2016 – Biodata of the trainers

Venkatesh Balasundaram Athreya has made a remarkable contribution to the growth of Department of Economics at Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli where he served from 1977 to 2008 when he retired. He has also held faculty positions/Fellowships/Visiting Scholarships in a number of reputed academic institutions in India and abroad. These include the University of Wisconsin and Bucknell University in the USA, Oxford University and the University of Cambridge in UK, Lund University in Sweden, the Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen, IIT, Chennai, MIDS, Chennai and CDS, Thiruvananthapuram. He has written over a hundred research papers including several research reports and monographs. He has authored/coauthored five books. He has been actively involved in the areas of gender, literacy and development as both planner and social activist. He has won a number of awards and honours, the most recent one being the Distinguished Achievement Award for Political Economy in the 21st Century by the World Association of Political Economy in May 2014.

Tristan Bruslé is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Himalayan Studies of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), currently based at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH, New Delhi). His PhD dissertation in human geography (2006) examined temporary Nepalese migrations to India, processes and integration. In the research project TerrFerme (financed by the French National Research Agency), he got interested in labour migration from Nepal to the Gulf, with a special focus on lodging patterns and the multiple ways workers’ lives are controlled. As part of other projects he has also studied the Nepalese diaspora in Assam and developed a comprehensive analysis of the Nepalese digital diaspora through the study of websites and their interconexions. As a member of a running research project (TerreEau) focusing on peasantry, his current research addresses the impact of labour outmigration on sending communities in the Nepalese lowlands (Terai), especially regarding land ownership.

Rémy Delage is a Research Fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies (CEIAS-EHESS, Paris) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). His work focuses on the role of religious circulations (processions, pilgrimages, journeys) in structuring places and territorial belonging in India and Pakistan. After a PhD centred on an in-depth study of a Hindu mass religious gathering in South India, he joined the French Interdisciplinary Study Group on Sindh (MIFS), headed by Dr. Michel Boivin. It provided him with the opportunity to develop, within a multidisciplinary team of researchers, an ambitious project looking at processes of social and religious changes in one of the most important Sufi pilgrimage centres in contemporary Pakistan. Dr. Delage published with Dr. Michel Boivin an edited book Devotional Islam in Contemporary South Asia: Shrines, Journeys and Wanderers (Routledge, London, 2016), and recently co-edited with Mathieu Claveyrolas Religion and its Territories in South Asia and Beyond. Traversing, Performing, Overstepping (EHESS Editions, Paris, forthcoming in late 2016).

Alexandra de Heering is a post-doctoral researcher in history at the French Institute of Pondicherry, and at the University of Namur (Belgium). She works mainly on Dalit history, and is interested in the ways oral history can contribute to the enrichment of this area of research by bringing in new types of materials and by giving rise to new research questions. Her Ph.D. focused specifically on the Cakkiliyars’ past(s) and memories in rural Tamil Nadu and will soon be published in English. She is currently starting a new project in Bangalore on “middle class Dalits”, that intends to examine the personal and familial histories and memories of Dalits having experienced upward social/economic mobility. Overall, she has an inclination to explore, as well as a strong interest in, all types of alternate sources for history such as oral testimonies, old photographs, etc.

D.N. Dhanagare has taught at the Institute of Social Sciences, Agra University (1961–68), Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (1968–77), and University of Poona, Pune (1977–95). He also served as Member-Secretary of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi (on deputation from 1991–93), and as Vice-Chancellor, Shivaji University, Kolhapur (1995–2000). He was invited by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla as National Fellow (2012–14), during which he completed the writing of Populism and Power: Farmers’ movement in western India, 1980-2014(2016). He completed his Masters in Sociology from Nagpur University and D. Phil. from the University of Sussex. His research interests broadly span agrarian sociology, sociology of social movements and development sociology. His books include Peasant Movements in India, c. 1920–1950(1983); Themes and Perspectives in Indian Sociology (1993); The Missing Tradition: Debates and Discourses in Indian Sociology (2014).

Ashwini Deshpande is Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India. She works on the economics of discrimination and affirmative action issues, with a focus on caste and gender in India. She has published extensively in leading scholarly journals. She is the author of Grammar of Caste: economic discrimination in contemporary India, OUP, 2011 and Affirmative Action in India, OUP, Oxford India Short Introductions series, 2013. She is the editor of Boundaries of Clan and Color: Transnational Comparisons of Inter-Group Disparity (along with William Darity, Jr.), Routledge, London, 2003; Globalization and Development: A Handbook of New Perspectives, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2007 (hardcover) and 2010 (paperback); Capital Without Borders: Challenges to Development, Anthem Press, UK, 2010 (hardcover) and 2012 (paperback) and Global Economic Crisis and the Developing World (with Keith Nurse), Routledge, London, 2012. She received the EXIM Bank award for outstanding dissertation (now called the IERA Award) in 1994, and the 2007 VKRV Rao Award for Indian economists under 45.

Véronique Gille is a Research Fellow at the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD). She holds a PhD in economics from University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2013) and joined IRD in 2016, after a post-doctoral position at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL).  She is part of the research lab “DIAL” in Paris (France) and her field is development economics. She is interested in the role that identity and social groups play in the behavior and outcomes of individuals. Her main focus has been on how castes in India influence individual behavior in the context of affirmative action policies. She is also interested in gender issues and is currently working on the measurement of sex-selective abortion in India.

Mohammed Abdul Kalam is a Professor of Eminence in the Department of Sociology at the Tezpur Central University in Assam. Before moving to Tezpur he was Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Madras, Chennai. While at the University of Madras he was also the Chairperson of the School of Social Sciences as also an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Ocean and Coastal Studies. He has researched extensively in Kodagu (Coorg) District of Karnataka on Family, Land Tenure, and Sacred Groves. He has also worked on Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and Religious Conversions. His other research is on Seasonal Migration of Labour, and Internal and International Migrations. He has carried out anthropological fieldwork in England, France and the USA among the South Asian diaspora. He has collaborated with French scholars in Indo-French projects that have resulted in significant publications both in French and in English. He has been a Visiting Professor at the MSH, Paris, as well as at the University of Paris X. Also, he has held visiting positions at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, Duke University and Harvard University in the USA, and the London School of Economics, UK. He has published books/monographs, contributed book chapters and has published widely in national and international journals.

Frédéric Landy is the new Director of the French Institute of Pondicherry. He had been teaching social geography at the University of Paris Ouest-Nanterre, France, since 1992. He is a fellow of the UMR LAVUE laboratory, and an associate fellow of the Centre for South Asian Studies (CEIAS), Paris.  He has authored several books and articles on Indian agriculture, rural issues, slum policies. He was the coordinator of a French National Agency for Research (ANR)-supported project entitled “Urban National Parks in Emerging Countries” (UNPEC, 2012-16) that compared the national parks in Mumbai, Nairobi, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. He is now coordinating the Indian case study (in Uttarakhand) of another ANR project entitled “Whose Landscape in Asia?” (AQAPA) focused on the relationships between minorities, landscape, agriculture and tourism in rural highlands of India, Nepal, China, Laos and Vietnam.

Partha Nath Mukherji, sociologist, is Professor Emeritus, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. Currently, he is working on his research on democratic decentralisation (Panchayati Raj) based on field research in Punjab, and on the issue of agriculture versus industry in West Bengal (Singur case study). He has done pioneering work on social movements (agrarian, Gandhian, Maoist); on international migration (refugee influx during Bangladesh independence struggle). He has worked on sociology of rural labour (National Commission for Rural Labour); research methodology and theoretical concerns related to conflict, structure and change; on issues of indigeneity and universality; gender concerns; theoretical issues relating to nation-state and social mobility. He has taught/researched in Patna University; Delhi School of Economics, Department of Sociology; Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, New Delhi; Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata and Delhi.

Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay is Associate Professor, Economics and Planning Unit, at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI, Delhi). He holds a PhD from Pennsylvania State University (2004). His primary specialization is in econometric methods applied to topics in the field of education in developing countries (especially India). Recent topics of research include the impact of better school infrastructure on rural schooling attendance, how to design teacher transfer programmes and the impact of the distribution of human capital on growth and development. He has also worked on issues related to public policy: in particular, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), a big public workfare programme in India: the political economy of it’s implementation and the effects of NREGS on education and borrowing. In the past, he has also worked on issues related to health: the economic effects of HIV-AIDS and Cancer (Health).

Thanuja Mummidi is currently Assistant Professor at the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Pondicherry University. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Madras, India. In 2006 she was awarded the Urgent Anthropology Fellowship by the Royal Anthropological Institute, U.K. for Postdoctoral research on the indigenous population and development intervention. She later collaborated with the Rural Employment and Microfinance (RUME) programme of the French Institute of Pondicherry in researching the impact of income generating activities on women and their empowerment. She also coordinated a project on ‘Forms of Money with the Konda Reddis’ funded by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, UCl, Irvine. Her specialization lies at the interface of economic and ecological anthropology, adivasi groups, food sovereignity and inclusive policy.

Christophe Jalil Nordman is a Research Fellow at the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD), and is currently assigned to IFP (Pondicherry, India) and DIAL (Paris, France). He holds a PhD in development economics from University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has an expertise in socio-economic data collection and analysis, especially household and firm level data. His research focuses on the functioning of labour markets in developing countries, including the formation of earnings, skills and social networks, discrimination, employment and household vulnerabilities, and the labour consequences of migrations. His former regional focus was North and West Africa, Madagascar, Vietnam and Bangladesh, where he has acquired over the years an extensive field experience, set up research networks and conducted numerous research projects. He is currently in charge of a socio-economic data collection project within the Social Sciences Department at IFP focusing on households’ financial practises, labour, skills, social networks and mobilities in rural Tamil Nadu (LAKSMI project).

Jean-Noël Senne is an Assistant Professor in Economics at the University Paris Sud – Paris Saclay and a research associate at the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD-DIAL). He holds a MSc in Economics from the Paris School of Economics (PSE) and an Advanced Degree in Statistics from the French Graduate School of Economics and Statistics (ENSAE). He received a PhD from the Paris School of Economics in 2013. Before that, he worked for two years as a technical advisor for the Education System Analysis Program (PASEC) of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie in Senegal. His research focuses on education and migration issues in developing countries, with a strong focus on intra-household decision-making and the determinants of migration and remittances. His work is based on extensive fieldwork in Sub-Saharan Africa and innovative survey designs, involving the collection of longitudinal and migrant-origin household matched data. His most recent research investigates the concept of targeted transfers and their impact on changing remittance behaviors.

Aurélie Varrel is a Research Fellow at CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research, France), currently on assignment at the Department of Social Sciences of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), India. She is a geographer by training with a specialization in migration studies and urban studies in India. Her research interests in the field of migration studies are: gender and migration; highly skilled / professional Indian migrants; transnational material and immaterial flows in the Indian diaspora; diasporic/ethnic business. Besides migration-related topics, she also has a keen interest in urban studies, with a special focus on Bangalore and Chennai metropolitan dynamics. Before joining IFP, she did her PhD at MIGRINTER, University of Poitiers (France), then she was with the Centre of Indian and South Asian Studies (CEIAS) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (2010-2014).

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