RAJIV GANDHI CENTRE FOR
UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
The Government of India had decided in 2006 to honor the contribution of our Late Prime Minister, Hon’ble Shri Rajiv Gandhi by establishing Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Contemporary Studies in the University of Mumbai. This is also significant as the University celebrated its 150th year. The Ministry of Human Resource Development through the University Grants Commission, New Delhi has given financial assistance to the University for establishment of the Chair, which has now evolved into a Centre.
The Centre works within the broad theme of Globalization, Democracy and Development. The areas of interest are primarily on the theme of Panchayati Raj and Local Governance, Impact of Technology on Society, Secularism & Nation Building along with other areas of work such as Tribal Development, Social Justice, Livelihood and Food Security, Women’s Empowerment, Eco-System and Sustainable Development, Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Studies, Protection of Child Rights.
The Centre at present is headed by Dr. Chandrakant Puri who has taken over as Chair Professor, Rajiv Gandhi Centre on February 1, 2013.
The following are the functions of the Centre.
- To coordinate and to provide a think tank in the area of studies drawing expertise and inputs from academic and from experts from other sectors like Government and other national /international NGOs.
- To provide a forum for inter university/intercollegiate Post Graduate and research level dialogues, discussion meetings, summer/winter institutes, involving other Universities/autonomous Institutions/PG Centres.
- To design and execute capacity-building programmes for teachers in higher education focused on the designated discipline of the Centre.
- To strengthen the role of Universities/Academics in Public Policy making.
- To conduct short-term courses in the concerned disciplines.
- Publications of proceedings.
The Centre is coming up with its own complex at the Kalina Campus of the University at of about 2 acre on the Bandra Kurla Complex region of the University. The proposed Centre will have a state of the art infrastructure similar to the one existing in renowned academic Centres. In addition, it will house a modernized library facility, seminar cum conference hall, a contemporary art gallery and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 400 with all modern amenities.
The Center’s activities are increasing rapidly. The Centre is an autonomous Centre having its own Governing Council and Academic Board.
The Centre has been able to generate Rs.3.25 Crore since its inception, as result of the special grant announced by Honorable Minister Shri Arjun Singh, Union Minister towards the infrastructure facilities of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Studies. The Centre has also generated Rs. 2.5 Crore both from HPCL and ONGC for setting up Rajiv Gandhi Endowment Chairs.
The Centre has registered fourteen doctoral scholars so far working on various themes / contemporary issues.
- PhD in Inter-disciplinary Social Sciences in the areas of Contemporary Studies.
- Short Term Courses in the thematic areas.
- 1st Rajiv Gandhi Oration on Right to Information: Ushering a New Era of Governance by Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner on 21st May 2006.
- Public Lecture on Role of Micro-Credit in Achieving Millennium Development Goals by Nobel Laureate Muhammud Yunus on 2nd February, 2007.
- Talk on Higher Education Reforms by Mr. B.S. Baswan, Senior Consultant, Planning Commission on 3rd March, 2007.
- Public Lecture on Globalisation, Agriculture and Rural Development: Opportunities and Challenges for EU-India Cooperation by Ms. Marrian Fischer Boel, European Commissioner for Trade and Agriculture on 9th March, 2007.
- Talk on Prospects of Indian Economy and Higher Education in India by Prof. Kaushik Basu, Cornell University on 29th March, 2007.
- Two day Conference in collaboration with The Ford Foundation titled New Life for the Old University: Renewing Research, Building Collabortion in Mumbai on 30th and 31st March, 2007.
- Distinguished Public Lecture on Financial Literacy by Thiru P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister on 20thJuly, 2007.
- 2nd Rajiv Gandhi Oration on Higher Education by Shri Arjun Singh, Union Minister for Human Resource Development on 24th August, 2007.
- Public Lecture on Access To Education by Prof. Andre Beteille, Chairman, Indian Council for Social Science Research and Former Member, National Knowledge Commission on 5th October, 2007.
- Public Lecture on Can Economic Prosperity and Declining Public Standard go together? by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, (ex-IAS), Leader, Lok Satta Movement on 3rd December, 2007.
- Talk on Culture and Consumption: Classical Music in Contemporary India and the Diaspora by historian Professor Lakshmi Subramaniam, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi on 14th December, 2007.
- Talk on Globalization : A Critical Perspective by Professor Rajan G. Harshe, eminent Political Scientist and Vice Chancellor, University of Allahabad on 18th December, 2007.
- Talk on Japan : A diminished Giant?” by Dr. Aftab Seth on 11th January, 2008.
- First foundation day lecture on “India and the World After : A Vision for Future” by Hon’ble Shri Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India on 31st March, 2008.
- “10 days Academic Writing workshop” in collaboration with ICSSR from 7th July, 2008 to 17th July, 2008.
- Advanced Winter School (Philosophy for the Social Sciences)” in collaboration with Centre for Philosophy, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore and ICSSR Western Regional Centre from 23rd January, 2009 to 31st January, 2009
- Book discussion on “Imagining India” by Shri Nandan Nilekani, Co-Chairman, Infosys Technologies Limited on 18th February, 2009.
- Two day Conference on “Public Policy in a Federal Setup” in collaboration with Centre for Advanced Study, Department of Economics on 19th & 20th February, 2009
- A Panel discussion on “Internal Security, Terrorism and Indo-Pak Relations” by Mr. Prakash Singh, IPS (Retd.) , Former Director General, Border Security Force, Mr. B. Raman, IPS (Retd.) Former Additional Secretary, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Mr. G. Parathasarthy, IFS (Retd.) Former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr. Geoffrey Yaden , Editor, Nagaland Post on 24th February, 2009
- Public lecture on “Gandhi and Modernity” by Prof. Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities, to be held on 22nd December, 2010 jointly with The Group for Research in Indian Diaspora, A project under the UGC’s.
- The workshop on “Negotiating Social Chance and Human Rights Awareness through Theatre and the Politics of Art” on 11th and 12th January, 2011 in collaboration with English Department.
- A guest lecture series by Ambassador Jagdish Sharma, IFS (Retd.) on “Engaging Diaspora: Government of India’s Policy and Experiece” to be held on 8th March, 2011.
- Two days Orientation and Guidance Lecture on “NET /SET Examination Workshop” for Arts, Science & Commerce Students, in collaboration with Dr. Sangeeta Pawar, Department of Commerce on 30th & 31st July, 2011
- A multi Dimensional Inter Collegiate Debate Competition on “Kartavya” in collaboration with India Against Corruption (IAC) on 6th August, 2011.
- A special lecture on “Monetary Policy and Lesser Depression 2008?” delivered by Prof. Jeremy Edwards, University of Cambridge on 30th August, 2011.
- A special lecture on “Social Capital, Gender and the Consumer Revolution in Early Modern Central Europe-?” delivered by Prof. Sheilagh Ogilvie, University of Cambridge on 8th September, 2011.
- An International Storytelling Conference and festival called Magic of the Word’ Storytelling for Ecological Conversation and Inter-Racial Understanding in collaboration with the English Department, University of Mumbai from 7th to 13th October, 2011.
- A Mini-workshop on “Engaging Culture Studies A British Experience” by Prof. Colin MacCabe & Prof. Steve Connor Understanding in jointly with the Soiology Department, University of Mumbai on 28th November, 2011.
- A Public lecture by Dr. Lissa Lincoln from the American University of Paris in collaboration with the French Department, University of Mumbai on 28th February, 2012.
- Dr. Somik Lall, Lead Economist lecture based on recent work on Urbanization in India jointly with the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS), Department of Economics, University of Mumbai on 24th July, 2012.
- A lecture delivered by Dr. Lissa Lincoln, from the American University to the Centre from 11th January, 2013 to 16th January, 2013,in collaboration with French Department, University of Mumbai.
- A State level Convention on 11th March, 2013 on Socio-Legal Rights of Muslim Women‘ in collaboration with Bharatiy Muslim Mahila Andolan and MARG, new Delhi.
- A Documentary Film Festival on Drought in Maharashtra‘ entitled “JANAWA DUSHKAL” was organized in collaboration with Marathi weekly Kalamnama’ on 9th May 2013.
SEVERAL OF THE PUBLIC LECTURES / TALKS / ORATION ARE PUBLISHED BY THE CENTRE
Dr. Chandrakant Puri is a Chair Professor, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Studies, University of Mumbai.
After completing his MSW (TISS) he started working with primitive tribal communities in Maharashtra in the year 1992 where he implemented various developmental projects including the Self-Help Housing project which was nominated for the World Habitat Award in 1995. The entire project completely transformed 2 tribal hamlets, forming 36 Youth and Mahila Mandals and developing local leadership through training programs thereby ensuring sustainability of development initiatives.
Dr. Puri coordinated the Baseline Socio-Economic Survey & Plain Table survey of 8000 project affected families under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project II, which became the basis for the Resettlement & Rehabilitation Policy for Urban Poor of Government of Maharashtra, this study was sponsored by the World Bank (1995-1997).
In the year 1997, he joined SNDT University as Asstt. Director Social Sciences but continued his work with tribal communities through his PhD work (Mumbai University -2002). He became Director of the Centre for Distance Education (2006) where he developed 13 new programmes which were mainly professional thereby raising revenue by double in the span of 2 years.
His interest of working with socially excluded communities lead him establish the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy at SNDT Womens University where he worked as its Founder Professor cum Director (2009 to 2013). He has developed the curriculum for MA in Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy Studies and P G Diploma in NGO Management focusing on the field work intervention. He also started PhD in Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy Studies, the first of its kind in India. He continues field action and research with excluded communities such as Tribal, Dalit and Nomadic and De-notified Tribes in Maharashtra.
He is the recipient of several awards / fellowships which includes prestigious Asiatic Post Doctoral Fellowship. His work with prisoners of Ratnagiri Special Prison resulted in Mumbai University awarding him the Gold Medal in the year 1989-90. He is also the recipient of Young Professional of Commonwealth of Learning Award & Internship by the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada for the year 1999. He is the recipient of Karmaveer Puraskar by Confederation of Indian NGOs for his work with tribal communities.
Dr. Puri is author of 2 books and has published over 50 research articles. He has successfully guided 04 M. Phil scholars and 12 Ph.D. students are working under his guidance in the subject of Social Work, Social Exclusion and Inclusion, Contemporary Studies etc.
He has conducted 15 research projects till date and has travelled worldwide to present his research
Dr Puri is keenly interested in the folk music and has been the disciple of Padmashri Shahir Sable for over 20 years. He has his own folk music troop and he has performed all over Maharashtra.
Cell- 9819056444 / E-mail: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org