C4: South Asia Research Cluster

Team Lead:

Shubhra Gururani (York University, Toronto)

Team Members:
Solomon Benjamin (Manipal University, Manipal)
Anne Rademacher (New York University, New York)
Himanshu Burte (Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai)
Rajarshi Dasgupta (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
Bhuvaneswari Raman (Jindal Global University, Sonepat)
Shruti Dubey (PhD Candidate, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi)
Himadri Chatterjee (PhD Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
Malini Krishnankutty (PhD Candidate, Tata Institute for Social Sciences. Mumbai)

Research Context, Methods and Goals:

The research under this cluster is scheduled to start in Year 3 (2012-13). It will run parallel to and draw on research conducted under the Governance, Infrastructure, Land and Housing Markets, Everyday Suburbanisms, and Water clusters. The primary focus of this cluster will be on two city-regions – Bangalore and New Delhi-Gurgaon, with limited focus on land development and green buildings in Mumbai. The objective in the first year (Year 3, 2012) is to conduct a survey of literatures for major city-regions of Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, with references to Kolkata and Chennai, and map critical turning points in urban/suburban governance, land, and housing development since independence in 1947 and identify overlapping and divergent analytical concepts and categories for different city regions. This will enable the framing of key research questions, diverse research methodologies required for different cities, and plan the next stage of research. In Year 3, Gururani will initiate the study of sewage and wastewater infrastructures using qualitative and ethnographic methods. In Year 4, in-depth, field based ethnographic research will start with the help of one student each in Bangalore and New Delhi-Gurgaon. Benjamin will focus on the politics of urban governance in Bangalore focusing on land politics, markets and contestations over land in the last decade.

The research in this cluster has proceeded remarkably well so far, with regular skype meetings and sharing of literature, data, and research strategies. Some of the researchers will be presenting their research findings in the upcoming conference on Suburban Revolution in September 2013. Five senior scholars have come on board and are contributing to the research cluster. There are discussions underway to publish the research as an edited volume.


The MCRI International Workshop: Tracking Transformations in Agrarian-Urban Hinterlands of South Asia was held February 23 to 25, 2017 at the Convention Center in Jawahalal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. The conference program can be downloaded here.

A special issue on South Asian Urbanisms is available in Economic and Political Weekly's Review of Urban Affairs. Featuring papers from the workshop, the special issue looks at the dynamics of South Asian urbanization and how it differs from dominant modes of suburbanization in the Global North. Click here to access the full issue.

Conference and Workshop Presentations

Publications and Other Dissemination