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CNES-Setu National Media Fellowship 2007

The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research invites applications for the Third CNES-Setu National Media Fellowship (2007), a program aimed at enabling metro media journalists as well as those from the North East of India to research, understand and communicate on issues relating to the North-east as well as in other parts of the country.

The fellowship will be spread over three months and it is open to journalists in all recognized Indian languages including English. The fellowship carries an award of Rs.75,000 and the fellow is expected to cover the travel and related costs of the project from these funds. The last date for receipt of applications is April 15, 2007 and the award will be announced by May 1, 2007. The fellowship gives an opportunity, in alternate years, to journalists from the metro media and the region respectively who need to step back from the rush of daily reporting and editing and find the time and space to think through and write about issues of professional concern to them.

In its third year, the fellowship invites applications from the print media and photo-journalists from the media in other parts of the country who wish to travel to the North-east to work on specific research projects.

The program recognizes that all professionals need time to review their work and lives and get a chance to refocus and reconnect with those realities and issues which are meaningful to them.

The North-east of India is a region which remains misunderstood and “distant” from the “mainland”. Although many perceptions have changed in the past years, many misconceptions still prevail, both in the media and in the wider viewing and reading public. This national fellowship is a modest effort by C-NES, which has been active in bridging information gaps and policy advocacy with regard to the region, to develop better understanding, greater sensitivity as well as more accurate reporting of issues. If media persons are misinformed or uninformed, the public cannot expect to be well-informed!

The CNES-Setu Fellowship programme seeks to build better information, better communication and better networking between journalists in the North East and different parts of the country. It also advocates a better-informed and sensitive flow of reporting both about the region as well as other parts of India so that stereotypes are challenged and that policy makers, fellow media professionals and organizations as well as larger newspaper audiences are reached. Both regions need to change their approaches and views of each other and the media is a critical tool in this process.

The first CNES-Setu Fellowship (2005) was awarded to Nitin Sethi of Down to Earth magazine of New Delhi, to work on bamboo-related issues and was supported by contributions from Assamese professionals in the United States.

The second in 2006 went to Sankab Baruah of the Assamese daily, Dainik Janambhoomi of Jorhat and Guwahati, for his project on urban waste management in a Kolkata suburb.

There are two sets of issues for the national fellowship: a list for those going to the North-east and for those from the region wanting to look at problems across India.

The selected fellow would need to produce both a monograph at the end of his/her assignment, which would be published after appropriate editing. In addition, the fellow would need to publish not less than six articles in his/her home paper on the issue for which he/she has been selected. This is irrespective of whether the journalist is a full-time employee of a newspaper/magazine or freelance. Indeed, freelancers are also encouraged to apply.

In an effort to encourage new talent, preference will be given to journalists who have not previously won awards or fellowships.

The CNES-Setu fellow will be picked by a Selection Committee comprising of Sanjoy Hazarika, C-NES Managing Trustee and media professional (former New York Times correspondent and former consulting editor of The Statesman), Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Free Press (Manipur) and Dileep Chandan, editor, Asom Bani, Assam.

Eligibility, Terms and conditions

• To be eligible for the fellowship, an applicant must be a full-time journalist with a minimum work experience of 5-to-10 years
• The applicant must obtain an editor’s written consent for the period of the fellowship, including the publication of articles as specified in this outline and later in the contract
• The selected applicant will be bound, under contract, to complete the fellowship. Failure to do so will invite legal action.
• The fellowship will enable the awardee to develop specific recommendations which can be shared with policy-makers and which are time-bound and actionable


Applications are welcomed in email format but only with MSWord attachments (not cut and paste). A printed copy of the emailed application must accompany the latter, with a letter on the applicant’s letterhead and full address with phone numbers and email details. The applicant must attach by email or enclose in a package (to be sent by mail or courier) the following details:

• a two-page research proposal
• a brief curriculum vitae (not more than a page)
• clippings of six major articles published in the applicant’s magazine or newspaper over the past calendar year (any vernacular language set of clippings must be accompanied with an adequate translation in English)
• a photo-journalist must submit one major photo essay published in the English language or vernacular media, also from the past calendar year
• a work plan (methodology, travel and research, contacts and prioritization of the case study)
• all applications must be neatly typed with double spacing. Hand-written applications will not be considered.
• Selected applicants must be fluent in English; a good knowledge of Hindi would be an advantage

The issues

Those applying for the 2007 Fellowship (traveling into the North-east) would need to take one of the following issues as the research topic:

• The impact of conflict on women, who face vulnerability and bias but remain a powerful force for change (a focus on specific challenges in Nagaland, Manipur, Assam or Mizoram, states which are facing or have faced conflict conditions is suggested)

* Environment under stress: can the North-east’s bio-diversity hot spots survive the pressures from a consumer-driven society (applicants are expected to take a specific issue such as elephant-human conflict or the vanishing herbs of the region)

• The impact of mining on society and the environment

• The media under pressure in the North-east: Editors and journalists face threats from armed groups and governments. Why is this happening, who is behind it, which political and social forces are at play at a time when the media is globalized and easily accessible to both state and anti-State groups. Can the metro media make a difference?
* The North-east, a region of acute conflict and tragedy, and its experience with special draconian laws which discriminate against people, whether on the question of security or immigration. How can it come out of this quagmire?

Submission deadlines
April 15, 2007
Announcement of Fellowship
May 1, 2007

Apply to:
The CNES-Setu National Fellowship
Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research
D 6, 6143/3 Vasant Kunj
New Delhi 110070
Tel 91-11-26121426 Email:, Website:

About C-NES

The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research was set up in 2000 by a group of concerned citizens. It has offices in Guwahati in Assam and New Delhi and works on areas relating to governance, participative planning, rights, water resources, rural livelihoods, rural water transport, status of women, peace building and better understanding. It seeks to advocate the issues and challenges before the North-east.

C-NES works at both field and policy levels and is committed to building bridges between the North-east, among the least-known and understood parts of India, and other parts of the country. As part of this process, C-NES conducts workshops and training programs as well as reviews of government policy and projects. It also seeks to develop better understanding between the North-east and the neighbouring regions, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar.

C-NES believes that the wide ethnic diversity of the region and its location – on the edge of South-east Asia – is a strength and advantage, not a handicap.

Its Board of Trustees includes Dr. VA Pai Panandiker, Niketu Iralu of Nagaland, Dr. Jayanta Madhab, economic adviser to the Assam chief minister, Ms. Patricia Mukhim, columnist and social activist, and Lt.-Gen (Retd.) VK Nayar, former Governor of Manipur. Sanjoy Hazarika is the Managing Trustee.

Mission Statement

• C-NES recognizes the right of every individual in the region to live in dignity, peace and safety because only under such conditions can the quality of their lives be improved and their deepest aspirations met.
• values the unique ethnic and ecological diversity of the North East and sees this heritage as an advantage
• encourages local governance, decision- making and initiatives as the key to social and economic development
• believes that trained human resources and skills can bring about major changes
• lobbies actively for changes in official policy at the national, regional, state and district levels which it considers necessary to build a just society
• supports regional cooperation as a strategy to create long term, sustainable economic development

The Centre’s programme priorities include the following:

• Livelihood generation
* innovative health interventions (as through its ships Akha and Shahnaz in Upper Assam)
* Participatory governance
* giving focus and depth to India’s policies with its neighbours, especially economic ties
• Infrastructure and transport
• Documenting and strengthening cultural and environmental diversity
• Development of data banks
• Migration, internal displacement and refugee flows
• Media exchanges and communication
• Networking and partnerships with organizations with similar goals

Trust, Trustees and Advisory Council

The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research was registered as a Trust under Sec.80G/ Income Tax Act 1961.

The Managing Trustee is Sanjoy Hazarika, a former correspondent of New York Times, former consulting editor of The Statesman and author, who has worked extensively in the region. The Chairman of the Trust is Dr. V A Panandikar, former President of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. The other Trustees are Mrinal Pande, author and editor; Niketu Iralu, Social worker from Nagaland; Ms. Patricia Mukhim, columnist and social activist, Meghalaya; Dr. Mahfuza Rahman, Dep’t. Of Geography, Cotton College, Assam; Dr. Jayanta Madhab, Chairman, Rashtriya Grameen Vikas Nidhi; Chaman Lal, former Director General Police, Nagaland, and Lt. Gen.(retd.) V K Nayar, former Governor of Manipur.

Sanjoy Hazarika, an authority on the region, has traveled extensively in the North East and its Neighbouring areas in connection with C-NES projects as well as policy adviser and analyst, journalist, editor and film maker. He is also Rearch Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has made a series of documentary films on the region especially on the Brahmaputra. A former correspondent for The New York Times and author of several books including Strangers of the Mist, Tales of War and Peace from India’s North East, Mr. Hazarika was a member of the first National Security Advisory Board (1998-1999) and a member of the advisory panel (North East) for the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution. He is Member, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and was a member of Committee to Review The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958).

The Advisory Council is headed by Dr. Madhab. Other members include LC Jain, development economist and former High Commissioner to South Africa, OP Jain, cultural Philanthropist, Dr. Suman Sahai of Gene Campaign, Jahnu Barua, film director, NN Vohra, former Home Secretary, and Denghuna, former Secretary, Govt. of Mizoram.

More information can be accessed at its website:

Tax status, Funds

Contributions to C-NES are eligible from deduction under 80G of the income tax Act, 1961.Its tax exempt status has been renewed till 31.3.2008.The trust is also registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) by the Ministry of Home Affairs, vide their letter ll/21022/83/(102)/2003 dated August 13,2003. The FCRA registration number is 231660377, Category: Social.

The Centre invites funding from individuals, business and industry, government and philanthropic institutions for its corpus and activities. Details about support can be obtained by writing to:

Managing Trustee
D /6,6143 /3, Vasant Kunj
New Delhi 110070
Program Manager
C/o, RGVN,
8th Byelane,
Rajgarh Road, Guwahati-781003
Assam, India

Phone : New Delhi : 91 11 26121426
Guwahati : 91 361-2453962


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