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Professor

pbalaji@iiitb.ac.in

Education : Ph.D. (University of California Berkeley)

Balaji Parthasarathy joined IIITB in July 2000 as an Assistant Professor, and became a Professor in February 2013. He served as the Institute's first Dean (Faculty) from January 2014 until February 2017. In 2014, he also co-founded IIITB's Center for Information Technology and Public Policy. His intellectual interests are rooted in economic geography and economic sociology, and explore the relationships between technological change and innovation, economic globalization, and social transformation. Within this broad focus, his work follows two threads. One thread examines the impacts of public policies and firm strategies on the social and spatial organization of production in the ICT (information and communications technology) industry. Another thread deals with ICTs for Development or ICTD. Here, his interests lie in understanding how ICTs are deployed in various domains of activity to transform social relationships, especially in underprivileged contexts.

The State and Late Industrialisation; Innovation Policies and Regional Economic Development; Civil Society Institutions, Frugal/Social Innovation; Multinational Enterprises, Small and Medium Enterprises; Computer Software and New Media Industries;  Political-Economy of E-Governance and Information Access; E-Waste Flows; Urbanism, Urbanisation and "Smart" cities; The Platform Economy

  • Fellow, Regional Studies Association, United Kingdom, 2020
  • Samuel von Pufendorf Visiting Research Fellow, Pufendorf Institute of Advanced Studies, Lund University, 2017 - 2018
  • Academic Writing Residency, The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Italy, 2015
  • Emerging Leader Fellowship, Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne, 2013
  • Linneaus-Palme Faculty Fellow, School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, 2010
  • Chancellor's Dissertation-year Fellow, University of California Berkeley, 1997-1998
  • Junior Research Fellow, American Institute of Indian Studies, Chicago, 1995-1996
  • Regents' Fellow, University of California Berkeley, 1993-1994, 1991-1992 
  • Academic Achievement Award, California Planning Foundation, American Planning Association, 1991

Book

Reviews

Refereed journal publications

Refereed presentations

  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Yuko Aoyama. 2019. Governing frugal innovation for sustainable innovation for sustainable development: The hybrid domain. Capturing Frugal Innovation: Towards a Handbook on the Crossroads of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Global Sustainable Development, Leiden, Netherlands, 11-15 February.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Yuko Aoyama. 2107. Institutionalizing frugal innovation: “Domain flexibility” and “scalar flexibility” for sustainable development. International Conference on Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development, Leiden, Netherlands, 7-8 November.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Yuko Aoyama. 2017. Beyond the impasse of the state-market dichotomy: Social entrepreneurship and new institutional actors for the underserved. 15th Globelics International Conference, Athens, Greece, 11-13 October.
  • Yuko Aoyama and Balaji Parthasarathy. 2017. Collaborative social innovation in the hybrid domain: Organization and rationality. In Jyoti Choudrie, M. Sirajul Islam, Fathul Wahid, Julian M. Bass and Johanes Eka Priyatma (eds.). Proceedings of the14th IFIP WG 9.4 International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, ICT4D 2017, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, May 22-24. Cham, CH: Springer. pp.257-268.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Yuko Aoyama. 2016. Beyond ICTs and  developmental domains: The historical specificity of ICTD. Proceedings of the Eigth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Ann Arbor, USA, 3-6 June.
  • Mandar Kulkarni and Balaji Parthasarathy. 2015. Negotiating the antinomies of regional branching with intermediaries: Providing a “spatial fix” to innovation in new media industries. 13th Globelics International Conference, Havana, Cuba, 23-25 September.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy, Yuko Aoyama and Niveditha Menon. 2015. Innovating for the bottom of the pyramid: Case studies in healthcare from India. 3rd International Conference on Technologies for Development, Lausanne, Switzerland, 4-6 June.
  • Ricardo Ramirez, Balaji Parthasarathy and Andrew Gordon. 2013. From infomediaries to infomediation at public access venues: lessons from a 3-country study. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Cape Town, South Africa, 7-10 December.
  • Anjali K Mohan, Edward Cutrell and Balaji Parthasarathy. 2013. Instituting credibility, accountability and transparency in local service delivery? Helpline and Aasthi in Karnataka, India. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Cape Town, South Africa, 7-10 December.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 2011. The role of regions in supporting the emergence and growth of global innovation networks: The case of Bangalore, India. 9th Globelics International Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 15-17 November.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and V Ranganathan. 2010. The national system of innovation in India and its globalization. 8th Globelics International Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1-3 November.
  • Janani Vasudev and Balaji Parthasarathy. 2007. The post-consumptive residues of information and communication technologies: Transnational e-waste flows and developmental dilemmas. 2nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD2007). Bangalore, 15-16 December.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Janaki Srinivasan. 2006. Innovation and its social impacts: The role of ethnography in the evaluation and assessment of ICTD projects. 4th Globelics International Conference, Trivandrum, 4-7 October.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 1998. Industrializing countries and the changing international division of labor in the computer software industry: Lessons from the Indian case, 1977-1997. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Globalization Workshop for Junior Scholars, Duke University, USA, 24-25 April.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Subhrajit Guhathakurta. 1995. An Indian technopole and the transformation of urban space: Global imperatives and local realities in the Bangalore metropolitan region. Conference on Theaters of Decolonization, Chandigarh, 6-10 January.

Book chapters

Technical reports, working papers, and theses

  • Balaji Parthasarathy, Janaki Srinivasan, Mounika Neerukonda, Pradyumna Taduri, Funda Ustek-Spilda, Aradhana Cherupara Vadekkethil, Mark Graham and Richard Heeks. 2020. Fairwork India Ratings 2020: Labour Standards in the Gig Economy. Bangalore, India; Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Oindrila Matilal. 2019. The Platform Economy and Digital Work: A Developmental State Perspective. Developmental Impacts of Digital Economies Working Paper no. 9, Centre for Development Informatics, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. 
  • Jennifer Brant and Balaji Parthasarathy. 2015. The Dynamics of Global Technology and Knowledge Flows. International Chamber of Commerce Innovation and Intellectual Property Research Paper No.4.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 2014. Reversing the Flow of Ideas? Frugal Innovation for India and the World Beyond. Chanakya Papers, Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne. 
  • Ricardo Ramirez, Balaji Parthasarathy and Andrew Gordon. 2013. Infomediaries: Brokers of Public Access. Global Impact Study Research Report Series, Technology and Social Change Group, University of Washington, Seattle. 
  • Balaji Parthasarathy and Girish Prabhu. 2012. Wireless or Nothing: Designing with 4G Technology in India’s Social and Cultural Milieu. Report submitted to Intel India Technology Private Limited.
  • Balaji Parthasarathy (with Kenneth Keniston, G.R.Kiran, Richa Kumar, Aswin Punathambekar, G.Dileep Kumar, Janaki Srinivasan and Solomon Benjamin). 2005. Information and Communications Technologies for Development: A Comparative Analysis of Impacts and Costs from India. Report submitted to the Department of Information Technology, Government of India (vide administrative approval no.3(74)/2003-EGD, dated 10.02.2004).
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 2000. Globalization and Agglomeration in Newly Industrializing Countries: The State and the Information Technology Industry in Bangalore, India. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of City and Regional Plannning, University of California, Berkeley. (Dissertation committee: Annalee Saxenian (chair), Manuel Castells, Peter B Evans)
  • Michael Southworth and Balaji Parthasarathy. 1997. Reassessing the Public Realm: Implications for Urban Design in the Evolving Edge of the American Metropolis. Working paper 685, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley.

Book reviews 

  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 2011. Review of "Shirin Madon. 2009. E-governance for Development – A Focus on Rural India. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan." Information Technologies and International Development. 7(4):81 84..https://itidjournal.org/index.php/itid/article/download/793/793-2215-1-PB.pdf
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 2007. Review of "Asish Arora and Alfonso Gambardella (eds). 2005. From Underdogs to Tigers: The Rise and Growth of the Software Industry in Brazil, China, India, Ireland, and Israel. New York, NY: Oxford University Press." Economic Geography. 83(3):331-332.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-8287.2007.tb00362.x
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 2006. Review of "James Heitzman. 2004. Network City: Planning the Information Society in Bangalore. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press." Indian Economic and Social History Review. 43(4):511-513. https://doi.org/10.1177/001946460604300405
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 2001. Review of "Harry A. Mengers. 1997. Urban Development in the State of Karnataka, India: Policies, Actors and Outcomes. Nijmegen Studies in Development and Cultural Change, Volume 27. Saarbrucken: Verlag fur Entwicklungspolitik." Development and Change. 32(1):188-189. 
  • Balaji Parthasarathy. 1998. Review of "Richard Heeks. 1996. India's Software Industry: State Policy, Liberalisation and Industrial Development. New Delhi: India Sage Publications." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. 558:234-235. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1049125

Other writings and select talks (non-academic fora)

Courses taught

  • DT  211 Dynamics of the Information Technology Industry
  • ITS 652 Economic and Social Impacts of Information Technology
  • DT  385 Cybergeography, Globalization and Location
  • HSS 103 The City: A Crucible of Innovation

Thesis supervision (as Chairperson, at IIIT Bangalore)

  • Pradyumna Taduri. 2019. Delivering Consent: Work Games in On-Demand Food Delivery Platforms. Thesis submitted for the Master of Science (Digital Society) degree (co-supervisor: Janaki Srinivasan).
  • Supriya Dey. 2017. The Evolution of the IT Engineer in India: Looking Back to See Ahead. Thesis submitted for the Master of Science by Research degree (co-supervisor: Amit Prakash).
  • Anjali Karol Mohan. 2015. From Hierarchy to Heterarchy in the Information Age: The State and the Municipal Reforms Programme in Karnataka, India. Dissertation submitted for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.
  • Ricardo Gomes Lage. 2009. The Institutional Context of the Impacts of ICTs in Higher Education: A Study of Engineering Students in India. Thesis submitted for the Master of Science by Research degree.
  • Janani Vasudev. 2007. The Post-Consumptive Residues of Information Technology: E-waste Management and Disposal in Bangalore and Chennai, India. Thesis submitted for the Master of Technology (M.Tech.) degree.
  • Janaki Srinivasan. 2004. The Effects of E-Governance Implementation on Women: A Study of the Sustainable Access in Rural India (SARI) Project, Madurai. Thesis submitted for the Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology.

Thesis supervision (as committee member, at other institutions)

  • Rory Horner. 2013. The State, Patents and the Development of India’s Pharmaceutical Industry. Dissertation submitted for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, Department of Geography, Clark University, USA
  • Amit Prakash. 2008. Importance of Development Context in Use of ICT4D Projects: A Study of Land Record Computerization in India. Dissertation submitted for the Fellowship in Management (FPM) Programme, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
  • N.Dayasindhu. 2002. Reasons for the Inimitability of Network Resources: A Case Study in the Research and Development Services Domain of the Indian Information Technology Industry. Dissertation submitted for the Fellowship in Management (FPM) Programme, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Research grants

Mobile World Capital Foundation, Barcelona, Spain
Project: Gender, Professionalisation, and Digital Platforms: The case of Beauticians in India (co-investigator: Preeti Mudliar)
Duration: 1 March 2020 – 15 December 2020
Funding:  €12,260
 
Azim Premji Foundation
Project: Online and Offline Livelihoods: An Analysis of the Impact of the Gig Economy on Worker Participation (co-Investigators: Sridhar Varadharajan, Preeti Mudliar)
Duration: 1 November 2019 - 30 September 2021
Funding: INR 1,955,800
 
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeiten (GiZ), Germany
Project: Fairwork Foundation: Towards Fairwork in the Platform Economy (co-Investigator: Janaki Srinivasan; project coordinated by the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford and University of Manchester, UK)
Duration: 1 September 2019 - 31 August 2020
Funding: UK£70,520
 
Oxford Internet Institute, UK
Project: Fairwork: Developing Fairwork Standards in the Gig Economy
Duration: 1 July 2018 - 31 March 2019
Funding: UK£17,150
 
Centre for Development Informatics, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK
Project: Institutional Roles and Challenges for International Development in the Digital Economy
Duration: 1 January 2018 – 31 March 2019
Funding: UK£3000
 
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, Sweden
Project: Global Innovation Networks, Regional Variety and its Impact on the Innovativeness of Firms and Regions: The IT and New Media Industry in Sweden in a Global Comparative Perspective
Duration: 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2018|
Funding: 402,000 Swedish Krona (of a SEK 8.4 million study coordinated by the Center for Innovation Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University, Sweden)
 
Agence Nationale Recherche, France
Project: Ingénieurs et Société en Inde Coloniale et Postcoloniale
Duration: 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016
Funding: €12,000 (of a €336,687 study coordinated by the Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud, Paris)
 
National Science Foundation, USA
Project: The Global Shift in R&D Alliances: Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) and the Quest for the ‘Base of the Pyramid’ (BOP) Markets (co-Principal Investigator: Yuko Aoyama, Clark University, USA)
Duration: 1 September 2011 – 31 August 2014
Funding: US$73,928 (of US$269,998)
 
Riksbanken Jublieumsfond, Sweden
Project: The Challenge of Globalization: Technology Driven Foreign Direct Investment and its Implications for the Negotiation of International Investment Agreements
Duration:1 September 2011 – 31 August 2014
Funding: €79,870 (of a €950,000 study coordinated by Center for Innovation Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University, Sweden)
 
Intel Technology India Private Limited
Project: Next Generation Scalable Wireless Infrastructure and Services in the Context of India’s Social and Cultural Characteristics
Duration: 1 March 2011 – 28 February 2012
Funding: ₹1,242,000
 
Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
Project: ICTs as Vehicle for Late-industrialization: Industrial Development Process in China and India the in 21st Century
Duration: 1 April 2009 – 31 March 2010
Funding: US$7500
 
European Union Seventh Framework Programme
Project: Impact of Networks, Globalisation, and their Interaction with EU Strategies
Duration: 1 January 2009 – 31 December 2011
Funding: €76,000 (of a €2.7 million study coordinated by the University of Bologna)
 
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
International Development Research Centre, Canada

Project: Infomediaries: Brokers of Public Access (co-Principal Investigators: Andrew Gordon, University of Washington, Seattle; Ricardo Ramirez, University of Guelph)
Duration: 1 January 2008 – 30 June 2013
Funding: US$223,000 (of the US$5 million Global Impact Study coordinated by the Technology and Social Change Group, University of Washington, Seattle)
 
Microsoft Research University Relations
Project: E-nabling the Underserved: An Ethnographic Study of ICT for Development Projects in Rural India
Duration: 15 January 2005 – 15 January 2006
Funding: US$40,000
 
Leverhulme Trust, UK
Project: Small ICT Firms in Developing Countries: An Analytical Case Study of India (co-investigator: Vigneswara P Ilavarasan)
Duration: 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2006
Funding: UK£23,000
 
Department of Information Technology, Government of India
Project: Information and Communications Technologies for Development: A Comparative Analysis of Impacts and Costs from India
Duration: March 2004 – December 2004
Funding: ₹23,47,000
 
International Development Research Centre, Canada
Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme, UNDP
The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Singapore  

Project: Diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies in India: Labour Market Implications for Developing Countries (co-investigator: M Vijayabaskar)
Duration: 1 April 2002 – 31 March 2003
Funding: US$8,400

Professional service (societies and conferences)

  • India Ambassador, Regional Studies Assocation, 2010-
  • Member, Advisory Board and Senior Program Committee, IEEE/ACM International Conferences on Information and Communications Technologies and Development, 2019-2016
  • Co-chair, Special Track – Web for Emerging Regions, 20th International World Wide Web Conference, Hyderabad, 28 March-1 April, 2011
  • Chairperson, Program Committee, 2nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies and Development (ICTD2007), Bangalore, 15-16 December, 2007

Reviewing

  • Journals: Antipode, Economic Geography, Environment and Planning A, Global Networks, Information Technologies and International Development, Management and Organization Review, International Journal of Urban and Rural Research, Journal of Environment and Development, Journal of Urban Design, Research Policy, World Development
  • Conferences: Globelics (Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems),
    ACM CHI (Association of Computing Machinery Computer-Human Interaction), ICTD (Information and Communications Technologies and Development)

Other tertiary education

  • Bachelor of Architecture (honours), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 1986
  • Master of Planning (M.Pl.), School of Urban and Regional Planning (now the Sol Price School of Public Policy), University of Southern California, 1991