Past Events

National Conference on Innovations in Pollution Regulation 

10:00 am–3:30 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


In the past decade, the Indian government has launched action plans to tackle rising levels of air pollution. Real-time air quality and emissions monitoring networks across the country are continuously expanding. Pollution Control Boards (PCB) have established dedicated data acquisition and handling centers to tackle large volumes of incoming pollution data. However, these efforts are also dotted with considerable challenges, especially when it comes to enforcement of pollution norms.

This conference organised by Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC India) and Tata Centre for Development at UChicago (TCD) will look into the constraints and the reforms that can improve compliance and reduce pollution.

Champions of Change: Lean In Together

5:30–6:30 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


Statistics in India tell us that currently women in India account for 42% of new graduates but only 24% of entry – level professionals. Of these, only 19% make to Senior Level Management Roles. Women hold only 7.7% of board seats and just 2.7% of board chairs. Clearly, the need of the hour is to have leaders who can lead by example. This event will feature  thought leaders and experts from interdisciplinary fields who will share their journeys, ideas and actions that helped/are helping elevate women’s representation in leadership.

Gender stereotypes in the media particularly in advertising, films and television programing are very powerful in shaping social beliefs and individual behavior and attitudes. Research on the negative impacts of gender stereotypical imagery has multiplied manifold since the Beijing Platform for Action 1995 brought global attention to the role of media in perpetuating as well as combating gender inequality. However, the projection of negative and degrading images of women in media communications - electronic, print and visual, continues across the globe. 

Characterizing the Skills Space in the Urban Informal Sector

10:00 am–5:00 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


This workshop was based on a pilot study to understand and characterize the skills and opportunities space with a two two-fold objective -- first to apply a bottom-up crowdsourcing approach to mapping the space of skills, qualities and personality traits among urban informal workers; second to assess the applicability of machine learning tools like recommendation systems and adaptive surveys to a public policy context in India. Fieldwork for the project was carried out in Bangalore, including representative sampling in slums to study the labour supply side and purposive sampling of skills training centers to study the labour demand side.

Connection Series: From Gamification to Experimental Games

5:00–6:30 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


Gamification, a term that derives from behavioral economics and design culture, is the use of game mechanics in traditionally non-game activities. This buzzword emerged only in the twenty-first century but the idea of game-based behavior modification already appears as early as the 1940s in writing on business, marketing, psychology, and warfare. Numerous adopters of gamification across different fields regularly proclaim it to be an unparalleled organizational technique. Arguably, gamification is not merely a generalizable game design strategy that can be applied to areas such as education but also as a form that economic, social, and cultural life takes in the world of the early twenty-first century.

Workshop on Computational Methods in Social Sciences

Through June 21, 2018
Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi

Jun. 20

The workshop focussed on how advances in computational and statistical methods along with access to large data are set to transform research topics in Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science and Psychology. A wide range of research interests from the field of Social Sciences were covered by experts in an interdisciplinary setting.

In ths talk, Dr. Mathew Varghese, Head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Stephen's Hospital, Delhi discussed the many controversies that relate with how to ensure the best outcomes for trauma victims. He reviewed the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of medical interventions that can be performed in a pre-hospital setting as well as broader issues related with trauma system design. His talk discussed specific medical technologies, types of ambulances (advanced versus basic), and pre-hospital care strategies (“scoop and run” versus “stay and play”).

Crash victims are typically transported to hospitals by passing vehicles in most low- and middle-income countries because of the high cost of ambulance-based emergency medical systems (EMS). Researchers from the University of Chicago, Shiv Nadar University and the Indian Institute of Technology - Delhi  have been exploring the concept of using taxis, commercial vehicles, and police as alternative means for rapid and safe transfer of crash victims to hospital. This event brought together key stakeholders to discuss the advantages and pitfalls of such a system.

Facebook’s decision in 2014 to shut down pages devoted to the Syrian uprising raised important concerns, but it also highlighted the difficulty involved in ascertaining the truth of claims circulating in Syria’s “media wars”. Far from establishing “what really happened,” the multiplication of distribution sites, the ease with which digital photos can be doctored, the speed with which “news” gets circulated and then superseded by the next catastrophe, and the competition between rival discourses registering moral outrage have led to new forms of uncertainty. The Syrian case lays bare a set of mechanisms by which information excess can be exploited for political gain and also expose the vulnerability of the fragile relation between truth and politics. Prof. Wedeen in her talk navigated through these matters, unpack exemplary real-life moments from Syria and weaved her conversation around thinking of political theorists and Syrian artists – all, while highlighting the “uncertainties” around politics in the Syrian as well as more global present.

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