Sri Sri University conducted a successful three-day conference cum workshop in its premises from 10th August 2018 to 12th August 2018. The conference was held on the subject – ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ and a workshop was organized to discuss ‘Senior Citizen
Issues’. The event, hosted by Sri Sri University, took place in collaboration with the Department of Social security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Odisha, and National Law University, Odisha, and the knowledge partners were Silver Age Foundation and International Association of Human Values (IAHV). The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, First Prosecutor of International Criminal Court (ICC), and Dr. Vandana Shiva, Eminent Author, and Activist and Co-founder Navdanya.
The Chief Guest of the event was Shri Prafulla Samal, Hon’ble Minister, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Odisha. The Guest of Honour of this event was Prof. Srikrishna Deva Rao, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Odisha. Other eminent guests, who graced the event with their presence, were Mrs. Rajita Kulkarni, President, Sri Sri University, Prof. Nand Lal, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sri University, Ms. Jaina Desai, Trustee, SSRVM Trust, and Mr. Amar Jyoti Mahapatra, Founder, Sliver Age Foundation.
The inaugural ceremony of the international conference was aimed at setting the foreground and introducing the subject, ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution and its Evolution’ to the participants. The welcoming address was given by Prof. Nand Lal, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sri University where he cited historical and ancient examples of India like Mahabharata where peaceful techniques of solving conflicts were used. Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo took over the dais where he enlightened the audience by sharing his experience and expertise. He talked about how ‘Prana’ or ‘Energy’ affects institutional designs of for solving conflicts. He also discussed with the participants of the conference on the saga of the Israel-Palestine conflict; it’s the sufferings it involves and the peace initiatives taken. The Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Odisha, Prof. Krishna Deva Rao, talked about the evolution, importance, and future of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He pointed out that using ADR techniques lessens the burden on the shoulders of the formal justice system. He also said “the court should try and resolve cases before it goes to trial” in order to achieve global peace. Mrs. Rajita Kulkarni focused on discussing three take outs viz., conflicts start with individuals and if not addressed properly escalates to institutions; high energy or ‘prana’ leads to low enmity; to solve global problems we need global leaders who will keep aside their individual interests and really think about the well-being of the world. She also said that the economic output of a country is directly linked to the peacefulness quotient of that country.
The first session of the second day of the ADR conference began with Mr. Luis Ocampo sharing his opinion on the Gandhian Approach to Conflict Resolution, during the session, he said that “India is a country who built its identity through spirituality. India plays an important role in promoting peace through spirituality”. He emphasized that collective Pranas of people should be converted into higher prana and also that institutions should take responsibility for inculcating these ideas in a young mind. The next session was by Ms. Rajita Kulkarni on the role of Ethical Leadership in conflict resolution. During the session, she spoke about the 5Cs- Connectedness; Courage; Care and Compassion; Context for life; Commitment. These are the tools one should follow to become an ethical leader.
Ms. Jaina Desai spoke about Peace and conflict resolution by the Art of Living. She said that we have to reprogram the culture of violence to bring bigger peace. She shared the stories of how Art of Living changed the lives of many and will continue doing the same and that it is also our responsibility to contribute towards society. We should focus on human values. Later during the day, there were 2 very interesting activities, the lucky draw and the student extempore competitions, through this many learnt a lot about the ADR and topics related to it. The last session of the day was with Dr. Vandana Shiva who spoke on the Conflicts over Natural resources, in her session she mentioned “India has so many diversities to celebrate to reduce conflicts”, She shared many stories and experiences of hers over the last 5 decades and how she has taken care of this beautiful planet. In her concluding remarks, she said that in the years to come Sri Sri University will become the Green Lighthouse of the world.
The concluding day of the event started off with Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo, First Prosecutor of International Criminal Court speaking on several conflicts of the world viz., Israel- Palestine, FARC, Kenya, etc and how those can be resolved by using the techniques practiced by Gandhi ji, Poojya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the ancient Yogic Practices.
A panel discussion was then conducted on senior citizen issues regarding conflict resolution. The panelists included Mr. Amar Jyoti Mahapatra, Co-founder of – Silver Age Foundation, who pointed out the need for senior citizen issues to be dealt with Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques. He also stated that the formal legal procedure becomes very cumbersome, expensive, and strenuous for citizens above the age of 60. General Basant Kumar Mahapatra, a retired army person, emphasized the need for communication between elderly parents and their children. He also advised fellow senior citizens to choose a neutral and rational member from the family or even hire a counselor who can help resolve disputes without approaching the court. Mr. Sanjay Patnaik, Policy Advisor, Foundation of Ecological Security, Ahmedabad, stated why Alternative Dispute Resolution should be the model for senior citizens. He also said that ADR techniques are faster and consultative in nature which makes it more convenient for senior citizens to resort to it and hence, is a win-win model for conflict resolution. Mr. Ashok Chinchela, a chartered accountant and a social worker, suggested that there should be a separate physical window for providing legal and advisory help to senior citizen issues because existing online windows is of no help to the technologically obsolete elderly people. It was an interactive session where the senior citizens who had participated in this workshop, clarified their doubts regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques and their usage, and the younger group of the audience put forward suggestions to the existing issues. The conference came to an end with a valedictory session which witnessed Shri Prafulla Samal, Hon’ble Minister, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Odisha, said: “Alternate methods will notably improve the rate of reporting of elder abuse.” Prof. (Mrs.) Rajita Kulkarni, President, Sri Sri University said five points to resolve conflicts namely, collaboration; calmness; consideration; celebration; confidence. The vote of thanks was delivered by Commodore Ghanashyam Ojha, Executive Registrar, Sri Sri University. Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Mohanty, Head (PR & CSO) and Associate Professor in Governance was the convener of the Conference.
The conference was one of its kind as it was addressed by eminent speakers with expertise in the legal field and the participants got the opportunity to learn from their experiences and knowledge. This endeavour proved to be fruitful to society as a whole as it has succeeded in conveying the importance of resorting to peaceful conflict resolution techniques and how alternative resolution methods are desirable in the contemporary world where crime rates have increased, overburdening the formal judicial system.
Five Focus Areas of Sri Sri Advanced Global Centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies (SSAGC-CRPS) with an acronym RYCUP
- Research, Education & Training
- Collaborations & Coalitions for a Peaceful world
- Use of Indian Knowledge System (IKS) to find solutions to challenges
- Youth Activities for World Peace
Activities of the Year 2021 at a glance
- 20th July 2021: Sri Sri Advanced Global Center for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies (SSAGC- CRPS), Sri University was organized a National Webinar on “The Art of Making Peace in Panchatantra” on Tuesday,20th July 2021 (Ekadasi). Prof B R Sharma, Executive Registrar, Sri Sri University, and Sri Bharat Dash, Founder Katha Pratha were the speakers for the event.–
- 21st September 2021: Sri Sri Advanced Global Center for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies (SSAGC- CRPS), Sri Sri University was organized a National Webinar on ‘Implications of the Afghanistan Crisis for World Peace’ on the occasion of International Day of Peace on 21st September 2021. Brigadier Dr. L.C. Patnaik Former Chairperson graced the webinar, Odisha Public Service Commission was the Keynote Speaker of the national webinar. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6vgNkkdDZs)
- 25th December, 2021: The center organized an interaction session ‘Unfold and Dilate’ a conversation with Sarala Puraskar Awardee Er. Mahima Sethi , IIT Bombay on 25th Dec. 2021 through virtually. This is an initiative by students of Public Relations and Photography Club. The students will take up more such events in 2022. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZMGTQW8XYk).
- 27th December 2021: The Center conducted an interactive session with Prof. Ananta Kumar Giri Eminent Professor, MIDS (https://www.mids.ac.in/ananta/) “Towards a New Dharma of Peace Building Conflict Transformations and Alternative Planetary Futures ” . He also delivered a special lecture on Corporate Spiritual Responsibility to postgraduate and undergraduate students of FCMS as well. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dijbtapiU7E)
- Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Peace, Costarica for knowledge exchange on Peace Education.
- Case studies have been written by faculty members and students on Ethics in Governance, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding. The partial listing is as follows:
(i)Colombian peace process gets a big boost
A historic change of heart and strategy happened in Cuba when Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia / Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) leaders. This case was documented as a robust methodology of lasting peace.
Since September 2003, The Art of Living has contributed to rebuilding war-torn Iraq. The Iraq peace initiative has a two-pronged mission: providing stress-relief techniques to overcome stress and help strengthen the community through service initiatives.
(iii)Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka
The initiatives of The Art of Living to initiate dialogue with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to bring lasting peace in the island nation brought hope for the communities to end the decade-long ethnic conflicts.
(iv)Mo Sarkar and 5T of Government of Odisha for citizen-friendly administration: A case study to discuss the best practices of Government of Odisha to ensure better public service delivery.
(v)Understanding and Analyzing the Economic Empowerment of Women under the Aegis of Mission Shakti Government of Odisha: The Mission Shakti has created a model in gender equality, empowerment, and economic self-sufficiency for women through the creation of Self-help groups, skill-building, entrepreneurship, leadership development programmes to create a distinguished identity for women of Odisha.
- The Article on “Contribution of HEIs towards promoting Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG-16)”
Prof. Ajay Kumar Singh
Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sri University
Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Mohanty
Associate Professor, Faculty of Management Studies, Sri Sri University
Citation: Singh, A.K. & Mohanty, V.L (2021). Contribution of HEIs towards promoting Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions (SDG-16). University News. Association of Indian Universities (AIU). Vol.59. No.49. December 06-12, 2021. Special Issue. https://www.aiu.ac.in/documents/AIU_Publications/University_News/UNIVERSITY%20NEWS%20VOL-59,%20NO-49,%20DEC%2006-%20DEC%2012,%202021.pdf