A dedicated team has worked diligently at CDP so far to move the vision of CDP towards emerging possibilities. This team is made up of:

In-House Faculty

Prof. Anup Dhar (Director, CDP)

Anup Dhar is Professor in Philosophy, School of Liberal Studies and Director, Centre for Development Practice, Ambedkar University Delhi, India. His co-authored books include Dislocation and Resettlement in Development: From Third World to World of the Third (Routledge, 2009), and The Indian Economy in Transition: Globalization, Capitalism and Development (Cambridge University Press, 2015). His co-edited books include Breaking the Silo: Integrated Science Education in India (Orient Blackswan, 2017), Psychoanalysis in Indian Terroir: Emerging Themes in Culture, Family, and Childhood(Lexington Books, 2018) and Clinic, Culture, Critique: Psychoanalysis and the Beyond (forthcoming: Orient Blackswan, 2018). He is a member of the Editorial board of Rethinking Marxism (http://rethinkingmarxism.org/) (2016-19). He co-edited the special double Issue of Rethinking Marxism titled “Marxism and Spirituality” Vol. 28, No. 3-4 (Routledge, 2016).

 Dr. Imran Amin (Assistant Professor, CDP)

 Imran Aminis a political scientist by training and has worked on the rationality and practice of governmental power in the governance of violent conflicts. His areas of research interests include Governance as Practice, Conflict Governance, and Governmentality of Development.He has authored a book chapter Theorizing State, Governance and Citizenship: Historical Trajectories (2015). He has co authored an article on Homogenising Discourses of Governance. Identity and Autonomy in Jharkhand (2015), as well as a policy brief on “Conflict, governance and development”, forCultures of Governance and Conflict Resolution in Europe and India, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) (2013). He has also written modules on Public Policy Analysis and Governance, for e-Post Graduate Pathshala, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India (2014).

 Dr. Ishita Dey (Assistant Professor, CDP)

Ishita Dey is an Assistant Proferssor with the Centre for Development Practice, Ambedkar University, Delhi. Her areas of interests are food studies and labour studies. She has also worked on conditions of labour in IT/ ITes industry in an urban township – Rajarhat, Kolkata  and labour in Special Economic Zones. She has a co-edited volume Sustainability of Rights after Globalisation (Sage, 2011) and co-authored a work Beyond Kolkata. Rajarhat and the dystopia of urban imagination (Routledge, 2013).

Visiting Faculty

SDS and SHS have invited a host of Guest Faculty from outside AUD. The aim is to allow the students engage in a dialogue with the various stake-holders as well as people thinking on/about development. Some of the people who were invited to share and engage with students were:

 Dr. Nandan Nawn was invited to take a lecture in the course Philosophy of Development practice (first semester), to talk on ‘Development Studies and Development Practice’. Dr. Nawn is an Assistant Professor in Economics, West Bengal National University of Juridicial Sciences, Kolkata. He has been teaching compulsory courses in Economics and optional courses on Law and Economics and Ecology, Law and Economics. His PhD thesis was titled ‘A Comparative Study of Modern Chemical Based Agriculture and Organic Farms in terms of Sustainability’, at Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP), School of Social Sciences (SSS), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He has also taught Economics at various colleges in the University of Delhi in the past and has also been involved in the Environment Policy Cell, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Delhi. He has also published in various important journals.

 Dr. Ravi Chopra was invited to take the course on Environment, Natural Resources and Development (second semester). Dr. Chopra is the Director of People’s Science Institute, Dehra Doon and a Managing Trustee of Himalaya Foundation, New Delhi. The Institute, a non-profit public interest research and development organization, is known for its innovative work in the areas of water resources management, environmental quality monitoring and disaster mitigation and response. As a researcher, Ravi Chopra has focused on the interactions between technology and society and, environment and development. He first received national recognition when he helped produce the first citizens’ report on the ‘The State of India’s Environment’ in 1982. This report was critically acclaimed as “a unique effort anywhere in the world”. His recent analysis of India’s water requirements in the 21st century has also attracted attention. It specifies the nature of India’s water crises and sustainable methods for resolving them. Ravi Chopra has worked for nearly four decades in the field of development and has helped establish several pioneering organizations. The issues addressed by them include involving youth in India’s development, using science and technology for empowering the poor, protection of democratic and human rights, rehabilitating survivors of natural and human-made disasters and creative education of children, including the mentally handicapped.

 Dr. Manola K. Gayatri, a poet, performer, researcher and social dreamer, takes workshop based course on “Rural through Art, Literature and Film” and focuses on performativity and using the body in research. With a focus on Practice-as-Research, a research methodology drawing on insights from creative practice, art and process work, and seeing the arts as a crucial medium of understanding the rural, the course explores artistic practice as a means to enhance rural research. In Practice-as-research, performance-as-research, practice-led research, practice is the primary research activity. The course will also look at the concepts of time, labour, money and value as distinct categories of experiencing a sense of the rural. The focus of sensing the rural through art will also unfold in terms of a working with sensations and embodied experience through creative practice and self-reflection.

Dr. Debal Deb is an ecological agricultural expert who runs the centre for interdisciplinary studies in south Orissa. He engaged with the students over a series of lectures in a workshop titled ‘Ecological Economics and Praxis of Conservation’. One of his primary works in recent years has been to preserve indigenous species of rice. His teaching focuses on indigenous ecological ethic that he believes contains the seed of subversion of the hegemony of developmentality. He believes that the liberation of society and nature from the growth imperative is possible only when intergenerational equity is established by subjugating private interests to that of the community. To countervail the ecocidal effects of industrial growth, it’s imperative to promote ecological agriculture, reinstate the intrinsic value of natural objects beyond their market price, and rebuild communitarian ethos and his engagement focuses on the same within the course Environment, Natural Resources and Development.

 Dr. S. Charusheela teaches at the University of Washington in the School of interdisciplinary arts and sciences. She works on questions of economic subjectivity, gender, development, identity, and postcoloniality/globalization. She engages to further critical thinking in students to enable them to think of themselves as active knowledge producers, especially at the interstices of gender, capitalism and development. She was the Editor of Rethinking Marxism from August 2009 – July 2013 and served as an active member of its editorial board for over a decade (June 1997 to June 2000, July 2007 to July 2016). In the past she has served as an elected board member for the International Association for Feminist Economics, and acted as the convener/co-convener for the Feminist Pre-conference at the South Asian conference (Madison, WI) from 2005-2009.


 Action Research Fellows

CDP has encouraged MPhil research scholars to continue their work and build new organisations after the completion of their course. Currently CDP with the support of Rohini Ghadhiok Foundation and PWC Indian Foundation is supporting work of three Action Research Fellows.

Bhavya Chitranshi has continued her work around questions of ‘Singleness and Sangathan’ in Rayagada district of South Odisha, engaging primarily with ‘single’ women among the Kondha tribe. Her work is supported by the Rohini Ghadiok Foundation. The project initially began in the village of Emaliguda (i.e. during her MPhil dissertation) and has been carried forward by her since then with the help of the Eka Nari Sangathan – a single women’s collective that has been birthed in the course of this work. She engages critically with ideas of co-creation, collaboration and transformation and had collectively engaged with the Sanghathan, over issues ranging from gender to agriculture, all the while keeping the question of collectivization alive.

Ashutosh Kumar has completed his MPhil and joined Bhavya as an Action Research Fellow in Rayagada while simultaneously furthering his work in Gumla to explore possibilities of alternative forms of agriculture. He has received Rs. 4,00,000 from RGF to further his keen interest in collective ethos, ethics of working in marginalized adivasi communities and its relationship with agriculture and sustainable living. His engagement has led to small movements and shifts from hybridized approach to agriculture to collective farming from indigenous seeds.

Nishant Chaudhury, has created the project ‘Kinare’ and taken up the challenge of attending to collective agricultural work in the urban space of the capital city. He is working with farmers practicing agriculture along the river Yamuna in Delhi and focuses on building community collectives, generating holistic perspectives towards development. The idea behind ‘Kinare’ is to go beyond the readily- accepted jargons of development such as ‘inclusive development’, ‘participatory development’ etc and try to understand what meanings and experiences the marginalized communities attach to these concepts and ideas. His work is supported by the Price Water House Coopers and he is trying to build a productive structure that can sustain farmers in the bustle of a ‘developing’ city. He is also a core team member of an ongoing multimedia project ‘The River and the City’. This is a collaborative project between Centre for Development Practice and Centre for Community Knowledge at AUD, which envisages to bring out narratives of the communities living along River Yamuna in Delhi and through these narratives understand various perspectives around the river. With the support of AUD Centre for Incubation, Innovation & Entrepreneurship (ACIIE), he is working on a low cost rooftop farming model which can in some way contribute to the foodsecurity for the population of Delhi. He is collaboratively working with one of the farmingcommunities of Delhi and taking their support and expertise to bring out this model. This modelis serving as an alternate and sustainable livelihood model for the community.

These action research fellows have taken the lead in picking up the most critical and challenging threads of developmental work in a changing world and through their hard work and engagement inspire the CDP team to support their initiatives. The centre wants to provide them with an environment which would help them in stabilizing long term engagements and take their work of collectivization and common-ing forward.


Research associates

Vinisha Singh Basnet is presently working as a Research Associate with Centre for DevelopmentPractice in Ambedkar University Delhi in the project ‘Unlocking the value Potential of Non-timberForest Products, anchored by Dr. Dey. She has an MA in Environment and Development from the School of HumanEcology, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). Her interests lies at the intersection of politicalecology and critical development perspectives, as reflected in her work exploring on theinterface between human and nonhuman relations in culturally embedded political ecologycontexts.

Arunima Mishra is a Research Associate under the same project. Prior to this she worked as a Consultant Research Analyst for PRADAN.She has an MPhil degree in Development Practice and her research interest focuses on theinter-linkage between health-gender-development, traditional knowledge systems aroundhealth and forest laws. She also holds post-graduate degrees in Sociology and History.