Reflections from the Field

Reflections from the Field

Each image is a storyteller and what better way than images from the field to catch a glimpse of the deeply impactful work that Krea Research Centres carry out on the field, every day. Presenting, a collection of photographs unpacking few episodes in a series of instrumental work done by some of our research centres interweaving high quality research with impactful solutions on the ground.

Krea University’s ecosystem is built on exchange of knowledge, ideas, insights and meaningful collaborations and Krea prides itself in its ever growing network of Research Centres synonymous with ‘research for impact’.  From solving complex development challenges to enhance socio-economic prosperity, nurturing a support ecosystem for tech innovations for underserved communities, developing and supporting digital innovations for social impact, ensuring economic justice, social opportunity and environmental protection, poverty reduction through policy development informed by scientific evidence, conducting advanced research across the humanities and social sciences to spearheading research and learning related to the human brain and mind, the Krea Research Centres create deep impact across diverse fields.

For this edition of The Krea Communique, here is a glimpse of the pivotal work the Centres carry out on the field through images contributed by some of our Research Centres.

A child receiving a vaccination at the control site of a project exploring ways to boost immunisation demand in Haryana. 2017.
Photo Credit: Shobhini Mukerji, J-PAL SA

Scaling up the Graduation Approach in Bihar, India. 2019.
Photo Credit: Gautam Patel, J-PAL SA

A female police officer with a complainant at a police station in Morena, Madhya Pradesh as a part of a study evaluating the impact of introducing women’s help desks across police stations on the registration of cases of violence against women. 2019.
Photo Credit: Suddhasatwa Bhattacharya, J-PAL SA

Women of Menad or Kunda Kotagiri village of the Kota Tribe. From Left to Right- Ponvelan, Seetha, Lalli, Baby, Anchana, Mathi, Malli, and Manjula. And the cat is “pees”.
Photo Credit: Dr Karthick Narayanan, Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Kota name giving ceremony in the Thiruchikady village, Kotagiri. Shalini (holding the baby in her lap) and Prem Kumar’s baby is being named. On this occasion, Hari (feeding the child), one of the priests of the Kilkotagiri Village, blessed the baby.
Photo Credit: Dr Karthick Narayanan, Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

A herd of Bubalus bubalis, commonly known as Toda buffaloes, grazing in the meadows of Nilgiris. Among the Asian water Buffaloes, the Toda buffaloes are a genetically isolated breed of buffaloes endemic to the Nilgiri hills. These buffaloes are central to the culture and the livelihood of the Toda of Nilgiris.
Photo Credit: Dr Karthick Narayanan, Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

This is a photo from the Konniesht recital at the Morthkyodr clan’s sacred diary in Karikadu Mandu, Ithalar, Nilgiri. Konniesht is a form of dance recital in which only men participate. The photo shows that the men form a circle facing inward by locking their elbows. The circle then rotates in a counterclockwise direction, with each man taking a measured tread matching the chanting of the song that begins with ‘O hau hau’.
Photo Credit: Dr Karthick Narayanan, Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Rubavathi holding the honey collected for the salt feeding ceremony to the buffaloes at Karikadu Mandu, Ithalar, Nilgiri. The men of the Morthkyodr clan collected this honey for the sacred occasion from a cavity blocked with stone in the sirfs: ancestral trees handed down from father to son. Plains cerana, a member of the Apis cerana bee family, establishes its colonies in the cavity of these trees. Todas collect their honey without damaging the brood. Their honey collection is well known for this unique practice as they do not use fire or smoke to drive the bees away. But instead, they gently blow into the cavity to move the bee away.
Photo Credit: Dr Karthick Narayanan, Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Radha (left) and Rajakilli (right), members of the Toda women’s self-help group producing the famed Toda embroidery shawl and cushion cover. Toda embroidery produced by the Toda women is one of the main sources of income for many Toda families today.
Photo Credit: Dr Karthick Narayanan, Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

LEAD at Krea University’s team recently visited Mann Deshi Foundation’s head office in Mhasvad, Satara.
Photo Credit : LEAD at Krea University

LEAD is collaborating with Mann Deshi Foundation on a community health needs assessment and the field visit helped contextualise findings from LEAD’s survey.
Photo Credit : LEAD at Krea University

“It made me realise the power of different voices. Until then, I had an understanding that the quantitative field survey was the culmination of our efforts in obtaining data. However, after witnessing the flow of ideas under the framework that the survey provided, I learned that it was the starting point to a much deeper conversation filled with opportunities for further work.” added Sumiran Ardhapure, Research Associate, LEAD at Krea University.
Photo Credit : LEAD at Krea University

ANM providing vaccination services during our field visit for Time and Motion study of ANMs.
Photo Credit: CDFI

Women SHG members responding during an FGD conducted for impact of SHG program on livelihood.
Photo Credit: CDFI

Training session for the team of enumerators for data collection in Khasi Hills of Meghalaya.
Photo Credit: CDFI

Conducting an FGD with the SHG to gather insights on the impact of Covid 19.
Photo Credit: CDFI

Universities and Research in the Indian Context

Universities and Research in the Indian Context

By Prof Ramachandra Guha

In an edition anchored on the theme of  research and its critical role In the world of academics and the very act of learning itself,  it only felt right to invite one of the most renowned historians in India and the globe to share his insights on the ‘history of research’ in the context of Indian universities. In an exclusive piece for The Krea Communique, Prof Ramachandra Guha navigates us through the history of research across natural sciences and the social sciences in one-hundred-and-sixty-five years since the first modern universities in India were founded. Prof Guha sheds light on how Indian universities have failed to perform as creditably as might have been expected but not everything is lost as the recent decades witnessed corrective steps taken by the public university system; and how a whole new generation of private universities will further and deepen this process. Prof Guha emphasises, “In the Indian context, the university must be conceived of as a theatre of intellectual innovation as well as of social emancipation”.

In the year 1857, the universities of Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras were founded. In subsequent decades, these were followed by the founding of the universities  of  Aligarh, Allahabad, Banaras, Osmania, Mysore, Punjab and Delhi. Although established by a colonial regime, these universities helped serve as a crucible of modernity in India. As the sociologist André Béteille has written, these founding universities ‘opened new horizons both intellectually and institutionally in a society that had stood still in a conservative and hierarchical mould for centuries’. Indeed, these universities, says Béteille, were ‘among the first open and secular institutions in a society that was governed largely by the rules of kinship, caste and religion’.  Men and women, upper caste and lower caste, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Parsi, all met and mingled together as colleagues and peers, in a manner previously inconceivable in a segmented and stratified society.

These colonial-era universities were focused on teaching and the awarding of degrees, rather than on research. Nonetheless, some of the first great Indian scientists taught and did their pioneering research in these universities. They included the physicists C. V. Raman, Satyen Bose, K. S. Krishnan and Meghnad Saha, and the chemists T. R. Seshadri and K. Venkataraman. In colonial times, there were also some world-class humanities scholars working in Indian universities, such as the historians Radhakumud Mookerjee and Jadunath Sarkar, the economists Radhakamal Mukherjee and V. K. R. V. Rao, and the sociologists Radhakamal Mukherjee, G. S. Ghurye and Irawati Karve.

After Independence, however, the Government of India chose not to build on this legacy of university-based research. Rather, the state established a chain of laboratories under the rubric of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, which operated entirely outside the university system. In subsequent decades, some (but by no means all, and perhaps not even a majority) of these CSIR labs did good work in their designated fields. However, in retrospect perhaps the country would have been better served if scientific research had been more firmly located within the university system, as was the case for example in the United States. In the American system, research was strongly interwoven with teaching, while scholars in a particular scientific discipline always had the opportunity to interact with those in another scientific discipline. Working in the same university structure also encouraged scientists and humanists to understand one another and their work.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, Indian universities continued to produce first-rate scholarship in disciplines such as economics, sociology, and history. However, so far as the natural sciences were concerned, Indian universities were largely concerned with teaching alone. In later decades, some belated, and modest, attempts, were made to atone for these missteps. Thus Hyderabad University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, both founded in the 1970s, encouraged original research in the sciences as well as the social sciences. However, both these universities were funded by the Union Government; meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of Indian universities, run by State Governments, had little or no interest in scientific research.

What then of higher education in the private sector? This has thus far been dominated by engineering and medical colleges, run on commercial lines, and with no interest in research at all. Only in the last decade or so have we witnessed the founding of private universities offering a broader range of courses and disciplines, and with larger intellectual ambitions. I have in mind here institutions such as Ahmedabad University, Ashoka University, Azim Premji University, Jindal Global University, Krea University, and Shiv Nadar University. These universities all conceive of themselves as much more than teaching shops. They all hope to become centres of research as well.

It is now one-hundred-and-sixty-five years since the first modern universities in India were founded. As I have argued, they have opened up spaces where people previously segregated by caste, class, gender, language and religion could meet with one another as independent human beings. However, on the intellectual and especially research front the Indian university has not performed as creditably as might have been expected. This was partly the result of conscious government policy, which took scientific research out of the university system into self-enclosed laboratories shut off from society. Some corrective steps have been taken in recent decades in the public university system; and we may hope that the new generation of private universities shall further and deepen this process. In the Indian context, the university must be conceived of as a theatre of intellectual innovation as well as of social emancipation. 

Padma Bhushan awardee Prof Ramachandra Guha Is a renowned historian, biographer and journalist. He Is also a Distinguished University Professor at Krea University.

To love the unsolved mysteries- My research journey

To love the unsolved mysteries- My research journey

By Prof Swarnamalya Ganesh 

In the course of curating opinion and experiences pieces for our edition, we sought a seasoned researcher who could shed light on what is pegged “the research mindset” , a first-person account of the journey through research, the preparation, trials and tribulations, and perseverance as one attempt to solve the unsolved. Who better than a veteran researcher, academic and practitioner to take us through this journey of inquisitiveness and enquiry, which is interesting but also tough and demanding. Prof Swarnamalya Ganesh takes us through a journey through her words, from the persistent questions as a young practitioner to the early years as an academic researcher that led her to her calling- the Early Modern South Indian Nayaka era. As Prof Ganesh poignantly narrates, the need to retain the child-like joy in the “spirit of enquiry” each time one steps into the field, understanding that “I know not fully, yet” all through the milestones, and how the true hallmark awaits not just in the great courage exhibited during research but in the patience that emerges when the courage subsides. 

Often research is laid down as an obvious path forward in many academic disciplines. But having learnt an art form such as dance from the age of three under hereditary Gurus, my love and devotion was always to my traditions of practice. But slowly, my friends and even my Gurus noticed the stray but persistent questions I began asking; sometimes to them but often to myself. If we look around us, everyone is curious and is always asking questions. The “do you know-s” fill the days and hours of our lives and various media including social media, feed into such human curiosity and the need to consume social knowledge about people, our environment, society, science, and meta things as well. But when one recognizes the first signs of their questioning mindset as a characteristic that is there to stay beyond curiosity, that is when they do something more than to reach for the daily newspaper or google- research.

Academia will prepare an endless questioning mind with the apparatus needed for a permanent future it seeks with research. Firstly, reading every work ever published on one’s subject of interest, whether it be useful or turns out to be useless tinsel, may seem like an exercise in drudgery which ultimately winds up turning the feverish mind into a pitch ready to absorb. Then somewhere in the early years of research, one begins to ask less questions and starts looking at the complex intersections of circumstance, context, society and history that define each fact held by other predecessors or in dominant narratives thus far. 

I personally realised that I had met my calling in the Early Modern South Indian Nayaka era when everything I read, every question I asked, every solution I sought led me back to Tanjavur, Madurai and Gingee Nayaka world. That is where I began my journey. 

The most key factor in research is to find a great guide. In my case though, my guide turned out to be less instructional and more of an intrusion. This meant that I got to actively seek mentors from across disciplines, each one of them an expert in their area, be it history, archeology, epigraphy, language, musicology. What a blessing that turned out to be for me! One of the reasons I chose to join Krea was because my research strongly interweaves multiple disciplines and perspectives. This reflects strongly in my practice too. In these years, even as I write, speak and perform my research, the one dictum that I set out with, which is “I know not fully, yet” gets more and more confirmed.

Research is great, not researchers. So, one of the best lessons I learnt from some of my mentors is to allow my findings to be pliable to change brought on by perspectives and new facts that emerge from all quarters. To retain the child-like joy in the “spirit of enquiry” each time we step into the field. Research also requires tremendous patience and diligence. I recall as the year 2009 was coming to a close, I had reconstructed a dance repertoire called Mukhacali. I was pleased with the outcome and therefore moved on to other repertoires. But in 2011 when I revisited Mukhacali, in light of new facts and with a body that by then had experienced other forms such as Perani, Jakkini etc which I had reconstructed, I decided to dismantle the whole of the earlier version, only to restart. The result was not one but three more reconstructions of Mukhacali each from the 10th, 12th, 14th centuries before arriving at the 17th century version. Both as performers and researchers we unashamedly ply our trade, but the eternal scapegoats for such exercises for me, are my good-natured students who patiently watched me undo and redo my own findings over many years until I was satisfied.

The true litmus test comes though, in the form of dejected friends and family who give up any hopes of making plans for an outing with us. The total and absolute control that one gives the subject of our research to have over us, ensures that we become immersive participants of the era into which we wish to dive. So shopping, movies and outing become a thing of the past and luxuries afforded only by those who float on the surface. 

Writing one’s research, speaking about it, in my case also performing my research are integral parts of the journey and I enjoy doing all of it, however I thirst to share my work with other researchers and always grab any slight opportunity, even to be in the midst of others who are in the pursuit of their feverish minds. Sharing, listening to each one’s experiences and perspectives keeps us spirited through what can otherwise be a lonely journey in research. To me the Fulbright Fellowship that I received soon after I finished my doctoral research provided this fraternity. Great courage is exhibited during academic research days by scholars, especially towards a doctoral degree. But the true hallmark waits to be seen, when the courage subsides, and when patience emerges. The patience to be with the subject, to ebb and flow with its course and to continue to love it for its yet unsolved mysteries. 

Prof Swarnamalya Ganesh is an Assistant Professor of Practice, Literature and Arts, Global Arts at Krea University. A veteran performer with over 35 years of experience, Prof Ganesh is a scholar of dance history and a trained academician in art practice and sociology

The Trailblazer

<strong>The Trailblazer</strong>

Interview With Dr Ameesh Samalopanan, Krea University’s First PhD Graduate

In July 2022, Krea University added one more name to its league of distinguished alumni – Dr Ameesh Samalopanan became Krea’s first PhD scholar awarded a doctoral degree. Under the supervision of Prof Vijayalakshmi C Balasubramaniam, IFMR GSB, he successfully defended his thesis on “Exploring Dignity at Workplace: A Mixed-Method Study”. Dr Samalopanan now works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Studies at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.

Inspired by his achievement, we reached out to him for an interview, hoping for a glimpse into his world of scholastic proclivity and research pursuits and what we have are candid insights into his PhD journey, his motivation and goals, the rigour and gaiety of his university days, his pinnacles and vicissitudes, as well as what this major academic milestone represents for his overall career trajectory. 

When and how did you decide to pursue a PhD? Was it a difficult decision to make? How did your PhD fit into your overall professional growth trajectory?

 Like most good things in life, the decision to pursue PhD was something that gradually grew upon me. I was a psychologist by training, working mainly in psychiatric hospitals. In between, I used to take one-hour sessions on various psychology/counselling-related topics, and always received great feedback. That was the main reason that, when a teaching opportunity came, I didn’t have to think much before accepting it. A couple of years as a lecturer made me realise the worth and value of a PhD as a degree, along with the insight that full-time research can be fun. 

 Please tell us a bit about the topic of your PhD research, the reasons you chose to focus on this specific area, and your key findings and results. 

 Okay, so a master’s degree in psychology and a couple of years of work experience as a counsellor had transformed me into a person with a keen interest in people’s issues (at individual levels), and one context of particular interest to me was the workplace. I was always curious about what matters most at a workplace, and I realised it was probably the desire to be treated with dignity that weighs over everything else. But interestingly, not many efforts were done academically to define and conceptualise what dignity, specific to a workplace context, means and what impact the lack of it can have on other relevant aspects of a workplace. My PhD thesis is titled “Exploring Dignity at Workplace: A Mixed-Method Study”, and if you have to put it into a basket, it aligns more with humanistic philosophies in management, which advocate for people-oriented management practices that seek profits for human ends. The key findings of my research were to give a conceptual model to the concept of “dignity at workplace” in the Indian context, develop a measure for it, and assess how it impacts other organisationally relevant variables. 

Did you face any challenges and doubts during your PhD studies? How did you overcome them?

 Well, PhD is one of the longest courses you will ever subscribe to, and it requires a minimum of 4-5 years for its completion. One has to be really lucky to have 5 consecutive years with no challenge or self-doubt. Of course, at times, you have personal issues that might pop up, and sometimes academic. Personally, the PhD program was extremely challenging, as it happened during the pandemic time. And the data I worked with was primary data – the data you collect personally, via interviews or surveys. That was just one of the many hurdles. But my extremely supportive guide, Dr. Vijayalakshmi Balasubramaniam, the Krea family in general, and a little bit of self-drive, ensured successful completion of the program.

How much endurance and determination is required to succeed in the pursuit of a PhD degree? Was it always about remaining serious, being single-focused and undistracted from your work? Can PhD also be fun?

As I mentioned, Doctoral programs are not short-term courses, and being goal-focused and having a determination to achieve them is definitely a prerequisite. But having said that, if I may rephrase your question, one doesn’t have to be “serious and undistracted” all the time. In fact, compared to other academic programs, a PhD program is much more relaxed in terms of its structure, at least during its “research phase”. There is no ten-to-five class hour rigidness – you work at your own convenience. You just have to adhere to certain submissions and presentations deadlines. This definitely translates to having more time for yourself. Travel, movies and food are my interests, and I always had more than enough time to explore and enjoy those interests. 

In fact, I would say that being “single-focused” on your research might actually act counterproductively. One should take breaks, enjoy other aspects of life, rejuvenate and then come back to the project with a clearer mind. 

Please tell us about some of the best moments you have experienced during your PhD journey – moments of elation, triumph, and success. 

I returned to campus life after an academic gap (having worked for a few years), so I always made a point to make the most of the campus activities. It’s very easy to get into the MBA crowd in the first two years of PhD, as you would be doing your coursework with them (that’s how it works at Krea). 

During the first year of my PhD, my team (we were a small group of four friends) came second in a national-level ad-making competition – and that is something that is still fresh in my mind.

All the campus events and gatherings organised by various student clubs, committees, Abhyudaya (the flagship event of IFMR GSB), and regional festivals like Onam, Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja, were always special. 

Apart from that, we regularly trekked and traveled to nearby locations. Sri City opens up to a rich Tamil culture towards the south, and a vibrant Andhra culture once you start exploring the north; and thus it was a great starting point for a backpacker like me. 

Academically, I won the Best Paper Award in a few prestigious conferences – these are definitely achievements I would love to flaunt. However, the cherry on the top was the moment I cleared my PhD and the congratulatory messages that came in, addressing me as “Dr Ameesh”.

Could you share some of your greatest learnings from your PhD journey – something you will always carry with you and draw inspiration from?

Of course, every PhD student, over the course of their journey, picks up essential life skills like endurance, self-drive, improvising and handling rejection. What makes me particularly happy is that I achieved a major academic degree at a time when even surviving was difficult. We used to have these regular semi-annual review meetings, where we present to the PhD committee the progress made in the last 6 months. One of review meetings happened during the second wave of COVID, a time when the death tolls were maximum and those numbers included people we knew by name. I still remember how one of the external committee members was mighty impressed to see I could make this progress during those troubled times. I believe this was a baptism of fire for my research career, and it has instilled in me a sense of self-belief and the lesson that one needs to keep hustling. 

But apart from that, when you invest so much time trying to explore a topic, transference and countertransference are bound to happen. This is more true for social sciences as, most often, the topics we choose are closely aligned with our own belief systems. As my research was focused on demonstrating the importance of dignity, the experience certainly made me more appreciative of the people around me and made me aware of how the “little acts of kindness” can touch the lives of people around me in a big way.  

And finally, what would be your piece of advice for anyone who contemplates doing a PhD and pursuing a research career?

I believe that the beauty and the perks of academia as a whole, and research in particular, is one of the best-kept secrets in the world. Generally, the research career is projected as a bookish, monotonous desk job that involves a lot of number crunching and something that sucks the life out of you. But truth be told, a research career is one of the most exciting ones you can think of. Yes, one needs to be really passionate to finish it, it is a long route, there are going to be bad days, and you will have self-doubt…but trust me, it’s worth it!

Krea University and Sapien Labs collaborate to establish Centre for research and learning related to the human brain and mind

Krea University and Sapien Labs collaborate to establish Centre for research and learning related to the human brain and mind

The launch event at the Krea University Office in Chennai marked the collaboration between Krea University and Sapien Labs. Also in attendance at the event were Kapil Viswanathan, Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Governing Council at Krea University, Dr Tara Thiagarajan, Founder, Sapien Labs, Dr Ramachandra Guha, Distinguished University Professor, Krea University and Dr Shailender Swaminathan, Director,  Sapien Labs Centre for Human Brain and Mind at Krea University. 

The Sapien Labs Centre for the Human Brain and Mind at Krea University is a collaboration between Sapien Labs and Krea University with an aim to establish a Centre for research and learning related to the human brain and mind. The Centre seeks to track and understand the impact of our changing environment on the human brain and its consequences for the individual and society so that it can be managed to mitigate risks and enhance outcomes. The collaboration will bring together cross-disciplinary faculty, large-scale acquisition of multi-dimensional human physiological data, cutting edge data workflows, and engagement with the non-profit, start-up and government sectors.  

Speaking at the inauguration, Dr K. VijayRaghavan said, I congratulate Krea University for setting up this centre, which I think is wonderful. The human brain is amazing. The number of nerve cells in the human brain is in excess of 86 billion neurons. The brain is extraordinary and we struggle to understand the complexity of the brain. One way to go about this would be to have an Indian brain collaboration. The failure in our system is the lack of collaboration between institutions, individuals and people working within institutions. So institutions like Krea that are growing, need to be collaborative to drive this. This collaboration can push knowledge, what we can learn, discover, interpret and apply. If you have to be prepared for the unknown, then the only way to be prepared is by exploration, logic, principles of science and having people understand that. Centres such as this will go a long way in understanding the language of the brain.”

The Sapien Labs Centre for the Human Brain and Mind at Krea University also intends to build a globally distributed infrastructure for large-scale, real-time data acquisition and insights as well as development of interventions and tools that can become scalable products and services embedded in the world to move the needle.

Speaking to the audience on the collaboration, Dr Tara Thiagarajan added, “I am excited to announce the launch of the Sapien Labs for Human Brain and Mind at Krea. We – Krea and Sapien Labs – share a mutual desire to further understand the human brain and mind. We share with Krea the focus on bringing together research across disciplinary boundaries and also enabling real-world impact from this research. One of the core focus areas of this centre will be to define what causes a decline in mental health. Soundness of the human mind is really fundamental to everything that we do and what humanity could create going forward. Soundness of the human mind includes our functional capability across a number of different domains of function that really allow us to navigate the world to come together, create the future, and also to live peacefully together.” 

Prof Shailender Swaminathan, Director, Sapien Labs Centre for Human Brain and Mind shared the vision of the Centre and said, “We have our challenges but am delighted that various institutes from different disciplines have evinced keen interest to collaborate with this centre. There is a lot of learning for all of us and this humility to learn is seen from top minds across institutes. One particular area will be our attempt to collate high quality data. This is an initiative that requires a lot of data collection and we would like to set world-class standards in genuine data collection.” 

The collaborative initiative includes data acquisition support from LEAD at Krea University using its extensive infrastructure and collaborating with other partners where necessary for medical or physiological data

To know more about the Research Centre, click here

Prof Nirmala Rao appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Krea University

Prof Nirmala Rao appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Krea University

A distinguished academic administrator and political scientist, Prof Nirmala Rao, who takes over as Krea University’s next Vice-Chancellor, will steer the university’s vision forward, building on its strong foundations of ethics, innovation, excellence, inclusivity and accountability.

26 July 2022, Sri City: Krea University announces the appointment of Prof Nirmala Rao as its next Vice-Chancellor, effective August 16, 2022.

Prior to Krea, Prof Nirmala Rao served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Asian University for Women (AUW), Chittagong, Bangladesh, between 2017 and 2022. Formerly, she held various positions as the Pro-Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and as Pro-Warden for Academic Affairs at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Prof Rao took her first degree in Economics at Delhi University in 1979, Masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and PhD from the University of London. She has published extensively in the field of urban politics and some of her books include Re-shaping City Governance; Cities in Transition; Governing London; and Transforming Local Political Leadership.

Prof Rao has extensive experience of public service and served as an advisor to a range of bodies including the UK Audit Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). For a number of years, she was a lay member of the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, a non-executive director of Ealing Hospital NHS Trust and member of the Architects Registration Board.  She is currently a member of the Governing Body of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, a Trustee of United World Schools and Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish, University of Cambridge. Prof Rao was elected Fellow of the Academy Social Sciences in 2003 and awarded an OBE for services to scholarship in the 2011 Queen’s Honours list.

Kapil Viswanathan, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Governing Council added, “We are delighted to welcome Dr Nirmala Rao as the next vice-chancellor of Krea University.  As an accomplished academic administrator and scholar with international experience, Dr Rao is well placed to lead Krea University in its mission to help humanity prepare for an unpredictable world.”

On her appointment as Vice-Chancellor, Prof Nirmala Rao said, “It is a great honour to be asked to lead Krea, a prized institution, young, but already ahead in addressing how Universities must adapt to provide the students of today with the education that will best prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow.  I am struck by how enthusiastic and passionate people are about Krea, its cutting-edge and impactful research that has already begun to address an exciting set of grand challenges. Krea gives me hope for a future in which real, deep, respectful dialogue will eventually alter the way we think, work, and relate to one another.  I look forward to furthering the best traditions of the University, building on its innovations, engaging with students, staff, faculty, and the entire Krea community in defining what I know will be an incredibly bright future.”

In Focus: A Sustainability Dialogue with Jessica Seddon

In Focus: A Sustainability Dialogue with Jessica Seddon

In an exclusive conversation for The Krea Communiqué, Jessica Seddon, Member of the Academic Advisory Board at Krea, a Senior Fellow at World Resource Institute and a Senior Fellow at Yale University, shares her interpretation of sustainability and how it’s driven by human dynamics intertwined with social and political landscapes and economic strategies. Jessica  takes us through work on environmental governance and around ‘Air’-a globally shared commons that affects nearly everything we care about. Underneath all these she is deeply focused on the reasons why humans and groups of humans make the choices that they do, particularly with respect to the non-human environment. That has always been her interest – and the latest manifestation of that is air quality and climate change.

She also navigates us through her environmental journey, right from the seeds sown in her childhood as she grew up in the middle of woods and fields and with a family that was very connected to the environment around. Further leading to her conscious embarking on the path in her junior year at college and successive milestones that punctuate her journey.

In reference to the mammoth task that awaits the future generation and how we could groom them to be sustainability-sensitive and conscious citizens, Jessica adds, “I think they are. I don’t think we’re in any position to groom them – we should be in more of a position to be embarrassed that we’ve left so much to them to solve.”

Jessica, when you think of the word, Sustainability, what is the first thing/word that comes to your mind?

Contentment is the first word that comes to mind. Things can only be sustainable – in the sense that they can be carried on for an indefinite period of time without much change if people do not want.

Having said that, sustainability continues to be misconstrued -over time – to mean only ecology, and hence the initiatives have been skewed. How can we attempt to engage with it more holistically in a way that it includes the environment, social and political landscapes that we inhabit?

I would say, thankfully, that this has been changing for the past decade or so. Sustainability is at times thought of in ecological terms as a kind of indefinite carrying capacity – that the present species, surroundings, etc can carry on without shifting suddenly to a new state. However, the role of humans in driving these changes – this lack of environmental sustainability – has been pretty clear for a while and the drivers have also been pretty clear. Those drivers are deeply intertwined with social and political landscapes, not to mention economic strategies.

I think it would be very hard to find somebody who would define sustainability without some kind of reference to human dynamics at this point.

WRI develops practical solutions that improve people’s lives and ensure nature can thrive. Tell us a little bit about your focus areas in the now.

Right now I’m actually only part-time at WRI. I’m a senior fellow there and I focus on air – the lower atmosphere that shapes our health, our ecosystems health, and climate. I also teach environmental governance at Yale, where I am a senior fellow at the Jackson School of global affairs. Environmental governance is basically the study, practice, and experimentation of how we can steer the human and non-human systems around us toward better – perhaps you could say more sustainable – outcomes.

I could go on and on about the air because it basically is a globally shared commons that affects nearly everything we care about – from our health, to crop yields and food security, to storm intensity, to the productivity of renewable energy, to much more. And nearly everything we do – from moving around to cooking to producing to growing food affects it.

But I think underneath that I am focused on the reasons why humans and groups of humans make the choices that they do, particularly with respect to the non-human environment. That has always been my interest – and the latest manifestation of that is air quality and climate change.

Personally speaking, when did you embark on this journey towards sustainability? Growing up, what was your relationship with nature?

I grew up in a rural area in Vermont just below the Canadian border. So in many senses I grew up in nature – in the middle of the woods, fields, and with a family that was very connected to the environment around us.

I only really consciously embarked on an environmental journey in my junior year of college, when I considered becoming an earth sciences major. I ended up not changing at that point but I always did try to work in some understanding about the economics and politics of our species’ relationship with the rest of the environment – not to mention differences in cultural understandings. I was able to collaborate in the mid 2000s with a climate scientist named V Ramanathan and write a few papers about policies toward air pollutants that also affect climate. So in some sense my formal professional environmental career began then.

Do global sustainable initiatives deepen the divide on the planet? The impact of climate change the world is facing today, is fundamentally the result of advanced economies who have now shifted negotiations away from historic responsibility or climate debt to current emissions levels. In fact many of them are outsourcing emissions to developing countries through trade; how can climate finance and policies become more holistic and equitable?

I would hesitate to lump all global sustainability initiatives in one bucket. Some do deepen the economic divide, others try to address it. And you are implicitly speaking about carbon emissions being outsourced – but pollution footprints are actually growing faster than carbon footprints. It’s not just trade it’s also production decisions and The supply chain evolution before covid.

I don’t think there’s really a simple answer about how climate and finance policies can become more holistic and equitable – and I think at the root of both of those things, both of those policy areas, are public expectations and acceptance. Which brings me back to this point of contentment. We’re not going to get very far on holistic and equitable policy and finance until we recognize that the ways of life that are extracting more than the planet can bear are driven by want. I mean want in the sense of both need and the more luxurious version of just greed.

We have been constantly discussing how sustainability is a real work-in-progress. Would you agree?


How much do our individual everyday actions contribute to a collective impact? Can they – if at all – offset the large, environmental footprint of the major industries and the large corporations?

Well – I think the environmental footprint of the major industries and large corporations wouldn’t really exist unless we used and consumed what the industries and corporations produced. That said, many of the choices about how to produce and what kind of environmental footprint is absolutely necessary to meet demand are not individual decisions and so it is unfair to put everything on individual actions.

It takes working together and seeing the goals in new ways.

The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. We are almost halfway through. How much progress has the world achieved towards peace and prosperity for people and the planet?

Sadly – I’m not sure how much. In many ways, we seem to have regressed.

And finally, how can we groom the next generation to be sustainability-sensitive and conscious citizens?

I think they are. I don’t think we’re in any position to groom them – we should be in more of a position to be embarrassed that we’ve left so much to them to solve.

Future Forward: A Journey in Sustainability by Anita Arjundas

Future Forward: A Journey in Sustainability by Anita Arjundas

As the world re-imagines its ways and moves towards a more sustainable future, how do career roles evolve in these new contexts? While sustainability no longer stands detached from any career role, young graduates are consciously exploring pathways to be sustainable leaders and champions, working towards a resilient global system in collaboration with corporates and bodies of governance.

The Communications Team reached out to Anita Arjundas, Member of the Executive Committee at Krea University and also Member, Board of Management, an entrepreneurial leader who is passionate about sustainable development, with a request to share her journey in the Sustainability space and her perspective on how the rapidly evolving world today unravels challenges and opportunities for young aspirants in building a career in sustainability outside of research institutions, policy think tanks and grassroot organisations. 

From environmental law and environmental analytics to climate change, tech and environmental communications, the pathways are many. 

“People often ask me how I got interested in sustainability a couple of decades ago, given that I was a corporate CEO then and working on the built environment to boot. It was precisely because of the very environment I operated in and a role that allowed me to drive change that got me engaged and committed to the need for sustainable development.   

Buildings account for close to 40% of energy consumed and greenhouse gases generated. Their share of freshwater consumption and waste generated is also high. With urbanisation levels in India expected to reach 40% in the next decade, a significant part of the built environment is yet to be created. And thus, a significant opportunity to re-examine approaches to creation – quantum and purpose, design and materials, resource type and use, supply chain and life cycle management. But also, to re-craft lifestyle demands and consumption aspirations – after all it’s the people who inhabit and use these buildings over their lifetime that account for much of these numbers!     

Questions such as these and many more face every industry operating in the world today. The world economy consumes over 100 billion tons of natural resources every year – minerals, metals, fossil fuels and biomass, with less than 9% of such resources being reused. While global warming and climate change have taken centre stage in recent times, focusing most of the discussion around decarbonisation strategies and green portfolios, issues around biodiversity and habitat loss, water security, environmental justice and income inequality are slowly gaining currency.

The corporate world of today and capitalism as we know it is being forced to re-examine its role from the perspective of multiple stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, investors, communities, and the planet. A significant shift from Milton Friedman’s definition of the role of business and its singular accountability to shareholders. Skeptics worry whether this perceived shift is just green washing and virtue signalling or at its best – too little, too late.

Given all of the forces at play, young people often want to know if there are adequate opportunities to build a career in sustainability outside of research institutions, policy think tanks and grassroot organisations. From environmental law and environmental analytics to climate change tech and environmental communication – the pathways are many. Specific to corporate careers, I would argue the urgent imperative to develop an understanding of the natural world and the direct and unintended consequences of human endeavour on the environment. If the way business is done has to change, at a scale that possibly only business can achieve, then transformative thinking about strategy, product design and delivery, marketing, risk management, and performance metrics is needed in every function and at every stage of a corporate career, not just for those seeking specialised roles in sustainability consulting or practise.

Business has always prided itself on being at the cutting edge of innovation, solving complex problems and disrupting existing paradigms through its ‘creations’. Maybe it’s also time to think about what it will not destroy in this journey of innovation. For in the end, as John C Sawhill, Former President, NYU and Former President, TNC said, ‘Our society will be defined not only by what we create but by what we refuse to destroy.’” 

Take Ten: Interpretations of Sustainability from the Krea Universe

Take Ten: Interpretations of Sustainability from the Krea Universe

So, what does sustainability mean to you? A question that has more to it than meets the eye. A question that in every sense of the word, holds the entire planet within. Take Ten was initiated as a project to understand the diverse interpretations of sustainability by various individuals within the Krea ecosystem.

While it started off as an innocent reportage on exploring the perspectives of leadership, academic experts, team members and students within the Krea community, over time, this initiative turned into a kaleidoscope – both interesting and thought-provoking, sketched with multiple hues of interpretations and woven in by explanations interweaving through various disciplines, from Humanities and Arts to STEM.

Through these interviews and discussions, the Communications Team invariably were nudged to open their minds to concepts and dialogues which were unique and become aware of a more sensitive and empathetic usage of language revolving the critical concept of sustainability. Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at the idea of sustainability like solving the Rubik’s Cube, attempting to understand cultures, deciphering behaviors to analysing scientific data.

We hope you, the reader, also get to embark on an interesting journey through the words of the diverse stakeholders within the Krea universe and take a moment to reflect on how you yourself may interpret the term ‘sustainability. And that’s just the beginning.

*All views are personal

“Sustainability is a question of human purpose – is our purpose to maximise human potential, or is our purpose to live happily, in harmony with each other and our planet?  We must realise that this is a binary choice; we cannot have both.  Happiness and harmony go beyond climate change, energy, food and water – we must also consider sustainable lifestyle choices for physical and mental well-being, as well as sustainable familial, social, economic and political structures.  Our path from status quo to sustainability is not well-mapped, but if we remain focused on our purpose, I have faith that human ingenuity will find us a way to get there.”

Kapil Viswanathan, Chairman of Executive Committee, Krea University

“Over the last few decades, we have witnessed multiple radical innovations. Innovations that have put immense pressure on earth’s limited resources. This has also put the world as we know it, and the future at risk. Sustainability for me finds its meaning in everyday actions, it denotes conscious efforts to move away from our myopic view of the present and involves integration of solution-based approaches that also serve the needs of our future generations. This would mean shifting away from the lens of ‘business as usual’, and finding more than one possible path to course correct the infinite growth on this finite planet. What we do today will determine the future. When recourse is complimentary and not competing, we can truly affirm that we are headed towards a strong and sustainable future.”

Prof Lakshmi Kumar, Dean, IFMR GSB

“Conservation Biology increasingly adopts the idea of a Safe Minimum Standard rather than a Cost Benefit Analysis for the environment, reminiscent of a ‘First Do No Harm’ notion enshrined in spirit in the Hippocratic Oath. Sustainability could well do with heeding such a conception, rather than the utilitarian advancement of the greatest good for the greatest number. So long as that number comprises only a select element of one species, there is no sustainability to be had, glib pronouncements to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Prof John Mathew, Divisional Chair, Humanities & Social Sciences, SIAS

“The ability to sustain. Sustaining, to me, is to live life with the bare minimum by providing ourselves with only what we truly need and working hard to earn and replenish it. But, in recent times as the comfort levels and luxury levels are increasing drastically, we are tending to overuse the resources at hand as we are not efficient in finding a sustainable way. When there is no sustainable alternative for any activity, products/services then comes the problem of overuse. This overuse in the present will not allow us to live our life in the future, not even a bare minimum life.”

Amulya Sanivarapu, GSB Batch 20-22

“Krea’s vision of preparing young people for an unpredictable future through its interwoven learning approach is founded on the very pillars of Sustainability. Campus life draws attention to how the campus community’s actions and practices can have a ripple effect, immediately impacting the region we are located in. A diverse and inclusive campus community, harmoniously co-existing with the surroundings and contributing to the social and economic development of the region, is how we at Krea embrace sustainability. Making informed choices and decisions, whether it be sourcing food from local vendors, generating direct and indirect employment opportunities in the region, reducing the carbon footprint by using shared shuttle services or public transport, organic farming, working on research projects to help sustain the ecosystem of the region, the sustainability goals are present everywhere. The students of Krea have rightfully taken their place at the University’s Sustainability table, by being active stakeholders in all initiatives to build a meaningful living on campus.”

Vidhya Munuswamy, Dean of Student Affairs

“The idea of Sustainability gathers many themes and like any idea or concept has a deep history. The idea may be old but it gathered momentum only in the 20th century through various national, international and civic efforts and movements world over. There was a time when sustainability spoke to a very urgent and pressing human predicament and the lopsided way in which industrialisation in Europe and North America unfolded, and the way it influenced aspirations for development in post-colonial Asia, Africa and Latin America. It made us re-look at the dominant modes of development, forced us to question the rapid depletion of natural resources, and re-examine the issue of intergenerational justice. It motivated activists, academics, researchers, policy makers, and artists to raise new questions. But over a period of time, the idea seems to have lost its force, its agency. As happens to many ideas and concepts, it was used recklessly, not in good faith and soon it turned it into a cliché.

Today the issues remain supremely relevant but the idea of ‘sustainability’ itself feels worn out, with little creative and active strength left in it to galvanise or animate us. And hence, there are two options left to us: we use the term in a mechanical way and conduct business as usual or alternatively, re-imagine the concept of Sustainability and make it speak to our context, make it work in more honest and creative ways. Suitably modified, it can prompt us to re-define our relationships, to re-think our social relations,  our ways of life and consumption, and our aspirations, and question growing inequalities in the world. It can make us re-define our relationship with the present, past and future. Unfortunately in its dominant usage,  the term Sustainability is trapped in a technocratic vision of the world and therefore, has lost its power of critique. While it is necessary that we generate clean and green technology, we urgently need a radical re-thinking of how we lead our lives on this planet. We cannot say the game will be played as usual and hope to produce a better world. We need to think of how the idea of sustainability can be re-interpreted and re-imagined in ways that can help us to transform the way we lead our lives, and to make structures of power (pollical, industrial, economic and social) more engaged and accountable.

As Nietzsche said, “Can our ideas walk?” I would ask: “Can the idea of sustainability dance? Can it help us choreograph a better future?”

Dr Bishnu Mohapatra, Director, Moturi Satyanarayana Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

“Sustainability is an inclusive, just, and viable way of life — a holistic approach to every problem-solving and decision-making, encompassing environmental, social and economic factors, with a genuine regard for the underlying cultural, political and technological determinants in a complex world. Authentic Sustainability is more than compliance necessity, risk mitigation strategy, brand building exercise, or development agenda. It is a modus operandi based on synergies and symbiotic partnerships, all the more so in the case of perceived conflicting interests among multiple stakeholders. Individuals and systems are intrinsically interconnected; they reflect and support one another. Aligned, they contribute to a healthy whole, greater than the sum of its parts. Weakened, they trigger a systemic collapse. A Sustainable mindset comes from this realisation that, each time we harm a local ecosystem, or silently watch an indigenous language disappear, or fail to provide quality education to a child, we loosen one more thread in our safety net, thus compromising our very survival.

Finally, Sustainability is about humbleness, too — a willingness to accept that, despite all our scientific advancements and best intentions at heart, we might still be far from finding the best solutions for our troubled world.”

Lidija Stankovikj, Senior Manager, Communications

“To be sustainable is the intertwining of society, environment, culture, and economy. These interrelations are dynamic and constantly need to be optimally balanced to benefit the present quality of life for everyone without compromising future generations.”

Sharon Buteau, Executive Director, LEAD at Krea University

“I believe Sustainability is about living with awareness every moment of our lives. Being sensitive enough to differentiate between our need and greed, taking action to conserve rather than deplete, and following best practices that build rather than break-down, all these reflect our responsibility towards humanity and sustainable living.”

Anuradha Iyer, Director- Development

“Sustainability for long has been defined as the utilisation of resources in a manner that fulfills the needs of the current generation and does not compromise the needs of the future generations. It extends to all spheres of life- economic, social, or environmental. However, its omnipresence in today’s dictionary has turned it into an ambiguous and symbolic framework with no practical ramifications.”

Mitula Sai Subramanian, Cohort of 2023, SIAS

Let’s Walk the Sustainability Talk

Let’s Walk the Sustainability Talk

The Krea University campus centres around the ethos of holistic sustainability. Several projects and initiatives, aligned with the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, aim at increasing resource efficiency, reducing environmental footprint and fostering biodiversity on campus. In doing so, Krea’s green campus continues to promote the values of efficient and accountable use of scarce resources, and supports the wellbeing of all members of the Krea community.

Krea students champion some of the key sustainability-focused initiatives on campus. Three Krea students — Pratibha Khullar, Avinash Panakkal and Sai Balaji Suresh — graciously agreed to take us for an informative and enjoyable Sustainability Walk, showcasing the landscape, infrastructure and conservation practices that are part of this thriving campus that embodies the principles of sustainability.

Avinash, a first-year student at Krea, asserts how important the values of environmentalism and sustainability are for the Krea community. “Here at Krea, we place great emphasis on sustainability, be it in terms of environment, wellbeing or student life”, he says. It is this awareness about the impact of every individual and collective action, that makes Krea an educational hub of inclusiveness, creativity and innovation, where learning is not limited to the traditional classroom.

The Butterfly Garden
Our Sustainability Walk begins with a visit to the Butterfly Garden. Inviting us to explore this beautiful part of the campus, Pratibha, a first year student at Krea, tells us that hundreds of butterflies can be observed in this area every day. “There are dozens of butterfly species seen throughout the year; some of the easily identifiable ones are Striped Tiger, Plain Tiger, Glassy Tiger, Common Grass Yellow, Cerulean, Oriental Grey Pansy and Crimson Rose”, she specifies. The Butterfly Park provides both a visually appealing landscape, as well as cover and protection for butterfly and other pollinator insects.

Biodiversity Zone
As we walk along Krea’s famed Perimeter Pathway, we reach our next sustainability landmark — the Biodiversity Zone. “The water body and the surrounding area are part of a designated biodiversity zone at Krea”, says Sai, a second-year student at Krea. He explains that the zone acts both as a flood control and a large reservoir for collecting rainwater. Due to the high water table and rains, water is available throughout most of the year. This water is used for irrigating Krea’s entire landscape. This is a significant water conservation measure. “We can maintain and keep the campus green thanks to this”, he adds with a sense of pride. These man-made water canals also contribute to the campus microclimate.

Although the entire 40-acre campus is a lush green space, we have dedicated a three-acre area at the north-west of the campus for indigenous and locally-adapted flora, with the purpose of building and nurturing a small self-sustaining forest ecosystem. The biodiversity zone is already becoming a sanctuary for many species of birds, butterflies and other insects that are frequently spotted on campus.

Sai is aware of the value this zone provides to the Krea community and the larger environment. He tells us that the water body and the greenery support many types of insects, birds and fish. There are 37 identified varieties of bird seen and/or living on campus. Among them are the Black Drogo, Indian Roller, Pied Kingfisher, Indian Cormorant and Spotted Owlet. “One of my favourites is the Golden Oriole, which has a beautiful yellow colour and flies around in pairs,” says Sai.

Sai is very enthusiastic about taking the next steps. “We plan to vegetate this zone with native flora and nourish a natural ecosystem; in addition to the existing trees, we plan to plant more than 500 local forest species of trees,” he explains. Since the project is based on the principles of permaculture, the zone has a potential to become a ‘food forest’ vegetated with green leafy vegetables, microgreens, amla, lemon and pomegranate trees. Through several student-driven clubs, such as the Nature Club, Ecology Club and the Social Outreach club, students can actively participate in this project and develop a sense of ownership for biodiversity conservation.

Organic Farm
A small nursery of plant saplings and seed depository is set on campus. A student-led initiative, called ‘Community Organic Farming’, has also started off successfully. The initiative aims at promoting sensitivity towards environmental issues. It provides students a chance to get hands-on experience of what it is like to be working on land and growing crops from scratch. This experience makes one aware of where our food comes from, and instils a feeling of appreciation for the land and for the farmers.

“On this land, we plan to grow a variety of locally sourced organic vegetables”, explains Pratibha. Before expanding the project on a larger scale, the students involved in the project selected a small patch of land to work on as a prototype. They planted a local variety of spinach, after preparing the land to make it cultivable. “After almost a month-and-a-half of hard work, daily waking up early in the morning to work on this land, the result is truly rewarding,”Pratibha concludes with a smile.

Solar Panels
With a constant effort to reduce the carbon footprint, and a vision to make Krea carbon neutral one day, there is a fully-operational 520 kWp solar photovoltaic installation on campus. The solar panels have produced a total of 750,000 kWh of renewable energy. Avinash aptly draws our attention to the importance of using solar energy as a renewable source of energy. “These solar panels help cover around 35-40% of our electricity consumption; they help reduce our CO2 emissions by an amount equivalent to that absorbed by 40,000 trees in one year,” says Avinash. Here are plans to increase the solar panel capacity gradually over the next few years, to produce more green electricity.

Sewage Treatment Plant
Our next sustainability spot on campus is the sewage treatment plant, which not only makes us less dependent on freshwater, but also reduces our overall carbon footprint associated with the process of procuring water through the Water Supply and Sewage Board of Sri City. Our treated water can be used for landscaping, cleaning external spaces, flushing, etc. Pratibha tells us that this is an innovative low-energy technology which involves nearly no moving parts except for the pumps. “All the wastewater from the campus gets treated here. All recycled water is used for the flushing requirements in the campus. This has helped reduce our dependence on the outside source of water. We aspire to make Krea water self-sufficient one day.”

Waste Segregation
As we enter the main Academic Block at Krea, Sai points out the colour-coded waste bins, strategically placed on each floor of the building. “We try to segregate all our waste on the campus by using separate, colour-coded bins for dry waste (such as paper and plastic), wet waste and e-waste,” he explains. The recyclable waste (like paper and plastic) goes to relevant vendors for recycling. Krea has already started a program for organic waste management. Krea will soon have its own compost facility, where all the wet waste generated on campus will be processed. Awareness about the importance of not wasting food is high among the Krea community. “The amount of food waste is quite low, since we make a conscious choice not to take more than we can eat”, says Sai, concluding our Krea Sustainability Walk.

Forthcoming Projects and Initiatives
Kshitij Amodekar, Associate Director – Design and Sustainability, Krea University, delineates the sustainability journey ahead, with several projects and initiatives already in the pipeline.
“Sustainability has various interpretations, and the applications are wide. We are striving to improve our understanding and delivery of these within the Krea community and the extended community around Krea University. While we work on this, we march on with various initiatives in the next year or so like biodiversity plantation, onsite organic waste management, planning new buildings with energy saving systems and planning for expanding our renewable energy capacity, etc. One of the most significant challenges of the 21st century is the human-environment relationship and our collective impact on our planet.”

Watch the Krea Sustainability Walk video here