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Visiting Fellows

Visiting Fellows

Professor Bina Agarwal, University of Manchester

Visiting Professor at India Institute, September 2017 - September 2020

Bina Agarwal is Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK. Prior to this, she was Director and Professor of Economics at the Institute of Economic Growth, DelhiUniversity, where she continues to be affiliated. She has held distinguished teaching and research positions at many universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Minnesota (as the Winton Chair), and NYU School of Law.

Agarwal's research covers both theory and empirical analysis. An economist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary and intercountry explorations, her publications include 12 books and 84 academic papers. She writes especially from a political economy and gender perspective on subjects such as property and land rights; environmental governance, sustainable development and collective action; agriculture and food security; poverty; legal change; and intersecting inequalities. Among her well-known works are the  award-winning book, A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia (Cambridge University Press, 1994), Gender and Green Governance (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Gender Challenges, a 3 volume compendium of her selected papers (Oxford University Press, 2016) 

An original thinker and policy advocate, in 2005, she spearheaded a successful campaign for the amendment of the Hindu Inheritance law in India to make it gender equal. She has been President of the International Society for Ecological Economics, Vice-President of the International Economic Association, and President of the International Association for Feminist Economics. In 2016 she was elected an international member of the prestigious Accademia dei Lincei, Italy. She holds honorary doctorates from the ISS, The Hague, and the University of Antwerp. Among her many awards are: The Malcolm Adiseshiah award (2002), Ramesh Chandra award for ‘Outstanding Contributions to Agricultural Economics’ (2005), Padma Shri from the President of India (2008), Leontief Prize from Tufts University ‘for advancing the frontiers of economic thought’ (2010), Officer-Order of agricultural merit by the Government of France (2017), Louis Malassis Prize for ‘Outstanding Career in Agricultural Development’ (2017), and the Balzan Prize (2017).

Dr Manjeet Baruah, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Charles Wallace India Trust Visiting Fellow, September - December 2016

Manjeet Baruah completed his Ph.D. from the Department of Modern Indian Language and Literary Studies, University of Delhi. Before joining JNU, he taught culture and translation studies at IGNOU, New Delhi. His areas of interest are Cultural History, Study of Space and Text, Translation Studies, Cultural Movements, Biographies and Borderland Studies.

Professor AR Venkatachalapathy, Madras Institute of Development Studies

Tagore Centre for Global Thought Visiting Fellow, May - June 2016

A. R. Venkatachalapathy, professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, has taught at the universities of Tirunelveli, Madras, and Chicago, and has held research assignments in Paris, Cambridge, London, and Harvard. He was the ICCR Chair Professor of Indian Studies at the National University of Singapore (2011–12). He was awarded the V.K.R.V. Rao Prize (History, 2007).

Chalapathy has published widely on the social, cultural and intellectual history of colonial Tamilnadu. Apart from his scholarly writings in English he has written/edited over twenty-five books in Tamil combining rigorous scholarly discipline with literary flair. His publications include The Province of the Book: Scholars, Scribes, and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu (2012), In Those Days There Was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History (2006), (ed.) Chennai, Not Madras (2006), (ed.), In the Tracks of the Mahatma: The Making of a Documentary (Delhi, 2006), (ed.) Love Stands Alone: Selections from Tamil Sangam Poetry (2010), and (ed.) Red Lilies and Frightened Birds: ‘Muttollayiram’ (2011). He is also the translator of Sundara Ramaswamy’s J.J.: Some Jottings (Katha, 2004).

Professor Reetika Khera, IIT Delhi

ICCR Visiting Professor in Contemporary India, January - April 2016

Reetika Khera is an associate professor of Economics at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. She studied at the Delhi School of Economics (MA and PhD) and Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

Her main interests are in welfare systems, public support programmes of the government (especially those related to health and nutrition), food security and employment. During her time at King's her research will be on the history, evolution and current state of welfare systems in the developed world.

Since her PhD, she has remained involved in various field activities in India including surveys, social audits and "research for action" related to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), National Food Security Act and others. She has published in a wide range of outlets: international peer-reviewed journals, magazines, newspapers and online portals.

Dr Sandipto Dasgupta

Newton International Fellow of the Royal Society and the British Academy

Sandipto is currently completing a book manuscript titled Legalizing the Revolution that reconstructs a distinct theory of constitutionalism in the 20th century through a study of the Indian constitutional experience. The manuscript argues that contrary to the constitutional imagination generated by the eighteenth century revolutions, in India the Constitution became the mode of mediating the necessary revolutionary changes in social and economic conditions. The manuscript traces the genealogy of this new constitutional form, its distinct features, and inherent tensions. 

His other research interests include constructing a distinct theory of judicial review through a study of the increased activism and intervention of the judiciary in the realm of social rights and policy in the developing world; analyzing the relationship between social power and political power, and consequently the relationship between democracy and social transformation, by studying the political discourse of land owning farmers; and the intellectual and social history of legal formalism.

Before coming to King’s, Sandipto was a lecturer in Social Studies at Harvard University, and taught in the Core Curriculum program at Columbia University. He also spent an year at the Supreme Court of India as a judicial clerk. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, before which he received his law degree from the National Law School of India.

Sandipto is available for meeting with students by appointment.

Dr SY Quraishi

FICCI-India Institute Visiting Fellow, May - June 2015

Dr SY Quraishi joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1971. Over 40 years in the civil service, he held a number of senior positions, including Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports & Director General of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), India’s largest rural youth development agency, Special Secretary (Health) & Director General of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) where he brought India’s national AIDS control programme on the world map, and Director General of Doordarshan (India’s National Television Network). He was appointed Election Commissioner in June 2006, and subsequently the 17th Chief Election Commissioner of India in July 2010, a position which he held until his retirement in 2012. In his positions at the Election Commission, Dr Quraishi oversaw the conduct of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President of India, general elections to the Lok Sabha (Indian Parliament), and elections in a large number of Indian states. His office brought a special focus on people’s participation, voters’ education and youth involvement in the electoral process.

During his stay, Dr Quraishi conducted a study on challenges to democracy in South and Southeast Asia. He interviewed experts in government, think tanks, academia and interacted widely with these communities. He spoke at five public events (three at King's College London, as well as the University of Oxford and at the School of Oriental and African Studies). His research paper will be available soon.

Dr Asha Achuthan

Charles Wallace Visiting Fellow, February - May 2015

Dr Asha Achuthan is an assistant professor at the Advanced Centre for Women's Studies in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her disciplinary training is in medicine, women's studies, and cultural studies her research focuses on the histories and self-descriptions of sciences – particularly the medical sciences, and in particular, on reproductive technologies and the ways in which they have shaped women’s lives in the Indian context. While at the India Institute, she was working on the first part of a two-part study that traces a shift in Indian midwifery and childbirth practices among women migrating from their traditional geographical-linguistic communities to metropolitan locations, from the colonial period to the present. This part of the study focused on the figure of the dai in nineteenth century India, in the context of shifts in what might be termed indigenous childbirth practices and consolidations of institutional medicine in the colonial period.


Dr Andrew Whitehead

Senior Visiting Research Fellow, March 2015 - February 2018

Andrew Whitehead is an expert on contemporary Kashmir. He is the author of A Mission in Kashmir (2007), which uses oral history and personal testimony to interrogate the established Indian, Pakistani and Kashmiri narratives of how the Kashmir conflict started in 1947. He was awarded a PhD by published work in history at the University of Warwick in 2013. Andrew is a longstanding editor of History Workshop Journal, and has also written on the history of London and was co-editor with Jerry White of London Fictions (2013).

Andrew's career has been as a news journalist. He was until recently Editor of BBC World Service News and has been the BBC's Delhi correspondent and a BBC political correspondent. He has a personal website and blog - - and he tweets at @john_pether 


Dr Mili (German Historical Institute)

Post-Doctoral Fellow, January - December 2015

Mili is part of the Transnational Research Group on Poverty and Education in Modern India at the German Historical Institute. Her research involves examining the guiding ideas of pedagogy in Indian policy texts that have been adopted by the central government in the last decade to reform the provision of education for the poor. This project traces the origins of these guiding ideas and their interpretation as social-scientific theories (e.g child-centred approaches manifested in terms including 'child centred education', 'child-friendly', and 'activity based learning') in order to evaluate their bearing on the conceptualisation of teachers' work in contemporary times.

Mili recently completed her PhD in Education Research at King's College London. Her doctoral research focused on the conceptions of teachers knowledge prevalent in the government school system in Bihar, India, and its relations with notions of professionalism and expertise.

Before this, Mili headed the ICICI Centre for Elementary Education and worked for its precursor, the Social Initiatives Group of ICICI Bank. Here, she led the design of projects for the capacity-building of state and district level government institutions responsible for curriculum and textbook development and teacher education.


Dr Smita Gandotra (St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi)

Visiting Fellow, January - December 2015

Smita Gandotra teaches English at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. She has taught courses on Indian literature, popular fiction, contemporary world poetry and post-colonial literature. During her stay at King’s College London, as a post-doctoral research fellow, she will be assessing the discourse on women’s education in Hindi print culture of the late colonial period. She is part of the Max Weber Foundation Transnational Research Group working on Education and Poverty in India. 

Her doctoral thesis, from the University of Chicago, was on instructional books for women in Hindi. She is interested more widely in modern and pre-modern literatures of India, intellectual histories of modern South Asia, the history of concepts, book history and translation studies. She is translating, with Professor Ulrike Stark, the first novel written for women in Hindi, tentatively titled The Story of the Two Sisters-in-Law (1870). 

Professor Deepa M. Ollapally (George Washington University)

Visiting Fellow: October 2014 - August 2015

Deepa M. Ollapally is Visiting Professor at King’s and Research Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Rising Powers Initiative at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University. Deepa is a leading expert on domestic sources of India’s strategic policy; role of identity in South Asian regional security; and comparative foreign policy discourse of aspiring powers. Her wide ranging publications include most recently, Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Domestic Foreign Policy Debates in China, India, Iran, Japan and Russia (co-editor and author, Oxford University Press 2012). In 2014, she published articles in The Asan Forum on India’s national identity contestation, and on India-China relations in the strategic studies journal Orbis. At King’s, she will be completing a manuscript for an edited volume, Nuclear Debates in Asia: The Role of Geopolitics and Domestic Processes, forthcoming 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield, on work sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. She will also be working on a project assessing economic interdependence and strategic rivalry in India’s foreign policy toward China.


Kenmei Tsubota (Japan External Trade Organization)

Visting Fellow, October 2014 - October 2015

Kenmei is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO) since 2010. His expertise includes Spatial Economics (New Economic Geography), Urban Economics, and Development Economics. Currently, Kenmei is leading a project on Economic Division in Colonial India and also conducting projects on Interdisciplinary Study of Human Trafficking and Geographical Simulation Analysis on physical and institutional infrastructure improvements in Asian countries. Kenmei stays at King’s India Institute from October, 2014 to October, 2015 for one year. During his stay, he continues his project on Economic Division in Colonial India. He explores the dynamics of population geography over the 20th Century to draw the future economic integration in South Asia by exploring more integrated past during the colonial period. “Feeling I am at the heart of Indian Studies, I’m very grateful to be at King’s India Institute.”

Professor Niraja Gopal Jayal (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

ICCR Visiting Professor in Contemporary India, September- December 2014

Niraja Gopal Jayal is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, holding the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Chair in Contemporary India at the India Institute. She is the author of Citizenship and Its Discontents: An Indian History (Harvard University Press, 2013); Representing India: Ethnic Diversity and the Governance of Public Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Democracy and the State: Welfare, Secularism and Development in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 1999); and editor/co-editor of, among others, Democracy in India (2nd ed. 2007), Local Governance in India: Decentralisation and Beyond (2005) and The Oxford Companion to Politics in India (2010).

In the course of the semester she spent at King’s, Niraja Gopal Jayal taught some modules of the Contemporary India I course and conducted a fortnightly workshop for doctoral candidates at the India Institute. She gave a talk titled ‘Contending Representative Claims in Indian Democracy’ in the seminar series of the India Institute. The Institute organised a full-day workshop on her recent book Citizenship and Its Discontents: An Indian History in which members of the King’s faculty participated alongside scholars from other universities. 

During her time at King’s, Niraja Jayal also gave talks at the University of Cambridge, the Centre for Comparative Political Thought at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of Warwick and the London School of Economics.

“I have greatly enjoyed my semester at King’s. It has been wonderful to participate in the energetic intellectual life of the India Institute, to engage with its faculty and students, to attend the lively seminars and to have the opportunity to meet a range of colleagues from fields as diverse as political philosophy, law and education policy. I was also able to begin work on my new project on higher education in India. I return home intellectually rejuvenated.”


Dr Surbhi Dayal (Rajasthan University)

Visting Fellow, September 2014 - December 2014

Surbhi Dayal is a Senior Lecturer at Government Arts College, University of Rajasthan, India. Dr Dayal is a young ethnographer and her research interests involve study of sex-workers, dance bar girls and de-notified tribes. She was awarded a doctorate by the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, for her multi-sited ethnography on the traditional entertainers community namely Kanjar. Her doctorate work is one of its kind as it captures the travelling culture of the Kanjars and is written in the narrative form. 

Currently she is also working on a manuscript based on her doctoral thesis. For her exemplary research work she received the Commonwealth Split-site Scholarship and spent a year at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, United Kingdom. 

Dr Dayal is engaged in developing an education model for underprivileged children in association with two NGOs that work for the betterment of children of sex workers and to provide them with quality education. She also serves as a consultant at the Indira Gandhi Open University, India. Besides publishing several articles in reputed books, journals and newspapers, she presented research papers at many international conferences including at Oxford, Cambridge and Lancaster. One of her interviews on traditional sex workers was aired internationally. 

During her term at the King’s College on Commonwealth Academic Fellowship, she worked on creativity in primary education and explored the primary education system  the UK. Dr Dayal thoroughly enjoyed her visits to primary schools, and discussions with school officials and academicians working in the similar area.

Vikram Mehta (Chairman, Brookings India)

FICCI-India Institute Visiting Fellow, April - July 2013

Mr Vikram Mehta is Chairman of Brookings India, and until recently (2012) was Chairman of the Shell Group of Companies in India. He began his career in the Indian Administrative Service in 1978. He resigned in 1980 to join Phillips Petroleum in London as their Senior Economist and then (in 1982) took over the role of International Affairs Specialist for Asia. In 1984, he joined Oil India as its Advisor -- Strategic Planning. Mr Mehta worked with Oil India and the Ministry of Petroleum until 1988, and then joined Shell Markets and Shell Chemical Companies. He was recipient of the 'Asia House Businessmen of the Year Award' in 2010.


Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi)

Visiting Fellow, June 2012

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. His areas of research are political theory, constitutional law, society and politics in India, governance and political economy and international affairs. He has also done extensive public policy work, and has authored a number of papers and reports for leading Government of India and international agencies including the World Bank, UNRISD, DfID, and is a member of the National Security Advisory Board, Government of India.  He is a prolific columnist, and is editorial consultant to the Indian Express newspaper, and is also on the Editorial Board of numerous academic journals including the American Political Science Review, Journal of Democracy and India and Global Affairs.


Dr Manu Bhagavan (Hunter College, The City University of New York)

Visiting Fellow, June 2012

Manu Bhagavan is Associate Professor in History at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York. His research and teaching interests include modern South Asian history, human rights, constitutional history, post-colonial studies, and intellectual history. He is the author of Sovereign Spheres: Princes, Education and Empire in Colonial India (2003); and more recently The Peacemakers: India and the Quest for One World (2012); has edited Heterotopias: Nationalism and the Possibility of History in South Asia (2010); and co-edited (with Anne Feldhaus) Speaking Truth to Power: Religion, Caste, and the Subaltern Question in India (2008), and Claiming Power from Below: Dalits and the Subaltern Question in India (2008).

Dr Rajshree Chandra (University of Delhi)

UKIERI-India Institute Visiting Fellow, May 2012

Rajshree Chandra is  Associate Professor in Political Science at Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi. Her research interest is in the area of  Intellectual Property Rights, and its interface with human rights; forms of biocultural property; traditional resource rights and their contemporary articulations. Her doctoral work is an inquiry into the moral premises of intellectual property rights. Her recent publications include Knowledge as Property: Issues in the Moral Grounding of Intellectual Property Rights (2010); 'The Role of National Laws in Reconciling Constitutional Right to Health with TRIPS Obligations: An Examination of the Glivec Patent Case in India', in Incentives for Global Health: Patent Law and Access to Essential Medicines, (eds) Thomas Pogge, Matthew Rimmer, Kim Rubenstein (2010); 'The 3d Effect: the Novartis-Gleevec Case, Economic and Political Weekly, 10 September 2011; and 'Intellectual Property Rights: Excluding Other Rights of Other People', Economic and Political Weekly, 1 August 2008. 

Professor Rajeshwari Deshpande (University of Pune)

UKIERI-India Institute Visiting Fellow, April - May 2012

Rajeshwari Deshpande is Lokmanya Tilak Professor of Politics at the University of Pune. Her research has focused on political thinking in Maharashtra, Maharashtra’s political process, regional political economy, rise of urban centres and the caste-class situation and, more specifically, issues related to the politics of the poor. She is currently coordinating a collaborative research programme on Comparative State Politics in India on behalf of Lokniti, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. 


Ambassador Shyam Saran (Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi)

FICCI-India Institute Visiting Fellow, April-June 2012

Mr Shyam Saran has a Masters in Economics, and is a career diplomat. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1970 and has been India’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Indonesia and Nepal, and High Commissioner to Mauritius. He has been Head of the Economic Division, the Multilateral Economic Division and the East Asia Division in the Ministry of External Affairs, Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (1991-91), and Foreign Secretary (2004-06). He also has special expertise in and experience of climate change talks. Since his retirement, he has been the Indian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Indo-US Civil Nuclear issues, and later Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator on Climate Change. He also served as the Prime Minister’s personal representative or ‘Sherpa’ at the Gleneagles and St Petersburg G8 & G5 Summits as Advisor on Climate Change issues, and attended the Pittsburg G20 Summit as a member of the Indian delegation.

Shyam Saran is Member of the National Security Advisory Board under the National Security Council. He was recently appointed Chairman, Research & Information System for Developing Countries, which is an autonomous think tank specialising in studies on economic and trade-related issues.

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