Ahmedabad Alumnus Sharik Laliwala, BBA with Major in Finance and Economics, Class of 2016, Amrut Mody School of Management, has secured admission to UC Berkeley to pursue his doctoral studies in political science under the prestigious Berkeley Fellowship. The Berkeley Fellowship at UC Berkeley is one of the most coveted scholarships awarded to highly qualified individuals. Apart from UC Berkeley, Sharik received fully-funded offers from Yale University and University of Wisconsin-Madison to pursue a PhD in political science.
Sharik's research interests broadly lie in the consequences of achieving political representation for caste and religious minorities. When asked how his research could spin out for end research users, Sharik says that his research questions if representation can lead to meaningful redistributive effects and, more simply, if representation does really augment life outcomes. "These are questions that are crucial not just for the sake of answering them in an academic fashion but also because they are vital to the wellbeing of various deprived and marginalised communities. I hope that my research into these questions of politics, representation, and political economy can lead to some meaningful policy interventions," he says.
Sharik credits Ahmedabad University for instilling the spirit of research in him. "I had my first encounter with research at Ahmedabad University," he says. He had researched the socio-economic consequences of ghettoisation on religious minorities while at the University. "This work was an important stepping stone for my career for it led me to think more deeply about questions of citizenship, representation and politics," he notes. Based on this research, he went to King's College London for his Master's in Contemporary India, generously supported by the J N Tata Endowment. At King's, he reopened his inquiry into ghettoisation which ultimately became his master's thesis. It also made him win the Best Overall Student Award at King's India Institute (2016-17). After his time at King’s College London, Sharik worked as a researcher with various universities such as the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, and Sciences Po Paris.
"If not for that first research opportunity at Ahmedabad University, I probably wouldn't have launched myself into a career in academia," says Sharik.