Certificate in Border Studies

It is increasingly being recognized in the study of international relations that border regions represent dynamic subsystems constituted by complex socio-economic and political interlinkages between communities that transcend established interstate boundaries at the local level.


The concept of interstate borders (and the functional role of frontier regions) in international relations has undergone a fundamental shift. Thus, The “unifying, symbolic, dividing, and exclusionary role of a border as a founding principle of a sovereign state”[1] is now being contested with the establishment of the field of Borderlands and Border Studies. The key findings of these new domains of research indicate that “social scientists, historians, anthropologists, economists, and functionalists have identified the crucial role of borderland communities as organized polities within the larger institutional architecture of their state of belonging and have underlined the importance of local culture.”[2] According to Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (2005) the literature on borders, boundaries, frontiers, and borderland regions suggests four analytical lenses to interpret and understand borderlands: “(1) market forces and trade flows, (2) policy activities of multiple levels of governments on adjacent borders, (3) the particular political clout of borderland communities, and (4) the specific culture of borderland communities.”[3] 


The centrality of border communities to foreign policy, especially in the case of India is even less understood, given the marked absence of courses/departments specializing in border studies. Thus, despite 111 Districts (covering 394 Blocks across 17 states) being located adjacent to land boundaries, there is a significant shortage of academic programmes that facilitates direct long-term engagement with local governance institutions located in border districts, development organizations, academic institutions and border communities.[4] The lack of interface between stakeholders in border districts (local government, civil society and communities) and academic programmes (especially teaching programmes in the field of international relations and related disciplines) is thus leading to the emergence of serious inequities and deficits that mark academic policy engagement on border issues. The inequity in knowledge generation refers to the lack of community engagement or direct community participation (by academic institutions) in the development of empirical policy-oriented research. Thus contextually appropriate practices or solutions are often overlooked due to critical errors in the design process itself (which excludes or renders invisible the direct inputs from the stakeholders). These in-built limitations of research and policy designs (that are non-participatory) also leads to a deficit. In other words, the complexity underlying the empirical realities of border regions cannot be captured through unidimensional lenses or from traditional conceptions of the state and the elements sovereignty.


Consequently, the unitary conception of state-society relationships, has led the field of international relations (and associated fields like security/strategic studies) especially in India, with its focus on foreign (and strategic) policy to overlook as well ignore the high density of formal and informal transboundary cooperation/networks at the sub-national level. In many cases these sub-national cooperative transboundary networks are driving innovation or leading to the establishment of new models or pathways in development, outside statist understandings of border development.

[1] Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly. 2010. “The State of Borders and Borderlands Studies 2009:  A Historical View and a View from the Journal of Borderlands Studies”, Eurasian Border Review. 1/1 Spring:5-6.

[2] Ibid.6.

[3] Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, “Theorizing Borders: An Interdisciplinary Perspective,” Geopolitics 10(4): 633.

[4] See https://badp.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/blockdistrict.pdf for details [Accessed 06/02/2019].

It is clear that communities in these specific locations across border districts face vulnerabilities that emanate from a number of factors. These include macro-level factors such geopolitical uncertainty and changes in foreign policy paradigms to micro-level variables such as geographical isolation, ethnic politics, uncertainties in access to neighboring countries, difficulties in access to essential government services (such as education facilities, health infrastructure and welfare programmes), conflict, natural hazards and extreme weather events. Evaluations conducted on the existing state-driven developmental programmes specifically for border areas point to severe bottlenecks in programme implementation.


These bottlenecks arise out of inappropriate models, the lack of community participation and over reliance on infrastructure-centric projects (versus the development of human and social capital). At the same time one must point out that a number of new cross-cutting developmental and public policy innovations are also emerging in these areas, that seek to redress some of the deficits outlined earlier. Despite the centrality of border districts to promoting socio-economic and political stability at the sub-regional (and regional) level, there are very few academic programmes that provide long-term systematic analysis of the developmental challenges facing the communities living in border districts.

The Certificate Programme in Border Studies seeks to bridge the existing gaps identified above by building on (and consolidating) an innovative curriculum that was developed since 2012 in various formats culminating in the Winter Institutes on Border Development. The original curriculum consisted on two elements: a) academic coursework and b) field visit and data collection. After multiple cycles of the programme, the transition to a full-fledged Certificate Programme, was required in order to increase the permanence, depth and scope of the original framework.


The current Certification, also marks a transition in the level of interface and networking that was initiated by the previous cycles via the original Winter Institutes. Whereas the prior cycles were exploratory in nature and documented cross-border flows in livelihoods, trade, governance and public health, the next cycles under the new framework will aim for further specialization and imparting specific skills in Community Development and Practice for tackling vulnerabilities in Border Areas.


In addition to conducting fieldwork in select border districts, the focus is also on adding further skills based components. These components include conceptualizing and implementing development projects in border areas. Participants will focus on project design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, data collection, data analysis and learning. They will also incorporate learnings from local governance practice of the neighboring countries in the field sites.


One of the central components of the programme is the dovetailing of the course with awareness generation (and training) on the primary mechanism for the state-led development scheme implemented across all border districts (i.e. the Border Areas Development Programme-BADP) and other related schemes such as Civic Action Programmes (CAP) being implemented by designated Border Guarding Forces (BGFs). In other words, not only will participants be introduced to community development from the perspective of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), they will also be trained in the technical aspects of innovative government welfare schemes, with a special focus on the BADP/CAP framework.


It is also to be noted that there are four fundamental principles that underlie the Certificate course. The first is encouraging participants engage in “design thinking” about seemingly intractable development deficits and policy bottlenecks that are facing stakeholders in border regions. The certification should be seen as “system of spaces rather than a predefined series of orderly steps.”[1] Furthermore, these spaces “demarcate different sorts of related activities that together form the continuum of innovation.”[2] A second feature of the programme is to develop technical proficiency in engaging (and assessing) Government and NGO-led developmental planning mechanisms. The third is to develop policy action research and appropriate research tools for understanding transboundary issues. And, fourth, to build long-term cooperative partnerships between participants and communities as well as institutions in the areas of study.

[1] Brow, Tim. 2008. “Design Thinking,” Harvard Business Review, June 2008, p. 4.

[2] Brow, Tim. 2008. “Design Thinking,” Harvard Business Review, June 2008, p. 4.

The Certificate Programme in Border Studies is an amalgamation of various best practices and lessons learned from prior cycles of extension learning programmes as well as field research projects conducted by the Border Studies Programme and Center for Study of Political Violence (CSPV) at JSIA.


These include the Joint Internship Programme in Humanitarian Healthcare 2013 [Assam], Training Workshop on Working in Disaster Relief 2013[Assam], Pubic Health in Complex Emergencies and Conflicts Project (2012-2015), Community Peace and Social Recovery Fellowship 2015, Winter Institute in Development Planning for India Borderland Regions (WIDPBR) 2016 [Bodoland], Community Based Conflict Early Warning Project, Conflict Sensitivity Workshop, Winter Institute in Development Planning for Bhutan-India India Borderland Regions, 2017, JSIA-NEISSR (Nagaland) internship programme 2018, JSIA-NEISSR Student Immersion Programme & Partnership Engagement and Network Meeting 2019 and the JSIA-NEISSR Summer School on Transboundary Social Innovation and Community Development Practices in Border Areas 2019. The previous experience was critical as it led to the development of a Programme Management Cycles and learnings in terms of fieldwork protocols, contingency planning and logistics.


The previous programmes also led to the development of research topics that were developed in a collaborative manner. Whereas the previous programmes successfully linked participants to governance institutions and civil society organizations, it was observed that a more sustained and enhanced engagement (as well as outreach) was needed.

The central innovation of the Certificate Programme in Border Studies is to develop an academic platform that allows for collaborations to emerge between community based organziations working in border districts, district level government institutions, border communities, participants of the programme and the faculty/resource persons. The central aim is providing policy recommendations that reflect the empirical realities of border communities. Given the previous iterations, the programme in its current form can be described a multi-institutional and multi-stakeholder academic/fieldwork intensive programme. The curriculum is unique as it moves beyond the setting of the university, and allows for a common forum whereby practitioners (and organizations) based in border areas and academic institutions jointly develop curriculum that is not only dynamic but also contributing to the core policy goals outlined earlier. The Certification also seeks to allow for the integration of participants with developmental projects and institutions in the designated areas of fieldwork, and it is envisaged that alumni of the programme, will engage with communities well beyond the conclusion of the programme cycle. The programme can be thus envisaged in a number of ways:


  • First, as a Credited Field Course and Certificate Programme which allows for emerging young scholars of social sciences to be sensitized to developmental and governance challenges faced by those residing in border regions (through a structured curriculum, field visits and networking).
  • Second, as a Mechanism to critically reexamine the fundamental concepts of international relations: sovereignty, borders, formal and informal trade and cross-border cooperation.
  • Third, as a Platform that allows participants to develop original research and policy action projects and building an interface with organizations and government officials working in the borderland regions.
  • Fourth, as a Forum for Policy Innovation that leads to the documentation of best practices and development of new models for cross-border cooperation through rigorous comparative and participatory analysis.

The Certificate Programme in Border Studies is envisaged to be conducted on a rolling basis, from different sites (anchored by any one of the partner institutions), based on a key thematic focus. In addition, it is envisaged that continuous policy engagement with partner institutions will allow for and additional activities including internships throughout the year. Included in the calendar of activities is one annual event [policy workshops and conference] that will be conducted at JGU or in an additional location. In the short term the following five areas are envisaged: Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Bangladesh Border (Community Development and Practice in Border Areas), Line of Control (LoC) Districts (BADP Evaluation, Rehabilitation Policy, Civic Action and CBMs), Indo-Myanmar in the Second World War, Indo-Myanmar (Border Trade and Political Economy), Border Areas Community Development (Indo-Myanmar), Border Areas Community Development and Trade (Myanmar-Thailand-Mae-Sot).

 The programme will further develop long-term partnership agreements across the states of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura well outreach in Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and other countries.

The curriculum is divided into multiple phases with specific learning outcomes for every stage. There are two central elements in the delivery of the programme. First, that the academic curriculum is dynamic and takes into consideration cutting edge research in international relations, border studies, regional development, community organization and other related fields. Second, the model is dependent on the multi-stakeholder partnerships with partner institutions and communities co-developing the curriculum.

  • Theoretical Curriculum: The academic curriculum is divided into three distinct parts. The first, situates the issues of borders, borderlands and boundaries in a deeper historical process. This part of the curriculum examines the issues of borders from the lens of international relations, history, anthropology, economic history and other related disciplines. The objective of these readings is to break down known assumptions about the nature of borders and develop a people-centric view of borders and cross-border relationships through historical and literary narratives, biographies and documents. The second part of the curriculum, focuses on the history of regions and sub-regions under study. The aim is to build up knowledge of regional histories, prior to fieldwork, thus enabling a much sharper focus for developing questionnaires and other related research instruments. The third part of the curriculum especially centered around fieldwork, research ethics, questionnaire development and project selection.
  • Project Development: Participants have to select a specific policy action project or choose from a pool of policy briefs. Participants would have to develop the background information and methodology prior to the start of field placement.
  • Placement in Border District: The fieldwork placement will be a combination of institutional visits, stays with communities and partner institutions, project visits and data collection. Based on partnership agreements participants can work as interns with the partner organization for a Six-Weeks on a trial basis.
  • Practical Skills: Community mobilization, BADP Guidelines, Civic Action Projects (CAP), convergence of development programming project design, implementation, monitoring learning and evaluation.
  • Report Submission: Participants will submit three reports at the end of the programme. These documents will be evaluated and will count towards final certification. The first document is a Policy Brief based on a research topic chose by the participant. This will be of 10-15 pages [1.5 spaced, Times New Roman]. The second, is a Field Placement/Internship Report (guidelines as decided by the organization) which will be linked to the Policy Brief and a Narrative Observational Report [3 pages]. Participants will make a presentation at the host institution and a final workshop on their return.

The central pedagogical outcome of the programme is aimed at two different levels, external and internal. The first refers to the external environment in which the participant will work. Thus the programme seeks to develop a cohort of participants will engage with critical transboundary and developmental challenges that are faced by border communities. At the end of the course participants of the programme will thus develop requisite skills to work in multi-cultural and multidisciplinary environments. Participants will have skills to engage with multiple stakeholders such as government departments, civil society organizations and community organizations. Lastly, participants will evolve original research designs and learn the essentials of project management in development settings.
Whereas the first set of objectives aims at providing methodologies to engage with the complex socio-economic and political environment of border areas, the second set of objectives focuses on the ability and willingness to engage in reflexive action. Participants will be encouraged to engage in ontological and epistemic reformulation by placing the social welfare of border communities at the core of their research work.
Participants will actively engage in the ethics of their engagement with the communities and will work towards values that display high levels of professional conduct in the course of the programme. Whereas in the first two cycles fieldwork options will be provided to the participants, it is hoped that participants specialize in a particular set of border districts and develop long term research and policy action in the areas selected. Thus participants will be encouraged to develop

capstones and dissertations on border development and transboundary issues.

The Certificate Programme in Border Studies consists of a total of 6-Credits. The academic/teaching and training component has 3-Credits and field placement is for 3-credits. Certification will be provided to non-JGU participants.

The initial cycles of the Certificate Programme in Border Studies the curriculum will consist of core modules and specialized training workshops for participants. Furthermore, through consultation meetings with partner organizations relevant modules will be further drafted and developed based on the experience (and requirements) of the participating organizations.


Thus the principle of co-ownership is a defining variable whereby the overall curriculum will be jointly developed with the participating organizations. With subsequent cycles of the programme, each module or component will be supported by multiple stakeholders, thus leading to a new consortium based approach that provides a common forum for dialogue among practitioners, researchers and communities. In addition, apart from in-class sessions, the participants will attend guest-lectures, specialized workshops and institutional visits. A research mentor or guide will provide feedback to the participants on their policy papers.


Learning Outcome

Assigned Readings

Develop a broad interdisciplinary understanding of Border Studies

Guest Lectures

Draw on the subject matter expertise and professional experience of practitioners

Institutional Visits

Understand roles and responsibilities of stakeholders involved in border development

Training Workshop

Develop specific skills for generating mixed method research designs

Exploratory Visit

Understand Border Management and Border Dynamics for comparison with internship/field placement

Independent Study

Generate original research designs, integrate aims of placement project into research goals, link with conceptual frameworks

Border District Placement

Work with institutions to evolve contextual understandings of border development, develop cultural sensitivity and professionalism

Type of Module





Scope of Readings and Thematic Areas Under Consideration

Individual Project Cycle [beyond class room setting]

Foundational Concepts: Tribe, Indigeneity, Nationhood, Nation-State and Borderlands

Week 1 & Week 2


·         Rationale for the Course


·         Maps, Borders and Boundaries in a Historical Perspective


·         Colonialism, Empire and Cartography



·         Decolonization and the Making of the Post-Colonial State [Also screen Documentary Film]

·         Course Syllabus, Reading List

·         Readings on First Nations, Settler Colonialism and the Making of North America (USA and Canada)

·         Examine at least two cases where flawed boundary making impacted ethno-national groups

·         Examine at least two cases where flawed boundary demarcation led to interstate and civil war in the post-decolonization era (with a country case study from Africa and Middle East)

·           Locate at least 2 Cases on Territorial Disputes from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for discussion

Week 3

·         Border Studies: Critical Perspectives and Review of Previous Sessions







·         Study readings on the US-Canada Border, US-Mexico Border, Humanitarian Assessments of the Colombia-Venezuela Border and cases such as the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border as well as Sudan-South Sudan Boundary Demarcation process.

·         Assignment of Programme Mentors

Borders of South Asia: Crossing the Lines, Nations across States, Imagined Peripheries

Week 4

·         Borders in South Asia, Migration, Autonomy, Governance and Peace [Case Studies of Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura]

·         Reporting Borders

·         Understand Border Governance in the European Union and Contrast with SAARC Region

·         Finalization of Topic for Policy Brief

Week 5

·         Livelihoods in Borderlands

·          Ecology, Forest Governance, Land Rights and Customary Practices

·         Risk, Resilience and Adaptation

·          Documentary Film





·         Study Fifth and Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution and Forest Rights Act and landmark cases/judgements

From Border “Management” to Border “Development”: Changing Narratives, Redefining Development

Week 6

·         Understanding the Border Areas Development Programme [BADP] and other related Schemes


·         Overview of Paramilitary Civic Action Programme [CAP] Schemes and Roles of Border Guarding Forces (BGFs)
Developing Tools for Evaluating BADP and CAP Schemes
















·         Read through the scheme guidelines as well as the Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar Boundary/Transit Agreement

·         Overview of similarly placed programmes such as the Human Terrain System and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in Afghanistan, Section Administrative Spécialisée in French-Algeria, Strategic Hamlets Programme in Vietnam and other related examples of military led development programmes.

·         Also overview of BRGF, SRE, and Aspirational Districts and associated schemes & guidelines.

Week 7

·         Beyond the State: Civil Society, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovations in Border Areas, Access to Health and Education Services in Border Areas (Through Case Studies and Presentations). Also Review of Previous Week



Presentations [Mid-Certification Evaluation]

Week 8

·         Comparative Case Studies of Border Development Policies and Projects of Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan

Presentations [Mid-Certification Evaluation]



Methodological Development and Individual Skills: Geographical Information Systems, Spatial Analysis, Conflict Risk Mapping, Conflict Sensitive Approaches to Development Planning and Ethics of Field Research

Week 9

·         Fundamentals of Community Development, Participatory Research and Risk Informed Planning

Complete an overview of the programs and projects of the allotted organizations for field placement

Week 10

·         Training Workshop on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis [Utilization of Saturday and Sunday]









Identify Secondary Sources and Develop Questionnaires pertaining to allotted project

Week 11

·         Conflict Analysis and Conflict Sensitive Approaches to Development Planning [Also Documentary Film] and Review of Previous Weeks


Complete Ethical Clearance if Applicable

Week 12

·         Ethics of Field Research, Do No Harm Principle and Fieldwork Guidelines

Complete History and Background to your allotted Research Project

Week 13

·         Visit to Border District in Punjab [Utilization of Saturday and Sunday]


Interchangeable Can be Combined into Punjab Visit

Week 14

·         Reflections on Individual Projects and Review of Pre-Field Placement

Interchangeable Can be Combined into Punjab Visit




Week 15

·         Reflections on Individual Projects and Review of Pre-Field Placement and Final Review Session

Interchangeable Can be Combined into Punjab Visit


Border District Placement Begins/Winter Internship/Field Placement

Border District Placement Begins/Winter Internship/Field Placement

Border District Placement Begins/Winter Internship/Field Placement

Border District Placement Begins/Winter Internship/Field Placement [Based on designated timeline]

  • A Situational Analysis of BADP and Civic Action Programmes in border blocks: The objective of the case study will be to study and assess the implementation of Border Areas Development Programme (BADP) and Civic Action Programme (CAP) being implemented by Border Guarding Forces (BGF) and district authorities. The aim of the cluster, will be to develop a curriculum on BADP and CAP for future advocacy and trainings. The cluster will also develop a framework for BGF-Civil Society-Community Interface.
  • Mapping Education in Border Districts: The case study will document innovations in provision of education services.
  • Political Geography, Community Participation and Forest Governance: The cluster will examine community participation in development programming. The focus will be on the Forest Rights act of 2006 as well as new forms of bio-diversity conservation that incorporate community ownership.
  • Community Health in Borderlands: The paper will develop a situational analysis of health inequity in border blocks and outline for cross-border health cooperation. The case study will also document best practices and lessons learned in integrated disease surveillance programme and vector borne disease control in neighboring countries.
  • Cross-Border Trade Flows: The cluster will document narratives and life history of traders. The policy brief will be an exploratory study on the potential for entrepreneurship in the border area. This will be a continuation of previous efforts at documenting border markets.
  • Transboundary Riverine Areas Cooperation: This cluster will focus on transboundary riverine governance in the Indo-Bangladesh border zone.
  • Comparative Analysis of Autonomous Administrative Zones: The cluster will study the evolution of innovative institutional arrangements and mechanisms of autonomous governance in border zones such as Western Myanmar, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh, Sixth Schedule Areas in Assam and Meghalaya as well as indigenous areas in Philippines, Canada, Colombia, Taiwan among many others.


Participants will be evaluated based on three criteria. The first, will be an evaluation of the research papers, Mid-Certification Presentations and narrative reports written by the participants. The second, is an evaluation by the field placement organization of the report and research work assigned by the organization. The third, is an evaluation by the field placement organization on integration, adaptability, professionalism and conduct during fieldwork. Based on the evaluation reports [which will utilize standardized grading scale and qualitative comments] a final grade will be provided along with a transcript and Certificate.


The coursework is spread over 15-weeks. It is expected that participants will be highly motivated and will develop the ability to locate relevant sources, collect data and develop their own research designs, over and above the allocated readings. The field placement in the partner organizations will be for a minimum of 1.5-months to a maximum 2-months. Monitoring and Mentoring visits will be done by the External Advisory Committee and Faculty Steering Committee to provide further guidance. Participants with less than 80% attendance will not be allowed to proceed on field placement and will not be awarded any form of certification. Participants who are unable to undergo field placement or any recommended programme by the Programme Steering Committee will not receive certification or credits.


Serial Number

Stage of Application Process


Release of Initial Programme Brochure


Outreach Meetings


Application First Round


Interview Panels


Acceptance Letters


Final Roster of Acceptances [completion of additional applications if application has been done through ERP. ERP led applications will require the same set of requirements as the above.


Deadline for Fees Payment


Sessions Begin

While the primary candidates of the programme will be from JGU, admission to the programme is open to qualified persons from outside JGU such as working professionals including early career policy analysts, those working in political risk firms, journalists, research scholars, post-graduate students and select undergraduate students.


Given the nature of the programme, a detailed qualification process has been initiated and participants from outside JGU will have to complete all academic requirements including the field placement. For working professionals, the type and duration of field placement, will be based on certain distinct criteria as set-up by the Programme Committee (including the possibility of conducting independent research but embedded and linked with a partner organizations). Non-JGU participants will be provided access to JGU Library Facilities and can visit the main campus for attending various University events. Transportation to and from JGU main campus will be the responsibility of the participant.

  • Resume
  • Degree/Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Project Proposal
  • Recommendation Letter [1 for JGU students and 2 for those outside JGU]
  • Interview Panel


Complete Application package is to be sent via e-mail to Executive Officer JSIA, Ms. Swarnima Singh swarnima@jgu.edu.in by the application deadline. Queries can be directed to Dr. Samrat Sinha (Programme Director) via e-mail ssinha@jgu.edu.in. Telephonic queries can be made to Mobile: +918930110871.

Due to the specialized nature of the course and the establishment of a separate certification which requires inputs from multiple resource persons a special fee structure is applicable for this particular option. A Programme fees is applicable for participants registering for the course.


This includes the costs for a three-day orientation programme and visit to the western border in Punjab, visits to institutions (such as Embassies and Chambers of Commerce) and specialized skill based training workshops by external resource persons/institutions.


Participants will bear their own travel expenses in the course of the field internship. An attempt will be made to ensure that subsidized accommodation and food is provided in the course of the field placement. Scholarships for fieldwork will also be provided based on availability of research funding.

Breakdown of Programme Fees



Programme Fees

Reading Materials, Course-book and Specialized Training Workshop as well as Course Logistics


Visit to the Western Border

Accommodation, Travel by Bus or Train and Local Transport [those opting for air travel will bear costs of booking]

Partial Coverage of Fieldwork Costs

This component will be transferred directly to host organization to cover partial accommodation and local contingency costs

Costs of Travel to Partner Organization in Border District

To be borne by the participant


The venue for the lectures (prior to border district placement) will be a designated space in the main JGU campus.  The course will be conducted on Fridays and Select Saturdays (for training workshops) in order to prevent scheduling conflicts or overlaps with the regular time-table.  Class timings will be 10:00am to 1:00pm. All training programmes and workshops will be conducted on Saturday [and through the weekend.

The Action Northeast Trust (ANT, Assam): Academic and Fieldwork Support Partner, Chirang District, BTAD Assam, Indo-Bhutan Border.

Started in October 2000, the ANT is a voluntary organization based in Rowmari in Lower Assam. It works directly in villages for furthering the pace of development in the areas mainly falling under Chirang District of Bodoland in Lower Assam (around 180 km from Guwahati, the capital of Assam and 53kms from Gelenphu. At another level, it works to build up the voluntary sector in the Northeast Region. The ANT works directly in around 220 villages across 6 work clusters in Chirang District – bordering Bhutan – mainly with the poorest and marginalized in villages, irrespective of community, class or religious affiliations. Its activities can be divided into 6 thematic areas: Empowerment of Women and Girls; Promoting Community Health; Child and Youth Development; Remote Areas Development Programme; Peace and Justice Promotion; Building Sustainable Livelihoods – small farmers support; microcredit for micro-businesses.


Department of Political Science, Bodoland University, Kokrajhar, BTAD Assam, Indo-Bhutan Border: Academic and Knowledge Exchange Partner.

Bodoland University was established by Bodoland University Act 2009, passed in the Assam legislative Assembly. The present Bodoland University is an up-gradation of the Kokrajhar campus of Guwahati University to a full-fledged state University as per the provision of the Act. The setting-up of the new university comes as a fulfillment of the dreams of the people of entire lower Assam, irrespective of caste, creed or economic status. The new university would cater to the educational need of the people, not only of the Bodoland area but also the adjoining states and nations like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The Department of Political Science was established in 2005 with 4 Guest Teachers and 17 students as part of Kokrajhar Campus of Guwahati University. In 2012, the Department has become a part of the Bodoland University with 7 permanent teachers and 90 students. One of the objectives of the Department is to start Post-Graduate Course in Sociology, P.G. Diploma Course in Gender Studies, Rural Development, Peace & Conflict Studies and North-East Studies. he Department has a vision to act as the ‘hub’ of policy study for the whole Bodoland area besides becoming a ‘centre of excellence’ subsuming the area of Human Rights; Rural Development; Peace, Women and Tribal Study within a decade.


Centre for Geoinformatics, Jamsetji School of Disaster Studies (JTCDS), Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai: Academic and Internship Partner for Geographical Information System (GIS) and Spatial Analysis.

The Centre for Geoinformatics is a specialized centre providing cutting edge research in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and GPS applications in disaster and developmental settings. The Centre has undertaken several interdisciplinary research and field action projects, ranging for rapid needs assessment, damage assessment, risk management, mapping of population flows after disasters and emergencies among many others. The Centre has cutting edge laboratory facilities, thus providing a full spectrum of tools, technologies and applications for organizations engaging in disaster relief operations and complex emergencies. The Centre also provides critical training and capacity building programmes for researchers and practitioners.


Centre for New Economic Studies (CNES), Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA), O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU)

Espousing the philosophy of how contemporary economic theories look at socio-economic problems in a variety of ways, the Centre for New Economics Studies (CNES) through its research and activities aims to focus more on exploring the diversity of the scholarship on economics. At CNES, students and young researchers are not only exposed to the basic foundations of economic reasoning and thought but are exposed to the inter-disciplinary application of the discipline of economics in fields of political science (via political economy), psychology (via behavioral economics), history (via economic history), legal studies (via law and economics) etc. In most universities and traditional learning centres for mainstream economics learning, there still remains a lacuna between the taught economic theory and the application of such theories in the real policy environment. CNES aims to fill this lacuna by linking economic theory with historical experience(s) and empirical observation under a robust, experimental environment of research. At CNES, teaching or understanding a given economic theory cannot be viewed merely as an exposition of received and established truths or as an intellectual exercise in the skills of logical deduction and inference.


Institute of Development Action (IDeA), Guwahati (Assam): Knowledge Partner.

Apart from training personnel of NGOs, IDeA is also involved in carrying out Northeast centric social research on various topics. To start making and feeling a difference in society, we cannot work alone. We need a strong voluntary sector with many more development organizations. Thus, apart from its own direct village development work, the ant has set itself a mandate of helping build up a vibrant voluntary sector in the Northeast. IDeA now has over 30 active partner NGOs from various parts of Assam whom it has taken through an intensive 8 – 9 months training (classes were held in short phases with hand holding support in the field by our faculty). Even after the trainings have ended, these partners themselves took the initiative to come together to form a mutual support group called the “Forum of Voluntary Sector of Assam”. These organizations are our strength if we have to reach out to any part of Assam or the Northeast and even do work on a much larger scale than we are currently doing.


Kohima Institute, Kohima (Nagaland): Academic and Internship Partner for Thematic on Anthropology, Indigenous Health, Ecology, Sustainability and Climate Change.

Founded in June 2013 by Michael Heneise and Kekhrie Yhome, and registered as a trust in Nagaland state on 12 February 2014, the main objective of the Kohima Institute is to foster a scholarly community that engages critically with sociopolitical, cultural, economic, historical, and developmental problems among highland Asian communities, sometimes referred to as ‘Zomia’. Specific aims include broad research engagement, hi-level postgraduate teaching, international student exchange, archival and heritage conservation, scholarly publications, archival collections, conferences, and fora that contribute to collaborate work. Though constraints with regards to security and accessibility have contributed to the under-representation of Northeast India and highland Asia more broadly in the sociological literature, the Kohima Institute seeks create linkages between local, regional and international scholars, towards establishing long term relationships that bridge gaps in research, and benefit local communities. Operating primarily within the social sciences and humanities, the Institute maintains a strong commitment to ethical research practices, and ecological consciousness, as well as the promotion of indigenous knowledge systems, including philosophies, languages, histories, technologies, and aesthetics. Part of this commitment is the intentional, ongoing resourcing and consultancy work conducted in conjunction with important policy and development initiatives within Nagaland state, and its neighbors that seek to promote local community voices, and cultural practices. Finally, the Institute encourages independent thinking and the plurality of perspectives, while promoting interdisciplinarity. These values are continually exercised through our regularly programmed lectures, seminars, conferences, publications, as well as on-going consultancies, and collaborations.


NEDAN Foundation: Academic and Fieldwork Support Partner, Kokrajhar District, BTAD Assam, Indo-Bhutan Border.

NEDAN is an NGO registered under Public Charitable Trust Act. It has emerged through a common vision shared by trained Social Work Professionals to work with poorest and voiceless ethnic communities living in the far- flung un-reach villages of North East Region of India. Presently NEDAN directly works in the North East region particularly at Bodoland Territorial Council, (BTC) Assam. NEDAN’s vision is to build a society marked by development, equality, peace and respect for human rights for all sections; where youth are involved in all developmental interventions – from bringing about peace to overall holistic and sustainable developmental perspectives and vision. NEDAN’s projects area and base is at Kokrajhar, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). However, NEDAN also work in other North East region through network partners. NEDAN’s philosophy and belief is that youth’s collective action will bring societal change in North East. NEDAN is committed to empower youth, women and girls on various issues such as human rights, trafficking in women and children, livelihoods, gender, sexuality, reproductive and sexual health (RSH), HIV/ AIDS, environment etc. enable them as equal decision makers in the developmental process and peace building in the North East region. NEDAN attempts to provide youth a forum and a platform for creating a developmental vision and conscience through which they will endeavor to build networking between North East youth groups and the national and international youth forum


North East Research & Social Work Networking (NERSWN):  Academic and Fieldwork Support Partner, Kokrajhar District, BTAD Assam, Indo-Bhutan Border; Fieldwork Support Partner for Indo-Bangladesh Border (Transboundary Rivers Project).

The North East Research & Social Work Networking (NERSWN) is a secular, not-for-profit, gender-just, non-political organization set up in 2004 and registered in 2005 under the Societies Registration Act 1860. NERSWN is a responsive voluntary institutions conceived, led and managed by a bunch of committed & dynamic young people from the region, working towards sustainable & holistic change mainly in the North East region of India. NERSWN, seeks to reach out with social endeavor to the doorsteps of people, to realize development & rights of the marginalized by building capacities of communities and strengthening knowledge technology & networks.


North East Institute of Social Sciences and Research, Dimapur, (Nagaland): Academic and Internship Partner for Thematic on Peace Processes, Conflict Transformation and Community Development

North East Institute of Social Sciences and Research Dimapur, Nagaland, has the privilege of being the first Master of Social Work (MSW) College, started by the Catholic Church in Nagaland and is affiliated to the Nagaland University. The Management of the College is with the Diocese of Kohima, Nagaland. The Bishop constitutes the Governing Body of the college. The Bishop of Nagaland, who is the President of the Governing Body, constitutes the managing committee of the college as per the rules and regulations of the Society and keeping with the norms laid down by the University. The NEISSR offers the first ever MSW college in Nagaland offering specialization in Peace and Conflict Transformation, Youth Development and Community Development.


RedR India– Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief-India (Pune): Knowledge and Internship Partner for Thematic on Crisis Response, Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience.

REDR is an international non-government organization that relieves suffering in disasters by selecting, training and providing competent and efficient personnel to humanitarian aid agencies worldwide. RedR India is part of RedR International Federation, a humanitarian aid, non-profit organization, which maintains a register of experienced humanitarian professionals who are available to assist governments and external support agencies that work in the humanitarian sector. The RedRs have a global reputation for the development and presentation of high-quality training and technical support services for the humanitarian aid and disaster risk reduction (DRR) sectors. Established in 2003, RedR India is registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 in India. It is an independent organization that supports humanitarian and disaster risk reduction action through capacity building, technical support and deployments.  RedR India’s expertise is in humanitarian work and DRR interventions provisioned through a dedicated team and a roster of selected and experienced sector specialists. RedR recognizes the vital need for skilled and committed personnel to respond when disasters occur, helping those who are affected wherever they are in the world.  RedR seeks to be an organization of knowledge and expertise within the disaster relief and risk reduction sectors – responsible for improving the effectiveness of disaster relief and risk reduction through developing skills, providing capable people to disaster response and risk reduction action around the world, and provisioning of technical and specialist knowledge and skills. RedR has offices in Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.


Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA)-Oxfam, Knowledge Partner

The Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) is a five-year (2016-2021) regional programme being jointly implemented by Oxfam and its partners in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar to understand and address challenges related to transboundary rivers, and work together to create conditions to reduce poverty of communities living in the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and the Salween river basins. Oxfam believes that empowered community having access to and control over water resources can significantly contribute to reducing poverty and inequality and achieve prosperity. To make it happen, Oxfam is implementing the TROSA project in collaboration with governments, private sectors, and civil society networks and alliances at all levels in those four countries. TROSA project aims to achieve positive change in the lives of marginalized and vulnerable riparian communities.  The ultimate goal (impact) of the project is reduced poverty of marginalized and vulnerable river basin communities through increased access to and control over water resources. Oxfam envisions that the implementation of the TROSA programme will lead to an increased level of community involvement in the equitable and sustainable water resource management at the local and regional level. Transboundary Dialogues between community, Governments and other stakeholders is a key prerequisite to achieving sustainable solutions at the regional level.


Losel Gyatsho Academy, Pelrithang, Gelenphu, Sarpang District, Bhutan, International Programme Partner

Losel Gyatsho Academy is located five kilometers away from the town, Gelephu in a fine ambience conducive to the teaching learning process. The establishment of school dates back to 2013, where the school started as Prince Namgay Wangchuk in Tama by the visionary and progressive patron of the school Mr. Tshering Dorji. It was later shifted to Gelephu, Pelrithang. The school is affiliated to the Bhutan Council for School   Examinations and Assessment. Right from its inception, the school has been one of the leading schools in terms of its academic excellence, games, sports and literary activities. The school has been producing excellent academic result since inception of the school. The school gives utmost importance to academic matters as well as extracurricular activities. At present the school has two streams, Arts and Commerce. A number of students get enrolled at Sherubtse, Gedu, Taktse and other major tertiary institutions every year. As of now the school has got the strength of 428 students, hailing from different parts of the country and a Teaching staff of 16, dedicated to the cause of education. In sports and games, the school has bagged many awards in Dzongkhag and national level.