Dr. Ajay Dandekar | Department of History


Dr. Ajay
Chairperson, Center for Public Affairs and Critical Theory (C-PACT)
Department of History and Archaeology
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS)
Shiv Nadar University
Gautam Buddha Nagar Uttar Pradesh
Profile Summary 

Dr. Ajay Dandekar did his Ph.D. from Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in early nineties. He has worked on the issue of Denotified and Nomadic Communities, and Pastoral Nomadic groups. He has done work on the agrarian crisis and farmers suicides. Lately his research interest has spilled over in the issues of resources and conflict in the tribal heartland and has contributed policy papers and writings on the same.


i) Books

1. A. Dandekar. Mythos and the Logos of the Warlis: A tribal worldview. Concept Publications. New Delhi.1998.

2. S. Ratnagar and A. Dandekar. Bharatiya Itihas ke Strota:I Eklaivvya. New Delhi.2000

3. S. Ratnagar and A. Dandekar. Bharatiya Itihas ke Strota:II Eklaivvya. New Delhi. in press.

4. F. Padel, A. Dandekar and J. Unni. Ecology Economy. Quest for a Socially Informed Connection. Orient Blackswan,  2013

ii) Articles

  1. A Dandekar and Sreedeep Bhattacharya. Narratives of Agrarian Distress and Farmer Suicides. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol 52 Issue 21. May 2017.
  2. A Dandekar, Sreedeep Bhattacharya, Contested Spaces and Resultant Conflicts, Some Aspects of the Agrarian Crisis in India.  Market  Integration. Sage Journal January, 2017.
  3. A Dandekar, India’s Agriculture and Farmers Suicides: An Anatomy of a Crisis. India International Centre, Quarterly. New Delhi. Autumn 2016.
  4. A Dandekar ‘Contested Spaces Democratic Rights: People and Forests Today’,  Economic and Political Weekly. 51, 16 April 2016.
  5. Dandekar, ‘PESA and Impasse’, in Vipul Mudgal ed., Claiming India from Below: Activism and Democratic Transformation. Routledge. New York. 2016.
  6. Dandekar, R. Ghai and P. Dore, ‘Emerging Underclass of Urban India’, India International Centre Quarterly (October 2015).  
  7. Dandekar and K. Gill, Democracy and its Inconvenient Questions. Economic and Political Weekly. May 2014
  8. Dandekar. Invisible Peoples Inaudible Voices: The denotified Tribes of India. India International Centre Quarterly. 2014.
  9. Dandekar ‘The Perceived Frontier:  Impact of Indian History on Indian Security Perspectives, in S. Paranjpe ed, India’s Foreign and Security Policies: Challenges and Opportunities. Kalinga Publishers, New Delhi. 2014.
  10. Dandekar and S. Narvade, Case of Maharashtra’s Disappearing Water. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 18, May 013
  11. Dandekar, 97th Amendment, some concerns. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol 14th, April 6th 2013.
  12. A. Dandekar and C. Choudhury, PESA a myth. In Robin Jeffrey et al   ed., More than Maoism: Politics policies and insurgencies in South Asia. Manohar,    Delhi. 2012.
  13. A Dandekar Naxalwadi Chalwal,tichya pudhil prashna ani atyadhunik pratikrikriya.  Sadhana. 2009.  
  14. Dandekar The Issue of Denotified Tribes in Independent India. IRMA Working Paper No 214. 2009.
  15. Dandekar Hegemony of Silence. The denotified tribes of India. In Michael Hayes Thomas Acton ed. Counter-Hegemony and the Irish Other. Cambridge Scholars Press. UK 2006
  16. Dandekar The Tribal World. In Angana Chatterjee and Shabnam Hashmi edited Dark Leaves of the Present. ANHAD. New Delhi.2005
  17. Dandekar and S Narwade, Farmers suicides and Roots of Agrarian Crisis. NIRD. Hyderabad. 2005
  18. Dandekar, The killing Fields. Indian Journal of Social Work.  66(3), July 2005, pp.345-353 Mumbai, 2005.  
  19. Dandekar ‘The state cult and legitimacy’, in S. Saberwal and S Varma ed., Traditions in Motion. Oxford University Press. New Delhi. 2004
  20. Dandekar, ‘In the Name of Pastoralism’, in R. Heredia and S. Ratnagar Eds Mobile and the Marginalized: Perspectives from the Past. Manohar Publications. New Delhi. 2003
  21. Dandekar "Gunhegar Jamaticha Kayda, 1871", Parivartanacha Vatsaru, 8, 2003, pp. 22-23, 28
  22. Dandekar ‘Kaba and Baji’, In G.N. Devy ed. Painted Words. An Anthology of Tribal Literature. Penguins. 2002.
  23. Dandekar, ‘Mahabharata,’ in G.N. Devy ed., Painted Words. An Anthology of Tribal Literature. Penguins. 2002.
  24. Dandekar,  ‘The Hero and his context.  Chanted Narratives: The Living ‘Katha Vachana’ Tradition’, Molly Kaushal ed., New Delhi, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts for D.K. Printworld, 2001.
  25. R. Heredia and A. Dandekar, ‘The Warli Social History,’ Economic and Political Weekly. December 2000.
  26. A Dandekar, “The Warlis and the Dhangars in the Context of the Commons.” In K. Vatsyana ed., Culture and Ecology. Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts and UNESCO publication. 1998.
  27. Dandekar, ‘Sati and Hero Stones’, J. S. Turner ed., The Dictionary of Art. Macmillan. London. 1996.
  28. Dandekar, “Landscapes in Conflict: Flocks, hero-stones and the Cult in Early Medieval Maharashtra” in S. Ratnagar ed., Studies in History. July-December, 1991, New Delhi, pp.301-324.

Other Academic Writings:

 Reports, Books and articles related to Governance and Tribal Issues, Agriculture and Planning, Rural Development.

1. A. Dandekar and P. Singh, Third Party Evaluation of Wadi Programme in Dahod District. 2011.

2. V. Bhandari, A. Dandekar and M. Pratik. MGNREGS Evaluation of Sikkim. 2010.

3. A. Dandekar and C. Choudhury. PESA, Left-Wing Extremism and Governance: 2010

4. A. Dandekar Concerns and Challenges in India’s Tribal Districts. In State of Panchayati Raj. 2010. Govt of India.

5. A. Dandekar and P. Singh, Third Party Evaluation of Wadi Programme in Panchamahal District. 2009.

6. A. Dandekar. Perspective Plan for Panchamahal District. 2008.

7. A. Dandekar, The Structure of Cotton Cultivation In Maharashtra. Centre for Policy Research. New Delhi. 2007.

8. A. Dandekar et al., Causes of Farmers Suicides in Maharashtra; An Enquiry. Report submitted to Mumbai High Court.  TISS 2005.

9. A. Dandekar et al, Bali raja: An enquiry in the Nature of Agrarian Crisis in Vidarbha.   2006.  

10. A. Dandekar, S. Panda and N. Kulkarni. Conceptualizing a Women’s Resource Centre: A study of Watersheds in Ahmednagar District. I and II. Social Science Centre, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay. 2000.

11. A. Dandekar and S. Panda. Towards Hope: Entrepreneurial Development in Rural Ahmednagar. 2001.

12. A. Dandekar, S. Panda and N. Kulkarni. In Search of a community: A study of Kalamb Watershed, district Ahmednagar. Social Science Centre, St. Xaviers College. Evaluation of Kalamb Watershed, submitted to Water Organization Trust. Ahmednagar. 1998. 

Reports and Evaluation studies on Education and Rights in Rural Areas 

 1. G. N. Devy, R. Heredia, A. Dandekar et al. Waiting For Freedom. I and II. A report on the status of the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes in India. Prime Ministers office. 2006. December.

2. V. Kulkarni and A. Dandekar, Evaluation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Dist. Beed. MSCERT, Pune.2005.

3. V. Kulkarni and A. Dandekar, Evaluation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Dist.  Nanded. MSCERT, Pune.2005.

4. V. Kulkarni and A. Dandekar, Evaluation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Dist.  Osmanabad. MSCERT, Pune.2005.

5. V. Kulkarni and A. Dandekar, Evaluation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Dist.  Latur. MSCERT, Pune.2005.

6. V. Kulkarni and A. Dandekar, Evaluation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Dist.  Parbhani. MSCERT, Pune.2005.

7. V. Kulkarni and A. Dandekar, Evaluation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Dist.  Hingoli. MSCERT, Pune.2005.

8. A. Dandekar and V. Kulkarni, Evaluation of Janshala Programme. UNDP.Ministry of Human Resource. New Delhi.2004.

9. A. Dandekar, A. Mukhopadhyaya et al., A Study of the De- Notified Tribes of Maharashtra: Phase II, 2002. Social Science Centre, St. Xaviers College. Submitted to the National Education Group. Delhi.

10. A. Dandekar A. Mukhopadhyaya et al., A Study of De-Notified Tribes of Maharashtra: Phase I. 2001. Social Science Centre, St. Xaviers College. Submitted to the National Education Group, Delhi.

11. A. Dandekar et al, A Survey of Educational Backwardness in Satara District: A report.   National Education Group.  New Delhi.2000.

12. A. Dandekar et al.   Educational backwardness in the region of Beed: A Report.   National Education Group.  Pune.1999.

13. A. Dandekar and R. Zagade.  The Dhangars and the Lamans: An ethnographic Study.  National Education Group.  New Delhi. 1998.

14. A. Dandekar and S. Panda. Educational Backwardness in the regions of Manmad and Nagar: A report. National Education Group.  New Delhi.1997

15. A. Dandekar and S. Panda, Education amongst the Mahadeva Kolis. Maharashtra Prabodhan Seva Mandal. 1997.

Research Projects:

1. Farmers Suicides and Credit policy: Reserve Bank of India 2015

2. Conflict and Resources, IDRC. 2010-2014.

3. Poverty Track Pathways, IDRC. 2011-13.

4. Impact Evaluation of the IAP. Planning Commission. 2011.

5. PESA and Left Wing Extremism: Challenges in Governance.2010

6. Third Party Evaluation of the Wadi Programme. Panchamahal District. 2009.

7. Action Research on Skill set Gaps Gujarat State, DAIICT and Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute, Ahmedabad. 2007

8. Action Research on Farmers Suicides in Maharashtra for Mumbai High Court. 2005

9. Action Research CII and TISS, on State of the Economy and Skill set gaps, Maharashtra.

10. Evaluation of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Govt. of Maharashtra for Marathwada Region (Six Districts). 2005

11. Conceptualised and authored the Ten Levels of Intervention Model of the Action Programme for developing an alternative model of people centred, rights based model of development, initiated in 2005

12. Action Research in “Drought Management in Osmanabad District” and other related Campaigns and Training and Capacity Building Activities for the Youth from selected villages and NGOs in Osmanabad District, Rural Campus, and TISS. 2004

13. Campaign on the “Paani Suraksha Abhiyan” in 8 blocks of the Osmanabad district with an objective on the creating awareness on the scarcity of the water resources, sustainable use of the water, and traditional water harvesting methods through community participation, initiated in 2004.

14. Education Evaluation Programme for the Govt. of India, Ministry of HRD in the Tribal areas of Maharashtra. 2004

15. District Plan for Human Development, Inputs for Osmanabad district, UNDP and Planning Commission, Government of India, 2003.

16. “Manthan: Rural Youth for Governance and Development”, Rural Campus, TISS.

17. Women’s Resource Centre: Re-orienting Micro-credit Institutions from Savings to Entrepreneurship. Year:  Jan 2000 to Oct 2000  

18. Towards Hope: Designing an Apprenticeship program for School dropouts in Rural Maharashtra Year:  Oct 1999 to May2000  

19. Baseline study of Socio-Economic Conditions of DNTs (De-notified and Nomadic Tribes) in Maharashtra: Perspectives of Development and Protection of Human Rights (Phase-I & II.) Year:  Dec 2000 to Jan 2002.

20. Baseline study of Socio-Economic Conditions of DNTs (De-notified and Nomadic Tribes) in Maharashtra: Perspectives of Development and Protection of Human Rights (Phase-I & II.)  (Phase-II) & Nov 1999 to Nov 2000 (Phase-I)  

21. Building an Eco-community: The viability of a sustainable social movement by the Watershed Development Programme.Year:  Jun 1998 to Jun 1999 (12 Months)  

22. Educational Requirements in Vaijapur region, Maharashtra. Year:  Jan 2001 to Jun 2001  

23. Educational needs in Phaltan Area: A Baseline Study Year:  Sep 1999 to Feb 2000

24. Educational needs in Beed Area: A Baseline Study, Year:  Jan 1998 to Jun 1998

25. A Baseline Survey of educational needs for backward Communities in Manmad and Ahmednagar districts, Maharashtra.Year:  May 1997 to Dec 1997

26. Ethnographic study of Mahadev Kolis in Surgana Taluka, Maharashtra. Year:  Dec 1996 to Feb 1997

Educational Qualifications 
Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
M. Phil
M. A.
Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore
Agra University
Work Experience 
Director, School of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Shiv Nadar University
I currently work here
Dean, School of International Studies,
Central University of Gujarat
Professor, School of Social Sciences,
Central University of Gujarat
Associate Professor, Social Science Area,
Institute of Rural Management Anand
Associate Professor, Social Sciences Area,
DAIICT, Gandhinagar
Professor, Rural Development,
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Rural Campus, Tuljapur
Senior Research Fellow of Development Studies at the Social Science Centre,
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
Lecturer of Ethno Archaeology; Political History of Ancient Indi,
Deccan College, Post Graduate Research Institute, Pune
Conferences (Select): 


2015, Dec. Kalapasar Project. Gujarat Ecological Society. Baroda. 

2015, Nov.  Farmers Suicides in India. PHFI Ahmedabad.

2015, Nov. Contested Spaces and Resultant Conflicts: The Rural of Today. At the Inaugural Conference of Ambedkar Centre for Law and Economics. 

2015, Nov. People and Resources, contested terrains and the republic. In The Social Ecology of Natural Resources Exploitation. KTH, Royal Institute of Stockholm.   

2015, Oct. Understanding the New Rural: A journey from crisis to survival’, workshop panel on Future of the Rural at South Asian Conference Wisconsin, Madison   2015, Aug. Linking Higher Education to Society. National Consultative Meeting at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Simla

2015, July  Reading Pastoralism in Early Medieval Deccan: Hints and Issues. Invited talk at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Weekly Seminar Series. New Delhi. 

2014, Mar.  Questioning Development. TERI.

2014, Feb. Kings Queens and Their Stories, SNU SHSS Lecture Series, India International Centre

2014, Jan. Stories of Kings and Queens: Bhili Mahabharat. Sahitya Akademi. 

2014, Jan.  Buddhism and the issue of Caste. Institute of Rural Management. Anand.   

2009 The World Economic History Congress. Paper Presentation in a Session on Mountain Pastoralism and Modernity. Utrecht. Netherlands  

2009, Jan. ‘From the Centre to the Periphery-Pastoralism in Deccan: a story of decline’. International Pre Conference on ‘Mountain Pastoralism and Modernity’ at ICMOD, Kathmandu.   

2008, Nov. Regional Workshop on the issue of Denotified Tribes in India. Organised by the New Education Group. Pune  

2008, Nov.  ‘The Context of Being: The status of Denotified Tribes in India. UNSECO and Deshkaal Society conference on Exploring cultural practices and substantial rural livelihoods: Situating Cultural Practices of Marginal communities, New Delhi. 2008, Oct.   ‘Key note address’, Conference On Translating Bhasha. Vadodara.   

2008, Oct.  Conference on Land Reforms Organised by the National Institute of Rural Development at Hyderabad.

2005  National Meet of Adivasi and Denotified Tribes. IGNCA.   

2004  International Conference on Social Management of Water. Tiruvanathapuram. CIRAD, EHESS (Paris), Universities of Ruhunu and Colombo. 

2004  International Conference on Nomadic and Denotified Tribes. IGNCA. New Delhi.   

2003, Apr.  A Workshop on Violence Mitigation and Peace Amelioration with specific reference to the Violence and Peace in South Asia. Patna.   

2002  Evaluation workshop on the Issue of Dalit identity. TISS Rural Campus. Tuljapur. 

2002  A Workshop on Violence Mitigation and Peace Amelioration with specific reference to the Identity Construction of Shivaji, organized by the Oxfam India. Satara.  2001  National Seminar on Dalit Identity. Centre for Social Studies. Surat

2001 International Workshop on Defining Traditions. Sontheimer Cultural Association and Social Science Centre, Satara 

2000 The Publication Workshop, Sahitya Akademi, Baroda  

2000 International Seminar on Marginal Communities. Indira Gandhi National Museum of Man. Bhopal

1999 Surubhi Seminar on Tribal Cultures. Surubhi and Bhasha. Tejgarh. Baroda   

1999 Publication Workshop. Sahitya Akademi and Bhasha. Baroda    1999 National Seminar on Pastoralism. Social Science Centre and Sontheimer Cultural Association. Pune.

1999 Guest Lecture at the National Institute of Design. Ahmedabad    1998 National Seminar on Oral literature. Sahitya Akademi. Vidya Sagar University. Midnapore. West Bengal   

1997 National seminar on oral traditions. Chota Udaipur   

1997 National Conference on oral and tribal literatures, Sahitya Akademi. Tejgarh   

1997 International conference on Oral Epics. Unesco and Ignca. New Delhi   

1996 UNESCO Conference on Culture and Ecology, IGNCA, New Delhi 

1996 Sahitya Akademi workshop on tribes and culture. Baroda 

1996 Sahitya Akademi conference on Tribal languages, Saputara 

1995 Unesco Workshop on Culture and Ecology, New Delhi   

1994 First Sontheimer Memorial Conference, organized by the South Asia Institute, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and the Sontheimer ‘Cultural Association, at Pune   

1991 International Workshop on Pastoralism, organized at the Centre for Historical Studies.


International Visitor Leadership Programme: United States of America, 2010


Awarded University Grants Commission (UGC) sponsored Junior and Senior Research Fellowship (1987-1992)

Professor K. T. M. Hegde Fellowship. Conferred by the Bhasha Research and Publication Center, Baroda, in the field of Archaeology


Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New Delhi. Subject: The Warlis in the Wisdom Tradition


Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New Delhi. Subject: Hero-Stones of the Semi- arid belt of Maharashtra


Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Fellowship: To study at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, 1992-3