Videos

The Azim Premji University regularly organizes seminars, webinars and colloquium lectures involving members of the faculty as well as academicians, activists, artists and other distinguished personalities from a wide array of fields. This section consists of video recordings of  major events conducted at the Azim Premji University.

Mummy, Why did Rama send Sita to the forest if he loved her?

Arshia Sattar

14/10/2016

About the Lecture

Like all good stories, the Ramayana is multi-valent, speaking on many levels and in many tongues. It also speaks directly to children, even without our interventions. What changes when we write for children? How self-conscious do we need to be? What are we afraid of when we write for them -- that they will understand too little or too much? What do children expect from a story and can we, as adults, deliver that? These and other concerns are foregrounded when one retells a beloved and complex tale like the Ramayana for younger readers. Given that the ownership of the Ramayana has been politicized in our times, it becomes critical to ensure that a new generation of Indians engages with this story that underpins the majority culture in India. Is children's literature an appropriate site to address issues of inclusion and exclusion? How do we negotiate our own anxieties and aspirations when we speak to children?

About Speaker

Arshia Sattar has a Ph.D. from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. She has worked with the Valmiki Ramayana for 30 years. Her critically acclaimed translation of the Valmiki Ramayana is published as a Penguin Classic. Penguin also published her collection of essays, "Lost Loves: Exploring Rama's Anguish" which read the Ramayana as a tragic love story. Her translation of Valmiki's Uttara Kanda, "Uttara: The Book of Answers" will be published by Penguin in November. "The Ramayana for Children" is her fourth book for young readers and is published by Juggernaut.

Mental Health Care for All - Can Civil Society take over from the Professionals

Manoj Kumar

07/10/2016

About the Lecture

With yet another World Mental Health day almost upon us, a taking of stock is required. As the treatment gap for almost all mental disorders continues to be huge, even in the developed nations, the only pertinent question is how do we provide minimum mental health services to all citizens of the world. The choice of 'Psychological first aid' as the theme this year seems startlingly irrelevant in this context. However, in India, there is a sense of hope as there are encouraging signs of civil society organisations taking charge in areas where previously it was left to the government to lead the way. This talk is about novel ways where communities are coming together to organise care especially for the disadvantaged. 

About Speaker

Dr Manoj Kumar is the Clinical Director of The Mental Health Action Trust  (www.mhatkerala.org) a not-for-profit Charitable Trust based in Calicut, Kerala.  An alumni of the Calicut Medical College, the Christian Medical College, Vellore, Dr Manoj Kumar started training in Psychiatry over 25 years. He has worked as faculty at the Christian Medical College, Vellore till 1994 during which time his clinical and academic focus was on the Psychiatric aspects of HIV and AIDS. He has worked for over a decade in the United Kingdom and during his time in Leeds, he was instrumental in setting up a clinical Psycho-oncology service there. In later years, he focused on the Psychiatric aspects of Palliative Medicine and was involved nationally and internationally in research and training activities in this field. During this period, he also developed strong links with the nascent specialty of Palliative Care in India, working mainly through the Institute of Palliative Medicine in Calicut, which is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Participation in Palliative Care and Long Term Care. He has been involved in various teaching activities in India and is on the National Faculty of the Indian Association for Palliative Care.

Commons that provide: The importance of Bengaluru’s wooded groves for urban resilience

Seema Mundoli

05/10/2016

About the Lecture

This presentation is based on ongoing research anchored by Harini Nagendra at the Azim Premji University. The research examines the process of urbanization in Bengaluru city and the resulting transformations of   urban commons.  Urban commons constitute important social-ecological systems for the resilience of cities in the global South. However, rapid urbanization has led to large-scale degradation and transformation of many of these spaces, impacting the resilience of traditional and vulnerable users. This presentation examines the changes to one such commons, gunda thopes (hereafter ‘thopes’) or wooded groves that constitute important yet neglected peri-urban commons of Bengaluru city. These thopes provide a range of ecosystem services supporting traditional livelihoods and subsistence use by local communities, urban poor and more recently migrants into the city. They were central to the social and cultural lives of local residents who have lived for generations adjacent to the thopes, and were involved in collective management of these commons. We examine the impacts of the changes, to the status, management and perceptions of thopes leading to a decline in the ecosystem services they provided, and especially the impacts on the urban marginalized who depend on these commons.  We posit that the loss of urban commons and their prioritization increasingly for recreational use undermine the social and ecological resilience of cities.

About Speaker

Seema is a Research Associate at the Azim Premji University. At the university, she is engaged in research that examines the historical transformation of urban commons, and in understanding the social, ecological and institutional interactions that could contribute to protection or degradation of urban commons. In the past, she has worked with different NGOs engaged in conservation, natural resource management, and advocacy on issues of mining and education.

Building the Economic Power of Women: The IVDP Story

Kulandai Francis

30/09/2016

About the Lecture

The talk outlines the origins and evolution of IVDP and its efforts to empower women through Self Help Groups (SHGs) since 1989. In achieving its objectives of alleviating poverty, empowering and developing leadership ability among the poor rural women, encouraging saving habits among them and motivating them to take up responsibilities, IVDP has educated and trained a large number of women. The availability of bank loans for the women’s SHGs increased membership in these groups. IVDP arranged training sessions, regular meetings and frequent loan repayment instalments to further encourage women’s participation. Healthcare, basic literacy, family planning, marketing and occupational skills are also included in its activities. As more and more women joined its SHGs, IVDP aimed to respond holistically to the needs of the community such as providing purified drinking water, sanitation through house hold toilets, personal hygiene (sanitary napkins) and renewable energy (solar lights).  At present, more than 10,000 SHGs with 190,000 members across three districts in Tamilnadu. (Krishangiri, Dharmapuri and Vellore) exist. IVDP’s links with the poor people, its innovative practices, its capacity to enable people’s participation in development and trust building at different levels between stakeholders are among the reasons for the success of its initiatives.

About Speaker

Kulandai Francis studied commerce before doing courses in Social Development in Canada and Philippines. Keenly interested in community development services, he was involved in refugee relief work during the Bangladesh War in 1971 and drought relief work in Pune in 1972. He has aided in the construction of 331 check dams to support poor peasants and raise the ground water level. He founded the IVDP in 1989. His work has received many awards, including those offered by several banks such as Bank of India, Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda, Pallavan Grama Bank, NABARD for his successful and dynamic ways of developing, conducting and managing the SHGs.  He was also honoured with Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2012.

Panel Discussion on Ajit Sinha’s A Revolution in Economic Theory: The Economics of Piero Sraffa (London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) Part -1

Goddanti Omkarnath

31/08/2016

About the Lecture

This book draws on the work of one of the sharpest minds of the twentieth century, Piero Sraffa (1898-1983). Ludwig Wittgenstein credited him for 'the most consequential ideas' of the Philosophical Investigations (1953) and put him high on his short list of geniuses. Sraffa's revolutionary contribution to Economics was, however, lost to the world because economists did not pay attention to the philosophical underpinnings of his economics. Based on exhaustive archival research, Sinha presents an exciting new thesis that shows how Sraffa challenged the usual mode of theorizing in terms of essential and mechanical causation and, instead, argued for a descriptive or geometrical theory based on simultaneous relations. A consequence of this approach was a complete removal of 'agent's subjectivity' and 'marginal method' or counterfactual reasoning from economic analysis – the two fundamental pillars of orthodox economic theory. It goes on to show that Sraffa’s alternative economic theory establishes that income distribution can be taken as given independently of prices — a conclusion that stands in stark opposition to orthodox economic theory, which maintains that both the size and distribution of income are determined simultaneously with prices.

About Speaker

Goddanti Omkarnath : Goddanti Omkarnath is Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Hyderabad. Before the year 2000, when he moved there, he served on the faculty of the Centre for Development Studies at Trivandrum. Trained in JNU and Loyola College, Vijayawada, he has held visiting positions at the University of Oxford and the University of Rome. Omkarnath’s professional interests range from economic theory and classical economics to problems of Indian economy and teaching of economics. A frequent contributor to newspapers and television on current economic affairs, he is on the Boards of Studies of several Indian Universities. He has supervised about 25 scholars for their M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees. Romar Correa : Romar Correa is the Reserve Bank of India Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, India. From 2005-2008, he was Director of the Department. He works on the tension between micro and macro in non-neoclassical frameworks. Among other journals, he has published in Keio Economic Papers, Journal of Economic Integration, Control and Cybernetics, Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society, History of Economic Ideas, American Review of Political Economy, International Review of Applied Economics, International Game Theory Review, Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, International Journal of Political Economy, Applied Economics Letters, The Economist’s Voice, International Journal of Social Economics, Journal of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Analysis, Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Heterodox Economics, Post Keynesian Economics Forum.  He was Visitor, Maison Des Sciences de L’Homme, Paris, 2004; French Government Post-Doctoral Scholar, 1996-1997, Groupe de Réchèrche sur la Regulation de L’Economie Capitaliste, Université Pierre Mendes, France; Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, October-November 2008. He is on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, and Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies.   Ajit Sinha : Ajit Sinha is Professor of Economics at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru.  Ajit has had a long and varied experience of teaching and research in Economics.  He has been associated with a number of academic institutions in India and abroad, notably the Delhi School of Economics, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at JNU, Department of Economics, Mumbai University, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Maître des Conférences Associé at Collège de France, Paris, University of Paris (Sorbonne), University of Trento, Italy and the University of Cambridge. He has served as a member of ‘Research Institutes Committee’ and the National Steering Committee of the Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development (IDPAD) of ICSSR.  The writing of the book under discussion has benefitted from a research grant from Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET) and Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).Ajit has an M.A in Economics from the University of Delhi and a Masters and a Ph.D. in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. His main area of research has been the History of Economic Theory, particularly the theories of value and distribution in the history of economics. He has more than forty research papers published in reputed international journals and edited books and encyclopedias. His first book, Theories of Value from Adam Smith to Piero Sraffa, was published in 2010 by Routledge. A Revolution in Economic Theory: The Economics of Piero Sraffa, the subject of today’s discussion, has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Ajit has also co-edited two books and was a member of the editorial board of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Political Economy, published by Routledge in 1999.    Chiranjib Sen : University; Visiting Scholar, Harvard Institute of International Development; and Visiting Professor, Vassar College. He was the first Indian to serve as President of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI), which is a member-network of leading Indian and Canadian higher education institutions. He was an independent Director of Indian Overseas Bank, and of KIOCL Limited. He was a member of the Task Force on Faculty Shortage and Design of Performance Appraisal Systems, MHRD, Government of India. He serves as external member of program advisory panels in Ambedkar University Delhi and Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum.Chiranjib Sen is an economist and a Professor in Azim Premji University.  Prior to joining Azim Premji University, he was for many years a Professor of Economics & Social Sciences in the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He was the founding Chairperson of the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) at IIMB, and led the initiatives for long duration training of senior policymakers. He has been affiliated with a number of academic institutions in India and abroad. These include: Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum; Harry Reynolds International Visiting Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Visiting Scholar, Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse His research interests are Government Role and Capacity under Market Reform; Governance Innovations and Administrative Reform; Regulatory Institutions and Dynamics; Developmental States in Asia, Public Policy; Higher Education and Professional Ethics. Chiranjib received his PhD in Economics from Stanford University, MA from Delhi School of Economics and BA (Hons) from Presidency College, Kolkata. 

Panel Discussion on Ajit Sinha’s A Revolution in Economic Theory: The Economics of Piero Sraffa (London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) Part -2

Goddanti Omkarnath

31/08/2016

About the Lecture

This book draws on the work of one of the sharpest minds of the twentieth century, Piero Sraffa (1898-1983). Ludwig Wittgenstein credited him for 'the most consequential ideas' of the Philosophical Investigations (1953) and put him high on his short list of geniuses. Sraffa's revolutionary contribution to Economics was, however, lost to the world because economists did not pay attention to the philosophical underpinnings of his economics. Based on exhaustive archival research, Sinha presents an exciting new thesis that shows how Sraffa challenged the usual mode of theorizing in terms of essential and mechanical causation and, instead, argued for a descriptive or geometrical theory based on simultaneous relations. A consequence of this approach was a complete removal of 'agent's subjectivity' and 'marginal method' or counterfactual reasoning from economic analysis – the two fundamental pillars of orthodox economic theory. It goes on to show that Sraffa’s alternative economic theory establishes that income distribution can be taken as given independently of prices — a conclusion that stands in stark opposition to orthodox economic theory, which maintains that both the size and distribution of income are determined simultaneously with prices.

About Speaker

Goddanti Omkarnath : Goddanti Omkarnath is Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Hyderabad. Before the year 2000, when he moved there, he served on the faculty of the Centre for Development Studies at Trivandrum. Trained in JNU and Loyola College, Vijayawada, he has held visiting positions at the University of Oxford and the University of Rome. Omkarnath’s professional interests range from economic theory and classical economics to problems of Indian economy and teaching of economics. A frequent contributor to newspapers and television on current economic affairs, he is on the Boards of Studies of several Indian Universities. He has supervised about 25 scholars for their M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees. Romar Correa : Romar Correa is the Reserve Bank of India Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, India. From 2005-2008, he was Director of the Department. He works on the tension between micro and macro in non-neoclassical frameworks. Among other journals, he has published in Keio Economic Papers, Journal of Economic Integration, Control and Cybernetics, Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society, History of Economic Ideas, American Review of Political Economy, International Review of Applied Economics, International Game Theory Review, Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, International Journal of Political Economy, Applied Economics Letters, The Economist’s Voice, International Journal of Social Economics, Journal of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Analysis, Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Heterodox Economics, Post Keynesian Economics Forum.  He was Visitor, Maison Des Sciences de L’Homme, Paris, 2004; French Government Post-Doctoral Scholar, 1996-1997, Groupe de Réchèrche sur la Regulation de L’Economie Capitaliste, Université Pierre Mendes, France; Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, October-November 2008. He is on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, and Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies.   Ajit Sinha : Ajit Sinha is Professor of Economics at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru.  Ajit has had a long and varied experience of teaching and research in Economics.  He has been associated with a number of academic institutions in India and abroad, notably the Delhi School of Economics, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at JNU, Department of Economics, Mumbai University, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Maître des Conférences Associé at Collège de France, Paris, University of Paris (Sorbonne), University of Trento, Italy and the University of Cambridge. He has served as a member of ‘Research Institutes Committee’ and the National Steering Committee of the Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development (IDPAD) of ICSSR.  The writing of the book under discussion has benefitted from a research grant from Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET) and Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).Ajit has an M.A in Economics from the University of Delhi and a Masters and a Ph.D. in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. His main area of research has been the History of Economic Theory, particularly the theories of value and distribution in the history of economics. He has more than forty research papers published in reputed international journals and edited books and encyclopedias. His first book, Theories of Value from Adam Smith to Piero Sraffa, was published in 2010 by Routledge. A Revolution in Economic Theory: The Economics of Piero Sraffa, the subject of today’s discussion, has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Ajit has also co-edited two books and was a member of the editorial board of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Political Economy, published by Routledge in 1999.    Chiranjib Sen : University; Visiting Scholar, Harvard Institute of International Development; and Visiting Professor, Vassar College. He was the first Indian to serve as President of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI), which is a member-network of leading Indian and Canadian higher education institutions. He was an independent Director of Indian Overseas Bank, and of KIOCL Limited. He was a member of the Task Force on Faculty Shortage and Design of Performance Appraisal Systems, MHRD, Government of India. He serves as external member of program advisory panels in Ambedkar University Delhi and Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum.Chiranjib Sen is an economist and a Professor in Azim Premji University.  Prior to joining Azim Premji University, he was for many years a Professor of Economics & Social Sciences in the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He was the founding Chairperson of the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) at IIMB, and led the initiatives for long duration training of senior policymakers. He has been affiliated with a number of academic institutions in India and abroad. These include: Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum; Harry Reynolds International Visiting Professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Visiting Scholar, Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse His research interests are Government Role and Capacity under Market Reform; Governance Innovations and Administrative Reform; Regulatory Institutions and Dynamics; Developmental States in Asia, Public Policy; Higher Education and Professional Ethics. Chiranjib received his PhD in Economics from Stanford University, MA from Delhi School of Economics and BA (Hons) from Presidency College, Kolkata. 

Fighting in the Courts and on the Streets: The Situation of Precarious Workers

Sudha Bharadwaj

19/08/2016

About the Lecture

The lecture will describe the 25 year old struggle of a contract workers union in a cement plant, ACC Jamul Cement Works (now, LafargeHolcim) in Chhattisgarh. How the workers organised against their harsh working conditions and precarious employment, the legal strategies they adopted and how they survived the lengthy litigation; and how they were finally supported by the solidarity of international unions and a UN mechanism to achieve an unprecedented settlement recently will be among the issues engaged in this talk. With the edifice of progressive labour law crumbling and the judiciary becoming increasingly unsympathetic to the working class in recent times, this has been no mean achievement. And no doubt a part of the success has been the democratic functioning of the union and its deep roots in the community.

About Speaker

Sudha Bharadwaj has been associated with the trade union movement in Chhattisgarh led by the legendary leader, Shankar Guha Niyogi, for the past 30 years. She is also a lawyer in the Chhattisgarh High Court working to provide group legal aid to people's movements through a voluntary group of lawyers called "Janhit". Over the past decade, Ms. Bharadwaj has been active in the Chhattisgarh branch of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, of which she is at present the General Secretary.

Businesses, not Projects: Large-Scale Promotion of Small Businesses for Poverty Reduction

Liby Johnson

12/08/2016

About the Lecture

Poor families tend to have more than one source of livelihoods. It is the balance that they achieve between farm production, animal husbandry, wage labour and non-farm enterprises that will help the family step up to a dignified life, without distress. Intervention strategies that try to define livelihoods within sectoral limits thus miss the larger picture. Promoting non-farm enterprises in a project mode leads to sub-optimal business choices being made by the entrepreneurs. In case of the other livelihood sources, options are often made by default (crop raised, frequency of cropping, type of animal raised, type of wage labour obtained etc.). Non-farm enterprises is one area where a poor family can actually exercise choice, within the larger market constraints of course, in deciding what option to choose. This requires effective and user-friendly support mechanisms to be put in place. Efforts of governments such as the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) are making such efforts. A question often raised is about the need to promote enterprises. Wouldn't anyone with entrepreneurial ability naturally tend to a business? This, and a host of issues related to capabilities and market limitations, remain the key challenges in the course of work in the domain of promoting self-employment for poverty reduction. In this context, the role of 'livelihoods professionals' also become important. The skill sets that young professionals bring to the table, in terms of supporting creation of viable businesses is an area that is not suitably appreciated. The talk aims to present some of the pertinent issues in the sphere of micro-enterprises and their role in large-scale poverty reduction.

About Speaker

Liby Johnson is Chief Operating Officer of Kudumbashree-National Resource Organization (KS-NRO). Kudumbashree, the Poverty Eradication Mission of the Government of Kerala, is widely recognized as a pioneer in building community institutional network of poor women and supporting these institutions to take up interventions to address causes of poverty in a holistic manner. National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) has mandated the KS-NRO to support other States in India to learn from the experiences in Kerala and develop their own models. KS-NRO currently works with 10 States. Prior to this, Liby worked with the Kudumbashree Mission in Kerala in the areas of micro enterprises and urban poverty alleviation; with SIFFS, a cooperative institution of artisanal marine fisher people supporting post-tsunami rehabilitation in Tamilnadu and Kerala; with Gram Vikas in Odisha, working on land and forest livelihoods among adivasis and; in Santal Pargana region of the then Bihar on land and livelihoods of Santal women.

A Development Vision for India

R. Balasubramaniam

05/08/2016

About the Lecture

The talk will revolve around the concept of how ‘Development’ needs to be viewed as a constant expansion of human capabilities. It will trace the history of the Nations’s growth over the last millenia and the paradigm of how expanding human and social capital is more critical to India today than ever before.  It will also demonstrate how this expansion can result in economic consequences for all. The talk will also include how the eco-system for implementing this paradigm needs to be created and why the development agenda set by the Govt. must reflect the ‘voice’ of the people/communities.  It will conclude with a call for collective action that includes the Governent, an engaged citizenry, a sociall responsible private sector and vibrant civil society groups.  The talk will be based on the experience of the speaker from founding and running one of India’s leading development organization for over three decades and from studying and teaching in some of the world’s leading schools including Harvard & Cornell.  It will also draw from the many experiential anecdotes written in his latest book, ‘i, the citizen’.

About Speaker

Dr. R Balasubramaniam (Balu) is a development activist who is a physician by qualification.  After his MBBS, he earned his MPhil in Hospital Administration & Health Systems Management from BITS, Pilani.  He has a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.  His living habits were greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and at the age of 19, he founded the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (www.svym.org) based on the principles of Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (Truth), Seva (Service) and Tyaga (Sacrifice).  He has spent the last 31 years of his life in the service of the rural and tribal poor in the forests of India.  He has built this non-profit organization into India’s leading development NGO and the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) today runs more than 50 projects reaching out to more than a million people across the state of Karnataka and also has centers in the USA and UK.   He is also the Founder and Chairman of Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (www.graam.org.in).  A recipient of numerous State and National Awards, Dr R Balasubramaniam has lectured and taught at many reputed universities around the world.

Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future

Harini Nagendra

03/08/2016

About the Lecture

In emerging economies across the world, cities struggle to deal with the frenzied pace of urban growth, with crises of pollution, water crises and urban heat waves hitting the headlines daily. How can growing cities balance the march of development with the essential need for urban nature? Exploring these questions, in my recent book "Nature in the City" I examine the past, present, and future of nature in Bengaluru, a medieval city that has grown exponentially since the rise of its internationally famous software industry. Despite being one of India’s largest and fastest growing cities, nature in the city - though threatened - exhibits a remarkable tenacity. Through a historical account of environmental change from the 6th century onwards, the book provides a deep dive into the cultural context that shapes the deep, organic connect to nature in this city of over 10 million people where we all live and work, looking at the spaces where nature thrives and strives.

About Speaker

Harini Nagendra is a Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University. She has conducted research and taught at multiple institutions including the Indian Institute of Science and Indiana University. Before she moved to APU, she was a Hubert H Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Macalester College, Saint Paul Minnesota and a DST Ramanujan Fellow at ATREE. Her research awards include the 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award for her research and practice on issues of the urban commons. She teaches, lectures and writes on issues of ecology, development and sustainability in journals, newspapers and blogs, and other fora.