Kunal Kishore Hansdah's picture

Kunal Kishore Hansdah



Master of Arts (Rural Development and Governance), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Hyderabad, India.

Master of Philosophy in Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India.

Contact details

Kunal Kishore Hansdah is a PhD candidate in the Resources, Environment, and Development (READ) Group at the Crawford School of Public Policy. Hailing from the Santhal community in India, Kunal brings a unique Indigenous perspective to his scholarly endeavours, particularly in Indigenous rights, natural resource management, sustainable development, and the political ecology and economy of large-scale extractive industries in South Asia.

He is also a member of the ANU South Asia Research Institute.

Supervisor(s) and panel members

Prof. Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt (Chair), (Crawford School of Public Policy)

AsProf. Sarah Milne, (Crawford School of Public Policy)

Prof. Saleem Ali, (University of Delaware)

AsProf. Nick Bainton, (The University of Queensland)

PhD programme

Public Policy in Environmental Studies and Resource Management

Topic description

Kunal’s current research delves into the multi-faceted challenges confronted by Indigenous communities, exploring mineral extraction narratives within the context of energy transition and contributing to the climate in/justice debate. His work investigates the intricate entanglements of energy transition and climate change within the energy-mineral/metal extractive nexus, addressing both immediate and future social justice concerns. Through collaborative efforts with mining-affected Indigenous communities, grassroots activists, and civil society organizations, he explores what the struggles experienced by Indigenous communities might mean for justice in India’s energy transition.

Employment history

Before embarking on his doctoral journey, Kunal performed in various roles within the public sector in India. He started his career as a young professional with the Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society (APSDPS) in the Mineral Exploration Research and Innovation Trust (MERIT) division of the Department of Mines and Geology, Government of Andhra Pradesh. Later, he moved on to become a Social Development Expert in the City Level Technical Cell (CLTC) in ’Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Housing for All‘ (PMAY-HFA) – Urban, under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.

Kunal previously served as an academic tutor with the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), School of Sociology.

Currently, he is an ANU Officer Gr4 (Research) at the College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP).

Personal links

Mailing address

Crawford School of Public Policy
ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building No. 132
Lennox Crossing
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Updated:  18 May 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team