UN Foundation and CEEW Announce Inaugural Cohort for Next Generation India Fellowship

Fellows will create and implement sustainable solutions for the most urgent issues facing young Indians.

New Delhi

January 31, 2024


Megan Rabbitt

The United Nations Foundation and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) today announced the inaugural cohort of the Next Generation India Fellowship. The group of 10 young leaders will participate in the two-year Fellowship — a platform for young Indian thinkers to develop solutions for public health, climate, gender equality, and more.

“I’m thrilled to see the Next Generation India Fellowship take off, expanding the impact of Our Future Agenda, our marquee program for young changemakers,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “I’m eager to see this cohort’s innovative ideas and impact reverberate across the world — sparking progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and pushing our international system to think, plan, and act for the future.”

The UN Foundation’s Our Future Agenda provides a platform to reimagine the UN for 21st-century needs and taps into the leadership of young people and young countries. As a part of this program, the Next Generation India Fellowship will put young people at the forefront of the movement to shape multilateral policy, inspire bold thinking, and drive solutions and innovation at scale.

Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer of CEEW, added: “This cohort represents some of India’s most promising young leaders. Throughout the next two years, this Fellowship will empower them to showcase their skills and elevate their unique voices on a global platform in pursuit of a better future for India, and the world.”

Nearly 11 billion people are expected to be born this century, and 1.5 billion are likely to be born in India alone. With more than half of its population under the age of thirty, India is the world’s largest and most influential young country to-date. With support, guidance, and mentorship from the UN Foundation, CEEW, and partner resources, the Next Generation India Fellows will dive deeper into policy making, strategic planning, and global diplomacy during their two-year fellowship experience.

“I’m excited to join the UN Foundation and CEEW as the lead for the Next Generation India Fellowship,” said Prachi Shevgaonkar, Lead Next Generation India Fellow. “After spending a year traveling across India, covering stories of youth, farmers, and waste-picker communities to understand the daily impact of climate change, I am more eager than ever to develop and implement solutions for our shared problems alongside this amazing new cohort.”

Selected from a competitive pool of over 600 applicants, the fellows are:

  • Awais Ahmed, 26, Innovation: Founder and CEO of Pixxel, a space technology company building a constellation of the world’s highest-resolution hyperspectral earth imaging satellites.
  • Dhruvak Aggarwal, 29, Affordable & Clean Energy: Aggarwal’s current research focuses on enhancing household energy efficiency, reforming the electricity sector, and digitizing power infrastructure.
  • Radhika Bajoria, 24, Future of the Workforce: Founder of Radically Yours, a knowledge-sharing platform for new businesses and investment funds; Bajoria studies the evolution of tech-driven businesses and connects them to global institutional capital.
  • Nandini Harihar, 28, Oceans: Harihar’s current research covers the geopolitics and governance of the global commons, including climate risk, energy security, ocean governance, technology collaboration, multilateralism, and geoengineering.
  • Dhairya Nagpal, 22, New Technologies: Passionate about ethical considerations in technology and data privacy, he is committed to leveraging technology to address global challenges, promote digital inclusivity, and empower young people to be active participants in shaping their shared future.
  • Prachi Shevgaonkar, 25, Climate, Lead: A climate innovator and founder of “Cool The Globe,” an award-winning app for climate action, Shevgaonkar was named Young Change-maker of the Year by India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and was the youngest and first Indian Citizen to be appointed to the advisory board of Climate Leadership Coalition.
  • Gurjeet Singh, 29, Art and Culture: This Chandigarh-based artist is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, using his art to promote representation and acceptance. He also aims to empower rural artisans through collaboration and local engagement, providing them with exposure and economic opportunities.
  • Anoushka Sinha, 21, Gender Equality: A human rights and gender equality activist who has been advocating for women’s rights and education equality since she was 10 years old. Anupam Foundation works with global partners including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Learning Planet Alliance.
  • Saikot Sukla, 30, Public Health: Serving as a Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Sukla played a pivotal role in leading skilling initiatives, conducting socio-economic analyses, and championing innovative projects.
  • Gunraagh Talwar, 26, Sustainable Cities: Lead of the ‘Better Bhalswa’ initiative, Gunraagh focuses on urban rejuvenation around Delhi’s legacy dumpsites. He is a passionate advocate for waste management, environmental rejuvenation, and climate action. His work contributes to urban improvement and regeneration initiatives.

The Next Generation India Fellowship was launched on the sidelines of the G20 presidency as an extension of the Next Generation Global Fellows Program, which was established by the UN Foundation in response to the UN Secretary-General’s request for young people to shape the Our Common Agenda report. The 20 current Next Generation Fellows will continue to build on the legacy of their predecessor’s Our Future Agenda report as they work to deliver on its vision for current and future generations.

The Next Generation India Fellowship will run through 2025 and will coincide with the once-in-a-generation Summit of the Future during the 79th UN General Assembly.

Learn more about the first cohort of Next Generation India Fellows at ourfutureagenda.org/nextgenerationfellows.

About the United Nations Foundation
For 25 years, the UN Foundation has built novel innovations and partnerships to support the United Nations and help solve global problems at scale. As an independent charitable organization, the Foundation was created to work closely with the United Nations to address humanity’s greatest challenges and drive global progress. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org and www.ourfutureagenda.org.

About the Council on Energy, Environment and Water
The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), based in India, is one of Asia’s leading not-for-profit policy research institutions. The Council uses data, integrated analysis, and strategic outreach to explain – and change – the use, reuse, and misuse of resources. It prides itself on the independence of its high-quality research, develops partnerships with public and private institutions, and engages with the wider public. In 2021, CEEW once again featured extensively across ten categories in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. The Council has also been consistently ranked among the world’s top climate change think tanks. Learn more at www.ceew.in and follow us on X @CEEWIndia for the latest updates.