Research Interests: Leveraging technology for mental health in rural India, lay counselors for health, vulnerability and flourishing among adolescents and youth, social entrepreneurs/change makers among youth, music and the sense of surprise/wonder/awe/adbhuta, visualization and meditation, the phenomenology of being ‘present’/‘ here and now’, neuro-phenomenology of advanced meditation states.
Shilpa Pandit in her more than two decade long adventure has primarily identified herself as a researcher as it resonates with her being. Working as researcher has meant that she has never viewed work as dichotomous in terms of personal and professional, philosophical and applied, primitive and modern, social and individual, thought and action and other such contrivances even while recognizing the distinctions between them. During her work of 23 years, she has alternatively wandered and worked - as a pilgrim and an exile in three distinct yet linked actions:
Earlier, Shilpa worked as UNDP Research officer, on public policy relating to rural employment from 2014-2016, with the Ministry of Rural Development. During this time, she visited 10 states and about 40 districts for her field visits. She was part of research review of the MoRD programs-esp., MGNREGA. She is still active on issues relating to social accountability of public service delivery.
Shilpa was also the Head- Monitoring and Evaluation, Hand in Hand(India), from 2016-2018 with a team of 11 members, where M&E routinely commissioned research evaluations for funded projects on women empowerment, health, education and skills in Rural Tamil Nadu and some project areas in rural Madhya Pradesh. The team also conducted scoping studies, midline evaluations and set and monitored the results framework for all internal projects. One of the highlights during her work was that her team transitioned to tablets for their research work, reducing data collection, entry and validation time and improving quality of data. She was also a SPoC for CSR funded project to create an online market eco-system for rural women entrepreneurs.
In 2018, Shilpa was selected for the Chevening Fellowship (CRISP) at the University of Oxford, UK, for her leadership in social sector.
Current research questions and projects at different stages from ideation to design to action
Pandit, S. ( 2020.). Viveka and Vairagya: Empirical Possibilities for Cognitive concepts in Indian Psychology. Journal of Psychosocial Research, 497-507, Vol.15, number 2 (July -December).
Pandit, S. (in press). Risk and Resilience among the Indian Adolescents: A Community Approach. In S. Patra, Adolescence: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward. New Delhi: Springer Nature.
Special Issue Editor: Pandit, S., Raghavan, V., & Shankar, S. (2020). Indian Knowledge Traditions: Perspectives in Education, Health and Consciousness(Special Issue). Journal of Psychosocial Research, Volume 15, number 2, 370-522.
Introduction to Psychology