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Sri Sri Advanced Global Centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies (SSAGC-CRPS)

  • Name of the Centre: Sri Sri Advanced Global centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies
  • Advisory Board:
  1. Inspiration: Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  2. Chief Patron: Rajita Kulkarni: President, Sri Sri University &  President of World forum for Ethics in Business.
  3. Patron: Prof. (Dr.) Ajay Kumar Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sri University.
  4. Director: Prof. P. Srinivas Subbarao, Dean FCMS, Sri Sri University
  5. Co-ordinator: Mr. Kamala Kanta Dash, Visiting Faculty, FCMS, Sri Sri University
  • Back Ground: Why this Centre? : Towards a Non-Violent and Peaceful World Order: This dedicated centre on conflict resolution and peace studies will focus on issues of conflict and peace building around the world. Built on the global experience of our Founder President and Inspiration H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual master, this pluridisciplinary centre will study, analyse, publish and advocate on innovative methods of conflict resolution and peace building.
  • Our Inspiration: His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: – Gurdev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who has been invited to mediate in several international conflicts, notably being the recent invitation by Venezuelan government after Sri Sri played an important role in Colombia peace process bringing the government and guerilla group to the dialogue table. He has been playing an important role in India as well having been involved in the Ayodhya, Kashmir, Northeast India and Naxalite issues. The Art of Living Foundation has been working in areas of prison reforms and deradicalization in India and in several other countries. The proposed centre will build on the extensive experience of Art of Living in the areas of conflict resolution and peace.

Sri Sri strongly believes that lasting peace starts with individual peace. Through his unique social, cultural and economic interventions which are based on his spiritual approach of Vasudhaiba Kutumbakam to global peace he has involved and touched millions of lives around the world. His programmes involving self-awareness, self-development, constructive community dialogue and rehabilitation, have had a positive effect on several social and political conflicts and post-conflict societies and countries all over the globe. His programs and peace initiatives have reached every section of society with an aim to work to ‘transform hate and violence into peace and joy’.

  • Research and Case Development: The centre will develop cases for teaching, research and advocacy purposes.
  • Partnerships: The centre aims to partner with all stakeholders to achieve the objective of a non-violent and peaceful world order. We welcome the Government agencies, Peace Leaders, Universities and Social Movements.
  • Teaching & Training: Capacity Development for Non-Violence and Peace: – Initially, this year in 2019, to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the centre will offer an awareness programme and a certificate programme in Non-Violence and Peace to be launched on 2nd October 2019, United Nations’ International Non-Violence Day. From next academic year 2020-21, the centre will also develop modules to train students, young minds, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, business leaders, law enforcement officers in conflict resolution and peace studies.  The centre aims to offer UG and PG level taught programmes in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies along with a long term aim to introduce unique Doctoral and Post-Doctoral level advanced research programmes.
  • Contact Details: Office of the Director, Center for Peace Studies,  2nd Floor, Shruti Building, Sri Sri University Cuttack, Bidyadhar pur, Ward No.-3, Odisha: 754006, Contact No-0671-7132631,   I.D: peacecentre@srisriuniversity.edu.in

Sri Sri Advanced Global Centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies (SSAGC-CRPS)

  • Vision

To contribute towards the establishment of World Peace by the timeless universal human values of peace, humanity, happiness, non-violence, conflict resolution, stress-free living espoused by the Art of Living Organization founded by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to create Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (one-world family) a reality.

  • Mission

The Center aims to catalyze P peace education, multi-faith studies, multi-cultural dialogues, conflict resolution methodologies and to celebrate the diversities for a sustainably developed world through information, education, and right communication.  

  • About the Centre:  To wards Function for a Non-Violent and Peaceful World Order 

This dedicated Center at Sri Sri University aims to focus on conflict resolution and peacebuilding around the world through awareness, advocacy, and action. Built on the global experiences of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader, the multi-disciplinary center aims to study, analyze, publish, and advocate innovative methods of conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

  • Our InspirationGurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (https://www.srisriravishankar.org/ ) is committed to creating a stress-free society and a violence-free world. He has fostered peace by way of dialogue and strategic initiatives that engage multiple levels of government, business, and humanitarian organizations.

The Art of Living has initiated conflict resolution and trauma-relief programs in many countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United States of America.

A multi-pronged strategy is followed in such programs, typically including a combination of these components:

  1. Necessities: Immediate help is made available based on the needs, for example, food, shelter, and medicines.
  2. Inner peace: Powerful trauma-relieving interventions to bring peace to disturbed minds and to elevate the energy for positive action.
  3. Multi-group dialogue: All factions are brought to the table for constructive conversations with The Art of Living playing a facilitative role.
  4. Community building: Local leaders and change agents are inspired and developed to help people support each other in the process of healing.
  5. Creation of platforms: Conferences, large think-tanks, and external support is are garnered through creating awareness of the situation.

(https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/projects/peace/stress-free-society)

  • Service Projects: Highlights 
    1. Colombian peace process gets a big boost

There was a historic change of heart and strategy that came to pass in Cuba when Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia / Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) leaders.

He has worked to broker peace between the Colombian government and the rebels of the FARC. With a strong presence of Art of Living in Colombia, Gurudev was in fact, in June 2015, awarded Colombia’s highest civilian award, the Orden de la Democracia Simon Bolivar. FARC, Latin America’s oldest and largest guerrilla group, at Havana, after a meeting the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota, announced a ceasefire and a peace agreement.

(https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/projects/peace/resolving-50-year-old-conflict

 

  • Jordan humanitarian efforts

The Art of Living has been active in the k Kingdom of Jordan since 2001. The country is facing a period of conflict and violence. The Art of Living has been supporting peace and non-violence with its message of a one-world family.

More than 1.9 million refugees live in Jordan. Through its varied educational and humanitarian programs, the Art of Living Jordan’s mission is to help the country to be a better place by creating strong leaders and socially responsible individuals who can become flag bearers for the message of peace and non-violence in the region. 

(https://www.artofliving.org/jo-en/art-living-jordan

 

  • Trauma relief workshops for militants

Trauma-relief workshops were conducted for hundreds of militants, including ULFA militants from Assam, Manipuri militants, Kashmiri terrorists, and Maoist rebels. Gurudev has also facilitated dialogues in various conflicts like the Assam riots (2012), the Amarnath land dispute (2008), the Gujjar protests (2008), and the Naxal uprisings of 2001.

(https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/projects/peace/trauma-relief/space-of-higher-living

  • Rebuilding Iraq

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.

(https://www.artofliving.org/node/19807

  • Breaking the logjam in North-Eastern India

Gurudev has been actively working in the North East of India to sort the long history of conflict and insurgency in the region. His efforts played a big hand in the recent homecoming of 68 militants in Manipur. The Art of Living has carried out several programs to help former militants to reintegrate with the mainstream.  

(https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/newsroom/press-report/breaking-historical-logjam-north-east-india-analysis

 

  • Ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka: Erasing the trauma of a prolonged civil war

During this conflict, Art of Living volunteers organized relief efforts for victims. In addition to receiving material supplies, thousands of refugees and victims benefited from trauma relief workshops conducted in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu.  

(https://www.artofliving.org/ethnic-conflict-sri-lanka-2005-present)

  • Mediation for the Sri Rama Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid Conflict

The Supreme Court-appointed a panel of three mediators in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case with Retired Justice Kalifulla chairing the mediation proceedings. Poojya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and renowned advocate Sriram Panchu were the mediators. This was India’s longest-running property dispute. The Hindu-Muslim solidarity was maintained due to tireless efforts to bring the community closer. When the Final judgment of the 134-year-old property dispute came on November 9, 2019. A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi unanimously ruled that the disputed land be given to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas for the construction of a temple, and the Muslim side be compensated with five acres of land at a prominent site in Ayodhya to build a mosque. The communities because of the initiatives of the Mediation Panel to maintain communal harmony unanimously accepted this historic decision.

Sri Sri strongly believes that lasting peace starts with individual peace. Through his unique social, cultural, and economic interventions, which are based on his spiritual approach of Vasudhaiba Kutumbakam to global peace, he has involved and touched millions of lives around the world. His programmes involving self-awareness, self-development, constructive community dialogue, and rehabilitation, have had a positive effect on several social and political conflicts and post-conflict societies and countries all over the globe. His programs and peace initiatives have reached every section of society with an aim to work to “transform hate and violence into peace and joy”.

Chief Patron: Prof. (Mrs.) Rajita Kulkarni: President, Sri Sri University & President of World Forum for Ethics in Business.

Patron: Prof. (Dr.) Ajay Kumar Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sri University, Prof. (Dr.) B.R. Sharma, Executive Registrar & Dean- Faculty of Health and Wellness, Sri Sri University.

Director: Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Mohanty, Head Public Relations and Social Outreach, Associate Professor, FMS, Sri Sri University

Prelude to Establishment of the Centre 

International Conference on Alternative Dispute Resolution at Sri Sri University 

From 10th August to 12th August 2018

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 

  1. Research, Education & Training
  2. Collaborations & Coalitions for a Peaceful world
  3. Use of Indian Knowledge System (IKS) to find solutions to challenges
  4. Youth Activities for World Peace
  5. Publications 

Activities of the Year 2021 at a glance 

  1. 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.–

 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzfvR72KcO8). 

  1. 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)
  1. 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). 
  1. 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)
  1. Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Peace, Costarica for knowledge exchange on Peace Education.
  2. 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.

(ii)Rebuilding Iraq

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.

  1. The Article on “Contribution of HEIs towards promoting Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG-16)”

Authors:

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

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