Khoshoo Memorial Award

About the TN Khoshoo Memorial Award

The TN Khoshoo Memorial Award was instituted in 2004 to honour the legacy of the world-renowned environmental scientist, Dr. Triloki Nath Khoshoo. Dr. Khoshoo was first Secretary of the Indian Government’s newly created Department of Environment, in 1982. He played a significant role in the development of India's environmental policy. In the year 1996, along with Dr Kamaljit S Bawa, Dr Khoshoo founded ATREE.

The annual T N Khoshoo Memorial Award is given to an academician or a practitioner whose work has had an impact in the fields of environment, conservation, or development. The TN Khoshoo Memorial Award was started by the Khoshoo family and ATREE to honour Dr Khoshoo’s legacy. Through the TN Khoshoo Endowment Fund, the awards, each year, encourages and promotes individuals for outstanding achievements in the field of conservation and sustainable development. The fund is sponsored by Dr Khoshoo’s family, ATREE, the Ford Foundation, the Institute of Rural Research and Development (an initiative of the SM Sehgal Foundation), and other philanthropists. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 100,000.

Dr. Rajeswari S. Raina, Professor at Shiv Nadar University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) was awarded the TN Khoshoo Memorial Award, 2018 for her pioneering work in the field of sustainability.

Instituted by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) the award was presented to Dr. Raina in recognition of her work which uses interdisciplinary approach to agricultural research, bringing a scientific perspective to alternative, sustainable practices prevalent in the field. Through her research Dr. Raina has argued that agriculture exists in the environment and that without the resilient and sustainable ecosystems, there can be no agriculture.

Dr. Raina works primarily on science-society issues keeping both sustainability and equity as important concerns. Her involvement and engagement have been at three spheres of work –education, science and knowledge generation and also outreach and policy advocacy.

Accepting the award, Dr. Raina said, “Given the risks, uncertainty and ignorance that confronts sustainability science more women are needed in this field. We need `Science that makes sense together’ and not just `Science that speaks truth to power.” She further added that sustainability science should not fall into the trap of other disciplines and keep the dialogue with policymakers and practitioners open.

The award ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on `Women and Sustainable Development’, moderated by Ms. Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Arghyam. The panel comprised women sustainability leaders from across sectors, including, Shruti Shibulal, CEO of Tamara Hotels, Pronita Saxena, Founder & CEO, Citizengage, Dr. Harini Nagendra, Professor of Sustainability, Azim Premji University and Dr. Jahnavi Phalkey, Founding Director of Science Gallery, Bengaluru.

The panel discussed why women are still under leveraged despite being critical to supporting the three pillars of sustainable development - economic, environmental and social. According to Pronita Saxena, “While we all agree that women are part of the micro decisions, they need to be now included in macro decision making and governance.

Jahnavi Phalkey also stressed on the need for including women in conversations and finding solutions for what primarily remains women’s burden – food, fodder and fuel. According to Harini Nagendra, it’s also a basic issue of fairness and justice to include women in the decision making process which has long been overlooked. She further cited Bengaluru’s Lake Movement as a successful initiative driven largely by women.

The panel also highlighted the lack of sustainability entrepreneurs and how women have very few or no angel investors.

The panel unanimously agreed on the need to empower more women to be key actors in sustainable economies and development.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Kamaljit Bawa, Founder President, ATREE, said, “The theme for this year’s TN Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture – Women in Sustainability’, is a step forward in our commitment towards promoting and encouraging women to lead interdisciplinary scientific research and also play a significant role in furthering sustainable development. It would not be wrong to say that without the participation of women we can’t envision a sustainable future.”

Khoshoo Endowment Committee

    Mr Rajiv Khoshoo (Chair), senior vice president, Portfolio Management, Siemens PLM Software

  • Dr Kamal Bawa, Founder Trustee and President, ATREE; Distinguished Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
  • Dr Sharachchandra Lele, Senior Fellow, ATREE
  • Dr Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Senior Fellow ATREE
  • Mr Joss Brooks, founder, Pitchandikulam Forest Consultants
  • Dr Kartik Shanker, Director, ATREE