Areas of Interest & Expertise
Accountability of Public Programmes, Public Distribution Systems, Social Audits, Participatory Democracy
Rajendran Narayanan is a faculty with the School of Arts and Sciences.
He teaches Mathematics. After completing his PhD in statistics from Cornell University, he has held teaching and research positions at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, Cornell University, Ithaca and Ashoka University, Sonepat. In his doctoral work, he explored theoretical questions pertaining to eigenvalues of random matrices and shrinkage estimation in constrained regression problems. He has slowly been an interpolar to the social sciences and is a rural development practitioner.
The Right to Information (RTI) has been a landmark law to increase transparency and accountability of the government. In this regard, social audits have been a powerful mechanism of monitoring and participation for the marginalised sections to know their rights and entitlements and act based on that knowledge. Social audits entail presenting relevant information in a manner that is most useful to rural beneficiaries of programmes such as NREGA. The information can then be used to conduct public hearings leading to increased democratic engagement and participation. Rajendran works with a network of researchers and activists from various civil society organisations in several states in designing and developing “bottom-up” Janata Information Systems (JIS) that can be used for continuous monitoring of government programmes and social audits. He is interested in understanding what the proliferation of data and over-reliance on technological processes mean for development and participatory democracy.
Prior to his PhD, Rajendran completed his Bachelors in Statistics (Hons), with Mathematics and Economics as ancillaries from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata followed by a Masters in Applied Statistics and Informatics from the Department of Mathematics, IIT Bombay.
An introduction to formal statistical approaches used by economists in analysing real world problems by the use of computer programmes.
- Submitted Paper: “Analysis of Payment Delays and Delay Compensation in NREGA Findings across Ten States for Two Quarters of Financial Year 2017 – 18.” By: Rajendran Narayanan, Sakina Dhorajiwala, Rajesh Golani.
- Submitted Paper: “Analysis of Payment Delays and Delay Compensation in NREGA Findings across Ten States for Financial Year 2016 – 17.” By: Rajendran Narayanan, Sakina Dhorajiwala, Rajesh Golani.
- Working Paper: “Is there such a thing as a Direct Cash Transfer” By:Vivek S., Rajendran Narayanan, Sai Chand, Dipanjan Chakraborty, Rajesh Veeraraghavan and Vibhore Vardhan
- “On the Domain of Attraction of a Tracy-Widom Law with Applications to Testing Multiple Largest Roots”, By: Didier Chetelat, Rajendran Narayanan, and Martin T. Wells.
- “Improved Loss Estimation for Lasso: A Variable Selection Tool”, Sankhya, The Indian Journal of Statistics (77‑B)(45 – 74), 2015. By: Rajendran Narayanan and Martin T. Wells
- “Modeling of Statistical Techniques to Improve Static Linearity of Thermometer Digital to Analog Converters Systems” IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (99), 2015. By: Ishita Mukhopadhyay, Mustansir Yunus Mukadam, Rajendran Narayanan, Frank O’Mahoney, and Alyssa B.Apsel
- “On the Maximal Domain of Attraction of Tracy-Widom Distribution for Gaussian Unitary Ensembles”, Statistics and Probability Letters 83(10):2364 – 2371, 2013. By: Rajendran Narayanan and Martin T. Wells
- “Airavat: An Automated System to Increase Transparency and Accountability in Social Welfare Schemes in India”. Note in the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Cape Town, South Africa , 2013. By: Vivek Srinivasan, Vibhore Vardhan, Snigdha Kar, Siddhartha Asthana, Rajendran Narayanan, Pushpendra Singh, Dipanjan Chakraborty, Amarjeet Singh, and Aaditeshwar Seth.
- In Defence of Activism in Universities e‑qualnews, Education, and Policy Making in India, Volume 3 , Issue 6 , November 2016. Reprinted and Published in thewire.in.
- “Give me Hope, Joanna” 16th September, 2017. By: Rajendran Narayanan Published in the Business Standard.
- “The ‘Pey’ and ‘Bhutam’ in India’s Technology-Fuelled Development Crusade” 9th September, 2017. By: Rajendran Narayanan Published in thewire.in.
- MGNREGA Payout Delays Underestimated, 7th August, 2017. Published in the Business Standard. By: Rajendran Narayanan, Sakina Dhorajiwala, Rajesh Golani.
- Aadhaar and Multiple Identity Disorder, 1st July, 2017. Published in the Business Standard. By: Rajendran Narayanan.
- Communalism Has Been Injected Even in Bread and Butter Issues of Jharkhand, 27th June, 2017By:Rajendran Narayanan.
- Champaran, a century after Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha, 21st April, 2017. By: Rajendran Narayanan, Business Standard.
- Aadhaar Trouble: How a Woman’s Wages Under MGNREGA were Transferred to Someone else’s Account, 9th April, 2017. By: Rajendran Narayanan, Sakina Dhorajiwala, Sabhil Nath Paikra.
- A Guarantee, An Illusion: MGNREGA Provisions on Right to Work and Timely Wages Are Being Violated, 14th February, 2017. By: Rajendran Narayanan, Sakina Dhorajiwala.
- The Flag Bearers, 27th January, 2017. By: Rajendran Narayanan, Business Standard.
- Demonetising Rural India, 10th December, 2016, Business Standard. By: Chakradhar Buddha and Rajendran Narayanan.
- All About Means and Ends, 4th October,2016. Published in The Hindu.
- Rejected Wage Payments in MGNREGA, 17th September, 2016, Business Standard. By: Sakina Dhorajiwala and Rajendran Narayanan.
- No Guarantee in Mahabubnagar, 4th February, 2016, Indian Express. By: Chakradhar Buddha and Rajendran Narayanan.
- Boyalagudem’s Search for Water, 22nd July, 2013.
- Anchored a Fact Finding Report on the spate of false FIRs filed against Sanjay Sahni, an activist partner in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.