Book / Agriculture marketing infrastructure in Kerala

Manju S. Nair.  (2021). “A Collaborative study on agriculture marketing infrastructure in Kerala”.

NABARD Research Study – 12 / 2021.

Excerpt : The study examines the structural and functional dimensions of existing agriculture marketing institutions with a focus on marketing infrastructure and tries to synthesise opinion of multiple stakeholders. The aim is to strengthen the marketing infrastructure facilities for future development of agriculture.

More info –

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Book / Post pandemic realities in Kerala

Mathew, Jomon and Jins Varkey, editors. (2020) COVID 19: Unmasking the post pandemic realities
Kottayam: DC Books. ISBN: 978-93-5390-552-1 Rs. 250/- Pages:184.

Following papers in the book are on Kerala:

Covid-19, public health system and local governance in Kerala by T M
Thomas Isaac and Rajeev Sadanandan

Covid-19 lockdown: Protecting the poor means keeping the Indian
economy afloat by K P Kannan

Covid-19 and development path – A Kerala experience by T P Kunhikannan
and P K Sujathan

Social Sciences in Kerala in the context of Covid-19 by Shelly Johny

How to combat Covid-19: Lessons from Kerala experience by P K
Sujathan, Prasad M G and Azad P


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Book / (OA) Resistance to Ecological Conservation in Idukki

Suresh, Lavanya, and M. Suchitra. Suicidal Resistance: Understanding the Opposition Against the Western Ghats Conservation in Karunapuram, Idukki, Kerala. CDS Monograph Series: Ecological Challenges & Local Self-Government Responses 2. Thiruvananthapuram: Centre for Development Studies, 2021.

ISBN 9788194819547 / ebook / 186 pages / Free (Open Access publication)

About the book: This is the second in the series resulting from the small research projects supported by the Research Unit on Local Self-Government at the Centre for Development Studies on Kerala’s emergent ecological challenges and the preparedness of our local democracy to tackle them.

The study area is situated in Idukki District and seeks to understand how far ecology is included in local governance, in the context of the discourse around the protests against the recommendations of the Gadgil and the Kasturirangan committees.

In this work, a journalist and a researcher collaborate to present the underlying social, political and economic factors that drive local resistance to ecological conservation.

Table of Contents

Nalpatham Number Mazha: A Gentle Rain that Vanished from the Mountains
M. Suchitra

Who Wants to Conserve the Western Ghats? A Study of Resistance to Conservation and its Undercurrents in Karunapuram Panchayat, Within the Cardamom Hill Reserve in Idukki District
Lavanya Suresh

‘Strengthen Democracy: That’s All We Can Do’ (Interview)
Madhav Gadgil / M. Suchitra

CHR on the Verge of Collapse: A Photo Essay
Vidhya C. K., M. Suchitra, and Surendranath C.

About the authors: Lavanya Suresh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. M. Suchitra is a senior journalist based in Ernakulam, Kerala, focussing on ecology, climate change, sustainability and equity.

More info and full text (OA):

KSM Editor’s note: Publications in the series are available for free download from the series webpage of the Research Unit on Local Self-Government at Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.


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Book / India Migration Report 2020: Kerala Migration Surveys

Rajan, S. Irudaya, ed. India Migration Report 2020: Kerala Model of Migration Surveys. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2021.
ISBN 9780367625566 / Hardback / 504 Pages / GBP 96
About the book (edited): India Migration Report 2020 examines how migration surveys operate to collect, analyse and bring to life socio-economic issues in social science research.
With a focus on the strategies and the importance of information collected by Kerala Migration Surveys since 1998, the volume:
• Explores the effect of male migration on women left behind; attitudes of male migrants within households; the role of transnational migration and its effect on attitudes towards women;
• Investigates consumption of remittances and their utilization; asset accumulation and changing economic statuses of households; financial inclusion of migrants and migration strategies during times of crises like the Kerala floods of 2018;
• Highlights the twenty-year experience of the Kerala Migration Surveys, how its model has been adapted in various states and led to the proposed large-scale India Migration Survey; and
• Explores issues of migration politics and governance, as well as return migration strategies of other countries to provide a roadmap for India.
Table of Contents
1. Large Scale Migration Surveys: Replication of Kerala Model of Migration Surveys to India Migration Survey 2024
S. Irudaya Rajan, K. C. Zachariah and Ashwin Kumar
2. Keeping up with Kerala’s Joneses
Balasubramanyam Pattath
3. Remittances, Health Expenditure and Demand for Health Care Services
C. Valatheeswaran and M. Imran Khan
4. Remittances and Asset Accumulation among the left behind Households
Pooja Batra
5. Impact of Male Migrants, and their return, on Women Left-Behind: The Case of Kerala, India
Jurany Ramirez Gallego, S. Irudaya Rajan and Arjun Bedi
6. Socio-Economic Dynamics of Gulf Migration: A Panel Data Analysis
Shibinu S.
7. Why do Migrants Transfer Money? Motivations of Remittance from Emigrants
Arya Rachel Thomas and Archana K. Roy
8. Reintegration and Future Plans of Return Migrants
Afsal K. and Reshimi R. S.
9. Emigration and its Effect on the Labour Force Participation of Women in the Left-behind Household
Roshan R. Menon and R. B. Bhagat
10. Transnational Migration and Gender Attitudes: An Exploratory Analysis
S. Irudaya Rajan, Ginu Zacharia Oommen, George Joseph, Syed Usman Javaid, Jennifer Solotaroff and Luis Alberto Andres
11. Labour Migration: Decision to Migrate and Choice of Destination
Anu Abraham
12. Keralan in Circulation: Field Observations from Kerala and Dubai
Kellee S. Tsai
13. The Alcohol Paradox: Revisiting the Kerala Model of Development
Ajit Dayanandan, M. Rajesh and George Joseph
14. Financial cost of international migration from South India: What does data spanning three decades tell us?
Ganesh Seshan
15. Exploitative or ethical? Understanding the labour recruitment practices in the 21st century from Kerala
C. S. Akhil and S. Irudaya Rajan
16. Remittances and Overseas Migrants Economic Shocks: Evidence from Kerala’s Recipient Households after 2008 global crisis
Eugenia Canessa
17. Cultural Production of Narratives as Counter-Archives in Kerala Gulf Migration Studies
Priya Menon
18. Migration and Asset Accumulation in South India: Comparing Gains to Internal and International Migration from Kerala
Ganesh Seshan
19. Tracing the changing Economic Status of Kerala households: The KMS Experience
Udaya S. Mishra and S. Irudaya Rajan
20. The Janus-faced dilemma of Migration as Adaptation: The Impact of Rapid-onset Floods on Labour Migration in Kerala, 2018
Jessica Li
21. Climate Change, Migration and Development: The Aftermath of the 2018 Floods in Kerala
S. Irudaya Rajan, Stephen Taylor and Aneeta Shajan
22. Impact of Migration on Financial Inclusion and Local Financial System in Kerala 1
Jafar K.

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Book / The Muziris Papyrus and Ancient Kerala’s Trade with the Roman Empire

De Romanis, Federico. The Indo-Roman Pepper Trade and the Muziris Papyrus. Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

ISBN 9780198842347 / Hardcover / 544 pages / USD 110

About the Book (edited): This volume presents a systematic and fresh interpretation of a mid-second-century A.D. papyrus—the so-called Muziris papyrus—which preserves on its two sides fragments of a unique pair of documents: on one side, a loan agreement to finance a commercial enterprise to south India and, on the other, an assessment of the fiscal value of a south Indian cargo imported on a ship named the Hermapollon.

The two texts, whose informative potential has long been underexploited, clarify several aspects of the early Roman Empire’s trade with south India, including transport logistics, financial and legal elements in the loan agreement funding the commercial enterprise, the trade goods included in the south Indian cargo, and the technicalities of calculating and collecting Roman customs duties on the Indian imports.

This study also considers imperial fiscal policy as it related to the south Indian trade, the overall evolution of Rome’s trade relations with south India, the structure and organization of south Indian trade stakeholders, and the role played by private tax-collectors. The in-depth analysis sheds new light on this important sector of the Roman economy during the first two centuries A.D. in two innovative ways: through a balanced consideration of south Indian sources and data, and by drawing comparisons with the pepper trade from late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and early modernity, resulting in a longue durée perspective on the western trade in south Indian pepper.

Table of Contents

0. Introduction
0.1. Synopsis
P. Vindob. G 40822: Text and Translation
Part I. Contextualizing the Muziris Papyrus

1. Bridging Disconnected Seas
2. Riding the Monsoons
3. Pepper Lands
4. South Indian Perspectives
5. Supporting Sources

Part II. Let Him Look to his Bond: A Loan Contract for Muziris (P. Vindob. G 40822 Recto)

6. Deadline and Whereabouts
7. Selling and Repaying
8. Loan and Logistics

Part III. The Muziris Cargo of a Roman Indiaman (P. Vindob. G 40822 Verso)

9. Three Minor Cargoes and How They Were Assessed
10. The Other Cargoes
11. Contrasts

Part IV. The Red Sea Tax and the Muziris Papyrus

12. Maris Rubri Vectigal
13. Dramatis Personae
14. Epilogue


1. Exchanging Coins at Barygaza
2. Axum and Silis in the Kephalaia: Trade and Powers in the Late Antique Indian Ocean

About the Author: Federico De Romanis is Associate Professor in Roman History at the Università di Roma ‘Tor Vergata’ in Rome, Italy. He received his doctorate in historical sciences from the Università della Repubblica di S. Marino in 1992 and has taught at the Università di Catania and at the Università della Tuscia, as well as holding fellowships at the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici in Naples (1987-8) and at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University (2012-3). His previous publications include Cassia, cinnamomo, ossidiana: Uomini e merci tra Oceano Indiano e Mediterraneo (L’Erma Di Bretschneider, 1996).

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Book / An artist’s impression of Thiruvananthapuram

Lekshmi Rajeev and Raghu Rai (2020). “Thiruvananthapuram : an artist’s
Westland Books / ISBN: 978-9389648508 / 192 pages / Rs 2999

Excerpt : This capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram has welcomed and housed people from various lands, countries and continents. The relics of the rich past are scattered all over the city and its surroundings; Thiruvananthapuram district is a mine of wonders that extend far beyond the treasures of Śree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

In the area are many other sites of significance—the Agasthyarkoodam peak, which houses the rare Ārogyapacha plant, and the 1000-year-old cave temple of Lord Śiva on the rock-face of Madavoorpara, which is believed to have been a Jain cave temple earlier, to name a few. But the place seems to shy away from showing off its ancient glories.

In places celebrated as sites where the heroes of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana had often visited or lost themselves to tapas, history remains frozen and inert, waiting for a fleeting touch to spring it back to life.

The five-star hotels and shopping malls that rise over the ancient palaces and forts, transferring them into shadowy by-lanes, remind us that it was not long ago that things were different.

Thiruvananthapuram is unlike typical Indian cities, with their dust, hectic pace and bustling crowds: it is clean, green and quiet. Some of it belongs to the twenty-first century, but much of it remains in the unhurried twentieth.’

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Book / Kerala and The World Economy

Mani, Sunil. ed. Kerala and The World Economy. Thiruvananthapuram: Centre for Development Studies, 2020.

ISBN 9788194819530 / Paperback / 490 pages / Rs 500

About the book (publisher’s description): The book addresses several oft repeated propositions regarding Kerala’s economy with fresh empirical data and methods of data analysis.

These are integration of the state’s economy with the rest of the world, the importance of remittances sent by Kerala workers especially from the Middle East, the state of Kerala’s manufacturing sector and the condition of her environment.

The book deals with these current and longstanding issues in 7 broad groups such as sustainable development, commercial crops, livestock and fisheries, high tech manufacturing and modern industries, international trade, migration and remittances and health.

More info:

Book Launch: Centre for Development Studies invites you to attend the release of the book by Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, on Webex ( on 2nd November 2020 (5:30 p.m. IST).

Shared to the eGroup by V. Sriram, Chief Librarian, K. N. Raj Library, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.

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Book / Local Politics and Participatory Planning in Kerala – 1996–2016

Rajesh, K. Local Politics and Participatory Planning in Kerala: Democratic Decentralization, 1996–2016. Delhi: Primus Books, 2020.

ISBN 9789390022267 / Hardback / 180 pages / Rs 950

About the book (publisher’s description): Local Politics and Participatory Planning in Kerala analyses how micro-level politics impacts and influences local governance and examines the dynamics of its interaction with honesty.

Written within the theoretical framework of Field and Habitus, it incorporates how decentralization and the peoples’ planning campaign, in the early 1990s, reconstructed local governance from its being a mere bureaucratic process to its becoming a highly politicized construct.

The book also investigates how the stratagems and social dynamics of political parties, religious groups, and civil society towards grassroots democracy and local development have changed over time, focusing particularly on the extent of participation of women and marginalized sections.

Further, considering the evolving nature of local governance, this work analyses the history of the past 20 years of local governments and participatory democracy in Kerala on the basis of empirical data; how the changes in political regimes in the state have affected the democratic decentralization process; and how this is reflected in the village life of Kerala. Three case studies from different locations of the state document this political transition.

Table of Contents
Participatory Democracy
Participatory Planning
Local Politics in the Villages
Civil Society and Religion in the Villages
Decentralization in the Last Decade
Appendices / Bibliography / Index

About the author: K. Rajesh is Senior Fellow at the Integrated Rural Technology Centre, Palakkad. He has two books and a number of articles in reputed journals to his credit. As an activist of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, he has been actively involved with the democratic decentralization process in Kerala for the last two decades.

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Book / Social History of Indian Circus

Nisha P.R. Jumbos and Jumping Devils: A Social History of Indian Circus. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2020.
ISBN 9780199496709 / Hardback / 320 pages / Rs 1,195
About the book (publisher’s description): Jumbos and Jumping Devils is a pioneering exploration of the social history of circus in India over the last 150 years. It presents a wide variety of amazing tales ranging from the blooming and evolution of circus acrobatics in early 20th-century Malabar to the sensational legal battles following the ban of wild animals and children from the circus ring in the 21st century.

Alongside extensive fieldwork and interviews, the author has used memorabilia including photographs, notices, posters, letters, diaries, unpublished autobiographies, private papers, and recollections of the circus community to chronicle the hitherto untold story of the Indian circus.

The book paves the way for a new sociocultural analysis of performance genres and popular culture in the subcontinent against several overlapping contexts. These include the remaking of caste and gender identities, transformation of physical cultures and bodies, interventions of the colonial and postcolonial states, and emergence of new transregional and transnational spaces.

Table of Contents
Images / Acknowledgements

  1. Performing Bodies and Physical Cultures
  2. Animals, Circus, and the State
  3. Tenting the Circus
  4. Circus Workers and Trade Unions

Bibliography / Index / About the Author

About the author: Nisha P. R. received her doctorate from the University of Delhi. Her research was on the social history of circus and circus performances in 20th-century south India. Her writings have appeared, amongst others, in Indian Economic and Social History Review, Economic and Political Weekly, Conservation and Society, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, and Social Science Probings.

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Book / St. Thomas and the Syrian Christians in India

Mathew, K. S., Joseph Chacko Chennattuserry, and Antony Bungalowparambil, eds. St. Thomas and India: Recent Research. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2020.

ISBN 9781506461366 / Paperback / 200 pages / USD 34

About the book (publisher’s description; edited): In St. Thomas and India, scholars trace the historical, religious, and cultural connections that link India’s Syrian Christian community with St. Thomas the Apostle.

They use modern historiographical methods and seek to corroborate the ancient tradition that tells of St. Thomas’s missionary journey to India in the middle of the first century, in which he established seven churches in some of the major commercial centres of Malabar. From these first churches, Christianity spread throughout the region.

St. Thomas and India also examines the legacy of ancient Christianity in the Syrian community in India today, as well as exploring the various cultural and religious connections between the Syrian church in Indian and other ancient churches in the east.

Table of Contents

About the Editors / Preface

  1. Introduction (by K. S. Mathew)
  2. Historiography of the Apostolate of St. Thomas in India: A Critical Review (by Francis Thonippara)
  3. Mission of St. Thomas the Apostle in India: Archaeological, Epigraphic, and Numismatic Evidences (by James Kurikilamkatt)
  4. Significance and Role of Tradition in the Historiography on St. Thomas Christians (by Benedict Vadakkekara)
  5. St. Thomas Traditions in Ancient Christian Folk Songs (by Byju Mathew Mukalel)
  6. Thomistic Apostolate and Knanaya Community (by Mathew Kochadampallil)
  7. Acts of Thomas Versus Ramban Pattu (by Thomas Koonammakkal)
  8. The Tradition of Seven Churches (by James Puliurumpil)
  9. Patristic Evidence on the Apostolate of St. Thomas with Special Reference to St. Ephrem (by Johns Abraham Konat)
  10. Guidelines for Rebuilding Missions of Apostle Thomas and a Reassessment of Acts of Thomas (by Pierre C. Perrier)
  11. Historical, Apocryphal, and Theological Sources from the Armenian Church About Apostle Thomas and India (by Maxime K. Yevadian)


KSeG Editor’s note: As chapter summaries are unavailable, it is difficult to highlight the chapters that are substantively on Kerala. Some chapters, if not all, appear to be on Christianity in Kerala.

More info: (JSTOR); publisher website

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