The Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace & Conflict Resolution was launched in 2004 and was one of the first of its kind in an Indian university. Its chief focus is comparative and contemporary studies, and it aims to address the lack of serious and purposeful analysis of types and sources of conflict in our country and neighbourhood, and the methods of dealing with them that India has adopted.
Objectives of the Centre
- To research and document Indian approaches to the promotion of peace, at home and abroad.
- To develop a curriculum of peace and conflict studies based on national, regional and global experiences.
- To build capacity for conflict prevention and resolution in government and civil society agencies.
- To promote a community of academic expertise in conflict prevention, management, and post-conflict peace building.
The Centre has trained students from different parts of India especially the conflict regions of Northeast and Kashmir. The Centre has also had students from Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and Afghanistan. Under the student exchange programme students have also come from France. An important component of the MA course is a weeklong fieldwork trip to conflict areas.
Over the years, the Centre has focused on research, curriculum development and teaching, organized seminars /conferences, held short training programs for faculty, administration and civil society, hosted visiting fellows, organized interactions with eminent leaders in peacemaking and partnered with other universities and institutions working in the field of peace and conflict studies.
- Over the years, the Centre expanded its policy-oriented research, hosted visiting fellows, organized interactions with eminent leaders in peacemaking, launched the Walter Sisulu Memorial Lecture series, run short training programs, and developed internship programs for MA students. In 2008, Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu donated the proceeds of a British fundraiser to the Centre.
- Policy-oriented research: The Centre has held national and international conferences, seminars and workshops on Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, Communalism, Manipur and Chhattisgarh, bringing together academics, policy-makers, activists and analysts, to find ways in which each of the conflicts can be resolved, transformed or at least mitigated.
- Walter Sisulu Memorial Lectures were delivered by eminent peacemakers like Ms. Medha Patkar, founder of the Narmada Bachao Andolan; Prof. Richard Falk, UNCHR Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories; Ms. Asma Jahangir, human right activist from Pakistan; and Mr. Ahmed M. Kathrada, a veteran of the South African liberation struggle.
- Afghanistan Focused Programs: Since 2009, the Centre has consistently organized programs focused on Afghanistan: two International Seminars, a Simulation, an Afghanistan-India-Pakistan Student Exchange Program and an international training program for young Afghan Professionals.
- Short Training Courses have been organized including three 3-week Refresher courses in Conflict Studies and four short (1-2 day) Orientation Programs in Peace and Conflict Studies for teachers from different universities and college at the Academic Staff College and a four-day Orientation Program in Peace Studies for students from Loreto College, Kolkata.
- Internships: Students of the Centre have held internships in the Indian Council of World Affairs; National Human Rights Commission; Central Information Commission; Delhi Policy Group; Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies; Observer Research Foundation; Médecins Sans Frontières; Global India Foundation, Kolkata; Amnesty International; Control Arms Foundation of India; India Alliance for Child Rights and Global Network of Religions for Children; NGO Pratham; and Aman Biradari, Gujarat.
- Gandhi Fellowships: Between 2007-2011, the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti gave 3-4 fellowships every year to the Masters students of NMCPCR.
Curriculum Development (European Union Asia Link Project):The Centre undertook a three-year project on “Peacemaking and Peace-Building in Europe & South Asia (Human Resource and Curriculum Development)”from March2008 to February 2011. As part of the project, four Course Modules were prepared through joint curriculum development, faculty ex