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About the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies
Research at the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies
The climate change group at TISS, started active inter-disciplinary research in the area of climate change and sustainable development in 2008. The group was formalised into a Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies in the year 2012. A two year M.A./M.Sc. Programme in Climate Change and Sustainability Studies was also started, in the academic year 2012-2013.
Drawing from the overall vision of the School of Habitat Studies, the Centre foregrounds the search for equitable and sustainable solutions to the issues and problems associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation. In the context of sustainability, including climate change, the Centre focuses on the search for paradigms that do not limit fundamental human capabilities and provide a future that is not limited by want, deprivation or scarcity. The Centre recognizes that the intersection of the natural and the social in the study of climate change and sustainability urges the development of a unified view of the work of the natural and social sciences that is reflected in research, teaching and pedagogy.
Despite the wide recognition of the significance of climate change and sustainability, in India and in many other Third World countries, there are yet as few moves to address the effort required to build knowledge and capacities in the relevant inter-disciplinary domains, based on both the natural and social sciences. Twenty years after the Rio summit, in which India played a leading role in determining the outcomes, the gap between the country's knowledge and practical needs and capabilities and the lack of well-trained practitioners has become even more significant. It is particularly important to note that much work is necessary in terms of developing theoretical models, paradigms and concepts that are relevant to the Indian context. Much of our current knowledge in the area of climate change and sustainability is built on foreign scholarship that very often does not suit India's needs, constraints and policy compulsions. Further, despite the recognition of the inter-disciplinary nature of these issues, there are few programs that provide the training required in inter-disciplinary terms. The Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies is therefore envisioned as a platform to conduct inter-disciplinary research, teaching and advocacy in areas such as climate science, energy, water, resource economics and environmental governance.
The Centre works towards combining research, teaching and advocacy in order to comprehensively intervene on issues of climate change and sustainable development. The teaching programme is designed to equip students to understand and address the intertwined challenges of environmental protection and sustainability and development confronting the world today, with a particular focus on the issue of climate change. It provides the students with an opportunity for theoretical and practical engagement with these challenges and issues in a critical framework based on values of equity and social justice, that recognizes the imperative for development in terms of material needs as well as other dimensions of human well-being.
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