The jury for the inaugural Smitu Kothari Fellowship is pleased to announce the following individuals as the Smitu Kothari Fellows for the year 2018.
Aravind Unni is a trained architect with a Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley with a special interest in the Urbanization in Developing Countries and active involvement on policy level deliberations on Urbanization and Urban Planning. He currently leads Urban Poverty Thematic interventions in the Indo-Global Social Service Society while simultaneously pursuing PhD in Habitat Studies from the TISS, Mumbai. Unni, in his study, aims to understand financing the Indian smart cities and its implications for the participation and urban governance.
Divya Rajagopal is an Assistant Editor with the Economic Times, Mumbai, covering healthcare and access to lifesaving drugs. She also has a keen interest in the intersection of business and human rights. A graduate from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai and Lund University, Sweden, she has earlier worked with Bloomberg TV and CNBC TV18. She also teaches financial and business reporting to the undergraduate journalism students of the Wilson College, Mumbai University. Rajagopal will research the threats to Sundarbans.
Gaurab Dasgupta works with the Business Standard as an editor. He has a keen interest in social issues, arts and culture, economy and policy. He has previously worked with the Economic Times and The Financial Express in different capabilities. He is also pursuing MA in Conflict Analysis and Peace Building from the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia. Dasgupta will research on the solar power parks and their impact on the local population.
Kushagra Dixit works as a senior correspondent at the IANS, covering environment, wildlife, conflicts, science, tribes and human rights as the main beats. As a journalist, he has covered also Marrakech Climate Talks in 2016. He is also a former a fellow with the WWF-India to study the Climate Change in the Ladakh region. An engineer by training, he has previously worked with The Statesman and The Pioneer. Dixit’s research on international finance on climate change and its investments in India resulted into article ‘Madhya Pradesh’s pond revival project suffers as funding dries up,’ which was published on IANS, Business Standard, Outlook, among other publications.
Manasi Karthik is a first-year doctoral student in Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. Specializing in the fields of Political Ecology and Law; Karthik has written on a range of policy issues in India including forest rights, land rights, protected area legislation, the compensatory afforestation fund, human rights and women’s rights. She has previously held research positions at the Madras Institute for Development Studies in Chennai and worked as a Research Associate on an international research project on informal gold mining funded by the South Asia Network for Development and Environmental Economics. Karthik will research on the Public-Private Partnerships in the infrastructure projects.
Raksha Kumar is a multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker focusing on human rights, politics and social injustices. A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, she has reported for The New York Times, BBC, Guardian, TIME, South China Morning Post, Scroll and The Hindu. She was awarded National Media Award (for reporting on land rights) in 2018 and Chameli Devi Award for Outstanding Media Personality in 2016 for her work. As a part of the Fellowship, Kumar will work on a series of three stories on the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor.