2023-24 Maitri Fellows

Ambika Vishwanath
La Trobe Asia

Ambika is undertaking a 15-month fellowship at La Trobe Asia investigating enhanced climate and security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Ambika is co-Founder and Director of female-led think tank Kubernein Initiative (KI) which leads on climate, water and human security and foreign policy issues. She has contributed to international policy and geopolitical conferences including the Raisina Dialogue and Munich Secretary Conference and has been published by over 50 global media outlets. Ambika has previously advised governments, the development sector and think tanks on policy issues.

Riya Sinha
United States Studies Centre

Riya will undertake research at the United States Studies Centre on connectivity in the Eastern Indian Ocean region. Her fellowship will explore opportunities for collaboration between Australia and India to strengthen maritime port infrastructure for more secure supply chains and strategic edge in geo-economic competition. With extensive experience in economic security policy, advising international governments and coordinating the Sambandh Initiative on Regional Connectivity at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, New Delhi, Riya actively contributes to strategic dialogues and conferences on infrastructure development and port connectivity.

Sudarshan Shrikhande
Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS)

With extensive policy and research experience in security-related fields, Sudarshan is undertaking a six-month fellowship with the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) to explore the Australia-India bilateral trade and maritime security relationship. His research will focus on threats to maritime trade between India and Australia and the impacts of trade contestation and conflict in the region. Sudarshan is a former Defence Adviser at the Indian High Commission in Australia, having previously served as a senior officer in the Indian Navy and currently teaches at several military colleges including the National Defence College of India.

Sunaina Kumar
UNSW Institute for Global Development

Sunaina is undertaking a six-month fellowship with the UNSW Institute for Global Development to support the establishment of a new program on Human Security and Economy in the Global South. The project will cover key themes of South-South collaboration, human security, and economic prosperity with the objective to broaden Australia’s economic and social engagement with the South Asia region. Sunaina is a Senior Fellow leading on gender and development at the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi and served as Executive Director of Think20 India working with researchers across G20 countries.

Chandni Singh
Chandni Singh
La Trobe Asia

Chandni will undertake a short-term fellowship at La Trobe Asia to investigate the shared climate risks faced by Australia and India and opportunities for collaboration. The fellowship will encourage adaptation experts to share innovations in climate policy and practice. Chandni is a Senior Researcher in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and was a Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability for the AR6. She has led several interdisciplinary projects on changing livelihoods in the context of climate change, building scholarship on climate vulnerability and adaptation in South Asia.

Premesha Saha
Asia Society Australia

Premesha’s research during her six-month fellowship will focus on how India and Australia can collaborate to mutually strengthen their presence and engagement in Southeast Asia. The project will propose policy options for deepening bilateral cooperation to strengthen the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and deepen ties with Southeast Asia. Premesha currently works at the Indian think tank Observer Research Foundation, leading on policy analysis on Southeast Asia and emerging dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region. Premesha’s extensive research has been published in several international peer reviewed journals and has contributed published chapters in edited books.

Titiksha Vashist
ANU Tech Policy Design Centre

Titiksha will undertake a six-month fellowship at the ANU Tech Policy Design Centre to explore Australian-Indian cooperation in critical minerals and clean energy technology. The project will focus on clean energy technologies as a case study with the aim of enhancing policy dialogue and opportunities for collaboration in the bilateral relationship, and through forums such as the Quad. Titiksha is the Co-Founder and Lead Researcher at the Pranava Institute, which works at the intersection of emerging technology and public policy to shape sustainable technological futures. Titiksha has presented her work at several international forums including the UN Internet Governance Forum, Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum, RightsCon and Re:Publica in Germany.