Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme

The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme is a unique programme designed for outstanding students of Grades X, XI, and XII (by May 2024) to help them immerse in an academically rich environment and experience the culture and ethos of a liberal education-based research University. It enables them to acquire the interdisciplinary and research-based orientation to aspire for and transition to high-quality undergraduate programmes.

Through the Programme, students explore the city of Ahmedabad as a live laboratory beyond the classroom. They look at a wide variety of social and cultural influences that shape our fast-changing urban life. All our areas of study are structured to combine academic coursework, hands-on learning, and field trips and include an introduction to research thinking.

Grand challenges and complex issues facing society require addressing them from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The Programme is designed to give young minds a preview into interdisciplinary and project-based learning at Ahmedabad University and prepare them for a liberal and broad-based education. The eight-day programme will be an intensive experience that will attempt to stretch their mind and imagination about various disciplines.

A day at the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme

  • Masterclasses by Subject Matter Experts
  • Hands-on workshops
  • Studio time
  • Sports and co-curricular activities
  • Local excursions

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Learning Outcomes

By the end of the eight-day programme, students will be able to:

  • Define a real-world problem and approach it from an interdisciplinary lens
  • Discover a way to think towards finding a solution to a grand challenge in areas like Urban Infrastructure or Climate Change
  • Explore a discipline of their choice
  • Pick up skills like data interpretation, critical thinking, and creative writing
  • Experience University life

Programme Structure

During the eight-day programme, students will undergo a mix of disciplinary masterclasses, hands-on problem solving, immersion into local and University culture, and a variety of skill-building sessions like 3D printing, critical thinking etc. along with working with a maker studio which will directly tie in to their grand challenge. Students will also have the choice to attend sessions by faculty experts on different disciplines and programmes. These will be over and above the masterclasses.

The highlight of the Programme is the thematic studio based around a grand challenge. Each student will work on a real-life project in small groups. These projects will involve inputs from multiple disciplines and methods and require students to think analytically and apply a set of concepts to design a solution to a real-world problem. It will also require students to develop the capacity to articulate and present their ideas to a larger audience using appropriate media. Each group of students will be assigned faculty mentors who will advise and guide them on the project.

Hallmarks of the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme

The Programme is a unique opportunity for students to work in a thematic studio based around a grand challenge. It offers students:

  • A real-world challenge to address
  • Studio-based experiential learning
  • An interdisciplinary programme design
  • Individual feedback for personal growth
  • A small cohort of 40 select students

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Application Process

A small cohort of 40 students will be handpicked from eligible applications. Students in Grades X, XI, and XII (by May 2024) can apply for this uniquely curated experience. They should have a strong academic background and a repertoire of co-curricular and extra-curricular interests. Shortlisted candidates may also be invited for one-on-one interaction with our selection committee.

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Programme Fee

  • INR 50000 - Programme fee includes all meals, shared stay at Ahmedabad University Student Residences, and all curated experiences. The programme fee does not include travel to and from the University. 
  • Need-Based Scholarships are available. Please contact us for the same.

Application Deadlines

Cohort 1: May 4 - 11, 2024 Cohort 2: June 29 - July 6, 2024 
Round 1: February 26, 2024 Round 1: April 1, 2024
Round 2: March 11, 2024 Round 2: April 15, 2024

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If you have questions that have not already been answered here, you can write to us at/call on: [email protected] | +91.79.6191198

Programme Mentors

MINAL PATHAK

MINAL PATHAK

Associate Professor
Global Centre for Environment and Energy

MARYAM KAVESHGAR

MARYAM KAVESHGAR

Assistant Professor
School of Engineering and Applied Science

ADITYA VAISHYA

ADITYA VAISHYA

Assistant Professor
School of Arts and Sciences

Disciplinary Studio Facilitators

SAMYADAY CHOUDHURY

SAMYADAY CHOUDHURY

Assistant Professor
School of Arts and Sciences

RAJESH NAIDU

RAJESH NAIDU

Assistant Professor
School of Arts and Sciences

PRAVAKAR PAUL

PRAVAKAR PAUL

Assistant Professor
School of Arts and Sciences

TANVI RANGWALA

TANVI RANGWALA

CEO
VentureStudio

MAYA RATNAM

MAYA RATNAM

Assistant Professor
School of Arts and Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme is a unique programme designed for outstanding students of Grades X, XI, and XII to help them immerse in an academically rich environment and experience the culture and ethos of a liberal education-based University. Selected participants will get to spend eight days on the Ahmedabad University Campus and learn about the various disciplines on offer. The highlight of the Programme is the thematic studio based around a grand challenge. Each student will work on a real-life project in small groups. These projects will involve inputs from multiple disciplines and methods and require students to think analytically and apply a set of concepts to design a solution to a real-world problem.

How do you apply for the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

You can apply to the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme via the Ahmedabad University website or by clicking the link below.

Is the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme an online or offline event?

The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme is a fully residential programme at the Ahmedabad University Campus. 

What are the dates of the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme will be held on May 4-11, 2024 and June 29- July 6, 2024.

What is the application fee for the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

  • An application fee of INR 500/- has to be paid with the submission of the completed application form. This is non-refundable.
  • The course fee for the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme is INR 50,000.
  • If selected, the student has to pay the full fees to secure their spot.

What does the programme fee include?

The programme fee is inclusive of the tuition fee, stationery, resource material and supplies, local excursions, accommodation, and all meal expenses. 

Is scholarship/financial-aid available?

  • Yes, need-based financial aid is available.
  • We want to ensure that every deserving student who meets our selection criteria is able to attend our Programme, regardless of need or background. Need-based financial aid is available for students whose family income is less than INR 10 lakh per annum. Applying to the scholarship does not affect our admission decision.

How does one apply for financial aid?

If you believe you are eligible for financial aid, please indicate the same on your application. You will also need to upload your family members’ latest income tax returns and other financial documents, if they are requested. 

How is students’ financial need assessed for financial aid?

Students who apply for aid will have to submit the required documents as mentioned in the form for need-based evaluation of financial aid. The documents will be evaluated by an independent auditor that may involve an audit visit to your home. Additionally, the student and their family may be invited for an interaction to determine suitability for financial aid.

What is the programme schedule?

  • The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme is a dynamic programme that ensures no two days are alike. However, here’s how some of the days may roll out at the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme:
  • Students start with exploring a discipline in a Masterclass from the faculty experts, followed by a discussion on the theme of the grand challenge they are working on along with their faculty mentors or in teams. This will be done using Ahmedabad University’s pedagogy of hands-on and interdisciplinary learning.
  • Post lunch, students work in smaller groups on a skill they want to acquire. They move around the city with their mentors to contextualise their grand challenge and explore the city. 
  • The day winds down with recreational activities including sports and/or the performing arts with peers and University students.

What is the last day for making the payment?

You will need to complete the entire payment within five days of receiving your Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme offer. For the extended deadline, you will need to make the payment within three days of receiving the offer.

Who are the mentors for the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

Renowned faculty members from Ahmedabad University and visiting experts will be mentors in the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme.

What are the criteria for selection to the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

Your application will be evaluated on the basis of your academic performance (your mark sheet/s), your responses to the questions in the application, and your overall curricular and co-curricular profile. Selected candidates may also be invited for a personal interaction. We are looking for students who are curious and open to learning new things.

What subject background is required for participating in the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

There is no binding on the background of students. As long as you are curious and open to learning, you will be a great fit for the Programme.

Are students appearing for their Class 12 board examinations in 2024 eligible for the Programme?

No, students who have completed their Class 12 board examinations are not eligible for the Programme.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes, there is a waitlist. Students who are on the waitlist will be informed, and as vacancies open up, they will be contacted for admission.

How will the candidates be notified about their admission decision?

Candidates will be notified about the admission decision via their registered email. 

Do we get a certificate for the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

Yes, students will be given a certificate on successful completion of the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme, provided they have attended and participated in all activities and sessions.

Will attending the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme increase my chances of admission to the Undergraduate Programme at Ahmedabad University?

Attending the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme will give you an insight into liberal education, interdisciplinarity, and experiential learning, which are the pillars of Ahmedabad University’s pedagogy. This will help you explore your interests and assist you in applying to the Undergraduate Programme at Ahmedabad University. However, this does not guarantee admission to the University.

Are there any terms and conditions/code of conduct for the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme?

Yes, all student participants of the Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme must accept terms and conditions that will include:

  • Sensitivity and commitment to learning.
  • Demonstration of team spirit.
  • Maintenance of decorum.
  • Abstaining from discrimination.
  • No usage of offensive language on any platform.
  • Being responsible and ethical netizens. 

The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme Code of Conduct will be sent to all admitted students who will need to sign it before they start the Programme. 

Will I have to attend all the sessions? 

  • The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme is a very engaging programme, and attending each session will add value to your learning and knowledge across various topics. It will also help later in college/university applications and in making informed choices. Hence, attendance and participation are strongly advised for a meaningful experience and to obtain the programme certificate. 
  • There will be a few parallel sessions in the Programme. Students will attend the session based on their interest.

What is the refund policy?

  • Within seven days of the commencement of the Programme: NIL.
  • 7-15 days from the commencement of the Programme: 50% of the fees will be deducted.
  • All refunds will be processed after/within 30 days of the completion of the Programme. This refund will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and ONLY in case of a clash with the national or state boards. In such cases, the date-sheet will need to be provided, following which the refund will be permitted.

Can guardians of students accompany them? If yes, are they allowed on Campus? 

Guardians are welcome to drop-off their child but not allowed to stay overnight on Campus.

Do I need to carry any ID or document to enter the Campus?

Yes, you need to have a valid School/Government-issued ID card.

Where would the participants stay during the Programme in Ahmedabad?

The programme fee includes a stay in the Ahmedabad University Student Residences on a twin-sharing basis. This will also help the students experience University and hostel life and encourage collaboration with their peers.

Are the Student Residences safe?

  • The Student Residences (separate for boys and girls) are overseen by a dedicated Office of Student Housing and Residential Life, and our Director of the Office makes frequent rounds and is always available on call. They have responsible and trustworthy wardens on 24-hour duty.
  • Students will be supervised at all times on-Campus, with ample security to ensure no unauthorised outsiders can come on Campus, and no students can leave.

Can I stay with my family or friends in Ahmedabad?

  • The Ahmedabad Grand Challenges Programme has been designed in a way so as to give maximum immersive experience to the students. Given the nature of the Programme and the intensive schedule, participants will have to mandatorily stay in the student residences.
  • During the eight-day stay in Ahmedabad University Student Residences, once the daily schedule gets over in the evening, are the participants allowed to leave the Campus?
  • No, they are not allowed.

In case of a medical emergency, is there any medical facility or hospital available on or near the Campus?

The Ahmedabad University Centre houses a Medical Centre for basic health care support and First Aid along with an on-call doctor in case of medical emergencies.

I have more questions, who should I reach out to?

If you have questions that have not already been answered here, you can write to us at/call on: [email protected] | +91.79.6191198