Centre for Sustainability
Sustainability of human existence on the planet has been recurrently emerging as a serious concern. The Brundtland Commission in 1987 called for efforts to push towards a path of sustainable development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” and lead us to our quest for common future. It took almost three decades to generate the necessary political will to embrace the spirit of sustainable development as a future roadmap for moving ahead. Agenda 2030, often synonymously referred to as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was adopted in 2015 to ensure that no one is left behind. 17 sucg goals have been identified with their associated targets (169, to be precise) and 230 indicators to monitor the progress of our journey towards a sustainable world that may turn inhospitable in a few centuries if not consciously protected.
The road to sustainable development requires a delicate balancing act between people and planet that would facilitate prosperity to all living creatures and bring about peace across the globe. The delicate balance in the face of apparent conflict among the actors is proposed to thrive in a spirit of partnership. Thus, evolved the centrality of 5 P’s – people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership – in charting a path towards sustainable development.
Being a part of a global university that aspires to achieve the highest standard of academic credentials, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) considers foray into “sustainability” a fait accompli. Governance of sustainability and the implications of SDGs in designing effective public policy interventions cannot be over emphasized. The Centre for Sustainability housed within JSGP is thus a timely effort by the School to contribute meaningfully to the challenges of achieving Agenda 2030. Being a research-led School, it will engage its students in both academic and action research to understand and disseminate the possible pathways to sustainable development that capture the pluralities in approaches to achieving the goals, rather than looking for a one size fits all solutions.
The interrelationships among the 5 Ps are not straight forward and simple. Rather, they are complex. The linkages vary over space and time and are often highly localized. However, localized aspirations to achieve the SDGs may also breed conflicts at broader levels. Research in sustainable development cannot afford to miss this apparent tension between local and global. Hence the emphasis on fostering enduring partnership among people, on the one hand, and between planet and the people, on the other. The Centre would effectively engage in understanding and documenting such relationships and will partner with other research outfits across the globe in identifying the common threads of ideas to create a global perspective on sustainable development.
Three fundamental concerns are being seriously raised today. They are:
- Global warming and climate change
- Threat of increasing incidence of zoonotic diseases and
- Increasing inequality with economic, racial, religious and gendered ramifications
The Centre would, initially, focus on these concerns.
It would be governed as a student-led initiative, with a member of the faculty from the School serving as a mentor. Given that sustainability involves focus on 5 Ps, the members of the Centre will divide themselves into five teams, each concentrating on one of the P’s. Thus, there will be a group to look into the sustainability of people, while another group will consider the issues related to the sustainability of the planet. Groups on peace, prosperity and partnership are also being formed. Needless to add, there would be constant interactions among the groups to understand the complex interactions among these 5 P’s.
Further, students pursuing different programmes in public policy, economics and social science are being exposed to the issues of sustainability through internship engagements with different organizations located in India and abroad. They would be roped in as Associate Members of the Centre to contribute to the ongoing activities of the Centre.
- International Dialogue on “Paradigmatic Shift from ‘Extracting’ to ‘Intersecting’:
2030 Agenda through the Lens of Covid-19 Pandemic” on 28th and 29th July 2021
- Speakers’ Profile for the International Dialogue on “Paradigmatic Shift from ‘Extracting’ to ‘Intersecting’: 2030 Agenda through the Lens of Covid-19 Pandemic”
- The primary aim of the Centre is to build networks among interested faculty and students, nationally and internationally, and develop a community of practice among policymakers and practitioners.
- The Centre will consider providing opportunities for research scholars to meet and engage, and to resolve public policy challenges through the lenses of complexity economics and applied spirituality.
- The approach will be transdisciplinary drawing from related fields of complexity theory, behavioral economics, psychology, post-growth economics, econophysics and sociophysics, quantum decision theory, artificial intelligence, sustainability science, law, etc.
Dr. Singh is currently Professor at the Jindal School for Government and Public Policy; Special Adviser on Sustainability at the Toronto Centre for Financial Leadership and Senior VP at Global Development Solutions Canada, a strategic advisory services firm.
His scholarly work on complexity theory started 25 years ago in his search for a theory of sustainable development during his tenure as Program Director at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, in Canada at which time he pioneered the work on sustainable livelihoods. His visit to the Santa Fe instituted strengthened his desire to pursue this work. Later as the Canada Trust visiting professor at the University of Waterloo, he helped advance work the systems approach to measuring sustainability with Professor James Kay. As a visiting scholar at the Harvard University’s Global Equity Initiative he did work on the societal systems approach to HIV/AIDs. More recently he has been working with complexity-based approaches to Integrative Peace Building at St. Paul University in Ottawa. Since 2018 he has taught a professional development course on “Policy and Program Design and Evaluation in Complex Situations” at the University of Ottawa. His book chapter: “Development as Emergent Creativity” is in press. Dr. Singh has been a senior policy adviser to the Governments of the Caribbean, the Canadian Government, the United Nations and several of its member States and the Commonwealth.
Prof. R. Sudarshan has had distinguished careers in the domains of research, development programming and governance. After he obtained a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics he was elected to a Rhodes scholarship. He joined Balliol College, University of Oxford, and obtained a Master’s degree in Politics in 1977. He was elected to a research fellowship at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, where he studied judicial review of economic legislation by the Supreme Court of India, specializing in the interface of law and economics. In 1983 he was a visiting scholar in the School of International Development, University of East Anglia.
In 1984 he served in the Ford Foundation’s South Asia Office in New Delhi as Assistant Representative and Program Officer for Human Rights and Social Justice. In 1991 he joined the UNDP in India as Senior Economist and Assistant Representative for Governance and Public Policy. In 2000 he served UNDP in Jakarta as its Senior Governance Advisor. In 2002 he was appointed Policy Advisor for Justice and Governance in the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre. In 2005, he was transferred to the UNDP Asia-Pacific Centre in Bangkok, where he was Regional Policy Advisor for Governance, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Justice, and Legal Reforms.
In 2012 he joined the O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) as the founding Dean of the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy. He has an impressive track record of publications comprising books, articles, and UN policy reports, reflecting his inter-disciplinary research, teaching and policy experience in development programmes, human development, law, governance, institutions and policy.
Anirban Chakraborti is a Professor at the School of Computational and Integrative Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Earlier, he had worked as an Associate Professor at the Chair of Quantitative Finance, École Centrale Paris, France, and as a Lecturer in Theoretical Physics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He obtained a Ph.D. in Physics from Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, India and later completed the Habilitation (HDR) in Physics from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI), France. He has more than two decades of experience as a scientist, working in many reputed universities and research institutions in India, Europe, Japan, and USA. He was awarded the prestigious Young Scientist Medal of the Indian National Science Academy in 2009. His scholarly works include several books, edited volumes, book chapters and research articles, which have received international acclaim. His main research interests lie in the areas of Econophysics, Sociophysics, Data Science, Complex Systems, Statistical Physics, Quantum Physics and Nanomaterial Science.
Debajit Jha is an Assistant Professor at Jindal School of Government & Public Policy. He had received his Ph.D. in economics from the Centre for Economic Studies & Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Before joining Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, he taught economics at different Government colleges in West Bengal for more than six years under West Bengal Education Service. During this period, he also served as Assistant Director of Public Instruction to the Govt. of West Bengal.
Dr. Jha is associated with a group of people working in the field of Econophysics for a long period. He is a macroeconomists by training and works in the area of Macro-development Economics. His primary research interest is empirical growth economics – convergence club, polarization, structural change, dynamics of regional income, growth and distribution episodes, role of institutions on development, and labour migration.
- Fireside ChatYouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD3KVvjOYgcDate: Mar 31, 2021
- Date and Time: October 21st, 2020. 7.30 pm ISTYouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXW3bmpXHRk
- Inauguration of Centre and Panel Discussion on ‘Complexity Economics’Data and time: 23rd September, 2020 at 7.30pmYouTube Link https://youtu.be/1Lbc88Xvxls
- Panel Discussion held on Applied Spirituality and Public PolicyDate and time: 24th November 8.30 pm to 10.00 pm IST ( 10.00 am to 11.30 am EST).The youtube link https://youtu.be/63vkBfo-l9I