O.P. Jindal Global University has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Regional Delegation in New Delhi 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 International Humanitarian Law (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 International Humanitarian Law. 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. It is to be noted that there are several degree programmes dedicated to the theory and praxis of Humanitarian Action and IHL, but these are mainly concentrated in Europe and the United States. 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, “The birth of the ICRC took place in the battlefields of the 19th Century in the context of conflict and its main objective was to protect and assist the victims of armed conflict especially on the battlefield. The founders of the ICRC had this vision that the best protection is not only to assist and protect but it is also to build a consensus. The ICRC has always been extensively engaged in promotion of humanitarian law in academic circles. However, there is need for expanding such programmes in the global south. One of my responsibilities is to initiate such a programme with renowned institutions which are well-established and respected in the field of international law.
“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 utilize our experience and encourage academic institutions to engage in humanitarian studies because today’s students are tomorrow’s policy-makers. If they are sensitized in these areas, there decision-making will be well-informed by knowledge and learning.”
Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University said, “It’s 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 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 endeavors with other institutions in South-Asia and beyond.”
In order to realize 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.
Earlier, Prof. Dabiru Sridhar Patnaik, Registrar, O.P. Jindal University welcomed the ICRC delegation and said, “Through this partnership we envisage to build capacity and to contribute to humanitarian studies and develop professionals who can specialize in this area. This multi-dimensional collaboration is not limited to joint activities but to also possibly initiate and develop a Master of Arts programme in Humanitarian Action and Policy in collaboration with the ICRC and also a Master of Laws in International Humanitarian Law. The strengths of ICRC and JGU blend to achieve these objectives.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross (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 the 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. It promotes humanitarian law and values and relevant international norms and standards with government agencies, the armed and security forces, academic institutions and civil society groups across the region.
O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed to be University) (JGU) is a non-profit global university established in 2009 by the Government of Haryana and entitled by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The university received the then highest grade ‘A’ of the National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC). The Ministry of Education, Government of India recognized JGU as an ‘Institution of Eminence’ (IOE) in 2020. This makes JGU one of only ten private universities in India to be awarded this status.
JGU was ranked amongst the top 750 Universities in the world by the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2022. JGU has once again been ranked as the Number 1 Private University in India by the QS World University Rankings 2022. In addition, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) entered the Top 100 Law Schools of the World in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 released in March.
JGLS, established in 2009, is now ranked as the Number 1 law school in India and South Asia, Number 8 in the entire BRICS region and Number 76 in the world. JGLS is also the only Indian law school to feature in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021.