The Scheme has been established to stimulate exchange of ideas and academic collaboration between India and the University of Cambridge. It is named after its founder Dr Yusuf Hamied, Chairman of Cipla Ltd, India, and an alumnus of the University's Department of Chemistry and Christ's College.
Professor Andrew Balmford invited Dr Karanth to visit Cambridge in order to initiate collaboration on the collation of key data for assessing the status of India's Protected Areas (PAs). The data will focus on status, threats and management effectiveness of the country's 600+ protected areas which cover less than 4% of the total land area but support much of the country's biological diversity, including the largest populations of the world's tigers and Asiatic elephants.
Dr Krithi Karanth is Assistant Director at the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) and the Visiting Fellow at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), both in Bangalore. She is interested in interactions between protected areas and people, biodiversity patterns and species extinctions, human-wildlife conflicts, nature-based tourism and impacts of conservation interventions and policies such as resettlement. She has conducted research in India since 2001, her current research examines wildlife habitat use, land use change, tourism impacts, and human-wildlife conflicts in ten Indian wildlife reserves.
Professor Balmford commented: "India is an exceptionally important country for conservation, both in terms of both its biodiversity and its growing reputation for world-class applied research. We're extremely keen to build on the links we already have with Indian colleagues - and Dr Karanth's visit was an important part of planning those developments."