Lady Shri Ram College has today an established reputation that strives for excellence in its academic, extra-curricular and community outreach activities. A rich calendar of symposia, seminars, workshops and cultural events informs its working ethos. Much of the intellectual and academic activities organized by Lady Shri Ram College move beyond the narrow confines of the curricula and embraces a wide range of concerns by using creative and artistic tools in addition to literary and academic tools. The college’s commitment to fulfilling the constitutionally mandated policy of reservation of seats has resulted in an exponential increase in the intake of students from diverse and not necessarily equal backgrounds. As a result the college began to experience an acute shortage of infrastructure that was sought to be addressed by the setting up of a dedicated Learning, Research and Resource Centre. The college successfully applied in 2005 for financial assistance to the University Grants Commission towards this end.
The objectives of the centre are research and learning based. It also seeks to create a context for collective learning, moving beyond the rigours of the prescribed syllabus and examinations. It seeks to help students gain opportunities for leadership training that is distinctive in being socially aware and responsible. It hopes to be the nerve centre of all vibrant research, teaching and publication activities within college and build bridges with like-minded scholars, activists and performers all over the world.
The year 2005 was also significant because Lady Shri Ram College introduced a UGC approved post-graduate diploma recognized by the University of Delhi (with the mandated approvals from the apex decision-making bodies of the University- the Academic Council) in the field of Conflict Transformation and Peace Building. Subsequently, the University has tried to bring in some of the features of our programme into its existing B A programme and even Political Science Honours Programme. We are very proud of this initiative that we at LSR have pioneered.
The diploma is spread over two semesters. It has a very important research methodology component followed by the writing of a dissertation and the conduct of a viva. The faculty is drawn from within the college as well as from the wide network of experts in the field. The examinations are conducted by the University of Delhi and the results are declared by the University of Delhi co –terminus with the conduct of the other examinations of the University. Admissions are conducted on the basis of a written examination followed by an interview. Journalists, writers, peace activists, and students from across the country have been enrolled in this programme. The diploma programme is open to students from outside Lady Shri Ram College as well.
Lady Shri Ram College turned fifty in 2006; on this occasion it was decided that Confluence the Learning, Research and Resource Centre when completed would be named after the best known and cherished of our alums Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. This combined with our pioneering role in bringing the discipline of Conflict Transformation and Peace Building into the University of Delhi, made the choice of naming the Learning Centre in her honour fairly obvious, given that she is a great warrior of peace. The resource centre was thus appropriately christened Aung San Suu Kyi Centre for Peace and the gracious and beautiful building was inaugurated by His Holiness The Dalai Lama in 2013.
The ASSK centre for Peace began to function formally from its new premises from August 11th, 2014. One of the integral activities of the centre is of course the conduct of the post-graduate diploma programme in Conflict Transformation and Peace Building. It also has a very well stocked library with books, journals, newspapers and films and posters. The building has class rooms, discussion rooms and seminar rooms, apart from a lovely little garden.
Over the last six months of its existence, the ASSK centre for Peace has taken fledgling steps towards fulfilling its mandate and has received support and appreciation of students, faculty and scholars, activist and journalists from outside.