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First Indian to become law lecturer at Cambridge

September 16, 2014


Cambridge university got its first non-European  lecturer as Mumbai-born Antara Haldar joins Law department. At 28, she is also among the youngest, and the only Indian, to get the tenured position in the top-ranking law faculty.

Haldar was in Mumbai recently before beginning her tenure in the UK.  She met with policymakers, top bankers and industry bigwigs to discuss her first project in India. She is all set to study the Gujarat development model.

“The focus would be on textiles as a case study ,“ was all she said about it. She exuded a confidence at the challenge her new role may hold. The same courage with which she climbed as a full-time lecturer into a venerated bastion where very few women, and certainly no Indian, had treaded before.

She studied her law degree at Cambridge in 2006 and in 2010 she got a doctorate in law from the same University. It was economics which she majored in at St Stephen's College in Delhi in 2005. The confluence of her law studies at Cambridge -which she describes as the reference point for legal doctrine -she says, inspired much of her research in “inclusive finance” and her extensive study and collaboration on the `relationship between formal and informal law' with leading American economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. Her work has been an overlap of development, law and economics with a focus on gender too.

“I am happy and also excited about being on the faculty... It is a triumph and recognition for the work that I have done. There have been other Indians appointed to other faculties but never in the field of law”, says Haldar. “Cambridge law is not only academically significant, now competing for the top position with Harvard, it is also a culturally unique place. What is particularly significant is that a university that the leaders of our nation went to study law, now for the first time in history has appointed an Indian woman or rather the first non-European to teach there. Also, for the first time, development is being taught at Cambridge Law”, she said.

Cambridge boasts of 90 Nobel laureates more than any other university in the world. It gave 15 British Prime Ministers and had 23 heads of state, including Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, as students.

 

Haldar, an Indian passport holder, whose mother tongue is Bengali, says her formative years of schooling were in India.

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