After finishing a Master of Science at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, Oxford University, I am now doing an Mphil in Development Studies at the Oxford Department of International Development (Queen Elizabeth House). I was funded for my Masters by the Louis Dreyfus-Weidenfeld scholarship.
Prior to this, I worked for over 7 years as a journalist with a leading national newspaper The Hindu in Bangalore. I reported on topics ranging from higher education, technology and finance to more specialized focus areas such as the state of labour, work and wages of the vast urban working class in India. My occasional stints with reporting in rural areas got me interested in contemporary development theory. After this academic stint, I intend to return to the field of journalism with grounding and expertise in development studies. As a development expert, with the experience and know-how of mainstream journalism, I hope to be able to make vital interventions. My long-term goal is to be able to head a team that can steer the agenda on development reporting, both in terms of grassroots reportage and incisive commentary. The space for such work is indeed shrinking in the Indian media, but I hope to be able to use the expertise I gain here to be able to make positive efforts to put development back on the daily news agenda.
My research focus for the Mphil (leading to a Dphil) is the consumption puzzle in rural and urban India. My research project, a continuation of what I started with my Masters thesis, will be an attempt to understand the development paradox, wherein despite economic growth and rising incomes (reflected in mean per capita expenditure), nourishment levels have been on the decline for a vast majority of Indians.