Dr Aqsa Agha, Assistant Professor, the Department of History, has been awarded the South Asia Public Health Fellowship Project by The Institute of Public Health (India) in collaboration with the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. As the South Asia Public Health Fellow-India, Dr Agha is expected to conduct research on the ethics of the tobacco industry and submit the report over a period of 8 months, i.e. from December 01, 2021, to July 31, 2022. She has been granted an amount of USD 6660 to carry out the project.
Along with producing a quality case study on India focusing on industry interferences promoting the tobacco epidemic and undermining public policies related to tobacco control, the project entails drafting the regional report on South Asia. It will bring together country-level case studies and implications between December-May, 2022, engaging in the dissemination of the country-level case studies with relevant stakeholders in June-July 2022.
Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) acts as a treaty for ratified countries to protect their citizens against the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry as per guidelines laid down in the said article. Countries of South Asia, including India, have signed and fully ratified this treaty in the early 2000s. However, the lack of robust national policies and continued influence of the tobacco industry perpetuates the tobacco epidemic, as established in the available literature. Given each country’s mandate to protect the health of its citizens, there is a growing need to understand issues of tobacco industry interferences that undermine public policies meant to protect its population. The South Asian Public Health Fellowship is an initiative to generate knowledge regarding issues of tobacco industry interference not only in India but in other countries of South Asia (i.e., Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) to better understand such issues from a regional perspective.
Dr Aqsa Agha holds a PhD in History from the Centre for Historical Studies, JNU. She is also the Project Head of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan at SRM University-AP. Before joining SRM University-AP, Dr Agha was a Consultant with Partners in Change, New Delhi and prepared a report titled “Status of Corporate Responsibility in India, 2020”, focusing on corporate responsibility and ethical business practices. Prior to that, she worked as a Research Officer for National Research Study on Human Trafficking in India at TISS, Mumbai. Before TISS, she worked with the Human Rights Defenders’ Alert- India on human rights violations on the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal. Along with teaching, she has consulted with organisations, including the Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi, where she conducted sessions with grassroots activists to effectively observe, analyse and document reality through participatory research. Her broader research interest lies in historical processes and their impact on the social locations of class, caste and gender.Continue reading →
‘Fostering curiosity and nurturing inquisitiveness’ These have been the goals of the Department of History at SRM University-AP to which Deva Harshalai Nimmagadda, Class of 2021 of Bachelor of Arts in History, belongs.
The entire department and especially his beloved mentor, Dr Maanvender Singh, could not be more proud of him for securing a coveted position in the MS Program in Computer Science at Pace University, New York. Deva found a home for his desire to understand the past and progress towards future in SRM University-AP’s multidisciplinary courses which enabled him to learn more about cutting edge technology and innovative approach to history. This experience was instrumental in helping him achieve his place.
“During my course of studying BA History in SRM University-AP, I have realized that history will not equip you with the skills in only one field, but it also opens you up to diverse fields.” Deva said, “Thanks to the curriculum in SRM University-AP which enabled me to explore various fields like economics, Journalism, Data Science etc. Studying history will demand immense research work and it will refine your analytical skills and these are the skills you need to live in a Tech world. I would like to thank all my faculty for equipping me with such skills even during the pandemic. Today interestingly History major in my profile attracts various employers and projects as they believe in the analytical skill of a history major.”
Prof Singh, who is very fond of Deva Harshalai, spoke very highly about his student, “Deva always cultivated the best attributes a historian could possibly possess- the endless and untiring urge to quest for reason and answers, and the unique and insightful perspective to provide the most logical and comprehensive solution.” He added, “With these qualities in one’s possession one can achieve any ambition should they put their mind and efforts to it.”
“The right skill was cultivated in me, and the right attitude took root.” Deva said to inspire his juniors, “I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to call SRM University-AP my alma mater. I am who I am today because of it. I would advise all my juniors to commit to their education seriously and SRM University-AP will give you the experience and encouragement to obtain your dream career.” Deva would like to take advantage of this world capital and invest himself in research and development in the fields of Artificial Intelligence in future.Continue reading →