Awanish Kumar

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Caste and class in India
  • Development theories and histories,
  • Village studies,
  • Agricultural economics
  • Political economy of Bihar and Maharashtra
  • Land question in India and other developing countries
  • Migration, Agrarian movements, Social determinants of health


I am currently British Academy Newton International Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. I have worked most recently as Assistant Professor in the School of Development at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, and Department of Public Policy at St Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai. I also serve as the Book Reviews Editor at the Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai, since 2018. My primary research interest is located at the intellectual and political intersections of Marxism and Ambedkarism, especially in the fields of agrarian studies, social policy, and social movements. My doctoral research completed at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and drawing from the writings of Dr B R Ambedkar and a land movement waged by Dalit landless labour in Maharashtra (west India), explored the Dalit Land Question in India. Currently, my empirical work is focused on the land question in rural Maharashtra, Punjab, and Bihar. Alongside, I am trying to conceptualise the emergent caste and class relations in rural India, while working to understand the social and economic thoughts of Dr Ambedkar better. I am also interested in Bombay cinema, Bhojpuri music, Hindi literature and poetry, and popular culture.

University Education

  • PhD Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India, 2012 – 19.
  • MPhil, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India, 2010-12.
  • MA Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India, 2007-09.
  • BA Honours in Economics, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, 2004-07.
  • Certificate of Specialization in Sustainable Development, International Graduate School North-South (graduate school of Universities of Basel, Bern, Lausanne, and Zurich) 2019.


Book Reviews/​Review Articles