As D 3240 observes its Silver Jubilee this year, it has created an impressive record with three candidates shortlisted from the District being selected by Rotary International for Peace studies at various Rotary Peace Centres.
Rotary Peace Centres
Rotary International selects some of the world’s most dedicated and brilliant professionals with strong academic background and related experience to study at Rotary Peace Centres. Candidates are selected based on their potential as leaders in government, business, education, media and other diverse professional areas.
The Rotary Foundation, in partnership with leading universities around the world, set up Rotary Peace Centres in honour of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International, on his 50th death anniversary. At present there are six Rotary Peace Centres in seven universities around the world:
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
While the Chulalongkorn University offers a 3-month Professional Development Certificate course, the others offer a 24-month Master’s Degree course; these courses are fully funded by Rotary and include fees, food and lodging, round trip fares and internship and field study expenses.
The students pursue a curriculum in international relations, world peace, conflict resolution and related subjects which educate, empower and increase their intellectual capability in making a difference in the world. They gain experience from direct participation in academic training, research work, applied field internship, annual peace symposium and in global networking opportunities. The course concludes with a dissertation on a topic of the Fellow’s choice.
While Rotary clubs recommend potential applicants, the District Committees interview, select, endorse applicants and send the recommendations to Rotary Foundation for processing. The Rotary Peace Centres Selection Committee selects up to 50 for the Master’s course (10 fellows for each centre) and 50 for the Certificate course (25 in each session for two sessions per year).
The Committee looks for demonstration of commitment to a career in peace and conflict resolution, as a vital criteria while shortlisting candidates for the Scholarship.
D 3240’s Peace Scholars
Rashmi Rekha Borah, recommended by RC Guwahati West, will do the Master’s course at International Christian University, Japan, from September 2015. Editor of Bhoomi, a literary journal published from Assam, she is also a writer and poet and has won several awards. She holds a PhD from Assam University.
Prasanta Rajguru, recommended by RC Guwahati, is a journalist and presently Executive Editor of Amar Asom. He completed the Professional Certificate Course during January–March 2015 from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
Dr Abhijit Bora, recommended by RC Guwahati South, will be doing the Professional Certificate Course at the same University during June–August 2015. He is presently Associate Professor – Department of Mass Communication & Journalism, Tezpur University.
District 3240 has produced several Peace scholars, who maintain contact and participate in club, district, regional, and international Rotary events, ad also programmes of educational institutions, civic organisations and other forums while pursuing their professional careers. We are proud to put on record that Luish Aind, past Peace Scholar from Guwahati has been invited by RI President Gary Huang to address a breakout session on Peace Symposium at the RI Convention in São Paulo, Brazil.
(The author is member of RC Asansol and Assistant Governor Zone 1)