Faculty Profile


Prof. Asmita Kabra


Dr. Kabra completed her PhD in Economics in February 2008 from the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her doctoral work was on the impact of conservation-induced displacement on the livelihood of poor and marginal Adivasi communities. This was among India’s first full length studies of such displacement. Her areas of interest include a development economics (especially conservation-induced displacement, poverty, rural livelihoods, natural resource dependence, Adivasi livelihoods and dryland agriculture), economic history and political economy.

Past Experience

Asmita Kabra is an economist who joined the School of Human Ecology at AUD after about 15 years of undergraduate teaching in the University of Delhi. She taught at the Department of Economics, Ramjas College, University of Delhi from July 1995 till January 2010.  

My Zone / Area of Expertise

Dr. Kabra has worked on a number of research projects, studies and consultancies related to conservation-induced displacement in various Protected Areas in India. She has presented papers at various academic conferences in India and abroad on this subject.

Dr. Kabra combines research with a range of hands-on development projects at the grassroots level. She is one of the Founder Trustees of Samrakshan Trust, an NGO working for socially just conservation in various states of India. She is also the President of Adharshila, an organization working for meaningful education for underprivileged rural children in district Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh.
During 2007-08, Dr. Kabra served as Member of the Asia Group of the WSPA/CEESP Task Force on Protected Areas, Equity and Livelihoods of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). During 1997-2001, she volunteered with the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), an all-India association of individuals working for wider dissemination of the right to information as an instrument of transparency, accountability and good governance.


  • Associate Editor, Conservation & Society (2013 to 2015)
  • Member, Asia Group of the WSPA/CEESP Task Force on Protected Areas, Equity and Livelihoods (2007-08)
  • Co-organizer of symposium on Conservation and Livelihoods at Biodiversity Asia 2012, a conference organized by the Society for Conservation Biology (August 2012)
  • Founder Member and President, Adharshila Shiksha Samiti, an organization working for meaningful education for rural (especially tribal) children in district Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh
  • Founder trustee, Samrakshan Charitable Trust, and working in an honorary capacity for fundraising, reporting, documentation and research, along with direct work in the field. Especially responsible for overall coordination of Samrakshan's Madhya Pradesh Field Office
  • Member, National Campaign for the People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), an all-India association of individuals working for wider dissemination of the right to information as an instrument of transparency, accountability and good governance (1999-2001)Member, Science Programme Committee for Biodiversity Asia 2012, a conference organized by the Society for Conservation Biology
  • Lead Investigator for a World Bank project for Process Documentation of Best Practices in Land Acquisition and Resettlement and Rehabilitation from Protected Areas (June 2007). The fieldwork for this study was conducted at the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
  • Member of a team commissioned by the Project Tiger Office, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, to study the lessons learnt from the World Bank funded India Ecodevelopment Project (September 2003 – June 2004). The fieldwork for this study was carried out at the Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan and the Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
  • Member of a team at the Indian Institute of Public Administration studying the environmental and social impacts of large dams in India, as part of a larger study commissioned by the World Commission on Dams (October-December 1999)


  • Kabra, Asmita and Budhaditya Das. (2022). Using regulation to drive improvement in SIA, Impact Assessment Outlook Journal, Volume 13, pp. 18-19. URL: https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/iema.net/documents/knowledge/policy/impact-assessment/ia-outlook/J37444_IEMA_Impact_Assessment_Outlook_Journal_V13_V4.pdf
  • Kabra, Asmita, and Budhaditya Das. “Aye for the Tiger: Hegemony, Authority and Volition in India’s Regime of Dispossession for Conservation.” Oxford Development Studies, n.d. https://doi.org/10.1080/13600818.2022.2028134.
  • Price, Susanna, Warren A. Van Wicklin, Dolores Koenig, John Owen, Chris de Wet, and Asmita Kabra (2020). “Risk and Value in Benefit-Sharing with Displaced People: Looking Back 40 Years, Anticipating the Future.” Social Change 50, no. 3: 447–65. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049085720953409.
  • Kabra, Asmita (2019). “Caste in Stone? Exploring Caste and Class Dimensions of Conservation Displacement in Central India”. Journal of Contemporary Asia 50(5): 785-805. https://doi.org/10.1080/00472336.2019.1696877
  • Kabra Asmita (2019). Ecological Critiques of Exclusionary Conservation. Ecology, Economy and Society-the INSEE Journal 2: 9–26. https://doi.org/10.37773/ees.v2i1.51
  • Kabra, Asmita, & Sonam Mahalwal. (2018). “The Micropolitics of Dispossession and Resistance: Case Study of a Proposed Dam in Central India”. Development and Change, 50(6): 1509–1530 https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12447
  • Kabra, Asmita (2018). “Revisiting Canons and Dogmas in the Conservation-versus-Human Rights Debate”. Ecology, Economy and Society Vol.1, Issue 1: 84-87. https://doi.org/10.37773/ees.v1i1.20
  • Kabra, Asmita (2018). “Displacement, resettlement, and livelihood restoration: safeguard standards in practice”. Development in Practice, 28(2): 269-279. https://doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2018.1418296
  • Kabra, A. (2016), “Assessing economic impacts of forced land acquisition and displacement: a qualitative rapid research framework”. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 34(1), 24–32. http://doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2015.1096037
  • Kabra, A. (2015), “Report on the proceedings of the INDR sessions in the 75th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, USA at Pittsburgh”, Resettlement News, Jan/July 2015 published on http://indr.org/)
  • Kabra, Asmita, and Sonam Mahalwal. 2014. “Impact of Conservation-Induced Displacement on Host Community Livelihoods: Complicating the DIDR Narratives.” Land Use Policy 41 (November): 217–24. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.05.010.
  • Kabra, A. Conservation-induced displacement: Anatomy of a win-win solution. Social Change Volume 43, Number 4 (December 2013). doi: 10.1177/0049085713502592Social Change December 2013 vol. 43 no. 4 533-550
  • Kabra, A. 2009. Conservation-induced Displacement: A Comparative Study of two Indian Protected Areas. Conservation and Society 7(4): 249-267, 2009. DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.65172
  • Kabra, A. Preservation via Dislocation. Seminar 577 - September 2007 pp.58-62
  • Displacement as a Conservation Tool: Lessons from Kuno wildlife sanctuary (co-author Arpan Sharma). 2007. in Shahabuddin, Ghazala and Mahesh Rangarajan (eds.) Making Conservation Work. Permanent Black, New Delhi.
  • Wildlife Protection: Reintroduction and Relocation. Economic and Political Weekly Vol.41 No.14. 08 April 2006.
  • Impact of Involuntary Displacement on a Tribal Community (A Case Study of the Sahariya Adivasi Displaced from Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh). 2006 in Mehta, Aasha Kapoor and Andrew Shepherd (eds.) Chronic Poverty and Development Policy in India: 197-221. New Delhi, Sage Publications.
  • Chronic Poverty and Vulnerable Social Groups: The case of the Sahariya Adivasi community displaced from Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh. 2004. Working Paper 10, Chronic Poverty Research Center. New Delhi, Indian Institute of Public Administration.
  • Displacement and Rehabilitation of an Adivasi Settlement, case of Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh. Economic and Political Weekly Vol. XXXVIII, No. 29, July 19. 2003.
  • Environmental and Social Impact of Large Dams in India. 2002 (co-authors Shekhar Singh, Raman Mehta, Vishaish Uppal, Bansuri Taneja and Prabhakar Rao) in Singh, Shekhar and Pranab Banerji (eds.) Large Dams in India: Environmental, Social and Economic Impacts. New Delhi, Indian Institute of Public Administration.