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Questions of state formation and public authority have been at the top of the development and political agenda in Nepal since 2006. The post-2006 so-called ‘political transition’ has been characterized by rising ethnic tensions, violence, strikes, and a bewildering kaleidoscope of leaders gaining political leverage, only to be marginalized again. In 2015, the Constitution was finally adopted following the earthquakes and amid violent protests from groups who felt their needs were marginalized in the final version. In this article we are concerned to probe how struggles over different technologies of government help throw into relief the various terrains within which public authority is claimed and contested, and, as a result, help to expose the limits of the state. Using the forestry sector as an ethnographic lens, we argue that there is both a profound failure by the state to provide services and stable governance as well as an ability to reproduce itself and to function in some contexts. It is therefore important to understand public authority during this period as both stable and unstable—and at times, instability is what helps to perpetuate particular imaginaries of the Nepali state.
We report the results of Long Baseline Array observations made in 2001 of ten southern sources proposed by Mattox et al. as counterparts to EGRET >100 MeV gamma-ray sources. Source structures are compared with published data where available and possible superluminal motions identified in several cases. The associations are examined in the light of Fermi observations, indicating that the confirmed counterparts tend to have radio properties consistent with other identifications, including flat radio spectral index, high brightness temperature, greater radio variability, and higher core dominance.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
The majority of Fermi-LAT detected (2FGL) sources are AGN, mostly blazars. However, the second largest category in the 2FGL are unassociated sources (~30% or 575 sources), whose multi-wavelength counterpart is either inconclusive or absent. Follow-up observations and archival data at X-ray, optical, and radio frequencies suggest that many unassociated 2FGL sources are strong candidates to be AGN. Typical observed characteristics of 2FGL detected AGN include variability at all frequencies and a spectral energy distribution (SED) with two “bumps”; a low-frequency synchrotron peak in the radio to optical/X-ray region and a high-frequency peak, possibly due to synchrotron self-Compton or Inverse Compton processes, that extends up to TeV energies. We present optical follow-up observations of a sample of Fermi unassociated sources with one or more potential X-ray counterparts detected within the LAT error circle.
Hardness is a measure of the resistance of a material to be penetrated and eroded by
sharp projections of other materials such as diamond. The process of creating sharp
projections on any test surface is known as indentation. Hardness measurement of any
material is the result of a complex process of deformation during indentation. The
indenter tip geometry, which includes radius of curvature at the tip and tip angle,
affects the hardness measurement by influencing the nature of the penetration process on
the test surface, because every indenter deforms the specimen surface with a different
geometry. The controlled indenter geometry can improve the consistency of hardness
measurement. In this paper we report the estimation of two important geometrical
parameters, radius of curvature and tip angle of a Rockwell indenter by using a simple
method of image processing and compare the results with those obtained with a traceable 3D
optical profiler. Evaluation of uncertainty in measuremts is carried out as per ISO
guidelines (ISO-GUM) and a detailed uncertainty budget is presented. The tip angle
estimted is 119.95 degree. The radius of curvature is estimted to be 199.96 ± 0.80μm by image analysis which
agrees well with the value estimated by using optical profiler i.e. 199.12 μm.
The Micro-arcsecond Scintillation-Induced Variability (MASIV) Survey and its follow-up observations have provided large datasets of AGN intra-day variability (IDV) at radio wavelengths. These data have shown that IDV arises mainly from scintillation caused by scattering in the ionized interstellar medium (ISM) of our Galaxy, based on correlation with Galactic latitudes and line-of-sight Galactic electron column densities. The sensitivity of interstellar scintillation (ISS) towards source angular sizes has provided a new tool for studying the most compact components of radio-loud AGNs at microarcsecond (μas) scale resolution - much higher than any ground-based radio interferometer. We present here key results from the MASIV Survey and its follow-up observations, and point to relevant papers where these results have been published.
Interstellar scintillation (ISS) has been shown to be primarily responsible for the short term intraday variability (IDV) exhibited by extragalactic sources at centimeter wavelengths (e.g. Bignall et al. 2006 and references therein). For a source to scintillate its angular size must be comparable to that of the first Fresnel zone (Narayan 1992) which implies microarcsecond angular sizes for screen distances of tens to hundreds of parsecs. This has the potential to probe within a few light months of the central black hole (Bignall et al. 2006). The aim of the Microarcsecond Scintillation-Induced Variability (MASIV) survey was to provide a catalogue of at least a hundred AGNs that vary on timescales of hours to days to provide the basis of detailed studies of the IDV population drawn from a well-defined sample.
Little information is available about perceptions of influenza vaccination of parents with healthy children in daycare. Therefore, we systematically explored the relationship between parental risk perception and influenza vaccination in children attending daycare. We distributed a self-administered paper survey to parents of children aged 6–59 months attending licensed daycare centres in Tarrant County, Texas. We used conditional logistic regression with penalized conditional likelihood to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% profile likelihood confidence limits (PL) for parental risk-perception factors and influenza vaccination. A high level of parental prevention behaviours (OR 9·1, 95% PL 3·2, 31) and physician recommendation (OR 8·2, 95% PL 2·7, 30) had the highest magnitudes of association with influenza vaccination of healthy children in daycare. Our results provide evidence about critical determinants of influenza vaccination of healthy children in daycare, which could help inform public health interventions aimed at increasing influenza vaccination coverage in this population.
The discovery that interstellar scintillation (ISS) is suppressed for compact radio sources at z ≳ 2 has enabled ISS surveys to be used as cosmological probes. We discuss briefly the potential and challenges involved in such an undertaking, based on a dual-frequency survey of ISS carried out to determine the origin of this redshift dependence.
The structure of irradiated material near a primary knock on atom shortly after impact is largely unknown. Molecular dynamics simulations with classical force fields provide the foundation for our current understanding of the resulting cascade. Atomic level structural characterization is often in terms defects within the context of a perfect bulk, however, the choice of the best representation is complicated because the density of defects is high, the material is inhomogeneous and it is not in equilibrium. Here we explore the adaptation of tools typically employed to characterize homogeneous equilibrium liquids to the highly defected region of the cascade. The cascade structure shows some resemblance to that of the liquid or glass phase. The local temperature temporarily exceeds the melting temperature and the free energies of the liquid and defected crystal are comparable. Analysis of cascade structure will be important to the interpretation of first principles calculations of the electronic and magnetic states in cascade structures.
The successful use of virulent (lytic) bacteriophages (phages) in preventing and treating neonatal enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infections in calves, lambs and pigs has prompted investigation of other applications of phage therapy in food animals. While results have been very variable, some indicate that phage therapy is potentially useful in virulent Salmonella and E. coli infections in chickens, calves and pigs, and in control of the food-borne pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni in chickens and E. coli O157:H7 in cattle. However, more rigorous and comprehensive research is required to determine the true potential of phage therapy. Particular challenges include the selection and characterization of phages, practical modes of administration, and development of formulations that maintain the viability of phages for administration. Also, meaningful evaluation of phage therapy will require animal studies that closely represent the intended use, and will include thorough investigation of the emergence and characteristics of phage resistant bacteria. As well, effective use will require understanding the ecology and dynamics of the endemic and therapeutic phages and their interactions with target bacteria in the farm environment. In the event that the potential of phage therapy is realized, adoption will depend on its efficacy and complementarity relative to other interventions. Another potential challenge will be regulatory approval.
The landraces of rice (Oryza sativa L.) possess wide diversity, which needs to be properly characterized for their use in genetic improvement. Replicated field studies were conducted in 1998, 1999 and 2000 at two sites in Nepal to determine diversity in 183 landraces of rice adapted to the lowlands and the hills in Nepal. Fourteen improved genotypes were also used for comparison. Thirteen agronomic traits were investigated. Shannon–Weaver diversity index (H) and Simpson's index of diversity (D) were estimated to determine the level of genetic richness among the landraces. The landraces differed significantly for all traits. Except for plant height and maturity, at least one of the landraces compared well with the performance of improved cultivars. A principal component analysis separated the lowland- and hill-adapted landraces into two broad groups.
Agriculture has been the foundation of Nepalese economy and has been part of the culture, knowledge system and way of life of Nepali society for centuries. Today approximately 80 per cent of the population depends on agriculture for subsistence. Realising the importance of agriculture as a means of livelihood, for majority of the people, the government began planned interventions in the agriculture sector in the 1950s. Technological inputs particularly the introduction of improved varieties of crops and their trials were the initial outside interventions in agriculture. The focus on the production of crops under the influence of dominant discourse of science and technology has created an inherent conflict between the scientific and indigenous knowledge systems.
The government of Nepal developed the Agriculture Perspective Plan (APP) in 1995. The objectives of APP were to reduce the proportion of population living below the poverty line and to specifically include rural poor women in that process through agricultural interventions. It was an action plan, which identified four key priority areas of input and output. Priority inputs included irrigation, fertiliser, technology, roads and power, whereas priority outputs included livestock, high value crops, agribusiness and forestry (APP 1995; JMA and APROSC 1998). In line with the APP, the sole objective of the Tenth Plan (2002–2007) of Nepal was set ‘to bring about a remarkable and sustainable reduction in the poverty level’. The Tenth Plan focused on two major areas for the agriculture sector:
a. to increase agricultural production, productivity, and income for food security and poverty reduction
b. develop local and export market opportunities (NPC 2002).
Socially powerful actors tend to influence the resource governance decisions using various forms of power. They influence the values, behaviour and action of an individual as well as institutions in various ways. In this process, how the knowledge in practice is contested and politicised in influencing such decisions is a growing concern. Increasingly, it has become more important to understand the ways through which certain knowledge is legitimised within institutions and decision making process and how it is impinging on the daily lives and struggles of the poor and powerless, especially women and indigenous people who are highly dependent on forest resources for their livelihoods. In this context, there is a need to understand better the social dynamics of natural resource management with particular reference to knowledge related politics.
Common pool resources, including forest resources, have been highly contested domains in developing countries including Nepal. Various actors with their diverse interests are engaged and influence the overall contexts, processes and outcomes of the resource management regimes. Over the past 25 years of implementation of community forestry in Nepal, about 35 per cent of the total population is involved in the management of about 27 per cent forest land, generating 900 million rupees annually from the sale of forest products (Kanel 2004). Underpinning this development is an increased level of citizen's concern over those resources.
The book is the outcome of a research project ‘Management of Knowledge System in Natural Resources: Exploring Policy and Institutional Framework in Nepal’ undertaken by ForestAction Nepal with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. When we completed the research project with a set of case studies and a review of theories related to knowledge systems and governance and shared the findings with a network of readers, we were excited to get very encouraging feedback. This encouraged us to compile the work as a book so that the empirical findings and insights emerging from the analysis could be disseminated to a wider audience. While preparing the case study reports, we realised that the insights could be potentially beneficial to the policy makers, researchers, planners and field practitioners for developing an understanding of the knowledge systems and their deliberative interface. This idea was materialised with a generous and continued support from IDRC.
We hope that the compilation of case studies on natural resources, in the light of critical and theoretical insights, will help one understand the intricacies of knowledge systems as they relate to governance practices. There is indeed a continuing need for better understanding of the contexts, processes and outcomes of the production of knowledge and its application in various facets of governance of human society. In this context, our main goal of presenting the case studies in this book has been to understand how different systems of knowledge operate in the field of natural resource management, and what factors and conditions affect the process of deliberation among such knowledge systems.
A question that guided the research project as well as the process of editing the book has been: how different systems of knowledge operate around natural resource governance, and how different categories of social agents associated with different systems of knowledge engage in the process of deliberation. Our aim was to bring together empirical evidence and theoretical insights to explore and substantiate key issues and innovations, as well as to draw policy lessons in relation to enhancing deliberative interface among diverse knowledge systems that exist in the context of natural resource governance. We drew upon critical, theoretical insights of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (mainly practice, habitus and field) and German political theorist Jürgen Habermas (mainly communicative reason and deliberation) for the empirical analysis of six case studies of natural resource management in Nepal. The case studies are representative of the various sub-sectors of natural resource governance such as forest, water and agriculture in Nepal at local, sub-national and national levels. These cases together present diverse situations of interface among various systems of knowledge.
The six case studies confirm our proposition (see Chapter one) that effective natural resource governance in Nepal is heavily influenced and shaped by the processes through which different categories of social agents and their respective systems of knowledge interact and deliberate with one another. The empirical materials presented in the chapters amply demonstrate that all situations of natural resource governance, to varying degrees, reflect a deliberative interface among four categories of social agents, namely: civil society, techno-bureaucrats, formal politicians and development agencies.
This chapter discusses the emergence of the Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) and its contribution to the process of participatory and deliberative governance in the forestry sector of Nepal. In particular, this chapter discusses how the forest dependent civil society groups were able to enhance their deliberative interface with various groups of actors engaged in the field of forestry, mainly: technobureaucrats, formal political agents (mainly political parties) and development agencies. The purpose is to explicate conditions and processes that enable or constrain the ability of local forest-dependent citizens to participate in the policy and practice of forest governance.
Despite repeated pleas for the participatory and deliberative governance of environmental resources (Fischer 1999; Dryzek 2000; Fischer 2000; Smith 2003; Ojha 2006; Parkins and Mitchell 2005), there is still a predominance of technocratic values and institutions in environmental decision-making (Backstrand 2004; Pokharel and Ojha 2005). This is especially true in the context of forest management in the Global South where centralised and technically-oriented colonial approaches of the past continue to dominate the day to day practices of forest management, policies and their implementation (Peluso 1992; Shivaramakrishnan 2000; Sundar 2000, 2001; Roth 2004; Sarin 2005). The rhetoric of decentralisation and devolution of forest management have often been couched in an agenda of extending bureaucratic control rather than advancing the genuine empowerment of the local people (Shrestha 1999; Sarin et al. 2003; Shrestha 2001).