The self-taught artist's name is among seven artists taken from over 750 nominations from around 90 countries. Gowda started her carrier as a painter, but later she began making sculpture in response to events like Bombay riots and inequalities in India's growth story.
Meanwhile, the winner will be awarded the £40,000 prize by an international judging panel later this year.
Gowda uses unconventional materials like cow dung, ash and hair to make sculptures. One of her well-known works is an ash sculpture titled 'Collateral' which was made by burning incense on mesh frames to produce a landscape that looks ravaged by war.