In October 1969, Gujarat Vidyapith organized a seminar on ‘Science, Education and Non-violence’ with support from the University Grants Commission (UGC), Indian National Commission for UNESCO, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and Atomic Energy Commission(AEC), Eminent Scientists and Scholars from USSR, USA, Canada, Australia and India attended. Dr.Solandt, Chairperson of the Canadian Science Council, Dr. Robinorich of the USSR, and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Chairperson of AEC India, were some of the distinguished participants. The then Deputy Director General of UNESCO had addressed the seminar.
As a follow-up of the seminar the Vidyapith instituted project for a study and research programme for peace in November 1971. The then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ramlal Parikh pioneered it and became the founder Director. UNESCO provided support for library and fellowships. UGC also provided some support. Eventually, it was turned into the Peace Research Centre and named after Shri Jamnalal Bajaj, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. The Centre became consistent with one of the objectives of the Gujarat Vidyapith, which states that the main function of the Gujarat Vidyapith is to educate youth into becoming empowered, cultured, and committed volunteers, bearing sound character to undertake reconstruction of the nation based on Truth (Satya) and Non-violence (Ahimsa).
The Peace Research Centre will always endeavour to study, research and work for building peace in society based on Truth and Non-violence.
- Conduct peace studies, research and extension programmes in the country.
- Identify and locate direct and structural violence in society and analyse its causes and effects.
- To impart different skills for non-violent creative conflict resolution and transformation.
- To support peace education at local and national level.
In 1980-81, the Peace Research Centre launched teaching programmes leading to M.Phil. and Ph.D. Late Professor Devvrat Pathak anchored it. Presently, the Centre conducts two programmes namely, Peace Research and Science and Non-violence, which is named after Shri Shriman Narayan, a prominent Trustee of the Gujarat Vidyapith and one of the associates of Gandhiji and Vinoba Bhave. The Centre has been running the following specific programmes.
- Anuparangat (M.Phil) in Peace and New Global Society, and later on in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution (Full – time : one year; Part – time: two – year) till 2020.
- Anuparangat (M.Phil) in Science and Non-violence (Full–time : one-year; Part-time: two-year) till 2020.
- D in Peace Research
- D in Science and Non-violence
- Certificate Course for Foreign Students: Indian Culture, Gandhian Thought and Peace Studies till 2010.
- Summer Workshops
From 1982, M.Phil, and Ph.D have been started in the subjects of Peace Research and Science and Non-violence. M.Phil and Ph.D research work has been done in Peace Research Centre focusing on disarmament, structural violence, cultural violence, world peace, development and environment. Till 2022, 20 students of India and abroad have completed Ph.D in the subject of Peace Research and 7 students have completed their Ph.D in the subject of Science and Non-violence. 44 students have completed M.Phil in the subject of Peace Research and 6 students have completed M.Phil in the subject of Science and Non-violence.
The Centre has received generous endowments from well-wishers such as Kamalnayan Bajaj Charitable Trust, Rameshwar Tantiya Trust, Bajaj Family Trust. The Centre has also created a fund after Professor Pathak. The Centre with the help of these trust funds conducts following public lectures annually.
- Kamalnayan Bajaj Memorial Lecture on “ Science and Non-violence.”
- Shri Rameshwar Tantiya Memorial Lecture on “Science and Society.”
- Shri Ramkrishna Bajaj Memorial Lecture on “ Ethics in Business.”
- Ramlal Parikh Birth Anniversary Memorial Lecture on “Peace, Education and Women.”
- D.N.Pathak Smruti Lecture on “Political Issues and Peace.”
Celebrating different International days:
- In the Peace Research Centre is celebrating different international days right from its establishment. The Hiroshima Day (6th August), International Peace Day (21st September), International Human Rights Day (10 December), International Women Day (8th March) are celebrated regularly by the Peace Research Centre.
INTERFACE WITH Community
- Action research in Peace in collaboration with Ora World Mandala (OWM Rome, Italy), for creating a model of education for Ahimsa through Art.
- Peace Research Centre has also been working with the collaboration of International Women’s Organization (WILF).
In recognition of the significant contribution to the programme and objectives of the International Year of Peace proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, the Secretary General designates Peace Research Centre, Gujarat Vidyapith as a Peace Messenger on 15th September, 1987.
In January, 2009 a faculty member of the Centre received the ‘Ambassador for Peace Award’ by Universal Peace Federation, New Delhi.
In November, 2018, a faculty member of the Centre received the ‘Ambassador for Peace Award’ by International Peace Research Association.
In November, 2018 Peace Research Centre also received the ‘Creator of Peace Ambassadors’ Award’ by International Peace Research Association.
Library service of a special collection of more than 5000 books and journals on Peace, Peace Education and Non-violence is available for the use of scholars from India and abroad. There is a special section of books on Gandhian Thought and Peace Research containing about 25,000 titles in the Gujarat Vidyapith Library which is available to scholars.
Information services on activities, publication and programmes concerning research in Peace and Peace Education, Non-violence, in all parts of the world is made available to research scholars.