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Social Science Abstracts
Volume XXXVII, 2013
BUILDING AN ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY
Hkkjrh; lekt foKku vdkneh
INDIAN ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
Social Science Abstracts
Volume XXXVII, 2013
XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress,
December 27-31, 2013,
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, U.P.
Published by Indian Academy of Social Sciences, Iswar Saran Ashram Campus, Allahabad 211004, INDIA Telefax: 0532-2544170, 2544245 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.issaindia.org.in Designed and Laser Composed by DTP Unit, ISSA Printed by Orient Offset Printers 65, MONERCO Industrial Estate, Allahabad 211004, U.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThe Executive Council of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences entrusted the task of editing papers of XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress. We express our thanks to it. We also wish to thank Prof. P.S. Ramakrishnan, the President of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences for reposing his trust in us.
Prof. S.L. Tripathi, the Treasurer of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences extended all out support to us. So did all the staff members of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences. Sri R.
Joseph and Sri Suhel Ahmad did the typing and formatting works. Sri H.P. Dwivedi, Sri R.C.
Sharma and Sri Abhishek Kumar helped in handling registration while Sri Vinod C. Pandey with the help of Sri Santosh Kumar handled all correspondence. All of them put very hard and sincere works. We express our gratitude and thanks to all of them.
The editors wish to acknowledge their high appreciation of large number of researchers from Aligarh University for submitting papers for presentation at XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress. Credit goes to the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah for motivating them by offering to pay their registration. Prof. Shabahat Hussain along with respective chairpersons/co-chairpersons also did their best. We are grateful to all of them.
Flow of papers continued till the last moment. We found very hard to handle the same.
Although we had tried our level best to check errors during editing, yet there may appear blunders. We are exclusively responsible for the same and wish to apologize in advance.
The views expressed in this volume are those of the authors and the Indian Academy of Social Sciences and Aligarh Muslim University are in no way responsible for the same.
We are, indeed, grateful to our printer, Sri Nirmal Chand Agrawal for helping us by printing this volume at a short notice.
Date: December 19, 2013 N.P. Chaubey Place: Allahabad
Indian Academy of Social Sciences (ISSA) resolved to focus deliberations of 37 th session of Indian Social Science Congress (XXXVII ISSC) on ‘Building An Ecologically Sustainable Society’. Question is why? Answer is all the deliberations on ‘Planet Earth’ organized by the Indian Academy of Social Sciences during last 10 years yielded alarming results. It became clear that Planetary Catastrophe is knocking at our doors. What does the Planetary Catastrophe mean? Planetary Catastrophe means the Planet Earth may soon become desert/barren and lifeless as it has lost all and is fast losing whatever is left its life-supporting and life-giving attributes due to ruthless/reckless/wanton exploitative/destructive actions of humans.
‘Deepening Ecological Crisis’, it was thought, is at the root of the Planetary Catastrophe. Such a revelation was found in consonance with the various declarations by world scientists’ conferences and various kinds of Governmental/Non-Governmental conferences/ conventions/ negotiations. A phrase ‘This business, as usual cannot go’ has become popular all over the world since 1992. Question arose: Can the Planetary Catastrophe be averted? If yes, how? If no, why? The Indian Academy of Social Sciences sought to initiate a process of seeking answer to it.
The proposed deliberations on ‘Building An Ecologically Sustainable Society’ is a first step in this direction.
The Executive Council of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences constituted a National Academic Advisory Committee (NAAC) and Aligarh Muslim University set up an Organizing Committee. The NAAC helped in working out objectives, issues and approach by preparing a note on ‘Building An Ecologically Sustainable Society’. The Organizing Committee organized discussions on the note twice at Aligarh Muslim University. Chairpersons/Co-chairpersons and conveners/co-conveners of 19 Research Committees, 21 Thematic Panels and 20 Seminars/Symposia/workshops/colloquia were appointed. A list of eminent scientists, thinkers, social activists, policy planners and development administrators for plenary and public lectures were prepared. All universities, colleges, research Institutes, national laboratories and large number of scientists were invited to present their understanding through scientific papers at XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress. Academic issues worked out for the XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress were quite massive and vast. One may, therefore, not find the response commensurate with the same. What is printed in this volume is the outcome of all these efforts.
A careful study of this volume would show that almost all authors are aware of the epochal planetary crisis arising out of severe ecological crisis and want its solutions. However, there is no unanimity on the question of its solutions. Only a few of them seem suggesting systemic mechanism for averting the impending disaster. Their conception is rooted in Gandhiji’s notion of ‘From Greed to Need’ and Karl Marx’s concept of ‘From each according to capacity to each according to need’. ‘Need’ is one basic parameter of new ecologically sustainable society. Here meaning of need is altogether different than the usual meaning of it propagated by modern social system. The second parameter is principle of democracyequality, freedom and fraternity. Third parameter is common or communal ownership and sharing of resources of the Planet Earth on the principles of cooperation and common sharing. There is no place for competition and market in it. Fourth is restoration and preservation of ecological balance. Fifth is from high energy to low energy which calls for doing away with the wasteful expediture of energy by the current system. Putting all these together a new ecological social system may be created. What will happen to State? Should State in its present or any other form continue? There is no thinking on it. This ought to be examined seriously. Neither M.K. Gandhi nor Karl Marx thought necessary for continuation of State. As long as State exists, the private property will exist and there can’t be true democratic social system so long as State existed. Gandhi and Marx were very clear and categorical on this question. This is for our scientists to answer.
There are still bigger questions. One of these is: Assuming that scientific ecological socialist system is thought as the only panacea for impending catastrophe on the Planet Earth, will the world and domestic capitalist accept it? If not, how will the world people create this new ecologically sustainable social system?
The readers of this volume, it is hoped, will find the ideas/theories/methods presented quite interesting. There might be great deal of variance in scientific rigour in the papers. This may continue so long as India and its people are not able to change the present alien education system.
The editors are responsible for all kinds of omissions and commissions. They would like the readers to forgive them.
What is science? Science is knowledge, objective knowledge of an object(s)/ a thing(s). Objective means relating to an object or a thing? What is an object or a thing? That which exists independent of human’s will is an object or a thing. An object/or a thing can be solid, liquid or gaseous. It can be inanimate/non-living or animate/living. A term matter is used to describe all forms of objectes/things. So science is objective knowledge of matter, both, living and non-living.
What is knowledge ? knowledge is answer(s) to questions what? How? And why? of/about a
thing/object /matter. All humans ask following questions whenever they come across an object/or a thing:
Their answers to the three questions constitutes knowledge. Their answers can be correct or incorrect. Correct answers constitute objective knowledge and/incorrect answers define lack of knowledge or ignorance.
Here it is necessary to remember that knowledge-in-itself, be it objective or subjective is not the object or thing-in itself. That is to say, knowledge is not synonymous to object/thing/or matter. So knowledge is colourless, odourless, weightless, sizeless and shapeless whereas a thing/an object does have colour, weight, size, shape, odour etc. Nevertheless connection between knowledge and object/thing/matter is vital for without it humans cannot build their appropriate relations with it and in the absence of it their survival and growth will become impossible. To be precise science is a mirror of the object/thing to which it is related. Science is concrete as well as abstract.
Science as objective knowledge enables humans to establish their connections with the world in which they live.
Question anises: How do humans acquire objective knowledge of the world in which they live?
Answer to it, though looks simple, is actually complex. All humans including non-humans are equipped with sensory-motor mechanism in their bodies (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin). Sensory-motor-based knowledge about or of a thing/an object is called ‘perception’ or ‘perceptual knowledge’. Now there is a vast literature on ‘perception’ or ‘perceptual knowledge’ in modern psychology. A new branch of science termed ‘Cognitive science’ is being pursued and propagated in modern science. What the vast literature on ‘perception’ or ‘cognition’ shows is that it is less than objective or accurate perhaps because of limited capacity of sensory-motor mechanism. Also, it is susceptible to social influence. This is clear from the literature on ‘social perception’. So the humans had to find ways and means to correct the errors and limitations of perception-based knowledge of objects/things. Initially each perception led them to act and in turn each act enabled them to correct their perception. Thus Perception-Action-Perception-Action formed the chain for correction in perceptual knowledge. In history of science knowledge is often described as ethno-science. With passage of time humans and their societies grew and in the process ethno-science grew into science. Humans learnt to act in cooperation with each other and share the fruits of their labour together. The collective mental and physical labour led them to discover methods capable of improving their perceptual knowledge. The collective mental and physical labour for understanding the object(s)/thing(s)/matter/produced what is known as science. This can be well understood or well appreciated only through the study of history and philosophy of science since the days of primitive man.
But it can also be understood by looking at the modern science which is highly socially organized. Like factory workers thousands of scientists work together in laboratories/research institutes all over the world today.
What is social? An act or result of an act involving two or more than two individuals is called social. Since science is produced by two or more than two individuals, it is social. In other words basic character of science is social. What does it mean?
It means that very notion of science is social. It means the notions of verifiability, repeatability, reliability, validity, precision, exactness, isomorphism, measurement, methods, hypothesis, inference and theory are social notions. It means there is close connection between society and science and between social conditions and science. As humans and their societies develop so does science. It also means that proclivity of all humans to social influence and their inability to free themselves wholly from the social and personal prejudices tend to influence objectivity of science. It means science is ‘primitive’ to some extent and ‘precious’ to large extent. It is ‘primitive’ to some extent because it is never cent percent objective. It is, ‘precious’ to a large extent because there is no other system of better objective knowledge.
What is its implication? It implies that the division of science between science and social science is no longer correct. Today there is no dichotomy between Nature, humans and society or between living matter and non-living matter. Through long and arduous pursuits humans discovered their origin and connections with Nature. Today the term Nature conotes all non-living and living objects including humans and their societies. The 18th century notion of Nature and science or basic science is no longer a valid notion. It might be convenient to fragment science into various subcategories for the sake of study, but it will not serve its social purpose if it is not put together. Science of Nature, therefore, is necessary for modern humans and their societies. Science of Humans and their societies is integral to the science of Nature.
It also means that science is never eternal or static. All objects/things are in constant motion.
Since all objects/things keep on changing so does their science. Also, each object is divisible into two because of mutually opposite attributes inherent in it. That is to say, nature of nature, be it non-living or living is dialectical. There is nothing like linearity in Nature. Science, therefore, is dialectical and not linear.
The need for verification and repetition makes science authority free. There is no place for authority in science. Any one and every one enjoys the right to challenge science. Democracy, therefore, is necessary for science. Science grows in democratic conditions and dies in undemocratic or authoritarian conditions.