Joint research project with Sophia University, Japan, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and The Essex University, UK

Evaluation of the Kerala Model Relief Centres: Integrating a Gender sensitive disaster management plan,’ a joint research project undertaken by St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous) and Sophia University, Japan along with Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and The Essex University, UK.  The project is expected to be complete by September 2019. The project would progress in a three-step approach including a primary research and survey followed by a workshop involving different stakeholders (National, State and International) and finally formulation of a gender sensitive action plan with the gathered intelligence and data which could be instituted before the onset of next monsoon.

The research team comprises of Dr. NirmalaPadmanabhan, Associate Professor of the Department of Economics, St. Teresa’s College as the Primary investigator and Dr. ShobaArun, faculty Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, Ms. Utthara G, research fellow and Ms. Sona Thomas, head of the Centre for Research and Development, St. Teresa’s College as the co-investigators. Dr. Keiko Hirao, Faculty of the Department of Sociology, Sophia University Japan, Dr. Mridul Epen, honorary fellow at Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, Dr. G. Raveendran, former Additional Director General, Central Statistical Organisation, Government of India and Dr. ShobaArun, faculty Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK forms the advisory board.

Cochin Jews or the Malabar Jews are the oldest Jewish groups in India. The Dekel family who had migrated to Israel during the first wave of the Zionist movement has expressed an interest in tracing back their historic background in Kerala. With this intention the family has funded a research Project at St. Teresa’s college, which will be awarded to Undergraduate students of the Department of History under the guidance of the Centre for Research and Development.

St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous), Ernakulam, is embarking on a new initiative for holistic development of students through experiential learning — High Ability Learners Programme. The student will be chosen for the flagship programme when she manifests consistent and outstanding performance in academics and extra-curricular activities.

The High Ability Learners Programme aims to take students out of their comfort zones and involve them in hands-on projects to enhance their learning. The college endeavors to equip students with skills for their future and create networks that will help them build successful careers. As part of the programme, students will be encouraged to take up internships, participate in national and international projects, publish their original research, enroll in online courses, and apply for scholarships for higher studies even as they’re still pursuing their Bachelors’ Degrees.

Beyond the Bell was a project carried out by St. Teresa’s College (Autonomous), Ernakulam faculty, and students with funding supplied by the Ernakulam MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly). The project’s goal was to promote and improve the education given by the district’s LP schools. In light of the pandemic, 120 videos with a duration of 2-3 minutes for four subjects were prepared (English, Maths, Science, and Environmental Studies). The videos that resulted will be used as support material for the students.

To date, research on institutional preparedness to deal with long-term shelter, rescue, and short-term relief is an academic and policy blind spot and an under-researched area, with little evidence on the functioning of emergency/ evacuation shelters as the first site of planning, providing and managing climate infrastructure service in the global south. Our evidence is based on a multi-country research collaboration (the United Kingdom and India) to bridge the gaps mentioned above drawing lessons from the unprecedented floods in the South Indian state of Kerala in 2018, focussing on the experience of emergency shelter centres, whereby meso level institutions such as educational (school and colleges), religious and community institutions stepped in as emergency relief centres. The flood made national and international headlines both because of its magnitude, but more so for its people’s participation in disaster management. As an ad hoc measure, a range of institutions across the state came together to provide short term relief during this emergency and was supported by volunteers in providing shelter and basic needs to multiple groups of people affected, families with children, the elderly, migrant workers and women. In doing so, along with the deluge, such experiences brought to the surface hitherto unaddressed challenges and potential in the socio-political dynamics of the current disaster management measures.