Chetan Choithani

Chetan Choithani

PhD Candidate

Madsen Building (F09), Rm 452
Phone: +61 2 9351 6444
Fax: +61 2 9351 3644

Associate Professor Bill Pritchard

Associate Supervisor
Dr. Jeff Neilson

Chetan is a PhD candidate at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. He is a recipient of 2011 round of Endeavour Postgraduate Award of Australian Government for his PhD research. Chetan holds a Master of Arts in Globalization and Labour from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and a Master of Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. Prior to commencing his PhD, he worked on ‘Longitudinal Aging Study in India’ (LASI), a collaborative project of International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai; Harvard School of Public Health, USA; and Rand Corporation, USA. He has also interned with India programme of Thailand-based policy think-tank, ‘Focus on the Global South’. His research interest lies in various aspects of demography, rural livelihoods, labour migration, urban informal labour markets and food security.

PhD Research

PhD Thesis title:Does Migration Impact Household Food and Nutritional Security Outcomes? Empirical Insights from Rural India.

Chetan’s research seeks to understand the impact of migration as a rural livelihood strategy in influencing food and nutritional security outcomes among rural households. Food security is a growing global concern and 925 million people suffer from chronic levels of hunger (FAO, 2010). The world’s most food insecure people are rural poor accounting for around 70 percent of the total undernourished people. While this is the case, rural poor are not the passive actors and research on rural livelihood systems suggests that they devise multiple livelihood strategies to mitigate income and food security risks. Migration constitutes an important component of rural livelihood strategies. Furthermore, recent years have witnessed an unprecedented surge in mobility levels among the rural poor due to improvements in infrastructure and communication networks. Thus, within livelihood debates, the question as to how rural outmigration impacts the livelihood outcomes of poor households has assumed significant importance. Various forms of population mobility and its impacts on source and destination communities have been extensively studied. However, despite food security being a global concern, empirical evidence on how migration can influence household food and nutritional security outcomes seems to be scanty in the existing literature. Rising rural outmigration rates warrant an extended understanding on the role of migrant members in contributing to food and nutritional security of the resident group that can provide policy inputs to foster the international development objectives of promoting livelihood and food security among vulnerable rural populations. This research seeks to generate field-based evidence with an aim of advancing contemporary understanding on rural livelihood systems and food security.

The geographic focus of Chetan’s research is India, for the country has 237 million undernourished individuals (28 percent of total food insecure population) and around 100 million people in the country remain on move for their livelihoods. Thus, India provides an appropriate research setting to generate global insights into migration-food security nexus.

Chetan’s PhD is linked with an Australian Research Council Discovery Project, “Institutions for Food Security: Global Insights from Rural India”.


  • Choithani, C. & Pritchard, B. (2015). Assessing Bihar's coupon-based PDS: Importance of local context. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 50(3), pp.61-68.
  • Pritchard, W., Rammohan, A., Sekher, M., Parasuraman, S., Choithani, C. (2014). Feeding India: Livelihoods, entitlements and capabilities. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Choithani, C. (2009). Entry of corporate retail and its impact on small shops and street hawkers – A case study from Mumbai. New Delhi: Focus on the Global South.
  • Ladusingh, L. and Choithani, C. (2008). Macroeconomic implications of demographic transition in India. In Alok Ranjan (Ed.), Population and Health in India 2008 (pp.7-19). Bhopal: Shyam Institute.