National Student Challenge


nsc_winners_banner_rsSix hundred million new urban citizens by 2050— India’s urban transition is an unprecedented challenge and opportunity. India’s cities, towns and villages are changing at a rapid pace with profound consequences for the economy, equity, culture, politics and sustainability. How will we address the simultaneous and complex needs for effective governance, good infrastructure, social protection and environmental management? How can we build effective, sustainable and equitable cities?

The answers begin with engagement. Transform Urban India is a platform for interdisciplinary interventions and team-based practice and learning for stakeholders ranging from students to professionals, government leaders to activists, urban researchers to industry veterans and, importantly, all of us. Transform Urban India aims to engage, learn, reflect, act, sustain and facilitate the champions of positive change across the country. It does so through the National Student Challenge, Photography Contests, Webinars, Hackathons, Urban Cafes, Essay Competitions, and online discussion groups, to name just a few!

At IIHS, we are committed to creating awareness about India’s urban challenges and find sustainable solutions by connecting and engaging with all relevant stakeholders. Join us to transform urban India!

National Student Challenge (NSC)

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Shriya Anand

Shriya worked at the Centre for Development Finance, the National Knowledge Commission, and provided advisory inputs for the High Power Expert Committee on financing infrastructure, chaired by Dr. Isher Ahluwalia. IDFC, SEWA, Development Innovations Group and UNDP are other clients she has worked with. Most recently, she worked with New Jersey Future in the US and was involved in a study of land rights in Cambodia.

Arindam Jana

Arindam primarily works on demographics and information systems. His other areas of interest lie in information design, urban economics and transportation systems. At IIHS, he has been developing tools and methodologies to improve current public perceptions of what constitutes the ‘urban’; and, evaluating interpretations drawn from large public information sources. He co-anchors the Urban Informatics Lab. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Anna University, Chennai, and, a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from University of Madras.

Jyothi Koduganti

Jyothi is a Research Assistant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and works on economic growth and development, employment, poverty, and vulnerability. She is currently working on issues in poverty measurement in India and on the phenomenon of new township development, including aspects of planning, governance, and economic development. She has a Master’s degree in Economics with a specialization in Development Studies from the Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pune. She also holds a Diploma in Liberal Arts from Symbiosis, Pune.

Mohan Raju JS

Mohan is a Research Assistant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. He is part of Academics and Research team. He is primary focus area is developing and managing databases for Urban informatics Laboratory, developing interactive visualisations, and data analytics. He works on visual basic, Java and HTML platforms. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from Reva Institute of Technology.

Garima Jain

Garima is a senior research associate at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and her areas of research include issues of vulnerabilities and risks particularly in urban areas, migration, climate change and multi-dimensional urban poverty. She is currently involved in developing Comparative City Indicators for the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. She recently exhibited her explorations along with the works of Paul Fernandes in ‘Curious Transformations’ – a documentation of changes taking place in the city of Bangalore. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Neha Sami

Neha has worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority as an analyst with the Economic Development Division. She has also worked as a consultant with the Environment and Sustainable Development Division of the UN-ESCAP (Bangkok).

Swastik Harish

Swastik is a part of the design and implementation team for the IIHS Urban Practitioners’ Programme, the executive and continuing education function at IIHS. His main area of work revolves around housing for the urban poor, with a special focus on rental housing mechanisms. Besides these, he is also involved in capacity building programmes around heritage planning and management, data visualization and green building technologies and concepts. Besides his experience in his core areas of architecture and design as well as teaching and pedagogical design, Swastik has technical expertise in physical and virtual modelling (prototyping), and advanced proprietary and open source software. He holds a degree in Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi.

Vikrant M S

Vikrant leads the Media and Design team and is responsible for design and development of the IIHS brand. His areas of expertise include User Interface Design, Corporate Branding, Brand Development and Creative Direction.

NSC 2013 Image Gallery

Siddharth Hande
Siddharth is a geo-spatial analyst as well as an urban studies and new media researcher by training. He is the founder of Supportive Cities and Kabadiwalla Connect, which are social enterprises in the fields of alternative career development and waste management respectively. He is also the co-founder and managing director of N-Spatial Technologies, which is a spatial research, training, application and product development consultancy.

Prabu Raja
Prabu is a web-GIS expert and focuses on mobile and web product development. He is the Technology Lead at Transparent Chennai, which is an NGO working on issues related to the urban poor in Chennai. He also consults with N-Spatial Technologies, which is a spatial research, training, application and product development consultancy.

Christopher Herlich
Christopher Herlich is a Second year Master of Urban Planning student, with a concentration in Physical Planning and Design. Before returning to school, Chris worked as a government relations and environmental consultant, performing policy analysis at the local, state and national scales on a wide range of topics. His previous long term professional projects have included environmental justice analysis, policy benchmarking, and public utilities and infrastructure analysis. Upon graduation, Chris hopes to become a planning consultant focusing on the impact of data on the urban form.

Marlon Phillips
Marlon Phillips is a recently graduated student specializing in Human Computer Interaction at the School of Information. His previous field of study was Urban & Regional Planning with a minor in Geographic Information Science at Michigan State University. Marlon’s current focus is on applying user experience, interaction design, and emerging technologies to generate creative solutions that improve the urban experience.

Michael Wayne Harris
Michael Wayne Harris is a recently graduated Master of Science in Information student, with a focus on library science and human-computer interaction. Michael’s current focus is on helping academic libraries with their technology and web development needs, especially through using Drupal. Before coming to the University of Michigan to study information science, Michael received two degrees in English at Yale University, focusing on British poetry and American Realism and Postmodernism.