Akhil Ranjan Dutta Professor in the Department of Political Science, Gauhati University, Assam, IndiaAkhil Ranjan Dutta, Professor and presently Head in the Department of Political Science at Gauhati University, Assam, India, is one of those social scientists of India’s north-east whose research has been motivated by political and cultural aspirations of people at the grassroots.
A familiar face in Assam’s intellectual circle, Professor Dutta is known for his endeavours to build an organic link between academia and the larger society—a passion born of his academic trajectory. His political, cultural and ideological orientations have been moulded by his early
encounters with the common citizen’s struggles in the rural setting of his childhood in a remote village of Assam’s Lakhimpur district; his subsequent exposure to the diverse, secular and inclusive academic and cultural atmosphere of Cotton College, Guwahati; and the rich
and progressive intellectual setting of the University of Delhi.
A bilingual author (in Assamese and English) and a political commentator, Professor Dutta is closely connected with the social and cultural movements in Northeast India and is a popular columnist in several leading Assamese dailies. He is a regular commentator and contributor on Assam’s politics in leading national and international journals, including the Economic & Political Weekly, and serves as the Executive Editor of Natun Padatik, a sociocultural magazine published from Guwahati. A passionate advocate of interdisciplinary social science scholarship, Professor Dutta presently serves as the honorary Chairperson of Brahmaputra Institute of Research and Development (BIRD), Guwahati, and is the President of the Social Science Research Community (SSRC), India—Transcending Boundaries for Sustainable Alternatives. In his two decades of teaching at Gauhati University, he has also served the Gauhati University Teachers’ Association (GUTA) as its general secretary for three tenures, its vice-president for two tenures and its president in the year 2019–2020.
A Rotary World Peace Fellow (2009) at the Rotary International Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, Professor Dutta led the Indian think tank delegation to China in June 2017 on the invitation of the Chinese Embassy in India and the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi. He also received visiting fellowships at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, in March 2017 and in the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi, in March 2020. He is also the recipient of the Second Bhabananda Dutta Memorial Social Science Research Award 2020.
Apart from his research publications in reputed international journals like Social Change, Studies in Indian Politics and Advances in Applied Sociology, Professor Dutta has authored and edited several books in both Assamese and English. Some of his significant edited volumes include Human Security in North-East India: Issues and Policies (Ed., 2009); Political Theory: Issues, Concepts and Debates (Ed., 2011); Culture, Ideology, Politics (Ed., 2012); Indian Politics: Issues, Institutions and Processes (Ed., 2013); The Conscientious Statesman: Gaurisankar
Bhattacharyya in Assam Legislative Assembly (Ed., 2015); and Asomor Jatiya Jivanat Lakshminath Bezbaruah Aru Anyanya Prabandha (Assamese, 2015).