India Initiative Fellows 2013

Undergraduate Fellows

David Adler

David Adler
Development Studies

Project Title: Beyond Corruption: Indian Bureaucracy and Implementation

Corruption remains the most common explanation for state failures in India. David will test the corruption thesis in his investigation of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and its effort to rehabilitate the Kathputli slum in West Delhi. His project will detail the challenges of Indian bureaucracy in facilitating Delhi’s transition to a Global City.

Sujaya Desai

Sujaya Desai
Anthropology and International Relations

Project Title: Bridging the Divide Between Legal and Social Realms

The area that I am interested in looking into through this research project is the divide that occurs between the legal and social realms in India. Focusing specifically on cases of sexual violence against women, this project seeks to question the extent to which legal and social changes reflect one another. In addition, I also want to look into the ways in which legal discourse can be limiting and what the alternative pathways are to bring about social change.

Anamta Farook

Anamta Farook
Education Studies

Project Title: Experience in Education Policy Design and Research in India

The Planning Commission is an institution of the Indian Government that publishes India's Five-Year Plans on economic, educational, health and other domains. Through a 5-week internship at the Planning Commission in Delhi, India, I will be involved with policy design and research in Indian higher education. My work in particular focuses on designing a research assessment framework for pre-selected universities with a view to improve the research capacity of the higher education system and align it with the socio-economic needs of the country.

Jenna Haber

Jenna Haber
History

Project Title: Managing Water and Waste: Working with Janaagraha in Bangalore, Karnataka

Jenna Haber will be interning in the PROOF (Public Record of Operations and Finance) Campaign at Janaagraha, a Bangalore non-profit organization working towards promoting civic engagement and transparency in government. She will be working on their initiative to evaluate urban quality of life through defining factors such as infrastructure quality, government services, and citizenship participation.

Viveka Hulyalkar

Viveka Hulyalkar
Political Science

Project Title: “Let’s Be Well Red” (LBWR): Expanding the Health Scout Program Throughout Mumbai to Sustainably Combat Anemia"

Viveka will be working in Mumbai this summer on a non-profit startup campaign called "Let's Be Well Red." Developed by Brown students, the project seeks to combat anemia, a blood disorder that afflicts 80% of the Indian population and is the #1 cause of maternal and fetal deaths, through the dissemination of an iron-rich nutrition bar made from Indian ingredients. Viveka will train high school students through the campaign's "Health Scouts" program to promote the dietary supplement within their own communities, making the solution self-sustainable.

Hailey Nguyen

Hailey Nguyen
Sociology

Project Title: Dimensions and Determinants of Rising Sex Ratios in South India

This project will study trends in sex ratios of children at birth and ages between 1 and 15 in rural Vellore District India and explore the determinants of sex ratios, including household wealth, caste and village of residence. In addition, this project aims to design household survey modules for the South India Community Study (SICS), in order to gain more insight on gender ideology, fertility preferences and child health and health care utilization.

Taran Raghuram

Taran Raghuram
Economics

Project Title: Understanding the Nature and Extent of Corruption in India

Janaagraha's website"iPaidaBribe.com" was created to increase public knowledge about the extent of corruption in urban India and is the first of its kind. In my research, I will investigate the effects of this online campaign on the citizens' awareness of the issue and on endemic corruption itself.

Florian Schalliol

Florian Schalliol
Physics and Philosophy, Economics

Project Title: GOOD/CORPS India Expansion

Corporate Social Responsibility in India: In partnership with various for-profit companies, non-profits, and research organizations, we will be piloting a package of products, techniques, and best practices for for-profit companies in India to start or expand Corporate Social Responsibility programs.


Graduate Fellows

Poulomi ChakrabartiPoulomi Chakrabarti

Poulomi Chakrabarti
Political Science (Comparative Politics)

Project Title: One Nation, Many Worlds: Varieties of Developmental Regimes in India

Poulomi is a PhD student in the department of political science. Her research interests include political economy of development, identity politics, public service delivery and local governance with a regional focus on South Asia. Poulomi's dissertation project explores the determinants of sub-national variation in developmental regimes in India. She is interested in how the class and ethnic backgrounds of political elites and their electoral bases shapes the policy priorities of the state. She plans to begin research for her project this summer by exploring archival resources in the United States and India.

David Glick

David Glick
Economics

Project Title: Competition in Public Service Delivery: Evidence from India

My research examines the distribution of subsidized foods to poor, urban households in Punjab, India under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). I seek to understand how an episode of increased competition among government-licensed shops may have affected distribution quality and health outcomes for the TPDS’ intended recipients. I hypothesize that this episode of increased competition strengthened these public service providers' incentives to reduce black-marketing of goods and instead provide better service to the poor.

Brian Horton

Brian Horton
Anthropology (Cultural)

Project Title: In the Wake of the Rainbow Spring: The Precariousness of Being Queer in a Post-377 India

I am a first year doctoral student in the department of anthropology. My research is focused on emerging LGBT collectivities and changing public perceptions of alternative sexuality in India. Ultimately, I am interested in the relationships between law, sexuality, and expanding categories of personhood established through legal recognition. My summer research will focus on LGBT activist/NGO work in Mumbai.

Rajeev Kadambi

Rajeev Kadambi
Political Science (Theory/Comparative Politics)

Project Title: Examining Ambedkar’s Vision of Social Justice through the Politics of Recognition: From Margins to the Main Site

Rajeev will study the intellectual trajectory of swaraj after Gandhi with a view to situate this in the traditions of Gandhian thought. His principal research will be archival. He will be based out of academic institutions in New Delhi and Bengaluru to carry out this work. He can be contacted at rajeev_kadambi@brown.edu

Daniel Kushner

Daniel Kushner
Political Science

Project Title: Reading Bhaarat: The Mediators that Connect Leaders to Voters

Daniel Kushner researches the impact of information about voters on Indian political parties. He is writing a dissertation using historical and contemporary cases, analyzing the effect of how a party learns about voters on the strategies the party uses to appeal to those voters.

Jamie McPike

Jamie McPike
Sociology

Project Title: Urban Governance at the Boundaries: Exploring the Intersection of State and City Politics Under NURM in Urban India

My research this summer is motivated primarily by two questions: 1) How and in what ways is state power at the sub-national and city level being (re)constituted in Indian cities under the National Urban Renewal Mission policy?; and 2) How and in what ways do various actors negotiate and struggle over the power to determine an urban future? To answer these questions, I intend to interview members of the sub-national and city level government in two cities (Bangalore and Chennai) as well as members of civil society and para-statal organizations currently working on the NURM policy in these two places. This research has important implications for contemporary theories of urban governance in India, and, broadly speaking, for theories of the changing nature of urban governance under conditions of contemporary global neoliberalism.

Andrea Wright

Andrea Wright
Anthropology

Project Title: Parlor or Salon: Beauty and Modernity in Contemporary India

I am a PhD student in the department of Anthropology. My research examines how women’s bodies and beauty are used as representations of modernity and development in India. I am most concerned with the ways in which beauty expectations, standards, procedures, products, and rituals have evolved over time to reflect changing political and cultural landscapes.


Faculty Fellows

Jo Guldi

Jo Guldi
Assistant Professor, Department of History

Project Title: Learning from India: Maps of the Modern Commons in Land and Water

 

Sriniketh Nagavarapu

Sriniketh Nagavarapu
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Center for Environmental Studies

Project Title: Reforming the Public Distribution System

The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is India's flagship program to improve food security, but the goals of the program are undermined by large-scale leakage of the goods -- grain, sugar, and kerosene -- through black market sales. In our project, we evaluate a reform in which a NGO delivered TPDS goods to a small fraction of beneficiaries in Punjab over the course of the June 2010-July 2012 period. Preliminary results from our first round of data collection indicate that take-up improved significantly and that women's health may have improved as well -- though these health improvements were concentrated in households where women may have more decision-making authority. With the generous support of the Brown-India Initiative, we will conduct a second round of data collection on the same households and examine (1) how household demand responded to the improvements in TPDS supply; (2) whether the NGO households' temporary experience with effective public service delivery altered the demands they make of their normal TPDS delivery agents; and (3) the determinants of women's health outcomes during and after the NGO episode.