Category Archives: Abstracts

Papers abstracts

Women and Climate Change Vulnerability: The Indian Scenario

Anu Unny

Abstract

Climate change is a significant challenge that affects the existence of people all around the world. India is one of the countries which is highly vulnerable to climate change and experiences the impacts of climate change at different levels. It is a fact that the effects of climate change are more on women and children than on men. Women’s inadequate access to natural resources, lack of financial and technological resources, less mobility and restrained freedom, make them more vulnerable to climate disasters. Women who are from socially and economically deprived backgrounds are doubly disadvantaged in comparison to men who belong to the same category. Though the National Action Plan on Climate Change was framed in 2008 in India to address the climate change problem, the aspect of gender had not been given any focus in the plan. Women’s basic rights and agency had been side-lined in climate change policy framework. This Article attempts to look at the impacts of climate change on women and the root causes behind their marginalisation in climate policy making. The methodology adopted for this study is purely qualitative. The study is descriptive and analytical in nature based on the socio-cultural setting of the country. The study concludes that unless and until the climate policy in the country becomes inclusive in nature, acknowledging the norms of equity and justice, finding a reasonable solution to this problem would be extremely difficult. It is important that women’s capacity and capability to combat climate change is strengthened when looking at the issue of climate change more holistically.

 

Keywords: climate change, India, NAPCC, vulnerability of women

‘Systemic Risk’ of Globalization: Analyzing the Case of COVID-19

Fatema Tuj Juhra

Abstract

Globalization, as a concept and practice, has been identified as double-edged sword with its positive and negative impacts. The history of human civilization has been experiencing the benefits of globalization in terms of global trade, connectivity, and integration. But the adverse effects of globalization are also concentrated within this increasing connectivity which can lead to increasing complexity. Globalization can affect the economy, environment, and health security and such a reality leads to the possibility of ‘breakdown’ in the entire system which is considered as a ‘systemic risk’. Ian Goldin and Mike Mariathasan have explained the concept of ‘systemic risk’ with regards to financial crises, business and trade, cyber-attacks, environmental degradation, fear of viruses and pandemics and increasing inequality. This paper aims to trace the relevance of the COVID-19 pandemic to the concept of systemic risk as a by-product of globalization. By using a qualitative methodology, this research has scrutinized COVID-19 as the outcome of the adversative effects of globalization through which extremism, protectionism, nationalism and xenophobia have increased and the word ‘foreign’ has become synonymous of danger. Through the experience of this massive health risk, within the concept of systemic risk, this paper will identify the significance of an interconnected world which will draw lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic caused by globalization.

 

Keywords: COVID-19, connectivity, globalization, pandemic, systemic risk

Impeachment and Challenges of Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic

Ariyo Andrew Tobi & Olufemi Opeyemi Ajayi

Abstract

The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) identifies ‘gross misconduct’ in the performance of the functions of the office as the primary condition that may warrant the impeachment of elected members of the executive. Since the inception of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in 1999, the legislative arm of government at both the federal and state levels have used the power of impeachment on the executive on many occasions. However, most of the impeachment cases have led to controversies regarding their propriety. This study probed the impeachment saga in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic with the view of ascertaining their effects on its fledgling democracy. This study utilised data sourced from secondary sources such as textbooks, journals, newspapers, television, and the internet. The study found that the legislature has grossly abused the power of impeachment to promote selfish interests without adhering to the due process of law. It identified, among others, the crisis of confidence between the executive and members of the legislature, the battle for supremacy between the federal and state executives, the crisis between the executive and godfathers mostly at the state level, the intrigue of opposition political parties and the succession crisis as the main reasons for impeachment in Nigeria. Its effects included political violence, bickering among members of the legislature, rising cases of trumped-up charges against political office holders, and leadership crises.  The study recommended that apart from the legislature operating strictly by the provisions of the constitution, what constitute “gross misconduct” should be explicitly stated in the constitution. Similarly, there is a need for a judicial review of the impeachment process.

 

Keywords: democracy, Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, gross misconduct, impeachment, legislature

Factors Influencing the Contraceptive Usage among Older Women in Sri Lanka

Manori K Weeratunga & Lakshman Dissanayake

Abstract

Most women in the later years of childbearing age seem to believe that they are at a minimum risk of conception because of infrequent sex, and the conviction that they are infertile during those years. However, as they remain to be sexually active, they have the potential of becoming pregnant. This is possible despite the decline in fecundity women experience as they gradually reach the age of menopause. The objective of this study is to analyze the contraceptive behaviour of older women in Sri Lanka as there are no studies available on this topic. Most studies have concentrated on the fertility and contraceptive behaviour of younger women in the reproductive age. With the use of the latest Demographic and Heath Survey (DHS) 2016 data, the study revealed that a significant proportion of women of 40 years and above are in parity of 4 and above, although the fertility norm of this cohort was 2 to 3. This is an implicit indication of the failure in the use of contraceptives. When the use of contraceptives was investigated, it was found that the majority of women use modern methods. Binary Logistic Regression performed in this study exhibited that women’s employment and the number of children ever born were some of the main factors influencing the use of modern contraceptives by older women. The study also analyzed the data on contraceptive usage among older women and found that a substantial proportion of women do not use any family planning methods. Infrequent sex and health concerns regarding Family Planning (FP) methods were stated by a significant proportion of women as reasons for not using any contraceptive methods. One of the most important factors to consider is that there is no unmet need for family planning for older women in the reproductive age span, which means that there are no programme defects. However, the study showed that older women in the reproductive age span have been neglecting the use of family planning methods because of the conviction that they will not become pregnant.

 

Keywords: contraceptive usage, older women, parity, reproductive age span

Iron Ores of Sri Lanka: Are They Related to the Snowball Earth?

Wilson, W.N.

Abstract

Sri Lanka is a country rich in various types of mineral resources. Following new discussions, Sri Lankan scientists have begun to investigate and explore the iron ore deposits in Sri Lanka. The iron ore deposits in Sri Lanka could be categorized into several groups. Attention has been paid to iron ore deposits in Seruwila Panirendawa and Buttala. Iron ore deposits in the world belong to Precambrian iron formation and iron ore stones which are Phanerzoic in age. This paper is an attempt to fill the existing chronological gap for Seruwila and other Sri Lankan iron ore deposits.  Most likely, the deposition time period and the rock types of the deposits suggest a possible link to the Snowball Earth, proposed by Paul Holfman in 1998, a geologist at Harvard. The Supergene type iron ores in the southwest region of the island could have formed by late diagenesis, but as the majority of iron first originate in the form of ferrous as iron, at least some of the Supergene type ores could have come from the same plutonic activities as Seruwila and Buttala..

 

Keywords: iron ore deposits, Snowball Earth, iron formation, iron ore stones, Sri Lanka

Levels of Knowledge and Knowledge without Wisdom

Disanayaka, J.B.

Introduction

Professor J.B. Disanayaka sheds light on the ‘crossing in life’ (i.e., the change of status) graduates go through at a convocation, and the responsibility that accompanies their achievement to change the society they live in for the better. Professor Disanayaka details the history that underlies the crossing in life witnessed at a convocation and states that it goes back to the mediaeval Europe. He juxtaposes the university system of ancient Sri Lanka with the higher education system we inherited from the British. In particular, Professor Disanayaka discusses how a graduand’s change of status is legitimized with the conferring of a bachelor’s degree such as the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the Bachelor Science (BSc). Historically, in Mediaeval Europe, a crown or wreath of laurel was placed on one’s head to indicate high merit or honour. At today’s convocations, this wreath is replaced by a garland of a certain colour. It is delightful, according to Professor Disanayaka, that some of these ‘bachelors’ change their status to that of ‘Master’ or ‘Doctor’. Nowadays, the English word ‘doctor’ is used to refer to a physician but it is derived from the Latin verb ‘docere’ which means ‘to teach’. Similar etymological implications are seen in the degrees of ‘PhD’ or ‘DPhil’. The ancient universities, which were most of the time attached to religious educational institutions (such as the Maha Vihara and the Abhayagiri in ancient Sri lanka), had unique perspectives on knowledge production, wisdom, and knowledge practices. Traditional education, despite its many faults, placed more emphasis on wisdom than on knowledge. In the modern world, information has replaced wisdom and education without wisdom has resulted in the increase of violence as visible in the educational institutions themselves. In such a background, Professor Disanayaka invites educated members of society to denounce immoral practices seen in the modern education system of Sri Lanka, so that, every individual can live in peace, harmony, and dignity.

The Impact on Structural Support on the Entrepreneurial Intention of Undergraduates in South-West Nigeria

Muraina, L.O

Abstract

This study stems from the issue of unemployment in Nigeria which, at the time of this study, was reported to be 14.2% by the National Bureau of Statistics. Unemployment has been associated with the increasing crime rate, poverty, and underdevelopment. However, studies have reported that to address Nigeria’s current unemployment, entrepreneurship promotion is fundamental as it would unleash the potential of the youth which by extension, would contribute to the nation’s development. Hence, this study examined if undergraduates have intentions to become entrepreneurs in the future with the structural support currently available in the country. The study, which had a descriptive and exploratory orientation, adopted a mixed method approach and the study population consisted of 2 public and private universities each located in three states in South-West, Nigeria. These institutions and the sample population were determined through a multistage sampling technique. A total of 414 questionnaires were administered and 33 structured interviews were conducted. Data processing and data analysis were done through SPSS Version 20 from which tables depicting measures of central tendency and variation, spearman correlation co-efficient, and multiple regression analysis were tested. The interviews were transcribed and their content was analysed. The results depicted that there is a wide gap in the support provided by the country’s structure to aid entrepreneurial intentions as several structural issues (loan unavailability, political climate, recessionary economy etc.) were seen as challenges by the undergraduates. However, they identified the large population and climatic conditions as favourable for entrepreneurial ventures. The study recommends that bureaucratic restrictions and laws in business creation should be reduced while funds and materials should be provided to entrepreneurs. In addition, reducing the interest, exchange, and inflation rates and addressing the issues of the recessionary economy are identified as important for entrepreneurship promotion.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial Intention, Entrepreneurship, Structural Support, Unemployment

Health Expectancy of the Elderly Population in Sri Lanka: Application of Sullivan Method

Weeratunga, M.K.

Abstract

Life expectancy at birth has continuously increased in many countries over the last century. A similar trend is seen among the elderly population in Sri Lanka. In such a background, researchers have shown interest in studying the health of elders as they progress in age. However, good health of the elderly population in Sri Lanka is an emerging issue. The objective of this study is to estimate the healthy life expectancy of the elderly population in Sri Lanka. This study is based on the healthy life expectancy measurement proposed in the Sullivan Method. This study used both primary and secondary data. The information on ill health used in applying the Sullivan method comes from the 2012 Census and healthy life expectancy is calculated using the life tables constructed by the Department of Census and Statistics for the period 2011-2013 and 2000-2002. To supplement the analysis, a sample survey of 300 elderly people was carried out in the Gampaha district. The findings of the sample survey supplemented the analysis performed with the secondary data. This study found that both elderly men and women have spent a considerable time with disability because of the deterioration in health. When the difference between the total life expectancy and the healthy life expectancy was analyzed, the study found that, on average, men were in a disabled state for 0.8 years compared to 0.94 years for women in 2001. This difference has drastically increased in 2012, with 5.24 and 7.32 years for men and women, respectively. These results show that the likelihood of women facing disability has increased over the 11 years considered in the study. The study further reveals that the lack of financial security makes elderly people, especially elderly women, more vulnerable to injury and ill health.

Keywords: elderly population, healthy ageing, healthy life expectancy, life expectancy

English? A need? A Closer Examination of the Perceptions of Mechatronics Undergraduates at a Vocational University on the Need for English Language Skills for Academic Purposes

Ranasuriya, D. ,  Herath, S.

Abstract

Due to the demands of the academic context and the workplace, two branches of ELT, English for General Purposes (EGP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) emerged. Over the years, EGP was famously practiced in the ELT classrooms, but of late, ESP has created an immense interest among ELT practitioners. At the University of Vocational Technology (Univotec) undergraduates are offered an English module titled “Communication Skills” to provide language assistance to undergraduates reading for the degrees offered in the English medium. However, this has not been successful and the number of students who dropout as they are incapable of continuing studies in the English medium is high. The current study was carried out on the evidence that the current English language module offered at Univotec fails to meet the academic language needs of its graduates, as a large portion of its content consists of EGP.  The core of the study is a Needs Analysis (NA) carried out to critically explore the needs of the undergraduates of Univotec and to explore possibilities of redesigning the English language program in close alignment with the needs of the stakeholders in the field of Mechatronics. The sample comprised undergraduates reading for the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Mechatronics due to its  popularity  over  other  degree programs. The study explored the skills that the undergraduates consider important to reach their academic goals.  The recurring themes that emerged from the data suggested that a curriculum with a blend of ESP and EGP would better suit the needs of the undergraduates.  A strong recommendation could be made to revise the current curriculum to better suit the requirements of both the academic context and the target career. Incorporating basic grammar in the first year and advancing it as the years progress, and incorporating sub skills of the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening are recommended.

Keywords: English for Specific Purposes (ESP), English for General Purposes (EGP), Needs Analysis (NA), language skills, stakeholders, vocational studies

 

Darkness in the City: A Comparative Study of Life, Society and Politics in Dublin, Chicago, and Moscow

Senanayake, H.

Abstract

The paper discusses the political and social life of the citizens of Dublin, Chicago, and Moscow based on three classics: Dubliners by James Joyce, Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser and Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. The novels describe the cities in the early World War period and how they changed due to a variety of external factors and social forces. These changes influenced the life and political behaviour of the people. Thus, the researcher analyzes the political and economic changes of the cities based on the concepts of voice, loyalty and exit. The social context of each city is analysed in light of international relations and the Hobbesian nature of humans. Comparative analytical tools are used to study these three cities and their common social behaviour. The study identifies major social transformations and the external and internal forces that caused them. Capital and social classification are identified as the major influencers of social reformation. In addition, religious institutions also influenced the social life in these three cities. Capital and financial waves of the early war era drastically changed the social life of the cities. The conclusion discusses these two major factors and five additional reasons for the changes in Dublin, Chicago, and Moscow.  

Keywords: Comparative analysis, Hobbesian Nature, Power, Religion, Social Classification