Resilient Futures India Initiative Partnership Summit

December 17, 2019
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Resilient Futures India Initiative (RFII) is a multilateral partnership initiative between India and the UK. It is a partnership initiative comprising Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the India Institute for Sustainable Development Somerville College, Oxford, Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS), Indian Institute for Technology Bombay (IITB) and OP Jindal Global University (JGU), as well as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the Commonwealth Secretary General. This open partnership builds relationships between Indian and UK academics, civil society, policy makers and industry leaders to design durable solutions for enhancing lives, communities and systems in contexts of uncertainty.

Following the successful launch of RFII in New Delhi in February 2019 and a summer summit at Queen Mary University of London in July 2019, the Mumbai meetings will be an opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships with TISS, IITB and JGU and other organisations. The primary objectives are to consolidate intellectual partnerships and secure the financial foundations for projects on health systems, mental health and domestic violence and explore new ventures on environmental sustainability. The two-day event will involve sandpit meetings on research development and policy making, a special mental health Breakthrough Colloquium with Mrs Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of MPower, and the official launch of a British Academy-GCRF funded project on ‘Surviving violence’. A high-level round table and Partners’ reception event on Tuesday evening hosted by all partners will bring together academic, policy and industry leaders from across Mumbai and elsewhere in India.

Admission to this event is by invitation only.

Event Report:

The RFII launch event took place in February 2019 at Delhi and the second one in July 2019 in London. This third event was jointly hosted by TISS and CPS, IIT-B. The first day at TISS, involved discussions on mental health, access to health care in India, and the health of internal migrants. Day 2, hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies, focused on domestic violence and saw the launch of the RFII project ‘Surviving violence: Everyday resilience and gender justice in rural-urban India’. 

The event was attended by RFII partners from QMUL, TISS, O.P. Jindal Global University, Nari Samata Manch, Prajnya, Navjyoti Foundation, AIIMS; dignitaries including Lord Patel of Bradford, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mumbai, Mr Crispin Simon, Prof Prajapati Trivedi of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Vice Principal (International), QMUL, Prof Colin Grant as well as professors from IIT-B including Prof Satish B. Agnihotri, Prof. Anand Rao, Prof. Mrinmoyi Kulkarni and panellists, Nida Sheriff (Chayn), Prof Visweswaran Navaratnam (Universiti Sains Malaysia), and Prof Beena Chintalapuri (Ashoka Fellow) and CPS research scholars.

December 17 started with welcome address by Prof Agnihotri and Lord Patel of Bradford. It was followed by a panel discussion ‘Surviving violence, everyday resilience and gender justice’ which was chaired by Prof Trivedi and included the leads of the ‘Surviving violence’ project (Prof Shazia Choudhry, Dr Philippa Williams, Prof Ajay Pandey, Dr Girija Godbole, and Dr Swarna Rajagopalan), Sudaroli Ramaswamy (Prajnya), Prof Vindhya Undurti (TISS), and Nida Sheriff (Chayn). Prof Choudhry and Dr Williams discussed the ‘Surviving violence’ project, its aims and objectives, and its design. Prof Undurti discussed a community-based intervention in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which began as a poverty alleviation project and subsequently expanded its objectives to social empowerment. Finally, Nida Sheriff shared the work of Chayn in supporting victims of domestic violence through its online platform and the crowdsourcing of resources. 

The roundtable on ‘Policymaking for Resilient Futures’ was jointly chaired by The Lord Patel of Bradford and Prof Agnihotri. Professors Shalini Bharat (TISS), Prajapati Trivedi (Commonwealth Secretariat), Visweswaran Navaratnam (Universiti Sains Malaysia), and Beena Chintalapuri (Ashoka Fellow) discussed the role and form that policymaking should take if it is to become a more effective means of increasing community and state resilience without shifting the onus to the individual. Discussing their work, they showed how policy interventions can lead to more resilient futures, and how it is possible to scale-up interventions so long as contexts, cultures, and actors are considered and included in the policy process. 

Both the panel discussion and the roundtable were followed by insightful questions and discussions. Vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Girija Godbole.


December 17, 2019
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