The Centre for Escalation of Peace (CEP) (www.cepeace.org) is an important programme of Ritinjali (www.ritinjali.org). Centre for Escalation of Peace has organically evolved to tackle issues of conflict and poverty, lack of proper education and skilling, and disengagement with communities, to find viable solutions at a policy level. While Ritinjali works on the grassroots level by offering immediate support to those in need, CEP focusses on systemic issues and strategizing programmes to bring long-term changes and consolidated solutions.
The Centre for Escalation of Peace takes the view that peace is not just the absence of war. Peace cannot be taken for granted; constant effort is required to enhance it as an anchor in a sea of rapid and far-reaching strategic and socio-economic change. As such, peace must not merely be sustained, but escalated through various strategies and tactics akin to the pursuit of victory during war.
With that in mind, the CEP has continuously sought to create platforms and establish programmes that encourage the free exchange of ideas across borders, with a distinct focus on empowering young minds. Its dialogues and activities revolve around three ‘pillars of calmness’, namely (i) Youth and Education; (ii) Trade and Sustainable Development; and (iii) Society and Culture.
India Bhutan Dialogue: Since 2013, CEP has been convening various activities as a part of The Thimphu Seminars, which is the name of its engagement with Bhutan. Its ongoing India- Bhutan Dialogue (Track 1.5/2) is held every six months at a bilateral level and there is continued scope for such platforms being established with other countries in the future.
Philosophers’ Retreat: The purpose of the retreat is to bring together eminent thinkers from the field of education, government, business and social work. The aim is to have an open discussion about the challenges in education and how the system could be equipped to ultimately benefit the learner in an ever-changing world.
Asia Pacific Schools Initiative: A platform comprising of multiple annual programmes targeted at both school students and teachers that collectively aim at creating a network of future leaders for the region, developing and nurturing in each one of them the capacity to exercise “Leadership through Serene Strength”.
School Leaders’ Retreat: A part of the Asia Pacific Schools Initiative, the School Leaders’ Retreat addresses the unique challenges of a school leader in the complex and fast-changing world of learning. Designed specifically for school heads, the program seeks to equip participants with ideas, skills and practices to create and lead collaborative result-oriented teams. Sessions and learning items focus on distinguishing technical and adaptive challenges in running a school, creating alignment and commitment among team members, and nurturing a win-win mindset.
India-Bhutan Youth Summit: The main objective of the youth summit is to enhance the ties between the youth of both countries and create an understanding of the importance of building India-Bhutan friendship. The Summit also seeks to create a pool of potential ambassadors, in both countries, who will carry forward the collaboration.
India-Bhutan Cultural Exchange and Art Camp: It is a unique platform for artists of both countries. The exchange of ideas during artistic collaboration not only stimulates the creative environment, builds cultural awareness and positive cultural relations but also helps in maintaining a continuous, harmonious interaction required between the two countries.
Conference on Guru Padmasambhava: Guru Padmasambhava, famously known as the Sage of the Himalayas, lived in the eighth century and is credited with spreading Buddhism to numerous present-day countries that fall in the Himalayan belt region. The Guru Conference strives to uncover the various facets of Guru Padmasambhava’s life to understand why he is still relevant in today’s times.
International Summer School, New Delhi: The CEP has also played an advisory role with the International Summer School (ISS), New Delhi. The ISS is an independent, six-week undergraduate programme that takes place under the banner of the Government’s ‘Incredible India’campaign and with support from the Ministry of External Affairs. Its purpose is to promote international goodwill and cultural understanding at thelevel of young minds as they learn about India and its role in the twenty first century.
Afghanistan-India Student Exchange: The program aims to facilitate a discussion on the challenges and opportunities young women face in trying to acquire education throughout the world, and to facilitate a cross-cultural experience in which students from both countries can learn from each other and create a support network that might eventually grow.