The Centre for Financial Accountability, a New Delhi-based organisation working to strengthen and improve financial accountability within India, invites applications for the Smitu Kothari Fellowship 2023.

Started in 2018, the Fellowship is aimed at encouraging young writers to critically look at the world of development finance beyond lending and ‘development’. This year, we would be awarding up to ten fellowships, with a fellowship amount of Rs 25,000 each for a duration of 2 months. More about the Fellowship here.

The fellowship starts in October 2023 for a period of two months and entails writing comprehensive, well-researched, and investigative articles, photo essays or short documentaries on the specific area/projects related to the themes mentioned below.


The fellows are encouraged to write an article from a financial/economic perspective on projects or state or central policies. You could write about all things finance including but not limited to environmental aspects, international financial institutions/groupings such as G20, and BRICS, financial accountability of institutions, privatisation, corporate accountability, tax evasion, inequality etc. 

Please attach a proposal with your application, mentioning a tentative title and the aspects you’d be covering in your article. 

The Fellowship is open to all Indian citizens below 40 years of age and is open to writers in English and other Indian languages.

Application Requirements:

Please submit your application through this form. 

Proposals on more than one topic can be sent by filling out the form more than once.

CFA reserves the right not to award fellowships if the applications do not meet a minimum standard.

Expected deliverables:

  • One comprehensive analytical article of 1500-2000 words on the topic proposed, by the end of the Fellowship or a short documentary/ photo essay based on the proposal. 
  • Fellows are expected to get their articles published in a mainstream publication after approval.  
  • Present their findings on the topic to CFA post the completion of the Fellowship.


  • Selected fellows would be mentored by senior journalist Rakesh Dewan. Currently, the Editor of Sarvodaya Press Service, he has worked previously with Dainik Bhaskar, Tehelka and other publications in senior positions.


  • Open to all, under the age of 40 years. 
  • Women, Dalits, Muslims, disadvantaged communities and independent writers/researchers writing in regional languages are encouraged to apply.


    • Application Submission Deadline: 5th October 2023 
    • Announcement of successful fellowships: 16th October 2023
    • Article submission: 20th December 2023
    • Publication of article: Before 30th December 2023


  • All copyright of the work remains with the authors. However, CFA reserves the right to translate and publish the work after giving due credits.
  • The Fellows may be required to attend a program to present their work. 

For any queries, please write to  

About the organization:

Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA) engages in critical analysis, monitoring and critique of the role of financial institutions – national and international, and their impact on development, human rights and the environment, amongst other areas in India.

The Centre partners with a range of civil society groups, social movements and community groups to try to ensure that the financial institutions are transparent and accountable to the people they exist to serve. However, we also look at the South Asia region and seek to reflect a global perspective, especially given the globalised nature of international finance in the twenty-first century.

More about CFA here.

About Smitu Kothari:

Smitu Kothari was a distinguished environmentalist and scholar-activist, who was involved in ecological, cultural and human rights issues. Throughout his life, he tried to collectively forge a national and global alternative that is socially just and ecologically sane.

Trained in physics, communications and sociology, Kothari taught at the Cornell and Princeton Universities in the US. He was also a Contributing Editor to The Ecologist and Development. As a prolific writer and editor, he wrote extensively on critiques of contemporary economic and cultural development, financing of developmental projects, developmental displacement and social movements. Some of the books he edited are: Voices of Struggle: Social Movements in Asia (2006); Voices of Sanity, In Search of Democratic Space (2002); A Watershed in Global Governance? An Independent Assessment of the World Commission on Dams; The Value of Nature: Ecological Politics in India (2003); Out of the Nuclear Shadow (with Zia Mian, 2001); Rethinking Human Rights: Challenges for Theory and Action (1991); The Non-Party Political Process: Uncertain Alternatives (with H. Sethi, 1988).

Read the announcement in Hindi here:

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