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Anant National University

Anant National University promotes climate change solutions through year-long fellowship

July 25, 2020
Dipta Joshi

Ahmedabad-based Anant National University (AnantU) (estd. 2016), a private design university led by Ajay Piramal, president, AnantU and chairman, Piramal Group has launched a first-of-its-kind ‘Anant Fellowship for Climate Action’. The one-year global fellowship programme by Anant National University is being steered by the Centre for Sustainability, a research and projects-based department established within the university that focuses on affordable housing and indigenous models of circular economy. Dr Miniya Chatterji, Founding Director, Anant Centre for Sustainability, and CEO, Sustain Labs Paris talks to Education World about the long-term objectives of the fellowship.

What is the fellowship for climate action and what does it hope to achieve?

There is evidently an unprecedented level of anxiety around us about survival. This has also led to people being aware of the consequences of health disasters as well as natural disasters on the most vulnerable communities. While the concern is appreciated, the Anant Fellowship for Climate Action offers people ways to be part of the solution. The Long-term mission of the fellowship is to create a community of climate change trailblazers who work together and cross-pollinate each other’s work with ideas and expertise across sectors, regions, and generations.

Each year 25 fellows participating in the year-long global fellowship programme based in India will gain both exposure and opportunities to lead large-scale solutions to fight climate change in emerging economies where poverty is also an immediate challenge. The fellows will be taught and mentored by specialists and academicians, providing these climate fellows with outstanding learning opportunities and mentorship that would shape their lives and the future of the planet. At the end of the fellowship, each fellow will be placed at a key role for implementing large scale solutions to climate change. 

Who is the fellowship open for? 

The program aims at getting the most able hands to scale up existing solutions that will decidedly make the biggest dent in climate change.  We believe that there are increasing numbers of individuals who are already using their skills as lawyers, engineers, policy specialists, finance experts, architects, or designers, to counter crucial social and environmental challenges faced by humanity, and are desirous of doing even more. Therefore, the Fellowship is open to anyone who wants to drive the biggest solutions for mitigating climate change. There is no age, degree, background criteria to apply for the fellowship. 

The candidate has an option to choose between the full-time residential track or a customised learning track that can be pursued alongside work and other commitments. The curriculum covers technical knowledge, skills to be change-makers, and personal development, such that it is divided into six terms of two months each.

The fellowship has on board a host of mentors-many of them international personalities too. Do elaborate on how the mentor-mentee framework will work?

Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council for Energy, Environment, Water, India, Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation, Brussels and Mahua Acharya, Asia Director, Climate Policy Initiative are some of board of mentors. They are all persons with definitive work in the field of environment and climate change and have helped curate the fellowship at every stage will offer a combination of deep knowledge and mentorship. They have been instrumental in nominating, selecting, teaching and formally mentoring the fellows. We expect the mentor-mentee relationship to develop organically during the first four terms of the fellowship. The fifth term is devoted only to mentorship such that the fellow will work in-person with a specific mentor on his (fellow’s) plans for life going forward.

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