Ph.D. Research Scholar
Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA)
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai India
Research Supervisor: Prof. Milind. A. Sohoni
CTARA, IIT Bombay. My research interests include sustainable development, social-ecological risk and resilience in agricultural systems and common pool resource management. I believe that bringing data and models to all stakeholders is crucial for developing improved systems understanding and promoting collective action, which hold the key to many of our development challenges. I have eight years of experience working on development and sustainability issues, including the past five years of my PhD work. Prior to this, I have also had eight years of international work experience in the area of supply-chain engineering and consulting.
Currently at CTARA, I am part of Prof. Milind Sohoni's group which works at the intersection of agriculture, water and knowledge for development. A core objective of our group is to improve the design and implementation of government programs through knowledge inputs in the form of improved models, tools and protocols. To this end, I am part of the IITB research team working as a knowledge partner on Government of Maharashtra's Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture.
- Concepts: sustainable development, risk and resilience in social-ecological systems, common property resource management and collective action
- Sectors: agricultural practices, irrigation, groundwater and surface water, rural drinking water, agricultural knowledge extension and state welfare programs
- Methods: ethnographic methods, participatory rural appraisal, systems thinking, modeling: system-dynamic modeling, game theory, GIS based models, simulation of biophysical processes, etc.
In my Ph.D. work, I explore the problem of reconciling the need to increase farm productivity in India with the need to ensure equity in access to ecological resources and building resilient social-ecological systems, especially in face of increasing monsoon variability. Specifically, I focus on the ongoing agricultural intensification through shift in cropping pattern from traditional crops to high-value horticulture crops in the drought prone regions of the state of Maharashtra. My thesis directly contributes to Maharashtra government's Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (or PoCRA) currently being implemented in 15 most vulnerable districts of the state.
See the abstract and a brief synopsis of my thesis. For more details, click here
A significant part of my prior research includes analysis of rural drinking water crisis in the state of Maharashtra through a critique of the state policy and development of village level case studies including failure analysis of piped-water schemes .
- Ph.D. Technology and Development at CTARA, IIT Bombay, India : 2014-current (Thesis submitted for review)
Thesis title: Agricultural intensification and risk in water-constrained regions: a social-ecological systems analysis of horticulture cultivation in Maharashtra, India  See abstract and a brief synopsis
- M.S. Operations Management, Stanford University, USA: 2002-2004
- B.Tech. Chemical Engineering, IIT Bombay, India: 1996-2000 Recipient of the "Meritorious girl student award"
- Researcher, Govt. of Maharashtra Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture, An IITB - Govt. of Maharashtra MoU 2017-current
- Graduate Teaching Assistant, CTARA, IIT Bombay 2014-2017
- Visiting research scholar, Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai, India Aug 2014 - Nov 2014
- Research co-ordinator, CTARA, IIT Bombay, India 2011-2014
- Senior Supply Chain Solutions Engineer, Menlo Worldwide Logistics, Portland OR, USA 2005-2010
- Logistics Program Manager, Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose CA, USA 2004-2005
- Research Assistant, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University, USA 2002-2004
- Consultant, Deloitte Consulting, San Francisco CA, USA 2000-2002
- Prasad, P. and Sohoni, M. (Submitted March 2019). Agricultural intensification and risk in water-constrained hard-rock regions: a social-ecological systems study of horticulture cultivation in western India Ecology and Society (under review)
- Prasad, P. and Sohoni, M. 2018. Farmponds for Horticulture: Boon or Curse? Analysing Impact on Farm Profitability, Resource Sustainability and Social Welfare The 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Reykjavik, Iceland
Barry Richmond Award winning paper
- Belsare, H., Prasad, P. and Sohoni M. 2018. A note on water balance computation for use in climate-resilient agriculture and village level water conservation planning Technical concept note submitted to the Johny Joseph Committee, Government of Maharashtra
- Prasad, P. , Mishra, V. and Sohoni, M. 2014. Reforming rural drinking water schemes: The case of Raigad district in Maharashtra Economic and Political Weekly, May 10 2014, Vol XLIX No 19
- Prasad, P. and Sohoni, M. 2013. Rural drinking water schemes in Maharashtra: problems and opportunities International Conference on the Political economy of Water: A Social work response; Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, Dec 2013
Prasad, P. and Sohoni, M. 2011. Sugave Water Scheme: Multi-village drinking water scheme analysis White paper published by CTARA, IIT Bombay
- Research in Water to faculty and students at IIT Gandhinagar, Gujarat Mar 2017
- Regional differences in labour market outcomes - a comparative study of four Indian states Visiting scholar seminar, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai Nov 2014
- Knowledge and Development - Study of the World Bank as a Knowledge agent CTARA, IIT Bombay, May 2014
- Reforming drinking water schemes: Case study from Raigad district in Maharashtra IGC-ISI Development Economics Summer School, New Delhi 2014
- Analysing farmponds Jalyukta Shivar workshop for UMA colleges, Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, July 2018
Planning and Development Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching programme, IIT Bombay, Dec 2017
- Water: A Regional View Drinking Water Workshop for TEQIP colleges, IIT Bombay, 2014
- PWS 101- Lecture slides on design of rural piped water schemes class taught to M.Tech. students at CTARA, IIT Bombay 2014, 2013, 2012
- Water sector: Collaborating with the government Conference on Rural India: Blossoming in neglect? Vikas Anvesh Foundation, Pune, Aug 2018
- Case studies: interpreting water budgets to the Project Director, Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (PoCRA), Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai, July 2018
- Water Budget for PoCRA to the Govt. of Maharashtra Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on the water balance methodology developed for PoCRA, Mumbai, Feb 2018
- Sinnar taluka overview: Water resources and Cropping pattern to the NGO partner Yuva Mitra and the local Member of Legislative Assembly, Sinnar, Maharashtra, Dec 2016
An 8-step System Dynamics model that models the socio-economic impact of introducing ground-water filled farmponds and promoting shift towards horticulture cultivation. Each step progressively introduces more complexity in the models. Developed for use as teaching material in the System Dynamics course.
Model demonstrated at The 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Reykjavik, Iceland
- Rainfall partitioning model developed to estimate farm level water balance based on farm biophysical properties and crop choice. Refined version of this model is currently being used for water balance computation in Maharashtra government's Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (PoCRA). An android app based on this model has been developed collabaratively in our group. Download it here
Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai - 400 076
Phone (CTARA office): +91 22 2576 7870 / 7871