2017- 2018

Hills in India

Duke India Initiative Research Fund Grantees 

The Duke India Initiative has awarded 5 research grants totaling $77,860 for the year 2017-2018. These grantees’ projects reflect the Duke India Initiative’s commitment to promoting and intensifying collaborations within Duke and amongst Duke and partners across India.

Four Years on: Taking Stock of India’s Mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility Legislation

We will be holding a two-day workshop with the central goal of taking stock of India’s mandatory CSR law, which entered into force in 2014. The workshop aims to expand the analytical frameworks used to assess the legislation, particularly its impact, focusing on both the philanthropy and corporate responsibility landscapes. We seek to bring together people from India who are deeply involved in India’s CSR developments with U.S.-based CSR experts from outside of Duke. We plan to analyze the legislation from a conceptual, empirical and policy perspective.

  • Aaron Chatterji, Associate Professor, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
  • Suzanne Katzenstein, Project Director of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics
  • Viraf Mehta, Independent Expert Consultant,  Former  Chief  Executive  of  Partners  in  Change, Former Member of the Drafting Committee of the ‘National Voluntary Guidelines for the Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business” for the Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Materials for Sustainable Energy and Electronics: Linking Communities at Duke and in India

This project aims to establish strong links between scientists at Duke and in India whose research is focused on developing new materials for sustainable energy production, particularly so-called perovskite materials for harvesting solar energy. The partnership includes Dr. Volker Blum and Dr. David Mitzi (both Duke University), Dr. Priya Mahadevan (S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata) and Dr. Angshuman Nag (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune) and will aim to seed lasting ties between a wider group of researchers in the area of sustainable energy materials at Duke and in India.

  • Volker Blum, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and of Chemistry Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University
  • David Mitzi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and of Chemistry Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University
  • Priya Mahadevan, Professor, Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Material Science, S.N.Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences
  • Angshuman Nag, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry Main Academic Building  Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research

Water Service Provision and Politics in Urban India

This project seeks to establish a new partnership between Duke and academic institutions in India in which project leaders will examine public provision of water services and the politics that affect it in three Indian cities: Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Bangalore. This project hopes to strengthen collaborative inquiry into water provision and contribute to India's development goals. Research objectives will be achieved through fieldwork, data collection, and workshops with Duke students and faculty experts.

  • Erika Weinthal, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Policy, Duke Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Marc Jeuland, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Vimal Mishra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering, IIT Gandhinagar
  • Aparna Phadke, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geography, University of Mumbai
  • Ekta Patel, Ph.D. student, UPEP Program

Focusing on Documentary Photography from India in DOCST 101: Traditions in Documentary Studies

Christopher Sims, Undergraduate Education Director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, will strengthen the gateway course to the DOCST undergraduate certificate program, DOCST 101: Tradition in Documentary Studies, by deepening the section of the course that looks at documentary photography work from India. This unit of the course uses visual documentary work from India as a case study to examine the legacy of colonial practices in the documentary canon, insider-outsider perspectives in the making of documentary work, and contemporary practices in documentary photography. Support from the Duke India Initiative will enable Sims to bring to class a prominent US-based Indian-American documentary photographer for a lecture and workshop, and for Sims to travel to the Jaipur Photography Festival in February 2018 to meet Indian photographers and learn about their work. Sims will bring the work of the documentary photographers he meets into the class in April 2018 during the final month of the course when the course will be focused on India.

  • Chris Sims, Undergraduate Education Director, Lecturing Fellow in Documentary Arts, Duke University

An Exploratory Field Study to Investigate the Links between Precipitation and Air Quality In Bangalore-Implications for Water Resources in Southern India

The ultimate objective of this proposal is to establish a long-term collaboration between Duke University and the Indian Institute of Science(IISc.), Bangalore. The study is motivated by recent studies that suggest there has been a regional shift of precipitation from the summer(a.k.a.southwest) monsoon to the fall (a.k.a. northeast) monsoon season and an increase in extreme events. These changes are expected to be followed by large decreases of freshwater resources, with impacts on water quality and public health, agriculture, and hydropower production in a region that has been a hotspot of physical water scarcity for decades. Here, we propose to collect baseline data toward developing an externally funded project to elucidate how climate change and human activities conspire to alter the water cycle and the sustainability of regional  water resources and to develop effective adaptation  strategies. First, the focus is on elucidating the links between precipitation and urban air quality in and around Bangalore. Funds are requested to  ship  Duke instruments (disdrometers, rain gauges, vertically pointing radars) to install two transects over a six month period to concurrently monitor air quality and rainfall microphysics and to document the diurnal-cycle of rainfall during the monsoon and monsoon transition seasons.

  • Ana P. Barros, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
  • V.  Venugopal, Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science