Inside JGU 2017 - Issue 2 (Apr)

Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, JGU; Professor Kathleen Modrowski, Dean, Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities; and Mr. Shivansh Malik, President,  JGLS Student Council at the inauguration of the JGU Student’s Council Office.

Over the past month, JGU has invested in several new infrastructure additions to support new University initiatives. On 17 March 2017, three new offices were inaugurated – the JGU Student’s Council Office & Student Initiatives Room, the Office of Alumni Relations and the Legal Aid Clinic. The new offices complement JGU’s vision to expand its academic and programme offerings over the coming years. 

The JGU Student Council plays a crucial role in representing the student community and facilitating interaction on student issues. Over the years, the Council has spearheaded the promotion of positive relations within the student community and with other University stakeholders and supported overall University objectives such as raising JGU’s international research profile and our commitment to public service, through student academic achievements, placements and student societies, clubs and sports initiatives. 

As we have grown over the past eight years, JGU’s alumni community is increasingly playing an important role in our mission to achieve institutional excellence. The alumni community now comprises around 1000 members. The Office of Alumni Relations will support JGU’s efforts to sustain support and build a sense of community among our alumni. More information on the JGU alumni network is available at http://alumni.jgu.edu.in/ 

In all its activities, a key objective for JGU is to encourage projects and outcomes in the public interest and engage actively with local and neighbouring communities where possible. The Legal Aid Clinic at the Jindal Global Law School aims to bridge the gap between what the law promises to offer and the actual realities of law. It follows the model of good governance through citizen participation, which believes that good governance will come about only when citizens at all levels of our democracy effectively participate. The new office for the Legal Aid Clinic will strengthen the efforts of students, researchers and faculty members to expand legal awareness and literacy, provide free legal aid services and engage with important issues facing neighbouring rural communities. More information about the JGU Legal Aid Clinic and its ongoing projects and activities are available at https://www.jgu.edu.in/JGU/CMS/Community-Engagement/Legal-Aid-Clinic.

Ms. Surinder Kaur, Deputy Director and Chief Warden, JGU with students and colleagues at the inauguration of the new offices.

Over 120 undergraduate students from 20 universities and colleges from around the country participated in the inaugural Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) organised by the Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities (JSLH) between April 7 and 8, 2017. The key idea behind this first-of-its-kind event was to attract eager young minds from across the nation who are involved in avant-garde research in varied disciplines of liberal arts and humanities and offer a launching pad into global academia.

(L-R) Professor (Dr.) Indira Parikh, Founding President, Flame University; Professor (Dr.) Sharon Carnahan, Executive Director, Student Research, Rollins College, Florida, USA; and Professor Kathleen Modrowski, Dean, Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities at the inaugural session of the Undergraduate Research Conference.

The conference saw representations from some of the most revered institutions of the country, including Miranda House, Lady Shri Ram College and St. Stephen’s College (Delhi University), Ambedkar University (Delhi), Shiv Nadar University (Greater Noida), Ashoka University (Sonipat), Lovely Professional University (Jalandhar), Ahmedabad University (Amrut Modi School of Management), Symbiosis College of Liberal Arts (Pune), Manipal Institute of Technology (Karnataka), and University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (Dehradun). The URC also enjoyed overwhelming participation from several schools of JGU, including Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) and Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) in addition to JSLH.

The URC was graced by the distinguished presence of renowned peer educators including Dr. Pratibha Jolly, Principal, Miranda House; Dr. Vasudha Pandey, Professor of History, Lady Shri Ram College; Dr. Omana Antony, Dean, School of Humanities, K.R. Mangalam University; Professor Sumantra Sengupta, Head, Department of Art, Design, and Performing Arts, Shiv Nadar University; Dr. Armin Rosencranz, Professor, Jindal Global Law School; and Dr. Y.S.R. Murthy, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, and Registrar, JGU. Speaking on the occasion, the educators emphatically stressed upon the need for organising such events more regularly to promote higher education and capacity building in India and urged the students to pursue transdisciplinary research. 

Through 15 sessions, students, teachers, and practitioners came together over eclectic dialogues on global political theories, economic liberalisation, demonetisation, climate change and sustainable development, migration and globalisation, social changes, emerging theories in cognitive and behavioral sciences, environmental pollution and mitigation, philosophy, anthropology, religion, history, expressive arts, literature, film and gender studies.

The Educator’s Panel with moderator Dr. Y.S.R. Murthy, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, and Registrar, JGU underway during the Undergraduate Research Conference.

The breadth of ideas and methods the URC showcased was overwhelming. It featured young filmmakers who video-graphed their experiences with the monks in an International Tibetan Monastery in Sarnath, documenting their Spartan lifestyles, the notion of Dharma in Tibetan philosophy, culture, food, literature and migration. It provided the opportunity to students studying various branches of martial arts to demonstrate how they influence human faith, will and reasoning. It saw students coming up with novel ideas about ecofriendly dyes made from discarded house materials to reduce environmental pollution. Overall, the URC celebrated ways to merge theory with practice in a national meet which can well be a torchbearer for higher education in the country in days ahead.  

Speaking at the commencement, Professor (Dr) C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, JGU, emphasised the need for a multifaceted approach to transform education in India. “Humanities education has been undergoing a crisis in India and is reflective of the gap between a developed and developing country. It is incumbent upon institutions to provide quality education in order to harness the demographic advantages of a young India into a demographic dividend.

In her keynote address, Dr. Indira Parikh, founding president of Flame University, Pune, emphasised that students undertake an educational journey that makes them aware of the “wider context of social and cultural filters” that influence a society. “Too often, students in India get the British viewpoint but not the Indian one, a job of good research is to be aware of one’s own prejudices,” she said. She encouraged students to fearlessly and passionately get into research. “Nothing in research is a loss,” she said. She urged students and the academic community to “temper research with being a human and with emotion”.

In her remarks on the initiative of undergraduate research, Dr. Sharon Carnahan, Executive Director of the Child Development Laboratory at Rollins College, Florida, spoke about the potential of “undergraduate research as a means of finding meaning in life”. She quoted the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates saying, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” 

Student research exhibition during the Undergraduate Research Conference.

The URC took on added significance as it followed the second visit to the JGU campus by the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee who emphatically stressed upon the dire need to promote frontline research in Indian universities to stay abreast with the changing demeanor of global academia. In his inaugural address at a conference organised by the International Institute for Higher Education and Capacity Building (IIHED) tilted “Universities of the Future: Knowledge, Innovation and Responsibility”, Mr. Mukherjee emphasised the role of both students and their mentors to “think out of the box” on ways to enhance innovation and aspire for excellence.

In its noble effort to carve a niche for the nation’s most promising young thinkers, the URC held up a key ideal of JGU – “knowledge creation and capacity building rather than just granting degrees”, in the words of JGU Chancellor, Mr. Naveen Jindal. Along that line, a gratifying experience of the URC was that the students not only had the unique opportunity to showcase their own research to a diverse body of peers and receive feedback, but also was able to learn about contemporary theories and research methods in other fields of study.

The URC also provided the opportunity for student volunteers to experience hands-on training in the art of leadership and organisational skills to lead such a huge and diverse event to perfection. 

Student volunteers in action during the Undergraduate Research Conference.

The event concluded with the promise of making the initiative an annual event of JSLH to encourage future generations of students to pursue cutting-edge research.  In her concluding remarks, Kathleen Modrowski, Dean, JSLH, said “The Undergraduate Research Conference performed a very important role to highlight the intelligence, courage and creativity of undergraduate students. On a personal note, it reaffirmed why I teach.

Panelists at the Joint International Conference hosted by JGU in collaboration with Tel Aviv University on “India-Israel Academic Dialogues: Political and Cultural Crossings”. The Conference was organised by the Jindal Centre for Israel Studies at JGU, in association with the Middle East Forum, USA.

A two-day conference was organised on 30-31 March 2017 by the Jindal School of International Affairs and Tel Aviv University in association with the Middle East Forum, USA, on India-Israel Academic Dialogues: Political and Cultural Crossings.

Read the full story: https://www.jgu.edu.in/JSIA/news/sia-tel-aviv-university-joint-international-conference-on-india-israel-academic-dialogues

Panelists at the Joint International Conference hosted by JGU in collaboration with Tel Aviv University on “India-Israel Academic Dialogues: Political and Cultural Crossings”. The Conference was organised by the Jindal Centre for Israel Studies at JGU, in association with the Middle East Forum, USA.

Panelists discuss the effects of demonetisation at the conference on “Demonetization and Emerging Challenges” organised by the Jindal Global Business School in association with Queen’s University, Belfast.

The Jindal Global Business School (JGBS) in association with Queen’s University, Belfast organised a conference on “Demonetization and Emerging Challenges” on 10-11 April 2017. 

Read the full story: 

https://www.jgu.edu.in/JGBS/news/demonetization-conference-at-jindal-global-business-school-jgbs-discusses-societal-and-economic-impact-1

Panelists, participants and guests at the conference on “Demonetization and Emerging Challenges”.

Professor (Dr.) Sanjeev P. Sahni, Principal Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences with Professor (Dr.) Chee Ng, Healthscope Chair of Psychiatry, The Melbourne Clinic and Founding Co-Director, Asia-Australia Mental Health, University of Melbourne; Dr. Julia Fraser, Executive Team Member, Asialink Founding Co-Director, AAMH; Dr. Vibha Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS); and Ms. Garima Jain, Assistant Director (Research), JIBS at the interactive seminar to mark World Health Day 2017.

The Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences (JIBS) at JGU marked World Health Day 2017 by organising an interactive seminar on Depression: Let’s talk about what we all should know on 6 April at the India Habitat Center, New Delhi. The seminar was organised in association with Asia Australia Mental Health, University of Melbourne, and the Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences. 

Read the full story:

https://www.jgu.edu.in/JIBS/news/one-fourth-mental-illness-due-to-workplace-depression

A panel underway during the interactive seminar on “Depression: Let’s talk about what we all should know” organised by the Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences to mark World Health Day 2017.

Participants from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission with Professor (Dr.) Y.S.R. Murthy, Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights Studies at JGU, and Professor Anuradha Palanichamy, Programme Coordinator, at the six-day intensive capacity building initiative on “Human Rights Development, Law and Management” held on 11-16 March 2017 at the JGU campus.

Humanitarian Programme Management, Planning and Response builds on practical experience globally, combined with important legal and humanitarian perspectives. This process would address a significant knowledge gap in the humanitarian sector, ensuring an effective and efficient response to crisis scenarios involving migrants, refugees and all forms of humanitarian crisis.

The Centre for Human Rights Studies (CHRS) at JGU led by CHRS Executive Director, Professor (Dr.) Y.S.R. Murthy held a six-day intensive capacity building initiative on “Human Rights Development, Law and Management” for staff of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) between 11 and 16 March 2017 at the JGU campus. The overarching objective of the initiative was to prepare the first cohort of experts from AIHRC with practical knowledge, innovative technical skills and rigorous analysis. The programme had thematic segments focusing on design and implementation of humanitarian programmes through evidence-based policy-making and programme management.

The programme, which was inaugurated by Mr. P.C. Sharma, IPS, Former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Former Member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India, was supported by faculty experts specialised in various cross-cutting areas. Mr. P.C. Sharma, in his keynote speech, asserted that this exchange of knowledge and dialogues between India and Afghanistan would help align humanitarian priorities and orient regional stakeholders towards the global priorities of Human Rights, International Law/Practices, Conflict Management, Humanitarian Policies, Humanitarian Performance Management, Capacity Strengthening and Institutional Building.

CHRS welcomed this as an innovative modality to tap into the global knowledge and expertise of the Centre and in-country resource persons to mutually generate transformative ideas and action plans to promote evidence and results-based policymaking and implementation in post-conflict situations. This capacity enhancement initiative is a landmark initiative towards complementing JGU’s key strategy to promote public service through its activities.

Speaking at the event, Professor Murthy stated that this Indo-Afghan strategic initiative in the area of “Human Rights Capacity Building” would provide important exchanges of knowledge, technical support and management expertise by bringing together international practitioners. Further, it enables CHRS, an institutional think-tank, to envision a process that can contribute beyond academic involvement.

Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor, JGU, and Dean, Jindal Global Law School, welcomed the unique partnership between CHRS and AIHRC in transforming humanitarian development and management in Afghanistan, through capacity building and panel discussions. He indicated that this development could promote regional cooperation in knowledge exchange between the two nations.

Professor (Dr.) Sreeram Chaulia, Dean, Jindal School of International Affairs, observed that the collaboration holds the promise of generating fresh approaches to international and national policymaking in relation to terrorism, refugee and migrant crises. He also highlighted that having similarly grounded in the philosophies, cultures and civilisational values of the region, bilateral cooperation as distinct from the other regions, as well as the historical ties of India with Afghanistan, the role of India in building imperatives of human development, equity and justice in conflict zones, is quite optimistic.

A panel underway at the six-day intensive capacity building initiative on “Human Rights Development, Law and Management” held on 11-16 March 2017 at the JGU campus.

Professor Anuradha Palanichamy, the Programme Coordinator for the strategic initiative, said that CHRS through this pilot programme seeks to continue engaging with AIHRC’s experts, leadership and policymakers to enhance their capacity to appraise humanitarian policies, reform practices using innovative mechanisms, strengthen programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation capacity and accelerate Afghanistan’s commitment towards Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.

The intensive executive programme was structured to deliver both classroom as well as practical learning through case analysis, simulations, panel discussions on real-time scenarios and thematic debates, using executive education structure and methods with lectures from renowned international practitioners including Professor (Dr.) Stephen P. Marks, Harvard University, Professor Murthy, Professor Chaulia, Professor Palanichamy, Professor (Dr.) Samrat Sinha, Professor (Dr.) Tapan Kumar Panda, Professor (Dr.) Raghav Sharma, Professor Manisha Mishra and Professor Brajesh Kumar from JGU.

The programme highlights included thematic sessions on: International Humanitarian Policy & India’s Bilateral Cooperation, Humanitarian Programme Monitoring & Evaluation, Human Resource & Financial Management, Conflict Management, and Understanding International Treaties: Responsibilities & Obligations.

This pilot initiative is expected to be conducted bi-annually every year. CHRS seeks to upgrade the course to a customised diploma / specialised programme in the future.