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Conference at JNU/STETCI
LOK, BEYOND FOLK

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About Conference

Significance of Technology in Empowering Tribal Community of India

The application of scientific knowledge to the creation of tools for the purpose of resolving particular issues can be defined as a technology. But technology, it is not value neutral and it is linked with the social change and can alter the cultural settings. Sociologist W.F. Ogburn’s theory of social change suggested four stages of technical development, which included; Invention, Accumulation, Diffusion, Adjustment are major cause of social transformation. Use of technology not only influences appliance or computer but also traditional practices like agriculture, fishery, animal husbandry and many more. No doubt rapid proliferation of social media and ICT tools has solved complex problems of transportation, communication and self- education. However, it has also influenced an individual’s lifeworld, formation of human to human and human to machine relationships.

The process of tribal empowerment can be understood as capability building to make decisions for their socio-economic and cultural development. Government of India has been aiding multiple schemes to improve living conditions of Scheduled Tribes and foster their growth backed by sustainable Science and Technology (S&T) activities/application. Multiple programs and research projects to promote traditional skills, building on local innovation and knowledge systems has been promoted.

This conference is a deliberate attempt to draw attention to the changes that have been brought into the Tribal way of life through modern technology. Whether it strengthened the idea of ‘lok’ (organic lifestyle of people residing at a place) or altered it. It will try to discuss whether technology has added modernity into traditional way of life or the modernity has replaced traditional patterns of life causing new problems in the areas of health or farming.

Under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav, the conference will further discuss the role of technology in bridging digital divide in schedule tribes of India, thus making India digitally inclusive in its entirety.

Sub-Themes

  1. Tribal way of life and Sustainable Development
  2. Technological Intervention and Tribal Land Rights.
  3. Indigenous knowledge System.
  4. Health, Education and Agriculture technologies for Tribal welfare.
  5. Promotion of innovation and Entrepreneurship for Tribal Welfare.
  6. Digital repository for Tribal Culture (AKDL).
  7. Challenges to Indigenous Tribal Languages
  8. Challenges to Indigenous faith in Modern World.
  9. Technology, Tribals and Independence Struggle
  10. Tribal Rights in pre and post Independent India.
  11. Tribals and Digital Inclusion
  12. ICT and Tribal Empowerment
  13. Infrastructure Accessibility.

Relevance in the National Context

The tribal empowerment revolves around five critical issues:

  1. Livelihood and Employment
  2. Education
  3. Health
  4. Involuntary Displacement and Migration
  5. Legal and Constitutional Matters

Surely, technology has intervened in all of the above subjects. Present need of the hour is a scholarly activity to access the impact of technology on tribal way of life to evaluate policies and programmes of government. The conference will analyse to what extent, penetration of technologies has been done in the tribal life world and what impact it has created upon them. This critical study will reflect upon the various schemes undertaken by governments and how it has supported the development of tribals and the inclusivity technology has brought in to bridge the digital divide.

How will the Activity help in the Promotion of Science and Culture?

The scholarly deliberation on the issue of Tribal Empowerment through technology will help us to understand the role of Science for integration and upliftment in the Tribal society. The sub-themes of the conference will reflect upon the multiple aspects of development associated with scheduled tribes in India. And it will show how the technology is perceived and what better steps could be taken by science in favor of the Tribes of India.

Brochure

Lok, Beyond Folk

According to famous Hindi novelist and historian, Shri Hazari prasad Dwivedi “ The meaning of word ‘Lok’ is not tribal or rural, instead it is the whole people residing in cities and villages, whose practical knowledge was not based on texts. These people are simpler and more trained in organic lifestyle in comparison with the city dwellers”. Generally lok is equated with folk, the western philosophy defines folk and folklore as the body of culture shaped by a particular group of people, it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture, or group.

The program will reflect upon the cultural continuity of tribal way of life across India by various performances, discussions and exhibitions. For an instance the ‘Karma Puja’ which is a harvest festival of Jharkhand is celebrated across India in different forms and expressions. Or the nature worship performed by various tribal groups, pan India. The program will bring those cultural elements of India in which we find that the tribal way of life is knitted across India in a continuum but the expressions are plural and diverse.

Benefits of the Program:
  1. This program will give a platform to students, artisans, performers and entrepreneurs from tribal community to capitalise the opportunity provided by the premier university in Delhi.
  2. An investor meet to promote the tribal handicrafts and businesses will be organised.
  3. Opportunities in higher education in India and abroad for the Tribal students will be discussed
  4. Exhibitions to showcase tribal handicrafts will be installed
The Components of the programme is as follows:
  1. Inaugurals Program
  2. Screening of Films
  3. Panel Discussions
  4. Workshops
  5. Exhibitions
  6. Stalls (Art and Crafts, Textiles, Books, Foods etc.)
  7. Cultural Programme