Inlaks Ravi Sankaran Programme
The Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation supports biodiversity conservation in the areas of field biology, ecology and conservation through the Inlaks Ravi Sankaran Programme.
About the Programme:
It provides funding in the areas of field biology, ecology and conservation for:
- A Masters’ Degree at an institution abroad: The programme will fund one or two students to read for a masters’ qualification in ecology or conservation. The purpose is to train the recipient in the science and/or implementation of conservation; and to facilitate interaction with the larger international community involved in conservation science and practice.
- An Internship with an institution abroad: The programme will fund one or two candidates to carry out an internship of six weeks to one year with a university research group, NGO, government agency or organization known for its work in conservation science and practice abroad. The purpose of the internship is for recipients to gain experience and insight in field ecology and conservation beyond what they would ordinarily gather from an academic programme and to facilitate interaction with the larger international community involved in conservation science and implementation.
- A short research or implementation project within India: The programme will fund up to 3 candidates who would like to undertake an initial project of up to a years’ duration that is expected to lead to a longer-term conservation science and/or implementation project. This initiative aims to provide “seed money” for projects that may have been viewed as unconventional in nature. Recipients of an initial small grant may apply for follow-up funding; when doing so, they must demonstrate the success of the pilot project and show how subsequent funding is essential to bring out the conservation benefits of the project. Activities funded by the Small Grants program should ordinarily be carried out in India. Where appropriate, applicants for a small grant are encouraged to consider and include the potential role that local communities can play in conservation.Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to conservation and strongly justify how these opportunities will further conservation in India. The programme particularly seeks young applicants with bold and unconventional ideas for tackling conservation issues.
About Dr. Ravi Sankaran
Dr. Ravi Sankaran (Oct 4, 1963 – Jan 17, 2009) was an ornithologist who dedicated his life to biodiversity conservation throughout India, as a researcher, teacher, mentor, and finally, Director of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History.
In the 1980s, as a graduate student at the Bombay Natural History Society, Ravi gained recognition for his pioneering research on the endangered Lesser Florican in western India. His research provided the basic framework for conservation of this endangered species, and of other species and habitats he studied subsequently. He was a tremendous source of inspiration to colleagues and students, and a prominent figure in the field of wildlife conservation in India.
In recent years his research focus was on the Andaman & Nicobar islands, a system with many threatened species including the Nicobar Megapode and the Indian Edible-nest Swiftlet. Ravi’s work on the Swiftlet provided crucial insights for the conservation of this species, and he was deeply involved in developing community-based conservation efforts including ranching / sustainable harvesting of these birds’ nests. This approach is radically different from the dominant preservationist approach in India, and illustrates Ravi’s distinct and balanced perspective on conservation.