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Sunila Kale awarded Elder Prize in Indian Social Sciences

April 10, 2013

Sunila Kale, assistant professor at the UW Jackson School of International Studies, has won the 2013 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences from the American Institute of Indian Studies. Kale’s book manuscript, Electrifying India: Regional Political Economies of Development, is under contract with Stanford University Press.

In the book, Kale investigates why, more than six decades after independence, so much of India—especially rural India—is still not electrified or has intermittent and poor-quality electricity delivery.

Throughout the 20th century, electrification was considered to be the primary vehicle of modernity and development, as well as its quintessential symbol. In India, electricity was central to the conceptualization of Indian modernity by early nationalists and planners and huge sums were spent on electrification from then until now.

Yet, despite all this, today nearly 400 million Indians have no access to electricity.

Kale’s teaching and research focus on Indian and South Asian politics and the political economy of development. Electrifying India explores the political and historical puzzle of uneven development in India’s vital electricity sector.