• Project Title: The Dawn of A New Era: What Climate Change Means for 21st Century India

  • BASIS Advisor: Dr. Brown

  • Internship Location: UC Berkeley

  • Onsite Mentor: Ms. Dorothy Ngutter - State Department's Diplomat-in-Residence, Dr. Sree Padma Holt -Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley

Having fallen into deep corruption over the past two decades, the Indian government has exploited and continues to exploit its citizens. This is concerning, especially considering the recent outbreak of climate change in India—a phenomenon that threatens to annihilate India’s economy and place heavy economic burden upon those who cannot handle it. However, climate change does not limit itself to India’s environmental sphere. India is an agrarian country with around 60% of its people depending directly or indirectly upon agriculture. Trapped in the snare of venture capitalists who harass farmers to pay back their loans promptly and of their families in need of food and financial backing, farmers in India —more so than any other country—have been driven to suicide. Several studies from 2005 identified several causes for farmer suicides, such as insufficient or risky credit systems, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities, and a downturn in the urban economy which forced non-farmers into farming. As such, it is evident that climate change possesses malicious effects, and such effects are spilling over into not only the Indian biological sphere but also the Indian societal sphere. This paper utilizes a mixed-methods methodology to pinpoint the most malicious effects of climate change upon 21st century Indian individuals. By proving a definite link between climate change and heavy restrictions on individuals’ freedom, this study highlights several concerns in India’s legislative framework and proposes a method by which such issues may be remedied.