Friday, March 1, 2024
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Completed Research Projects

  • Human Ecological Studies of Indigenous Communities in the Southern-Western Ghats: Human Ecology Project of the centre is undertaken in collaboration with Advances Centre for Environmental Sciences and Sustainable Development (ACESSD), Mahatma Gandhi University. The project has studied the human ecological condition of the Western Ghats region with special emphasis on the relationship between Kani tribe living in the forest and forest fringes. The broad objective of the study was to understand the current human-ecological interactions of Kani tribe who are living inside the forests, living in the fringes of forests and those who are settled outside and living in mainstream lifestyle. The study was based on Fieldwork survey of 36 settlements among Kani Tribes in the Trivandrum District.  Two articles in peer reviewed journal were published based on this study.
  • Praxis Intervention   Action   Research with Dalit-Christians and Other Marginalized Communities of Manchadikkari, Kottayam District, Kerala (funded by ICSSR, New Delhi). The centre has completed a Praxis Intervention Project at Manjadikkari, Arpookkkara panchayat, Kottayam district among Dalits who fled from the mainland to the waterlogged Manjadikkari in mid-19th century to escape from then existing caste oppression and slavery. The praxis intervention project was an action research project encouraging the current generation of Dalits of Manjadikkari to critically assess themselves in their life-world. A series of workshop were conducted in Manjadikkari which introduced the concepts of history, gender, religion, ecology, and health among the local population. The book titled Oru Gramam Nooru Ormakal was published in April 2017.
  • From the Lord’s Prayer to Invoking Slavery through Prayers: Religious Practices and Dalits in Kerala, India. The research studied prayers and practices related to selected Dalit communities (formerly untouchable) of Kerala, who joined the Anglican missionary societies from the mid nineteenth century onwards. We consider the project was conceived on the premise that prayer is very crucial in the evolution of Dalit subjectivity in the context modernity. This particular aspect has not received adequate attention in the existing literature on Dalits in South Asia. Also, the project captured several oppositional movements of Dalits that started appearing from the first decade of twentieth century. 
  • Writing Dalit Lives: Anthology of Women’s Voices from Kerala (funded by ICSSR). The project sought to record the life experiences of Dalit women from Kerala through documenting their The project is a narrative exploration of the social process of self-definition by the Dalit women within a historical period, and how they have negotiated their lives within the collective of family, community and society. The writings based on self- representations sought to broaden the sites and location of knowledge on women subjectivities. The project is designed as collaborative life writing, i.e., the subject’s life narrative will be presented through first person voice.
  • Transformation of land and landscapes of Kerala – Locality Studies. The landscape of Kerala has been undergoing unimaginable transformation in a span of two decades. The study tried to make a socio- historical and geographical inquiry into the spatial structuring and re-structuring of agricultural and urban landscapes of select localities which would trace the changes in the landscapes due to changes in the land use pattern. It also aimed to map and explore the changing effects on landscape, ecology, life-worlds, production and consumption patterns, food habits, occupations, employment and the everyday life of people. The study is to understand the role of global capital and the localities’ responses to these restructuring in in-depth detail. The Marine Drive of Kochi is identified as site for the above study.
  • Documentation Project on Local Initiative on Waste Management: Clean Kumili, Green Kumily Project (with KGPA, Thiruvanthapuram). As part of documenting best practices at Gram Panchayat level, the Centre has initiated a documenting project on waste management programme of Kumaly Grama Panchayat. The first workshop of the project documentation was conducted in Thekkadi in February 2015.The participants included all the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the concerned programme and Government officials of different departments. Later, the documentation has been extended to the period 2021 and the Report was released in 2022 at Kumily.
  • Documenting Women’s History: Movements, Struggles and Lives in Kerala. The project intends a historical reconstruction of women’s history through documenting feminist movements, struggles and lives in Kerala. This will be done through collecting and digitalizing historical records that has shaped women’s movement in Kerala. Women’s movements in Kerala have progressed along diverse yet interrelated trajectories, which have raised a consciousness in public space. Though a linear progress cannot be traced, women’s struggle involved raising issues of violence faced by women both social and personal, sexual harassment, sexual violence, inheritance rights, property rights, right for equal wages, right for dignified workspace, de facto inequalities and legal inequalities. The women’s struggle has also contributed to various movements, and at the same time has played an important role in raising a feminist consciousness. So, a documentation of various struggles, movements and lives of women over the period that witnessed a transition of Kerala society will further refine our understanding of current social history of Kerala. The Report has been finalised.   
  • Tribal Settlements in the Western Ghats: A Study with Special Reference to Ecological Sustainability and Sustained Well-being of the Tribals in the Idukki District of Kerala.The landscape and character of the tribal habitats in the Western Ghats of Kerala have changed tremendously in the last five decades. This has its impact on the tribal livelihood options and life-style patterns. The proposed study problematizes habitat transitions and its impact on their everyday life-politics as it was happening in the last five decades in the tribal settlements of forest areas of Idukki district among the tribes designated as Mannan, Muthuvan, Urali, Paliyan, Hillpulayan, Malampandaram, Ulladan and Malayan. This is a collaborative multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research programme proposed to be conducted in Praxis Intervention mode of research. The Report has been finalised.
  • Reverse Migration from GCC Countries: Distress Signals for Kerala. The project seeks to examine the emerging migration dynamics of Kerala in the context of an array of problems emerging from the global and local conditions. It aims to comprehend multi-level challenges in the migratory spaces of the GCC countries (such as the global recession, oil price slump, localisation of labour and the fall of the labour market in the wake of COVID-19); examine the scale and intensity of reverse migration (RM) and its implications for the regional economy of Kerala; analyse the short-term and long-term consequences of reversals in the migration scenario of the GCC countries and their fallout on Kerala’s development trajectory; evaluate the sociological and cultural implications of the RM in Kerala, in general, and 7 select districts (Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhicide and Malappuram), in particular;  estimate the kind of problems the ‘Gulf returnee’ will have to bear in the post-migration scenario in Kerala; and study the role and relevance of governmental and non-governmental agencies in migration governance and post-migration resettlement. The Report has been finalised. 

Ongoing Projects 

  1. Gender-Based Violence in Kerala: An Evaluation Study of the Role and Functioning of Jagratha Samithis (State Plan)
  2. Effectiveness of Social Audit in Local Development Programmes: An Evaluation Study of Social Audit under MGNREGS (State Plan)
  3. Trade-Induced ‘World-ing’ of Merchants from Malabar: Cosmopolitan Moments in the Family History of Keyis of Thalaserry (KCHR)
  4. Understanding   Transgender, Nonbinary, and other Gender Diverse Communities (State Plan)

 Chief Minister’s Nava Kerala Post-Doctoral Fellowship Projects

  1. Human Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge and Survival of Communities: An Anthropological Study of Idukki District
  2. Ecology-Development Interface: Tourism Potential of River Conservation Project, Kerala
  3. Labour, Marginalized Communities and Economic Empowerment under MGNREGS in Kerala
  4. Human Mobility, Return Migration and Reintegration Challenges in Kerala

Academic Interactions and Collaborations

The Centre has academic interactions with the following institutions

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru University
  2. English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad
  3. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  4. Centre for Environment and Social Concerns (CESC), Ahmadabad
  5. National University of Singapore
  6. Centre for Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania,
  7. Massey University, New Zealand
  8. University of New York
  9. Indian Association for Women’s Studies
  10. Delhi University, New Delhi
  11. MIDS, Chennai
  12. KGPA, Trivandrum
  13. Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development, Chennai
  14. KILA, Trissur
  15. Centre for Studies in Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, MANUU, Hyderabad
  16. Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi
  17. B. Pant Social Science Institute
  18. Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  19. Delhi School of Economics, CSSS Kolkata
  20. TISS, Mumbai
  21. Gulati Institute of Finacne and Taxation (GIFT)
  22. Global Penn, University of Pennsylvania


The Centre provides data and inputs as Consultant to the Government of Kerala and the State Planning Board in the areas of watershed management, community development. migration and women empowerment programme.

Extension Activities

(a)The training programmes for representatives of local self-government, initiated earlier, are being revived with the new representatives in office in all local bodies;

(b)Developing supportive system for integrated planning in local governance. Initiated consultation for launching programmes in Aymanam, Athirampuzha and Arpookkara Panchayats in Kottayam.

(c)Consultancy to community development and women empowerment programme. Steps are underway to launch programmes in select panchayats in Kottayam and Idukki districts.

(d)Documentation of Best Practices of Panchayati Raj Institutions. Clean Kumaly Green Kumaly project documentation has already been completed, and the Centre initiated steps for documenting Meenachil-Meenanthara-Kodoor River linking in Kottayam.

(e) Data collection and field work proposed as part of STRIDE Programme of UGC.

Panchayath Help Desk

The Centre as part of its extension activities has planned to select 3 Panchayats each from Kottayam and Idukki Districts in Kerala so as to assist them to formulate and implement annual plans, with the motive of “sustainable development on the basis of social justice.” The Panchayat governing body will be trained in identifying innovative schemes/projects based on the regional specifications and to utilize locally available resources to ensure sustainable development. The major focus of the Centre is on the development of women and the marginalized groups. The Panchayath help desk is being revived.