Symbiosis Law School, Pune Awarded Prestigious Jean Monnet Chair in EU Climate Justice Law, Governance, Management and Policy by European Union

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Pune, 8th April 2022: Symbiosis Law School, Pune under the aegis of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) (SIU) home to the topmost legal minds of the country, has been bestowed with the honour of the prestigious Jean Monnet Chair on EU Climate Justice Law, Governance, Management and Policy (EUC-LAMP) under the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union with a total grant of Euro 50000 from 2022-2025.

On behalf of SIU, Prof. Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Dean, Faculty of Law, Symbiosis International (Deemed University) will be the Jean Monnet Chair Professor funded by the European Union.

What makes the achievement even more unique and remarkable is that this is the 1st Jean Monnet Chair granted in Pune and Western India, the 1st Jean Monnet Chair in India in Law to be chaired by a woman and only the 2nd Jean Monnet Chair in India in the field of law.

Dr. Shashikala Gurpur has a proven track record and vast experience in the field of International Law, Environmental Law, European Union Law, Human Rights, International Environmental Law Climate Change, Biotechnology, Biodiversity etc. She has worked extensively on policy-related issues and has provided recommendations on varied policy matters including the environment during her stint with the Law Commission of India and other prestigious government bodies.

Further, she has also been acknowledged for her immense contribution in the field of legal education, gender sensitization and community outreach programmes. This was duly acknowledged by the Government of Karnataka, India which conferred her with the prestigious Annual Kittur Rani Chennamma Award in 2018 for her work towards the empowerment of women.

The Jean Monnet Chair is a recognition of over a decade long experience of Symbiosis Law School, Pune under SIU in European Studies by way of Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus+ Projects, Student Exchange Programmes, Masters Level Specialization, Certificate Programmes etc.

Climate Change is currently the most urgent and profoundly complex environment-related problem for the international community. Recognizing the importance of climate change and its impact in various aspects like food security, energy security, water security, health, migration and conflict, the central and state governments in India have made climate change a focal area. A number of major developments have taken place in India in order to centre stage the need for combating climate change-related adversities.

The Jean Monnet Chair will promote EU Best practices and policies in climate change mitigation as an ideal model, foster dialogue between the academic world and society, including local and state-level policy-makers, civil servants, civil society actors, representatives of the different levels of education and of the media; generate policy-making. The focus predominantly will be on the youth as they will be the thought leaders and change-makers of tomorrow. The main aim will be to enhance employability skills along with proving impetus to climate research, climate impact assessment, climate change and sustainability, climate risk, climate law, renewable resources, green product designing, green energy, natural resource management, policy and governance.

The proposed chair will be focused on reaching out to a wider community of youth, i.e. students, students, academics, NGOs, policymakers, think tanks, industry leaders, the youth of urban, semi-urban and rural communities with regard to imparting climate change-related courses, certificate programme and specialized workshops.

One of the biggest Relevance that the Chair will have is the ability to influence and shape a large cohort of young students from SIU which has eight faculties ranging from Management, Telecom, Engineering, Media, International Business, Design, apart from Law who opts for careers ranging from public service, entrepreneurship, business and industry engagement to policy, law, judiciary and government.

Recognizing the role that a Higher Educational Institute can play in contributing toward policy reform, climate change education, dissemination, developing niche courses, undertaking practical measures for climate change mitigation; Symbiosis International (Deemed University) has set up a Centre for Climate Change which will be closely aligned with the activities which will be undertaken by the Jean Monnet Chair.

The main target groups of the JM Chair will be Students, Teachers and Educational administrators not yet recipients of JM funding and interested in specific EU studies related subjects.

The Chair generates interest among students to improve their competencies in terms of skill sets that enable them to work in fields of public administration and other employment positions as lawyers, teachers, researchers, advisors, representatives, analysts, or managers with local, national, international, or EU Institutional bodies present at such levels.

Innovative interdisciplinary niche courses in climate justice law, policy, management and governance will be developed across undergraduates and postgraduate programs which will be open to students all over India.

Symbiosis Law School Pune has developed a one of its kind in the country Jean Monnet Symbiosis Centre for Climate Justice Law, Governance, Management and Policy which is a part of the “EU Learning Resource Centre” established at Symbiosis Law School, Pune. This excellence centre will contain specialised equipment, books, and online learning resource centre, a legal database, Statistical Package for Social Sciences(SPSS) which will help improve the quality of research and community engagements.

Thus the Jean Monnet Chair will play a pivotal role in climate change mitigation measures undertaken in India, complementing and adding to the Indian national policymaking.