Academic Programmes

Master's Programme in Public Policy



PhD, Brown University, Department of Sociology (Ongoing)
Masters in Development Studies, The Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, Brighton – 2008
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (Honors), Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi – 2007


Anindita Adhikari is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Brown University, where her research examines accountability and welfare rights in India with a focus on social audits and the grievance redress law in Bihar. She has been associated with the Right to Work, Right to Information, and Right to Food campaigns for over a decade. Anindita has previously worked with the Government of Bihar and the Ministry of Rural Development on employment, social security, and land issues. Her work has been published in journals such as Development and Change and World Development. She heads the Social Accountability Forum for Action and Research (SAFAR), where she along with her team work on building rule-based public accountability frameworks in collaboration with Governments and Civil Society Organizations. SAFAR works in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Meghalaya and on governance related issues at the national level.


Peer-reviewed publications:

  • NREGA Wage Payments: Can we bank on the banks? Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 45 No. 1. Republished in Khera, R. (ed) (2011) The Battle for Employment Guarantee, Oxford University Press: New Delhi
  • Book chapter (with Dr. Peter Taylor) (2016), Transformative education and community development: Sharing learning to challenge inequality in an Indian context, in Class, Inequality and Community Development, edited by Mae Shaw and Marjorie Mayo, Policy Press: University of Bristol
  • Chhotray, Vasudha, Anindita Adhikari, and Vidushi Bahuguna (2020). “The political prioritization of welfare in India: Comparing the public distribution system in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand”. World Development, vol 128.
  • Adhikari, Anindita, and Vasudha Chhotray. 2020. “The Political Construction of Extractive Regimes in Two Newly Created Indian States: A Comparative Analysis of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh”. Development and Change, 51 (3): 843-873.
  • Adhikari, Anindita, Navmee Goregaonkar, Rajendran Narayanan, Nishant Panicker, and Nithya Ramamurthy (2020) “Manufactured Maladies: Lives and Livelihoods of Migrant Workers During COVID-19 Lockdown in India”. The Indian Journal of Labor, 63 (4): 969-997.

Other writing:

  • Jharkhand: Strong Revival, Frontline, Volume 28 – Issue 27: Dec. 31, 2011-Jan. 13, 2012
  • Social pensions: Significant but hardly enough! (2014) Published on India Together, a well known website for development journalism.
  • Putting out the Guarantee, Indian Express, March 15, 2014
  • Slow and steady: Lessons from MNREGA, Ideas for India, November 2014
  • The Pension Challenge that Still Remains for these Veterans, The Wire, 6th September 2015
  • Holes in the Security Net, Indian Express, 23rd February 2017
  • Survey of social security pensions in Jharkhand shows the problems Universal Basic Income could face, Scroll.in, 8th August 2017
  • After 15 years of BJP rule, will vote for change bring in a coalition government in Chhattisgarh?, Scroll.in, 1 December 2018
  • Undermining MGNREGA, Deccan Herald, 29 March 2019
  • To Get Trains, Migrants Stuck With English Forms, OTPs And More, NDTV, May 12th 2020