Kalpana Jha is a BIG Graduate Student Fellow and the author of “The Madhesi Upsurge and the Contested Idea of Nepal”. She is currently a board member on the Nepal Policy Institute (NPI) – an international policy think tank. Jha is an alumni as well as former research fellow from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India. She also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from TISS-Mumbai and a Master’s in Socio-legal studies from York University, Canada. Jha has worked extensively on identity issues, citizenship in Madhes and minorities and their status in Nepal and India. Jha has multiple publications including journal articles, book chapters, reports, newspaper articles and commentaries in the field of identity, citizenship, gender and borders. She has also worked in the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, India as a Regional and internal security intern. Jha was a former researcher at Martin Chautari and worked on a comparative study on Borderlands, Brokers and Peacebuilding in Nepal and Sri Lanka, commissioned by School of Oriental and African Studies, London, to Martin Chautari, in Nepal. She has also worked formerly in research foundations such as Social Science Baha in Nepal and Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, India.
Jha’s PhD thesis will be focused on studying Borders and bordering processes between Nepal and India. The study will explore the local cross-border networks that exists at individual and institutional level. Primarily this research will be engaging with the narratives around the changing nature of border and how local networks shape everyday bordering processes. Jha’s research seeks to trace what kind of networks exists but also how do these networks function in determining the nature of the openness of the border. Her research, embedded in the critical border studies that sees the border beyond a geographical line that divides territories but acts as a space of interaction, a bridge that brings together geographies, people and cultures.