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This book is the outcome of an international conference held in the Department of Economics, Burdwan University, in 2013. The major part of the conference had been related to development, environment and livelihood issues which are also in some way linked to the theme of the ongoing DRS project in the Department, pertaining to issues on rural livelihood. The achievement of higher economic growth is one of the principal objectives of current government policies, and involves intensive resource development programmes with equitable access and distribution of output. It is a great challenge for developing countries and the only vehicle which can bring these countries out of poverty. India's development path is based on its unique resource endowments. As a welfare state, its overriding priority lies in generating its citizens' wellbeing with the multifarious programmes of eradicating poverty through providing means of earning income for a sustainable livelihood. While a number of programmes have been undertaken by the Government with the aim of eliminating poverty, the purpose of generating an all-round enhanced livelihood opportunity based on the creation of an improved ambience is only partially served by such programmes. The recent focus, therefore, has been on the assets/processes/activity framework concerned with not only poverty reduction, but also promoting sustainable livelihood enhancing strategies and access to assets like human capital, physical assets, social capital, financial capital and natural capital. In terms of the sustainable livelihood framework, livelihood comprises the activities, the assets, the capabilities and the access that combine to determine the standard of living attainable for an individual. A livelihood is deemed to be sustainable when it can absorb unforeseen shocks and recover from stresses and uncertainties, while maintaining or enhancing the capability and asset base both at present and for future periods without distorting the natural resources and creating social unrest. This book is composed of seventeen papers covering the socio- developmental aspects and natural resources connected with the concept of sustainable livelihood, as well as livelihood issues intimately linked with the farm and non-farm sectors and impacted by gender aspect.
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Soumyendra Kishore Datta received his MA and PhD degrees from Jadavpur University, his MPhil from Calcutta University, and his postdoctoral degree from York University, UK. He has been teaching at university level for the past 25 years, and has supervised 24 MPhil dissertations and 13 PhD theses. He has published around 60 papers in national and international journals, and has edited two books and co-authored four books. He has also completed three major research projects, with another major project currently ongoing. His research interests include environmental and resource economics, common property resources, industrial economics, and gender studies. Atanu Sengupta received his MSc degree from Burdwan University and his PhD degree from ISI Calcutta. He has been teaching at University level for 11 years, and has supervised five MPhil theses and eight PhDs. He has also published more than 50 papers in various reputed national and international journals, and has published six books. He has also carried out four projects under the Sarvya Shiksha Avijaan (SSA) scheme of the Government of West Bengal. He has specialized in teaching econometrics, financial economics, development economics, microeconomics and growth theory.
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