Steering Commitee

Our 2023-2024 Steering Committee members are: Teevrat Garg (GPS), Gaurav Khanna (GPS), Saiba Varma (Anthropology), Prashant Bharadwaj (Economics), Gareth Nellis (Political Science), and Aftab Jassal (Anthropology).


Graduate student coordinator: Andrew Kerr (Anthropology)
Undergraduate students coordinators: Ananya Kandikonda, Sneha Sairam, and Khushi Kumra


Teevrat Garg is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California in San Diego. His research is at the intersection of environmental and development economics with an emphasis on the role of public policy and institutions in fostering sustainable development and helping the poor cope with environmental stressors such as heat, air and water pollution. In recent years, he has conducted research in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Uganda. Prior to joining UC San Diego, Teevrat was a postdoctoral fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He received a B.A. in Economics (with Honors) and a B.S in Mathematics from Lafayette College in 2010, and a PhD. in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University in 2015.


Gaurav is an Assistant Professor of Economics at UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. His interests lie in Development Economics, Labor Economics and Applied Econometrics. His research focuses on education, migration, infrastructure, and conflict. He is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Effective Global Action, and a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development.


Saiba Varma is an Assistant Professor of the Psychological/Medical Anthropology subfield. She is a medical and cultural anthropologist working on questions of violence, medicine, psychiatry, and politics as they pertain to Indian-controlled Kashmir and South Asia more generally. Saiba conducts ethnographic research in Kashmir, the site of a chronic, unresolved conflict, and one of the most militarized places on earth. Her research explores how spaces of psychiatric and humanitarian care confront, but also become microcosms of, the broader politics of violence and occupation that characterize life in Kashmir.


Prashant Bharadwaj a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, San Diego. My research interests are in development and labor economics. My research affiliations include BREAD, CEGA, CERP and the NBER. I am currently a co-editor at  Journal of Human Resources and an associate editor at the Journal of Development Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. Currently, I am also the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Economics and the Program Director of the South Asian Studies minor at UCSD.


Aftab Jassal

Aftab Jassal is an anthropologist of religion, with longstanding research experience and interest in the Himalayas, specifically, Uttarakhand, a north Indian state bordering Tibet and Nepal. His research examines varying modes and registers of interaction between person, place, and divinity in South Asia. Drawing on anthropological and performance studies approaches, he is interested in how Hindu communities construct and enliven multiple social, ontological, and aesthetic realities through narrative and ritual performance, including ritual storytelling and possession.