Prof. A. K. Thakur

History Department

Designation: Professor


B. A. (Hons.), M. A. & Ph. D.

Area of Interest/ Specialisation

Even as I specialized in the history of eastern medieval India for my doctoral research, over the years, I have moved to having a particular interest in India’s northeastern region. Here, Arunachal Pradesh, the land of the rising sun, has always been at the centre of my works even as I haven’t at all neglected the other seven sisters. I have thus published multiple works on peasantry, slavery, economy, technology, and trade of pre-colonial northeast India. Pre-colonial northeast India’s society and its subsequent representation in colonial historiography are my special allied interests.


Position From To
(Arunachal Pradesh)
August 1989 December 2005
Reader   (NEHU) December 2005 December 2008
Associate Professor  (NEHU) December 2008 December 2011
Professor    (NEHU) December 2011 Till date

Ph.D. Awarded/Supervised

  • Ph. D. 6 ,   M. Phil. 1
  • Ph. D. 2 (Joint Supervisor)

Administrative Responsibilities Undertaken    

Position From To
Principal(In-charge Wangcha Rajkumar  
Government College, Deomali,
Arunachal Pradesh)    
19-11- 2002 9-6- 2004
Head,   Department of History, NEHU 17-12- 2014 15-12- 2017

Academic Affiliations

  • Member,  North-Eastern Hill University Teachers’ Association
    General Secretary, North East India History Association
    (November 2007- till date)
  • Member of Executive Committee, North East India History
    Association (2000 & 2001)
  • Life Member,  North East India History Association
  • Member of Executive Committee, Indian History Congress        
  • Member, Indian History Congress
  • Founder General Secretary, Himalaya Academic Council,  
    Bomdila (1990-2001)
  • Member, Himalaya Academic Council     
  • Former President, Arunachal Pradesh College Teachers’ Association.

Research Projects

  • Ongoing Research Project under UGC-SAP-DSA, Project, Department of History, NEHU, Shillong, on “Religion and Society in Arunachal Pradesh from Pre-Modern to Contemporary Times”.
  • Completed Research Project under University with Potential¬† for Excellence, Area Studies Programme, Department of History, NEHU, Shillong, on “ Trade and Markets in North East India: Arunachal Pradesh and Neighbouring Areas”.
  • Completed Research Project under Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, on “Technology of the Tribes of North East India with special Reference to Arunachal Pradesh”, 2012.
  • Completed the Project as a Resource Person of the Project on “Study on Functioning, Structure of Local Governance in North Eastern Region with Special Reference to Autonomous Regional Councils”, for the Commission on Centre State Relations, Government of India, through, NEHU, Shillong, 2009.
  • Completed Research Project under Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, “Archaeology of Arunachal Pradesh”, 2004.
  • Completed Research Project under Indian Council of Social Science Research, NERC, Shillong, “Slavery in Arunachal Pradesh”, 1999.



  • Technology of the Tribes of Northeast India, DVS Publishers, Guwahati - New Delhi, 2017. Revised form of the INSA Project Report.
  • Pre-Colonial Arunachal Pradesh: Society, Technology and Trade, Akansha Publishing House, New Delhi, Guwahati, 2016. Revised form of the L. N. Chakravarty Memorial Lecture delivered at the Institute of Northeast India Studies, Kolkata, January 2016.
  • History of Arunachal Pradesh (Early times -1972 AD), Institute of Distance Education, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar in association with Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2014.
  • Slavery in Arunachal Pradesh, Mittal Publications, New Delhi, 2003. Revised form of the ICSSR Project Report with a foreword by Prof. Ram Sharan Sharma.
  • India and the Afghans (1370-1576), Janaki Prakashan, Patna, New Delhi, 1992. Revised form of the Ph. D. Thesis.
  • Shami Sahajanand Saraswati: From Religion to Rebellion:  (Hindi).V.C.P. Chaudhary et. al. ed.  Co-author cum editor of the well-researched book, whose other contributors are from every discipline of formal education. Rahul Press, Patna, 1990.
  • Itihas ka  Mukti Sangharsa: Shartha se Yathartha tak Co-author cum-chief editor of a book on Indian historiography and historians. Rahul Press, Patna, 1990.
  • Customary Law of Arunachal Pradesh: Tribal Laws and Modern Legal System: K. Singh et. al. ed.  Co-author cum editor of the book whose other contributors include academician and civil servants. Himalayan Publishers, Patna, 1993.
  • Gandhian Direction to the Society at the Crossroads, K. Singh et. al. ed. Co-author   cum editor of the book. Himalaya Academic Council, Bomdila, 1991.

Select Articles

  • “Ecology and Social Formation in Pre-colonial Northeast India: A Brief Study” in Satyadeo Poddar (ed.), Exploring Environmental History of North East India: Trends and Possibilities, Akansha Publishing House, New Delhi, Guwahati, Visakhapatnam, 2019, pp.75-82.
  • “History and the Partition of India: Probing Northeast India” in Nirmal Bhadra and Bindu Ranjan Chakma (eds.), North-East India Before and After Partition: Issues and Experiences, Shivalik Prakashan, New Delhi, Varanasi, 2018, pp. 1-14. 
  • “Boi System and the Reconstruction of History of Mizoram: A Perspective” , in Shailendra Kumar Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Om Prakash and C. Lalremzami (eds.), Linguistic Ecology of Mizoram, EBH Publishers (India), Guwahati, 2017, pp. 153-167.
  • “Cultural Development in Buddhism of Arunachal Pradesh: Probing Through Arts”, in Sudhir Kumar Singh and Ashan Riddi (eds.), Pre-Colonial History and Traditions of Arunachal Pradesh, DVS Publishers, Guwahati, 2016, pp.26-42.
  • “Resistance to British Power in the Hills of North-East India: Some Issues”, Dialogue Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 1, July-September, 2014, pp. 117-128.
  • “Iron in the History of Northeast India: Awaiting Researches” Tiatoshi Jamir and Manjil Hazarika (eds.), 50 Years after Daojali-Hading: Emerging Perspectives in the Archaeology of Northeast India (Essays in Honour of Tarun Chandra Sharma), Research India Press, New Delhi, 2014, pp. 442-53.
  • “Iron and Social Change in Pre-Colonial Northeast India”, Social Change and Development, Vol. X, No. 1, January, 2013, pp. 15-36.
  • Tribal Technology of North East India: Arunachal Pradesh”, in Indian Journal of History of Science, Vol. 46, No. 2, June 2011, pp. 355-362 (Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi)
  • “Chakmas and Hajongs in North East India”, in Ruma Bhattachrya (ed.), Identity Issues in North East India, Akanksha Pub. House, New Delhi, 2011.
  • “The Institution of Slavery in the Chin Society: A Study” in K. Robin (ed.), Chin: History, Culture and Identity, Dominant Publishers’ and Distributors, New Delhi, 2009, pp. 217-238.
  • “Technological Progress in Pre-Colonial Arunachal Pradesh: An Overview” in Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 66th Session (Delhi, 2006) pp. 797-808.
  • “Polity of Pre-Colonial Arunachal Pradesh: Interactions in Trade, Culture, State and Buddhism” in S. Dutta and B. Tripathy (eds.) Buddhism in North-East India, Indus Publishing Company,  New Delhi, 2006, pp.241-63.
  • “Socio-Economic Formations in Pre-Colonial Arunachal Pradesh: Myth and Reality” in The Indian Historical Review, Vol. XXXII, No. 2, (New Delhi, 2005), pp.37-63.
  • “Pre-Historic Archaeological Remains of Arunachal Pradesh and People’s Perception: An Overview” in Proceedings of the Indian History Congress,65th Session (Delhi, 2005), pp.1185-1196.
  • “Process and Agency of Pre-Colonial States in Arunachal Pradesh” The NEHU Journal Vol. 1 No. 1, January, 2003, pp. 1-25 (new series).
  • “Agrarian Technology in Arunachal Pradesh”, Arunachal University Research Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, July 2002, pp. 129-34 (Arunachal Special).
  • “Pattern of Pre-Colonial Trade and Polity Formations in Arunachal Pradesh: A Study of their Relationship” in the Proceedings of the North East India History Association, (hereafter PNEIHA), Imphal Session, 2000 pp. 299-318.
  • Rural Technology in Arunachal Pradesh: Interface of Defence and Agrarian Technologies”, in Vijay Kumar Thakur and K. K. Mandal eds. Science, Technology and Medicine in Indian History: Essays in Honour of Dr. D. K. Singh, Janaki Prakashan, Patna, 2000, pp. 253-74.

Papers Presented


  • “Technological Past of the Hill Societies of Northeast India: Awaiting Researches” during the Plenary Session of North Eastern Regional Council, Shillong, ICHR and ICSSR New Delhi sponsored International Seminar organized by Department of History, Mizoram University, Aizawl, on “Writing History on Highlanders of North East India”, from 5-6 March 2019.
  • “Use of Traditional Technology for the Sustainable Development: Success Stories of Northeast India” during the Plenary Session of the Golden Jubilee Annual Conference of Regional Science Association of India, organized by Institute for Excellence in Higher Education, Bhopal and Madhya Pradesh Private University Regulatory Commission, Bhopal, 20-22 February 2019.
  • “Research Question Formulation and Historical Research and Interpretation” during the  ICSSR, New Delhi sponsored Capacity Building Programme for the Faculty Members of Social Sciences organized by Nagaland University, Kohima Campus, Nagaland, 11-12 May 2018.
  • The 19th Dr. Yogendra Mishra Memorial Lecture “Some Facets of the History of Early Assam” organized by Bihar Archaeological Society and Dr. Yogendra Mishra Memorial Lecture Organising Committee, Patna Museum, Patna, 21.4.2018.
  • “Aupniveshik Lekhan aur Aadivasi Vimarsh” at a National Seminar on Hindi ka Rashtriya Paridrishya aur Poorvottar Bharat, organised by Department of Hindi, NEHU, Shillong, 9-10 March 2018.
  • “Technology and Society in Pre-Colonial Northeast India” at the Department of History, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, U.P.  23 January 2018.
  • “Research Methods in Social Sciences: Sources and Objectivity” during the Research Scholars’ and Guides’ Meet at the University of Science and Technology , Meghalaya, on 18 November 2017. 
  • “Cultural Heritage as a Source of History: Commonalities in N.E. India in the ICSSR sponsored National Seminar on Cultural Heritage of North East India organized by the Department of English, Dera Natung Government College, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, 10-11 March 2017.
  • “Relevance of Gandhiji and National Harmony” and “National Integration in the  India” organised by NSS Cell NEHU during the training programme for trainers on “ Social Harmony and National Unity for NSS Programme Officers” from 5th-9th January, 2016 at NEHU, Shillong.
  • “Purvottar ki Janjatiyan: Aadivasi Vimarsh Kyon?” at a National Seminar on Adivasi Vimarsh aur Hindi Sahitya organised by Dept. of Hindi, NEHU, Shillong, 11-12 March 2016.
  • Keynote Address “Buddhism in North East India: A Historiographic Account” in UGC sponsored 1 day National Seminar on Buddhism in North East India: Phase, Transformations and Histories organized by the Buddhist Studies Centre, Dept. of History, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam on 10.5.2016.