Dr. Aviram Sharma

Dr. Aviram Sharma

Assistant Professor

Aviram Sharma is an Assistant Professor at the School of Ecology and Environment Studies at Nalanda University. He completed his Ph.D. from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India. His doctoral work entitled Standards, Technology and Public Participation: Regulation Making for Bottled Water Quality in India analysed various dimensions of the regulation making process for bottled water quality standards in India. He holds an M. Phil. in Science Policy from JNU and M.A in Environmental Studies from the University of Delhi. Before joining NU, he worked in different capacities with STEPS Centre (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability), Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK and JNU, India during October 2014 to July 2015.

He was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI), Department of Sociology, University of Essex, UK in 2011; at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS), Graz, Austria in 2016 and at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany in 2017. He was involved in several research projects, including the project titled Bottled Water Consumption and Markets: An International Comparison headed by Prof. Mark Harvey under the aegis of Sustainable Practices Research Group, UK and Risks and Responses to urban Futures: Integrating Peri-urban/Urban Synergies into Urban Development Planning for Enhanced Ecosystem Services Benefits funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme and led by Professor Fiona Marshall, University of Sussex, UK.


His research primarily employs an inter-disciplinary approach, and lies on the interface of science and technology studies, environmental studies, public understanding of science, and heterodox economics. His research explores three broad themes, regulation making and governance; urban environment and sustainability challenges; and agrarian change in India.

Selected Publications

Courses Designed and Taught

  • EES 104 – Environment and Society
  • EES 204 B – Engaging Environment: Theoretical Frames and Methodological Tools
  • EES 302 A – Exploring Interactions of Environment, Technology and Society in Asia
  • EES 203 D – Urban Environment: Asian Cities in a Globalising World
  • EES 402A – Environmental Policy Processes: Theory and Praxis

Selected Conference Presentations and Invited Talk

  • Is the State Withering Away in the Era of Hybrid Environmental Governance? Changing State, Society and Market Relations in South Bihar,Conference on Economic Theory and Policy organised by the School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi, New Delhi, 30 March 2019.
  • Pathways for Sustainable Development: An Indian Perspective,Geopolitics of Development: Pathways and Significance of Development in the Global South organized by the Royal Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco, Rabat, Morocco, 22-23 November 2018
  • Revisiting Community-based Traditional Irrigation System of South Bihar,Sixth Network of Rural and Agrarian Studies International Conference (NRAS) held at the Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, India during 20-22 September 2018 (with Kumar Gaurav)
  • Encountering Sustainability: Governance of Irrigation Systems in South BiharInternational Conference on Bihar and Jharkhand: Shared History to Shared Vision, organised by the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) Patna, India, March 24-28, 2017.
  • Rural Change in the Kosi River Basin: A Capital Goods PerspectiveInternational Conference on Bihar and Jharkhand: Shared History to Shared Vision, organised by the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) Patna, India, March 24-28, 2017 (with Stephen Biggs, Scott Justice, Rajendra Uprety)
  • Debating Sustainability Challenges in Agrarian South Bihar, India: Changing Contours of Irrigation LandscapeAssociation for Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference 2017, Toronto, Canada March 16-19, 2017
  • Changing Irrigation Practices and Sustainability Challenges, International Seminar on Responsible Innovation and Sustainable Agriculture: The Problem of Rice Straw Burning in Punjab, organised by Maastricht University, The Netherlands, Kheti Virasat Mission and Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Chandigarh, Punjab, 29-30 November 2016
  • The Visions, Expectations and Realities of Diffusion of Emerging Solar Energy Technologies: A Case Study of Dharnai, Bihar8th S.Net Annual Conference – The Co-Production of Emerging Bodies, Politics and Technologies, University of Bergen, Norway, 12-14 October, 2016
  • Change and Continuity: Irrigation Technologies in South Bihar, IndiaColloquium on Science, Technology and Society Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches of Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS) Graz, Austria, 28 June 2016.
  • Changing Irrigation Practices and Emerging Sustainability Challenges in Southern Bihar: A Dialogue between Policy and PracticeContested Agronomy: Dynamics, Cases and Implications, University of Sussex, UK, 23-25 February 2016
  • Sustainability Challenges of Food and Water in Trans-Yamuna and Trans-Hindon Area in National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi, IndiaWorkshop on Challenges of Food, Water, Energy and Waste for Sustainable Cities in Select Regions of India, International Social Science Council (ISSC) and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Nov 24, 2014 (with Pritpal Randhawa)
  • Poster Presentation, The Changing Terrains of Regulatory Science in Developing Countries: NGOs, Controversies and “Opening-Up” of Regulatory GovernanceDemocratizing Technologies: Assessing the roles of NGOs in Shaping Technological Futures, University of California, Santa Barbara, 13-15 November, 2014 (with Poonam Pandey)
  • Bricolage Economies of Water in DelhiInternational Workshop on Properties of Water, University of Essex, United Kingdom, 3-4 October, 2013 (with Mark Harvey).
  • Understanding the Agricultural Transformation in South Bihar: Irrigation Technologies, Water Rights and the Sustainability ChallengesNalanda University Colloquium, New Delhi, 14 August 2013.
  • Standards, Regulations and Water Purification Technologies in India: An Evolutionary AnalysisAsian Society for Innovation Policy Conference: Innovation for Development, New Delhi 28-30 August 2013.
  • The Framing of Drinking Water Quality in India’s Water LawThird Law and Social Sciences Research Network Conference, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 14-16 December 2012.
  • Bricolage Economies of Water in Delhi: The Formation of Spatial And Social DivisionsWorkshop on Informal Space in the Urban Waterscape, UNESCO-IHE – Institute for Water Education, Delft, Netherlands, 4-5 December 2012 (with Mark Harvey)
  • Scarcity, Risk and Sustainability: Public Narratives of Bottled Water Consumption in IndiaPathways to Sustainability Conference, STEPS Summer School, University of Sussex, Brighton, 24 May 2012
  • Choice or Necessity: The Dynamics of Bottled Water Consumption in Urban IndiaInternational Symposium on Anthropology of Global Issues, New Delhi, 1-3 April 2012 (with Saradindu Bhaduri)
  • People Perception of Public Participation in Regulatory Decision Making: The Case of Bottled Water Quality Standards in India11th International Conference on Public Communication of Science and Technology, New Delhi, 6-9 Dec 2010

Current Projects

  • Changing Irrigation Practices and Emerging Sustainability Challenges in South Bihar, India  

This research work engages with sustainability challenges emerging due to changing agricultural pattern, specifically irrigation practices (shift from surface based indigenous system to canal based irrigation and more recent dependence on ground water) in South Bihar, India. It tries to problematise the “science based” “expert” led understanding of “sustainability” that is pushed through policy discourses at national and international fora and attempts to situate the ideas of “sustainability” in the ground realities of socio-economic transformation happening at local and regional level. It specifically attempts to understand, that how “sustainability” related challenges and issues are “framed” and understood by different actors (primarily, farmers and labourers at the grassroots level and policy makers and academicians at the international and national level).

  • Aquifer characterization, artificial recharge and reuse of suddenly available water in South Bihar

ASRA (Aquifer Storage & Recovery for Sustainable Agriculture) is an aquifer recharge project, funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia. The objective of this project is to test a model of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) technology using seasonal floodwaters in the region of South Bihar -a drought-prone region. This model aims to recharge the subsurface aquifers. The goal of the project is to provide the opportunity to farmers of the region to raise their incomes from agriculture and allied activities, through assured irrigation from the reuse of water stored beneath the surface during draught. The proposed work primarily involves aquifer mapping, assessment of social perception about technology adoption and study of environmental risks emerging due to groundwater depletion.

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