First EqUIP symposium: Inequalities, Growth and Place/Space

The first EqUIP symposium was hosted by the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) in Delhi on 19th – 20th October 2015. It explored themes around the broader area of ‘Inequalities, Growth and Place/Space’ with the objective to provide recommendations to the EqUIP partners about more specific priority areas for future activities.

Symposium Reflection Paper summarizing the findings and results of this discussion is now available.

From left to right: Dr Jacqui Karn (Senior European Policy Manager ESRC), Dr G S Saun (Member Secretary of ICSSR), Prof. Sukhadeo Thorat (Chairman of ICSSR), Dr Cesare Onestini, (Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to India), Dr Nafees Meah (Head of RCUK India)

The core of this symposium has been represented by the exploration of the concepts of inequalities, growth, and cities/urbanisation.  Whilst cities and rapid urbanisation were seen to provide a particular focus, the significance of the rural aspect was emphasised as well, in the context of development and growth, and not just in the move from rural to urban areas. In particular, the concept and interpretation of “growth” was stressed as being wider of its economic meaning. The natural environment was also seen to be a fundamental cross-cutting aspect of this theme, concerning especially environmental degradation and any natural events forcing populations to move and change. The notion of encounter – social, cultural – and its relation to identity and community/ies within cities and regions was also considered crucial.

Other concepts highlighted as priorities to explore were:

  • Inequalities and growth
  • City, settlements, cultural heritage and organisation of public spaces
  • State, market and communities
  • Formal and informal structures, production system, consumer patterns, business behaviour and labour

IMG_2070The symposium scoped the theme in detail, and based its discussion on questions such as:

  • What are the future priorities for EU-India research collaboration in this area – ensuring research excellence (this means where collaborations between researchers in India and Europe add value and don’t duplicate national activities).
  • What is the research capacity?
  • Are there factors to consider relating to the social sciences and humanities?
  • Are there factors to consider relating to the different geographic areas (e.g. inequalities in India compared to France)
  • Are there particular opportunities or challenges EqUIP needs to consider?

The exploration of the topics included in this theme required a strong component of interdisciplinarity, and the capacity to integrate global knowledge with local knowledge, which reinforces the idea that this theme expands and connects with the broad area of SSH.

The participants to the Symposium

The participants to the Symposium