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Our Research Projects

Implementation of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Technologies in India

The project aimed to advance current knowledge about ways to improve the understanding of the right applicable technologies and devising an approach to mainstreaming the same with a stipulated financial framework which gives also options to explore the climate finance avenues. The focus was on two important and priority areas:

(1) Climate Smart Water Smart Technologies and

(2) Climate Smart Post-Harvest Technologies.

A round-table conference was organized on 22nd November 2017 at the ICAR-NAS Complex Pusa Road in New Delhi. The round table deliberations were attended by the Agriculture Commissioner, senior functionaries from the FAO, IFAD, IFPRI, Central Ground Water Board, multiple ICAR institutions, NIFTEM, NABARD and representatives from five State Governments. The publication included papers from DEFT as well as contributions from eminent professionals in the World Bank, FAO, IFPRI, NIFTEM and ICAR institutions. The publication was released by the Agriculture Commissioner of India and sponsored by NABARD (write to us for more details). 

Measuring and benchmarking managerial efficiency for improving the execution performance of large infrastructure development projects

Analysis of the last 20 years performance data for large projects in India showed delays in execution attributed to managerial inefficiencies during planning and construction far exceed delays due land acquisition, forest and environment clearances. Across the world there is limited literature on developing frameworks to measure and benchmark managerial efficiency for improving execution performance of development projects. Our pioneering research adopts a synthesis of Grounded Theory and Case Study approach. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has been used as a tool. Paper published in Elsevier’s Scopus-Indexed International Journal of Project Management Vol 34, Issue Feb 2016, pp. 219 – 236.

(authors K. C. Iyer and P. S. Banerjee, DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2015.10.008).

Myanmar – India trade through Mizoram: An empirical study on possible employment benefits

Myanmar is identified as a bridge between India and South East Asia. The study took up an example of how local level development issues are connected to broader trade policy. The district Champhai in Mizoram is well positioned to harness its potential strength as part of on-going drive to improve India – Myanmar relations. Through ground level survey and discussion, the study has identified that potential growth will come from transport, hotel/restaurant, trading and basic services in the short run. In the medium to long run there is a possibility of growth in food processing, winery, bottling of drinking water, etc. Fresh investment along with new technology is required to improve the productivity of these sectors. In case of services, there is a hidden demand for good schools, colleges and hospitals/diagnostic centres. If the state and central government focuses on these services, it will create substantial demand among the people from nearby area in Myanmar who are expected to cross border to avail these services. Paper published as a chapter in Palgrave Macmillan’s book entitled Myanmar’s Integration with the World: Challenges and Policy Options

(authors P. S. Banerjee and B. Nag https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-10-5134-0_4)

Project ambidexterity: case of recovering schedule delay in a brownfield airport project in India

Planning deficiencies and consequent execution delays are likely to persist in infrastructure development projects. However, recovery of schedule delay is a less researched area. This case research, using a two-stage inquiry modeled on the grounded theory, studied the schedule delay recovery during the execution phase of a brownfield airport construction project. The analyses generated contextual evidence and ambidexterity was found to be the key underlying phenomenon for successful recovery measures. The empirical learning was validated with literature and can be used by practitioners looking to institute schedule recovery measures. Paper published in De Gruyter Open Access Organization, Technology and Management in Construction Vol 8(1), Issue Jan 2017, pp. 1 – 18.

(authors K. C. Iyer and P. S. Banerjee, DOI 10.1515/otmcj-2016-0012)

Facilitators and inhibitors in sector wide technology transfer projects in developing economies

Achieving success in technology transfer (TT) projects remains a difficult proposition in developing economies. Such projects need to accomplish not only their TT objectives, but also get delivered within schedule and costs. Literature is replete with TT models, analysis of contractual arrangements, governing processes and influencing factors. However, studying sector-wide TT programs in their natural settings for developing economies has remained an unexplored area. This study adopted a seven step methodology, applied inductive and deductive reasoning on open-coded granular case data to derive causal factors. These factors were then classified into facilitators and inhibitors and mapped onto TT outcome enablers. Findings from an independent survey of equipment manufacturers were used to finalize the set of causal factors for TT outcome enablers, which were then taken forward for Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). Inferences drawn from successive SEMs, validated by findings from equipment manufacturer survey, distinguished the dominant TT outcome enabler. Further, it established two significant facilitators and one inhibitor. The study findings can provide insights to policy makers and leaders for improving effectiveness of sector-wide TT programs. Paper published in Springer’s Scopus-Indexed The Journal of Technology Transfer Vol 43 (1), Issue Feb 2018, pp. 172 – 197. 

(authors K. C. Iyer and P. S. Banerjee, DOI 10.1007/s10961-015-9456-1)

Identifying new knowledge areas to strengthen the Project Management Institute (PMI) framework

In an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, managers of capital projects are under relentless pressure to consistently meet their performance expectations. At the execution stage, managers have to constantly orchestrate competing demands on scare resources and, simultaneously, manage project operations to meet time, costs and quality compliances. We used a three-stage methodology to define variables and then tested the methodology using case data generated from projects. A set theoretic, multi-value qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) tool helped appropriately configure this empirical case data and a subsequent Boolean minimisation technique then identified the distinguishing factor(s) that explained superior project schedule performance. The results corroborated literature findings. Two contributions emerged from this study: (a) our methodology enabled a richer analysis of the case than what would have been possible by adopting a more conventional approach; and (b) there is a potential for a domain-specific extension of the PMI framework to cover technology transfer projects having their unique knowledge areas. Paper published in De Gruyter Open Access Organization, Technology and Management in Construction Vol 11, March 2019, pp. 1892 – 1903

(authors K. C. Iyer and P. S. Banerjee, DOI 10.2478/otmcj-2018-0014)

Ease of Doing Business between India and Pakistan: A case of select imports into India

The study is expected to act as the guide to improve and facilitate the businesses between the two countries. The study covers sectors’ such as marble onyx, surgical goods, sports goods, textiles, leather, etc. and analyzes the impediments the trading with each other. The study is Business-Academia-Government (BAG) collaboration and is differentiated from earlier studies in the following ways:

  • Identifies the research variables after multiple weeks of field study.
  • Adopts a deep dive approach for a small set of shortlisted commodities instead of following a wider and generalized approach.
  • Uses Business Process Analysis (BPA), Supply Chain Operational Reference (SCOR) frameworks.
  • Includes site visits to the border crossing points with sharper focus on Railways Freight movement.
  • Aligns Business Associations / Private Sector to take leadership and initiative at the same time ensuring robust involvement from Customs, Railways and other Policy makers.

An assessment of its Job Creation potential (case of the Electronics Manufacturing sector)

By 2020, electronics imports may exceed the oil imports in India. The National Policy on Electronics 2012 estimates that demand for electronic goods in India would be USD 400 billion by 2020 and domestic production can cater to a demand of USD 104 billion only. The Make in India campaign attempts to boost manufacturing sentiments, seeks investments and aspires to create jobs on a large scale. Most contemporary Indian literature has assessed job creation potential of policy initiatives either through empirical studies linked to market size estimates or through opinion surveys. Taking the case of electronics manufacturing sector, our research adopts a novel approach to develop a technology diffusion and production growth forecasting model to assess the Job Creation potential. Paper presented at the Indian Society of Labour Economics 57th conference (10-12 Oct, 2015) held at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

Assessing Impact of International Coal Price Volatility on Indian Power Sector

The forecast of increased coal imports over the next few years and recognizing the impact of international coal price volatility on electricity prices in India, DEFT commissioned a research study to examine this in some detail. Using advanced time series econometric and statistical methods show promising results in following areas:

  • analysis of coal markets inter-regional relations (co-integration tests);
  • developing composite coal price index and comparing it with CERC;
  • forecasting international coal price;
  • detecting the presence and periodicity of structural breaks; and
  • assessing impact of coal price on electricity prices.

Shadow Education: "to-be" or "not-to-be" that is the question

The past few decades has witnessed a prolific yet dispersed growth of a parallel system of education which can be termed as Shadow Education. This includes a broad spectrum of activities – from parental mentoring to organized coaching for supplementing mainstream education systems. Shadow Education may not have found its admirers among all but nevertheless it continues to flourish across all tiers of urbanity indicating its increased acceptance, popularity and perceived benefits. Our research study adopts a combination of primary and secondary research and is designed to explore some of the critical questions pertaining to Shadow Education.

Knowledge Partner for the India-Myanmar Solar Energy Workshop, 2015

A India-Myanmar Solar Energy Workshop was organised under the aegis of Embassy of India, Yangon to promote solar energy in Myanmar, and initiate talks between businesses of the two countries. The event was a success and received participation from leading solar developers, manufactures, Industry Associations and Government agencies from both countries. DEFT was the Knowledge Partner of the event.

Knowledge Partner for the CII National Skills Conference, 2013

Deft Advisory and Research was appointed by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) as the knowledge partner for their 3rd National Skills conference held in Delhi on 28th Nov 2013. DEFT team worked with CII to develop a special release Ideating the Skills Agenda; a compilation of thought papers and articles from eminent personalities in skills fraternity in India. DEFT also contributed two articles to the compilation.

   
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