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Agenda for Survival

June 4, 2008-Aug. 2, 2008 , New Delhi
Agenda for Survival
‘Agenda for Survival’, a two-month course for students and young professionals was conceived to fulfill the urgent need to build a cadre of young environmentalists who will in future take the environmental movement and sensibilities forward.

In keeping with this mandate, Agenda for Survival was designed as an interdisciplinary course to teach the country’s youth the theory, policies and practices of environmental management in India. During this intensive course, participants explored the complexities underlying the environment-development paradigms of this country. The course was conducted from June 4 – August 1, 2008 in New Delhi by the Anil Agarwal Green Centre (AAGC), the education and training unit of CSE.

Kamla Chowdhry Fellowships
Some students were awarded the Kamla Chowdhry Fellowships based on their aptitude and need. CSE partly subsidized the stay costs of some students from outside Delhi.

The students represented a good mix – both academically and gender. There were 10 girls and nine boys who attended the course. While two were residents of Vietnam studying in USA, there were some from small remote towns of India. The youngest was a 17-year-old who had just entered his graduation level, while the oldest, a 28-year-old, is a research scholar working on National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. They were academically and professionally from diverse backgrounds too – a landscape architecture student from Germany, a young lawyer from Delhi, a student of public policy from Hyderabad, one lecturer teaching policy analysis at the University of Garhwal, Srinagar. Some were college-going students (both graduate and undergraduate). The eclectic mix encouraged healthy discussions and fostered peer-led learning.

External faculty
The course faculty was drawn from CSE research and programme teams. In addition, eminent academics, activists and policy makers were invited to speak to and closely interact with the course participants. Eminent external faculty included academics such as Rohan D’Souza (Centre for Studies in Science Policy School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University) and P.S. Ramakrishnan (School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University). Moreover, well-known activists and policymakers including Anupam Mishra (Secretary, Gandhi Peace Foundation), Ashok Chowdhury of the National Trade Union of India (NTUI), Ritwick Dutta (a well known environmental lawyer), Madhu Sarin (who helped formulate the Forest Rights Act 2007), SP Mittal, Gopi Gopalakrishnan, as well as such young activists as Richard Mahapatra, Sandip Das and Souparno Lahiri were invited to speak and interact with the students.

The two - month course comprised of five modules. It started with the overview - Environmental(ism) in India: State of the resource followed by session on ecological Livelihoods, Forests & Wildlife. Then the students were given lecture on sustainable industrialization;

Contemporary challenge of urban growth, toxic growth, air pollution & mobility in Indian cities, urban water & waste management; Climate change & global environmental governance.

The course went beyond class-based lectures, and included such things as readings, case study presentations and weekly tutorials. Participants were provided with extensive reading materials, including reports, essays by eminent environmentalists across the globe, together with relevant Down to Earth magazine stories. Films and documentaries were followed by in - depth discussions.

Detale, the magazine assignment
As part of their assignment, students produced, entirely on their own, a 24-page magazine. Titled Detale, this magazine includes real-life reporting, analysis and opinion pieces (available online: click here).

Kabir Arora: About CSE's contribution in my career, I think what ever I am doing is because of Agenda for Survival. I have found my mentor in the form of Anil Aggarwal's works. Whenever I am in some confusion, his books and editorials are always there to guide me. Hats off to his spirit and passion for environment.

Sonali Garg: Its been one whole year, but what this course primarily gave me was a structured way to address the issues at hand. First to get a basic introduction to the various issues and then a healthy space to build on it through the various discussions, field visits and finally developing writing and editing skills as a means of communicating our concerns to a greater audience. All of this at one place with many more passionate people as well as experts.

Neha Awasthi: - I have learnt a lot from this organisation in just a few days which I think I haven’t learnt from my academics. I would like to thank CSE for such a well organized course
  • Ms. Duong Tran
    Relation student
    Ms. H.P Nguyen
    Relation student
  • Ms. Sonali Garg
    Hans Raj College
    MD. Mahtab Alam
    ‘Socio-economic empowerment of women under (NREGA)
  • Mr Ghanshyam Meena
    Management IEMPS
    Mr. Amar Kumar Goyal
    University of California
  • Mr. Gagan Thapa
    School of Public Policy
    Mr. Kabir Arora
    Jamia Millia Islamia
  • Mr. Mithun Ranganath Immaneni
    Botany,Zoology and chemistry
    Mr. Pranav Sachdeva
    Faculty of Law
  • Mr. Shantanu Pai
    Part of Pune Tree Watch
    Ms Lavanya Ramaiah
  • Ms. Gunjan Gauri
    University of Windsor
    Ms. Jyoti Nair
    University of Delhi
  • Ms. Neha awasthi
    Resource Management
    Ms. Regine Karch
    Management Technical University Munich
  • Ms. Sakshi Gera
    Delhi University
    Ms. Shalini Misra
    Department of H.N.B. Garhwal University