JGU and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Regional Delegation in New Delhi have announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build awareness and develop new academic programmes in humanitarian action and international humanitarian law (IHL). This MoU will strengthen cooperation in the area of promotion, awareness raising, development, teaching and research in the fields of humanitarian studies and IHL.
The main purpose of the MoU is to further deepen the understanding of humanitarian studies and issues pertaining to IHL through research, knowledge exchange and curriculum development. Most importantly, through the MoU, ICRC and JGU will seek to establish interdisciplinary joint degree programmes in international humanitarian action and IHL.
Apart from academic exchanges, the MoU also enhances internship opportunities for students of JGU and professional development opportunities such as faculty and personnel exchanges between both institutions.
Through the MoU, both institutions seek to develop unique programmes of excellence, based in the Global South, that draw on the core strengths of both institutions, i.e., praxis and academic research. The ICRC will share its global experience in the promotion of humanitarian studies and IHL as well as lend its technical expertise in the development of the academic and research programmes through the MoU.
Dr. Yahya Alibi, Head of Regional Delegation, ICRC, said on the occasion that, “The ICRC is committed to promote education in the field of humanitarian studies. This opportunity to work closely with O.P. Jindal Global University is a unique opportunity for ICRC to utilise our experience and encourage academic institutions to engage in humanitarian studies because today’s students are tomorrow’s policy-makers. If they are sensitised in these areas, their decision-making will be well-informed by knowledge and learning.”
Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of JGU, said, “It is a very momentous occasion for us to announce this collaboration. The ICRC’s effort to partner with JGU will give enormous opportunities for developing a number of activities and initiatives, including learning outcomes. At a time when issues relating to conflict, peace and security are at the forefront of bilateral and multilateral engagement of countries in the region and beyond, the need for understanding and appreciating the importance of international law is critical. The degree programmes that are being launched are only one facet of the more wide-ranging collaborations that we intend to establish, which would include conferences, lectures, webinars, seminars and internship opportunities. It will also include research projects and joint research initiatives, collaborative endeavours with other institutions in South-Asia and beyond.”
In order to realise the objectives of the MoU in the short-term, JGU and ICRC will now partner in convening a series of events, including lecture series, roundtables, conferences and webinars on mutually agreed upon topics. These may include issues of climate change, natural disasters, maritime safety and security, and the link between sustainable humanitarian initiatives and development. Within India, once the pandemic situation improves, the ICRC and JGU will also convene an annual conference to discuss contemporary humanitarian issues and challenges.
The ICRC, established in 1863, is a neutral, independent, humanitarian organisation whose mandate is to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. Its mandate stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their additional protocols of 1977 and the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The ICRC has an exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity and respond to needs of people living in fragile contexts. Alongside, it also works with states and a wide range of actors, sharing its field experience and evidence-based knowledge to identify emerging humanitarian policy trends and to find solutions to address these growing challenges of the 21st Century. The Regional Delegation of the ICRC in New Delhi covers India, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.