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Mr Parthasarathi Mondal

Assistant Professor , Mumbai campus

Chairperson - Centre for Social Theory, School of Development Studies

MSW (Agra), M.Phil. (JNU)

Parthasarathi Mondal  has been trained in the liberal arts, social work, and social sciences in health at Burdwan, Agra and Jawaharlal Nehru universities. He has been involved in teaching and training in the development and social work sectors for over two decades. Presently Assistant Professor (Selection Grade), and Founding Chairperson, Centre for Social Theory, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, he has published a number of papers on social theory, political philosophy and psychiatry in refereed journals and anthologies at home and abroad. He has taught as well as developed innovative curriculum for postgraduate and undergraduate subjects related to development studies and social work. Mondal was on the editorial advisory board of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics and presently is a member of several professional associations in India and abroad.


• Selfhood, Pathology and Well-Being
• Social Theory and Methodology
• Liberalism, Justice and Freedom
• Indian Heterodox Traditions
• Health, Livelihoods and Ecology

Selected Publications

  • ‘Psychiatry and the Ruling Class’, Seminar, April 1995

  • ‘Hegemony and the National Mental Health Programme: A Conceptual Preface’, Social Scientist, 23 (6-9), 1995

  • ‘Understanding Mental Distress: Contributions of Frankfurt School’, Radical Journal of Health, 1(2), 1995

  • ‘Beyond Orthodoxy: The Contributions of Gramscian Thought’, The Indian Journal of Social Science, 9(2), 1995

  • ‘Psychiatry in Ancient India: Towards an Alternative Standpoint’, NIMHANS Journal, 14(3), 1996

  • ‘The Subject in the ‘Last’ Foucault: Prolegomenon to a Reconsideration of Mental Distress and Well Being’, Indian Philosophical Quarterly, 23(3&4), 1996

  • ‘The Mental Hospital and Colonialism’, Indian Journal of Social Work, 57(4), 1996

  • ‘Body-Subjectivity in Psychiatry: The Initial Argument’, Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, 13(3), 1996

  • ‘Psychiatric Research in a Multiethnic Society – Some Methodological and Conceptual Issues’, IASSI Quarterly, 15(3), 1997

  • ‘Mental Distress and Social Ecology: The Post-Structuralist Stand Point’. In Y.K. Pachauri (Ed.) Social Panorama, Agra: Y.K. Publishers, 1998

  • ‘Marxist Approaches to Western Psychiatry: A Preliminary Examination’, Indian Journal of Social Work, 60(3), 1999

  • ‘Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya’s Theory of Knowledge’. In A. Mishra (Ed.) Spirituality, Science and Technology, New Delhi: Indian Philosophical Congress, 2002

  • ‘Household Expenditure on Tribal Health’, Jharkhand Journal of Development and Management Studies, 3(1), 2005 (with B. K. Jojo)

  • ‘Justice as Fairness: A Quietist Reading of Rawls’, Politikon, 35(1), 2008

    'Development, Quietism and the Social Practices of Freedom', Indian Philosophical Quarterly, 35(1-4), 2008

  • ‘Politics and Mental Health Scenario in Agrarian Bengal: An Overview’. In J. George et al (Eds.) Rethinking Radicalism in Indian Society: Bhagat Singh and Beyond, Jaipur: Rawat, 2009

  • ‘Freedom in the Imperial Imagination: Mental Asylums, Ideology, and Political Economy in Colonial India’, Sociological Bulletin, 58(2), 2009

  • ‘Development as Freedom and Justice: An Essay on Sen and Rawls’. In C. Sengupta and S. Corbridge (Eds.) Democracy, Development and Decentralisation in India: Continuing Debates, New Delhi: Routledge, 2010

  • ‘Markets, Justice and Ecology’, Journal of Social Work & Social Development, 01(01), 2010

    ‘Development, Dalits and Rawls: Rudimentary Considerations’. In M.H. Makwana and R. Pais (Eds.) Backward Classes and Social Justice, Jaipur: Rawat, 2011

  • 'Social Control and the Social Sector: Mental Health Legislations in Colonial India'.  In R. Pais (Ed.) Perspectives on Social Development, Jaipur: Rawat, 2012
  • 'Philosophy and Nationalism in India: A Preliminary Essay',  Journal of Social Work & Social Development, 03 (01&02), 2012
  • 'Livelihoods and Development: Socioeconomic Exclusion in Mumbai's Hinterland'.  In T. Bunnell et al (Eds.) Cleavage, Connection and Conflict in Rural, Urban and Contemporary Asia, Dordrecht: Springer, 2013 (with S. Louw)
  • 'Tracing Indian Philosophy and its Contributions'.  In S. Singh (Ed.) Social Work and Social Development: Perspectives from India and the United States, Chicago: Lyceum, 2013
  • ‘Liberalism, Development and Gender’,  Working Paper, Department of Political Science, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, 2015 
  • 'Progress, Development and Practical Erasure'.  In A. K. Giri (Ed.)  New Horizons of Human Development, New Delhi: Studera, 2015

Research Projects

1. Health Expenditure in a Tribal PHC Area, 2001-2002 

    (with B.K. Jojo, TISS)(Sponsor: CHS-TISS, India;  Amount: INR 100,000)

[Following the Alma-Ata Declaration which delineated the scope and importance of primary health care in the attempt to reach health for all, the Primary Health Centre (PHC) has become the locus of interface between society and health care in the Indian context. Accordingly it is most subject to the stresses and strains of developmental processes. The research set out to study the picture in extremely backward tribal areas. Focusing on tribals in Thane district, Maharashtra the research estimated the financial implications of very poor tribal households trying to cope with illness and disease, mostly on their own with only the barest infrastructural support. It was revealed that there were enormous diversions of funds from household budgets to expenditure on clinical and preventive processes of overcoming ill-health.]


2. Negotiated Livelihoods: Contending Development Visions (by and for) Tribal Villagers in Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary, 2003-2006  

    (with S. Louw, University of Witwatersrand)(Sponsor: IDPAD, The Netherlands;  Amount: Euro 27518 and INR 1,538,486)

[The research was an exercise in South-South collaboration, involving researchers from India and South Africa. The objective was to identify and assess competing development visions for the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary near Mumbai in Thane, India notably those of the tribal people living in the forest, local government in Maharashtra state, the Thane Wildlife Division, local businesspeople, and industrialists. Exceptionally detailed and comprehensive quantitative survey of over 700 very remote tribal and other backward classes (OBC) households and nearly 200 interviews, oral histories and discussions with other respondents constituted the substantive database of the study. The main ‘hypothesis’ was that a developmental vision that links local beliefs, resources, institutions and perceptions of social reality to the broader political and social economy of Maharashtra will have greater welfare enhancing characteristics than one based on the marginalization and restriction of local economic practices. Transaction costs will be lowered and incentives for co-operation (from all sides) will be enhanced.

   The report showed that tribals are excluded from much local development due to the marginal size and productivity of their land holdings. Because of this socio-economic vulnerability, they are forced to increasingly reduce their reliance on agricultural activities and the forest – with which they have been associated for generations – and to become wage labourers on other (usually Kunbi OBCs) owned farms and businesses. The tribals are further squeezed by draconian environmental and forest protection statutes which deprive them of land, water and forest based resources. This exclusion of the tribal is located within the relationship of economic dependence which the hinterland has to the metropolitan demands of Mumbai and social discrimination arising from Maratha-Hindu political movements.]


3. Capacity Building Project and Household Survey on Food Safety and Quality Control of Drugs in India, 2004-2006 

    (with S. Sriram, A. Shaban, S. Iyer, and A. Chakrabarti, TISS)(Sponsor: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI, India;  Amount: INR 2,625,000)

[The research constituted the Western Regional Component of a comprehensive survey of food safety and drug usage practices and food security issues conducted all over India by top nodal institutions working in this domain. The Western Regional Report, which contributed to the National Report, established a baseline for identified indicators on awareness, attitudes and practices related to food and drug safety and food security covering representative rural and slum populations and studied the changes in these in household behaviours and practices over time. Covering the remotest and most backward tribal districts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa and Chhattisgarh states and the slum populations of Mumbai and ICDS Centres of three states, extensive quantitative data was generated from 5352 households and key informants (adolescent girls, teachers, anganwadi workers, food/health inspectors, doctors, and retail pharmacies). Food safety and quality control of drugs was found to be not exemplary in these households and the practices were related to deeply held cultural cosmologies of health and well-being. The attitude, knowledge and practices of people in this domain were tied up with food security issues. There is ample reason to call for improvement in service delivery and greater awareness-generation although the success of these measures would depend largely on better structural conditions.]


Field-Action Projects

1. Project Director, Integrated Rural Health and Development Project (IRHDP), Aghai (Thane), Maharashtra, India, 2000-2006

    (See IRHDP)



Current Teaching

MA: Philosophical Foundations to Development Research; Political Economy of Space, Development and Uneven Development; Development and Social Justice

MPhil: Philosophical Methods in Social Science Research; Changing Geopolitics in the Contemporary World Order.

Email: pmondal[at]tiss[dot]edu

Email: pmondal@tiss.edu

Cell: + 91 7700979988

Telephone: +91 22 2552 5000;  +91 22 2552 5325

Fax: +91 22 2552 5050