Challenge of the Balance Summer Course

Video and Photos

Field trip.
Sweeping in Rajastan
in a beautiful nature in Udaipur
CSE team in Upaipur palace
friends at cse,, udayapur palace during field visit at udaipur..
India gate and me
Managed to squeeze agra visit within this course..

About

Challenge of the Balance (July 13 to August 14, 2015) offered by Centre for Science and Environment, a premier environmental think tank based in New Delhi, is for youth with an interest in the environment and who want first-hand experience of Southern perspectives concerning the environment-development debate.

In 2014 for this inter disciplinary summer school participants came from Germany, Portugal, Spain, UK, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

Participants will see practical, technical and sustainable solutions that benefit the grassroot community (water management, decentralised solid; liquid waste management; meeting a community’s energy needs, etc.) through field excursions.

Faculty: working development professionals, eminent environmentalists, noted academicians from leading universities, grassroots activists and CSE's own senior researchers.

End of course assignment: Write, edit, shoot - hone your journalism skills with guidance from our journalists.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

89%
based on 12 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8.4
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
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Paras
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Igniting minds: connecting youth across the world

This course was an amazing opportunity for me to not just learn more about environmental issues, yet was an uncommon chance to break cultural impediments and act as a team with individuals from different backgrounds, different regions and alternate point of view to seriously contemplate on the question of how to strike a balance between environment and development. It helped me to grow my viewpoints and take interest in classroom discussions which involved intelligent and intuitive learning. I was delighted to meet with my group members and made some great friends from different corners of the world. I was extremely glad to gain from the expertise of my batch mates and critically examine the environmental issues, while we all figured out how to live and cooperate. This course is a decent open door for the students to find out about the major challenges of the world, particularly from a developing countries point of view like India.

What would you improve about this program?
I think if few case studies on environmental issues are included from different parts of the world, it will be a value add to the curriculum.

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Ansh
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful course for anyone who wants to learn about the development and environmental challenges in developing world

This course has got a right mix of various issues and areas of study which need to be known by anyone who has an interest in understanding about the challenges of development and environment in developing countries.

The best part of the course is the possibility of an interaction with the local community (during 1 week tour) to understand what development means to them, how environment affects them, and how and why the governance system fails to meet these expectations of the people.

And about the people when come to talk, they are the best in their area of concern.

In today's context, where the challenges of population, environmental degradation, geopolitics and governance are affecting the whole globe, it is highly recommended to everyone - be one is from a developed country or a developing country.

What would you improve about this program?
The programme has a lot of inputs which are specific to the government systems, policies etc. A general introduction to the policy framework and governance system in India (most of the examples are from India only in this course) could help the foreign counterparts to comprehend the issues and challenges in a better way.
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Rakesh
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenge of the Balance

This program will especially suite people to understand how developing countries are sacrificing nature for development. The course is aptly titled "Challenge of the Balance", you get exposure as to how development can be achieved sustainable without destroying our planet. A great course especially for students who are on the look out for on-field exposure.

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Prayash
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Recommended

I would recommend this programme to all the environmental enthusiasts. Five years back when I had attended the programme, had a great oppotunity to learn alot about the various perspectives including environmental governance, climate politics, policies and their implications in the Indian society and also the world in general.
I term the vivid memories of field visit to Rajasthan as a trip of 'experiencing the inexperienced'. Incredible learning with fun at CSE !
The challenge of traveling to and from the place of stay to the classroom was more short of oppotunity to explore Delhi for me. Its wasn't a posh workshop where we formally stay in a hotel and get served with various delicacies. Its an event to learn as well as explore a bit of India. A lovely programme as a whole ! Recommended... :)

What would you improve about this program?
The program was much focused on issues related to India. It would be great if more of global perspective was added into the course.
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Istiak
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CSE Excelent way of learning environmental challenge in grassroot level

CSE course Centre for Science & Environment: Challenge of the Balance is a course where different mind from across the world get together in a learning environment where a participant can really think about the value of their life meeting with the real world. This curse helps in many ways to decide one's pathway to work on sustainability and to become well trained to achieve the goals.

What would you improve about this program?
Giving opportunity to the participants from diverse background by giving equal sponsorship.
Default avatar
Lindsay
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenge of the Balance 2014

This course covered a variety of topics using different lenses - environmental, cultural and gender issues, legal issues, that all link to the theme of sustainable development. The implication of the small decisions on the larger picture and vice versa, becomes clear and understanable as this course combines practical in the trip with the lectures by a wonderfully diverse selection of professionals and peoples invovled in environmental issues accross India.

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Penny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Useful and enjoyable

Although it was nearly 5 years ago that I went on this course, I still think about the things I learnt and the experiences I had very regularly. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in the environment and how the human race can mange thier impacts on it. The best thing about this course was the range of different learning styles we used and the people I met.

What would you improve about this program?
Shorter lectures and more Q&A time.
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Apoorva
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly Recommended!

One of the most memorable experiences of my life, this I feel is a must attend course; for all. It provided me with the rare opportunity of meeting interesting grassroot level organisations that applied innovative techniques to address issues for the environmental landscape in their areas. The course also shared profound knowledge about the much heard but less understood concepts of global warming, climate change and its effects on our everyday life.
Overall, this programme provides a unique platform for individuals from various fields to come under the same roof and initiate a socially responsible dialogue to bring about a small but meaningful change in the way we live our lives. I sincerely recommend this course.

What would you improve about this program?
It will be great if through this course the participants can engage themselves in a live project and make a tangible contribution to the society. This effort could initiate purposeful behavior change and allow people to accept the reality of environmental issues beyond the realm of the classroom.
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Jim
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immersive, wide-ranging, insightful, accessible course. Fantastic.

It's several years now since I did this course, but I have drawn on the learning and knowledge I gained from it and reflected on the experience many times since then. Only by fully appreciating the perspective of populations outside the Western hegemony will any progress be possible in addressing global concerns such as climate change in an equitable way. As well as providing an opportunity to appreciate such a perspective the course also highlights what adapting to the modern age means for a rapidly developing nation such as India with real transferable lessons for many other scenarios. As such this course is extremely valuable (if not vital) for anyone considering a career in any area concerned with international policy, development, disaster relief, environmental, social or economic issues. The course is suitable for anyone interested in these areas regardless of their existing first degree specialisation. All aspects of human endeavour can be improved by being mindful of the issues raised in this course.

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Sewa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Very good starting point for the undergraduates and graduates

It was the first time I travelled alone to a foreign country , experienced from planes to trains.The lectures are based on real world happenings and the lecturers themselves are experts in the topic. Field visits and assignments help to widen your horizon and add to your applied skills.

The food was awesome and on time. And you learn how to adjust in the international social situations and how things are perceived by people from different parts of the world. At least it was my first time. I am still connected to the friends I made there and we meet from time and again in different places and continents. It was really a life changing experience for me. Having this course on my bio data is one of the reasons I got accepted for the scholarship to study in Germany. I really recommend this course.

What would you improve about this program?
Less people in one room or maybe more toilets/bathrooms.
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Keren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly recommend

I'm from the UK and found out about this via EWB-UK (Engineers without borders).

I was hesitant about a few different things before going (India is very different to Europe), however everyone I met (fellow participants, staff at cse abd even just people on the street) were very friendly and I soon settled in.
Therefore if you think you might like it, then definitely apply!

Also I was the co-editor of the magazine in 2014 (summer) and I advise you to pick a large role as although it's more work it's a lot more fulfilling.

What would you improve about this program?
Hmm, maybe a little less specific to India (eg we has a couple of lectures that went into a lot of detail about Indian environmental law), aka generalise more.

Also the more field trips the better.
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Ratna
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good introduction to environment and ecology

This program was a very good introduction to environment and ecology. However, bare in mind that almost all lectures are based around issues in India. I did the course in summer of 2011 and spent 10 days attending lectures given by some of the field experts from India. The next 10 days were spent on a field trip where we were exposed to more practical learning. We also had the opportunity to publish a journal (last 10 days of the course) that was entirely delegated to the students of the course. Those last ten days of creating the journal magazine was very challenging but equally rewarding. Through the magazine, we had the opportunity to test our skills in writing, editing, creativity or photography. I'm not sure if the course structure has changed much but I would recommend the course to anyone who'd want to taster a course in environmental science. It's also a great way to meet people and travel around India.

What would you improve about this program?
The institution staff could have provided more support during the magazine phase of the course. Some of the lectures also could have been more interactive.

About Centre for Science and Environment

Center for Science and Environment is a premier environment think tank based out of New Delhi in India. It was first set up in 1982 when it introduced Compressed National Gas (CNG) as a fuel in order to reduce carbon emissions in India. It has since...