Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Water and Sanitation Governance
- Policy Processes in India
- Sustainability and Decentralised Governance
- Social Ecology of Water
- Philosophy of Technology
- Sociology of Needs
- Embeddedness and Modernity
Gautam works on the institutional dimensions of drinking water and sanitation in India. He is especially interested in understanding (using a comparative frame) the reform-mediated character of institutions in the sector at a regional/sub-national level in India. In addition to political economy of water and sanitation governance, he is also interested in how dominant institutional cultures in the sector’s organisations shape their disposition to alternative imaginations of drinking water and sanitation provision in India.
The relationship between water and society interests him, especially aspects of how the ecology of water flows has historically shaped social and political organisation, and how modern hydrological visions and political exigencies shape ecological landscapes.
Gautam’s research interest also includes how the question of technology is implicated in the climate crisis. He believes that there is an urgent need to consider technology as an independent variable in human affairs – an issue demanding collective moral and political reflection. In this context, he is interested in interrogating the ethical dimensions of knowledge, exclusively produced through a scientific-ontological prism.
Gautam has previously been associated as a Research Fellow with Ashank Desai Centre for Policy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. He has a PhD in Technology and Development from IIT Bombay. He has obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees (both in Mechanical Engineering) from Coimbatore Institute of Technology and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor respectively.
- Ganapathy, G., & Narayanan, N.C. (2022). Confronting the elephant in the room: Drinking water governance reforms and diminishing state capacity in Kerala. Economic and Political Weekly, 57(42), 18 – 23. https://www.epw.in/journal/2022/42/commentary/confronting-elephant-room.html
- Ganapathy, G., & Narayanan, N.C. (2019). Colonial modernity shaping the pipe dream: a historical account of advent of the modern water supply system in Trivandrum. Water History, 11(3), 107 – 124. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12685-019 – 00232‑5
- Narayanan, N., Prince, R., & Ganapathy, G. (2023). Changing Role of the State in Rural Drinking Water Governance in India. ADCPS Working Paper Series (No WPS/2023/001). https://www.cps.iitb.ac.in/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/WPS-2023 – 001.pdf
- Narayanan, N., Ganapathy, G., Joseph, J., Cathareen, N., Viswan, D., & Geethu, M. (Forthcoming). Introducing Circularity in Decentralized Solid Waste Management: Lessons for Scaling-Up Technology Options from Alappuzha. Challenges of Municipal Solid Waste Management: Learning from Post-Crisis Governance Initiatives in South Asia. IIT Bombay and Swiss National Science Foundation. http://lifeofwaste.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/11-Innovation-for-circularity-Alappuzha.pdf
- Ganapathy, G. & Salil, C. (2023) Bureaucracy, Sustainable Development and Decentralization: Reflections on Jalasamrudhi, a Community-based Water Conservation Programme in Kerala. Research Unit on Local Self-Government (RuLSG), Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram: https://cds.edu/wp-content/uploads/Jalasamrudhi_RULSG-Monograph5.pdf
- Ganapathy, G., & Pillai, S., (2023, March 23). Fire in Kochi garbage mound: The solid waste crisis in Kerala is social, political – and profoundly cultural. Indian Express. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/kochi-garbage-mound-fire-solid-waste-crisis-in-kerala-8514699
- Ganapathy, G. (2022, May). Beyond NIMBY? What explains public opposition to siting of sanitation infrastructure in Kerala? [Conference presentation]. Deepening Local Governance for Sustainable Management of Solid and Liquid Waste in Small Towns in India. Ashank Desai Centre for Policy Studies, IIT Bombay, Mumbai.
- Ganapathy, G. (2016, October). Envisioning an alternate imagination of wastewater management for small cities in India. [Workshop presentation]. School of South Asian Studies, University of Berkeley, USA.