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Norwegian student wins prize for master’s thesis on India

We can proudly bring you the news that one of our previous interns here at the embassy has taken home the prize for best master’s thesis at the University of Oslo for a research subject focusing on India. We caught up with Lise nearly two years after she completed her traineeship at the Embassy to congratulate her about the prize, and to know more about her feat.

Lise has won the prize for her thesis "Targeting food insecurity of 'Indians on the move': Access to food security entitlements among internal migrants in Bangalore", where she writes about how internal migration affects food security. 

“My thesis is concerned with the food security of low-income, internal migrants in India, and is based on research conducted in Bangalore. It explores how internal migration affects the access to food of migrant households, focusing on food provided through some of India’s largest social support programmes: the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and the Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme.” 

In comparing these programmes, Lise found that migrant households were unable to access their food rations through the PDS at their migration destination, while most of them were able to access food provided through the ICDS and the MDM scheme. “In the thesis, I argue that the bureaucratic practices involved in the PDS conflict with the informality and mobility that characterizes internal migrants’ lives and livelihoods, while the mode of delivery used in the two other programmes provide better prospects for mediating this.” 

On how she decided to write about this topic, which indeed affects thousands of people, Lise says, “Through my studies of Indian politics and society at the bachelor’s level, I became interested in writing my thesis on a topic related to India. I was lucky enough to get the chance to write my thesis as a part of a wider research project that consisted of a consortium of both Norwegian and Indian research partners, headed by Consumption Research Norway (SIFO). As I have previously been engaged in food security issues through a youth organization, it happened to be a very good match between my interests and this project.” 

Through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, it is stated that hunger globally should be removed by the year 2030. One important stepping stone in the road towards ending hunger is to increase the food security for the human population globally, and we hope that sincere efforts like that of Lise will provide a good direction to those working on the challenging task. 

“Hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition remain huge barriers to achieve sustainable development. Sustainable Development Goal number 2 states that by 2030 we should end hunger globally. Although food insecurity and hunger has been high on the political agenda for a long time in India, the severity of hunger and malnutrition in the country is still considered a serious problem. It is crucial to increase the understanding of India’s contradictory food insecurity, if we are to end hunger by 2030.” 

We are very proud of your work, Lise, and wish you all the best for your future endeavours.