Book chapter / Elephant Welfare Regulations

Bindumadhav, Sumanth, Alokparna Sengupta, and Shilpa Mahbubani. ‘The Effectiveness of Elephant Welfare Regulations in India.’ In The Elephant Tourism Business, edited by E. Laws, N. Scott, X. Font, and J. Koldowski, 149–59. Wallingford, UK: CABI, 2021.


Summary: This chapter describes the current situation of elephants used in tourism in Kerala and Rajasthan in India and the effectiveness of existing welfare regulations.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789245868.0012

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Book chapter / Tourism – Community Participation

George, A. T., Jiang Min, and T. Delacy. ‘A Case Study on Impacts of Community Participation in Tourism Planning and Destination Management in Kerala, India.’ In Tourism Planning and Development in South Asia, edited by D. Stylidis and B. Seetanah, 5–22. Wallingford, UK: CABI, 2021.

Summary: This case study in Kerala explores the positive impacts of community participation on economic, socio-cultural, and environmental factors through responsible tourism initiatives in Kumarakom destination. This research evaluates the effectiveness, fundamental elements, and conceptual foundation of participatory design in the case study destination.

The results of the case study indicate that participatory design can accelerate local community development, innovative initiatives, leadership, employment opportunities, demand for local products, and sustainable development in the destination.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789246698.0001

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Journal article / Covid-19 pandemic prevention by Kerala Police

Vinod Kumar, T.K. “Role of police in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing, quarantine and lockdown: An evidence-based comparison of outcomes across two districts”. International Journal of Police Science and Management, April 2021.

Abstract : The COVID-19 pandemic is a formidable challenge to societies and governments across the world. The non-medical interventions of social distancing, quarantine and lockdown have been adopted to prevent transmission of the disease by contact.

In some countries, police have been used to enforce public health laws. This research analyses data from two districts in the State of Kerala, India to examine whether police efforts had any impact on the outcome of reducing transmission of the disease by contact.

Analysing the different methods used by the police across the two districts, this study concludes that police efforts at non-medical interventions reduce the spread of the disease. The study also concludes that, in contrast to mere enforcement of public health laws and regulations, the strategic use of resources is an important factor in achieving better outcomes.

More info : https://doi.org/10.1177/14613557211004624


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Journal article / Newspaper Reporting of Suicide News in Kerala

Menon, Vikas, Anu Mary Mani, Neetu Kurian, Sreeja Sahadevan, Sreeja Sreekumar, Sandesh Venu, Sujita Kumar Kar, and S. M. Yasir Arafat. ‘Newspaper Reporting of Suicide News in a High Suicide Burden State in India: Is It Compliant with International Reporting Guidelines?Asian Journal of Psychiatry 60 (June 2021), Article 102647.

Abstract: Mounting evidence points to a substantial link between detailed media portrayals of suicide and imitative suicidal behaviour. We assessed the quality of media reporting of suicide in Kerala, a high suicide burden state in India, against the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting guidelines.

We conducted a year-round content analysis of all suicide-related news articles in four (two local-language and two English) of the most widely read daily newspapers in Kerala. We used a data extraction form, prepared a priori in accordance with the WHO reporting checklist, and coded each item based on the guidelines.

A total of 377 suicide news articles were retrieved. Harmful reporting practices such as reporting the name (93.9 %) and age (93.6 %) of the deceased, method of suicide (93.1 %), location of suicide (88.9 %), monocausal explanations (48.8 %), and including a photograph of the deceased (37.7 %) were commonly noted.

On the other hand, less than a fifth of articles complied with helpful practices such as including details of suicide support helpline (19.1 %) or a link with mental health issues (14.9 %). Local language newspapers displayed more frequent violations in reporting compared to English newspapers.

Media reporting of suicide in Kerala is poorly adherent to international reporting guidelines, with very little focus on educating the public. These findings point to the need for framing comprehensive media reporting guidelines for India and a collaborative approach to highlight the primary role of media in suicide prevention efforts.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102647

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Journal article / Community Engagement to Control Vector-Borne Diseases in Alappuzha

Gopalan, Retheesh Babu, Bontha Veerraju Babu, Attayoor Purushothaman Sugunan, Anju Murali, Mohammed Shafi M. A., Rathinam Balasubramanian, and Sairu Philip. ‘Community Engagement to Control Dengue and Other Vector-Borne Diseases in Alappuzha Municipality, Kerala, India’. Pathogens and Global Health. Published ahead of print, 18 March 2021.

Abstract (edited): Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are a serious threat in many Indian states, including Kerala. Community-based decentralised planning and engagement are effective strategies that can make positive behavioural changes to control VBDs.

This community-based implementation research was conducted during November 2016 – October 2018 in Alappuzha municipality in Kerala. It was conducted in two phases.

In the first phase, formative research was conducted to know the community’s profile and perceptions and thus to plan and develop an appropriate intervention. Baseline data on some entomological indicators were also collected. These data were used to assess the impact of the intervention by comparing it with the post-intervention data.

In the second phase, an intervention through the community’s engagement was implemented in selected wards. The activities included the formation of community committees, and vector control and source reduction activities with community engagement and intersectoral coordination.

The intervention resulted in a positive change among the community to engage in vector control activities. These efforts along with intersectoral coordination resulted in successfully implementing vector source reduction activities. In both wards, pre- and post-intervention entomological data revealed considerable vector source reduction.

The findings of this study suggest considering and including community engagement in public health policy as the main thrust to control VBDs.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/20477724.2021.1890886

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Journal article / Quality of Commerce Education in Kerala

Bairagya, Indrajit, and Bino Joy. ‘What Determines the Quality of Higher Education? A Study of Commerce Graduates in Kerala (India)’. Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy. Published ahead of print, 31 January 2021.

Abstract (edited): The paper examines the quality of higher education in the Indian context in terms of subject knowledge (curriculum), analytical thinking, and communication skills. The study identifies the factors that determine quality and explores whether any difference in quality exists between women and men.

In this study, 416 students belonging to Commerce stream from 21 colleges affiliated under four universities in Kerala were selected for an achievement test. The results indicate a low mean with a high variance in learning outcomes.

Although Kerala has been remarkably successful in India in providing quality school education, the state has not held its mark in providing quality higher education.

Besides, an analysis based on the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition technique shows that a significant difference in the learning outcomes of male and female students related to analytical thinking is because of coefficient differences. This implies that even with similar individual characteristics of students a significant difference exists, which can be attributed to gender discrimination in higher education.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/13547860.2020.1870067

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Journal article / Left Polity in Kerala

Varghese, Ashwin. ‘Combating Capitalism: A Case Study of Left Polity in Kerala’. International Critical Thought. Published ahead of print, 16 March 2021.


Abstract: This paper traces the trajectory of left governments in Kerala, as against that of the government of India, in the context of Indian federalism, and Kerala government’s more recent resistance to the political right-wing upsurge in the state, to draw out strategies and patterns through which left governments in Kerala have survived and persistently deployed socialist policies.

In doing so, the paper tries to understand both 21st-century capitalism and modes of resistance, drawing from Kerala’s vision and model of socialism. This trajectory is charted by tracing the class–nation–state interactions at the level of both the state and the federation.

In this context, the paper tries to understand the democratic processes the state government engaged in, which shaped the political life, public sphere, and popular culture of Kerala as such. It does so by analysing the various social, economic, and political measures undertaken at both centre and state levels, and their outcomes, as a means to understand the functioning and survival of democratically elected left governments and analyse whether through this experience can be derived a way forward for left politics, governance, and development.


More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/21598282.2021.1886593

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Journal article / Impact of Climate Change on Small-Scale Fisheries

Punya, P., V. Kripa, Shelton Padua, K. Sunil Mohamed, and P. O. Nameer. ‘Impact of Environmental Changes on the Fishery of Motorized and Non-motorized Sub-sectors of the Upwelling Zone of Kerala, Southeastern Arabian Sea’. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 250 (March 2021), Article 107144.

Abstract: The marine waters of Kerala state along the southwest coast of India are among the most productive upwelling regions in the southeastern Arabian Sea. Analyses were made to assess the impact of environmental changes on the marine fish catch using motorised and non-motorised craft operating off the coast.

The catch per unit effort (CPUE) of total landings, OBGN (outboard gillnet), OBTN (outboard trawlnet), NM (non-motorised) crafts, as well as the catch of 5 major fish resources Indian mackerel, lesser sardines, Stolephorus spp., scads, and penaeid prawns were obtained. Sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll, salinity, rainfall, sea level anomaly, multivariate ENSO index, dipole mode index, local temperature anomaly, degree heating month (DHM), degree cooling month (DCM) and surface currents were used as variables to investigate the relationship between environment and fishery.

SST, chlorophyll, rainfall, salinity, yearly DCM and surface currents all had significant influences on the marine fisheries along the Kerala coast. Lower SST, high salinity, and rainfall promote the fisheries of both small pelagics and large pelagic groups like scads.

Along with the negative relationship between SST and fishery, the present analyses also indicate a positive relationship with yearly DCM, which clearly indicates that the warming of coastal waters has a negative impact on fisheries along the Kerala coast.

From these results, we find that ocean currents can play a crucial role in fish recruitment in the coastal waters of Kerala. Primary production, the key factor for marine fishery production, was found to be controlled by environmental factors like SST and currents. These results point to the vulnerability of the small-scale fisheries sector of the tropical upwelling zone to increasing SST and climate change.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2020.107144
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Journal article / Women’s Political Labour in Northern Kerala

Ajay, Anamika. ‘Engendering Political Labour: Findings from a Kerala Village’. Studies in Indian Politics. Published ahead of print, 27 March 2021.

Abstract: Literature on Indian politics has largely under-examined the role of the family in shaping party politics, with the exception of studies on dynasticism. There is a paucity of research that looks at the complex ways in which intimate lives and party politics are intertwined.

This article contributes to feminist analyses of Indian party politics by conceptualising politics and political labour in a way that does not exclude the role of the family. It presents the case study of a village in northern Kerala, which has been witnessing heightened political conflicts, to show how personal experiences and family disputes get politicised.

As domestic and political spheres bleed into each other, political parties become hugely dependent on feminine ideals and women’s everyday labour, affects, and sociality to survive electoral competitions. Yet, the patriarchal family and masculinised local party leadership use gender ideologies to celebrate hypermasculine political participation, undervalue women’s labour, and limit their political aspirations.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1177/2321023021999142

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Journal article / The 2018 Flood: Preparedness, Public Health Effects, Lessons

Varughese, Anil, and Chithra Purushothaman. ‘Climate Change and Public Health in India: The 2018 Kerala Floods’. World Medical & Health Policy 13, no. 1 (March 2021): 16–35.

Abstract: Kerala is one of India’s most vulnerable states in India when it comes to climate‐induced disasters. Kerala’s public health department grappled with a flood of unprecedented magnitude in August 2018.

Situating the flood in the context of Kerala’s state and society, this paper addresses three questions: What was the level of flood‐prevention preparedness? What were the public health effects and how were they managed? Finally, what policy lessons were learned?

Drawing from reports of relevant national and state agencies responsible for disaster management as well as first‐hand accounts of nongovernmental organisations and media coverage, this paper argues that while Kerala’s flood‐prevention preparedness was far from ideal, its postflood response in mounting a rapid and effective rescue and relief operation as well as in preventing a public health crisis was commendable.

The paper also shows that impressive achievements in climate‐disaster health management can be achieved through a decentralised and participatory public health system in which coordinated public action is managed by a capacious state with the active collaboration of civil society.

More info and full text (free access): https://doi.org/10.1002/wmh3.429

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