The Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), a New-Delhi based organisation working to strengthen and improve financial accountability within India, invites applications for the inaugural Smitu Kothari Fellowship.
The Indian government, for past few decades, has stressed the need for large infrastructural projects for the country’s development. These large infrastructural projects, which are seen as a stimulus to the GDP growth, mainly include power projects, dams, roads, urban projects, industrial zones/corridors, smart cities and other mega projects. However, these projects, due to their large size, have severe impacts on the environment and the human rights, including the livelihood of the affected population.
Moreover, while the contribution of these large projects on GDP growth is debatable, what is beyond doubt is that the government takes loans from national, regional and international development financial institutions to finance these projects. The citizens repay the loans for the next few decades.
The Fellowship is aimed towards encouraging young writers to critically look at the world of development finance beyond the lending and ‘development’.
This year, we would be awarding four fellowships, with a fellowship amount of Rs 25,000 each.
The three-month-long Fellowship, between mid-September and mid-December 2018, entails writing comprehensive, well-researched, and investigative articles on the specific area/projects related to the themes mentioned below.
- Financing of Smart cities and Industrial corridors: Agenda and impact on urban finance, environment, and services.
- International finance on climate change and its investments in India.
- Coal power plants near Sundarbans: Impact on the world heritage site and the local community.
- The progress of the strategies adopted to contain the rising NPAs in the thermal power sector.
- Solar power parks and their impact on the local population.
The Fellowship, on the themes mentioned above, is open to the writers in English and vernacular languages. However, the CFA reserves the right not to award any fellowship if the applications do not meet a minimum standard.
Please email your cover letter, resume, along with the following documents and materials to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Smitu Kothari Fellowship’ in the subject line by September 8, 2018:
- Research proposal in 500-800 words on one of the above themes mentioning the rationale behind choosing the subject, and how do you intend to carry out the proposed study.
- Two samples of your previously published work.
Proposals on more than one topic can be sent.
- One comprehensive analytical article of minimum 2000 words on the topic proposed within a month of completion of Fellowship.
- Present their findings on the topic to the CFA post the completion of the Fellowship.
- Open to all.
- Young writers are encouraged to apply.
- 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 an orientation programme in Delhi.
About the organisation:
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.
Some of CFA’s publications can be seen 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).