Professor Jha received his PhD from the Institute for History at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He specialises in the economic and environmental history of the Mughal Empire in the early modern (1500–1800) Indian Subcontinent. He is interested in exploring economic and political changes in South Asia by taking global transformations into consideration. By examining the activities of the world’s first joint-stock chartered companies such as the Dutch Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) and English East India Company, his research explores the multifaceted histories of the interactions between India and Europe during early modern globalisation.
Professor Jha has published essays in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and is currently completing a book manuscript titled River and Empire: An Economic and Environmental History of Ganga in Mughal India, c.1500–1800. He co-edited a volume titled, Imagining Asia(s): Networks, Sites and Actors (Singapore: ISEAS, 2019). He is a co-investigator on a London School of Economics-based project “Sovereign Governance in the Middle East and South Asia, 1680–1840”. His teaching interests include themes in Indian history and global history covering early Indian civilisations, the rivers of monsoon Asia, the Indian Ocean, Islamic rule in South Asia, and Silk Roads.
Before joining Ahmedabad University, Professor Jha held a Visiting Fellowship at Harvard University (2018–2019). Between 2015 and 2018, he was an Assistant Professor at the School of Historical Studies, Nalanda University. He has also been a Research Fellow in the Department of History, National University of Singapore. His PhD dissertation ‘The Political Economy of the Ganga River: Highway of State Formation in Mughal India, c.1600–1800’ was short-listed for the best prize in early modern history at the World Economic History Congress, Kyoto, and long-listed in the dissertation competition at the International Convention of Asia Scholars, Adelaide. Before going to Leiden, Professor Jha studied history at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.