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Approaching the Environment in India

To be held from 1st to 28th July 2018
The summer course “Approaching the Environment in India: Issues and Methods in the Study of the Nature-Economy-Society Interface” is organized at the Centre for Research in Urban Affairs at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore. India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and this, among other things, put tremendous pressures on the country’s natural resources. One can read about increasing pollution in urban areas, water shortage, shrinking forests and depletion of biodiversity, as well as about conflicts relating to mining, big dams and other energy projects. But what is actually the present state of India’s environment? What are the main environmental problems today, how have these come about and who are the main sufferers? How can the environmental costs of economic development be mitigated? What would “sustainable development” entail in India? During the summer course the students will address questions like these. The course begins with an overview of present developments within the field of South Asian environmental history in order to create a contextual understanding. Among other things, the students will discuss the effects of colonialism on nature and to which extent the colonial rule became an “ecological watershed” and shifted towards an exploitative form of resource use in India. The students will also learn about the ways in which the postcolonial rule has altered the management of nature with particular attention given to forests management, wildlife conservation and the politics of water. The summer course is open for graduate students from the member universities of NCI.


The cost of the summer course is 90000 INR (currency converter). The amount covers all local costs, including the course fee, board and lodging at the Guest House, basic course material, shorter excursions, and the use of medical facilities and the library at ISEC. The cost does not include expenses for travels to and from Bangalore, visa fees, or medical and travel insurance, for which the students need to pay by themselves


Students apply to the summer course at ISEC by submitting an application to the International office at their university. The application should include the following documents:

  • A letter providing information about previous university studies, expectations and motivations for attending the course, as well as contact information.
  • A certificate of previous studies and a proof of the current registration at the university (a copy of the student card or any other documentation).
  • A CV or other related material to support the application.The admission procedure is conducted by nomination, i.e. after the International offices have received and reviewed the applications they will nominate students qualified for the summer course to the Nordic Centre in India (NCI). Based on the nominations, the NCI suggests students to be admitted and assists them further with the formal admission procedure. The final selection of students is made by ISEC. In case the number of nominees exceeds the maximum number of students who can participate in the course, the NCI and ISEC select students based on their qualifications and university affiliation. The students admitted to the course will be given a letter of admission from ISEC and can apply for study visa through the Indian embassy in their home country.
Course Description and Material
  • Course name: Approaching the Environment in India: Issues and Methods in the Study of the Nature-Economy-Society Interface
  • Educational institution: The Centre for Research in Urban Affairs, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, India
  • Course credits: 7,5/10 ECTS
  • Language of instructions: English
  • Study period: July 1st to 28th, 2018
  • Rate of studies: Full time
  • Maximum number of students: 25
  • Admission: Master level course that requires 2 to 3 years of college or university studies with minimum grades equivalent to 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale or grade C according to ECTS.

The course has three educational components:

  • Lectures: Three hour lectures in the morning five days a week. On demand a few additional lectures may be organized on topics of interest for students.
  • Field visits: There will be four to five field visits in the weekends or in the afternoon sessions during the first three weeks. Examples of field sites include rural watershed development projects, urban green buildings, community based joint forest management projects, sacred groves, etc.
  • Student seminar presentations: 4 to 5 afternoon sessions during the fourth week.The teachers of the course are researchers from ISEC and invited lecturers from other prominent Indian research institutions and universities alongside practitioners in the field both governmental and non governmental.

Upon successful completion of the summer course, the students receive a certificate from the Nordic Centre in India that can award them 7.5 ECTS at their respective home university. For students who wish pursue 10 ECTS it is also possible to do additional assignments during the same period of time. Since the course is designed to suit students from Nordic universities with European and national credit systems, students are requested to consult the International offices for information about how to translate and register the course credits at their home university.
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Coordinator at ISEC

Prof. S. Manasi
Address: Centre for Research in Urban Affairs, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Nagarabhavi, 560 072 Bangalore, India.

Coordinator at Nordic Centre in India

Christabel Royan
Address: B2, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi 110 013, India
Phone: +91-9985146729