OP Jindal Global University (JGU) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on September 14, 2021. This collaboration comes at a time when the world is facing multiple humanitarian crises be it the pandemic or the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The primary objective of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation between ICRC and JGU in the area of promotion, awareness raising, development, teaching and dissemination of international humanitarian law (IHL). Its main purpose is to spread the understanding of IHL and encourage the integration of not merely IHL but also humanitarian policy and action into the University`s curriculum.

An important aspect of this partnership is the introduction of a Master’s Programme in Humanitarian Action and Policy. Whilst such programmes are found in abundance in the west such a course would be the first-of-its-kind in the country as well as the global South.

Expressing his enthusiasm in relation to this partnership, Prof Sridhar Patnaik, Registrar, JGU, said, “through this partnership, we envisage to build capacity and contribute to humanitarian studies. In this journey, we hope to develop future professionals who can specialize in this area and the strengths of ICRC and JGU blend to achieve these objectives.”

Addressing humanitarian challenges prevailing in the world today requires strong leadership from countries like India. Through this collaboration, both ICRC and JGU are keen to bring these global debates and discussions to the table in India.

“The ICRC has always been extensively engaged in the promotion of humanitarian law in academic circles. However, there is a need for expanding such programmes in the global South. This opportunity to work closely with O.P. Jindal Global University is a unique opportunity for the ICRC to utilize our experience and encourage academic institutions to engage in humanitarian studies because today’s students are tomorrow’s policy-makers,” said Yahia Alibi, Head of Regional Delegation, ICRC. Through this important partnership, our institutions endeavour to generate the much-needed human resource for the promotion and strengthening of humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles and we at the ICRC are looking forward to nurturing this partnership,” he added.

Prof (Dr) C Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor, JGU, 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 endeavours with other institutions in South-Asia and beyond,” added Prof Raj Kumar.

OP Jindal Global University 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.