2019 Asian Studies Visiting Fellow: Dr. Sujata Ashwarya


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Dr. Sujata Ashwarya

Residency: July through September

BiographyDr. Sujata Ashwarya

Sujata Ashwarya is Associate Professor in the Centre for West Asian Studies [Middle Eastern], Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She received her MPhil and PhD degrees in West Asian Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was awarded research fellowships at the Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) and Centre d’Etudes et des Recherches Internationales (CERI), Paris; and the Schusterman Centre for Israel Studies, Brandeis University, USA. She was also affiliated as a researcher at the Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran, Iran. Her research interests include the politics of energy, India’s West Asia policy, politics and foreign policy of Iran, Iraq and Israel, and issues relating to democratisation in the region. A frequent traveler, she has presented more than 50 research papers in national and international conferences and seminars. She has more than 30 published research articles and has written, edited and co-edited 5 books. Her books include, Israel’s Mediterranean Gas: Domestic Governance, Economic Impact, and Strategic Implications (Routledge, 2019), Contemporary West Asia: Perspectives on Change and Continuity (co-edited; Routledge, 2019); India-Iran Relations: Progress, Problems and Prospects (Routledge, 2017); Essays on Iran and Israel: An Indian Perspective (Knowledge World, 2014); and Civil Society, Democracy and State in West Asia (edited; New Century, 2010).

Research Topic: India’s Energy Security and Energy Cooperation with the United States: Optimizing Gains and Moving Forward

India’s significant dependence on imported fossil fuels raises concerns about energy security just as the use of fossil fuels makes growth less sustainable. To mitigate these deficits, India wants to incorporate more of less-polluting natural gas and renewables into its consumption. That said, energy is one of the central pillars of strategic engagement between India and the United States. The energy cooperation between the two countries is executed through institutions, such as, USTDA, PACE, JCERDC, US Department of Energy and the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology and USICEF. Among others, these have helmed two critical areas of cooperation, namely, smart grids and energy storage, vital to making energy available to India’s remote areas and as the country increasingly develops renewables. India also looks poised to import LNG from the vast gas reserves in the US. The objectives of this research revolve around investigating the scope for expansion in the existing areas of cooperation and exploring new areas. Partnership in Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) in industry, expansion of the JCERDC through a further identification of academic/research institutions in India, scientific exchange on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) are a few areas on which interaction could augment in the future.