Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Binitha V Thampi


Advanced Researcher
Spatial Methods in Urban Sustainability (SMUS)
Technical University of Berlin, Germany

Visiting Senior Fellow (Honorary)
IMPRI – Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi

Visiting Professor
Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI)
Kaimanam, Pappanamkodu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Expert Committee Member
NITI Aayog Expert Committee on Social Justice and  Empowerment, New Delhi

Member, Board of Studies
Department of Development Studies and Gandhian Thought
Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala.

  • Gender and Development
  • ICTs for Development
  • Feminist Demography and Policy Critique
  • State Welfarism and Citizenship
  • Decentralised Planning and Governance
  • Poverty, Social Exclusion and Marginalisation


At IIT Madras

  • Professor, IIT Madras since January 2024
  • Associate Professor, IIT Madras, June 2016 – 2023
  • Assistant Professor, IIT Madras, August 2010 – June 2016.

Outside IIT Madras

  • Visiting Fellow, Technical University of Berlin, Germany, June – August,
  • Fulbright Academic and Professional Excellence Scholar, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies,Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A., 2016-2017.
  • Visiting Fellow, Watson Institute, Brown University, U.S.A., April – May,
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield, U.K., 2008 – 2010.
  • Project Associate, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala, India, 2006 – 2007.
  • Research Affiliate, Population Research Centre of Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore. (Research fellowship offered by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to study the topic ‘Female Autonomy and Reproductive Health Status in Kerala’, 2003-2004.
  • Member of faculty, Gender and Community Development, Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), 2001- 2002.
  • Consultant,Kerala State Planning Board, Trivandrum, India, 1997-1998.
  • Feminist Theory and Concepts (M.A. core course)
  • Gender and Development (M.A. core course)
  • Research Methods and Program Evaluation (M.A. core course)
  • Mini Research: Summer Project (M.A. core course)
  • Development Theory and Practice (M.A. core course)
  • Contemporary Issues in Development (B. Tech. elective)
  • A MOOC course produced in 2022 titled “Gender Inclusive Urban Spaces: Issues and Questions” for the SMUS centre, Technical University of Berlin (TUB), supported by DAAD, Germany during 2021- 2022. This course will be uploaded in the SWAYAM portal of MHRD (GoI). (
  • Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN; an academic exchange initiative of Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), Government of India) course titled “Gender Dimensions of Social and Economic Policies,” offered with Dr. Ajit Zacharias, Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Insitutute, New York, at IITM, during August 8-16, 2016.
  • Prasad V, Thampi BV(2024, forthcoming), Consolidating Feminist Collectivities: Gleaning from Survivors Response, Economic and Political Weekly. (accepted for publication).
  • Lieber J, Clarke L, Kinra S, Nadal I P, and Thampi, BV (2023). “Day and night people run after money … where is the time to spend chit-chatting with parents?”: Challenges of, and coping strategies for, supporting older relatives in adults of varied socioeconomic backgrounds in Tamil Nadu, India, SSM – Qualitative Research in Health, Volume 3.
  • Thampi BV. (2022). India in focus: Women, technology, and the future of work. In Women and Work in Asia and the Pacific – Experiences, Challenges and Ways Forward, Jane Parker, Marian Baird, Noelle Donnelly, Rae Cooper (ed.). Massey University Press, Auckland.
  • Thampi BV. (2022). Book review: Anna Lindberg, Experience and Identity: A Historical Account of Class, Caste and Gender Among the Cashew Workers of Kerala, 1930 -2000, Review of Development and Change, 27(2): 284-86.
  • Prasad V, Thampi BV (2021). Gender ideology and gendered political dynamics shaping electoral fortunes of women politicians in Kerala, India. Women’s Studies International Forum, Volume 84 (102437).
  • Thampi B V and Kawlra A. (2019). An experiment in Feminist Technology in Local Governance: Revisiting the Question of ‘Invited Spaces’ of Participation in Kerala. Review of Development and Change, 24(2): 205-223.
  • Luke N, Xu H and Thampi BV. (2015) Husbands’ Participation in Housework and Child Care in India. Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 76, Issue 3, pages 620–637, June 2014.
  • Thampi BV, Risk Society Through a Gender Lens: Reflections from Kerala, Journal of Social Discourses, Vol 2 (2)
  • Williams G and Thampi B.V. (2013). Decentralisation and the changing geographies of political marginalization in Kerala. Environment and Planning A 45(6):1337-1357.
  • Devika J and Thampi BV. (2012). Beyond Feminine Public Altruism: Women Leaders in Kerala’s Urban Bodies. Economic and Political Weekly 47(17):76-83
  • Devika J and Thampi B.V. (2012), in Women Leaders in Kerala’s Urban Local Bodies, in Decentralisation and Local Governments : The Indian Experience, Raghunandan T R (ed.) Readings on The Economy, Polity and Society, Orient Black Swan. (a revised version of the above EPW paper as a book chapter).
  • Williams G, Thampi BV, Narayana D, Nandigama S, and Bhattacharyya D. (2012). The Politics of Defining and Alleviating Poverty: State Strategies and their Impacts in Rural Kerala. Geoforum. 43(5):991-1001.
  • Devika J and Thampi BV. (2011). Mobility towards Work and Politics for Women in Kerala State, India: A View from the Histories of Gender and Space. Modern Asian Studies 45(5):1147-1175.
  • Williams G, Thampi BV, Narayana D, Nandigama S, and Bhattacharyya D. (2011). Performing Participatory Citizenship – Politics and Power in Kerala’s Kudumbashree Programme. Journal of Development Studies 47(8):1261-1280.
  • Devika J and Thampi BV. (2010). Empowerment or Politicization? The Limits of Gender Inclusiveness of Kerala’s Political Decentralization. In Development Democracy and the State: Critiquing the Kerala Model of Development, Raman RK (ed.). Rutledge:177-191
  • Devika J and Thampi BV. (2007). Changing Regimes of Empowerment and Inclusion in the Public: Women and the Kudumbashree in Contemporary Kerala. In A Decade of Decentralisation in Kerala: Issues, Options and Lessons, M.A.Ommen (ed.). Har Anand Publications, New Delhi
  • Devika J and Thampi BV. (2007). Between ‘Empowerment’ and ‘Liberation’? The Kudumbashree in Kerala. Indian Journal of Gender Studies 14(1): 33-60.
  • Thampi BV. (2005). Understanding Poverty Eradication and Empowerment of Women: Evidences from a Programme in Kerala State. In Microfinance Challenges: Empowerment or Disempowerment of the Poor? Isabelle Guerin & Jane Palier (eds.). Collection Sciences Sociales, IFP, French Institute of Pondicherry: 257-64.
  • Thampi BV. (2004). Decentralised Planning and Economic Empowerment of Women. Labour and Development 10(2): 199 -214.
  • Thampi B.V. (2019). The impact of technological change on women’s work. To prepare the WGDAW thematic report on ‘Women’s Human Rights in the Changing World of Work’ prepared by the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls, OHCHR, Geneva and presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020, a policy note was presented to the Asia Pacific consultation meeting held at Sydney University, Australia.
  • Thampi B.V. and Kawlra Aarti. (2012). Empowering women leaders at the local level in Kerala – The Gramamukhya initiative. CITIGEN Policy Brief, published by IDRC, Canada and IT for Change, Bangalore.
  • Thampi B.V. and Kawlra Aarti. (2011). Empowering Women Leaders at the Local Level: Translating Descriptive Representation to Substantive Representation through ICTs, Project Report, IDRC Canada and IT for Change Bangalore.
  • J Devika, S Anitha, R Bharadwaj, R Krishnan, PR Nisha, KP Praveena, R Radhakrishnan, S Rayan, R Raj, AK Rajasree, S Santhy, Thampi B.V., Zacharias U (2008) Gendering governance or governing women? Politics, patriarchy, and democratic decentralisation in Kerala State, India. IDRC Grant Technical Report. Grant No.102927-005.
  • Rajan A C and Thampi B.V. (2007). ‘Home Grown School Feeding: Midday Meals Programme in Kerala, India’ Research Report. Consultancy Study sponsored by World Food Programme and Cardiff University, UK.
  • Thampi B. V. (2003). ‘Determinants of Female Labour Force Participation in Kerala: A Comparative Study of Four Panchayats’, Monograph, Research study sponsored by Kerala Institute for Labour and Employment (KILE), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in 2003. The same has been published as a working paper of KILE.
  • Issac Thomas TM, Chakraborty Pinaki, Williams Michelle and Thampi B.V. (2002). Women Neighbourhood Groups: Towards a New Perspective. Policy Brief, Published by Joint Committee of Panchayats Aryad & Kanjikkuzhi Blocks Kerala, India and International Labour Organisation (ILO).
  • Thampi B.V. (1997). Community Development Society in Alleppey, Evaluation study Report, study sponsored by Kerala State Planning Board, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.

Degree Awarded

  • Dr. Banti Deori (HSS Department, IITMadras)
    Thesis title: Migration, Labour And Gender: A Study Of Migrant Workers From Northeastern India To The Southern Cities of  Bangalore and  Chennai
  • Sivaja K Nair (HSS Department, IITM)
    Thesis title: Investigating Re-emergence of Infectious Diseases in Kerala: Vulnerabilities, Resilience And Health Governance

  • Judith Leiber, London School of Hygene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK).
    Thesis title: Changing family structures and their implications for support and health of the older population in India, with a focus on Tamil Nadu

  • Shabeera K (HSS Department, IITMadras)
    Thesis Title: Marriage, Sexuality and Femininity: A Study of Mappila Muslim Women in Malabar

Ongoing PhD supervision

  • Lini Jolly
    Thesis Title: Environmental Movements in Kerala and the Politics of Developmentalism

  • Vani Prashamsa
    Thesis Title: Widowhood, Agriculture and Vulnerability: A case of Widow Farmers in the Andhra and Telangana Region

  • Thampatty Madhusood
    Thesis Title: Gender, Piety and Community: A Study of Ezhava Community in Kerala

  • Varsha Prasad (joined in 2021)
    Thesis Title: Gender Ideologies and Informal Political Practices: A Study of Women Politicians in Kerala

  • Manimadan (Joined in 2021)
    Thesis Title: The regional dynamics of Tamil Nadu’s development pattern: Subnationalism, populism and welfare politics

  • Reshma Chandran (Interdisciplinary Research Programme (IDRP) scholar, co-guiding with Prof. Shankar Krishnapillai, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IITM)
    Thesis Title: Technological Modernization of Coir Industry in Kerala and its Challenges


After joining IITM

  • Role: PI (sponsored research project) ; Conducting a five-year sponsored research titled “Disability Rights and Climate Resilience: Lessons from India” in collaboration with McGill University, Canada, sponsored by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) from January 2022 to May 2026.
  • Role: PI (sponsored research project); Completed a two-year research project titled “Managing Covid-19 in India’s Cities: Reshaping people’s everyday lives in poorer urban neighborhoods” in collaboration with the University of Sheffield (UoS), UKsponsored by the British Academy’s GCRF from April 2021 to April 2023.
  • Role: PI (sponsored research project); a MOOC course titled “Gender Inclusive Urban Spaces: Issues and Questions” produced for the SMUS centre, Technical University of Berlin (TUB), supported by DAAD, Germany, and developed thematic areas and questions for future collaborative research from October 2020 to December 2021.
  • Role: PI (consultancy); Completed a consultancy project funded by the National Institute of Health, USA titled “Gender ideology, father involvement and gender discrimination” at Penn State University with Prof Nancy as the PI and served as the project advisor from June 2019 to December 2021.
  • Role: PI (Retainer consultancy) as “Panelist: Kudumbashree NRO, Government of Kerala” to provide research training in formulating and conducting short-term studies for a team of young professions over a period of one year, 2020-2021.
  • Role: PI (sponsored research project); Completed two years sponsored research titled “Changing Contours of State Welfarism and Emerging Citizenship: A Comparative Study of Tamil Nadu and Kerala” sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) during 2014-2016.
  • Role: Consultancy (short-term consultancy providing fieldwork support to the research team in order to frame locally meaningful and culturally specific questions); Involved in field level data collection for a project of two weeks in 2015 titled “The Economic Consequences of Marriage- Market Inefficiency: Gender Inequality and Human Capital Accumulation in a Transition Economy,” through the Keynes Fund, University of Cambridge grant with Prof. Kaivan Munshi and Prof. Nancy Luke (PIs).
  • Role: PI (sponsored research project); Conducted a one-year sponsored action research in December 2011 titled ‘Empowering Women Leaders at the Local Level: Translating Descriptive Representation to Substantive Representation throught ICTs’ supported byIDRC, Canada, through its program ‘Gender and Citizenship in the Information Society in Asia’ coordinated by IT for Change, Bangalore, India.

Before joining IITM

  • Role: PI (consultancy); Conducted a case study on ‘Home Grown Agriculture and School Feeding Program– Case of Kerala’ for the World Food Program, Rome. It was a consultancy work offered by Cardiff University, UK in 2007.
  • Role: PI (consultancy); Carried out a research study titled ‘Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in Kerala: A Comparative Study of Four Panchayats’, sponsored by Kerala Institute for Labor and Employment (KILE), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in 2003. The same has been published as a working paper of KILE.
  • Role: PI (consultancy project); Conducted a funded evaluation study for Kerala State Planning Board on ‘Community Development Society in Alleppey’(a confederation of self-help groups) in 2000 as part of their evaluation studies series.


  • Invited for a conversation on ‘Feminist Politics and Kerala’s Public Sphere’ with Prof. Meena Pillai, Institute on English, Thiruvananthapuram held at Kalady Sankrit University, Tirur Centre on January 06, 2024.
  • Invited lecture on ‘Interdisciplinary and Intersectionality in Feminist Scholarship’ organised by The International Centre for Multidisciplinary Research, Department of English, Stella Maris College, June 30, 2023.
  • Invited speaker at the public event held for silver jubilee celebration of the Kudumbashree Mission (a state initiated collective of women self-help groups and anti-poverty mission of the government of Kerala) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and spoke in the panel titled “Women Entrepreneurs: The catalyst for social change”, May 16, 2023.
  • Invited lecture on the topic “Mixed Methods Research” in an online Faculty Development Programme (FDP) on Qualitative Research at the National Institute of Technology -Calicut, Kerala, India, March 25, 2023.
  • Invited lecture on the theme “Intersectionality and Interdisciplinary Studies” delivered as part of the Ten Day Short Term Course on Intersectionality Studies at the Dakshayani Velayudhan Centre, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala, India, March 23, 2023. 
  • Lecture titled “Digitalization and Political Participation: Methodological challenges of decoding digital progress and gender divide” in the Session ‘Analysing Hidden Forms of Violence and their Spatialities: The Methodological Challenges of the Research on Intimate Partner Violence and Sexualized Violence’ organised by the SMUS global conference held at IIT Roorkee, February 25,
  • Inaugural address to a national seminar titled “Development of Kerala: Possibilities and Challenges” organised by Thuchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, Tirur, Kerala, India, December 19, 2022.
  • Delivered an invited lecture titled “Public Policy Making – State WelfarePrograms for Poverty Reduction” for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Fellowship Program (TNCMFP) on Oct 18th at Anna Administrative Staff College, Chennai, India, October 18, 2022.
  • Brown Bag Lecture titled “Rethinking Development in the Global South, Issues and Questions” , organised by SMUS, Technical University of Berlin, July 13, 2022.
  • Web policy talk on the “Critical Evaluation of Gender Mainstreaming Efforts by the State” for the Center for Human Dignity and Development(CHDD) at the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, May 18,,
  • Invited to attend the Expert Group Meeting on “Women’s Human Rights in the Changing World of Work”, organised by the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls and spoke in the panel on “Panel discussion 3: Technological change and women’s human rights at work” held at the University of Sydney, Australia, September 12-13, 2019.
  • Presented a paper title “Migration, Aesthetic Labour and Citizenship” in the 27th Annual Conference of the International Association for Feminist Economics, in the panel titled “Migration, Inequality and Resistance, held at the State University of New Paltz, New York, June 19 – 21, 2018.
  • Invited keynote speaker of the Summer School on Labour Studies and delivered a talk on “Gender and Labour: Feminist Debates”, organised by the French Institute of Pondicherry, December 5, 2018.
  • Delivered an invited talk on Gender, Labour and Migration – A Case of India, jointly organised by Asia Studies Centre and Women’s and Gender Studies Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston, May 17, 2017.
  • Delivered 2017 Mary Devereux Lecture titled “Migration, Aesthetic Labour and Citizenship — A Case of Northeastern Migrant Women to Southern Cities of India” at the Bonaventure University, New York, April 5, 2017.
  • Annual Faculty and Staff Forum Lecture titled “Engendering Development: Debates and Issues in the Context of Global South, at the Bonaventure University, New York, April 6, 2017.
  • The Pandemic and Urban Governance: Changing State-Society Relationships and Learning from COVID-19 (jointly organised with three research collaborators), Project Dissemination International Conference held at Ahmedabad University, April 19-20, 2023.
  • Gender and Collective action: Joint IITM-workshop (organised with another faculty colleague),  IITM – French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) joint workshop, July 16-17, 2018.
  • New Social Movements: Mapping Conceptual and Theoretical Terrains. Joint IITM-Purdue Collaboration Workshop, Burton Morgan Entrepreneurship Centre, Purdue University, US, June 10-11, 2013.
  • State and Social Movements: Violence, Heath and Food Security. Symposia (organised with two colleagues), HSS Department jointly with Purdue University, March 12-14, 2013.
  • Digital spaces and Communities: Two hours Workshop conducted for graduate students at Watson Institute for International Studies under Graduate Development Program, 10th April, 2012.
  • Peer reviewed for the following journals, and was an examiner for around 15 PhD dissertations from several universities within and outside India.

    • Journal of Development Studies
    • Critical Asian Studies
    • Oxford Development Studies
    • Development and Change
    • Development in Practice
    • Indian Journal of Gender Studies
    • Review of Development and Change
  • Development Studies Stream Head since March 2024 (ongoing)
  • Chair, PhD admissions committee of the department for two years.
  • Chair, PhD seminar I & II of students in Development Studies stream for two years.
  • Chair, curriculum drafting committee for 2 year MA program in Development Studies.
  • Member, department level course allocation committee for an year.
  • Member of Board of Academic Courses (BAC) representing the department for two and a half years.
  • Member of the department level examinations committee for three years.
  • Curriculum revision committee member for the Integrated MA Program in Development Studies.
  • Member of the Post-doctoral selection committee for three rounds.
  • Coordinator, MA dissertations in the Development Studies stream, for a period of three years.
  • Member of the department level Vision Document (2021-2027) drafting committee.
  • Institute representative for JEE, GATE and HSEE examinations for several years.
  • Vetting HSEE question paper for three years.
  • HSEE essay correction team member for three years.