Dhar obtained his MSc in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur and PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology. He has been at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai since 1978. He has worked on the problems in disordered systems, in particular relaxation in disordered magnets. His most influential work has been in the area of self-organized criticality, finding models which can be solved exactly. He is a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, and of the National Academy of Sciences. He is recipient of the Young Scientist Award, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Physics, the JR Schrieffer Prize of the ICTP, TWAS prize in Physics, and the SN Bose medal of the Indian National Science Academy.