Those who are interested in conducting research, but do not have the necessary training will now have a platform to study the changing trends in the ethnic and religious diversity of the city.
The Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research (PUKAR) and Max Planck Society have come together to form an urban observatory at TISS where research data will be collected.
The project, titled Urban Aspirations, will focus on the changing trends in ethnic and religious diversity. Citizens can be a part of this project without any formal qualification. The only decisive factor will be the level of commitment shown by them.
“We don’t have any limitation for participation and anyone who has a keen interest and knowledge about their community can join us,” said TISS director, S Parasuraman.
Researchers will also use existing data collected by TISS to provide a complete picture. This data includes the history, recent trends and community representation in the city. The collected research will be converted into official research papers, which will be available for public use.
“We will digitise the knowledge and research on our website for public use,” said Parasuraman.
Financial assistance in the initial period will be provided by Germany-based Max Planck Society, which conducts research on humanity and social sciences around the world. Funds from other external sources will be collected later on.
PUKAR has been conducting a community-based participatory research for the last six years.
They have involved people from the lower strata of society and taught them research methodologies that would be handy in this project.
“We want to change the mentality that only scholars and academicians can conduct research. We have bare foot researchers who specialise in the knowledge of their own community, and they may or may not be educationally very qualified,” said Anita Patil Deshmukh, executive director, PUKAR.