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Welcome to the IGCS

The IGCS serves the cooperation between German and Indian scientists on fundamental and applied research, teaching and training, dissemination of information in the area of sustainable development. Its special focus is the protection of the environment considering water resources, energy, land use and rural development and waste management. The Centre should promote the development of relevant ideas on and solutions to specific local issues, through interdisciplinary research and study projects in the above mentioned areas. The IGCS will additionally contribute to the intensification of Indo-German cooperation in key academic fields.


The IGCS aims at developing the capacity and the capability to promote sustainable development in Germany, India and South Asia. Sub-topics of research can be identified within the above mentioned core areas.  Sustainability with respect to economic, ecologic and social issues significantly enhances the existing research activities and courses offered at the IITM.  German and Indian expertise merge in joint research projects, the development of additional study programmes and in joint degree programmes.

An essential component of the IGCS’s trans-disciplinary approach is the cooperation with other institutions and organizations in order to make use of existing information, research, capacity, (best practice) experience and ongoing initiatives in the different areas of sustainable development. The research of this centre will help to meet the challenges of the global change regarding water and energy in the future.


1. IGCS Winter School 2020 – Sustainability in the Peri-cene: Human settlements, food, ecology and governance

How can we understand the pressures and potentials of transformative peri-urban futures? It is nearly 33 years since the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (known in short as the Brundtland Commission) famously defined sustainable development as a process of change in which the “exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development; and institutional change are all in harmony and enhanc


2. Take a glimpse into the world of IGCS fellows!

PhD students Lukas and Nina both spent some time at IGCS in Chennai to conduct a research project this summer. With their short reports they allow us a glance over their shoulder into their life in Chennai, the ups and downs conducting their research and explain in what way their research contributes to sustainability. Nina at her field work, measuring pollution in sediments. Source: Piero Bellanova, 2019. Nina, RWTH Aachen University Topic:


3. Announcement: IGCS-Meeting on Urban Resilience 2 in Chennai from October 20 – 22

Urban Resilience 2: Coastal and River Management, Vulnerability and Sustainability IGCS-Meeting 20.10.-23.10.2019, Chennai In October 2017, we started a discussion on Urban Resilience on coastal and river floods or extreme events affecting megacities and settlements in coastal low lands. More than 1.5 billion people are currently living within 100 km of the coastal zones of the Earth, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. And the number is st

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Bulletin No 20

The IGCS Bulletin Vol 5, Issue 4 is published. The last month was turbulent. Demonetization (Nov 8th), Honorable Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s demise (Dec 5th), and cyclone Vardah (Dec 12th) are testing the resilience of people in India, Tamil Nadu and Chennai, the latter coping with all three events accumulated. Apart from this, this bulletin demonstrates that the IGCS is as vibrant as ever. We held several workshops, were present at the Cityscapes Confe


Bulletin No 19

The IGCS Bulletin Vol 5, Issue 3 is out. Read about IGCS´s numerous activites with German and Indian researchers such as the joint Summer School at TU Berlin, GIZ collaboration in the Cities fit for Climate Change-Project. An interesting opinion is published by Dr. Avilash Roul, IGCS Senior Scientist on “Ocean Governance: Samudra Manthan 2.0”. If you wish to receive the Bulletin on a regular basis, please contact portius(at)igcs-chennai.org


Bulletin No 18

The latest Bulletin is out:  IGCS Bulletin Vol 5, Issue 2. Read about IGCS´s numerous activites with German and Indian researchers such as the Indo-German conference on Sustainability in February, the IGCS Winter School on Biofuels, the Winter School on Air Pollution, the Conference on Air Quality and the Panel on Disaster Management at IIT Madras. IGCS hosts a short term lecturer, Dr. Roos Gerritsen from University of Heidelberg and several students fro

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3 days ago


News from IGCS in Chennai:

We are soon expecting a group of 15 researchers from Germany (RWTH Aachen University, Juelich Research Center, University of Cologne) in Chennai. They will meet a delegation of Indian researchers from IIT Madras, Annamalai University, NIOT, IIT Kharagpur, Anna University & NCCR for a 3-day round table discussion on the topic ‘Urban Resilience-2: Coastal and River Management, Vulnerability and Sustainability’.

We are currently finishing last preparations for the first event this afternoon and are excited to meet everyone soon. We will keep you posted!
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1 week ago


Apply now for the next IGCS winter school titled "Sustainability in the Peri-cene: Human settlements, food, ecology and governance"!

The winter school addresses Master and PhD students from Germany and India. Topics such as sustainable development and land, urbanisation and the land-water-food-ecosystems nexus, and sustainable governance beyond cities will be covered. IIT Madras hosts the two-week-program from February 15 - 29, 2020.

Associated with a successful application is a travel scholarship by DAAD. Find all info in regards to topics and eligiblity here: www.igcs-chennai.rwth-aachen.de/igcs-schools-2020/

Apply here: bit.ly/2ULQpxS

Application deadline is November 25, 7.30 am CET.

Spread the word!!

Organized by IIT Madras and RWTH Aachen University , in collaboration with Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel and TU9 German Universities of Technology e.V. Universität Stuttgart and Technische Universität Berlin
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1 month ago


We are happy to announce that the next IGCS winter school titled "Sustainability in the Peri-scene: Human settlements, food, ecology and governance" will take place February 15 - 29 2020 at IIT Madras.

Participants have the chance to study an integrated view on exciting topics that relate to land and sustainability.

You can apply between October 14 - November 24 2019. In the meantime, we invite you to spread the word!

More info here:

Photo credits: Jimmy Chan via www.pexels.com/@jimbear
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2 months ago


PhD students Nina and Lukas from Aachen and Kiel were selected as fellows to conduct a research stay at IGCS! They both introduce us to their research topic and share a glance of their life as IGCS fellows in Chennai on our blog!

Read the full report on our blog: www.igcs-chennai.rwth-aachen.de/?p=4250

Don't you now want to do research there as well? You can still apply for a last-minute research stay and funding in 2019!
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