Research Seminar Series

Education.South Asia hosts regular Research Seminar Series to create a forum for deeper engagement on the issue of rethinking education in South Asia. The recordings of this seminar series is available as a playlist in our YouTube channel.


We were pleased to host a panel titled - "Environment and Education in South Asia" on Monday 27th June, 12pm UK time. The session featured Lalit Pande (Founder, Uttarakhand Seva Nidhi Environmental Education Centre - India); Padma Othsal (Director, SECMOL Ladakh - India) and Sonam Norbu (Founder, VTOB Educational Solutions and Services - Bhutan). The session will be moderated by Mohini Gupta (DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford).

You can watch the recording here

education south asia  environment and ed panel

Dr Lalit Pande, a social worker and environmentalist, who is the Founder of Uttarakhand Seva Nidhi Environmental Education Centre in India. Dr Pande received engineering degrees in India and the USA. Questions about “academic excellence and social relevance” led him back to his ancestral home in a small town where he had never lived earlier. For the last 35 years he has been involved in an environmental education programme in the hills of Uttarakhand. ( The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri , in 2007, for his contributions to environmental education, and his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi , awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014.

Padma Othsal from Ladakh, currently working at SECMOL as a Campus Director. He, along with his team, run SECMOL founded by Mr Sonam Wangchuk in the year 1988 together with like-minded youths of his age to bring reform in the education system in Ladakh. They focus on alternative learning systems and teach life skills to the youths of Ladakh in particular and people across the globe in general through hands-on learning. Prior to his 3 years at SECMOL, his specialisation has been in educating youths of remote villages of Ladakh through short term camps and workshops, freelancer in eco-tourism tourism industry and in running Othsal Academy – an initiative to support students in clearing fundamental concepts of Mathematics, Science, Aptitude and English.

Mr. Sonam Norbu who is an Edupreneur, social worker and a lifelong learner. Sonam has been a teacher for 12 years. Currently Sonam has founded VTOB Educational Solutions and Services which comprises of a community based organization, an institute and few social enterprises that aims to enhance educational engagements to nurture active citizens through consistent quality services that are innovative, problem solving, relevant and affordable. He has led the Teacher volunteers group of 6000 plus teachers in 2020 wherein the team volunteered to provide continued education to more than 1,70,000 students during the school closures due to the pandemic. Sonam promotes Climate Education, Waste Management and Education for Sustainable Development through Design for Change and other educational platforms.


Education South Asia hosted Professor Tariq Rahman on Monday, Jan 24th, 12pm GMT / 5pm PST. Prof Rahman's talk was  titled "Education Policies in Pakistan: Intentions and Consequences". 

You can watch the recording of this talk at our YouTube channel.

dr tariq rahman  education south asia seminar



We were honoured to host Professor Suresh Canagarajah on 28 October 2021, 5 pm (UK time) for an Inaugural Lecture. The lecture was titled "Revisiting Local Language and Education Practices: From a Decolonial Lens." 

You can watch the recording of the lecture on our YouTube Channel




Professor Suresh Canagarajah is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Applied Linguistics, and Asian Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He teaches World Englishes, Multilingual Writing, and Postcolonial Studies in the departments of English and Applied Linguistics. Suresh comes from the Tamil-speaking northern region of Sri Lanka. He has taught before at the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and the City University of New York. His recent publication Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations (Routledge, 2013) won the best book award from the professional organizations American Association of Applied Linguistics, British Association of Applied Linguistics, and the Modern Language Association of America. He was formerly the editor of the TESOL Quarterly and President of the American Association of Applied Linguistics.

Education South Asia hosted a panel titled - "Project EduAccess: Mentorship, Inclusivity and Representation" on Monday 23rd May, 12pm UK time . Launched in 2021,Project EduAccess is a non-profit initiative that aims to improve access to higher education for learners from marginalised communities in South Asia.

You can watch the recording here

Project EduAccess Website:

project eduaccess panel

Manzer is a Chevening Scholar from India and is currently pursuing an MSc. in Evidence-Based Social Intervention & Policy Evaluation at the University of Oxford. He has previously completed a Masters' in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and worked as a development consultant with NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development). At Project EduAccess he works as Lead on Strategy and Innovation.

Gayathree is a DPhil (Law) Candidate at the University of Oxford. Her thesis explores the human rights obligations of non-state actors. She completed the MPhil in Law and the BCL as an OICSD Scholar. Gayathree is also a tutor at Oxford and SOAS University of London. At Project EduAccess, she works as the Strategic Expansion Lead.

Jasmin Naur Hafiz is an incoming candidate for the Msc Economics for Development program at Oxford University. She is currently working as a research assistant with Jean Dreze and is also associated with the National Coalition on the Education Emergency.


It was our pleasure to host 4th Education South Asia Seminar titled - "Communicating Research: Education and Digital Storytelling in South Asia' on Monday, 28 Feb 2022. We had a very exciting roundtable with -  Rahul Bhise (Multimedia Editor, EPW Engage), Onaiza Drabu (Co-founder Daak; Writer; Anthropologist), Thomas Manuel (Co-founder, India Ink) and Joyeeta Dey (Co-curator, Aaina Education). We talked to them about the communicating academic research through visual media. 

The recording of this talk is available on our YouTube Channel.




Andrea Kolbel and Sujata Singh - 22nd November 2021, 2 pm (UK time), gave a book talk on Andrea’s recently published book 'In Search of a Future: Youth, aspiration and mobility in Nepal' . The book focuses on the politics of aspiration-building and the significance of spatial mobility for people’s life chances. The recording of this talk is available on our YouTube Channel.



Andrea Kölbel, D.Phil. (Oxon.) - Research Fellow at the Institute of Innovation and Technology, Berlin
As a social and economic scientist, Andrea Kölbel is specifically interested in the changing nature of higher education, spatial (im)mobilities, social theory, and participative research methods. She holds a doctorate in human geography from the University of Oxford and an MBA from the Central European University in Budapest. With her research into young people’s lives and social inequalities, she builds upon her professional experiences in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of education programmes on behalf of universities, ministries of education and research, and the UN Refugee Agency in countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

Sujata Singh, M.A. in Social Science (Socio-Cultural Anthropology) (TU) - Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Specialist in CARE Nepal
Gender equality and social inclusion specialist with seven plus years’ experience in the development sector; Sujata Singh has provided leadership and technical support to integrate gender and social inclusion in programs, formulate strategies and monitor implementation of initiatives that foster gender equality, women's empowerment, social inclusion and combat violence against women.