Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Agrarian Studies
- Social Policy
- Social Movements
Awanish Kumar is currently a part of the School of Development, Azim Premji University. He is also Honorary Fellow at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (since April 2023), and Consulting Editor (Book Reviews), Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai (since November 2018).
Prior to joining Azim Premji University, he was a British Academy Newton International Fellow (2021 – 2023) at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He has taught at the School of Development, Azim Premji University (2020−2021) and at the postgraduate department of Public Policy at St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai (2015 – 2020).
His training is in the area of political economy of development, with specialisation in village studies as a methodology. He has conducted intensive fieldwork in the rural areas of Maharashtra, Bihar, Punjab, and Jharkhand. Currently, he is working towards his first monograph to be published as part of the British Academy Monograph Series by the Oxford University Press.
He completed his PhD in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai in 2019. He has a certificate of specialisation in Sustainable Development from International Graduate School North-South (graduate school of Universities of Basel, Bern, Lausanne, and Zurich). He qualified the UGC-National Eligibility Test in Economics in December 2012.
He has an MA and MPhil in Development Studies from TISS, Mumbai, and a BA (Hons) in Economics from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.
- Kumar, A. (forthcoming). Caste and Land in India. British Academy Monograph Series. Oxford University Press.
- Kumar, A. (2022). Agricultural insurance in India: History, issues and recent performance. In R. Ramakumar (Ed.) Distress in the Fields: Indian Agriculture after Economic Liberalization. Tulika Books. https://tulikabooks.in/catalog/product/view/id/22411/
- Kumar, A. (2023). Caste survey in Bihar: A new beginning? Economic and Political Weekly, 58(40). https://www.epw.in/journal/2023/40/comment/caste-survey-bihar-new-beginning.html
- Kumar, A. (2022). Now or never in Bihar? Economic & Political Weekly, 57(34). https://www.epw.in/journal/2022/34/comment/now-or-never-bihar.html
- Kumar, A. (2022). Land and caste relations in north Bihar: Observations from two villages. Review of Agrarian Studies, 12(1). https://ras.org.in/land_and_caste_relations_in_north_bihar
- Dhar, N. S., Pandey, M., & Kumar, A. (2022). Identifying socio-economic classes in two villages of Bihar. Review of Agrarian Studies, 12(1). https://ras.org.in/identifying_socio_economic_classes_in_two_villages_of_bihar
- Kumar, A. (2021). Reservations: A project of nation building. Economic & Political Weekly, 56 (45−46), 10 – 12. https://www.epw.in/journal/2021/45 – 46/alternative-standpoint/reservations-%E2%80%8B-project-nation-building.html
- Surendran, A., & Kumar, A. (2020). Have RCTs brought back the “empirical” into Economics? World Development, 127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104828
- Kumar, A. (2020). B R Ambedkar on caste and land relations in India. Review of Agrarian Studies, 10(1). http://ras.org.in/b_r_ambedkar_on_caste_and_land_relations_in_india
- Kumar, A. (2020). Reading Ambedkar in the time of Covid-19. Economic & Political Weekly, 55(16), 34 – 37. https://www.epw.in/journal/2020/16/perspectives/reading-ambedkar-time-covid-19.htm
- Kumar, A. (2015). Where is caste in development? Bihar Assembly Elections 2015. Economic & Political Weekly, 50(45). https://www.epw.in/journal/2015/45/reports-states-web-exclusives/where-caste-development.html
- Chau, H. S., Kumar, Awanish & Lieberherr, S (2015). Non-family labour in the Swiss agriculture: A status report and future prospects. .Journal of Socioeconomics in Agriculture, Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, 7⁄8. https://ideas.repec.org/a/cha/ysa001/v8y2015i1p1-10.html
- Kumar, A. (2013). Nitish Kumar’s honorable exit: A brief history of caste politics. Economic & Political Weekly, 48(28), 15 – 17. https://www.epw.in/journal/2013/28/commentary/nitish-kumars-honourable-exit.html
- Kumar, A. (2009). A class analysis of the ‘Bihari Menace’. Economic & Political Weekly, 44(28), 124 – 127. https://www.epw.in/journal/2009/28/notes/class-analysis-bihari-menace.html
- Kumar, A. (2020). Reimagining public policy studies in India [Review of the book Public Policy: A View from the South, by V. Narain]. Economic & Political Weekly, 55(38), 30 – 32. https://www.epw.in/journal/2020/38/book— reviews/reimagining— public— policy— studies— india.html
- Kumar, A. (2019). Autobiography of an iconoclast [Review of the book Gopalganj to Raisina: My Political Journey, by L.P. Yadav & N. Verma]. Economic & Political Weekly, 50(20), 25 – 28. https://www.epw.in/journal/2019/20/book— reviews/autobiography— iconoclast.html
- Kumar, A. (2018). The crisis of the small farm economy in India [Review of the book How Do Small Farmers Fare? Evidence from Village Studies in India, by M. Swaminathan, & S. Baksi (Eds.)]. Review of Agrarian Studies, 8(1). http://ras.org.in/the_crisis_of_the_small_farm_economy_in_india
- Kumar, A. (2017). Village India: Change and continuity [Review of the book The Changing Village in India: Insights from Longitudinal Research, by Himanshu, P. Jha, & G. Rodgers (Eds.)]. Review of Agrarian Studies, 7(2). http://ras.org.in/village_india
- Kumar, A. (2017). Agrarian questions: Old and new [Review of the book Critical Perspectives on Agrarian Transition: India in the Global Debate, by B.B. Mohanty (Ed.)]. Review of Agrarian Studies, 7(1). http://ras.org.in/agrarian_questions
- Kumar, A. (2017). India’s unique enigma of high growth and stunted children[ Review of the book Where India Goes: Abandoned Toilets, Stunted Development and the Costs of Caste, by D. Coffey, & D. Spears]. The Wire. https://thewire.in/books/indias-unique-enigma-high-growth-stunted-children
- George, A. & Kumar, A. (2017, October 13 – 17)). Class in itself? Caste for itself? Exploring the latest phase of rural agitations in India. Conference Paper No. 38, Fifth International Conference of BRICS Initiative for Critical Agrarian Studies, The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow. https://www.iss.nl/sites/corporate/files/2017 – 11/BICAS%20CP%205 – 38%20George%20and%20Kumar.pdf
- Kumar, A. (2022, October 30). Ambedkar and his idea of the caste of land. The Indian Express. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/ambedkar-and-his-idea-of-the-caste-of-land-8237543/
- Kumar, A. (2022, August 29). Why caste, gender inequality worsen India’s public health crisis. Mint. https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/a‑neglected-contributor-to-the-country-s-crisis-of-public-health-11661701046703.html
- Kumar, A. (2022, February 04). The artist’s manifesto. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/society/the-artists-manifesto/article38375051.ece
- Kumar, A. (2016, November 27). The great masquerade. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/society/The-great-masquerade/article16699954.ece
- Kumar, A. (2017, January 15). हमें एक नजरिए से ही दिखता है हमारा सच. Subah Savere.
- Kumar, A. (2020, May 22). Caste and public health. Frontline. https://frontline.thehindu.com/cover-story/article31525708.ece
- Kumar, A. (2005, October). मैं तुम्हारे रक्त में हु [कविता]. Nukkad Janam Samvaad.
- Kumar, A. & Dixit, A. (2010). Is a Universal PDS Financially Feasible in India?, Research Brief 4, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.
- Kumar, A. (2010). Mid-Term Appraisal of the Eleventh Five Year Plan for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Planning Commission, New Delhi.
- Ramakumar, R., Raut, K., Kumar, A. (2009). Agrarian Change in Rural Maharashtra: A Resurvey of Dongargaon village, Akola District, Maharashtra. Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.