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India Program

India’s support of economic reforms and structural changes have resulted in high growth rates and substantial reductions in poverty. By embracing technology to improve service delivery in important sectors, the country is poised to significantly enhance the lives of its citizens and its role in the global economy.

The King Center on Global Development facilitates rigorous research, student engagement, and collaboration between Stanford faculty and students with research centers and institutions in India. Conferences and workshops promote knowledge sharing between researchers, policymakers, and business and community leaders from India and other countries.        

Research and Collaboration

The King Center advances a broad range of robust, data-driven research in India by Stanford faculty and students and their strategic partners around the world. Research by King Center faculty affiliates provides insight into key issues affecting India’s public and private sectors.

  • Agriculture: Understanding how environmental and technological changes affect Indian agricultural productivity is one of Professor David Lobell’s focuses. Working primarily on India’s northern wheat belt, Professor Lobell uses state of the art techniques to combine satellite imagery with field surveys to track crop development across space and time to shed new light on farm management and decision-making.
  • Management & Productivity: Surveying manufacturing plants give academics and policymakers access to new information on management practices and labor development in India’s manufacturing firms. Professor Nicholas Bloom has examined how Indian businesses that implemented standard management practices thrived over the long term, finding that practices introduced in one factory spread to other factories, with lower rates of accidents for factory workers.
  • Women’s Political Participation & Representation: Significant gender gaps still exist in political participation and representation in India. Political science assistant professor and faculty affiliate Soledad Prillaman is researching the link between a woman’s civic engagement and policy priorities.
  • Health: Research by economics Professor Pascaline Dupas and Radhika Jain, a Stanford postdoctoral research fellow, examines the implications of a public health insurance program and changes to reimbursement rates on out-of-pocket costs, care quality, and hospital accountability.


The King Center collaborates with institutions in India to organize events, including conferences on Indian economic policy and workshops featuring Stanford faculty research. The center also hosts India’s leading policy makers, providing opportunities for the Stanford community to interact with key influencers.

Student Opportunities

The center’s Undergraduate Field Research Assistant Program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work alongside a Stanford faculty member and with a local partner on-the-ground. In two experiences for summer 2020, undergraduate students will have the opportunity to evaluate how civics education affects women’s political representation and participation, as well as assess the impact of interventions to preserve the livelihoods of local artisans.

The King Center also supports Stanford students conducting their own research on India. Graduate student research funding and fellowship opportunities are available and a number of Stanford students conducting research in India have received funding. Recently, political science PhD candidate Aliz Tóth received graduate student research funding for her original research on political participation among urban voters in India.

For more information, please contact Excecutive Director Jessica Leino at