Akansha Singh

I am Akansha Singh, currently a second-year PhD student at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. My academic journey has been marked by dedication and a thirst for knowledge. I have consistently strived for excellence in every endeavor, drawing valuable lessons from my academic pursuits.

My educational background includes a Master’s degree in Sociology from JNU and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi. I am passionate about urban governance, event theory, marginalized populations, street vendors, and informal workers, seeking connections with fellow researchers in these areas.

I’ve had the privilege of presenting my research at prestigious conferences:

  • British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR) 2023
  • National Conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University in August 2023
  • BASAS Annual Conference 2023
  • National Conference by St. Ann’s College For Women, Hyderabad in March 2023 (where I won The Best Paper Award)

Beyond academia, I have excelled in extracurricular activities, won accolades for my adventurous spirit, and actively participated in NGOs. Throughout my academic journey, I’ve held various leadership roles, from being a Head Girl to serving as a Senior Executive Member in the Students’ Union at Shri Ram College of Commerce. I am currently an SFC Representative of the Ph.D. batch at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, JNU.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, listening to music, composing poems, sketching, and painting. As a passionate scholar, I look forward to contributing valuable insights to my academic community while continuously expanding my knowledge base.

Current Research:

My research, titled “Street Vendors, Covid-19 Pandemic, and Urban Governance: A Socio-legal Study on the Pilgrimage City Varanasi,” delves into the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on street vendors in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. This study aims to comprehensively examine the challenges that the pandemic posed to the lives and livelihoods of street vendors. It also scrutinizes the existing laws, policies, and schemes implemented for street vendors, exploring their implications in the context of the pandemic.

Additionally, my research investigates global best practices and policies adopted during the Covid-19 crisis to safeguard street vendors. The ultimate goal is to offer insights and develop legal and policy frameworks that can guide future responses to similar crises.

Embedded within this research is an exploration of event theory, a philosophical concept that gained prominence in the twentieth century. Events, as perceived disruptions in the continuity of everyday life, hold a significant role in shaping our understanding of society. I contemplate the central question: who is “inside” the event and who is “outside”? This inquiry reflects power dynamics, privilege, and property, particularly evident during the pandemic. The research also highlights how the pandemic intersected with existing inequalities, further exposing disparities based on class, race, and profession.

This study aims to unravel the transformative aspects of individuals’ and collectives’ experiences during such events and the role of legislation and policies within these contexts. By analyzing the socio-economic realities of street vendors in Varanasi, this research seeks to provide valuable insights into the complex interplay between the ordinary and the extraordinary, the enduring and the momentary, inherent in societal events.

Areas of Study:

1. Sociology 2. Law and Governance 3. Women Studies 4. Environment Studies 5. Religion Studies; Especially working in Indian and South Asian region- Urban studies, Marginalized communities, Climate & Ecology, Gender, Pilgrim Studies

Email: akansh72_slg@jnu.ac.in

Twitter: @akansha_s29