2022 – Biodata of the trainers


Bertrand Lefebvre is an Associate Professor of global health at EHESP School of Public and is presently a research fellow at IFP’s Department of Social Sciences. His research focuses on inequalities of access to health services (hospital care) and on inequalities of exposure to environmental hazards (dengue, air pollution) in the context of large metropolitan areas in Asia (Delhi, Bangkok). Through mixed methods and cross-disciplinary research, his work looks at the role public and private stakeholders can play in fostering better health and cleaner environment for all in large cities of the Global South. After contributing to several interdisciplinary and international projects on dengue (ANR project AEDESS, EU-FP7 project DENFREE), he is now looking at the governance of air pollution in large African and Asian cities (ANR project GLOBALSMOG, 2022-2025).

A. Subramanyam Raju is a Professor at UMISARC (Pondicherry University). He is Dean of International Relations, Professor at the Centre for South Asian Studies, and Coordinator at the UGC Centre for Maritime Studies, Pondicherry University. His research focuses on Maritime Security Affairs, Energy Security, Non Traditional Security, South Asia Regional Cooperation.

Barbara Čurda is a Marie Curie fellow at IFP. She holds a PhD in anthropology (Université Blaise Pascal, France). Her research  looks at the Odissi dance field in Bhubaneswar. She has trained herself since the early 1990s in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, as an Odissi dancer.

Aarti Kawlra is a social anthropologist and Academic Director of the Humanities Across Borders (HAB) program at the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden Netherlands, since 2016. HAB facilitates transdisciplinary and trans-regional collaborations to build bridges between the ‘text’ and ‘context’ of knowledge making and transmission in higher education. Her research work interrogates disciplinary and popular narratives surrounding culture, heritage, education, nation and development. Her publications include the monograph We Who Wove with Lotus Thread: Summoning Community in South India, Orient Blackswan (2018), the co-edited special issue on “Caste, craft and education in colonial India and Sri Lanka” of the Journal Review of Development and Change, MIDS 2018, and the book chapter, “Reconstituting craft in the idiom of education for the masses” in the edited volume, Inclusive Education in India: Concepts, Methods and Practice, Mosaic 2018.

Anandhi S, is Professor at the  Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. Previously she was a Visiting Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London,  South Asia Visiting Scholar at Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, Oxford, Visiting Fellow, Maison des Sciences del’ home, Paris, Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University, Japan, and a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of International Relations, Daito Bunka University, Saitama, Japan. Her Research focuses on caste and gender inequalities and social justice movement with a special focus on Dravidian movement. Her field- based ethnographic research on young women’s work, sexuality, caste and masculinity in neo-liberal times interrogates the  gendering of State development and welfare politics.  Her research publications on critical caste studies include two Monographs on Dalit Politics and Rights: a) Contending Identities : Dalits and Secular Politics in Madras Slums, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, b) Land to the Dalits: Panchami Land Struggle in Tamilnadu, Indian Social Institute, Bangalore and several articles on Dalit women’s activism as well as a co-edited book, Dalit Women: Vanguard of an Alternative Politics Routledge, London and New York,  South Asia edition in India, 2017.

Kalaiyarasan A. is an Assistant Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India, and a non-resident fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University. He was previously a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University and was a research faculty at the National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development, a research wing of NITI Aayog (Planning Commission), Government of India. His academic interest lies in structural inequalities and comparative political economy in global south. His recent publications are The Dravidian Model: Interpreting Political Economy of Tamil Nadu (Cambridge University Press 2021, co- authored) and Rethinking Social Justice (Orient Blackswan 2020 co-editor).

Ajit Menon is a Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS). Prior to joining MIDS in 2006, he was a Fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development (CISED), Bangalore. His research focuses on the political ecology of forests and fisheries in Tamil Nadu. He has co-edited three books – Community-based Natural Resource Management: Issues and Cases from South Asia (Sage 2007), Democratizing Forest Governance in India (OUP 2014) and Environmental Politics at the Local (Orient Blackswan forthcoming) and is currently working on a manuscript on the politics of belonging in forested conservation landscapes in south India. He is part of the Editorial Collective for the journal Conservation and Society.

Christophe Jalil Nordman is Senior Research Fellow (Directeur de Recherche) at the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), assigned to the mixed research unit DIAL (IRD, CNRS, Paris Sciences et Lettres University) and is affiliated to the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP, India) and the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA, Bonn). After a PhD in development economics at the University of Paris-I Panthéon-Sorbonne, he joined the Department of Education of the University of Oxford, and then the IRD in 2004. His research focuses on the various dimensions of labour in low-income countries, including the formation of earnings, skills, social networks, discrimination, employment and household vulnerabilities, and the labour consequences of migrations. He is currently the co-coordinator of the Observatory of Rural Dynamics and Inequalities in South India (ODRIIS) at IFP, the head of the research programme LAKSMI at the Social Sciences Department the IFP. He is also the current President of the French Association of Development Economics.

Loraine Kennedy is a CNRS Research Director at the Centre for South Asian Studies (CEIAS) at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her research focuses on contemporary India and engages with three main areas: state spatial rescaling, the politics of urban development and metropolitan governance. Her work on urban India has increasingly been comparative (Brazil, China, Peru, South Africa), most notably in the EU FP7 project “Chance2Sustain”. Recent publications include a monograph The Politics of Economic Restructuring in India: economic governance and state spatial rescaling (Routledge 2014), the coordination of a special issue of Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space (2017) on “State Restructuring and Emerging Patterns of Subnational Policy-Making and Governance in China and India”, several book chapters, and two co-authored articles in Territory, Politics, Governance (2018, 2020) and one in Cities (2019). An edited volume is forthcoming: India’s Greenfield Future. The Politics of Land, Planning and Infrastructure (Orient Blackswan, India). Kennedy served as a member of the steering and hiring committee of the French Scientific Research Council (CNRS) for the section covering urban studies, architecture and human geography (2012-16). In 2015 she was invited to take part in the CNRS Task Force on Urban Research, a 19-member committee whose mission is to reflect on current trends and identify a strategic direction for future urban research.

Vijayabaskar is a Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. His research centers on the political economy of development with a focus on labour and land markets, technological change, rural-urban linkages, transformations and their intersections with policy-making. In addition to publishing in numerous scholarly journals and media outlets, he has co-authored ‘The Dravidian Model: Interpreting the Political Economy of Tamil Nadu’, (Cambridge University Press 2021) and co-edited monographs including Rethinking Social Justice (Orient Blackswan 2020), Participolis: Consent and Contention in Neoliberal Urban India, (Routledge 2012) and ICTs and Indian Social Development: Diffusion, Governance, Poverty (Sage 2008).  He has held Visiting Faculty positions at École des haute sétudesen sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and IIT Madras. He holds a PhD in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Delphine Thivet holds a PhD in philosophy (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2008) and a PhD in sociology (EHESS, Paris, 2015). From 2003 to 2004, she held a position as a Young Research Affiliate at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO, Norway). In 2017, she was a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Center for South Asian Studies (CEIAS) UMR8564 – CNRS/EHESS, taking part in the international collective project research (ANR/DFG) « (New) political representative claims: a global view (France, Germany, Brazil, India, China) » (CLAIMS). She has been Associate Professor at the University of Bordeaux since 2017, in the Department of Sociology of Bordeaux University and has been Deputy Director of the Centre Émile Durkheim, Comparative Political Science and Sociology – UMR5116 (French National Centre for Scientific Research, Sciences Po Bordeaux and Bordeaux University) from 2019 to 2021. Since 2018, she has been an associate researcher at CSH-Delhi (UMIFRE 20, MEAE-CNRS).

Senthil Babu is a historian with the Department of Social Sciences, the French Institute of Pondicherry. His research is oriented towards the historical and contemporary relationship between knowledge practices and labour in India. He also works on the social history of mathematical practices in early modern and colonial south India. He did his PhD. from the Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, New Delhi. Some of the other interest areas of him includes the land use practice at the Kaveri deltaic region and the dynamics of nature, knowledge, and labour of fishers at the Coramandel Coast of Tamil Nadu.

Marine Al Dahdah is a CNRS researcher at the Center for studies of social movements (CEMS-EHESS), and a member of Unit 1276 “Risks, Violence, Reparation” of the French National Health and Medical Research Institut (INSERM). She is an associate researcher at Paris University (UParis) and at the Center for Human Sciences (CSH) in Delhi (India). Her research focuses on health policies in Asia and Africa, and more particularly on digital healthcare in India, Ghana and Kenya.

Anne Casile obtained her PhD from Sorbonne University (2009) and is now a researcher at the IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development), affiliated to the Research Unit of PALOC in Paris (IRD and National Museum of Natural History). She is the coordinator of the MANDU project (2019-2024), laureate of the ANR (French National Agency) Young Researchers Grant, and co-directress with Dr Supriya Varma of the Indo-French Archaeological Mission supported by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (2020-2024). From early 2016 to mid-2020, she was based at the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), where she was responsible for developing the Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry. She is now an Associate Researcher of the IFP.


Rashmi Bala pursued graduation in BA (H) in History from Delhi University in 2012 and completed her post-graduation in history from Delhi University in 2015. She also did Bachelor’s in library and Information Technology from Delhi University in 2016. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Ambedkar University. Her Ph.D. thesis topic is The Political Economy of the slum, A Historical case Study. Many of the population living in this area come under the unauthorized category. Men and women work in informal sectors, and most women provide their services as maids. They have all lived here since the 1980s, but there is no public policy to authorize their services. People struggle for their fundamental rights even though they play an essential role in the economy. In the past, she has worked on two projects as a Research Assistant at Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH, Delhi) and as an Enumerator with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore.

Samuel Benkimoun is a PhD student in Geography at Université Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a member of the Centre de Sciences Humaines in Delhi, and Geographie-Cités lab in Paris. His research focuses on health geography in the urban settings, studying the overlapping in the circulation of viral, human and informational flows. His study is conducted along three main axes: how are the urban dynamics impacting the spatial distribution of health outcomes (mainly on dengue, and COVID-19 in Delhi); conversely, how are the diseases affecting and altering the urban networks; finally how is the digital redefining our understanding of health and the city. His approach mobilises large datasets analysis, One Health and digital humanities paradigms, or mobility and spatial justice theories. He was also a part of the CHALLINEQ project in Delhi working more specifically on data analysis.

Emmanuelle Faure is an Associate Lecturer in Health Geography at the Paris-Est-Créteil University, and Lab’URBA (https://www.laburba.com/membres/emmanuelle-faure/). Her work focuses on social and territorial construction’s of health inequalities, as well as the integration of gender issues in this analysis. She mobilizes mixed and comparative approaches. Finally, applied to various fields and subjects, the same interest in dialogue and the co-construction of knowledge between academics, civil society and decision-makers animates Emmanuelle’s work. She is now continuing her research on health inequalities in the city through the determinants of the living environment and urban policies (green spaces, active mobility, urban cycling and food environment). For example, she coordinates a new research-action project on Care and the living environment in French suburbs called CABAS (https://cabas.hypotheses.org/).

Nicolas Gravel has been a professor of economics at Aix-Marseille University since 2002. He interrupted on two occasions (2004-07 and 2017-21) his professorship at Aix-Marseille University through a deputation at the French Ministry of foreign affairs where he served respectively as research fellow at, and as director of, CSH.  His main field of expertise is public economics, broadly defined as the branch of economics that examines the causes and the consequences of public intervention in the economic sphere. His recent research themes include the measurement of inequalities, poverty, and social mobility, the analysis of processes of human group formation, tax competition, contribution to public good and decision under uncertainty. He has published more than fifty research articles on these themes in various journals, including the American Economic Review, International Economic Review, Journal of Mathematical Economics, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Public Economics, Economic theory, Journal of Economic Theory, and Social Choice and Welfare. He has also co-edited, with Jean-François Laslier, Marc Fleurbaey and Alain Trannoy, the book “Freedom in Economics: New perspectives in normative analysis” (Routledge 1998).

Anthoni Guruz is an artist and graphic designer, Anthoni Guruz’s life journey has been as unpredictable as the lines and the directions that his art pursues. Born and based in Pondicherry, he studied in its Roman Catholic missionary schools. He turned to art after his failed attempt at becoming a priest. Anthoni went on to work as a sticker artist and banner designer before joining the prestigious Sudarsan Graphics printing house, Chennai, as a paginator, where he learnt the basics of bookmaking and graphic design.  Working his way to the College of Fine Arts, Chennai, he graduated with an MFA in Visual Communications. In its energising atmosphere, he was drawn to illustration, painting and sculpture.  Becoming a versatile artist with real industry experience didn’t stop him from pursuing his passion for academics and research that led to an MPhil at Dr J Jayalalithaa Music and Fine Arts University, Chennai. His research project stood out for its originality and strength of artistic skill. Empathy and respect for a person’s dignity and history inform the art that Anthoni creates.

Prabhakar Jayaprakash is a doctoral student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and a research affiliate at the French Institute of Pondicherry, Pondicherry. His doctoral thesis focuses on the labour histories of fishers of Palk Bay, India. He is working under the supervision of Prof. Janki Andharia. He has cleared the Junior Research Fellowship exam in the year 2015. Some of his interest areas are commons, labour history, caste, conflicts and collective action. He has conducted a couple of policy and action researches in the last twelve years.

Deepanshi Mishra holds a Masters degree in Political science (Honors) from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. Her interest focuses around Gender and ethics, Developmental ethics and role of language, culture and philosophy as the parameters of nation-building. She also worked as a Research Assistant with the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), under the supervision of Professor Nicolas Gravel for the project ‘CHALLINEQ’, which aims to understand inequalities in India, and it’s changes over a period of 15 years through various socioeconomic factors. Currently she is working as a Upper Division head in an authority i.e. Delhi State Legal Service Authority to understand the nature and extent of victimization amongst our citizen promulgated through a scheme titled Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme 2018. Her long term aim is to work in policy formulation and policy advocacy to reduce the dichotomy of normativism and empiricism.

Harshita Pande completed her Masters in Sustainable Development Practice from TERI School of Advanced Studies and Bachelors in Economics from the University of Delhi. She is currently working with LEAD as a Research Consultant . Previously she was associated with CSH, Delhi as a Research Assistant for the project ‘CHALLINEQ’ under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Gravel. Her Research interests include Development Economics, Livelihood Security, Sustainable Development and Gender Studies. She has  previously conducted primary and secondary research majorly focusing on areas such as Urban studies,  Livelihood Security, Natural Resource Management, Gender Discrimination and Public Policy.

Himanshu is Associate Professor in Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is also visiting fellow at Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi. He has held visiting fellowships at London School of Economics, (British Academy Senior Visiting Fellow and C R Parekh Fellow) and UNU-WIDER (Finland). His primary area of research is development economics with focus on issues related to poverty, inequality, employment, food security, rural development and agrarian change. His current research interests revolve around poverty and inequality in India, structural change and changing pattern of employment and livelihood in rural India.Himanshu is a regular contributor to various media publications including television. He writes a fortnightly column on issues related to development in MINT newspaper. He has received the Sanjay Thakur Young Economist Award of the Indian Society of Labour Economics and Personnalité d’Avenir of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Himanshu received his PhD in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. His recent publications include “How Lives Change: Palanpur, India and Development Economics” with Nicholas Stern and Peter Lanjouw, published by Oxford University Press, London (2018). The book is based on the longest longitudinal survey of a village Palanpur, a village in western Uttar Pradesh which has been surveyed intensively seven times starting from the first survey in 1957-58. He has been the principal investigator for the sixth and seventh round of Palanpur surveys along with Nicholas Stern and Peter Lanjouw.

Arnaud Natal is a Research Assistant (VIA) at the French Institute of Pondicherry, member of the Observatory of Rural Dynamics and Inequalities in South India (ODRIIS). He is in charge of managing the Observatory’s data (especially RUME and NEEMSIS datasets) and of the local animation and communication of ODRIIS in Pondicherry. He is also a PhD student in development economics at the University of Bordeaux (France) and is affiliated to BSE (UMR CNRS 6060). Under the supervision of Éric Rougier (BSE) and Jalil Nordman (IRD), his doctoral thesis seeks to highlight the links between household indebtedness, cognitive skills and personality traits.

Keshav Patel completed his bachelors in law from the University of Delhi. During his graduation, I was an integral part of Legal aid society as well as Gender Sensitization Committee wherein I worked towards making people aware of their legal rights and bridging the gap between the people and free legal aid schemes. At CSH, he worked as a Research Assistant, under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas Gravel, for the project “CHALLINEQ”.

Aditya Prem Kumar has pursued his graduation in BA (H) English from Delhi University in 2018 and completed his post-graduation in MA Global Studies from Ambedkar University Delhi in 2020. For his Master’s thesis, he conducted a field-based study focusing on the land reform policies of Kerala state government, the land struggle and land movements led by the Dalit and Adivasi groups primarily through the data collected from the ongoing Chengara land occupation movement. He worked as a Research Assistant at Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH, Delhi) on two different projects. He has worked as a Researcher with Institute of Competitiveness (IFC). The main project he was engaged in is the ‘India Innovation Index 2021’ which is jointly developed by IFC and Niti Aayog. Currently, he is working at Mindshare Analytics, a political consultancy as a policy and research analyst.

Amudhan R.P. Born and brought up in a rural and small town background, Amudhan developed his liking for cinema by watching popular Tamil films with his mother Pushpam, a farmer, while sitting on the sand-bed in thatched and temporary cinema halls called Touring Talkies. Cinema has always been a collective activity / place for Amudhan, in which people from different backgrounds come together and imagine multiple worlds in a given short time.  Amudhan has made around 20 films on various social, political and economical themes since then. He also founded Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival and Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival has been conducting them for over 23 years and 10 years respectively. He also curates various thematic film festivals across India. He has been part of many film festivals in India as a Selection Committee and a Final Jury member on various occasions.  Currently Amudhan is pursuing Mobile Phone Filmmaking since the Covid 19 induced lockdown, experimenting on the medium while expressing human anxieties and reaching out to the nature.

Priya Sangemeswaran is Associate Professor in Development Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. With an academic training in different schools of economics, Priya works at the intersection of development studies and environment studies, drawing on debates from heterodox economics, political ecology, post-development theory, and critical geography. A large part of her research to date has focused on the (re)distributive potential of water and the link between discourses of water and of development. Priya’s current research combines a long-standing interest in the political economy of land with a relatively newer interest in urban studies. She is studying  changes in land use and economic activities in selected industrial areas in Thane city (in the state of Maharashtra). She is the author of Neoliberalism and Water: Complicating the Story of ‘Reforms’ in Maharashtra (Orient BlackSwan 2014).

Shailja Tandon completed her M.Phil. in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She is a social/urban sector professional with five years of research experience in social and public policy, spanning fields like changing urban space (from rural, peri-urban to urban), social inequalities and social security schemes, refugees, gender inequalities and empowerment with a focus on sexual minorities, human capital for development outcomes, and democratic participation and citizen behavior. She is currently coordinating the Knowledge and Practice Group of the Foundation for Creative Social Research, an intellectual initiative to create a discursive platform for interaction among academics, writers, artists, poets, social activists, and policymakers. Currently, she is a Senior Research Associate at Lead at Krea University.

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