Telephone Extension Number: 328
Dr. Ujjal Kumar Sarma
Faculty Ares : Sociology and Community Development
I am a social anthropologist by training having obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Delhi on the topic- “Competing for Space-Human, Animal Relationship in the Fringe Villages of Kaziranga National Park (Assam): A Study in Conservation Policy’ pursued under Doctoral Fellowship of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). I have also qualified for the UGC-NET. Earlier, I had also obtained M.Sc. in Anthropology from the University of Delhi.
I have been serving as a faculty at IIFM since June 2010. Before IIFM, I have worked at the Wildlife Trust of India and WWF-India for about five years and have been part of more than a dozen wildlife conservation action projects across India.
At IIFM, I teach courses that try to enable students to appreciate the nuances of the human-nature interface. The courses that I have taught so far are- (i) Natural Resource Management for Rural Development; (ii) People, Parks, and Wildlife; (iii) Society and Polity; (iv) NGO Management; and (v) Civil Society and Corporate Environmental Responsibility. I have also supervised M.Phil. dissertation works. My interest lies in the Public Policy discourse around Natural Resource Management and Indigenous Communities; People-Protected Areas & Wildlife; Relocation; Human-Wildlife Conflict; Environmentalism; Political Ecology; Human-Wildlife Conflict; and Civil Society.
I have been part of many research and action projects as Principal Investigator and Team Member all through my career. Most of the projects have been multi-disciplinary and my entry point into such projects has been as an Anthropologist bringing to bear an ethnographic, emic lens to issues at the interface of human-forest/wildlife relationship and management. Some of the key projects that I have been part of include (i) Kalandar Alternative Livelihood project which was funded by the World Society for Protection of Animals (now known as World Animal Protection), United Kingdom (2007-10) that ended the cruelty around performing with live sloth bear; (ii) Human-Wildlife Conflict research and community management in states like erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra; (iii) Impact Evaluation of National Rural Livelihood Mission activities undertaken by Madhya Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission; (iv) Shahtoosh Workers’ Alternative Livelihood funded by the British High Commission (2008-09) for ensuring the transition of Shahtoosh workers to sustainable and legal livelihoods. I have also published my work in journals, books, as well as in the form of peer-reviewed reports. Besides, I have also presented academic papers at prestigious conferences at national and international levels.
I have also been part of Government Appointed Committees on Monitoring of Village Relocation from Tiger Reserves of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, and member of the steering committee constituted for tiger conservation in Madhya Pradesh (under section 38U of WPA) by the state government.
At IIFM, I have also handled many academic administrative responsibilities. The key responsibilities are- (i) Chairperson- Placement & Summer Internship for more than five years; (ii) Chairperson- Hostel & Mess Management; and (iii) Chairperson- Brand Value and Visibility Enhancement Cell. I am also the Chairperson of the newly constituted Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Forest-Based Livelihoods and Tribal Studies.