The Scarman Centre at the University of Leicester recently welcomed four eminent academics from India who were visiting the UK to discuss human rights education. The delegation was led by Professor Mool Chand Sharma, Professor of Law at the University of Delhi, who is National Consultant of the Human Rights Group of the Indian University Grants Commission (UGC). Other members of the party were Professor Pam Rajput, Director of Women's Studies at Punjab University, Professor Gopal Guru, Head of Political Science and Public Administration at Pune University, and Alpa Vohra, from the YUVA social action group promoting children's rights, in Mumbai.
The Indian UGC is committed to promoting human rights education in universities and colleges and a module is being prepared for students in fields as diverse as law, science, business and social work. The UGC is collaborating with the British Council, with funding from the FCO's Human Rights Project, to implement the human rights education, and a core group is taking the lead in developing teaching materials.
The purpose of the visit to the UK was to learn more about the promotion of a human rights culture in higher education, to make contact with British academics with knowledge in this field, and to identify material that might be used in case studies in India.
While at Leicester University, the Indian delegation met members of staff from the Scarman Centre, including Dr Tina McGuinness and Dr Mike Rowe who discussed distance-learning MSc degrees and human rights. The Centre's three-year EU Tacis project, on human rights and policing in Russia, was outlined by Ian Woodward, Head of Professional Development, and lecturer Jerry Hart. The delegation also met Tricia Norman, from the International Office, and Fiona McPhail, Equal Opportunities Officer in the Personnel Office.
The Head of the Department of Law, Professor Chris Clarkson, and Lecturers Estella Baker and Tony Bradney discussed the Human Rights and Civil Liberties MSc degree with the visitors. During lunch, the Indian delegation held discussions with Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor John Beeby, Dean of the Social Sciences, Professor David Pyle, Director of the Scarman Centre, Professor John Benyon, and Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the Scarman Centre, Andrew Willis.
Commenting on the visit, Andrew Willis said: 'We are delighted that such a distinguished group of academics from India chose to visit the University of Leicester to discuss this major project on human rights education. This builds on the close links we have with the British Council in New Delhi.' Mr Willis will be visiting India in July.
Professor John Benyon said: 'The Scarman Centre is currently involved in collaborative projects in China, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine. We are committed to extending our international activities and we welcome the prospect of developing links in India'.
For further information please contact Mr Andrew Willis or Professor John Benyon at the Scarman Centre, Leicester University, The Friars, 154 Upper New Walk, Leicester, LE1 7QA, telephone: 0116 252 5781; 0116 252 2458, fax: 0116 252 5766 or 252 3944, email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, internet: http://www.le.ac.uk/scarman/
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