The faculty at Ashoka University is drawn from across the country and the world, representing a range of ages, ideas, and perspectives. Individually, they are well established as experts in their fields, authors and researchers, but they are all united in their desire to establish Ashoka as a destination for innovative teaching and research. Their approach blurs disciplinary boundaries, challenges existing specialisations, and addresses general issues across a particular discipline. Faculty members also serve as student advisors and mentors to undergraduate and postgraduate students, leading to a student-­faculty experience that is close, dynamic, and mutually beneficial.


Pulapre Balakrishnan

Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Cambridge
Email : pulapre.balakrishnan@ashoka.edu.in

Pulapre Balakrishnan is currently Professor of Economics at Ashoka University. He was educated in Moscow, Madras and New Delhi, and trained as an economist at University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. His published work spans the inflationary process in the Indian economy, productivity growth in manufacturing, the macroeconomics of the transition to a market economy in Ukraine, agricultural involution in Kerala and economic growth in India.
He has written in professional journals and is the author of books like Pricing and Inflation in India (OUP India, 1991) and Economic Growth in India: History and Prospect (OUP India, 2010). Balakrishnan has held appointments at the University of Oxford, the Indian Statistical Institute (Delhi Centre) and the Indian Institute of Management (Kozhikode).
He has served as Country Economist for Ukraine at the World Bank, and been a consultant to the International Labour Organisation, the Reserve Bank of India and the United Nations Development Program. He has for over two decades participated in the public discourse on India’s economy via his popular writings. He is a recipient of the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contribution to Development Studies (2014).

Mitul Baruah

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Syracuse University

Email : mitul.baruah@ashoka.edu.in

Mitul Baruah is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Ashoka University. His broad area of interest is nature-society relations. In particular, Mitul’s work addresses the political ecology of rural transformations, with a specific focus on land and water governance, environmental conflicts and social movements, livelihoods, agrarian changes, and hazards and vulnerability. Mitul obtained a Ph.D. in Geography from Syracuse University in 2016. His dissertation looked at the political ecology of “hazardscape” in the Brahmaputra valley, Assam, wrought by the twin processes of flooding and riverbank erosion. This research was based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in different parts of Assam.

Previously, Mitul earned a B.A. in History from Ramjas College, University of Delhi in 1999; an M.A. in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in 2002; and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2010. At SUNY, he was a Ford Foundation International Fellow.

Mitul has extensive field experiences in the areas of environment and development. From 2002 to 2008, he worked for Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), an environmental NGO, in southern Rajasthan. At FES, he led a multidisciplinary team and supervised several projects broadly focused on environmental conservation, rural livelihoods, and strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). Mitul has also participated in various environmental campaigns and movements. While at Syracuse University, Mitul taught a number of different courses and mentored undergraduate students coming from diverse backgrounds.

Abir Bazaz

Assistant Professor, Department of English
PhD in Asian Literatures, Cultures and Media at the University of Minnesota

Abir Bazaz is an Assistant Professor of English at Ashoka University. He finished his PhD in Asian Literatures, Cultures and Media at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2016. His thesis was titled The Negative Theology of Nund Rishi (1378-1440): Poetry and Politics in Medieval Kashmir. He also has an MA in Humanities (Cinema and Media Studies) from the University of Chicago and an MA in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.


Abir Bazaz’s research interests include Kashmiri literature, Sufism, Hindi-Urdu literature, Islam in South Asia and Indian Cinemas. He is also a documentary filmmaker.

Swagata Bhattacharjee

Assistant Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
Email : swagata.bhattacharjee@ashoka.edu.in

Swagata Bhattacharjee is Assistant Professor of Economics at Ashoka University. She has completed her PhD in May 2016 from the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interest lies in Applied Microeconomic Theory and Experimental Economics.

Professor Bhattacharjee’s current research discusses the allocation of ambiguity and decision rights through an effective design of contracts in innovation-intensive sectors, theoretically analysing situations where the true nature of “risk” is unknowable beforehand. She has also conducted laboratory experiments to explore the possibility of delegation of decision rights in a contractual environment. Apart from these, she has worked on projects examining the welfare effects of online reviews. Broadly, her research attempts to explore and analyse real life issues using theoretical models and experimental methods.

In her current projects, Prof. Bhattacharjee explores economic situations which are so unique in nature that it is difficult to even identify the underlying probability distribution using past data. She considers how economic institutions respond to this unique form of uncertainty, referred to in literature as “Knightian Uncertainty” or “Ambiguity.” She examines the role of government policy in presence of this ambiguity.

Prof. Bhattacharjee has earned her B.Sc. From Presidency College, Kolkata in 2008, MS (Quantitative Economics) from Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi in 2010 and MS from University of Texas at Austin from 2012.

Abhinash Borah

Assistant Professor, Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Email : abhinash.borah@ashoka.edu.in
Website : https://sites.google.com/site/abhinashborah12/

Abhinash Borah is an Assistant Professor at Ashoka University’s Economics Department. His research interests are in the fields of economic theory, decision theory, behavioral economics, public economics, political economy and welfare economics.  In the field of decision theory, he has extensively looked at the choice-theoretic foundations of social preferences and has an active research program in decision making under uncertainty. In welfare economics, he is most interested in the problem of how to accommodate procedural fairness in social welfare and public policy assessments. In public economics and political economy, he has tried to connect behavioral choice theories to questions in these fields—especially the connection between expressive voting and social preferences—and has also worked in the area of endogenous fiscal policy and economic redistribution. In other work, he has been actively investigating the question of how social identities operate, and how they interact with individual behavior and perception. He also has a research program that tries to understand how individual decisions are shaped by social influence and the ramification of this for problems in economics. Of late, his research has also branched out into experimental economics.

Abhinash was born and spent his early years in Guwahati, Assam. He came to Delhi to pursue his undergraduate education in Economics at St. Stephen’s College. He did his Masters in Economics from The Delhi School of Economics. Thereafter, he did his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of the renowned economist, Andrew Postlewaite. He brings a diverse teaching experience to Ashoka. He has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Economics, Finance and Management (Frankfurt), Johannes Gutenberg University, Indian Statistical Institute (Delhi) and Shiv Nadar University. Abhinash is a core committee member of the Society for Economic Research in India. He also organizes the Delhi Economic Theory Workshop Series.

Subhasree Chakravarty

Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric and Writing
Ph.D., Ohio State University
Email : subhasree.chakravarty@ashoka.edu.in

Subhasree Chakravarty is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and an Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric and Writing at Ashoka University. She received her Ph.D. in English and Rhetoric from the Ohio State University, where she wrote a dissertation, Long-distance nationalism: Persuasive strategies of Hindutva in North America. Subhasree’s research interests include rhetorical and critical theory, discourse analysis, and South Asian cultural studies. Her publications include the article “Learning Authenticity: Pedagogies of Hindu Nationalism in North America” in the collection Asian-American Rhetoric, which won Honorable Mention, Mina P. Shaughnessy Award, from the Modern Language Association of America. She teaches courses in critical race studies, cultures of immigration, debates over religion and secularism in South Asia and the global South-Asian diaspora. She also heads the Oral Communication Initiative at Ashoka.

Kai Qin Chan

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Ashoka University

Email : kai.chan@ashoka.edu.in

Kai Qin Chan is an experimental social psychologist. He studies emotions in intrapersonal and interpersonal contexts. In particular, he studies how emotions influence sensations, especially sensations that are at the boundaries of consciousness. For example, how do emotions influence one’s olfactory threshold or auditory thresholds? Why and when do these effects occur? Recently he has also begun investigating the nature of emotional experiences when people are in groups. In this line of research, he has been pursuing questions such as how the type and intensity of emotional experiences differ when people are in groups compared to when they are alone.

Kai Qin obtained his Bachelors in Social Sciences and Masters in Social Sciences from the National University of Singapore; he will earn his PhD from Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, in late 2015.

Durba Chattaraj

Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Director of Writing
Ph.D. Yale University
Email : durba.chattaraj@ashoka.edu.in

Durba Chattaraj joins Ashoka University as Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Director of Writing in August 2015. Her research addresses economic and cultural transformations in India in an era of globalization, and is based on eighteen months of fieldwork conducted along National Highway 117, which connects the metropolis of Calcutta to rural and marginal areas in West Bengal. Her current research focuses on informality, space and democratic politics in New Delhi, and her courses at Ashoka will involve extensive field research.

Prior to joining Ashoka, Prof. Chattaraj was a Senior Fellow in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania for five years. At Penn’s Writing in the Disciplines Program she worked with a team of colleagues to develop and enhance the university’s writing curriculum and pedagogy. She also taught popular writing seminars on informal economies, the politics of development, legal anthropology, economic anthropology, global foodways and South Asia Studies. While at Penn she specialized in working with international students and ESL students (English as a Second Language) as they developed their academic writing and research abilities.

Prof. Chattaraj earned her Ph.D in Sociocultural Anthropology from Yale University in 2010, and her B.A from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002.

Aditi Chaturvedi

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ashoka University

Email : aditi.chaturvedi@ashoka.edu.in

Aditi Chaturvedi will receive her PhD in Philosophy in 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research focuses on Plato and pre-Platonic philosophers. Beyond ancient Greek philosophy, her interests include modern philosophy, aesthetics, and Indian philosophy.
Prior to her graduate studies at Penn, she completed a BA with honors in Philosophy in 2010 from Williams College. She also spent a year as a visiting student at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2008-09.

Anunaya Chaubey

Deputy Dean of the Young India Fellowship

Email : anunaya.chaubey@ashoka.edu.in

Anunaya Chaubey is a well-known artist and former Principal of the College of Arts & Crafts, Patna University. Dr Chaubey also taught English Literature at Patna University. For his Doctoral thesis Dr Chaubey worked on Ezra Pound’s critical theories and practice. ‘The natural object is always the adequate symbol,’ is one of his favourite Poundean precepts.
A self-taught painter, he has had a few exhibitions of his paintings in India and Canada. Many paintings of his are to be found in private and public collections the world over. In 2008, he was invited by the Government of Mauritius as a Visiting Fellow to set up the department of Arts and Crafts at the Rabindranath Tagore Institute.
Prof. Anunaya Chaubey, is also the Deputy Dean of the Young India Fellowship Programme and looks over all the Marketing and Admissions activities at YIF. He also teaches a course in ‘Painting and Art  Appreciation’ under
The Visual and Performing Arts Minor at Ashoka University.


Aparajita Dasgupta

Assistant Professor of Economics
Ph.D. University of California, Riverside
Email : aparajita.dasgupta@ashoka.edu.in

Aparajita Dasgupta is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Ashoka. An applied microeconomist by training, she holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Riverside. Her research interests are in the areas of development economics, health economics and public policy.

Professor Dasgupta’s current research examines the long term consequences of early childhood shocks on human capital accumulation in developing country settings. She also has extensive field work experience in Andhra Pradesh for her research work which examines the causal impact of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in buffering impacts of drought shocks on long term nutritional outcomes in children.

Professor Dasgupta has also worked as an evaluation specialist at 3ie where she managed and reviewed research of Impact Evaluation grants in cross-country settings. She served as the Fred.H.Bixby Post Doctoral Fellow at the Population Council, where she worked on impact evaluation and cost effectiveness of an HIV prevention service in New Delhi, India.

Sandipto Dasgupta

Assistant Professor, Political Science, Ashoka University
Ph.D., Columbia University, New York
Email : sandipto.dasgupta@ashoka.edu.in

Sandipto Dasgupta is Assistant Professor of Political Science. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, and a BA, LLB from National Law School of India.

Prior to joining Ashoka, he was a Lecturer in Social Studies at Harvard University, and a Newton International Fellow of the British Academy and Royal Society at King’s College London. He also spent a year clerking at the Supreme Court of India.


Sandipto’s research and teaching interests lie in modern political and legal thought, comparative political theory, constitutional theory, democratic theory, intellectual history, and politics and the economy.

Scott Dixon

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ashoka University

Email : ts.dixon@ashoka.edu.in
Website : https://sites.google.com/site/tscottdixon/

Scott Dixon is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka University. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy in 2015 from the University of California, Davis. He was a visiting Ph.D. student in the School of Philosophy at The Australian National University from June to August 2014. He received his M.A. in philosophy from the University of Wyoming in 2008 and his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Montana in 2005.

Scott’s primary research interest is in metaphysics, particularly in grounding. He also has interests in logic (especially plural logic and infinitary logic) and the philosophy of mathematics.


Mandakini Dubey

Assistant Professor of English and Critical Thinking, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Duke University
Email : mandakini.dubey@ashoka.edu.in

Mandakini Dubey is Assistant Professor of English and Instructor at the Centre for Writing and Communication at Ashoka University. Prof. Dubey also conducts a writing seminar at Ashoka University’s Young India Fellowship, which engages a longtime interest in creating a curriculum for critical thought and writing, tailored to the Indian context.

Prof. Dubey earned her Ph.D. in English (Victorian literature) at Duke University in 2003. She has taught several courses in academic writing as well as in Victorian, Anglophone and Postcolonial literature for many years, both as a graduate student at Duke and, since completing her Ph.D., at Drew University (New Jersey) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Her interest in the instruction of academic analysis and writing has also been shaped by her experience as a tutor at the Duke University Writing Studio and, earlier, at the Mount Holyoke College Writing Center.

Her dissertation, Esotericism and Orientalism: Nineteenth-Century Narrative Initiations, brought orientalist disciplines like philology and comparative religion into conversation with a range of narrative modes: classic Victorian literary prose and poetry, occultist writings by figures like Madame Blavatsky of the Theosophical Society, and translated Persian poetry.

Prof. Dubey started her Bachelor’s in English at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, subsequently transferring to Mount Holyoke College, where she completed it in 1994. She then did her Master’s at Duke, where she also earned her Ph.D.

Bhaskar Dutta

Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Delhi
Email : bhaskar.dutta@ashoka.edu.in

Bhaskar Dutta is Professor of Economics at Ashoka University. His research interests include Cooperative Game Theory, Mechanism Design, Formation of Groups and Networks, Social Choice Theory and Development Economics. He has been Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick since 2000.

He has had a long association with the Indian Statistical Institute, where he has taught during 1979 -2002. He has also been a Visiting Professor in several universities including the California Institute of Technology, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Universite Cergy-Pointoise, Paris, University of Graz. He was winner of the Mahalanobis Memorial Award of the Indian Econometric Society in 1990. He is President of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare (2014-16). He is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and the Society for Advancement of Economic Theory. He has been Chair, Standing Committee for India and South Asia as well as a member of the Council of the Econometric Society. He is currently a member of the Council of the Game Theory Society. He has also served as consultant for the World Bank, UNDP, ILO and ADB.

Prof. Dutta has published extensively in leading journals, applying game-theoretic tools in the areas of mechanism design, cooperative game theory, the economic theory of social networks, and social choice theory. He is a Managing Editor of Social Choice and Welfare, and Advisory Editor of Games and Economic Behavior. He has also edited several books.

Prof. Dutta did his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Calcutta, and his Master’s and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Delhi.

Gopalakrishna Gandhi

Professor of History and Politics, Ashoka University

Email : gopalkrishna.gandhi@ashoka.edu.in

Gopalakrishna Gandhi is Professor of Political Science, History, and Indian Civilizations at Ashoka University. As a member of the Indian Administrative Service in its Tamil Nadu cadre, Professor Gandhi trained in the Cauvery delta’s Thanjavur district and worked in the contrastively dry tracts of South Arcot, North Arcot and Pudukkottai, preparing the first district gazetteer for Pudukkottai.

He worked among the tea plantation labourers of Indian origin in Sri Lanka as First Secretary in the High Commission of India’s Kandy office from 1978 to 1982. He was later secretary to the Governor of Tamil Nadu, secretary to the Vice President of India and secretary to the President of India. He was the first Director of the Nehru Centre at the High Commission of India, London; High Commissioner for India in South Africa and Lesotho; High Commissioner to Sri Lanka; and Ambassador to Norway and Iceland. From 2004 to 2009 he was Governor of West Bengal. Professor Gandhi has edited the Essential Writings of Mahatma Gandhi for Oxford University Press.

Simantini Ghosh

Assistant Professor of Psychology
PhD (University of Rochester)
Email : simantini.ghosh@ashoka.edu.in

Simantini Ghosh did her bachelors in Physiology (Hons) from Presidency College, Calcutta. She obtained her Masters’ degree in Biochemistry from the University of Calcutta and her PhD in Neurobiology and Anatomy from  the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, New York. Until recently, she was a postdoctoral research scholar in Neurology in Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, where she worked on an NIH funded project to study behavioral effects of repetitive concussive traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease brain derived fractions in rodents. During her PhD, she taught extensively to a diverse audience of undergraduate, medical and graduate students and trained lab personnel and eventually discovered the joy in teaching and interacting with minds that are impressionable.

Before she went to work in the lab she used to have some hobbies; Many of which she hopes to revive eventually. Outside work she enjoys reading, classical rock, jazz and blues, writing and photography.

Selected publications:

Rivera-Escalera, F., Matousek, S. B., Ghosh, S., Olschowka, J. A., & O’Banion, M. K. (2014). Interleukin-1β mediated amyloid plaque clearance is independent of CCR2 signaling in the APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiology of Disease, 69, 124-133. doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2014.05.018

Ghosh, S., Wu, M. D., Shaftel, S. S., Kyrkanides, S., Laferla, F. M., Olschowka, J. A., & O’banion, M. K. (2013). Sustained interleukin-1  overexpression exacerbates tau pathology despite reduced amyloid burden in an Alzheimer’s mouse model. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 5053-5064. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.4361-12.2013

Matousek, S. B., Ghosh, S., Shaftel, S. S., Kyrkanides, S., Olschowka, J. A., & O’Banion, M. K. (2011). Chronic IL-1β-mediated neuroinflammation mitigates amyloid pathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease without inducing overt neurodegeneration. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 7, 156-164. doi:10.1007/s11481-011-9331-2


Sudheendra Hangal

Professor of the Practice in Computer Science, Ashoka University

Ph.D. Stanford University
Email : sudheendra.hangal@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://cs.stanford.edu/~hangal/

Sudheendra Hangal is Professor of the Practice in Computer Science at Ashoka University. His research focuses on the areas of human-computer interaction, social media and personal digital archives.

Prof. Hangal got his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University, where he worked on social computing and human-computer interaction in the Mobisocial and HCI Labs.His thesis explored novel applications for the digital life-logs that millions of consumers are collecting. Prof. Hangal has also worked on multiprocessor computer architecture, virtual machine compilers, software engineering and debugging tools. During his tenure in the microprocessor division of Sun Microsystems, he led a team that was recognized with the Chairman’s Award for Innovation, the highest recognition for technical leadership.

Prof. Hangal also holds a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and an M.S. with Distinction in Research from Stanford, both in Computer Science.

Jonathan Gil Harris

Professor of English, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Sussex
Email : jgharris@ashoka.edu.in

Jonathan Gil Harris is Professor of English as well as Dean of Academic Affairs at Ashoka University. He was formerly Professor at George Washington University, where he had taught since 2003. Prior to that, he held positions at Ithaca College, New York, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The past recipient of fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, he also served as Associate Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly from 2005 to 2013.

Prof. Harris is the author of six books: Foreign Bodies and the Body Politic: Discourses of Social Pathology in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 1998); Sick Economies: Drama, Mercantilism, and Disease in Shakespeare’s England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004); Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008, named by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009); Shakespeare and Literary Theory (Oxford University Press, 2010); Marvellous Repossessions: The Tempest, Globalization, and the Waking Dream of Paradise (Ronsdale Press, 2012); and, most recently, the best-selling The First Firangis: Remarkable Stories of Heroes, Healers, Charlatans, Courtesans & Other Foreigners Who Became Indian (Aleph Books, 2015). He co-edited, with Natasha Korda, Staged Properties in Early Modern English Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2002). He is also the editor of the third New Mermaids edition of Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday (Methuen, 2008); Placing Michael Neill: Issues of Place in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture (Ashgate Press, 2011); and Indography: Writing the “Indian” in Early Modern England (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Prof. Harris is currently working on a book project called Masala Shakespeare, which offers an idiosyncratic history, both personal and cultural, of Shakespeare’s pervasive presence in India and Indian languages, from the Nautanki theatre of the north to the Kathakali dance form of Kerala, and from Indian literature in English to the Bollywood film industry. He has been based in New Delhi since 2013.

Mahavir Jhawar

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D. Indian Statistical Institute
Email : mahavir.jhawar@ashoka.edu.in
Website : https://sites.google.com/site/homeofmahavir/

Mahavir Jhawar is a PhD (2011) from Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He was a post-doctoral fellow from June 2012 to August 2014 with Prof. Rei in the Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary, Canada.

His research interests include Cryptography, Algorithmic Number Theory, Complexity Theory and Finite Fields. He holds a Masters Degree in Pure Mathematics. His current research focuses on results that connects fundamental questions in cryptography and complexity. In this direction, his current work include designing of cryptograhic algorithms based on worst-case hard assumptions, information theoretic secure secret sharing schemes for access structure defined by NP languages.

Aruni Kashyap

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Ashoka University
M.F.A. Minnesota State University, Mankato
Email : aruni.kashyap@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://arunikashyap.com/

Aruni Kashyap is Assistant Professor of English, and Instructor at the Centre for Writing and Communication at Ashoka University. He is a writer and translator who writes in Assamese and English.

Aruni is a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the Minnesota State University, Mankato, from where he graduated in 2014. His first novel titled The House With a Thousand Stories was published by Viking in 2013, during his MFA. He also has short stories published in several literary journals in India and abroad.

Aruni has also translated from Assamese and introduced celebrated Indian writer Indira Goswami‘s last work of fiction, The Bronze Sword of Thengphakhri Tehsildar, for Zubaan Books (January, 2013) and is currently editing an anthology of short stories by writers from Assam set against the Assam Conflict for HarperCollins.

As a non-fiction writer, he writes on Assamese literature and the politics of and conflict in Assam. On these topics, he has presented papers at numerous conferences and universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Princeton University and the City University of New York.

Aruni did his B.A. and M.A. in English at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, where he earned the M.M. Bhalla Poetry Award in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, he won the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship for Creative Writing to the University of Edinburgh.

His blog can be visited at : https://arunikashyap.wordpress.com/

Kaveri Rajaraman Indira

Associate Professor of Biology and Psychology
PhD (Harvard)
Email : kaveri.rajaraman@ashoka.edu.in

Prior to joining Ashoka University, Dr. Kaveri Rajaraman Indira was an INSPIRE-faculty at the Central University of Hyderabad.Kaveri received a PhD from Harvard University in neuroscience and, studying intrinsic photosensitivity in salamander retinae. She was then a DST-Dr. D. S. Kothari postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, where she studied the evolution of neural and behavioural systems of communication among Orthopteran insects in response to ecological constraints.

Selected publications:

Rajaraman, K., Godthi, V., Pratap, R., & Balakrishnan, R. (2015). A novel acoustic-vibratory multimodal duet. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218, 3042-3050. doi:10.1242/jeb.122911

Rajaraman, K., Mhatre, N., Jain, M., Postles, M., Balakrishnan, R., & Robert, D. (2012). Low pass filters and differential tympanal tuning in a paleotropical bushcricket with an unusually low frequency call. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216, 777-787. 10.1242/jeb.078352

Rajaraman, K. (2011). ON ganglion cells are intrinsically photosensitive in the tiger salamander retina. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 520, 200-210. doi:10.1002/cne.22746

Gwendolyn Kelly

Assistant Professor of History, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin - Madison
Email : gwen.kelly@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://gwenkellyarchaeology.com/

Gwendolyn Kelly is Assistant Professor of History at Ashoka University. Professor Kelly is an archaeologist who conducts interdisciplinary research in Southern India. Her current research is on the history of the Nilgiri Hills from 900 to 1900 CE, using archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data and methods. This project examines questions of political domination, cultural isolation, and social interaction in developing a deep history of the region, and a comparison of different forms of imperialism.

Her other primary research project is on the techniques and technologies of crafts such as pottery, stone beads and textiles, and the organization of craft production in Iron Age and Early Historic periods in South India and the Indian Ocean (1200 BCE – 400 CE). In the context of this project she has conducted a close study of many forms of material culture from sites around South India and Madagascar. Her research has been supported by two Fulbright grants, a Rao Bahadur K.N. Dikshit Fellowship, and an Oberlin Alumni Fellowship. She completed her Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her B.A. from Oberlin College, where she was awarded the Comfort Starr Award in Anthropology. Before coming to Ashoka, she taught at Beloit College, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Wisconsin. She has taught across disciplines in History, Anthropology, and Museum Studies.

Mohammad Khan

Ph.D. Cambridge University
Email : mohammad.khan@ashoka.edu.in

My most recent specialisation has been on Muslim South Asia, including its corresponding networks and connections in the wider Muslim world. However I continue my research interests in the greater Middle East. I conduct research in a number of languages in including Arabic, Persian and Urdu. I have consistently written for newspapers and magazines in English and Urdu for the past 6 years and have occasionally appeared on television and radio, as I believe that a wider public engagement is of paramount importance in order to try and spread ideas beyond the academy. In particular, I have focused on matters of religious identity, democracy, culture and politics of both South Asia and the Middle East. I write under the pen-name Ali Khan Mahmudabad. For the past five years I have also been privileged to be a part of various civil society groups both in the UK and in India. Many of these have focused on the role of religion in democracy, individual and human rights, the rights of minorities, terrorism and security related questions as well as many other issues that have a direct bearing on public policy. In these fora I have had the opportunity and privilege of meeting and working with people from very different backgrounds, including civil society activists, bureaucrats, politicians and journalists, thus enabling me to identify ways in which to seek common ground and facilitate dialogue between people and group interests that otherwise might seem to have disparate interests. 

My PhD at Cambridge focused on the formation of Muslim political identity in North India between 1850-1950. In particular the thesis presented a history of the public space of poetry (the mushā‘irah) and a genealogy of the idea of homeland (watan) over these hundred years. Some of the other subjects relevant to my thesis are ideas of citizenship, patriotism, global Muslim identities and their relevance in the articulation and configuration of Muslim ideas of selfhood. Although I explore these primarily in the context of South Asia, most of these ideas are increasingly relevant in all parts of the Muslim world and a prominent part of debates around political reforms and public policy. Previously,  I undertook an MPhil in Historical Studies, also in Cambridge, and wrote a thesis on trans-national Shi‘a Muslim networks in the early 20th century between South Asia and the Middle East. 

Before my Mphil, I studied Arabic at the University of Damascus in Syria. In addition to attending classes at the university, I wrote extensively about Syria for various print and online newspapers and magazines and I travelled widely not only in Syria but also in Lebanon, Egypt and Yemen. Since then I have undertaken research and travelled more extensively in the wider region and have spent substantial time in Pakistan, Iran and Iraq amongst other places. I completed by undergraduate degree from Amherst College (MA, USA) with a double major in History and Political Science.

Research Project:

One of the most pressing and widely misunderstood global issues is that of Shi‘a-Sunni differences. The terms Shi‘a and Sunni are approached as stable and homogenous theological, and therefore historical, categories. Given the current geo-political and social context of the Muslim world in general and the Middle East and South Asia in particular it is necessary to analyse both these categories historically as well as place them in a context that avoids the gross oversimplifications and generalisations that are common not only in the world of international relations and the media but often also in academia.

 The research project will seek to locate and analyse Shi‘a-Sunni polemics as well as points of convergence over the course of 100 years from about 1850-1950. While focusing on the South Asian context, inevitably this kind of work will also engage with the networks with the wider Muslim world and in particular the Middle East. Throughout our time period there were intellectual, social and religious exchanges between the ‘ulama, scholars, journalists and poets. For instance, seminaries in pre-partition North India, like the Nadwatul Ulama and Deoband, were receiving newspapers and magazines printed in Egypt and Lebanon.

 One of the main outcomes of this study will be to try and establish that Shi‘a-Sunni engagements as well as polemics were both firmly rooted not only in their geographic, social and political context but also were framed using a language that reflected these very contexts. In other words the work will seek to illustrate how Shi‘a-Sunni discourse not only changed because of the political and social context at the time but was fundamentally affected by the prevalent political language at the time.

 For instance in Ahmad al-Amin’s famous 20th century work Dhuhr al-Islam (1945-53) – the third part of a 3 volume history of the Muslim world- the language he uses to critique Shi‘ism is one circumscribed by the language of rights, democracy and hierarchy which were in vogue in Europe and had also entered Egyptian intellectual vocabulary at the time. Selections of these writings were then published in magazine form and sent to institutions in India where they were read in the original but also translated.

 In Western Punjab, now in Pakistan, anti-Shi‘a sentiment was often expressed in terms of class differences as the major landlords and pirs, sometimes embodied in one person, were Shi‘a. One of the interesting aspects of Shi‘a-Sunni discourse and one, which shall be more fully explored in the research project, is that often the enmity was actually produced by intimacy rather than distance and separation. Thus, it is of note that polemics were often framed by appropriating and using the very symbols and vocabulary, which were sacred and central to the thought of the other.

 Not only would this work help in unpacking Shi‘ism and Sunnism as epistemological categories in the South Asian context but this would also allow for a richer and fuller understanding of the way in which ideas travel and how the non-religious context effects Shi‘a-Sunni discourse as much as theological differences do. Given the increasing sectarian tensions in much of the Muslim world and particularly South Asia, it is hoped that this work will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of Shi‘a-Sunni differences and will illustrate how perceived intractable differences are not as homogenous, inflexible and inevitable as they are thought to be.



Professor of Film Studies and Broadcast Television, Ashoka University
Post-Graduation in Film Direction, Film & TV Institute of India

A Graduate of the Film & TV Institute of India in film direction, he has directed eight features and over 300 documentaries cum short films in a variety of subjects and languages. His debut film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’ (Marathi) was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in 1978 and his third film ‘The Seventh Man’ (Tamil) won the National Award and later the Afro-Asian award in the competition at the Moscow Film Festival (1983). Produced by NFDC, his Hindi film ‘Current’ won the Critic’s Best Film award in 1992. He has also made three films for the Children’s Film Society along with scores of programs for Indian Television channels. From 1995 to 2004, he was at the University of Pennsylvania teaching courses on Indian Cinema & Society and in 2005 he founded the LV Prasad Film and TV Academy in Chennai. Between ’14 and ’16, he was Professor Creative Sciences and Dean (Students) at the Mahindra Ecole Centrale in Hyderabad. Presently he is Professor of Film Studies and Broadcast Television at the Ashoka University.


Nayanjot Lahiri

Professor of History, Ashoka University

Email : nayanjot.lahiri@ashoka.edu.in


Nayanjot Lahiri is Professor of History at Ashoka University. She was previously a professor in the Department of History at the University of Delhi. Educated at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi,  and at the Department of History, University of Delhi, she taught at Hindu College from 1982 till 1993, and thereafter at the Department of History. She has served as Dean of Colleges at the University of Delhi from 2007 till 2010 and as Dean of International Relations from 2006 till 2007. Nayanjot Lahiri has been  Member, Delhi Urban Art Commission (2007-2010), and currently serves on the Council of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and on the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society (New Delhi). She was also  member of a committee set up by the Government of India in 2010 to analyse the impact of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 2010 and to draft an alternative bill for Parliament. The bill became law in March 2010.

Nayanjot Lahiri’s research interests include Ancient India, Indian archaeology, and heritage studies. She is author of Pre-Ahom Assam (1991), The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes (upto c. 200 BC) (1992), Finding Forgotten Cities- How the Indus Civilization was Discovered (2005), Marshalling the Past: Ancient India and its Modern Histories (2012) and Ashoka in Ancient India (2015). She is co-author of Copper and its Alloys in Ancient India (1996), editor of The Decline and Fall of the Indus Civilization (2000), co-editor of Ancient India: New Research (2009), Buddhism in Asia – Revival and Reinvention (2016) and an issue of World Archaeology entitled The Archaeology of Hinduism (2004). Her writings have also appeared in peer-reviewed journals like Antiquity, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, The Indian Economic and Social History Review, World Archaeology and Economic and Political Weekly. At present, she is working on a history of Indian archaeology since Independence.

Nayanjot Lahiri won the Infosys Prize 2013 in the Humanities-Archaeology.

Krishna Maddaly

Professor of Mathematics, Ashoka University
PhD Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi
Email : krishna.maddaly@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://www.imsc.res.in/~krishna/

Krishna is a Mathematical Physicist working in spectral theory of Schrodinger operators
both deterministic and random.  A physicist by his pre-doctoral training, he moved to Mathematics during his doctoral studies at the Indian Statistical Institute. He was at The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai before moving to Ashoka.

During his post-doctoral work, Krishna worked at the University of California, Irvine and as
Bateman Research Instructor at the  California Institute of Technology. He spent a year each at the Brown University, Providence and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru for his Sabbatical.

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad and is in the Editorial Board of the
Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Mathematical Sciences.

Krishna’s website is at http://www.imsc.res.in/~krishna/

Madhavilatha Maganti-Kari

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Ashoka University

Madhavilatha Maganti-Kari is a developmental psychologist interested in studying typical and atypical development in infants and children. Specifically, her research interests are focused on understanding the developmental course of intersensory perception in preterm infants, and verb-acquisition in children. Further, she is interested in examining how early intervention can ameliorate perceptual delays associated with prematurity and other concomitant risk factors.

As part of her post-doctoral experience at the Infant Development Lab, Florida Gulf Coast University, she studied word-mapping in term and preterm infants, and also examined infants’ learning of verb-action relations. Her doctoral work from Osmania University focused on devising and testing an early-intervention model for improving cognitive outcomes in at-risk infants and children. She was also associated in a longitudinal study investigating the developmental patterns of children with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) from birth till 18 months of age. Her book titled ‘Reaching and Programming for Identifications of Disabilities (RAPID)’ is used as a practical guide by health workers in India.

Through her teaching and research interests she is committed to enhancing public understanding of improving developmental outcomes in at-risk infants and children from birth till 6 years of age.

Malvika Maheshwari

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Sciences Po
Email : malvika.maheshwari@ashoka.edu.in

Malvika Maheshwari teaches political science at Ashoka University, India. She holds degrees in the discipline from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and earned her doctorate at Sciences Po’s Centre for International Research and Studies (CERI) in 2011.

Prior to joining Ashoka, Malvika taught at Sciences Po, and was a research associate at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Her research interests include freedom of speech and violence, and relationship between art and Indian politics.

Her works have been published in journals like Economic and Political Weekly, Raisons Politiques, South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, The Arts Politic among others.


Saikat Majumdar

Professor of English and Creative Writing, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Rutgers University
Email : saikat.majumdar@ashoka.edu.in

Saikat Majumdar is a novelist and critic who teaches courses in modern and contemporary world literature in English, critical theory, the novel and narrative, colonial and postcolonial studies, and fiction and nonfiction writing.

Saikat is the author of three books, most recently, the novel The Firebird (Hachette/The Permanent Press, 2015 & 2017), a finalist for the Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Fiction Prize, selected as one of The Telegraph’s Best Books of 2015, and excerpted in The Kenyon Review, World Literature Today, Scroll, and Firstpost. He has also published a monograph, Prose of the World: Modernism and the Banality of Empire (Columbia UP & Orient Blackswan, 2013), which received Honorable Mention at the Modernist Studies Association’s Annual Book Prize in 2014, and a previous novel, Silverfish (HarperCollins, 2007).

Saikat is currently working on three projects: a new work of fiction, a book on liberal education in India (under contract with Bloomsbury), and a study of the literary public intellectual from the global British Empire as an amateur and an autodidact, excerpts from which have been published or are forthcoming in PMLA, Literary Activism: A Collection of Perspectives, Ed. Amit Chaudhuri (Oxford UP, 2016), and NLH: New Literary History.

Saikat’s work has appeared in leading journals and collections such as The Cambridge History of the Indian Novel in English, Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Modern Fiction Studies, the James Joyce Quarterly, and in mainstream venues such as Caravan, The Hindu, The Times Literary Supplement, Times Higher Education, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, The Times of India, The Indian Express, and The Hindustan Times. He edited a 2015 Special Issue of American Book Review, Little India. He is the past recipient of a fellowship from the Andrew W, Mellon Foundation, as well as grants from the Arts Research Board at McMaster University and the Humanities Center at Stanford University, where he taught for several years before joining Ashoka in 2016.

Madhavi Menon

Professor of English, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Tufts University
Email : menon@ashoka.edu.in

Madhavi Menon works at the intersection of identity, desire, politics, and literature. She is the author of Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama (Toronto 2004), Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (Palgrave 2008), and Indifference to Difference: On Queer Universalism (Minnesota, 2015). She is also the editor of Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Duke 2010), which put queer theory in conversation with every one of Shakespeare’s poems and plays. Named a “monumental” book by CHOICE magazine,Shakesqueer is already in its second print run.

Her current book project is titled A History of Desire in India and puts into conversation the major ideas of queer theory with the history of ideas in India.

Professor Menon teaches classes on queer theory, the politics of desire and identity, literary theory, Renaissance literature, and Shakespeare. She has taught at Ithaca College and American University. Prior to completing her Ph.D from Tufts University in Boston, she did her B.A. and M.A. in English from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, where she stood first in College in her BA, and was a University gold-medalist in her M.A.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee

Professor of History, Ashoka University
D.Phil. Oxford University

Rudrangshu Mukherjee is Professor of History at Ashoka University. He is a renowned historian and author, and was most recently Editor of the Editorial Pages, at The Telegraph, Kolkata.

Prof. Mukherjee has taught history at the University of Calcutta and held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Manchester and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prof. Mukherjee studied at Calcutta Boys’ School, Presidency College, Kolkata, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was awarded a D.Phil in Modern History by the University of Oxford in 1981.

Prof Mukherjee is internationally acclaimed as a historian of the revolt of 1857 in India. His first book Awadh in Revolt, 1857-58: A Study of Popular Resistance has become a standard reference on the subject. He has looked at the 1857 rebellion in four other books: Spectre of Violence: The 1857 Kanpur Massacres, Mangal Pandey: Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero?, Dateline 1857: Revolt against the Raj and The Year of Blood: Essays on 1857.

He has also authored and edited several books on other themes, including The Penguin Gandhi Reader, Trade and Politics and the Indian Ocean World: Essays in Honour of Ashin Das Gupta, Remembered Childhood: Essays in Honour of Andre Beteille, New Delhi: The Making of a Capital and Great Speeches of Modern India. His forthcoming book is Nehru & Bose: Parallel Lives.

Vaiju Naravane

Professor of Journalism and Media Studies, Ashoka University

Email : vaiju.naravane@ashoka.edu.in

Vaiju Naravane is Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Media Studies at Ashoka University. For the past three decades she has held senior positions covering Europe, notably for The Times of India, Radio France Internationale, AITV and The Hindu. Prof. Naravane has taught Journalism and Contemporary Indian Literature at Sciences-Po, both in Paris and Le Havre and was the Director of Information of the Geneva-based World Health Organization. She is Foreign Fiction Editor at Albin Michel in Paris and is currently working on her second novel.

Prof. Naravane obtained degrees in the Humanities and Journalism from Pune University and spent a year travelling and writing in the USA as a Fellow of the World Press Institute, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Rajendran Narayanan

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Ashoka University
Ph.D Cornell University
Email : rajendran.narayanan@ashoka.edu.in

Rajendran Narayanan joins as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Ashoka University. Rajendran completed his Ph.D from the Department of Statistical Science, Cornell University in 2012.
Upon completion of his Ph.D, Rajendran joined the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata as a Visiting Scientist. Simultaneously, he started working on a project titled ‘Combating Corruption with Mobile Phones’ (CCMP) initiated by the Program for Liberation Technology, Stanford University. This project comprises a strong inter-disciplinary team of activists, information scientists, development economists and anthropologists.
Before joining Ashoka, Rajendran worked as a Visiting Lecturer at Cornell. He completed his Bachelors in statistics from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and a Masters in Applied Statistics and Informatics from IIT Bombay in 2002.  He worked for four years in the analytics industry prior to beginning his Ph.D.

Pratyay Nath

Assistant Professor of History, Ashoka University
Ph.D. History, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Pratyay Nath is Assistant Professor of History at Ashoka University. Trained as a historian of medieval and early modern South Asia, he specialises in the history of war and empire. He earned his PhD in History from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2016. His work explores the inter-relationship between warfare, environment, and empire-building in Mughal North India. Areas of his interest include Mughal history, imperial history, military history, global history, environmental history, and early modern history. He is currently working on his book-project.

Prior to joining Ashoka, Pratyay Nath taught medieval and early modern history at Miranda House, New Delhi, at St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and at Presidency College (now Presidency University), Calcutta. He was awarded the DAAD-funded ‘A New Passage to India III’ fellowship for 2013-14, whereby he worked for a year as a research fellow at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, Germany. Several of his research articles have been published in edited volumes and conference proceedings.

Pratyay Nath completed his Bachelor’s in History from Presidency College, Calcutta in 2006 and his Master’s in History from University of Calcutta in 2008 with a specialisation in the history of early medieval South Asia. He earned his MPhil in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2011.

Sebastian Normandin

Assistant Professor of Science, Ashoka University
Ph.D. McGill University
Email : sebastian.normandin@ashoka.edu.in

Sebastian Normandin is Assistant Professor of Science at Ashoka University. He has a background in the history and philosophy of science, specifically biology and medicine, and is also interested in the concepts of scientism, pseudoscience and the scientific fringe and how these ideas impact society.  He completed his B.A. in History from Concordia University in Montreal and studied at the University of Toronto before completing his graduate studies at McGill University in 2006.  His thesis topic was the history of vitalism and ideas of life force; this has sparked his recent research interest in the history of breath and breathing practice, exploring their cultural, philosophical, historical, spiritual and medical aspects.  Before joining the faculty at Ashoka, Dr. Normandin taught at Michigan State University, where he developed a number of courses in the history and philosophy of science popular with students.

Janice Pariat

Professor, Creative Writing and Critical Thinking, Ashoka University
English Literature, St.Stephen's College
History of Art, School of Oriental and African Studies
Email : janice.pariat@ashoka.edu.in

Janice Pariat is the author of Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories and Seahorse: A Novel. She was awarded the Young Writer Award from the Sahitya Akademi (Indian National Academy of Letters) and the Crossword Book Award for Fiction in 2013. Seahorse was shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize 2015. She studied English Literature at St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Her work—including art reviews, cultural features, book reviews, fiction and poetry—has featured in a wide selection of national magazines and newspapers. She writes a monthly literary column “Paperwallah” for The Hindu BL Ink. In 2014, she was the Charles Wallace Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. Currently, she lives in New Delhi, India, and teaches Critical Writing and a Creative Writing Minor at Ashoka University.


Mahesh Rangarajan

Professor of History and Environmental Studies

Email : mahesh.rangarajan@ashoka.edu.in

Mahesh Rangarajan  has a BA in History from the University of Delhi. He has an MA and PhD from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

He has been Professor in Modern Indian History at the University of Delhi and also taught at the universities of Cornell and Jadavpur and at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru. He has also served as Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi.

His first book, Fencing the Forest was published in 1996. His most recent work is Nature and Nation (2015).

He also authored India’s Wildlife History (2001) and co-authored, Towards Coexistence: People, Parks and Wildlife (2000). Two recent co-edited works are Nature Without Borders (2014) and Shifting Ground ( 2014).

Dr Grant Rich

Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D. University of Chicago

Grant J. Rich received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Chicago. His work focuses on optimal cross-cultural human development, international positive psychology, mixed methods, and integrating traditional and contemporary healing modalities. He is co-editor of the book Pathfinders in International Psychology (2015). He was editor of APA’s International Psychology Bulletin (2010-2014), and received the President’s Award for Extraordinary Service: APA Division of International Psychology (2014). A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, he has taught at several institutions across the globe, recently in Alaska and in Cambodia. He has authored dozens of articles, chapters, and reviews, presenting at international conferences from Africa and Europe, to Mexico and the Caribbean, to the Middle East. Presently, he has authored or coauthored articles in press at American Psychologist and at the Journal of Positive Psychology. A board certified massage therapist (NCBTMB), he is editor of the academic research book, Massage Therapy: The Evidence for Practice (2002) and has served on medical missions internationally.

Anuradha Saha

Assistant Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Indian Statistical Institute
Email : anuradha.saha@ashoka.edu.in

Anuradha Saha is Assistant Professor of Economics; she completed her Ph.D at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre. She earned her B.Sc. in Physics from St. Stephen’s College in 2007.

She subsequently received her Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 2009. Professor Saha’s research interests include Macroeconomic Theory, Growth Theory, and Development Economics. Her thesis focused on sectoral growth with emphasis on services sector dynamics.

She is currently interested in how different sectors contribute to growth. Understanding inter-sectoral dynamics is important for tracking changes in employment and determining sources of economic growth. She has recently started studying the effects of monetary and fiscal policy in emerging economies. She is trying to understand how the effectiveness of these policies depends on institutions and market structures.

Maya Saran

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Email : maya.saran@ashoka.edu.in

Maya Saran is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Ashoka University, which she joined as founding faculty in 2014. She also serves as Programme Coordinator for Mathematics at Ashoka.

After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, Dr. Saran worked for Development Alternatives researching sustainable building materials for rural Indian communities. She earned her PhD in Mathematics in 2011 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was recognized as an ‘Outstanding’ graduate instructor. In 2003 she was also a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Her specialty is Mathematical Logic.

Kranti Saran

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Harvard University
Email : saran@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://krantisaran.net/

Kranti Saran is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka University. He earned his doctorate at Harvard University’s Department of Philosophy in 2011, and has since been a Fellow in Philosophy at Harvard and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Most recently, he has been an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Delhi.

Dr. Saran’s chief interest is in the philosophy of perception. He works on the intentionality of bodily sensations, the metaphysics of constitution in the philosophy of mind, the metaphysics of bodily sensations, and the nature of cognitive penetration, introspection, memory and their connection to bodily states. Other topics that capture his interest include pictorial depiction, non-theistic faith and the epistemological significance of death.

Anshuman Sen

St.Stephen's, Delhi
Email : anshuman.sen@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://www.anshumansen.com/

My name is Anshuman Sen, and I will write about myself in the first person. I love taking photographs and have managed reasonably well to make enough money from it, to live life on my own terms. The most attractive thing about loving what I do is the freedom it affords me. I’ve never worked a single day in my life, and the day I don’t feel this way, I will stop shooting. My current photographic practice involves shooting Hotels, Architectural/Interior Spaces. I also undertake travel assignments from time to time for magazines. Being completely self-taught, I see myself as a life-long student and am amazed at how every moment has something for us to learn. My three sessions at Ashoka, I am sure, have enriched me much more than my lovely fellow students brimming with ideas and enthusiasm. I cannot imagine a space more suited to a liberal arts education. You can see some of my work at www.anshumansen.com. The photographs and drawings are quite average but I’m committed to constant improvement.

Had it not been for photography, I might have died of boredom in my early twenties. Portraits fascinate me for their unique view of the human brain.  More ambiguous than an MRI, and just as beautiful, a photograph is about us and what we stand for. I read philosophy at St. Stephens College (Delhi) and have been home-schooling in photography ever since


Anisha Sharma

Assistant Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
PhD. University of Oxford
Email : anisha.sharma@ashoka.edu.in

Anisha Sharma is Assistant Professor of Economics at Ashoka University. Her research interests are in the area of development economics, labour economics, firms, and public policy.

Anisha completed her doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford in 2016. In her dissertation, she used survey data to study different dimensions of resource misallocation in Indonesia – in investments in education over time, in the transition of workers across employment sectors, and in productivity increases across firms. Before that, she received an MSc in Financial Economics (2008), and an MSc in Economics for Development (2009) from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a BA (Hons) in Economics (2007) from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

Before Ashoka, Anisha taught undergraduate microeconomics and mathematics at Brasenose College, Oxford, for three years. As an Overseas Development Institute Fellow (2009-11), she worked as an economist in South Africa’s National Treasury on developing policies to preserve macro-prudential  stability in the banking and financial system, in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis.


Vinay Sitapati

Assistant Professor, Political Science and Legal Studies
Ph.D. Princeton University
Email : vinay.sitapati@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://scholar.princeton.edu/sitapati

Vinay Sitapati is assistant professor of political science and legal studies at Ashoka University. He has studied at National Law School Bangalore and Harvard University, worked at the Indian Express, and will be graduating with a PhD in politics from Princeton University in 2016.

He has written for publications as diverse as the Economic & Political Weekly, International New York Times, The Indian Express, Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal, The Hindu, Harvard Crimson, Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, and Seminar.

Sitapati’s biography of Indian prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, Half-Lion, was published in June 2016 by Penguin Books, and is already a best-seller. You can read the reviews here: http://scholar.princeton.edu/sitapati/cv. The Telugu translation (by Emesco Books) has also proved a best-seller. The Tamil, Marathi and Hindi translations will be released early 2017, and the book is currently under review with Oxford University Press, USA.

Tulsi Srinivasan

Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Ashoka University
BS.c Mathematics, St.Joseph's College, Bangalore
MS.c Mathematics, IIT Madras
Doctoral Studies, University of Florida

Tulsi Srinivasan is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Ashoka University. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Florida in 2015. Her research interests include dimension theory, algebraic topology and geometric group theory.

She has a B.Sc. from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore and an M.Sc. in mathematics from IIT Madras. Prior to joining Ashoka, she spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

Aditi Sriram

Assistant Professor, Academic Writing, Ashoka University
M.F.A.,The New School, New York
Email : aditi.sriram@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://www.aditisriram.com/

Aditi Sriram teaches Introduction to Critical Thinking at Ashoka University and runs the university’s Peer Tutoring Program. Before this, she taught College Writing and Creative Writing at State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase for two years. Aditi has also directed and taught creative writing programs for high school students all over the US. She pursued graduate studies in Creative Writing at The New School, after 5 years as a consultant for Accenture in New York City, and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Columbia University.

Aditi freelances for several publications including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Guernica Magazine in the US, The Guardian in the UK, and Outlook and Fountain Ink in India. She is also exploring the Indian art of oral storytelling, which she has experimented with in New York City under the label ‘urban harikatha’.
Currently, she is working on a narrative nonfiction book about Pondicherry, as part of a series on Indian cities by Aleph Book Company in Delhi.

Ravi Sriramachandran

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Columbia University
Email : ravindran.sriramachandran@ashoka.edu.in

Ravi Sriramachandran is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Ashoka University. He teaches classes on identity and difference, ethnic strife, modern India, and South Indian Folklore. Since 2009, he has taught at education institutions like American University Sharjah, Ambedkar University Delhi and Columbia University, New York.

Ravi did his Bachelors in English Literature from Madras University, then pursued a Master’s in Folklore from St. Xavier’s College and went on to do his Ph.D from Columbia University. His research interests include Semiotics, Philosophical Anthropology, South Asian Politics, and Film Studies.

Aparna Vaidik

Associate Professor of History, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Jawaharlal Nehru University

Aparna Vaidik is Associate Professor of History at Ashoka University. She formerly taught at Georgetown University, USA, offering courses such as Nation and Nationalism, Indian Ocean in Age of Empire, The Politics of Violence, Gandhi and World History and Colonialism and Culture. She also served on comprehensive exam and dissertation committee of several graduate students. Prof. Vaidik taught at the University of Delhi for five years during and after her Ph.D. teaching subjects ranging from Classical Antiquity, the Russian Revolution to the History of Modern China and Japan.

Prof. Vaidik did her Bachelor’s in History from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. There she won the Westcott Memorial Prize for distinguished work in history and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She then went on to do her Master’s in History from University of Cambridge. Her senior thesis at Cambridge on Lord Curzon’s cultural policy won the Dorothy Foster Sturman Prize. She then earned her Ph.D. in History from the Center for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Prof. Vaidik’s first book was on the spatial and penal history of the Andaman Islands, Imperial Andamans: Colonial Encounter and Island History, Palgrave Macmillan, Cambridge Imperial and Postcolonial Studies Series, Basingstoke, 2010. She has published research articles in international peer-reviewed journals: ‘Settling the Convict: Matrimony and Family in the Andamans’, Studies in History, 22, 2, 2006, 221-251 and ‘A History of a Renegade Revolutionary: Revolutionism and Betrayal in Colonial India’, Postcolonial Studies, 16, 2, 2013, 216-229. She has contributed book chapters to two edited volumes: ‘Working an Island Colony: Convict Labour Regime in the Colonial Andamans (1858-1921)’ in Marcel ven der Linden & Prabhu Mohapatra, eds, Labour Matters, Towards Global Histories, Tulika, 2009, 57-81 and ‘‘The Wild Andamans”: Island Imageries and Colonial Encounter’ in Deepak Kumar, Vinita Damodaran and Rohan D’Souza, eds, The British Empire and the Natural World: Environmental Encounters in South Asia, Oxford University Press, 2010, 17-42 and various book reviews to journals such as Studies in History, Biblio, and Indian Historical Review. She has received several research grants from Indian Council for Historical Research, Georgetown University and the Charles Wallace Trust. Currently she is working on the history of Indian revolutionary movement in north India.

Vanita Shastri

Dean, Undergraduate Programmes

Email : vanita.shastri@ashoka.edu.in

Vanita Shastri is the Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Ashoka University in India. In this role she works with the Vice Chancellor and the Pro Vice Chancellor to concretize the university’s vision for an all-inclusive education of the undergraduate students at the University. Previously she was the Executive Director of TiE-Boston, the second largest chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) that fosters entrepreneurship globally through mentoring networking and education.

Vanita has a Ph.D. from Cornell University and has taught at Boston University, University of Massachusetts and Wellesley College. She has also been a policy consultant at Harvard University, where she wrote a number of policy papers, including one on the “Software Policy of India” for the Government of India. Vanita was part of the founding team at Redwood Investment Systems, Inc. where she set up their wholly owned subsidiary in India and directed their global operations.

Vanita is an educationist, an entrepreneur and an artist. She has founded two non-profit organizations, including the Meru Education Foundation in USA and the Habitat Learning Center in Delhi in India. She is the author of two books, The Salem India Story and a co-edited book called, “Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability in Business.” She is also a trained Indian classical dancer.

Gilles Verniers

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ashoka University
Ph.D. candidate at Sciences Po
Email : gilles.verniers@ashoka.edu.in

Gilles Verniers is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ashoka University. He is also joint course coordinator and faculty at Ashoka University’s Young India Fellowship on two courses titled ‘the BRICS course’ and ‘Governing the Indian Metropolis’. His research interests include Mechanisms of representation and participation in India, State politics, Democratisation in South Asia, Sociology of elected representatives, controversies and problems in India’s democracy, Ethnic and Post-Identity Politics, Minority Politics, Political parties.

Gilles completed his B.A in Economics, Social and Political Sciences from the University of St. Louis, Brussels in 2000. He earned his M.A. in Political and Social Sciences with a specialization in International Relations from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium in 2004. He completed his M.Phil in Comparative Politics and Societies with a specialization in Asia from Sciences Po in 2005. He started his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Centre for International Research and Studies (CERI), Sciences Po, and is an Associate Researcher at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi.

Mr. Verniers has been a visiting scholar at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley and a part of several research projects including a project on the visuality of Democracy funded by the Alliance Program at Columbia University, co-coordinator on a project on the sociology of Representatives in India conducted jointly by Sciences Po, LSE, King’s India Institute, JNU and Ambedkar University Lucknow, as well as a project on the Social Profiling of MPs and MLAs funded by Sciences Po, on which he serves as a co-coordinator along with Prof. Christophe Jaffrelot (a member of Ashoka University’s Academic Council). He is the co-Editor of a forthcoming book on the sociology of elected representatives in India, with Prof. Christophe Jaffrelot and Dr. Sanjay Kumar, CSDS. Before joining Ashoka, he served as Sciences Po Paris’ Representative in India, in charge of student and faculty mobility and academic cooperation with various Indian partners. He came to New Delhi in 2005 on a French embassy to India lectureship, teaching French at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Alex Watson

Professor of Indian Philosophy, Ashoka University
D.Phil. University of Oxford
Email : alex.watson@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://harvard.academia.edu/AlexWatso

Alex Watson is Professor of Indian Philosophy at Ashoka University. He was formerly Preceptor in Sanskrit in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. His D.Phil. was from Balliol College, University of Oxford. Following that he held research fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford, at the École française d’Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry, India, at Kyushu University, Japan, and at the University of Vienna.

His research interests include Buddhist Philosophy, Indian Philosophy (especially Mimamsa, Nyaya and Saivism), Sanskrit Language and Literature. He is author of The Self’s Awareness of Itself (2006) and, with Dominic Goodall and S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma, An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation (moksa) (2014), as well as numerous articles on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Some of these are in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Indian Philosophy. Others are chapters in books that are suitable as teaching materials: The Routledge History of Indian Philosophy and The Continuum Guide to Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology.

Each semester that he taught at Harvard, Prof. Watson received a University Certificate of Teaching Excellence.

He also trained for three years to become a psychotherapist and has published articles on Freud and on Existential-Phenomenological Psychotherapy, a tradition that seeks its inspiration from philosophers such as Nietzsche and Heidegger.

He is currently working on translations of the Haracaritacintamani, a 13th century compendium of Saiva mythology, and the Nyayamañjari, an extraordinarily learned and entertaining example of Classical Indian Philosophy from the 9th century. His hope is that philosophy courses both inside and outside India will soon contain as much classical Indian Philosophy as they do classical European Philosophy.

Valentina Zuin

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Stanford University
Email : valentina.zuin@ashoka.edu.in

Valentina Zuin is an interdisciplinary scholar, whose research and teaching aspires to make cities more livable places, especially for low income households. Her interests encompass urban service delivery, water and sanitation planning and policy, development policies, behavioral economics, and environmental science. Her research uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Valentina completed her doctoral degree in the Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University in 2014.  Her dissertation identifies sustainable, affordable and reliable models to improve water service delivery in urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, she focuses on water resale from neighbors in Maputo, Mozambique. She holds a Master’s in International Development and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a bachelor degree in Public Administration from Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.

Valentina has lived and worked in several countries across the globe, including Ecuador, Peru and Brazil in Latin America, Mozambique, Angola, and Benin in Africa, Switzerland, the United States, and currently India. She has over ten years of professional and academic experience in the water and sanitation sector, and has worked for international organizations such as the World Bank, as well as national government agencies. In her most recent appointment, she provided technical assistance to the Mozambican government, focusing on pro-poor regulatory instruments, and policies to increase water access for low income households.

Visiting Faculty

Amita Baviskar

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University; Associate Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, India
Ph.D. Cornell University

Amita Baviskar is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of environment and development. Her first book In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley (Oxford University Press) discussed the struggle for survival by adivasis in central India against a large dam. Her subsequent work further explores the themes of resource rights, subaltern resistance and cultural identity. She has edited Waterlines: The Penguin Book of River Writings (Penguin India); Waterscapes: The Cultural Politics of a Natural Resource (Permanent Black); Contested Grounds: Essays on Nature, Culture and Power (Oxford University Press); and Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray, Routledge). She is currently writing about bourgeois environmentalism and spatial restructuring in the context of economic liberalization in Delhi. Amita Baviskar has taught at the University of Delhi, and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, Cornell, Yale and the University of California at Berkeley. She is co-editor of the journal Contributions to Indian Sociology. She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences.

Amita did her BA in Economics from University of Delhi, MA in Sociology from University of Delhi and earned a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University.

Andre Beteille

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University;
Professor Emeritus, Delhi School of Economics,
University of Delhi
Ph.D. University of Delhi

Andre Beteille is one of India’s leading sociologists and writers. He is particularly well known for his studies of the caste system in South India. He is a Professor of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics at the University of Delhi where he is Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology from the University of Calcutta. Thereafter he received his doctorate from the University of Delhi. After a brief stint at the Indian Statistical Institute as a research fellow, he joined the faculty of sociology at the DSE.

In his long and distinguished career, he has in the past taught at Oxford University, Cambridge University, the University of Chicago, and the London School of Economics. He is currently Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

In 2005, Professor Béteille received the Padma Bhushan as a mark of recognition for his work in the field of Sociology. The same year he was appointed a member of the Prime Minister’s National Knowledge Commission. In 2006, following a proposal for increasing caste-based reservations, Andre Beteille quit the Commission in protest. In 2006, he was made National Professor.

Vivek Bhandari

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University Former Director, Institute of Rural Management, Anand
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania

Dr Vivek Bhandari was the Director and Professor of Social Science at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) in India. He is an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and the University of Pennsylvania. After earning his doctorate from UPenn, he became a faculty member at the School of Social Sciences at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. In this capacity, Dr Bhandari also taught and researched collaboratively at academic institutions in the Five College Consortium located in Massachusetts. He had been in this present role since 2007, when he moved to India after fifteen years in the US.

Born on March 4, 1970, Dr Bhandari is an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. He did his BA (Honors) in History from St. Stephen’s College, and then a Master’s in Modern History from the University of Delhi. He went on to do a second Master’s in South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and proceeded to complete his PhD in History from the same university.

Most recently, as a co-author of “The State of Panchayats Report: An Independent Assessment, 2007-08,” India’s first macro-study of institutions of local self-governance in India, Dr Bhandari has taken a particular interest in the study of social and community mobilizations in India, and explored strategies for mediation between the state and extremist movements. His work as a professor and the director of IRMA involves an in-depth engagement with the changing character of rural India, and the role that academic and civil society organisations can play in shaping the country’s fast-unraveling rural transformation. In 2008, Business Today magazine included him in its list of “India’s Top 25 Young Executives under the age of 40.” Most recently, on a short break from IRMA, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI)at the University of Pennsylvania.

Radu Carciumaru, Fellow of the German National Academic Foundation and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, is the Resident Representative of Heidelberg University in its New Delhi Branch Office.  He is also a governing board member of the German House for Research and Innovation.  Prior to coming to Delhi, Professor Carciumaru was Lecturer in Political Science and a PhD Researcher at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University as well as chairperson of the Advisory Council on Migration and Integration (Migrationsbeirat) of the City of Mannheim.  He is the managing editor of the Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Comparative Politics, co-founder of APSA foundation and Sri Lanka Working Group, fellow of South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF, Brussels), research fellow of the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, and former research fellow at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Professor Carciumaru’s areas of expertise include institutional design in plural societies, power sharing and negotiation theories, ethnic conflict regulation, international and regional cooperation, comparative politics, and political economy.  He has taught international politics (South Asia), comparative politics (South Asia and Eastern Europe), negotiation and game theories, theories and methods, and democratization as well as reconciliation in post-conflict countries.  His latest publication is “Negotiating Conflict and Accommodating Identity in South Asia” (Samskriti, New Delhi, 2015).
For more information visit: http://www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de/sapol/mitarbeiter/Carciumaru.html


Sanjeev Chatterjee

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University Professor, School of Communication, University of Miami
M.F.A. Brooklyn College

Dr Sanjeev Chatterjee is Vice Dean, Associate Professor and Executive Director at the Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami, where he has taught classes in studio and field production, media and society, writing and documentary production at the University of Miami. He received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002 and has been nominated two more times since.

Professor Chatterjee is producer, co-director and writer of a global motion picture project about potable water entitled “One Water”. An earlier short version of the film won two awards at the Broadcast Education Association and has been screened at special United Nations conferences in 2004 and 2005.

Prof. Chatterjee’s earlier documentary work explores issues of identity among people in the Indian diaspora. His films on the topic are “Bittersweet” (1995) about Asian Indians in the United States and “Pure Chutney” (1998) about people of Indian origin in Trinidad. “Pure Chutney” won second place at the Film South Asia competition in Kathmandu in 1999. In 2005 Professor Chatterjee completed “Dirty Laundry” – an essay film about people of Indian origin living in South Africa.

In 1999-2000, Professor Chatterjee was commissioned by the National Geographic Channel to produce television reports about environment and culture in India. The topics of these reports ranged from deforestation and habitat fragmentation to the survival of folk and classical dance in India.

Professor Chatterjee has served on the Advisory Board for the Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy since its inception in 2003. In 2006 he accepted the responsibility to advise the global online enterprise databazaar.com on their philanthropy aimed at supporting American and Indian students in the fields of Visual Journalism. Professor Chatterjee earned his M A in English Literature from Delhi University and his M.F.A. in Television Production from Brooklyn College.

Dario Darji

Visiting Professor of Mathematics, Ashoka University
Ph.D Auburn University, Alabama
Email : dario.darji@ashoka.edu.in

Darji is a professor of mathematics at the University of Louisville and currently a visiting professor of mathematics at Ashoka University.


He received his BS in mathematics from University of Houston and his Ph.D. from Auburn University.  He was a post-doctoral fellow at North Carolina State University.  The past recipient of Fulbright Award to Budapest, he enjoys international collaboration on several continents. He has ongoing projects with mathematicians in Brazil, France, Scotland. In addition, he has held visiting research positions in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Japan ; and Netherlands.


He has over fifty research articles in various fields of mathematics, including geometric measure theory, topology, applications of descriptive set theory and topological dynamics. His present projects concern chaos in linear dynamics and symbolic dynamics. His theoretical research has been funded by various government agencies of Brazil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. In addition, he was a consultant for the Department of Defense of the United States government.


His hobbies include backpacking through exotic places, learning new languages and experiencing new cultures.

Dipankar Dasgupta

Visiting Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Rochester, NY, USA
Email : dipankar.dasgupta@ashoka.edu.in
Website : https://dipankardasgupta.com/

Dipankar Dasgupta worked as Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi and Kolkata. He was Visiting Professor of Economics at Otaru University of Commerce, Otaru, Japan, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, Visiting Foreign Scholar at Osaka University and Kobe University, Japan, Visiting Professor of Economics, City University of Hong Kong, and Assistant Professor, York University, Toronto, Canada.

His research work covers the areas of General Equilibrium Theory, Linear Economic Models, Public Finance, Macroeconomics and Growth Theory. He has published around 40 papers in these areas in academic journals, including the Journal of Economic Theory, the Journal of Mathematical Economics, the Journal of Development Economics, Public Finance, the Journal of Public Economic Theory and edited volumes of books published by Oxford University Press and the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). He has written three books, The Macroeconomy, Growth Theory: Solow and his Modern Exponents and Modern Growth Theory, published by Oxford University Press. He is currently engaged in writing two books, the first one on Macroeconomic Theory addressing Indian economy issues and the second one on Social Accounting for the Indian Economy.

Quite apart from his academic interests, Dipankar Dasgupta often writes columns on current economic affairs for English and Bengali dailies as well as magazines. He also participates in television talk shows involving economic issues.

He has a number of hobbies. He is interested in creative writing which he normally collects in his website www.dipankardasgupta.com. These include short stories, flash fiction, haiku and memoirs in English, nonsense rhymes in Bengali, and English transcreations of post Tagore Bengali poetry. He is deeply interested in stage acting and has acted in Shakespearean plays directed by Utpal Dutt and Bengali plays directed by Shekhar Chatterjee and Kamal Kumar Majumdar. He practices vocal music in Bengali. Recently he participated in an experimental project involving the writing of a crime fiction called GUN, each chapter of which was contributed by a different author. It has been published by Fahrenheit Press, USA as a kindle book for the time being. He is interested in the Japanese language, which he can read, write and speak. He published a paper on linear economic models in a Japanese academic journal.

Subhadra Desai

Visiting Faculty of Performing Arts and Sanskrit, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Delhi
Email : subhadra.desai@ashoka.edu.in

Dr Subhadra Desai is Visiting Faculty of Performing Arts and Sanskrit at Ashoka University since October, 2015. She is a professional Vocalist of Hindustani Classical genre and has also been engaged in teaching Music and Sanskrit at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and Lady Sriram College for Women, in Delhi, respectively.

Subhadra performs regularly at various music festivals and other forums in India and abroad. She is an empanelled artist with Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and is an accredited A grade artist at All India Radio and Television.

Dr. Desai’s academic/interdisciplinary works include a book: Music in Valmiki’s Ramayana, published in 2008. An independent research project on ‘Songs of Women Seers of India’ is slated to be published by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, in March, 2017. She has also worked on the Samavedic traditions of Vedic chanting/singing, the outcome of which will be published as part of her research with IGNCA. Several of her research articles on Indian Music are published in leading academic and cultural journals in India.

Subhadra has composed ancient texts in Sanskrit and Pali in classical Ragas, which include: Jaideva’s Ashtapadi, Vedic and Upanishadic hymns based on the ancient philosophy of Advaita, Vedic hymns on Marriage, and Buddhist texts from Dhammapada, Mahamangala Sutta.

Dr Desai’s lecture-demonstrations and workshops on Indian Music are much sought after, which she regularly presents at the Centre for Cultural Resources & Training, India Habitat Centre, India International Centre in Delhi, and Vedanta Centres in Washington DC and Rhode Islands.

Her contribution to Music and Culture has been recognised by Manimann National fellowship, Sanskriti Pratishthan, New Delhi (2005), Sahitya Kala Parishad National fellowship (1991-92), Gold medal at the Korea Spring Festival (1999), Bhagirathi Award (2010) and the Woman of the Year Award, Delhi Gynaecological Forum, Delhi (2011)

Neha Dixit

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University

Email : neha.dixit@ashoka.edu.in

Neha Dixit is an an independent journalist based in New Delhi, India. She covers politics, gender and social Justice in South Asia. She has worked with multiple mediums and reported for Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Foreign Policy Caravan, Outlook and others.
She has won the PII-ICRC Award for Best report on Humanitarian Subject 2015, Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism 2014, Trust Women Honorary Journalist of the Year 2013, Thomson Reuters Foundation and Lorenzo Natali Prize for Journalism, 2011 by the European Commission among others. She is a contributor to the UNESCO Casebook of Investigative Journalism 2011. 

Andrew Forsberg

Visiting Professor of Introduction to Critical Thinking, Ashoka University

Email : andrew.forsberg@ashoka.edu.in

Dr Andrew Forsberg joins Ashoka as a visiting faculty member for the Monsoon Semester, 2016, and is teaching Ashoka’s Introduction to Critical Thinking course. Previously, as a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland, he taught a variety of courses in the English and Writing Studies programmes, including introductions to the language and literature of the medieval and renaissance periods, interdisciplinary foundation courses in thinking and writing at a tertiary level, and numerous advanced courses involving historical literature, theory, film and tv, drama, and poetics.

Simon Green

Visiting Professor of History
D.Phil, University of Oxford
Email : simon.green@ashoka.edu.in

Professor S.J.D. Green is Professor of Modern History at the University of Leeds.  He is also Extraordinary Research Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where he was first elected a Prize Fellow in 1982.  He was Birkbeck Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge in 2013-14.  He has been a Visiting Professor in History and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago and has also lectured in British history and in the history of ideas at the University of Texas, Austin, as well as other universities in the United States and elsewhere.  He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries in London.  He holds a BA, MA and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.  His many publications include: Religion in the Age of Decline (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and The Passing of Protestant England (Cambridge University Press, 2011), also (ed. with R.C. Whiting) The Boundaries of the State in Modern Britain (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and (ed. with Robert Crowcroft and R.C. Whiting) The Philosophy, Politics and Religion of British Democracy (I.B. Tauris, 2010).

He is currently completing a  book, which expands upon his Birkbeck Lectures, entitled The Rise and Fall of the Faithful City: Christianisation and De-Christainisation in England, c.1850-1950 to be published by Cambridge University Press.  He is also currently completing a narrative history of All Souls College, Oxford since c. 1850.

Christophe Jaffrelot

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University; Research Director, CNRS, Sciences Po; Visiting Professor, King's India Institute (London); Global Scholar, Princeton University
Ph.D. Sciences Po

Christophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and teaches South Asian politics and history at Sciences Po (Paris). He was Director of CERI (Centre d’Etudeset de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po, between 2000 and 2008. His research interests include: theories of nationalism and democracy; mobilization of the lower castes and untouchables in India; the Hindu nationalist movement; ethnic conflicts in Pakistan.

Christophe holds degrees from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (IEP), the University of Paris I-Sorbonne, the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) and a Ph.D. in political science. He joined the CNRS in 1991 and was awarded the CNRS Bronze Medal in 1993. He became a senior research Fellow in 2002. He has served as director of CERI of 2000-2008.Directs four book series published by Fayard, Autrement, Hurst and Palgrave; former editor-in-chief (1998-2003) and current director of Critique Internationale. He is the member of the steering committee of Aspen France and of the scientific councils of SüdasienInstitut, Heidelberg and IUED, Geneva. He chairs the Asia Group at the DGCID of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He also teaches Indian Politics and Sociology at the King’s University India Institute and is a regular Visitor at the universities of Yale, Princeton, SAIS and Columbia University. He has to his credit publications such as, India’s Silent Revolution:The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India, London, Hurst, 2003, The Hindu nationalist movement and Indian politics, 1925 to the 1990s, London, Hurst 1999. His recent publications include Armed Militias of South Asia, co-edited with L. Gayer, London, Hurst, 2010, India since 1950, Yatra Books/Cambridge University Press, 2011, and the Muslims in Indian Cities, Hurst/Harper Collins, which was released in 2012.

Dwight Jaggard

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University Professor and Undergraduate Curriculum Chair, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Dr Dwight Jaggard is Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and Undergraduate Curriculum Chair at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr Jaggard consults, coaches and teaches around the world on leadership development, team building, enhancing communications and influence as well as on technical topics. His blend of interpersonal, business, academic and technology skills provides an ideal background for working with individuals from diverse backgrounds. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), and is director of the EMTM (Executive Master’s of Technology Management) Program at Penn. He was the co-founder of a high-technology business.

Dr Jaggard has successfully taught over a thousand students on three continents about the foundations of leadership. He has published some 120 journal papers, authored numerous book chapters, edited a book and given several hundred technical talks. He has also been awarded five patents.

Devesh Kapur

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University; Director, Center for the Advanced Study of India & Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Princeton University

Devesh Kapur was appointed Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India in 2006. He is Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, and holds the position of Madan Lal Sobti Professor for the Study of Contemporary India. Prior to arriving at Penn, Professor Kapur was Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, and, before that, the Frederick Danziger Associate Professor of Government at Harvard.

His research focuses on human capital, national and international public institutions, and the ways in which local-global linkages, especially international migration and international institutions, affect political and economic change in developing countries, especially India. His new book, Diaspora, Democracy and Development: The Impact of International Migration from India, was published by Princeton University Press in August 2010.

He is the recipient of the Joseph R. Levenson Teaching Prize awarded to the best junior faculty at Harvard in 2005.

Professor Kapur holds a B. Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University; an MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota; and a Ph. D. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.

A. K. Shiva Kumar

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University
Member, National Advisory Council; Advisor, UNICEF; Visiting Professor, Harvard & ISB Ph.D. Harvard University

A. K. Shiva Kumar is a development economist and professor. In addition to serving as an advisor to UNICEF – India, he is a member of India’s National Advisory Council. The council was set up in June 2004 to oversee the implementation of India’s National Common Minimum Programme.

Dr Kumar earned his postgraduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and his M A in economics from Bangalore University. He also holds a Master’s degree in public administration and a Ph.D in political economy and government from Harvard University.

Shiva Kumar teaches economics and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a visiting professor at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. He has focused his research on poverty and human development, social sector analysis, and the impact of development policies on children and women.

Shiva Kumar has been a regular contributor to UNDP’s Annual Human Development Reports. He has also been associated with the preparation of national human development reports in a number of countries including Bhutan, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar and Serbia. In 2003, Kumar co-edited the book Readings in Human Development. His other publications include the Public Report on Basic Education (PROBE) (Oxford University Press, 1999) and a co-authored report entitled, Women in India: How free? How Equal?, for the UN System in India.

Neil Lutsky

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, Carleton College Ph.D. Harvard University

Neil Lutsky is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychology (until July 2014) at Carleton College.

Prof. Lutsky’s interests include the teaching of social psychology, social influence and social perception, and gerontology, and he is widely published in these disciplines. Within social and personality psychology, he is specifically interested in obedience to authority, psychology and the Holocaust, stereotyping, social perception and attribution, personality consistency and stability, and the psychology of endings.

Before Carleton, Prof. Lutsky has held appointments at Stanford University and Wellesley College. He is a former president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, the 2001 recipient of the Walter D. Mink Undergraduate Teacher Award and the 2011 recipient of the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award, the highest national award for teaching given by the American Psychological Foundation.

He was the first director of a Department of Education FIPSE grant to Carleton on ‘Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge’, called the Quirk initiative, from 2004 to 2008, and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Numeracy Network.

Prof. Lutsky did his B.S. in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He then went on to pursue Social Psychology at Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1977.

Ajit Mishra

Visiting Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Delhi School of Economics
Email : ajit.mishra@ashoka.edu.in

Professor Ajit Mishra’s primary research interests are in the field of Development Economics. He works on issues related to Governance and Corruption, Economics of Enforcement, Measurement of Vulnerability, Inequality and Conflict. He has been teaching in the University of Bath since 2007.

Prof. Mishra has taught at various places including University of Dundee, Edinburgh University, Delhi School of Economics and Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. He has been a visitor at several institutions including Boston University, Cornell University, Louisiana State University, Monash University, Chr. Michelsens Institute (CMI) and the World Institute of Development Economics Research (WIDER).  He has also served as consultant for the World Bank and UNDP.

Prof. Mishra has published in leading journals and he has edited journal special issues and books on corruption and governance. Prof. Mishra holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Delhi.

Hannah Morris

Visiting Professor, Critical Writing, Young India Fellowship
Ph.D. University of Florida
Email : hannah.morris@ashoka.edu.in

Hannah Marie Morris joins Ashoka as a visiting faculty member in writing, teaching Critical Writing in the YIF program. Dr. Morris’ experience includes teaching students on study abroad, co-leading short term foreign study tours for 14-100 students, researching international education, developing communications strategies, and advising students applying to undergraduate and graduate institutions across the globe.

As a scholar, Dr. Morris’ research focuses on the rich learning opportunities students experience in intercultural settings. From international education to diversity in the classroom setting, she focuses on the importance of discourse and self-reflection in the individual learning process. As an educator, Dr. Morris strives to help students develop their own strengths and competencies, build confidence, and inspire a passion for learning. When a student enters the classroom, she endeavors for them to feel a sense of ownership in their learning as an active, respectful, and engaging participant.

Prior to joining Ashoka, Dr. Morris worked at Babson College (USA), Sichuan University (China), and the University of Florida (USA). Dr. Morris earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, M.A. in International Business, and B.S. in Business Administration all from the University of Florida.

Pulin B Nayak

Visiting Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph D University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Email : pulin.nayak@ashoka.edu.in

Pulin B Nayak is presently a visiting faculty, teaching Economics, at Ashoka University.  He was formerly Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.  He was the Director of the Delhi School of Economics during 2005-08.  During 2013-14 he was a Member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

Professor Nayak’s research has been primarily in the areas of public economics, applied welfare economics, and development economics.  In 2015 he edited a 4 volume set of readings on ‘Economic Development of India’ which was published by Routledge, London.  He has recently co-edited a volume entitled ‘The Economy of Odisha: A Profile’, published by Oxford University Press, New Delhi, published in 2016.

Professor Nayak’s main research activity has been centred on a critical evaluation of the government’s tax and expenditure policies.  He frequently comments and writes opinion pieces on government policy in some of the major national newspapers and journals.


One of Professor Nayak’s major areas of interest has been to examine the claims and validity of alternative modes of economic theorising.  For some time he has been engaged in researching on the body of thought which is today known under the rubric of Gandhian economics, and its relevance, particularly in the Indian context.  There are also some wider areas of interest, including environmental economics, the present state of India’s economic development, and the political economy of contemporary capitalism.

Roy Perrett

Visiting Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D University of Otago
Email : perrett@hawaii.edu

Roy W. Perrett is presently Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka.  He is also a Research Associate of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, and was formerly Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He was educated in New Zealand at the Universities of Canterbury (MA) and Otago (PhD), and in India as a Commonwealth Scholar at the Banaras Hindu University. Subsequently he taught philosophy at various universities in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. He has published widely on both Indian and Western philosophy, including six authored or edited books, the most recent of which is An Introduction to Indian Philosophy (Cambridge University Press 2016).

Sanjiva Prasad

Visiting Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D, University at Stony Brook

Sanjiva Prasad is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD). His current research interests include mobile distributed computing, in particular concurrent and functional programming languages, process calculi and the analysis and verification of network and security protocols.
He has also been active in the area of medical applications of computing, on topics such as mHealth, applications of mobile computing in public health, securing HIS records, and neurosurgery skills training. He was till recently the coordinator of the Amar Nath and Shashi Khosla School of Information Technology.

Sanjiva Prasad earned his B. Tech from IIT Kanpur in 1985, and his MS and PhD degrees from the University at Stony Brook in 1990 and 1991. He worked at ORA Corporation Ithaca (1990-92) and then ECRC GmbH Munich (1992-94) as a researcher before joining the faculty at IIT Delhi in 1994. He was a Visiting Lektor at BRICS, Aarhus University in 1998-9.

Srinath Raghavan

Visiting Professor of International Relations, Ashoka University
Ph.D. King's College, London
Email : srinath.raghavan@ashoka.edu.in

Srinath Raghavan is Visiting Professor of International Relations at Ashoka University. He is also Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. He took his MA and PhD in War Studies from King’s and taught there for several years. Prior to joining the academia, he spent six years as an infantry officer in the Indian Army.

Srinath’s work spans historical and contemporary aspects of international relations and strategic studies. His books include War and Peace in Modern India: A Strategic History of the Nehru Years (Palgrave Macmillan and Permanent Black, 2010); 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh (Harvard University Press and Permanent Black, 2013); and most recently India’s War: The Making of Modern South Asia, 1939-45 (Penguin Allen Lane and Basic Books 2016). He has also edited Imperialists, Nationalists, Democrats: The Collected Essays of Sarvepalli Gopal (Permanent Black, 2013); co-edited with David Malone & C. Raja Mohan, The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 2015); and co-authored with Sunil Khilnani et al, NonAlignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India (Penguin, 2013). He is currently finishing a book on United States’ involvement in South Asia from the late nineteenth century to the present. He is also at work on a history of India in the long 1970s.


Srinath is a regular commentator on foreign and strategic affairs. He has been a member of the National Security Advisory Board. He was appointed the Official Historian of the Kargil War by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, in January 2015. He is a recipient of the K. Subrahmanyam Award for Strategic Studies (2011) and the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences (2015). 

Bharat Ramaswami

Visiting Professor of Economics, Ashoka University

Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Email : bharat.ramaswami@ashoka.edu.in
Website : http://www.isid.ac.in/~bharat

Bharat Ramaswami is Professor of Economics at Ashoka University for the calendar year of 2016. He is also a Professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi. He has held visiting appointments at universities in Canada, Japan, Sweden and the United States.

Professor Ramaswami has research interests that spans areas in agricultural economics and economic development. Topics of recent articles include the gender wage gap in agriculture (Economic Development and Cultural Change, forthcoming), risk sharing in the global rice market (Asian Development Review, 2016), incremental reforms in food policy (Springer, 2015) and the cash versus in-kind transfers of food subsidy (Oxford Handbook of Food, Politics and Society, 2014). More details of his published research are availablehere.

Before earning a PhD from the University of Minnesota, Professor Ramaswami obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics from the University of Delhi. He was awarded the Mahalanobis Memorial Medal by the Indian Econometric Society in 2004 for his contributions to quantitative economics. He has served on committees advising the Government of India and is a Co-editor of the Indian Growth and Development Review.

Shamika Ravi

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution
Ph.D. New York University

Shamika Ravi will be a visiting faculty member at Ashoka University.

Until recently, Professor Ravi taught at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, where she was an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy. She has previously taught Analytical Statistics and Intermediate Microeconomics at New York University and has been a PhD mentor at the Oikos Academy at University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Her interests are broadly in the area of Development Economics with emphasis on Financial Inclusion, Gender Inequality and Democracy and Health. She has also worked extensively on impacts of NREGS, Entrepreneurship and Corruption. Her research has been published in prestigious peer reviewed academic journals such as Journal of Development Economics, World Development, Journal of International Development, The B.E. Journal for Economic Analysis and Policy and Economic and Political Weekly. She also writes Op-Ed columns in The Hindu and Indian Express in India and her works have been featured in BBC, The Guardian and Financial Times London.

Dr. Ravi is currently a research affiliate at the Financial Access Initiative at New York University and has been visiting scholar at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo and The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Enforcement Directorate, Microfinance Institutions Network in India and has previously served as independent director on the boards of SKS-NGO, Spandana (NBFC) and BASIX-Local Area Bank. Dr. Ravi has also been a consultant with the World Bank and Seva Mandir, NGO.

Professor Shamika Ravi did her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Lady Shri Ram College for Women (University of Delhi), her Master’s in Economics from Delhi School of Economics (University of Delhi), and subsequently, her Ph.D. in Economics from New York University.

Dr Grant Rich

Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D. University of Chicago

Grant J. Rich received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Chicago. His work focuses on optimal cross-cultural human development, international positive psychology, mixed methods, and integrating traditional and contemporary healing modalities. He is co-editor of the book Pathfinders in International Psychology (2015). He was editor of APA’s International Psychology Bulletin (2010-2014), and received the President’s Award for Extraordinary Service: APA Division of International Psychology (2014). A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, he has taught at several institutions across the globe, recently in Alaska and in Cambodia. He has authored dozens of articles, chapters, and reviews, presenting at international conferences from Africa and Europe, to Mexico and the Caribbean, to the Middle East. Presently, he has authored or coauthored articles in press at American Psychologist and at the Journal of Positive Psychology. A board certified massage therapist (NCBTMB), he is editor of the academic research book, Massage Therapy: The Evidence for Practice (2002) and has served on medical missions internationally.

Mihir Shah

Visiting Professor of Political Economy of India
Ph.D. Delhi School of Economics

From 2009 to 2014, Mihir Shah was Member, Planning Commission, Government of India, holding the portfolios of Water Resources, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. He is the youngest ever Member of the Planning Commission. Shah was chiefly responsible for drafting the paradigm shift in the management of water resources enunciated in the 12th Five Year Plan. He also initiated a makeover of MGNREGA, the largest employment programme in human history, with a renewed emphasis on rural livelihoods based on construction of productive assets. In September 2015, the Government of India invited Mihir Shah to chair a Committee on Restructuring the Central Water Commission and Central Ground Water Board. He submitted this report, which recommends far-reaching reforms in the water sector, in July 2016.

Mihir Shah graduated in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University (where he won the prestigious KC Nag Economics Prize) and did his post-graduation from the Delhi School of Economics (where he was Merit Scholar) in the 1970s, before going on to complete a much-acclaimed doctoral dissertation at the Centre for Development Studies, Kerala.

After teaching for some years at the Centre, he resigned to explore fresh terrain beyond the ivory towers of conventional academia, which culminated in 1990 in the formation of Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS). Inspired by the life and work of Baba Amte, SPS is today one of the largest grass-roots initiatives for water and livelihood security, working with its partners on a million acres of land across 72 of India’s most backward districts. Shah has spent more than two decades living and working in central tribal India, forging a new paradigm of inclusive and sustainable development. This work has shown that watershed development combined with bio-diverse agriculture, other nature-based livelihoods and women-led, institution-centred micro-finance, can result in sustained higher incomes, environmental regeneration and empowered communities in some of India’s most historically deprived regions.


Mihir Shah has addressed audiences on his life’s work all over the world from Stanford University to the World Bank in Washington, the OECD in Paris, the Arctic Circle in Iceland, Chatham House and University College, London, UNESCO-IHE at Delft, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, International Water Management Institute, Colombo and the Singapore Water Week. He was the Keynote Speaker at the Global Water Summit in Rome in 2012.

Kenwyn K. Smith

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University,Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Yale University

Dr Kenwyn K Smith is a Professor of Organizational Behavior and the Director of Penn’s Master’s Programme in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership. Dr Smith teaches leadership, group and intergroup dynamics, organizational politics, change management in three of Penn’s schools: the School of Social Policy & Practice, the Wharton School and the Fels Institute of Government (Arts and Sciences). Dr Smith is an international scholar in the fields of group and intergroup dynamics, organizational change and leadership. His research experience ranges from prisons to schools, from businesses to health care institutions, from state enterprises to social entrepreneurial activities, from oppressed black townships in South Africa to agencies creating sustainable livelihoods in rural India, from pharmaceuticals in Belgium to financial services in urban America, from the World Bank to a community in Philadelphia wrestling with the anguish of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Dr Smith did his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior in 1974 and MA in Organizational Behavior in 1973 from Yale University. He has founded a number of volunteer-based, nonprofit organizations and is about to launch several research initiatives that will be at the heart of Penn’s Center on Nonprofit Leadership. He has also received numerous Excellences in Teaching Awards and also highest ranked teacher award from the University of Pennsylvania.

He has also worked in the following universities in various capacities. Oxford University, University of Maryland, University of Melbourne, Yale University, University of New Haven, University of Melbourne.

Eswaran Sridharan

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University Academic Director, University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India (UPIASI)
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania

Eswaran Sridharan is the Academic Director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India (UPIASI), (in New Delhi), from its inception in 1997, and was earlier with the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He is a political scientist with research interests in the political economy of development; elections, party systems and coalition politics; and international relations theory, conflict resolution and cooperation-building in South Asia. He is the author of The Political Economy of Industrial Promotion: Indian, Brazilian and Korean Electronics in Comparative Perspective 1969-1994 (1996); and has edited International Relations Theory and South Asia, Vols. I and II (2011) and The India-Pakistan Nuclear Relationship: Theories of Deterrence and International Relations (2007), and co-edited (with Zoya Hasan and R. Sudarshan), India’s Living Constitution: Ideas, Practices, Controversies (2002; 2005); co-edited (with Anthony D’Costa), India in the Global Software Industry: Innovation, Firms Strategies and Development, (2004); and co-edited (with Peter de Souza) India’s Political Parties (2006). Another edited volume on comparative patterns of coalition politics in Asian democracies has been accepted by Oxford University Press. He has published over forty-five journal articles and chapters in edited volumes, and has presented papers at many conferences and given talks at many universities and institutes internationally and in India. He is the Editor of India Review, published by Routledge, USA and is the only India-based editor of a US-based academic journal; he is also on the Editorial Advisory Board of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics. He has testified as an expert before the Indian government’s Committee on State Funding of Elections, and has been a consultant to the World Bank, Ford Foundation, International IDEA, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and some private companies in India and abroad. He majored in chemistry at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, took post-graduate degrees in political science at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Annette Taylor

Visiting Professor of Psychology, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Southern California
Email : annette.taylor@ashoka.edu.in

Professor Taylor has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Psychological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of San Diego since 1990, where she teaches courses in Introductory Psychology, research methods and Cognitive Psychology.

She is the author/editor of a three volume Encyclopedia of human memory (Greenwood Publishers). Her research interests focus primarily on teaching-related issues, including critical thinking and conceptual change of misconceptions “Most recently she published an invited chapter, “Student Misconceptions: Where Do They Come From and What Can We Do?,” in Benassi, Overson, & Hakala (eds.), Applying Science of Learning in Education: Infusing Psychological Science into the Curriculum,” available at : http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/asle2014/index.php

Professor Taylor received her Ph.D in general experimental Psychology from the University of Southern California where her specialty area was information processing Cognitive Psychology and her dissertation focused on hemispheric asymmetry. She completed a three-year postdoctoral training program at the Andrus Gerontology Center in Los Angeles, where she studied cognitive aging, specifically focusing on attention and memory.

Santosh S. Venkatesh

Visiting Professor, Ashoka University Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Dr Venkatesh is Associate Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

He received his B Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a Ph D in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Since 1986 he has been on the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are in computational learning theory, information theory, wireless communication, and neural networks.

When not at work, he is also the coach of a youth soccer team; among his many duties is included spending quality time with the team mascot!

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