UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM

Turning Passion to Purpose

The Program in Environmental Studies (EVS) is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of varied environmental issues using an interdisciplinary approach that synthesises an understanding of the science as well as the socio-economic implications of these issues. It focuses on the study of various environmental aspects such as climate change and global warming; contamination and pollution of environment; food and energy needs; and the relationship between man and the environment.

The Environmental Studies major combines methods of natural sciences, physical sciences and social sciences. It draws on the disciplines of physical sciences, natural sciences and public policy studies. It equips students to develop a critical understanding of the environment and significant environmental issues through the study of both scientific concepts as well as their implications upon the socio-economic aspects. The courses are designed to include laboratory experience, field work experience, as well as social science based project experience.

The Program specific courses introduce students to basic concepts in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Ecology, Earth Sciences and Environmental Studies; which then forms that basis of their advanced scientific training in the areas of Climate Change, Biodiversity, Remote Sensing and Environmental Impact Assessment. Advanced courses focus more closely on refining the students’ critical abilities by providing training in synthesis and critical analysis. The courses include thematic studies, designed to equip students with skills in research methods and inculcate in them a contextual understanding of significant global and regional environmental issues.

Program Aims

The Environmental Studies program will:

  • provide students with a systematic understanding of the scientific bases and socio-economic contexts of varied environmental issues ranging from aspects of climate change, global warming, pollution, to energey needs, urban planning and resource depletion
  • provide students with conceptual understanding of physical, natural and biological processes and cycles of earth and its enviroment
  • enable students to critically evaluate issues related to enviromental governance, law and sustainibility
  • equip students with interdisciplinary tools and skills of analysis and evaluation through field studies in biodiversity and geology, analyzing remote sensing and GIS data, and laboratory-oriented chemistry and ecology projects
  • cultivate in students a scientific as well as socio-economic understanding of global and regional environmental issues
  • develop in students an understanding of the relationship between humans and nature using relevant theoretical and practical frameworks to explore fundamental issues such as food security, water security, agro-ecosystems, etc.
  • enable students to undertake qualitative and quantitative research studies and to prepare them to collect, synthesize and analyze varied types of data

26 MAJOR COURSES

1. Fundamentals of Ecology 10. Introduction to Environmental Physics and Chemistry 19. Environmental Epidemiology
2. Introduction to Biology 11. Geography of the Environment 20. Sociology of Disasters
3. Introduction to Quantitative Methods 12. Economics of Policy Analysts 21. Remote Sensing of the Environment
4. Energy, Economics, and the Environment 13. Principles of Biological Diversity 22. Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation
5. Climate Change 14. Research Methods in Environmental Studies 23. Conservation and Society
6. Evolution and Ecology 15. Environmental Law and Governance 24. Carbon Accounting , Carbon Footprint, and Greenhouse Gas Emission Management
7. Environmental Economics 16. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 25. Anthropology of Development
8. Environmental Impact Assessment 17. Conservation Biology 26. Development and Sustainability
9. Geology and Ecological History of India 18. Environmental Policy  

 

1. Fundamentals of Ecology

This course aims to o provide a good understanding of the fundamentals of ecology and helps students learn about the flow of energy and matter between biotic and abiotic components of ecosystem and techno ecosystem. It also imparts the understanding of interactions between populations and communities in an ecosystem and helps students acquire fair understanding of cycling and importance of essential and nonessential chemicals in biosphere. It also enables the students to engage in discussions, observe, record and present the learnt rudimentary concepts.

2. Introduction to Biology

This course is a starter for those students who have no or very less background in Biology. It deals with the different kingdoms of life and focuses on the two main groups –Plants and Animals. It also highlights the construction of basic unit of life –cell. All the life forms are broadly divided into two main groups –eukaryotes and prokaryotes depending on the cells they are made up of. Also the organization of organisms and some of the systems of human body are discussed.

3. Introduction to Quantitative Methods

This course is designed to give undergraduate students a brief overall introduction to mathematics and statistics. The use of quantitative techniques is increasingly being adopted in all areas of human endeavour. The need to collect, analyze and interpret mathematical output is increasingly being appreciated for arriving at conclusions or in strategic decision making. This course will deal with fundamental concepts required to model, analyse and solve quantitative problems arising in any discipline. A student undertaking this course can have little to no formal introduction to mathematics and statistics at the higher secondary level.

4. Energy, Economics, and the Environment

This course provides an introduction to the various forms of energy. It covers discussions on both traditional forms of energy and renewable forms of energy. A major theme of this course involves discussions of the economics of energy use and the effect of the various forms of energy on the climate of the planet.

5. Climate Change

This course explores the issues of climate change and focuses on the various factors that determine the climate of our planet. We distinguish between natural variability of our climate and variations in climate due to anthropogenic causes. Additionally climate change related policies are studied and evaluated.

6. Evolution and Ecology

This course is a study of the origin of life and its further evolution into different forms of life. It explores mechanisms though which the interactions amongst varied life forms lead to the concepts of ecosystems and principles of ecology

7. Environmental Economics

Economics is often defined as the study of allocation of scarce resources. Environmental Economics then might be somewhat provocatively said to be economics par excellence – the discipline looks primarily at ‘resources’ in the literal sense. (A section of environmental thought argues for the conservation of the environment for its inherent intrinsic value, not for its economic uses for humans, which is what the word resource implies.) This course aims to introduce the fundamental premise of Environmental Economics and explain key theoretical tenets in the discipline while engaging with the global discourse on salient aspects of environmental challenges.

8. Environmental Impact Assessment

The course is designed to highlight the application value of the theory and practice of EIA as operated nationally and internationally. It helps in dealing with the development and implementation of projects modulating development. This course introduces the field of integrated environmental management focusing on procedures, tools and techniques for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) with a special emphasis on impacts caused by human interventions on the multiple dimensions of environment and means of regulating and managing them.

9. Geology and Ecological History of India

This course provides an introduction to the geology and the geography of India. The origin, evolution, and characteristics of major physical features of India are discussed. Topics include the physiographic and tectonic subdivision of India, the cratons of India, mobile belts, the Deccan Volcanic Province, the origin and evolution of the Himalayas, the major rivers of India, amongst others. Additionally, we will also review the ecological history of India from the Pleistocene to the present day.

10. Introduction to Environmental Physics and Chemistry

This course gives an introduction to the concepts of physics and chemistry and its importance in understanding the environment. It provides elementary knowledge of natural physical and chemical processes and their interactions, from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective with special focus on elemental cycles. Practical hands on experience through laboratory experiments will be provided. This course forms the basis for relatively advanced courses in environmental chemistry and atmospheric physics for students of environmental studies.

11. Geography of the Environment

Geography of the Environment explores the world’s environment, in its both physical and human dimensions, across time and over space. We will examine the physical milieu and the geographical distribution of the human impacts on the environment at the global and local scales. Human interactions with the environment are integral part of the global physical environment. Human actions shape the environment in terms of social, cultural and political contexts. Humans’ relationship with their environment can either be contentious or harmonious. What are the different driving forces behind these conflicts or harmony? What are the geographical consequences of these effects on the environment? We will examine these human-environment dynamics through different global case-studies and examples throughout the semester. This is a broad course that will help the students to learn about their global environment and society that we live in. It will serve as a foundation to other courses

12. Economics of Policy Analysts

Few recognize Public Policy as the raison d’etre for the discipline of Economics. There is very little that economists study and research that could not potentially serve as advice to a government. Economic research is among the crucial sources for evidence to build and critique policy arguments.
This course provides an overview of fundamental topics in economic theory and institutions assisting in policy making and implementation. The course familiarizes students with research and research methods in economics and recognizes the data requirements for policy making and challenges faced.

13. Principles of Biological Diversity

This course is a study of varied aspects of biodiversity and its importance as a foundation of sustainable development. It focuses on understanding the reasons for its loss, significance of conserving and managing it and its potential as a new economic resource. The course also focuses on documentation of local biodiversity.

14. Research Methods in Environmental Studies

This course is specifically designed to provide the students a comprehensive yet foundational knowledge of analytical methods used by the environmental scientists. Different sciences, life or natural, require the application of different research methods. Therefore, it is essential to understand the appropriate method to apply to the enquiry. This course will offer a variety of research methods that will attempt to cover in various ways in which a research can be undertaken by both social as well as natural scientists.

15. Environmental Law and Governance

Since the middle of the twentieth century, several advances have been made in understanding the nature of environmental dangers and degradations. Nonetheless, several issues remain unsettled and many dilemmas unresolved. This course raises questions pertaining to the responsibility, accountability, extent, and reasons behind environmental issues like deforestation, malnutrition, extinction, loss of biodiversity, climate change and many others to observe and construct associations and/or causal relations between environmental phenomena that transcend “conventional wisdom” or categories. This course also explores the role of laws and policies in various environmental issues. The main focus is on the application of policy, laws, and regulations through case studies of landmark judgements in the history of environmental law in India. In addition, the course examines and critically analyses the challenge of global environmental awareness and governance within an evolving international system and the implications of a country like India within that frame of reference.

16. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

It is said that about 80% of all data has some spatial component. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a set of techniques, processes, skills, software and Data, used to view and model the world from a spatial point of view. This course explores the principles and applications of GIS. It will focus on the fundamentals of the GIS, along with the methods of managing and processing of spatial data. This course will cover topics such as data models, geographic data input, data manipulation and data storage, spatial analytic and modelling techniques, and error analysis.

17. Conservation Biology

Conservation biology is a multi-disciplinary science that addresses the management of biodiversity to protect species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction. This course provides an overview of the discipline including the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss, and established and emerging conservation actions and measures. Students will be introduced to online resources that form part of the conservation biologist’s ‘toolbox’ and examine case studies to better understand the applications and successfulness of conservation strategies

18. Environmental Policy

Only the seriously disillusioned would deny that the planet and its inhabitants are in trouble. The delicate balance of the various cyclic biogeochemical processes is under threat and human economic activity has left its mark on the home planet to an extent that the current geological age is now known as the Anthropocene. Governments around the world have long recognized the gravity of environmental concerns and their effects on welfare, and the area emerged as an important sector of policymaking activity in the 1970s.
Since then, though, both environmental problems and policy responses have grown in complexity. Rising awareness of environmental challenges has gone hand in hand with increasing intractability and widening political polarization regarding the balance of key values at stake. In that backdrop, the study of the range of policy responses at the disposal of governments assumes critical importance.
This is among the broadest policy areas and the course attempts to cover that breadth, from pollution and conservation to energy and recycling. Also, it covers contexts across the range of policy maturity in terms of policy principles. Besides learning about the policy sector, the course also serves as a broad overview of the elements of public policy in an applied manner.

19. Environmental Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the science that deals with epidemics and their patterns, causes, and control measures in the populations. The course helps students to know about the nature of epidemics and uses of epidemiology, the causation as; a change in the ecology of the host population, a genetic change in the pathogen reservoir or the introduction of an emerging pathogen to a host population, environmental factors and control and prevention of the disease.

20. Sociology of Disasters

The course seeks to introduce the sociological theories pertinent to the area of disaster studies and disaster management. While it begins with a historical perspective, it makes connections with the important social, political and technological issues. The course also lays emphasis on the attainment of critical skills to evaluate disaster management and its implementation in India and across the world.

21. Remote Sensing of the Environment

This course explores the principles and applications of remote sensing. It focuses on methods of satellite data collection and processing, and applications of the techniques in various fields including earth sciences, environmental studies, archaeology, and anthropology amongst others.

22. Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation

This is an introductory course in public policy analysis. It begins with the basics and concisely describes government institutions, identifies principal policy actors, and examines the context in which public policies are made. In this sense, together with internal organizational factors, external factors such as the political, legal, social, and economic environments of public policy making are discussed. The course then provides students with the conceptual frameworks and the analytical models necessary for analyzing the process of public policy making. It discusses the nature of policy analysis and its practice, and illustrates how to employ evaluative criteria in substantive policy areas.

In sum, this course introduces students to the politics of policy making and equips them with the analytic tools necessary to understand how the interests and motivations of policy actors--both within and outside of government--impact an intricate, yet understandable, policy agenda. It exposes students to public policy and policy research and helps them comprehend the processes of policy analysis, program evaluation, and policy recommendation/advocacy.

23. Conservation and Society

Man and Nature has a dichotomous relationship in which neither one can survive without the other. Therefore this theoretical course focuses on this relationship and explores different paradigms related to the biodiversity conservation (protected areas) and the human beings since the colonial time, that is, across space and over time. We will understand different theories through different global case studies that explain how this relationship has been in the past and how it continues to evolve over the ages. We will discuss different global policies and actions introduced to address various issues.
With the help of the Cultural and Political Ecology framework, we will understand these debates surrounding people and parks. We will study how everyday struggles of local communities in context of social, economic and political factors affect their daily lives thus, hindering a sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, we will also examine the dynamics of institutions, social relations of power that interact at different scales and impact the biodiversity loss and conservation. This course is focused towards those who are interested in learning more about the duality and interconnection of man-nature relationship from a social perspective.           

24. Carbon Accounting , Carbon Footprint, and Greenhouse Gas Emission Management

This course provides an introduction to the skills and techniques necessary in measuring, monitoring, benchmarking, and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of individuals and organizations. Students will gain hands on experience in the design and execution of greenhouse gas emission inventories by measuring their individual carbon footprint as well as the carbon footprint of organizations and institutions to better understand how GHG emissions management can identify and mitigate contributions to climate change. The field of GHG emissions management is fast growing with organizations recognizing that reducing their GHG emissions and their carbon footprint can result in measurable environmental, social, and economic benefits. The course will cover topics and techniques necessary in measuring and reporting carbon footprint including establishing a GHG inventory; review of GHG accounting techniques and standards; Carbon footprint measurement of individuals and campus including identification of analysis boundaries, acquisition of data, calculations of emission levels, and reporting of results, amongst others.

25. Anthropology of Development

Moving from a once-dominant narrative that defined inter-governmental transactions between ‘First World’ and ‘Third World Countries’, to the contemporary World Development Movement, and from the optimistic prescriptions of development economics to critiques of the concept of development itself, the theory and practice of ‘development’ occupies an unusual position in world politics and in the lexicon of the social sciences. This course will examine the genesis and development of the concept of development, both in public discourses and social science theories; the debates that have emerged around the idea and the various challenges to planned development; the social and environmental implications of the practice of development ‘on the ground’; and the various alternatives to the standard paradigm of development that have been proposed around the world.
Drawing primarily on anthropological literature, the course will develop a comparative and critical perspective on the theory and practice of development. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the theoretical debates through the literature as well as through case studies of development policies and projects on the ground. Students will be expected to engage with the debates and generate their own viewpoints and alternatives to the issues raised. Special attention will be paid to developing specific perspectives that will contribute to the development of the anthropology of development in India.

26. Development and Sustainability

This course provides students an introduction to the concept, history, challenges and opportunities presented by sustainable development. It will explore the environmental, social and economic goals of sustainability by drawing upon global examples with a particular focus on developing economies such as India. It will introduce multiple viewpoints, theories and frameworks to make connections and propose practical solutions to sustainability issues at the local, national or global contexts.

26 MINOR COURSES

1. Fundamentals of Ecology 10. Introduction to Environmental Physics and Chemistry 19. Environmental Epidemiology
2. Introduction to Biology 11. Geography of the Environment 20. Sociology of Disasters
3. Introduction to Quantitative Methods 12. Economics of Policy Analysts 21. Remote Sensing of the Environment
4. Energy, Economics, and the Environment 13. Principles of Biological Diversity 22. Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation
5. Climate Change 14. Research Methods in Environmental Studies 23. Conservation and Society
6. Evolution and Ecology 15. Environmental Law and Governance 24. Carbon Accounting , Carbon Footprint, and Greenhouse Gas Emission Management
7. Environmental Economics 16. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 25. Anthropology of Development
8. Environmental Impact Assessment 17. Conservation Biology 26. Development and Sustainability
9. Geology and Ecological History of India 18. Environmental Policy  

 

1. Fundamentals of Ecology

This course aims to o provide a good understanding of the fundamentals of ecology and helps students learn about the flow of energy and matter between biotic and abiotic components of ecosystem and techno ecosystem. It also imparts the understanding of interactions between populations and communities in an ecosystem and helps students acquire fair understanding of cycling and importance of essential and nonessential chemicals in biosphere. It also enables the students to engage in discussions, observe, record and present the learnt rudimentary concepts.

2. Introduction to Biology

This course is a starter for those students who have no or very less background in Biology. It deals with the different kingdoms of life and focuses on the two main groups –Plants and Animals. It also highlights the construction of basic unit of life –cell. All the life forms are broadly divided into two main groups –eukaryotes and prokaryotes depending on the cells they are made up of. Also the organization of organisms and some of the systems of human body are discussed.

3. Introduction to Quantitative Methods

This course is designed to give undergraduate students a brief overall introduction to mathematics and statistics. The use of quantitative techniques is increasingly being adopted in all areas of human endeavour. The need to collect, analyze and interpret mathematical output is increasingly being appreciated for arriving at conclusions or in strategic decision making. This course will deal with fundamental concepts required to model, analyse and solve quantitative problems arising in any discipline. A student undertaking this course can have little to no formal introduction to mathematics and statistics at the higher secondary level.

4. Energy, Economics, and the Environment

This course provides an introduction to the various forms of energy. It covers discussions on both traditional forms of energy and renewable forms of energy. A major theme of this course involves discussions of the economics of energy use and the effect of the various forms of energy on the climate of the planet.

5. Climate Change

This course explores the issues of climate change and focuses on the various factors that determine the climate of our planet. We distinguish between natural variability of our climate and variations in climate due to anthropogenic causes. Additionally climate change related policies are studied and evaluated.

6. Evolution and Ecology

This course is a study of the origin of life and its further evolution into different forms of life. It explores mechanisms though which the interactions amongst varied life forms lead to the concepts of ecosystems and principles of ecology

7. Environmental Economics

Economics is often defined as the study of allocation of scarce resources. Environmental Economics then might be somewhat provocatively said to be economics par excellence – the discipline looks primarily at ‘resources’ in the literal sense. (A section of environmental thought argues for the conservation of the environment for its inherent intrinsic value, not for its economic uses for humans, which is what the word resource implies.) This course aims to introduce the fundamental premise of Environmental Economics and explain key theoretical tenets in the discipline while engaging with the global discourse on salient aspects of environmental challenges.

8. Environmental Impact Assessment

The course is designed to highlight the application value of the theory and practice of EIA as operated nationally and internationally. It helps in dealing with the development and implementation of projects modulating development. This course introduces the field of integrated environmental management focusing on procedures, tools and techniques for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) with a special emphasis on impacts caused by human interventions on the multiple dimensions of environment and means of regulating and managing them.

9. Geology and Ecological History of India

This course provides an introduction to the geology and the geography of India. The origin, evolution, and characteristics of major physical features of India are discussed. Topics include the physiographic and tectonic subdivision of India, the cratons of India, mobile belts, the Deccan Volcanic Province, the origin and evolution of the Himalayas, the major rivers of India, amongst others. Additionally, we will also review the ecological history of India from the Pleistocene to the present day.

10. Introduction to Environmental Physics and Chemistry

This course gives an introduction to the concepts of physics and chemistry and its importance in understanding the environment. It provides elementary knowledge of natural physical and chemical processes and their interactions, from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective with special focus on elemental cycles. Practical hands on experience through laboratory experiments will be provided. This course forms the basis for relatively advanced courses in environmental chemistry and atmospheric physics for students of environmental studies.

11. Geography of the Environment

Geography of the Environment explores the world’s environment, in its both physical and human dimensions, across time and over space. We will examine the physical milieu and the geographical distribution of the human impacts on the environment at the global and local scales. Human interactions with the environment are integral part of the global physical environment. Human actions shape the environment in terms of social, cultural and political contexts. Humans’ relationship with their environment can either be contentious or harmonious. What are the different driving forces behind these conflicts or harmony? What are the geographical consequences of these effects on the environment? We will examine these human-environment dynamics through different global case-studies and examples throughout the semester. This is a broad course that will help the students to learn about their global environment and society that we live in. It will serve as a foundation to other courses

12. Economics of Policy Analysts

Few recognize Public Policy as the raison d’etre for the discipline of Economics. There is very little that economists study and research that could not potentially serve as advice to a government. Economic research is among the crucial sources for evidence to build and critique policy arguments.
This course provides an overview of fundamental topics in economic theory and institutions assisting in policy making and implementation. The course familiarizes students with research and research methods in economics and recognizes the data requirements for policy making and challenges faced.

13. Principles of Biological Diversity

This course is a study of varied aspects of biodiversity and its importance as a foundation of sustainable development. It focuses on understanding the reasons for its loss, significance of conserving and managing it and its potential as a new economic resource. The course also focuses on documentation of local biodiversity.

14. Research Methods in Environmental Studies

This course is specifically designed to provide the students a comprehensive yet foundational knowledge of analytical methods used by the environmental scientists. Different sciences, life or natural, require the application of different research methods. Therefore, it is essential to understand the appropriate method to apply to the enquiry. This course will offer a variety of research methods that will attempt to cover in various ways in which a research can be undertaken by both social as well as natural scientists.

15. Environmental Law and Governance

Since the middle of the twentieth century, several advances have been made in understanding the nature of environmental dangers and degradations. Nonetheless, several issues remain unsettled and many dilemmas unresolved. This course raises questions pertaining to the responsibility, accountability, extent, and reasons behind environmental issues like deforestation, malnutrition, extinction, loss of biodiversity, climate change and many others to observe and construct associations and/or causal relations between environmental phenomena that transcend “conventional wisdom” or categories. This course also explores the role of laws and policies in various environmental issues. The main focus is on the application of policy, laws, and regulations through case studies of landmark judgements in the history of environmental law in India. In addition, the course examines and critically analyses the challenge of global environmental awareness and governance within an evolving international system and the implications of a country like India within that frame of reference.

16. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

It is said that about 80% of all data has some spatial component. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a set of techniques, processes, skills, software and Data, used to view and model the world from a spatial point of view. This course explores the principles and applications of GIS. It will focus on the fundamentals of the GIS, along with the methods of managing and processing of spatial data. This course will cover topics such as data models, geographic data input, data manipulation and data storage, spatial analytic and modelling techniques, and error analysis.

17. Conservation Biology

Conservation biology is a multi-disciplinary science that addresses the management of biodiversity to protect species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction. This course provides an overview of the discipline including the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss, and established and emerging conservation actions and measures. Students will be introduced to online resources that form part of the conservation biologist’s ‘toolbox’ and examine case studies to better understand the applications and successfulness of conservation strategies

18. Environmental Policy

Only the seriously disillusioned would deny that the planet and its inhabitants are in trouble. The delicate balance of the various cyclic biogeochemical processes is under threat and human economic activity has left its mark on the home planet to an extent that the current geological age is now known as the Anthropocene. Governments around the world have long recognized the gravity of environmental concerns and their effects on welfare, and the area emerged as an important sector of policymaking activity in the 1970s.
Since then, though, both environmental problems and policy responses have grown in complexity. Rising awareness of environmental challenges has gone hand in hand with increasing intractability and widening political polarization regarding the balance of key values at stake. In that backdrop, the study of the range of policy responses at the disposal of governments assumes critical importance.
This is among the broadest policy areas and the course attempts to cover that breadth, from pollution and conservation to energy and recycling. Also, it covers contexts across the range of policy maturity in terms of policy principles. Besides learning about the policy sector, the course also serves as a broad overview of the elements of public policy in an applied manner.

19. Environmental Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the science that deals with epidemics and their patterns, causes, and control measures in the populations. The course helps students to know about the nature of epidemics and uses of epidemiology, the causation as; a change in the ecology of the host population, a genetic change in the pathogen reservoir or the introduction of an emerging pathogen to a host population, environmental factors and control and prevention of the disease.

20. Sociology of Disasters

The course seeks to introduce the sociological theories pertinent to the area of disaster studies and disaster management. While it begins with a historical perspective, it makes connections with the important social, political and technological issues. The course also lays emphasis on the attainment of critical skills to evaluate disaster management and its implementation in India and across the world.

21. Remote Sensing of the Environment

This course explores the principles and applications of remote sensing. It focuses on methods of satellite data collection and processing, and applications of the techniques in various fields including earth sciences, environmental studies, archaeology, and anthropology amongst others.

22. Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation

This is an introductory course in public policy analysis. It begins with the basics and concisely describes government institutions, identifies principal policy actors, and examines the context in which public policies are made. In this sense, together with internal organizational factors, external factors such as the political, legal, social, and economic environments of public policy making are discussed. The course then provides students with the conceptual frameworks and the analytical models necessary for analyzing the process of public policy making. It discusses the nature of policy analysis and its practice, and illustrates how to employ evaluative criteria in substantive policy areas.

In sum, this course introduces students to the politics of policy making and equips them with the analytic tools necessary to understand how the interests and motivations of policy actors--both within and outside of government--impact an intricate, yet understandable, policy agenda. It exposes students to public policy and policy research and helps them comprehend the processes of policy analysis, program evaluation, and policy recommendation/advocacy.

23. Conservation and Society

Man and Nature has a dichotomous relationship in which neither one can survive without the other. Therefore this theoretical course focuses on this relationship and explores different paradigms related to the biodiversity conservation (protected areas) and the human beings since the colonial time, that is, across space and over time. We will understand different theories through different global case studies that explain how this relationship has been in the past and how it continues to evolve over the ages. We will discuss different global policies and actions introduced to address various issues.
With the help of the Cultural and Political Ecology framework, we will understand these debates surrounding people and parks. We will study how everyday struggles of local communities in context of social, economic and political factors affect their daily lives thus, hindering a sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, we will also examine the dynamics of institutions, social relations of power that interact at different scales and impact the biodiversity loss and conservation. This course is focused towards those who are interested in learning more about the duality and interconnection of man-nature relationship from a social perspective.           

24. Carbon Accounting , Carbon Footprint, and Greenhouse Gas Emission Management

This course provides an introduction to the skills and techniques necessary in measuring, monitoring, benchmarking, and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of individuals and organizations. Students will gain hands on experience in the design and execution of greenhouse gas emission inventories by measuring their individual carbon footprint as well as the carbon footprint of organizations and institutions to better understand how GHG emissions management can identify and mitigate contributions to climate change. The field of GHG emissions management is fast growing with organizations recognizing that reducing their GHG emissions and their carbon footprint can result in measurable environmental, social, and economic benefits. The course will cover topics and techniques necessary in measuring and reporting carbon footprint including establishing a GHG inventory; review of GHG accounting techniques and standards; Carbon footprint measurement of individuals and campus including identification of analysis boundaries, acquisition of data, calculations of emission levels, and reporting of results, amongst others.

25. Anthropology of Development

Moving from a once-dominant narrative that defined inter-governmental transactions between ‘First World’ and ‘Third World Countries’, to the contemporary World Development Movement, and from the optimistic prescriptions of development economics to critiques of the concept of development itself, the theory and practice of ‘development’ occupies an unusual position in world politics and in the lexicon of the social sciences. This course will examine the genesis and development of the concept of development, both in public discourses and social science theories; the debates that have emerged around the idea and the various challenges to planned development; the social and environmental implications of the practice of development ‘on the ground’; and the various alternatives to the standard paradigm of development that have been proposed around the world.
Drawing primarily on anthropological literature, the course will develop a comparative and critical perspective on the theory and practice of development. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the theoretical debates through the literature as well as through case studies of development policies and projects on the ground. Students will be expected to engage with the debates and generate their own viewpoints and alternatives to the issues raised. Special attention will be paid to developing specific perspectives that will contribute to the development of the anthropology of development in India.

26. Development and Sustainability

This course provides students an introduction to the concept, history, challenges and opportunities presented by sustainable development. It will explore the environmental, social and economic goals of sustainability by drawing upon global examples with a particular focus on developing economies such as India. It will introduce multiple viewpoints, theories and frameworks to make connections and propose practical solutions to sustainability issues at the local, national or global contexts.