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First IGCS Policy Brief for 2023 published

IGCS Area Coordinator for the focus area Land Use / Rural and Urban Development Development at IIT Madras, Dr. Ashwin Mahalingam, and former IIT Madras student Pokhraj Nayak, affiliated with the Building Technology & Construction Management (BTCM) Group, Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Madras have published their policy brief titled “How Green will Chennai be? Understanding and Reducing the Carbon Footprint due to Residential and Commercial Construction over the next two decades.” As India urbanizes rapidly, buildings account for significant energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The construction industry, particularly in cities like Chennai, contributes a quarter of CO2 emissions. Without mitigation efforts, these emissions will escalate, but recycling materials, choosing energy-efficient alternatives, and employing available technologies can help reduce carbon emissions and address the environmental impact of urbanization.

You can read more in the published policy brief, which you can also download below:

Are you interested in research on sustainability issues? The Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) awards scholarships to students and researchers whose projects on sustainability issues benefit from a research exchange to India or Germany. Our research fellows receive a one-time travel fund in addition to a monthly scholarship. The scholarship provides travel and living expenses according to DAAD funding rates, as a rule. The Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) offers scholarships to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Learn more about scholarship opportunities.

Leibniz Universität Hannover is IGCS new Partner University

We welcome Leibniz Universität Hannover as our new partner university at the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS). We are excited to have PD Dr.-Ing. habil Dirk Weichgrebe from the department of Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management, who is joining our team as the new IGCS Area Coordinator for the Focus Area of Waste Management. We look forward to the valuable contributions and collaborations our new members will bring to the IGCS family. Let’s work together to achieve meaningful and sustainable outcomes.

Dr. Daniel Rosado, IGCS Post-doc, Visits Chennai India

The IGCS team in Germany had the opportunity to visit IIT Madras in Chennai last month where they were engaged in research and exchange teaching programs. Dr. Daniel Rosado, IGCS post-doc in the area of Sustainable Water Management and from Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel shares the premise of his work in Chennai:

“Unplanned urbanization can have negative effects on the environment. At the IGCS we investigate how the lakes of Chennai, India, are affected by this uncontrolled urbanization and we look for ways to improve this situation.”

Do you want to conduct your research with IGCS and our focus areas? We offer research grants to students interested in the field of sustainability. Visit our Grants page for more information.

IGCS Winter School 2023

Microgrid — A Key Contribution Towards Carbon Neutral Society

Date: 20 February to 03 March 2023

Venue: IIT Madras, Chennai, India


Energy transition, clean energy, sustainability, carbon neutrality, defossilization as well as energy security have become primary targets and concerns worldwide.

Access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy is not only the key to the attainment of these targets but also the main promoter in achieving other sustainable development goals SDGs such as quality education, health, clean water, and sanitation in addition to different social services.

Based on the three main trends shaping the current and future global energy landscape – defossilization, decentralization, and digitalization – the promotion of renewable energy systems, mainly through microgrids is becoming one of the potential approaches and an innovative and viable solution toward a clean energy future, especially in areas not served by centralized electrical infrastructure. 

Arising from the idea that energy security, economic benefits, and clean energy integration are the main drivers of microgrid development and deployment worldwide, this winter school aims at demonstrating microgrids as reliable and resilient power systems from different perspectives.

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

  • Recognizing the concept of microgrid, its components, operation, modeling, and optimization.
  • Identifying the main challenges and outstanding issues in the ubiquitous/ widespread application of microgrids from economic, environmental, and social perspectives.
  • Proposing innovative solutions and strategies to implement microgrids as a sustainable energy system.


This Winter School will run for twelve days from February 20th until March 3rd, 2023, and will have two major work streams. The mornings and afternoons will be reserved for lectures and talks given by Indian and German academics and practitioners. The second workstream is dedicated to project work (see below). 


The School will consist of lectures, group work, panel discussions, excursions, and intercultural exchanges.

The Winter School 2023 will be a physical event in Chennai, India.


The course is open to German* and Indian Masters and Ph.D. Students. Knowledge of energy topics is required. The number of participants is limited to 30 (15 German /15 Indian).

Selected participants from German universities will receive a mobility scholarship of up to 1050 EUR as well as a scholarship of 325 EUR to cover living expenses during the School.

Selected participants from Indian universities will be reimbursed for their travels by train.

IGCS is covering the cost of the stay.

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


Interested students may apply through the 2023 Application Form. The application deadline is 15 December 2022. Please note that the applications received after this date will not be considered.

The link is open from 05.10.2022 – 15.12.2022, 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 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 participation in the School.
  4. University study program enrolment certificate
  5. Passport Copy

Positive results will be announced by the end of December 2022. We kindly ask you to refrain from inquiries about the application status in the meantime. Your data will be deleted if you are not accepted.


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


IGCS Area Coordinators for Energy, Prof. Dr. Krishna Vasudevan (Indian Institute of Technology Madras), Prof. Dr. Frank Behrendt (Technical University Berlin), and Dr. Khulud Alsouleman (Technical University Berlin).

This advertisement is based on the condition of funding through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the funding period 2023 – 2024.

IGCS conducts a workshop on Agroecology: Exploring Food System Transformation in the Chennai Region

As a result of our research in the Peri-Cene project and the Indo-German Dialogues on Green Urban Practices, we conducted a Workshop on “Agroecology: Exploring Food System Transformation in the Chennai Region” on Friday 26th August.

The event, funded by IGCS, was organized in collaboration with the Chennai Resilience Centre, Care Earth Trust, and the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre. More than 40 delegates gathered to exchange and share their views on periurban agriculture, urban gardening, and farming with the objective to identify options for how to create a network coalition for the metro-region of Chennai. Besides expert talks and interactive World Cafe sessions, we co-created a Nature Mandala and enjoyed folk music from Tamil Nadu related to farming.

Symposium: “Tsunami Risk Reduction & Community Resilience

The Amrita Center for Wireless Networks & Applications, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham UNESCO Chairs and Esri India are jointly hosting a Virtual International Symposium titled ‘Tsunami Risk Reduction & Community Resilience’ on December 26, 2020 from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. (IST). The symposium aims to reflect on the imprints of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the subsequent impact on the global society, and advances in science and technology to build sustainable and resilient communities. 

The symposium will provide a platform to policy makers, technological innovators, the oceanography industry and researchers to come together and share their insights, as well as throw light on some of the key technological advancements and strategies that help to develop resilient communities across the world. It will address the following key areas, through two main themes.  

Theme 1: Tsunami – Responses & Lessons Learnt

Theme 2: Tsunami – Are we ready for the Future?

Key presentation areas:

  • Case Studies addressing the response of the international fraternity
  • Response, Governance, & Community Resilience Presentation
  • Technological Innovations – Monitoring, Detection and Early Warning Systems

The event will bring forth a detailed report that will summarize the current preparedness that has been developed for Tsunami, and will give an insight into the strategic planning framework that needs to be developed for improving the resilience for the coastal communities across the globe. 

We welcome you to join this endeavour. It would be great if you could pass this information to interested students and other colleagues as well. 

Registration Link :