An important International Conference on Population Displacement and Resettlement by development projects  will take place on  April 10-12, 2012 at the Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar (XIMB), Odisha,  India. The conference is jointly organized by the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, the XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

XIMB, the lead organizing institution and the conference’s host, is one of India’s most eminent high education institutions in the area of management sciences. Private sector industries and the public sector recruit many managers and civil servants from among XIMB graduates. The Conference is prepared by a group of XIMB faculty, led by Professor Latha Ravindran, who was the first to introduce a training course on development-caused population resettlement in XIMB, one of few Universities in India that offer graduate training in this domain.

The Conference seeks to examine the theoretical, legal, financial and policy  issues intrinsic to development-caused displacement. Its Keynote Address will be given by Professor Michael M. Cernea, NR Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC, and former Senior Adviser of the World Bank on Social Policies and Sociology. Among participants are both Indian and international scholars, researchers, students, and practitioners.

The risks and actual adverse impacts of development-induced resettlement on local people have been widely researched, but the capacity to deal with these issues is still largely lacking. Though there have been recent trends in training programs and university courses focusing on these issues, the need for effective and knowledgeable experts to assist in the resettlement process more crucial now than ever.

The conference will be an opportunity for researchers, project proponents, managers of R&R projects, professionals from civil society organizations and policy makers to deliberate, debate and identify possible solutions for critical unsolved issues pertaining to involuntary displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation on account of development projects.

Towards this goal,  the organizers selected the following main topics for the sessions of the conference on 1. Theoretical Perspectives, Legal & Policy Issues on Development-Induced Displacement and Rehabilitation, 2.   Critical issues in Land Acquisition and Forced Displacement,3.  The Economics, Financing, and Planning for R&R,4.  Management of Impoverishment Risks under Urban  Displacement.

Odisha is one of India’s  richest states in underground resources (iron, coal, rare metals etc.), but also one of its least developed, and has a high percentage of tribal groups amongst its population.  Many big  private sector corporations, national and transnational, are currently developing large scale projects  in Odisha in the extractive and processing industries in order to bring these resources into the industrial and economic circuit. Such developments, however, entail the need of large aggregate population displacements and relocations.  This has vastly increased the interest of the State Government and population in the issues of Development-caused  Forced  Displacement and Resettlement (DFDR). Odisha is one of India’s states which has adopted its own State Policy for DFDR processes.

Researchers from India  and abroad interested in attending this Conference may contact:

Ms. Reena Ravichander

Xavier Institute of Management, Xavier Square, Bhubaneswar-751013, Odisha, India

Phone: +91-674-3983811 (D), 3012345 (30 lines); Mobile: +91-9437010686

Fax: +91-674- 2300995; Email:

Submitted by Joanna London