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Professor (Dr.) Rakhi Tripathi receives BA GCRF grant for a research project on Violence Against Women in Indian cities

5th March 2018, Professor (Dr.) Rakhi Tripathi receives BA GCRF grant for a research project on Violence Against Women in Indian cities

Professor (Dr.) Rakhi Tripathi receives BA GCRF grant for a research project on Violence Against Women in Indian cities


Professor Rakhi Tripathi (Assistant Professor, FORE School of Management, New Delhi) has received grant of £290,000 from the British Academy Global Challenges Research Fund for conducting research on 'Disconnected infrastructures and Violence Against Women (VAW): Innovating digital technologies in low income neighbourhoods to produce safer Indian cities'.


Professor Rakhi is collaborating with two Professors from King’s College, London and one faculty member from London School of Economics for this important project on a topic of crucial contemporary relevance. She reveals how the collaboration with renowned academicians from prestigious educational institutes came about: ‘One of the professors from King’s College, UK contacted me on LinkedIn regarding a research problem. After discussing the issue, we realized this can be shaped into a project proposal. After several iterations, this project was formalized.’


But that was just the beginning. Application for the BA GCRF grant is an elaborate process that begins with submission of a write-up on objectives and outcomes of the project. It is followed by detailed budget and timeframe for the project, before presenting in front of the committee. Professor Rakhi outlines the scope of the project: ‘The primary objective of all my research topics is to serve society through Digital Innovation. It’s something we also aim to do with this project by addressing some areas of violence against women.’


The significance of the project cannot be overstated. Professor Rakhi reminds us that women in low income urban neighbourhoods face increased sexual and physical assaults during access to and use of connected infrastructures including water, toilets, and transport. The project also highlights the challenge of delivering SDG 6 – clean water and sanitation for all. Professor Rakhi adds, ‘Moreover acute information and skills gap in technology use among these women impedes their knowledgeable and empowered engagement with social and material assemblages of urban infrastructures.’


Now that the project has received the backing of a top institution, Professor Rakhi and her UK counterparts will pool in their efforts for 18 months. Big Data collection from infrastructure blind spots, analysis of software algorithm, and open source mapping will constitute some of the integral elements of research for the project. When asked if being an academic and researcher at the same time gets daunting, the PhD from IIT Delhi quips, ‘The role of an academic is to teach and do research. As an academic I have always included research in my courses. There is no time management issue; research helps me become a better academic.’


According to Professor Rakhi, her research interests are supported by FORE School of Management at every step. Talking about the backing she receives from her B-School, she says, ‘FORE School of Management encourages teachers to pursue productive research. Apart from seed money projects that we get from the institute, support for research grants from outside – in terms of permissions and time flexibility – is always made available to faculty members.’ Her latest achievement reflects that culture and ethos.

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