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 2022.

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 3 months, and 2 fellowships for a period of 6 months for an in-depth study of an issue of Rs 60,000 each. More about the Fellowship here.

The fellowship starts in August 2022 for a period of three months/six 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.

Fellowship Type

Three months: For this fellowship, the fellows could write an article looking at the financial/economic side of issues faced in everyday life, including programmes, policy or schemes. Your application should carry a proposal with your theme and the aspects you’ll be covering along with a framework of research. 

Six months: This is a theme-specific fellowship. Two applicants will be selected to pursue any of the following themes for a duration of 6 months. 

  • Fiscal Federalism
  • Inequality and the need for a just taxation policy
  • Socio-economic cost of Decommissioning coal-based thermal power plants/ mines  

The application should include a concept note (up to 800 words) on your enquiry and on how you plan to take it forward.

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:

3 Months:

  • 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 after approval.  
  • Present their findings on the topic to CFA post the completion of the Fellowship.

6 Months:

  • A detailed policy brief of about 6000-8000 words on the proposed theme, by the end of the fellowship.
  • Fellows are expected to get their articles published 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.
  • Women, Dalits, Muslims, disadvantaged communities and independent writers/researchers writing in regional languages are encouraged to apply.

Important Dates:

  • Application Submission Deadline: 25 July 2022
  • Announcement of successful fellowships: 5 August 2022


  • 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 the 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).

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