Admissions Open for Fully Funded Ph.D. Program
Last Date to Apply: July 31, 2021

About Amrita School for Sustainable Development

Guided by Amrita’s Chancellor, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, and inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the Amrita School for Sustainable Development (AST) conducts research and provides training that engage in participatory initiatives to foster social and environmental inclusivity and economic equity for rural communities in India. Led by internationally renowned faculty from multidisciplinary backgrounds, both from academia and industry, AST offers a fully funded Ph.D. program, an interdisciplinary experiential learning program in rural India for bachelors and masters students, and a minor in Sustainable Development. Research is conducted in several key development areas such as Health & Wellbeing, Climate Change & Risk Management, Water & Sanitation, Gender Equality, Peace & Social Justice, and Energy, among others. Utilizing a unique framework - Education for Life (E4Life) -  the School’s academic programs dynamically integrates social, economic, environmental, and cultural aspects of communities while assessing their needs, enabling global youth to experience, embrace, empower, and engage through a blend of both experiential and academic learning. 

In Jun2 2020, the UN awarded Amrita the UNESCO Chair for Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development. Under the Chair, a comprehensive framework for academic engagement has been developed to build sustainable communities via a curriculum emphasizing experiential learning.




 

Message from Our Chancellor

"In our approach to sustainable development, we should not forget that it is by strengthening the people at the base of the pyramid that the entire edifice of society becomes healthy and strong.”

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham


Our Inspiration

Sri. Mata Amritanandamayi (AMMA), a world-renowned humanitarian leader, is the founding Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Her vision of Education for a Living and Life, relentless focus on compassion driven research, and a commitment to instilling universal values have come together to shape Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham into an institution where the latest discoveries combine with service and social justice.

During the formative years of the University, the Chancellor guided students and faculty to immerse themselves in a humanitarian rescue and relief effort of unprecedented magnitude when a massive Tsunami struck in 2004. This became a gold mine of experiential learning in the areas of disaster management, healthcare, education, skills & livelihood, information and communication, and sustainability all targeted towards building resilient communities. The response and rehabilitation initiatives set out a trajectory of compassion driven research. In addition to having a strong societal benefit through real-world deployments that save lives and improve quality of living, research at Amrita also produces high-impact publications and patents.


Our Core Programs


Our Research Areas

Education
Health & Wellbeing
Energy
Water & Sanitation
Agriculture
Environment
Livelihood
Gender Equality
Climate Change & Risk Management
Peace & Justice
Policies & Governance

In the News


Press and Media


Connect with Us


Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh 

PGP Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
Dean, International Programs
UNESCO Chair for Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

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The School of Sustainable Development is home to a unique interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, a Double Ph.D. program, Amrita’s flagship experiential learning program (Live-in-Labs®), and the minor certificate in Sustainable Development. Students will have the opportunity to take courses, engage in real-world projects, and conduct research in over 10 key development areas and work with faculty guides who are leading subject matter experts from academia and industry.

Programs

Ph.D. Program

Amrita’s Ph.D. program in Sustainable Development is a multidisciplinary and theory-into-practice Ph.D. program offered under the School for Sustainable Development. The program is designed to provide an interdisciplinary grounding with its integrative courses, blending both experiential and academic learning.

Please Visit the Program Page for More Information

Live-in-Labs® - Short Term Program

Live-in-Labs® is a multidisciplinary experiential learning program that breaks classroom and lab barriers by applying learned theory in real-world settings. The program draws on principles of lean research for the development and deployment of sustainable solutions for current challenges faced by rural communities in India. By directly living in rural communities (labs) and co-designing solutions to development challenges, program participants gain first-hand knowledge and know-how of identifying and assessing community needs and subsequently developing and implementing viable solutions through various participatory methods.

Please Visit the Program Page for More Information

Kavitha Bhatnagar
Bachelors in Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, USA
“This program gave me my first experience in international health, which I am interested in pursuing. Now, I am more set on working with Doctors Without Borders after I finish my studies. I was also able to learn about the various aspects that a village needs to become developed.”

Live-in-Labs® - Masters

Amrita Masters students have a wonderful opportunity to apply their advanced theoretical knowledge and skills set in a variety of community sustainable development scenarios. Projects also provide a platform to engage in focused research and may provide a premise for a PhD. Interested students can contact their department coordinators to learn more about participating in the program.

Please Visit the Program Page for More Information

Ashwin Jaise
Masters in Social Work, Coimbatore Campus
“Live-in-Labs® is a platform where both learning and humanitarian activities take place - a place where students can practically apply learned ethos and live as one among a community. What is the power of youth if it cannot be channeled towards the development of the country? The Live-in-Labs® program gives us this opportunity to engage in service to society. This is an experience I will cherish for a very long time.”

Live-in-Labs® - Bachelors

The Amrita Live-in-Labs® program aims to expose youth to problems faced by rural communities in India. Through experiential learning opportunities, participants put theory into practice by generating innovative solutions, thereby facilitating critical and collaborative problem-solving skills. The program allows participants to study, observe, and interact with populations, while living in rural communities, to gain a better understanding of challenge areas. The program offers students a fantastic opportunity to directly apply classroom knowledge and even gain preliminary exposure to field research and developing sustainable solutions

Curriculum

Barnala Kiran Kumar
Bachelors in Computer Science & Engineering, Amritapuri Campus
“Live-in-Labs® taught me many things such as how to adapt to new environments, how to listen to people and understand their problems, and the importance of resources and basic needs like water, electricity, and housing. The program is the right path to help students apply what they have learned and think in creative ways to develop sustainable solutions.”

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh

Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh is the UNESCO Chair for Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development, the PGP Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies, Dean of International Programs, and Director & Professor at Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications (AWNA).

Advising: Engineering - Climate Change & Risk Reduction, Water & Sanitation, Energy, and Sustainable Community Development

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Dr. Karthik Sankaranarayanan

Dr. Karthik Sankaranarayanan is an Adjunct Faculty at the Amrita School of Sustainable Development.

Advising: Management - Agriculture, Livelihood, and Health & Wellbeing









 

Dr. Bhavani Rao R.

Dr. Bhavani Rao R. serves as the UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment, the Director of AMMACHI Labs, Chairperson and Associate Professor at the Department of Social Work, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Social Science - Water & Sanitation, Livelihood, Environment, Gender Equality, Climate Change & Risk Management

 

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Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan

Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan is the Dean of Post Graduate Programs, Director of the Center for Cybersecurity Systems and Networks, and CEO of Amrita Technology Business Incubator (Amrita TBI).

Advising: Engineering - Health & Wellbeing

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Dr. Prema Nedungadi

Dr. Prema Nedungadi is the Director of Amrita CREATE and Chairperson of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Engineering - Education, Agriculture, and Climate Change & Risk Management
 

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Dr. Sudheesh Manalil

Dr. Sudheesh Manalil serves as Professor and Head of Research at the School of Agricultural Sciences, Coimbatore campus.

Advising: Engineering - Agriculture and Water


 

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Dr. Sudesh K. Wadhawan

Dr. Sudesh K. Wadhawan currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Amrita Center for Wireless Networks & Applications (Amrita WNA), Amritapuri Campus.

Advising: Engineering - Climate Change & Risk Management and Agriculture

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Dr. Sanjay Pal

Dr. Sanjay Pal is an Associate Professor at the School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Biotechnology - Water & Sanitation and Livelihood


 

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Dr. Geetha Srikanth

Dr. Geetha Srikanth currently serves as Assistant Professor (Sr.Gr.), at the Amrita Centre of Excellence in Computational Engineering and Networking (CEN), Coimbatore Campus.

Advising: Engineering - Agriculture
 

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Dr. P. Janarthanan

Dr. P. Janarthanan is an Assistant Professor of Agronomy at the Amrita School of Agricultural Sciences, Coimbatore campus.

Advising: Agriculture


 

Dr. B Soundharajan

Dr. B. Soundharajan currently serves as Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Coimbatore campus.

Advising: Engineering - Water & Sanitation

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Dr. Nikhil K. Kothurkar

Dr. Nikhil K. Kothurkar currently serves as Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Coimbatore campus.

Advising: Engineering - Water & Sanitation

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Dr. Nandita Mishra

Dr. Nandita Mishra currently serves as Associate Professor at the School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Biotechnology - Water & Sanitation and Health & Wellbeing

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Dr. M. Ramu

Dr. M. Ramu currently serves as Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Coimbatore campus

Advising: Engineering - Energy and Agriculture

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Dr. Balamurugan S.

Dr. Balamurugan S. is Chairperson and Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Coimbatore campus.

Advising: Engineering- Energy
 

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Dr. Kalyani Suresh

Dr. Kalyani Suresh is the Vice Chairperson of the Department of Mass Communication, Coimbatore campus.

Advising: Arts, Media and Commerce - Health & Wellbeing
 

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Dr. Meltem Akoyak-Yildiz

Dr. Meltem Akoyak-Yildiz serves as an Assistant Professor at the Center for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Social Science - Climate Change & Risk Management, Education, and Waste Management

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Dr. Dhanya Manayath

Dr. Dhanya Manayath currently serves as an Assistant Professor (Sr. Gr.) at the Department of Management, Kochi campus.

Advising: Management - Health & Wellbeing
 

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Dr. Vivek Dubey

Dr. Vivek Dubey currently serves as Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Bengaluru campus.

Advising: Management - Health & Wellbeing and Agriculture


 

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Dr. Preetha Menon

Dr. Preetha Menon currently serves as Assistant Professor (Sr. Gr.) at Amrita Darshanam - International Center for Spiritual Studies, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Social Science - Health & Wellbeing and Gender Equality; Spirituality - Health & Wellbeing and Education

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Dr. Angan Sengupta

Dr. Angan Sengupta is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Management, Bengaluru campus.

Advising: Management - Livelihood




 

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Dr. Deepika M. G.

Dr. Deepika M.G. is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Management, Bengaluru campus.

Advising: Management - Livelihood

 

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Dr. Viswanathan P. K.

Dr. Viswanathan P. K. serves as a Professor at the Department of Management, Kochi campus.

Advising: Management (Economics) - Livelihood, Water & Sanitation, and Environment

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Dr. Rejikumar G.

Dr. Rejikumar G. is a Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Kochi campus.

Advising: Management - Livelihood and Agriculture
 

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Dr. Seshaiah Ponnekanti

Dr. Seshaiah Ponnekant is an Adjunct Faculty at the Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Management - Livelihood
 

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Dr. Priya Gupta

Dr. Priya Gupta is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Management, Bengaluru campus.

Advising: Management - Livelihood and Gender Equality
 

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Dr. Malini Frey

Dr. Malini Frey is a Professor at the Center for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Management - Gender Equality; Social Science - Gender Equality, Health & Wellbeing, and Education

Dr. Cinchu Bose

Dr. Cinchu Bose is an Assistant Professor at the School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri campus.

Advising: Biotechnology - Livelihood

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Dr. P. Sivaraj

Dr. P. Sivaraj is an Assistant Professor at the Amrita School of Agricultural Sciences, Coimbatore campus.

Advising: Biotechnology - Livelihood

 

To be Updated Soon!

Live-in-Labs®

Live-in-Labs® is a multidisciplinary experiential learning program that breaks classroom and lab barriers by applying learned theory in real-world settings. This credit-based academic program draws on principles of lean research for the development and deployment of sustainable solutions for current challenges faced by rural communities in India. By directly living in rural communities (labs) and co-designing solutions to development challenges, program participants gain first-hand knowledge and know-how of identifying and assessing community needs and subsequently developing and implementing viable solutions through various participatory methods. With over 150 projects in 21 states across India, Live-in-Labs participants have touched the lives of approximately 60,000 rural residents during the past several years. With participation from over 30 institutions around the world and nearly 50 departments, schools, and centres at Amrita, students and faculty have clocked in a monumental 200,000 + hours in the field working towards sustainable development in rural communities.

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On June 12, 2020, the United Nations awarded Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham the UNESCO Chair for Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development. Under the guidance of Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh, PGP Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies, Dean of International Programs, and Director of the Center for Wireless Networks & Applications, the University will develop a comprehensive framework for academic engagement to build sustainable communities by designing a curriculum based on experiential learning. This curriculum will enable the academic community to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to implement sustainable solutions among vulnerable and rural communities.

As part of the activities for this Chair, Amrita will conduct PG teaching programs (including Joint Ph.D., Double Ph.D. and Dual Masters programs), short-term certificate courses, research (including a seed-grant program for students and faculty), conferences, scholarships, and installation of model labs to check the practicality of solutions for sustainable development before they are implemented in communities. Amrita will be the coordinating university for the development and implementation of a curriculum, applicable to fourteen selected UN SDGs for sustainable development, by virtue of its extensive experience in conducting the Live-in-Lab® program for the sustainable development of villages in India. After carrying out a systematic pilot implementation of the program and demonstrating its immense success, Amrita intends to scale up the program to national and international levels through the established UNESCO chair under the guidance of the United Nations.

Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh

PGP Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies,
Dean, International Programs,
UNESCO Chair for Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development,
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

unescochairelsid@am.amrita.edu

As a UNESCO Chair, Amrita becomes part of more than 700 educational institutions that share knowledge and expertise to improve their educational and research capacities. Launched in 1992, the UNESCO Chair program promotes international inter-institutional cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The UNESCO Chair will be held by Dr. Maneesha for the next four years.

To be Updated Soon!

Latest Events

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s UNESCO Chair on Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation and Development, Amrita School for Sustainable Development, and Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications are hosting an international symposium on IoT & ML for Ecosystem Restoration & Multi-hazard Resilience (ISIM 2021) to explore the emerging role of IoT and ML to manage ecosystem restoration and multi-hazards resilience on global and local scales. ISIM, ISIM 2021, ISIM2021
Date: June 5, 2021 to June 9, 2021
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s UNESCO Chair in Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation and Development, the Amrita School for Sustainable Development, and India Water Partnership (IWP) are hosting an International Symposium on Water Sustainability: Challenges, Technologies & Opportunities (IWSS 2021) in light of World Water Day. This symposium will explore water sustainability global and local challenges, with the intent of unveiling the technologies adopted and realized opportunities in relation to water sustainability.
Date: March 22, 2021 to March 25, 2021
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and University of Missouri (USA) are jointly organizing a two-day International Virtual Symposium on "Smart Community Security & Resilience”.
Date: February 19, 2021 to February 21, 2021
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (Government of India), the Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (ESSO-INCOIS), the Amrita School for Sustainable Development, the Center for Wireless Networks & Applications, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s UNESCO Chairs, and Esri India are jointly hosting an international symposium.
Date: December 26, 2020

Contact

Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh

PGP Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
Dean, International Programs
UNESCO Chair for Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
unescochairelsid@am.amrita.edu
ispgp@amrita.edu                             
+91-476-280-4160
+91-476-280-4152

If you have any questions about the PhD in Sustainable Development Program, please contact:

Ms. Archana Venkatesh / Ms. Pooja Pushparaj

ispgp@amrita.edu                             
internationalphd@am.amrita.edu
international@amrita.edu              
+91-476-280-4160
+91-476-280-4152

Postal Address

Center for International Programs,
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham,
Amritapuri, Clappana (P. O.),
Kollam - 690 525. Kerala, India
Office Hours: Monday - Saturday
(9:00 am to 5:30 pm)