Bias in Perception of Agrarian Change in India
The sites of research and data referred to in articles and special studies in the Economic and Political Weekly or other key publications listed in Byres’ bibliographical paper (1972) and in subsequent issues of the EPW (to September 1974) are shown in Fig. 4.1. My analysis of the literature is thus restricted, and this obviously introduces the possibility of serious bias in the impression conveyed by the map. But the journal that has been my main source is a particularly influential one, so that the bias that it imparts is of special interest in itself. In addition, it has been the general experience of project members that the studies we know of have nearly all been carried out in the areas shown on this map. Farmer mentions ‘delta bias’ in studies of HYVs of paddy in explaining the reasons for his choice of North Arcot District as the locality for our research. My search of the literature suggests that this pattern is related to a more general bias towards IADP Districts, while the map also reveals the efforts of particularly energetic centres of research: the Punjab Agricultural University at Ludhiana; the Agro-Economic Research Centres (AERCs) at Sardar Patel University, Gujarat, at Waltair in Andhra Pradesh and at Delhi; and work by Ashok Rudra in West Bengal. Another source of bias, not shown on the map but familiar to those who have used the results of AERC Farm Management Surveys and Village Studies, is the practice of concentrating studies over time in particular villages and localities.
KeywordsGreen Revolution Agrarian Change Political Weekly Selective Feedback Family Planning Research
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