Puja Guha

Most research on remittances in India has been carried out at the national level. Although India is the largest recipient of remittance in the world, there has been very little research examining the socio-economic impact of these flows in the local and regional economies which receive them. Moreover, evaluations of economic impacts usually focus on changes in consumption patterns of the receiving households. However, there is evidence that migrant remittances are increasingly channelled into different sectors of the economy such as education, health, and public infrastructure, and that such flows have significant social, political and religious associations. This project maps and documents these flows and their economic outcomes at the regional and state levels through the use of secondary and primary quantitative data sources and statistical methods, both conventional and innovative. The project also includes a household level survey of migrant households and remittances and donations from migrants in two districts of Central Gujarat.


(IN)VISIBILITIES: Mapping development's publics and patrons in India's coastal regions
Leah M. Koskimaki

This project examines the complex relationship between transnational migration, development politics and contemporary forms of regionalism in small towns of coastal South India. It explores how transnational connections have influenced various claims, aspirations, protests and contestations regarding development in a region where local economies and livelihoods are dependent on coastal ecologies. Starting with Mangalore and Udupi in coastal Karnataka, and then moving to coastal Andhra Pradesh for comparison, the research will involve a series of interlinked micro-studies of the social and political changes brought on by, or instigating, circular flows of people and remittances. Theoretically, the research points to a reconfiguring of ‘region’ in the way these networks intersect as small town publics negotiate new forms of development and engage with the post-liberalisation state. For example, preliminary research has revealed conflicts over regional belonging in the ways in which NRIs and circular migrants engage with land investment, environmental issues, and party politics. Such debates over development will be analysed in a comparative light in the context of particular regional and town histories. ‘Provincial’ towns have historically been constructed as a marginal space in the development narrative and yet are emerging as a site of national influence and global assertion. The project will ethnographically map these transnational assemblages by untangling various visible and invisible connections that are shaping the political landscapes of the selected towns  across the programme regions.