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Reports on India’s Progress Towards Net Zero Through a Just Energy Transition

Call for Proposals
Published on
05 Jan 2023
a train carrying coal
19 February 2023, 03:59 PM, Asia/Kolkata IST (Extended Deadline) info.ejn [at]

Call for Proposals available in: Hindi

EJN is offering support for the production of in-depth reports on India’s progress towards a Net Zero economy through a Just Energy Transition.   

Please read the following sections carefully, as they contain important information on eligibility and the application process. 



In recent years, several countries have set increasingly ambitious decarbonization goals. At COP26 in Glasgow, India committed to reach Net Zero by 2070. 

What will this transition entail? What steps are needed to move towards the target, and what will need to be done to ensure the country is on track for a just transition? In the coming years, the public will have to be kept informed about what’s at stake. As countries endeavor to transition to greener economies to meet their climate goals, reporters will need to develop their knowledge, skills and capacity to cover these topics.  

To meet this need, we are offering support to produce five such reports, as part of EJN’s Pathways to Net Zero in India and South Africa project

EJN will provide a grant of up to Rs 90,000 per report and mentoring from experienced practitioners to selected applicants. Interested applicants are encouraged to read EJN’s tipsheet, A Journalist’s Guide to Covering India’s Net Zero Transition, before applying. 

The reports can be produced in English or a local language. However, in case it is in a local language, an English translation should be provided. 

Report themes  

We welcome unique reports that focus on: 

  • opportunities to achieve net zero and challenges that may impede the country’s progress 
  • sectoral plans and policies in industries like transport, electricity, automotive, fuel, mining, agriculture and manufacturing; 
  • finance and capital investments, available and suitable technologies, and infrastructure; 
  • areas of potential growth and development in a green economy 
  • the impact on marginalized communities most affected by decarbonization efforts 

Applicants may explore in-depth features on labor and communities on the fringes of high-emitting industries; data projects on energy, finance and markets as well as reports that highlight opportunities for previously disadvantaged groups and local economies.  

We aim to support the production of reports that raise awareness and drive conversations among communities and policymakers at local, national and regional levels. Proposals that focus on topics that have not been widely covered are preferred. 


Applicants based in India are eligible. 

For the purposes of this grant opportunity, we will only be accepting applications in English, Hindi and Bengali. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to consider applications in other languages at this time. Applicants must either have a working understanding of at least one of these languages or have a translator available to assist with communication with Internews staff. 

Groups of applicants are eligible. However, the application must be made in the name of one lead applicant. Lead applicants are responsible for communicating with EJN and receiving funds on the group’s behalf, if awarded. 

Applications can be made for reports in any medium (online, print, television, radio). 

We welcome applications from early-career as well as experienced reporters. We are especially eager to hear from applicants reporting on business, finance and tech perspectives, or those closely covering the country’s emission-reduction policies. 

We encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of organizations – international, national, local and community-based. 

EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.  


We plan to finalize the list of successful applicants by the end of February 2023, with the expectation that all reports will be published by the end of May 2023 at the latest. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting their workplan. 

Safety: We encourage everyone to follow best practices for Covid-19 when out in the field so you do not endanger yourself or the people you’re interviewing. If needed, you should include any Covid-related costs, such as tests or personal protective equipment, in your budget.  

Budget: All applicants are required to provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided below. We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for reporting, such as travel and accommodation. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from any other source for the report. 

Generally speaking, applications with smaller budgets will be more competitive, but we will consider larger amounts for reports using innovative, collaborative or investigative approaches that may be more resource-intensive and time-consuming. 

We expect that proposals will largely reflect what equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, lighting, tripods, etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new equipment.  

We will consider a stipend if the applicant is a freelancer. Please estimate the time you’ll need to complete this report and propose compensation you believe reflects a fair market rate. We ask, however, that this comprises no more than 30% of the total budget.  

Republication rights: Successful applicants are encouraged to publish or broadcast their reports first in their affiliated outlet as long as Internews’ EJN and its partners are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute them freely.  

Judging criteria 

Applicants should consider the following points when devising their proposals. 

  • Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of the call? Why does this report matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined? 
  • Angle: If the subject has been covered, does your proposal bring new insights to the topic or offer a fresh angle? 
  • Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and spur action? 
  • Innovation: The use of creative approaches, multimedia and data visualization will be considered a plus. 
  • Plan for timely publication: Applicants, whether freelance or employed, will need to include a letter of support from an editor in their application, committing to publish the report by the end of May 2023. 

Application process 

  • Click the 'Apply now' button at the top of the page. 
  • If you have an existing account, you'll need to log in. Since we recently updated our website, you might have to reset your password by clicking the “Forgot password?” link in the log in page. If you don’t have an account, you must register by clicking “Log in” on the top right of the page and click the “Sign up” link at the bottom of the page that opens. Click here for detailed instructions on how to create an account, and here for detailed instructions on how to reset your password. 
  • If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later, you can click 'Save Draft.' To return to the draft, you'll need to go back to the opportunity and click 'Apply now' again to finalize the application. 
  • Applications should provide a detailed budget in an Excel spreadsheet with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link.  
  • All applicants are required to provide a signed letter of support from their editor, explicitly stating that the outlet will publish the reports produced as a result of this support. 
  • Applicants will also need to submit two samples of reports or links to relevant work.  

Note: You'll be asked to upload these supporting documents once you start the application process, so please have them handy.  

If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected]. Do not contact any other Internews email regarding this opportunity, as we will not receive it.  

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. 

Banner image: In a push to revive the economy, the Indian government has recently privatized coal mining / Credit: Sushmita. 

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