Dr. Ramanath Jha

Distinguished Senior Fellow

EXPEREINCE: Dr. Ramanath Jha works on urbanization — urban sustainability, urban governance, and urban planning. Dr. Jha belongs to the 1977 batch of the Indian Administrative Service. He was an Administrator at Pandharpur Municipal Council; Administrator and Municipal Commissioner, at Solapur; Collector and Deputy Director of Municipal Administration, at Ahmednagar; Municipal Commissioner at Pune; and Metropolitan Commissioner MMRDA during his tenure as an IAS officer. His subsequent postings were as Regional Advisor in South Asia for the Urban Management Programme of the UNDP/UN-Habitat; Vice Chairman and Managing Director at MSRDC; and Principal Secretary, Transport, Ports and State Excise, Government of Maharashtra. Dr. Jha has co-authored the books — Towards People Friendly Cities — published by UNICEF; Urban Essays, published by YASHADA, and co-edited Perspectives in Urban Development, published by Capital Publishing Company. He has published several papers on various urban subjects and has widely lectured on urban issues. He holds positions as:

  • Chairman, Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee
  • Chairman, Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC)
  • Chairman, Mumbai Commission for Art, Culture and Music (MCAMC)
  • Chairman, Maxi Cab Committee, Government of Maharashtra
  • Chairman, Bike-taxi Committee, Government of Maharashtra
  • Advisor, Mumbai Parking Authority (MPA)
  • Director General, MCGM’s Centre for Capacity Building & Research (MCMCR)
  • Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation (ORF)
  • Chairman, CSR Committee, Symbiosis International (Deemed University)
  • Member, Governing Council, Janwani, Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture
  • Member, Executive Committee, Indian School of Political Economy
  • Member, Advisory Board, School of Architecture, Urban Development & Planning, Symbiosis
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Centre for Water & Sanitation (CWAS), CEPT University, Ahmedabad

Mr. Hitesh Vaidya

Senior Research Fellow

EXPERIENCE: Former Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of urban management, urban governance and capacity building. He has been involved in providing technical assistance and capacity building support to several urban local bodies and instituting significant urban reforms at local level.

He brings on board strong demonstrative experience of improving institutional capacities including developing strategies to support in delivering the program results. He has been associated in areas of urban development, urban governance and urban Infrastructure management with UN, World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) assignments.

Poverty Alleviation has been an integral component in all his assignments. Prior to joining NIUA, he was the Country Representative of UN-Habitat in India. He was intensely involved in supporting an eco-system to design and roll-out urban programs including localizing Sustainable Development Goals. His strength lies in developing institutional arrangements and project implementation strategies through facilitating effective liaison and coordination with various stakeholders. Mr. Vaidya holds a Master’s degree in Business Development and Post-Graduate Diploma in Urban Development & Planning and specialization in Urban Management from Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Dr. Ravikant Joshi

Senior Research Fellow

EXPEREINCE: Possess experience in managing finances of an Urban Local Body (Municipal Body) of a million-plus city. For the last twenty years, after taking voluntary retirement from Vadodara Municipal Corporation, working for CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions Ltd. Mumbai as an adviser for their Urban Practices.

Worked as a short-term consultant for various multilateral agencies like the World Bank, USAID, ADB, DFID, Asia Foundation, and various state governments in India in urban management, finance, and urban governance reforms.


Mr. Naim Keruwala

Senior Fellow

EXPEREINCE: He is an Urban Management professional with over 14 years of diversified sector experience. He currently leads the CITIIS program as a Program Director at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), a central autonomous body under the aegis of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. The CITIIS program is an urban innovation sandbox supporting the development of innovative urban infrastructure projects with an outlay of over EUR 150 Million across 12 cities in India. He also heads the Sustainable Cities India Program in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF), and coordinates the Leaders in Climate Change Management (LCCM) program in collaboration with WRI India, UNEP and ISB. He was a member of the Jury for the India Smart City Awards 2021 by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Govt of India.

Naim is a Senior Fellow at the Symbiosis Centre for Urban Studies; and he has taught post-graduate students at the Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune for eight years as a visiting professor for Urban Economic Development. As an avid commentator on urban issues, his research papers and articles have been published by UNESCO, Business Standard, Youth Policy Labs, CCDS and Cambridge Scholars among others.

Naim has been recognized by a number of reputed global organisations; he has been inducted into the Responsible Leaders Network by the BMW Foundation, he has been recognised as an Emerging Urban Leader by the Salzburg Global Seminar, he is a member of the Japan-India Technology forum and he is an alumnus of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Global Shapers Community and AIESEC respectively. He is also a recipient of the Nuffic NFP Scholarship on Inclusive Governance funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Smart Cities funded by the US Department of State.


Dr. Sudipa Majumdar

Senior Fellow

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: Doctorate (Economics) from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai; Post Graduate Diploma in Development Studies, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai; Masters in Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

EXPEREINCE: Head of Dissertations; International Collaborations for Research Collaborations, Foreign exchange programs - students & Faculty, International Conferences; Research Mentor for Junior Faculty in Facilitating research and publication and Faculty Development Programs; Curriculum Development on MSc Economics with Data Analytics.

areas of research interest: Econometric analysis, Urban Health, Environmental impact of Urbanization


Dr. Kanchan Khare

Professor & Head; Department of Civil Engineering at Symbiosis Institute of Technology (SIT, Pune)

Dr. Kanchan Khareis Professor & Head; Department of Civil Engineering at Symbiosis Institute of Technology (SIT, Pune). Dr. Khare has been researching storm water drainage, wastewater treatment & reuse, blue-green infrastructure, green buildings, and sustainable water resources. She is currently working on the Potential and validation of sustainable natural and advanced technologies for water and wastewater treatment (PAVITR) on a research project.


Dr. Prakash Rao

Deputy Director, Professor and Head-Energy and Environment at Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB)

Dr. Prakash Rao is Deputy Director, Professor and Head-Energy and Environment at Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB). He has a vast research experience in Climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems in the Himalayas, Impacts of Climate change on fisheries on India's east coast, Vegetation types of the southern eastern ghats- a remote sensing perspective, Environmental Footprints as an Indicator of Sustainability at Symbiosis International University and its Constituent Institutions in Pune, Review of India GHG protocol for ICLEI South Asia, Sectoral assessments of Mitigation (Power and energy use ) and demands side management. His current research interest includes Climate Change and Energy Policy, Energy conservation and management, Climate change Ecosystem-based adaptation, Climate infrastructure resilience, Carbon markets and policies, Water and Energy linkages, Integrated Natural Resource Management, Corporate Sustainability Frameworks and Standards, Sustainability in higher education, Environment Footprint, Urbanization, and development.


Dr. Kedar Bhagwat

Faculty and HOD for Infrastructure Development & Management

Dr Kedar Bhagwat is Faculty and HOD for Infrastructure Development & Management (IDM) programme at Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, (SCMHRD). He has undertaken research in economic analysis of the passenger car industry in India. His research interests include Sustainable Transport & transportation Economics, infrastructure, and infrastructure project finance.


Dr. Sabyasachi Tripathi

Associate Professor, Symbiosis School of Economics.

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: Postdoc on Urbanization and Innovation in Developing countries from the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia. Ph.D. on Urban Agglomeration and Urban Economic Growth in India: An Empirical Study from University of Mysore though Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC); M.A. (Economics) from Jadavpur University; B. Sc. Economics from Kharagpur College, Vidyasagr University.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION: He was awarded the Shri T R Satishchandra Memorial Best Thesis Prize in Economics by the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, India. He received the Proficiency Award from the Department of Economics, Kharagpur College, Kharagpur, India. He was one of the ICSSR delegates to participants as a Young Economist in the 4th Lindau Meeting of the Winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, held in the Lindau, Germany. He received financial support from the Dynamics of Institutions and Markets in Europe (DIME) Network of Excellence, Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT), Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), and German Research Foundation (DFG) to deliver lectures in more than 13 countries in the World. He is among top 100 economists in India ranked by the IDEAS/REPEC as of September 2023.


V. Kalyan Shankar

Assistant Professor, Symbiosis School of Economics.

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION:He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Pune. He was also a postdoctoral fellow with the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Fulbright- Nehru fellow at The New School, New York City. He is a recipient of the Elizabeth Adiseshiah Citation (2021) for contributions to development studies by an Indian national below forty-five years.

Areas of Research Interest:In urban studies, he has worked on issues of gender and informal labor markets, marginalised labor forms, urban sanitation and solid waste management.

EXPEREINCE:Five years of teaching and three years of research experience after Ph.D. Areas of research- Solid waste management, informal labor markets, gender, urban governance


Dr. Vasundhara Sen

Adjunct Faculty at Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, (SCMHRD)

Dr. Vasundhara Sen is Adjunct Faculty at Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, (SCMHRD). She has done her doctoral research in the area of renewable energy reforms. Apart from teaching subjects in renewable energy and economics, she regularly consults on renewable energy research projects. Her current research interests include Energy Transition, Renewable Energy Procurement, RE Grid Integration and Designing Market Based RE Instruments.


Dr. Shuchi Misra

Adjunct Faculty, Symbiosis School of Economics

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: Ph.D. on A Study of Rural Non-Farm Sectors in Maharashtra from Symbiosis International University, Pune; M.A. Economics from M.S. University, Baroda; B.A. (Hons.) from Sophia College, M.D.S. University, Ajmer. Certificate in Social Norms, Social Change I (4 Weeks Course) from University of Pennsylvania and UNICEF offered through Coursera in May 2020.

SUBJECT: Microeconomics, Research Methodology and Rural Development at the Bachelors and Masters level.

EXPEREINCE: 9 years of teaching, training and research experience; Published research papers in journals of repute and presented research work in National and International conferences; Team member in funded research projects; provided administrative support- planning, monitoring project schedules, budgets, resources and communication; Mentored students’ research projects; Organized academic events like trainings, workshops, seminars, guest lectures.

AREAS OF RESEARCH INTEREST: Issues in social sector: labour, employment, education, housing, sanitation etc.


Dr. Gargi Patil

Assistant Professor, Symbiosis School of Economics.

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: PhD in Economics with specialization in Urban Finance at the Symbiosis International (Deemed University) (SIU), Pune; Bachelors and Masters in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune.

EXPEREINCE: 6 years of research experience; worked on several national level projects, like the Smart City Mission Project for Pune City, Refinance of SHG/JLG Project for NABARD and Census Towns in Pune District as a Major Research Project under SIU; keenly studies and follows trends in International Development Cooperation from MDGs to the SDGs.

areas of research interest: Urban Finance, Urban Mobility, Public Policy, Sustainable Development, and Indian Economy


Dr. Chandani Tiwari

Assistant Professor, Symbiosis School of Economics

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: Ph.D. in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; M.Phil. on Climate Change. M.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Delhi, B.A. (Hons.) Geography from Miranda House, University of Delhi. Certificate on Global Compact for Migration (6 months) organized by the Cross-Regional Centre for Refugees and Migrants (CCRM), Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT), International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD), Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), and Metropolis Asia-Pacific.

SUBJECTS:Sustainability, International Political Economy (IPE), International Relations (IR), International Organisation, and Regional Cooperation in Trade (IORC) at the Bachelor’ and Master’s levels.

EXPEREINCE: 5 years of teaching, research, training, and editorial experience; Published several research papers in journals of repute and presented papers at National and International conferences; Mentored students’ research projects and dissertations; Organized academic events like seminars, and conferences, workshops & guest lectures. The program director for Heinrich Boll Foundations (HBF) funded projects; provided administrative support- planning, monitoring project schedules, budgets, resources, and communication;

areas of research interest: Climate Change, Sustainability, Urban Spaces, Area Studies, Diaspora Studies, Migration, International Relations, International Political Economy, etc.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:ICSSR National ‘Doctoral Fellowship’ (2017-2019), UGC NET (2014), Awarded as the ‘Best Student’: Humanities (2006), Scholarship for Outstanding Performance in Co-Curricular Activities (2005), Certificate of Appreciation for Securing Highest CGPA in the Class of M.Phil., Certificate of Distinction for Securing 94% in Remote Sensing Computer & GIS (Practical), Certificate of Distinction for Securing 89% in Thematic Mapping & Cartographic Techniques.


Ms. Riya Ghosh

Research Assistant, Symbiosis School of Economics

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION:M.SC Geoinformatics from TERI school of advance studies, Delhi; M.SC Geography from Kurukshetra University, Haryana; B.A (Hons.) Geography from Delhi University (Shaheed Bhagat Singh College), Delhi.

EXPEREINCE: Worked with THE ENERGY and RESOURCE INSTITUTE; DELHI as Intern, Accenture as Associate, Work in Research projects.

areas of research interest: Sustainable Development, Urban planning and Management, Urban development, Digital Mapping, Data handling, GIS & Remote Sensing, Geospatial analysis.