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Dr Debdulal Saha

Assistant Professor , Guwahati campus

Centre for Labour Studies and Social Protection , School of Social Sciences and Humanities

B.A. (University of North Bengal),
M.A. (University of North Bengal),
Ph.D. (TISS, Mumbai)

Debdulal Saha is Assistant Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati Campus. Prior to join TISS, he was post-doctoral fellow and guest lecturer at the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), University of Kassel, Germany. He obtained MA in Economics from the University of North Bengal and Ph.D from TISS Mumbai. During his Ph.D., he was doctoral fellow at ICDD, University of Kassel, Germany which was funded by German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD). He is author of Informal Markets, Livelihood and Politics: Street Vendors in Urban India (Routledge, 2016), co-author of Financial Inclusion of the Marginalised: Street Vendors in Urban Economy (Springer, 2013) and co-editor of Food Crisis and its Implication on Labour (Rainer Hampp Verlag, 2013). Besides, he has published several articles in both international and national peer reviewed journals and chapters in edited books on informal economy, inequality, poverty and social policies. He was engaged as research coordinator in major projects on street vendors supported by United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP), Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Alliance for Street Vendors in India (NASVI) and Municipal Corporation for Greater Mumbai (MCGM). He was also appointed as key researcher by Hans Böckler Foundation-Germany, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Indo-Global Society for Social Services (IGSSS) on several research projects concerning inequality, labour and urban poverty. 

  • Development Studies
  • Work and Employment
  • State and Labour
  • Labour Market Institutions
  • Informal Economy
  • Global Value Chain/ Global Production Network
  • Industrial Organisation


Books (Monograph)

  • Informal Markets, Livelihood and Politics: Street Vendors in Urban India, London & New York: Routledge (Taylor & Francis) (ISBN 978-1-138-68566-6). 2016.
  • Financial Inclusion of the Marginalised: Street Vendors in the Urban Economy, New York & New Delhi: Springer (ISBN 978-81-322-1505-9) (with Sharit Bhowmik). 2013.

Edited Books

  • The Food Crisis: Implications for Labour (Eds.), Mering (Germany): Rainer Hampp Verlag (ISBN 978-3-86618-393-3) (with Christoph Scherrer). 2013.   

Journal Articles

  • 'Targeting and Universalism: Complementary or Competing Paradigms in Social Policy? Insights from Brazil, India and South Africa’, International Journal of Labour Research (International Labour Organisation), 6(1), 75-94 (with Bernhard Leubolt & Karin Fischer). 2014.
  • ‘Collective Bargaining for Street Vendors in Mumbai: Toward Promotion of Decent Work’, Journal of Workplace Rights, 15(3-4): 445-460. 2011.
  • ‘Working Life of Street Vendors in Mumbai’, Indian Journal of Labour Economics, 54 (2): 301-325. 2011
  • ‘Decent Work for the Street Vendors in Mumbai—A Distant Vision’, Journal of Workplace Rights, 14(2): 229-250. 2010.

Chapters in Edited Books

  • ‘Social Security for Urban Informal Workers: Street Vendors in Mumbai’ in Anand Kumar, Ashish Kumar Das & Sarada Prasanna Das (Eds.), Chronic Poverty in India: Policy Issues and Challenges, New Delhi: Vitasta Publications. 2016.   
  • ‘Public Space and Livelihood Security in the Urban Economy: The Case of Street Vendors in Mumbai’. In K. Fakier and E. Ehmke (Eds.), Socio-Economic Insecurity in Emerging Economies: Building New Spaces, London & New York: Routledge Earthscan. 2014.
  • ‘Decent Work for Urban Informal Economy: The case of Street Vendors in Mumbai’ in Sharit Bhowmik (Ed.), The State of Labour: Global Financial Crisis and its Impact on Labour, Chapter 6, pp. 158-180, London & New Delhi: Routledge. 2014.
  • ‘Introduction: The Neglected Labor Dimension’ in Scherrer, Christoph & Saha, Debdulal (Eds.). The Food Crisis: Implications for Labor, Mering (Germany): Rainer Hampp Verlag (Christoph Scherrer) (ISBN: 978-3-86618-393-3). 2013. 


  • 2016 (on-going): Scientific supervisor, ‘Value Chain and Decent Work: Study of Small Tea Growers in India’ supported by International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) (with Virginius Xaxa).
  • 2015 (on-going): Project Supervisor, ‘Multidimensional Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment Survey in Selected Three Districts of Meghalaya, India’, Supported by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu (Nepal) (with Virginius Xaxa, Pijush K. Dutta, Rajdeep Singha and Sanjay Barbora).
  • 2013 – 2015: Researcher, ‘Organising Vulnerable Workers: A Comparison of Ghana, India and South Africa’ (ongoing), Research Cluster 4.03, funded by International Center for Development of Decent Work (ICDD), Germany.
  • 2013 – 2014: Researcher, ‘Combating Inequality in Labour Market and Social Welfare Policies’ initiated by Hans-Böckler-Stiftung and International Labour Organisation (ILO).
  • 2013 : Research Supervisor, ‘Public Space Identification for Street Vendors in Mumbai’ supported by Municipal Corporation for Greater Mumbai (MCGM), Mumbai. for TISS.
  • 2010 – 2012: Researcher, ‘Work, Livelihoods and Economic Security in the 21st Century: India, South Africa and Brazil’, Research Cluster, supported by International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), Germany.
  • 2011: Project Coordinator, ‘Financial Accessibility of Street Vendors: Cases of Inclusion and Exclusion’ supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA) for TISS.
  • 2009: Project Coordinator, ‘Street Vending in Ten Cities in India’ supported by National Alliance of Street Vendors in India (NASVI), 2009 for TISS.

Dr. Saha teaches the following courses at various levels at TISS Guwahati Campus:

  • Labour markets, state and development (TC04 for integrated MPhil-PhD Programme) 
  • Economics and labour-I (LSSP01 for MALSSP)
  • Labour market theories (LSSP17 for MALSSP)
  • Informal economy and informal employment (LSSP05 for MALSSP)
  • Labour in north east India (LSSP23 for MALSSP)
  • Social protection and state (LSSP10 for MALSSP)
  • Industry and labour (IL for BASS)
  • Theories of Economic Development (DC07 for BASS)
  • Classical political economy (DC12 for BASS)

Email: debdulals[at]tiss[dot]edu

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Campus

14 A Bhuban Road, Uzanbazar

Guwahati- 781001


Alternative Email Id: debdulals@gmail.com

Tel.: +91-361-2736526, +91-361-2510342 (Ext. 219)