Jahanara and Anwar Saikia Centre for Peace Studies Inaugurated at USTM

New Centre Aims to Promote Peace Research and Studies in Northeast India and ASEAN

Khanapara, June 3: A Centre of Peach Studies was recently inaugurated at the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) located at Khanapara in the Ri-Bhoi district. The Centre aims to become a hub of excellence in peace research and studies among ASEAN countries.

Named after Jahanara and Anwar Saikia, the new study centre is dedicated to peace research and studies in the northeastern region of India and its diverse communities.

ustm centre for peace studies
Inaugural ceremony of the USTM’s Jahanara and Anwar Saikia Centre for Peach Studies

The inauguration took place on Saturday, led by Prof. Gauri Dutt Sharma, Vice Chancellor of USTM, and Prof. Yasmin Saikia, the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at Arizona State University, USA. The Centre is named in honor of Prof. Yasmin Saikia’s parents.

An official release stated that Prof. Saikia had contributed Rs 1 crore to USTM for the development of the Peace Centre, with USTM providing the land for its construction. Prof. Yasmin Saikia will serve as the Founding Director, and Dr. Trishna M. Thakuria will be the Coordinator.

Expressing his gratitude, USTM Chancellor M. Hoque thanked Prof. Saikia and her family for their voluntary sponsorship of the Centre.

During the inaugural ceremony, Prof. G.D. Sharma conveyed his confidence in the Centre’s potential to enhance USTM’s global competitiveness.

Prof. Yasmin Saikia shared insights from her experiences at leading US universities, suggesting best practices to make the Centre a hub of excellence in education, research, and innovation, aiming for a positive social impact. She emphasized that USTM will focus intensively on peace research and studies through this fully-fledged Centre, the foundation for which was laid last year on the University campus.

Prof. Yasmin Saikia, holding the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and a professorship in history at the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, focuses her work on the histories of memory and identity, women, war, and peace, and the histories of premodern and contemporary South Asia.

She examines Muslim experiences in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, exploring the discourse of nonviolence and the practice of violence against women and vulnerable groups. Her approach to peace studies integrates cultural, historical, and individual and group agency perspectives, aiming to advance the study of peace through a humanities-oriented lens.

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