Together with Abdul Shaban (Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India), I received a grant from NWO and the India Council for Social Sciences Research for a project on the development of the creative industries in India. The grant will facilitate research trips in 2016 and 2017 for the both of us and the funding of a team to assist in onsite data gathering in India.
The creative industries have become of enormous economic and social significance in recent years. A nurtured and thriving creative economy can infuse human centered development, fuel job creation, innovation and trade while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and environmental sustainability. In India, which has both advanced (like software design) and traditional sectors of the creative industries (crafts), neither through research nor policy much headway has been made to promote it as an integrated sector. Millions of traditional creative workers in India are unemployed or form major shares of the neo-poor. A coherent and informed policy can specifically provide new opportunities to these hitherto lower-end workers in the creative economy. In the this context, we will attempt to examine the size, potential and clusters of the creative industries in India, and compare it to countries such as the UK, The Netherlands, China, etc. We will suggest policy measures to stimulate the creative economy in India. Also, case studies focusing on Madhubani Painting, Lucknow Chickenkari, Leather Industry in Dharavi and Performing Arts in Mumbai will be carried out to understand the specific context, potential and issues that some of the creative industries face and which will help in understanding the overall creative ecology in the country. The results of this research project will be published in a concluding volume.