Economics is an attempt to understand everyday lives, a study of how people interact with each other and the natural environment to produce and reproduce their livelihoods. It is about the various sorts of social dealings that create, coordinate and maintain the structures of our lives: markets, states or social norms. Some of its questions attempt to understand how human beings cooperate and work together, why productive activity takes different forms, and why labour, which we all do in different ways, are treated with different values.
Who should join us?
Our programme is designed to provide a strong understanding of the Indian economy, economic theory, tools of analysis, and practical application of these skills to current economic issues. We help you make connections between the minute details and larger ideas. We believe that an understanding of history and philosophical approaches will enable you to think actively about the social and political present.
Why study with us?
We offer Interdisciplinary Openness
Our programmes encourage you to explore and follow your interests. We design our courses to ensure that you can specialise in a subject of your choice while learning various subjects across disciplines.
A Common Curriculum for all students
You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of your course to build all the tools you need for your four years of study. This includes foundational courses, an understanding of India, interdisciplinary studies, and courses in creative expressions.
We provide Academic Assistance
Our consistent academic assistance through language support, peer tutoring, faculty mentorship, etc., ensures that you meet the programme’s academic requirements.
We ensure Financial Support
We extend need-based financial assistance to students that cover tuition and accommodation expenses.
The Common Curriculum will introduce students to the study of the themes and areas that emphasise and build critical and analytical abilities, and sensibilities for dialogue, reflection and cooperative learning. The Common Curriculum has three sub-components organised as below:
Foundations: Build capacity for critical thinking, reasoning and communication.
Understanding India: India’s history, society and possible future.
Creative Expressions: Explore music, visual art, theatre, dance, martial arts, yoga, pottery, sport, and other creative areas.
Do individuals calculate their actions to suit consequences? Are individual’s choices purely self-interested? How do individual behaviours affect social institutions? And how can policies take heed to these behaviours?
Students must be prepared for the world of work at the end of the programme should they choose to enter it. We aim to provide the required skills and competencies for this through a Minor featuring courses in an Occupational or Interdisciplinary theme. These sets of courses are aimed to provide both conceptual understanding and skills and tools that will allow students to contribute through work and further study.
Students can opt for a minor in any one of the indicative areas listed below:
- Media and Journalism
- Data and Democracy
- Sports and Fitness
- Climate Studies
The selection of these indicative areas is based on the availability of courses and our evaluation of the student’s interests and academic needs. For each cohort, a final list of available courses will be announced at the end of their second semester.
Students can craft their own educational experience by selecting courses in the following ways:
- Students will have the option to take additional courses in their Disciplinary Major.
- Interdisciplinary Minor that will enable them for their further higher studies or career pathways.
These courses could also be selected to enhance and broaden their
- Language skills and Quantitative reasoning capacities/programming skills.
- Understanding of themes outside their Major subject.
Over the course of the programme, students will be exposed to a range of pedagogical practices including lectures, seminars, group-based learning, and active learning strategies.
We are committed to providing an environment where students and faculty are engaged in active learning, which involves the practical application of knowledge and skills through real-world experiences and problem-solving. There are a number of ways we promote active learning and direct application of economics for students outside of the classroom from fieldwork, internships, and opportunities for research.
We recognise the diversity of backgrounds and capabilities that students come with and have designed the programme to respond to their individual needs including those with disabilities and neurodiversity.
You can work closely with a faculty member on a specific topic, and develop a research question to write up a thesis. To choose this path, you should have completed credits from classroom courses and a project.
Some ongoing thesis projects are:
A historical analysis of Shiv Sena, labor movements and identity politics in Mumbai, Amit Wagh, mentored by Amit Basole
Changes in Monetary Policy During Time of Crisis, Avantika V.A., mentored by Zico Dasgupta
Domestic Violence in India: An Analysis of Trends in Perpetretors’ Characteristics, Behaviors, and Attitudes, Nandini S., mentored by Kade Finnoff
Tanisha Hiremath: Kautilya’s Arthashastra: The Determination of Prices, Wages and Taxes; Advisor: Alex Thomas
Land distribution, land accumulation and land conflicts in Telangana: A historical study, Jayant, mentored by Dontha Prashanth
Let’s not underestimate deprivation in the country — Amit Basole in Mint
Why David Card, Joshua Angrist and Imbens won the Nobel prize in economics? — Anand Shrivastava and Avinash Tripathi in Hindustan Times
Want Vaccine Fast? Suspend Intellectual Property Rights — Arjun Jayadev (and others) in The New York Times
Plugging education gaps as schools reopen — Garima Agarwal in Indian Express
Number Theory: Four Charts which explain India’s Net Zero emissions challenge — KC Adaina and Kedar Kulkarni in Hindustan Times
The Narendra Modi Stadium is India’s “It’s not cricket” moment — Rajendran Narayanan in scroll.in
Can the increase in MSP for paddy help boost its yield? — Srishti Yadav in Hindustan Times
What’s missing from India’s monetisation debate — Tamoghna Halder in Aljazeera
Why Rupee Depreciation is bad, not good news — Zico Dasgupta in Hindustan Times
Understanding the formulation of the budget — Zico Dasgupta in The Hindu
Amit Basole on Jobs and Economic Growth in CNBC
Amit Basole and Rajendran Narayanan on MGNREGA as a safety net during COVID in the Indian Express
Anand Shrivastava on electoral polarisation in Frontline
Arjun Jayadev on Inequality at the Institute of New Economic Thinking
Kedar Kulkarni on “Vulnerability to Climate Change” at Oregon State University
Rahul De in conversation with Sanjay Reddy on evolution of economics education in India
Rahul De in a panel discussion with teachers from different Economics Departments in India on creating a pluralistic economics programme
Srishti Yadav on “Caste, Diversification, and the Contemporary Agrarian Question in India” at the Foundation for Agrarian Studies Online Meeting
Srishti Yadav speaks on the Agrarian Question in India on the “A Correction: Podcast”
Zico Dasgupta in The Hindu on whether the declining rupee is a crisis or opportunity for the Indian Economy
Zico Dasgupta in ET Now on whether India will see a Millionaire rush by 2030
Zico Dasgupta in a discussion with Barkha Dutt on the Economic Survey 22 – 23
Conferences and Workshops
International Conference on the History of Economic Thought 2023
The conference hosted close to 50 paper presentations over two days, covering a wide range of themes and thinkers: African to Indian economic thought, Ambedkar to Sraffa, Keynesian to Feminist economics, Kautilya to Ibn Khaldun. The presenters also span various stages of career, with a large number of presentations by undergraduate and graduate students, who were able to receive feedback from senior and distinguished scholars in the field. The conference was preceded by a one-day workshop oriented at teachers of History of Economic Thought.
The two keynote lectures were delivered by leading HET scholars Maria Bach and Francois Allison, both affiliated with the Centre Walras Pareto, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Explore more details here.
Demystifying Economics 2023
The second edition of the Demystifying Economics has been jointly organised by Azim Premji University, Bahujan Economists and School for Democracy.
The idea of this workshop is not to lecture participants on Economics, but to the extent possible, democratise the language and the discipline of Economics itself. This is because the participants of this workshop, who are members of various civil society organisations across India, are already best positioned to understand the complex nature of the social, political and economic reality on the ground, but owing to a variety of factors, most notably being bereft of technical vocabulary, they get relegated to being spectators in the larger gambit. Keeping this in mind, we have designed multiple sessions in this workshop, shedding light on the concepts of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Political Economy and Statistics as relevant to the contexts of our participants.
Find the outline of the workshop here.
Advanced Graduate Workshop 2023
In 2006, Professors Joseph Stiglitz and Akbar Noman started a small interdisciplinary workshop titled ‘Advanced Graduate Workshop (AGW) on Poverty, Development and Globalisation’. Ever since, the workshop has mentored and hosted scholars from all across the world. For the past 10 years, AGW has been organised by Azim Premji University in collaboration with the Institute for New Economic Thinking. The Economics group at Azim Premji University remains closely associated with this workshop in various scopes and roles.
The goal of the workshop is to bring together graduate students studying economic development at a sufficiently advanced stage of their dissertation to be able to discuss and receive feedback on their research. The success of AGW lies in creating a supportive and friendly environment which makes students comfortable to discuss and provide feedback on each other’s work. Explore more details here.
The programme at Azim Premji University has several mechanisms to provide learning support to students. Economics students will be particularly encouraged to avail of support in quantitative methods as well as analytical and writing support.
Depending on the course context and student preparation, additional support is provided in the form of group and individual tutorials, peer tutoring, pre-semester immersion programmes, winter & summer term supporting courses and sustained support from the Academic Resource Centre (ARC) for English and Mathematics.
For students wanting to explore the subject further, the economics programme will also provide external resources for students to engage in Indian economic issues, both within and outside the classroom; including access to data, news, blogs, and journals, and guest lectures and interactions with economists outside the University. There is an active student-led Economics Club that regularly organises seminars, movie screenings, games, and other events.
Sahana Subramanyam and Meghna Prasad, B.A. Economics 2015 – 18
Career Opportunities and Academic Avenues
A world of possibilities awaits our graduates. They can explore varied opportunities in both employment and higher education. Whether in business, public services, teaching, or entrepreneurship, our graduates will benefit from an education that nurtures the fundamental capabilities along with deep disciplinary knowledge. We also foresee students continuing to pursue higher studies either at Azim Premji University or elsewhere.Read More →