Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Political Economy of Statistics
- Law and Economics
- Economics of Religion
- Indian History
Vikas studied metallurgy at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), Uttar Pradesh (B Tech 2001) and economics at Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai (PhD, 2010) and the University of Hamburg (Doctoral fellow, 2007-08).
He worked with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, New Delhi and Trichy, and later National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, where he taught Law, Economics, and Religion and Introduction to Game Theory, before joining Azim Premji University.
His research explores the interfaces between politics and statistics, economics and religion, Kauṭilya’s Arthasastra, and other pre-modern texts.
He curated the exhibition Baba Saheb: An Extraordinary Philatelic Journey (1966−2022) at the India International Centre, New Delhi (June 2022) and Counting and Controlling Population: Postal Services, Census & Family Planning in Post-colonial India, 1951 – 2011 at Bangalore International Centre (BIC), Bengaluru (January 2023).
His recent publications include Waiting for a Christmas Gift: Essays on Politics, Elections and Media in Nagaland (Heritage Publishing House, 2023) and Numbers in India’s Periphery: The Political Economy of Government Statistics (co-authored book published by Cambridge University Press, 2020).
His forthcoming publication includes Numbers as Political Allies: The Census in Jammu and Kashmir (Cambridge University Press).
Political Economy of Government Statistics
An exploration of the mutually constitutive relation between data, development and democracy.
Economy and Development: The Indian Experience
A historically informed account of India's economic development.
Kautilya and his Arthasastra
An introduction to the rich diversity of the ancient Indian discussions on statecraft, economy, and law and the problems arising out of anachronistic interpretations of the past to address contemporary political exigencies.
Reading Regional Mahabharatas
An introduction to regional Mahabharatas as autonomous (knowledge) texts that are creative retellings of the Vyasa Mahabharata rather than imperfect, incomplete, or corrupt translations.
An introduction to the rich diversity of everyday lives in Nagaland through “non-academic” sources.
- Kumar, V. (Forthcoming). Numbers as Political Allies: The Census in Jammu and Kashmir. Cambridge University Press.
- Kumar, V. (2023). Waiting for a Christmas Gift: Essays on Politics, Elections and Media in Nagaland. Heritage Publishing House.
- Agrawal, A. and Kumar, V. (2020). Numbers in India’s Periphery: The Political Economy of Government Statistics. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108762229