Category: News

Jugendkonferenz 2021

Goethe Institute Bangalore and the German School Board Abroad in New Delhi is organizing an online event Jugendkonferenz (Youth Conference) starting November 14th until November 20th, 2021 in the virtual rooms of the Goethe-Institut Bangalore. The theme of this year’s conference is “Future: We can do it.” The focus is on how we can enable every single person to live in dignity, freedom and peace in an intact and functional environment in the future.

IGCS’ postdocs: Dr Christoph Woiwode, Dr Khulud Alsouleman, Dr Daniel Rosado, and Dr Gabriela Garcés Sánchez will offer workshops at the event.

The objective of the workshop and lectures is to provide suggestions as to which sustainable measures one can take to shape our collective future together sustainably. In addition, participants will receive first-hand experiences in a practical exchange with fellow colleagues and find opportunities to act responsibly together.

For more information visit the website here.

IGCS Winter & Summer School 2021 Alumni Testimonial

-By Purnanjali Chandra

The water sector has always been intriguing, which eventually brought me to the Winter and later the Summer Schools in 2021 under the Indo-German Center for Sustainability (IGCS). Furthermore, having a postgraduate specialization in Water Policy and Governance from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, the courses at the IGCS added great value to my holistic and sub-sectoral understanding of the domain. It exposed me to discourses on inland water transportation (IWT), the complexities of converging ecosystems such as estuaries and mangroves formed due to saltwater-freshwater intrusion, their impacts on communities, and the challenges around ensuring sustainability and better governance. 

The design of the courses during both the schools was optimized to enable the best imparting of knowledge in a virtual medium. A comparative narrative through case studies and scenario analysis has been a key component of the learning modules. Speakers from both India and Germany shared their expertise on various topics under IWT and saltwater – freshwater ecosystem across both schools. They spoke about the sustainable practices, the evolving nature of research and the models that have been designed, such as under the Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany, to detect the chain of deteriorating climate change impacts on the IWT sector. Furthermore, extensive panel discussions followed these lecture sessions, which created a vivacious space for exchanging ideas and knowledge among panellists and school participants. The discussions underlined the developments, challenges and potential scopes for both countries to learn from one another. Through these varieties of sessions, the learning hours were mindfully mapped to allow us to know and process and absorb the information shared. During both the schools, the courses were designed with an interdisciplinary approach where science, society and policies were extensively discussed, such as during lectures on IWT, Indian and German environmental policies were analyzed besides technology while in lectures on saltwater-freshwater intrusion, the importance of community participation in ecosystem management were highlighted. These lectures and concepts made the most relevant sense to me during the “working group” sessions. These being intensively peer-driven gave us enough space to research and explored different facets of the topic chosen for the school. 

Besides academics, a great part of the schools was the intercultural sessions on Zoom. Even during this pandemic, the session remarkably provided a great platform for making new friends and interacting with people of diverse cultures from different parts of the world.

Figure 1. Breakout rooms during Intercultural sessions

Additionally, the Wonderme sessions during the summer school enhanced this experience for me. It served more like a virtual “out of classroom” interaction space for us. We were also given weekend activities that we showcased in the initial hours of the school on Mondays, which certainly helped us beat the Monday blues!! Even the student lectures designed as a part of the school accentuated the culture of peer-learning where students got the opportunity to present their research work and drive interesting discussions and exchange of ideas.

Figure 2. IGCS Group Winter School 2021

Every day of the two weeks spent virtually during both summer and winter schools had been an enriching experience for me. It was a vibrant space of constant learning and unlearning of aspects of the water sector with people of diverse capacities and interests. The working group culture was also one of the key motivations for my application. The opportunity to learn about a subject in detail and then present the same through teamwork and guidance of supervisors indeed felt quite rewarding to me. Last but not least, IGCS and its schools provided me with immense scopes of networking and helped me plan for my higher education. 

Winter School 2022

Winter School 2022

Sustainable Waste Management for a Circular Economy

Date: 21 February to 04 March 2022

Venue: Virtual Event


Growing economies with the current linear production and consumption systems are creating an imbalance in the environment and in the flow of materials and resources. Huge amounts of waste are generated as a result of anthropogenic activities, and the management capacities of these waste streams are already over the limit. With the climate challenges and the current increase in demand and shortage of resources, the handling of wastes requires circular approaches that permit the recovery of resources for a more sustainable economy. The conventional thinking about wastes “out of sight – out of mind” should be replaced by “waste-to-wealth” for a sustainable society. Efficient waste management systems are necessary to reduce pollution of water, air and soil, and for the protection of the natural resources and our ecosystems. Sustainable waste management is an important element towards a circular economy and the reduction of emissions. Moreover, it can enable a more just and healthy society.

Addressing sustainable waste and resource management requires an interdisciplinary and integrated approach that considers advances in research, technological implementations, reuse and recycling approaches, management and regulatory aspects, as well as the socio-economic and environmental considerations.

This edition of the IGCS winter school is focused on municipal solid waste management, plastic waste management, industrial waste management and responsible reuse of wastewater, wherein experts from India and Germany would share their experiences and best practices for a sustainable society.

It brings together Indian and German students who will jointly and interactively develop their skills with the following learning outcomes:

  1. Develop a fundamental and holistic understanding of the different waste-to-value processes.
  2. Evaluate different technologies for resource, materials and energy recovery from wastes from a sustainability and environment viewpoint.
  3. Propose innovative and circular solutions to practical waste management problems.


This Winter School will run for twelve days from February 21st until March 4th 2022 and will have two major work streams. The mornings and afternoons will be reserved for lectures and talks given by German and Indian academics and practitioners. The second workstream is dedicated to project work (see below).


The school will consist of lectures, group works, panel discussions, excursions and intercultural exchanges.

In view of the ongoing pandemic situation, the Winter School 2022 will be held in a virtual format.


The course is open to German* and Indian Master and PhD. Students. Knowledge of sustainability topics is of advantage. The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 30 (15 German /15 Indian). Selected participants will receive a scholarship of €240.00 for their participation in the virtual event.

*Non-German students and university graduates can apply if they are enrolled in a course of study at a German university with the aim of obtaining a degree at a German university. For more Information check DAAD-Website: Bewerbungen um ein Stipendium (German only).


Interested students may apply through the 2022 Application Form. The application deadline is extended to 03. December 2021. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

The link is open from 19. October 2021 – 03. December 2021 7 PM CET/11:30 PM IST. You will need to register first before you enter the actual form. You can switch between German and English. Please read the instructions carefully, including the help notes that are attached to many entry boxes.

Please prepare the following documents to be uploaded through the form:

  1. CV
  2. Transcript of records of last completed semester/graduation certificate
  3. Letter of recommendation from an academic supervisor. It should state your academic and personal qualifications for the participation of the school.
  4. Enrolment certificate

Positive results will be announced by December 2021. We kindly ask you to refrain from inquiries about the application status in the meantime. Your data will be deleted if you were not accepted.


Please contact project coordinator Lisa van Aalst or Dr Anna Uffmann if you have any questions.


IGCS Area Coordinators for Waste, Prof. Dr Vinu (IITM), Prof. Dr Martin Kranert (University of Stuttgart), and Dr Gabriela Garcés (University of Stuttgart).



IGCS-motan Workshop

#sustainabilitychallenge – Taking a step further towards sustainability

Your ideas are too good to be forgotten!

IGCS and motan are carrying out a two-day virtual workshop.

2021 Flyer on IGCS motan Workshop

Have you always had ideas on how to revolutionise the way we work and live with plastics in a sustainable way?

Then take part in our #sustainabilitychallenge: ‘Reduce | Re-Use | Recycle | Recover – Challenges and strategies in the handling of plastics’ and make a difference – shape the future with your innovative and sustainable ideas. 

Our collaborative efforts are dedicated to helping students from Indian and German academic institutions to develop and foster sustainable ideas. This workshop is a continuation of our joint vision: incorporate innovative and sustainable ideas generation in interdisciplinary research, teaching, training and exchange in the area of sustainable development. Together motan and IGCS would like to motivate and support students to conduct research in the area of plastics and the circular economy.

Thus, IGCS and motan jointly extend an invitation to be a part of our event. We are always looking for motivated students to carry out a research project or an industry internship supported by motan and the IGCS.

Applications are now open. Please find the link here.

Deadline: 22. November 2021

Workshop Details:

Date: 7 – 8 December 2021

Program: Impulse lectures by domain experts, work in small groups on related topics and presentations

Target group: Students enrolled in a post-graduate (Masters) or doctoral program

Award: The winner will get the opportunity to work out a research project or an industry internship with the support of motan and the IGCS


● Letter of Motivation

● CV

● Certification of enrolment (in current university)

About motan

Sustainability is a core value within the motan culture. This means not only the products, solutions and the behaviour but also the training of young people and the development of global networks. In addition to social aid and cultural projects, the foundation’s focus is on introducing social responsibility into business activities. For more information on motan and their activities, please visit the link.

IGCS Podcast Launches

IGCS is proud to present its new installment to our media center- The IGCS Podcast.

The first season of the podcast provides insights into interdisciplinary training, teaching, exchange, and research in the area of sustainable development. We provide expert views and insights from our experts and professionals on their views concerning different barriers to sustainability and how IGCS is working to overcome challenges and the success stories so far.

Our first episode of the podcast is now out and we asked Prof. Nicola Fohrer and Prof. S.A. Sannasiraj about the challenges of managing coastal and inland water systems.

Please follow the link below for more information:

IITM Research Initiatives Spotlight (IRIS) Launches New Webinar Series

IITM Research Initiatives Spotlight (IRIS), the new series launched by IIT Madras, will be hosting the third webinar on Circular Economy Technology Cluster.

The webinar will start at 05:30 PM (IST) on 13th July 2021.

Link to Register:

Prof. Ligy Philip, Dean Planning, and Prof. B.S. Murty, Institute Chair Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering from #IITMadras, will be addressing Water and Sustainability from 05:30 P.M. (IST) onwards with Prof. Nicola Fohrer, Director, Insititute of Natural Resource Conservation, Dept. of Hydrology & Water Resources Mgmt, University of Kiel, Germany as the moderator. The overreaching aim of this research initiative is to solve challenging problems in water management using the framework of a circular economy in order to achieve sustainability and water security in the backdrop of rapidly developing economies and impending climate change.

Prof. Manu Santhanam, HOD, Prof. Ravindra Gettu, Dean IC&SR, Prof. Benny Raphael, Prof. Ashwin Mahalingam, Dept. of Civil Engineering, will be addressing Low Carbon Lean Construction Technologies from 06:15 P.M. (IST) onwards with Prof. Mark Alexander, Emeritus Profesor, Civil Engineering, Senior Research Scholar, the University of Cape Town as the moderator. The aim of this initiative is to develop innovative low-carbon, lean construction technologies for minimizing waste throughout the construction value-chain, and lead solution implementation across organizational, and policy levels.

For more information, follow IIT Madras on their Facebook page:

German-Indian Higher Education Dialogue

6th July 2021. Tuesday. 11.00 AM – 12.30 PM CET (2.30 PM -4.00 PM IST)

German Varsity in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indo Euro Synchronization is organizing a unique virtual event: ” Germany- India Dialogue on Higher Education” in order to address the need of the hour topics of Higher Education between India and Germany.

The event aims to bring policymakers, decision-makers from academia & industry from both countries to share best practices under the current circumstances and to encourage bilateral relations in the Higher education, Science, and technology sectors in the near future.


This is an opportune moment to celebrate our 70th year of Indo-German diplomatic relations, and adopting the new normal in order to achieve quality higher education practices between India and Germany.
This event will be very fruitful for Higher Education institutions, policymakers, education enthusiasts, and students across both countries.
Please register by clicking the following link to block your seat:


Event Number: 156 672 0506
Event Password: tvV8JmcY3v4
Video Address:

In the case of questions, please feel free to write us at or or look into

IGCS Postdoc Dr. Christoph Woiwode organizes Covid-19 Emergency Relief in Chennai

We are currently facing unprecedented suffering, pain, and loss in many parts of India across innumerable hospitals and in people’s homes. What goes rather unnoticed at the moment is the impact on food and nutrition, especially for the deprived communities such as the shelterless, slum dwellers, migrant workers, and, of course, children. This is even aggravated when families have lost their main breadwinner.

IGCS Postdoc Dr. Christoph Woiwode has initiated an emergency relief for such communities in Chennai and other parts of India. This is an initiative leveraging personal contacts through well-established connections to several organizations on the ground to ensure money is used sensibly and for its intended purpose.

Dr. Woiwode has been in touch with the Information and Research Centre for Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC), a local organization in Chennai, for the past two years which works for the rights of the slum, squatter, and shelterless people. This is an NGO that is rooted in the slums and highly committed. Last year he also initiated an in-kind collection of toys, books, stationery, and clothes for children of a huge slum resettlement housing complex near his home.

Commenting on his initiative, Dr. Woiwode says: ” The second wave in India is even more devastating for the poor who have not been able to recover from last year’s impacts. Only recently I again received a call for donations from them.” (images below)


Dr. Woiwode is now organizing an international call for support to these and other deprived people such as migrants, shelterless, and slum dwellers in Chennai.

“At this stage, we intend to provide immediate emergency relief (food and other daily needs). I will be personally involved in the execution and implementation of the emergency activities with IRCDUC to ensure funds reach the intended beneficiaries,” he says.

Beyond this, his team is planning two additional, more mid-term activities. First, to use the donations to set up a Livelihoods Relief Fund to provide seed funding for small self-employed enterprises to get back into business whenever possible, or to establish a new income-generating activity. Second, develop a mid-term food strategy. He says, “Food insecurity, shortages, and malnutrition have dramatically increased as people lost their already precarious, informal, employment. This is directed to move from immediate relief to mid-/long-term food security.”

If you wish to support the cause through financial donations please refer to the bank details below. This is a personal call and not made via a large organization. Hence donations are based on trust and can be done to Dr. Christoph Woiwode’s personal accounts. To be updated and informed about the ongoing work after making donations, you can kindly drop an email to

Bank Details:

Please state purpose: CHENNAI COVID-19 RELIEF


(Note: German and EU tax law does generally not allow for tax reclamation of donations to organizations in countries like the USA, Canada, and African, Latin American and Asian countries)

For international, secure transactions especially from outside the EU or from EU countries directly into the Indian account, it is recommend using

Read more on Dr. Woiwode’s work published by Indien Aktuell