Jindal Global University partners with UNESCO-Chair in Community Based Research to implement SDGs

New Delhi: O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) has partnered with UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research (CBR) and Social Responsibility in Higher Education to enable the implementation plans for the UN Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. UNESCO’s initiative in this regard, the Knowledge for Change (K4C), has as its goal training the next generation of community-based participatory researchers.

As lead up to the K4C training, JGU convened an International Research Symposium (Dec 11-12, 2017) in collaboration with the UNESCO-Chair in CBR and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Oceania Comparative and International Education Society (OCIES), Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES) and World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES). Several noted scholars from across India, US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka participated in the two-day long international research symposium.

Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, JGU in his welcome address emphasized that, “there is a need to be mindful of the challenges facing Universities and collectively devise a way for reorienting the higher education sector, for sustaining its relevance.”

During her Plenary Speech Dr. Zane Ma Rhea of Monash University, Australia highlighted the “need to devise curriculum based on real life experiences, so that we do not end up reproducing colonial ways of thinking, teaching and learning”.

Drawing on the theme of the research symposium which sought to invoke ‘other ways of knowing and doing’ to globalize social science knowledge in higher education, Dr Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President, PRIA & Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in CBR said “when we talk about other ways of knowing, we realize that ‘we are the others’, because knowledge has been produced, utilized, stored & disseminated through centuries in the world of practice in order to survive, grow and this knowledge of late has found validity.”

A workshop on “decolonizing methodologies” was also conducted by Dr. Rajesh Tandon and another workshop on “decolonizing pedagogies” was conducted by Prof. Antonia Darder, Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

JGU will comprise the Indian Hub of K4C for training in Community Based Research along with Manipal University in Jaipur and Pt. Ravi Shankar Shukla University, Raipur. The first cohort of K4C Mentor training programme will begin in January 2018. The JGU Hub of K4C for Community Based Research will be coordinated by Dr Mousumi Mukherjee, Assistant Director, International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building (IIHEd). The training session, will comprise, online, face-to-face and field research based training.

The K4C Consortium includes several educational institutions from Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa in partnership with the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and University of Victoria, Canada.

K4C aims to bring about social change by building new knowledge through action partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and local stakeholders. In order to do so, the K4C Network will train the next generation students and professors on Community Based Research (CBR). Community Based Research is an ethical approach to research that equitably involves community members, organizational representatives, and researchers in all aspects of the research process. Every partner contributes expertise and shares in decision making and ownership of the research agenda to help find solutions to critical societal and environmental issues.