All of us are familiar with benefits of globalization that are most visible – higher salaries, greater purchasing power and shops everywhere. We also know that India is becoming a huge market by sheer strength of numbers, not only students and wage earners, but also those who take decisions that create consumer power.


Our professional expertise and involvement in architecture and filmmaking has also given us insights into the down side of this so called ‘boom’. We find that original ideas, and the development of these ideas into workable products – what could be called ‘intellectual property’ is a relatively new term, the phenomenon is as ancient as civilization itself and is commonly recognized as an aspect of indigenous culture in the form of art, music, dance, architecture, literature, theatre, cinema and so on.  In architectural terms, instead of building on our rich tradition of what was once known as the mother of all the arts, we are now witnessing an orphaned monster, growing fast and wild – oblivious of any parentage. The entire face of urban India is being smothered under mediocre building that are neither beautiful nor energy efficient or economical. ‘Cut and Patse’ facades are being built in massive numbers using most expensive materials that create neither craftsmen nor craftsmanship of any lasting value.


The scenario with Indian cinema is not very different – other than producing the maximum number of films every year, we are not creating, cultivating or nurturing audiences, technicians or students in any sustained or meaningful manner outside the hype that accompanies all entertainment consumerism.  Both buildings and cinema involve huge quantities of money and human effort, but what about quality? Shouldn’t we be concerned about lasting values and things that can claim to be truly meaningful? Can we place our professions, occupations and hobbies within a holistic format of integrity, commitment and our own interpretation of the meaning and significance of life itself?


Indians at home and abroad continue to derive confidence, inspiration and even pride from past ‘achievements’ like the Taj Mahal, forest wealth (ayurveda) and yoga. Links between the artist and the metaphysical, and between creativity and spirituality continue to occupy an important part of the USP that accompanies all art, dance, music, literature and theatre; yet all this does not ever get translated into reality – not even working models or laboratory case studies. Is there a way out, can we, (not necessarily as a nation), as culturally homogenous groups, find our identity and our direction, our passions and our joys of living, outside the rat race and the thirst for money that fuels consumerism?




Control of Climatic Change and Green House Gas Emissions – Bio-Methanation and Bio Energy Generations from Agricultural and Domestic Wastes in India

By RAJAMANI, S.*, Director, Grade Scientist and Head, Environmental Technology Department, Central Leather Research Institute, India, and BELLIAPPA, P.M.**, President, East-West Center Association, Chennai Chapter, India

Contact e-mail addresses:  * and **


Plenary Session 5 – Disaster Management/Environmental Change


Climatic Change and Green House gas emissions such as methane, carbon-dioxide etc. from agricultural wastes, paddy fields, animal, human and other waste discharges from tropical countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. is one of the major issues in climatic change and global warming.  Detailed field studies have been undertaken on climatic change, global warming including methane gas emissions from cattle wastes, paddy fields and other domestic / industrial wastes. Biomethanation of degradable agricultural, industrial organic wastes with appropriate technologies & bio-energy generation is one of the best possible options to control Green House gas emissions.  It is estimated that, more than 100 million tons of organic degradable wastes from domestic and agricultural sectors, 20 million tons of degradable organic solid wastes from industries and 50 million m3/year of municipal liquid wastes are generated in India. More than 90% of these wastes are not properly collected and treated in an environmentally sound manner and emitting methane gas and carbon dioxide over several million m3 every year. 


This paper presents the bio-methanation technologies, success stories and their scope for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in India.




Ocean Governance in a Post UNCLOS World – The South Asian Perspective

By RAJAN, S.*, Project Director (LCS), National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, India and VIJAYALAXMI, N., National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, India

Contact e-mail address:  *


Concurrent Session 12, Panel A – Macro and Micro Political Elements in South Asia


The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) adopted in 1982 provides a comprehensive framework for the oceans dealing with all aspects of man’s activities and interaction with the oceans and seas.  The entry into force of this Convention, together with possible extended national jurisdiction offshore, has opened a new vista before the coastal states in terms of exploration, exploitation, protection and sustainable development of the “newly available” ocean space.  It is hoped that the governance of this new space will be based on a better understanding of the interrelationships between human activities and marine ecosystems.  However, for the management to be truly effective, it is equally important for the coastal states to be well aware of the scientific, technical, and legal issues of ocean governance under the Convention.  In this paper, we highlight the complexities of management of the ocean space as defined by the coastal states of South Asia in the context of the legal and scientific provisions of UNCLOS.  We also demonstrate the significant role that these coastal nations with an Exclusive Economic Zone in excess of 6 million sq. km and a possible extended continental shelf of over 6 million sq. km can play in an effective implementation of the basic tenets of the Convention.    




Significance of Individual, Household and Contextual Factors on Child Malnutrition in Rural India: A Multilevel Analysis

By RAJARAM, S.*, Consultant, SPME Section, UNICEF Country Office, India and SUNIL, T.S., Delhi Consultant, SPME Section, UNICEF Country Office, India

Contact e-mail address:  *


Poster Session


In India, malnutrition among children remains a major risk limiting their development potential and active learning capacity.  Policies and programmes aiming at reducing and preventing malnutrition as well as improving the developmental outcomes among children may largely benefit from studies on determinants of malnutrition. Hence, the present study assessed, first, the nutritional status of children below 3 years using three anthropometric measures such as weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height in rural areas of India. Secondly, we examined the individual and contextual level factors that influence the nutritional status of children in India.  The NFHS-II data for India are used in the study. The present study used multilevel logistic regression analysis to examine the factors that influence the nutritional status of children. The results showed that individual factors, in addition to program factors, play a major role in describing the condition in rural areas than the contextual level variables.




Where Service Providers and Service Receivers Differ in Their Perceptions and Practices Regarding Abortion Care Services

By  RAJRETNAM, T., HALLAD, Jyoti S., Research Investigator, Population Research Centre, Dharwad, India, SATIHAL, D.G., and HIREMATH, G.M.

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Poster Session


Even after 35 years of legalizing induced abortion, stigma attached to induced abortion still continues. Often women seek abortion secretly from untrained persons, in an unsafe way. Most of the women are not aware of newer methods of abortion and where these services are available. Medical practitioners are also not giving much attention to educate women on early and new methods of abortion. This leads to quite higher proportion of post abortion complications and sometimes leads to death also. There appears a large gap between the perceptions and practices of service providers and service receivers with regard to abortion care services.



To analyze the information acceptors gain while accepting the abortion and to find out how they are different from the married women with regard to safe abortion

To identify discrepancies in the abortion related practices reported by providers and acceptors and suggest additional training needs to improve attitudinal behavior of practitioners


Methodology: The findings are based on the personal interviews with 792 married women in the age group 15–34, 185 women who had undergone induced abortion in the past one year and 179 medical practitioners performing abortions. The study is done in four districts of North Karnataka, during March-April 2005.


Key findings: Abortion acceptors found to be slightly better in their knowledge on ‘safe abortion period’ and ‘safe and early abortion period’ compared to married women. However not much difference is found between the two groups with regard to knowledge on newer methods of abortion, where services of trained persons are available etc. If practitioners take some interest to educate these women on importance of early and safe abortion, new methods of abortion, they can turn out to be very good change agents to the community.




Art, Architecture and Culture: Resources of Community Environment, Bangladesh Perspective

By RASHID, Khaleda, Professor, Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh

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Concurrent Session 9, Panel B – Art & Culture – Changing Images in South Asia


Community environment is in a sense an essence to viable life and living. While ‘historic urban centers are cultural resource elements of urban community environment’, modern urban areas are dull and lifeless (Camillo Sitte, 1965). It is because the link with the past has not been properly established; the indigenous, heritage and creative aspects of the community has not been cultivated; and art, architecture and cultural activities have not been aptly displayed. Over emphasis on economic gain is also another factor. In fact all these influence physical and social environments degrading psychological or social equanimity. Shakhari Bazar of Old Dhaka, Bangladesh, even in mid – seventies exemplified aesthetic of human spirit featuring the art of conch shell cutting. In the process of redevelopment not only the community but also the trade was smashed. The paper considers artifacts, architecture and cultural elements foundations of communities and focuses on interaction among them in promotion and protection of the heritage in creating viable community environment.  The paper also stresses on the need for research and critical debate among interdisciplinary and multinational experts to review and understand the communities and their environmental resources.




Globalization--- Challenges for South Asia

By SAWHNEY, Upinder, Senior Faculty, Department of Economics, Panjab University, India

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel B – Economic Development


The era of globalization is opening many opportunities for millions of people around the world. Increased   trade, new technologies, foreign investments, expanding markets in goods, services and labor offer enormous potential for economic growth and eradication of poverty and economic inequality from the world. Most of the countries of south Asia are low or lower middle income countries. South Asian countries can improve their economic lot in the wake of   globalization to gain from overall economic growth by reducing their poverty and by drawing on and strengthening their social institutions. Trends in globalization, such as privatization and trade liberalization may reduce the role of government but actually, these policies free the governments from unnecessary supervision or control of private sectors and enable governments to do what is necessary: provide social justice, defense and other public goods such as rule of law, maintain macro economic stability, invest in infrastructure, education, protect the environment, build civil society.  Contrary to fears that globalization has sidelined governments, the opportunities afforded by a global economy enhance the benefits of wise policies and effective governance. Prof. Amartya Sen opines that more attention should be paid to the distribution aspects of the potential gains from globalization.  Globalization is therefore a mixed bag of blessings for weak countries: the profits and potential are immense, but so are the dangers. These countries need to be more flexible, more innovative and open to change and able to make rapid decisions .The present paper seeks to examine the various regional and inter regional opportunities available to south Asian economies for growth and development as also the challenges they may have to face.




Factors Shaping Gender-Role Attitudes Among Adolescent Girls in Urban Slums of Allahabad, India

By SEBASTIAN, Mary Philip*, Program Officer, Population Council, India and BEGUM, Shahina**, Research Fellow, Department of Bio-Statistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India

Contact e-mail address:  * and **


Concurrent Session 12, Panel B – Gender and Education Issues


Using survey data, this study explores gender-role attitudes among girls aged 15-21 residing in slums of Allahabad, India, and extent to which attitudes are shaped by such factors as mother’s attitudes. The survey asked a series of attitudinal questions of adolescents and their mothers relating to work and education for girls on the one hand and marriage and husband-wife relations on the other; two indices have been created that measure each of these attitudinal dimensions. Findings suggest that with regard to work and education, both adolescents and their mothers express similarly egalitarian attitudes. But, with regard to husband wife relations, though there is convergence in attitudes, daughters express more egalitarian views than their mothers. Multivariate analysis suggest that girls’ attitudes are not only shaped by their education and socioeconomic status but also the attitudes expressed by their mothers, especially in the case of attitudes related to husband wife relations.




Who is a Better Provider of Emergency Contraceptive Pills in Rural Setting:  Doctor or Paramedics?

By SEBASTIAN, Mary Philip, Program Officer, FRONTIERS Program, Population Council, India, KUMAR, Shiv, and KHAN, M.E.

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Poster Session


In India, 21 percent pregnancies are unplanned, leading to about 6.5 million abortions every year.  15 percent of maternal deaths are due to abortion complications.  Emergency Contraceptive Pills (ECP) is an important reproductive health intervention which would provide another chance to women to prevent unwanted pregnancy.  MOH&FP introduced ECP in the national family planning program in 2003, but remains unutilized as it is available only on prescription and at Primary Health Clinic (PHC), provided mostly by male doctors.  No effort is made for awareness raising, restricting ECP’s accessibility to women who need it.  To increase accessibility of ECP, Population Council and Indian Council of Medical Research is conducting an operations research to demonstrate that paramedics could be equally efficient in counseling and providing ECP, if well trained. Study is in one district each of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharshtra.  In each state about 180,000 population is covered.  In one group both the doctors and paramedics are trained in ECP and in  second only doctors; and are providing ECP services.  IEC campaign is common in both areas.  Knowledge gain about ECP after training was equal among doctors and paramedics, while there was significant difference in knowledge before the training.  The study results have major policy implications in making ECP available over the counter and provision by paramedics.      




Self Realization:  The Key to Education in the Age of Knowledge

Concurrent Session 12, Panel C – Understanding Cultural Components in Building South Asian Community


The word education is derived from educe which means to bring out. All that is needed is to bring out what is within. This does presuppose that the required knowledge is within and all that needs to be done is to unearth one’s very inner core.  What is the inner core? Empirically, it may at best be the totality of all the recollections accessible at any given point of time and choice.  In short, this may just be a memory system, no less.


Whereas cloning physical forms have been made scientifically possible, intelligence along with its memory systems are also being artificially created, developed and transferred, not to speak of the possibilities for downloading the mind itself.  What is intelligence made of? Findings that are being arrived at in the area of quantum physics may soon lead to the acceptance of existence as consciousness, the one and only constant, and hence bliss.




With South Asia Changing, Are Multilateral Development Banks Changing Fast Enough?

By SHRESTHA, Omkar, Principal Programs Specialist, The Asian Development Bank, Philippines

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Plenary Session 13 – Planning for Regional and Local Change


The star performance of India and China is globally acknowledged. With India’s easing relations with China and Pakistan, history is offering South Asia a unique opportunity for economic prosperity. India’s trade with China is set to reach $20 billion (ahead of target date 2008) and $30 billion by 2010. Beijing and Shanghai now compete for India’s IT skill.  By 2025, these two countries are projected to be among the world’s three top economies. The burgeoning trade relations between the two therefore will offer enormous opportunity to South Asia.


Most other South Asian economies are also performing well. In such context, the scope for regional cooperation and cross-country projects become increasingly important. Land-locked Nepal suddenly could become a strategic transit country.


Amidst these dramatic changes in the region, multilateral development banks need to reassess their policies and procedures, their operational modalities and financial products and reinvent themselves to suit the changing needs of the regional countries if they are to remain relevant, and responsive responsible development agents helping uplift 500 million poor who still call South Asia their home.




Building South Asian Community for Poverty Reduction: Challenges and Prospects

By SINGH, Karori, Director, South Asia Studies Centre, University of Rajasthan, India  

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Concurrent Session 9, Panel C – Past and Present Governmental Policies and Their Impact on South Asia


South Asia is one of the poorest regions irrespective of the large number of poverty alleviation measures ranging from educational to redistributive, both at governmental and non-governmental level. Some of the measures are directly aimed at poverty reduction while other development policy measures have indirectly contributed to the poverty reduction. There are several poverty alleviation programmes, which are specifically designed for the target groups living below the poverty line and given indigenous nomenclature in order to make them popular.


United Nations Millennium Declaration in 2002 has incorporated Poverty Eradication as a main Millennium Development Goal for making poverty history by 2015 and United Nations Decade of Poverty Eradication (1997-2006) is coming to an end next year and, thus, it is an appropriate time to identify the challenges and reassess the potentials of Building the South Asian Community for Poverty Reduction. An attempt has, therefore, been made in the Paper to explain the intricacies involved in the poverty reduction and discover the poverty-producing factor. The Paper identifies several factors ranging from natural calamities to insurgency, which are producing poverty in the region.




Climate Change Vulnerability in Himalayas – Challenges for Food Security

By SINGH, R.B., Professor, Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India

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Plenary Session 5 – Disaster Management/ Environmental Change


The Himalaya, which is globally important but fragile mountain ecosystem, is also known as the water tower of the earth surface and is a rich repository of biological diversity. Climate change brings several impacts i.e. variable rainfall patterns, melting of glaciers, increased run-off, excessive flooding and water scarcity. Impending large variability in the monsoon’s precipitation levels will bring more extreme events and water scarcity problem. The complexity of geological systems have contributed to aggravation of the earth’s dynamic processes of weathering, erosion, wastage and seismicity, etc., which affect and modify the Himalayan environment.


In the present paper an attempt has been made to analyse the linkages between climate variability and water resources sustainability of the Gangetic plains.




Homosexuality in the South Asian Community – Need for Legislative Change

By SINGH, Rahul, The National University of Juridical Science, India

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Plenary Session 4 – Health Challenges in South Asia


This paper explores the subject of homosexuality in the South Asian Community which has recently been brought into the public debate of gender and sexuality as a result of the AIDS epidemic and the increasing visibility of sexual minorities.  While homosexuals in some countries of the West have gained legal acceptance, in South Asia they are still bound by the shackles of law. Homosexuality here is viewed as a perverse engagement against the order of nature and subject of legitimate penalisation as evident in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.  The need for legislative change is essential as human rights of sexual minorities are being raised globally.  Secondly cultural essentialism is being used by the sexual subalterns to argue that homosexuality is a part of Asian culture which has been buried under the legal debris of colonialism stained by Victorian morality.  In summation change in legislative attitudes is essential.




Charting the Way Forward – Inclusive Education in the New Millennium

By SINGH, Renu, Director, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, India

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel B – Gender and Education Issues


Historically special education developed as a specialized service delivery system separate from general education, since children with disabilities were perceived as “different” from their typical peers.  The past two decades has raised serious questions about segregation of children with disabilities and terms like integration, mainstreaming, partial mainstreaming and inclusion have entered the field of education in keeping with the spirit of “Education for All”as affirmed by UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, World Declaration on Education For All, Jomtien Conference 1990 and UNESCO Salamanca Statement, 1994. Past assumptions about special education and general education as separate systems are giving way to a challenge to work together. This paper presents a case study of the status of students with disabilities enrolled in ten Elementary Schools in Delhi, India highlighting some of the challenges that countries in the Sub-continent need to address to make Education for All a reality.


Health Concerns for India and Its States

By SOMAYAJULU, U.V., Senior Research Director, Department of Social Research, TNS Mode, India

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel C – HIV/AIDS and Related Issues


India, the second most populous country of the world is home for more than one billion people. India is committed to achieve health for all of its citizens and the union and the state governments have taken several initiatives.  However, the situation looks different and the analysis of the available data indicate wide-ranging differentials in terms of health status of the people. This paper analyses the health status of women, children, men and the aged in terms of morbidity levels (incidence of several diseases and burden of diseases) and knowledge regarding STIs and HIV/AIDS using the NFHS 1 and NFHS 2and MICS 2000 data. Specifically, the paper focuses on regional and state wise differentials and provides policy /programme implications.




Life Satisfaction and Quality of Life of Urban Population in Central Thailand

By SOOKASAME, Kanikar, Associate Professor, School of Applied Statistics, National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel C – Understanding Cultural Components in Building South Asian Community


The purpose of this article was to (1) develop the quality of life measurement for urban Thai people, (2) survey the quality of life of Thai people, and (3) compare quality of life of Thai people in Central region with the other regions. 


The survey was conducted in 6 provinces in the central part of the countries. There are Pethchabury, Rathchabury, Srarabury, Shingbury, Rayong and Srakeow.  A total of 1,500 household heads, 250 for each province, aged between  16 – 82, living in urban areas of 6 provinces were interviewed about their life satisfaction, quality of life(QOL) and factors effecting them.


QOL was measured for 12 domains and overall QOL, they are included physical environment, social environment, infrastructure, information, recreation, social life, working life, family life, physical health, mental health, intellectual, life and property safety. The hierarchical regression was used to analysis the data. The colbach alpha was use to test the reliability of the scales.


The results of the study found that QOL of life of the urban dwelling depend on life satisfaction and others factors such as sex, education, number of working members in the family, balance of income, and non-migrant. QOL of central dwelling is better of than the people in north and northeastern dwelling but almost equal to the people in the southern part of the countries.


Consistency of Findings between Paramedical and Medical Personnel

on Pregnant Women

By SRINIVASAN, K., Emeritus Professor, PRAKASAM, C.P., Professor, RAJARETNAM, T., Deputy Director, and  PRAHARAJ, Purujit, Research Officer, International Institute for Population Science, India

Contact e-mail address:


Poster Session


In this study we have made an attempt to study the extent of reliability in the recording of basic parameters of signs, symptoms and some clinical examinations of pregnant women by three types of examiners, namely the ANM, Medical officer of the PHC and a Medical Officer in private practice in rural field conditions in Karnataka state. These three examiners independently examined 174 pregnant women with regard to four symptoms reported by the women themselves such as her ‘last menstrual period’, four signs assessed by the examiner such as ‘swelling of the legs’ and nine simple clinical examinations such as the ‘pulse rate’, totaling 17 parameters. The findings from the study reveal that the data compiled on pregnant women lack consistency between the examiners and there are shockingly wide disparities even on basic parameters assessed by two doctors. For example even in the assessment of a simple sign as ‘tongue pale’ or not there was only 59 percent agreement between the two doctors. The quality of care taken by the para medical and medical personnel while examining a pregnant woman in the rural areas leaves much to be desired. Apathy, lack of concern for the health of the mothers and professional sloppiness seem to underlie the poor consistency between the results obtained by the independent examiners. There is a need for organizing periodical refresher courses for medical and paramedical personnel and making it mandatory for them to qualify on these tests for their professional licenses to be renewed.




Importance of Family Planning Programmes in South Asia

By TEWARI, Sudha, Managing Director, Parivar Seva Sanstha Reproductive Health Services, India

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Plenary Session 10 – Population and Demographic Transition


The freedom to choose how many children, and when, though a fundamental human right is often denied to the poorest women in most developing countries, including those in South Asian countries. Unwanted and unplanned pregnancies and its consequences, even today, remains a major challenge,. Quality Family Planning Programmes, which create awareness and knowledge and provide better access to safe and affordable contraceptive methods have proven benefits in terms of gender equality, maternal health, child survival, and preventing HIV.


The efforts of the Governments as well as the private sector, including the NGOs in the South Asian countries have resulted in improved Contraceptive Prevalence in the region, but much more needs to be done. Also, the efforts have not been equal or as effective in all the countries of this region, resulting in populations which are well beyond the sustainable levels of these countries. In particular, the composition of present population, such as the large number of adolescents poses major challenges as well as opportunities.


South Asia is an important region in the world and is playing a leadership role in many areas, including family planning. Its success or failures would greatly determine the world population trends in the future.  




A Study of HIV Transmission Force Among Risk-Groups in South-Asian Countries

By THOMAS, M., Assistant Director, PANDEY, Arvind, KUMARI, Jyoti, SULTANA, Rehena, Institute for Research in Medical Statistics (ICMR), India

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Concurrent Session 6, Panel C – HIV/AIDS and Related Issues


South-Asian countries are showing greater concern to the spread of the HIV/AIDS in their country, as the epidemic has taken its turn from the high-risk population to general population in many of them. The transmission rate of the infection within and between risk groups is one of the major indicators of the spread of the epidemic. However, there is no direct method to estimate the same in case of HIV/AIDS. Though quite a large number of models have been developed to study the spread of HIV/AIDS and to estimate the related parameters, measures of such indicators based on real data are very rare.


Using estimates of different risk groups, we can derive the transmission force between risk groups. Calculation for countries like China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand have shown that the infection have spread from Intravenous drug users to the general population and to the other risk groups. Over the period of 12- 13 years the infection rate have stabilized for the IDU group in these countries resulting in stabilizing to decreasing spread of the epidemic. In other countries like India, Pakistan, sex workers and STI patients are forming a bridge for infecting low risk groups.




A Comparative Study of Incubation Distribution and Incidence Curves

for HIV/AIDS in India Applying Different Back Calculation Models

By THOMAS, M., Assistant Director, PANDEY, Arvind, Director, SULTANA, Rehena, and KUMARI, Jyoti, Institute for Research in Medical Statistics (ICMR), India

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Poster Session


Reconstruction of HIV infection curve has been the major focus of statistical studies in the HIV/AIDS area. Reconstruction of the realized, but unobserved, HIV incidences is of interest because they indicate the size of the epidemic and are useful for predicting future AIDS incidences and the health care costs resulting from AIDS cases.


Various back calculation models have been developed to estimate the incubation distribution and reconstruct the incidence curve for HIV/AIDS in the past. However, very few applications have been tried on real data. Application of different models on same data will enable to compare them and choose the best fitting model for the given condition.


In the current exercise we try to apply some of the models to Indian data and compare the results to choose the best fit that provides most efficient and consistent estimates of the parameters. It is also proposed to study truncated distribution and estimate the best point of truncation to increase the time to develop AIDS. It is expected that such study will lead to estimate the best time to initiate any medical intervention to HIV positive individuals.




Utilization of Indigenous Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy in India

By YADAV, R.J., Deputy Director, Institute for Research in Medical Statistics, Indian Council of Medical Research, India, PANDEY, Arvind, and SINGH, Padam

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Concurrent Session 12, Panel C – Understanding Cultural Components in Buidling South Asian Community


Background and objective   Information though available on the utilization of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H) through NSSO, NCAER and NFHS does not  provide  details by each  system.  Department of AYUSH, MOHFW, entrusted IRMS, Delhi to undertake a study on the “Usage and Acceptability of each indigenous system”.  Methods The study covered 35 districts spreading over 19 states of the country. From 16 major states, two districts each were selected randomly one from the list of districts with high utilization level  and  the other district  from the list of districts with low level of utilization. From other 3 states, one district each was selected randomly.  Methodology From each selected district, 1000 households with at least one sick person were covered. The data have been collected on the health seeking behavior of persons who were sick (suffering from some diseases) in three months before survey including at the time of survey. The information has also been collected on the preference of system of treatment, system of medicine availed during illness, expenditure involved towards these system as well as reasons for preferring and not preferring these systems in normal ailments as well as serious ailments.  Results & Statistical Analysis About 45,000 sick persons from 33,666 households from these thirty-five districts of the country were covered. The information has been analyzed for preference of ISM&H in normal and serious ailments as well as the reasons for preference as well as for no preference. Conclusions It has been observed that the preference of ISM&H in normal ailment was about 33% and only 18% in case of serious ailments in the country. The sick persons actually availing ISM&H treatment were about 14 per cent in the country.