Editor’s Pick

SPRF’s 2022 round up

As 2022 ends, the SPRF team looks back on this year’s research to present to the readers our favourite reads of the year.

‘Davis (2006) writes, “the urban poor do not lose much sleep at night worrying about earthquakes or even floods. Their chief anxiety is a more frequent and omnipresent threat: fire.” as confirmed by all the refugees interviewed during the course of this study. Fires across refugee camps are a worryingly widespread occurrence, making displaced persons “more vulnerable to burn injuries than their non-displaced counterparts” (Kazerooni et al., 2016).’


‘Coupled with the increasing number of institutional births, the state-sponsored training programmes for ANMs, ASHA workers, and NPMs have also greatly reduced the role of dais in assisting births. This increase in the number of grassroot and institutional health workers in the field of obstetrics has merely put dais out of work and failed to integrate them into the expanding healthcare system.’


Exam hall with tables and chairs. Original public domain image from Flickr

‘The dependence on coaching institutes to crack high-stakes exams has diminished learning outcomes. Moreover, exorbitant fee structures have also widened inequalities in access to higher education. A study has shown that success in high-stakes exams like the JEE is dependent on socio-economic factors such as the educational qualification of the parent, family income, and geographic location (Mann et al., 2021). For instance, children of non-graduates find it much harder to crack the exam, and urban students are more likely to succeed.’

People Tribal Happiness Northeast India Joy

‘With the 2003 UNESCO report postulating that language is “a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage” (Smeets, 2004), the fact that 36% of North-Eastern languages are endangered offers an insight into the region’s culture. The deep and symbiotic relationship between the two is present in almost every sociolinguistic study of endangerment or policy (Abbi et al., 2007; Guardado, 2006; Padharipande, 2002; Tulloch, 2010). This connection thus introduces the idea of language loss being closely related to culture loss, often associated with “the decay of traditional cultural heritage, values, and artifacts” (Kirsch, 2001). Some, like Saydee (2014), assert that the loss of language is in itself culture loss.’


‘Even though many of them are clubbed under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe [SC/ST] as well as Other Backward Classes [OBC], a chunk of their population have been left out of the fold of affirmative action2 (Gandee, 2020). Therefore, while the denotified tribes face continued prejudice, police brutality, and harassment from the general public in addition to the stigma they face because of their other identity markers, many of them are ineligible for any government benefits. At the same time, other denotified tribes classified under SC, ST, and OBC do not receive special benefits for undergoing forced criminalisation even though they face its additional burden (ibid.).’

Curated by the SPRF Editorial Team.