Professor Niraja Gopal Jayal has been appointed as the new joint Avantha Chair at King’s India Institute alongside Professor Christophe Jaffrelot.
Professor Jayal is an internationally renowned political scientist who joins King’s College London from the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.
King’s India Institute Director Professor Louise Tillin said: "This is an extremely exciting appointment for King’s. Niraja’s work on democracy and citizenship is of fundamental importance for understanding political and social change in contemporary India. She will play an important role in teaching Masters and PhD students at the India Institute and beyond."
Professor Shitij Kapur, President and Principal of King’s College London said, “I warmly welcome the appointment of Professor Niraja Gopal Jayal to King’s India Institute. Niraja will play an important role in contributing to the wide and diverse body of scholarship and engagement with India among academics and students across King’s College London.”
Professor Jayal’s academic research in the field of citizenship, democracy and welfare in India has received widespread recognition. In 2020, she was nominated an Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. She is presently also Centennial Professor (2019-23) at The London School of Economics, in the Department of Gender Studies.
Her book Citizenship and Its Discontents (Harvard University Press, 2013) won the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association of Asian Studies for the best book on South Asia in 2015. In 2009-2010, she was the Radhakrishnan Memorial Lecturer at All Souls College, Oxford.
Her most recent book is Citizenship Imperilled: India’s Fragile Democracy (New Delhi, Permanent Black 2021). Other books include Representing India: Ethnic Diversity and the Governance of Public Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006); Democracy and the State: Welfare, Secularism and Development in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 1999). She is editor of Re-forming India: The Nation Today (Penguin/Random House, 2019) and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Politics in India (Oxford University Press, 2010), among others.
She will hold the role jointly with Professor Jaffrelot who is Professor of Indian Politics and Society at King’s India Institute.