Niranjan Sahoo

Senior Fellow

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Niranjan Sahoo, PhD, is a Senior Fellow with ORF’s Governance and Politics Initiative. With years of expertise in governance and public policy, he now anchors studies and programmes on democracy, human rights, federalism, electoral reforms (particularly issues related to political funding), and cross-cutting issues of exclusion, insurgencies, affirmative action and inclusion. A recipient of the Asia Fellowship (2009) and a former Sir Ratan Tata Fellow, he currently serves as the South Asia member for the Carnegie Rising Democracies Network, where he debates and writes on democracy, foreign policy, human rights and other related issues.

Niranjan has authored two books: Politics of Power Sector Reforms in India (Pentagon Press, 2007) and Reservation Policy and its Implementation across Domains in India: An Analytical Review (Academic Foundation, 2009). His third book Exclusion and Insurgencies in India is in the pipeline. His latest (co-authored) monograph “Funding India’s Democracy” will be published soon. He regularly contributes for academic and current affairs journals, newspapers, think thanks and blogs, and features on television programmes related to his areas of expertise.


  • Governance Reforms (federalism, decentralisation, service delivery, electoral reforms)
  • Democracy
  • Human Rights
  • Insurgencies
  • Affirmative Action
  • Social Exclusion

Current Position(s)

  • Senior Fellow, ORF Goverance and Politics Initiative
  • Academic Advisor, Centre for Overseas and Rural Studies, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China
  • Member, Rising Democracies Network, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C., USA

Past Position(s)

  • Asia Fellow, Ford Foundation (2009)
  • Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Sri Ratan Tata Fellow, (2010)
  • Program Manager, Centre for Youth and Social Development, Bhubaneswar, Odisha (2002-2004)


  • PhD, Political Science, University of Hyderabad