Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of O. P. Jindal Global University was awarded the Capital Foundation Justice P. N. Bhagwati National Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Human Rights, Legal Education and Institution Building at the Capital Foundation Annual Lecture and Award Ceremony held at the India Islamic Cultural Centre.
The Annual National Award is instituted by the Capital Foundation Society and was conferred by Dr. Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, the Chief Guest for the evening in the distinguished presence of Mr. Bibek Debroy, member Niti Aayog who also delivered the Annual Lecture on “Decentralisation of Constitutional Powers”.
The event was presided over by Justice A. K. Patanik Chairman Capital Foundation and former Judge Supreme Court of India who while welcoming and congratulating the awardees said, “ One of the strengths of India's democratic system is the considerable space it allows for open and vigorous debate on issues of public policy. Participant representing different shades and interests express their views freely. Parliamentarians, civil servants, judges, diplomats, journalists, scholars and professionals come together and exchange ideas. Our awardees tonight reflect this spirit and this spirit is something that makes Capital Foundation different from all other public forums.
Congratulating Professor Raj Kumar for the award, Dr. Vinod Sethi, Secretary General, Capital Foundation Society said, “Professor Raj Kumar is an institutional builder par excellence who has given new impetus, direction and vision to higher education in India. Prof. Raj Kumar is a brilliant scholar, a crusader of Human Rights, an inspiring teacher, a devoted researcher and one of the finest speakers and a true leader. This award is truly well deserved. His contributions to institution building and nation building are invaluable and will contribute in defining the destiny of an entire generation of Indian youth.”
Professor Kumar was appointed as the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) in India at the age of 34 in 2009. JGU has completed six years and has grown into a multidisciplinary and research-oriented university with five different schools relating to law, business, international affairs, public policy and liberal arts & humanities. JGU has acquired a stellar reputation in India and abroad for its effort to promoting excellence in teaching, research, capacity building and community service. Under Professor Kumar's leadership, JGU has built international collaborations with over 100 institutions in 35 different countries of the world making this university as one of the leading globally oriented universities in India.
Professor Kumar is an outstanding scholar of international repute. He was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, UK, where he obtained his Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degree; a Landon Gammon Fellow at the Harvard Law School, USA, where he obtained his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree and a James Souverine Gallo Memorial Scholar at the Harvard University. He was awarded the Doctor of Legal Science (S.J.D.)by the University of Hong Kong. He also obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the University of Delhi, India; and a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) degree from the Loyola College of the University of Madras, India. He was a faculty member at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong, where he taught for many years.
Professor Kumar's areas of specialisation include, human rights and development, terrorism and national security, corruption and governance, law and disaster management, comparative constitutional law, legal education and higher education. He has over hundred and twenty five publications to his credit and has published widely in peer reviewed journals and law reviews in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and USA. His contributions to human rights have been in areas of criminal justice, international law, comparative constitutional law, anti-corruption and national human rights institutions. He has contributed scholarly articles, which have been published in the leading law and human rights journals of the world such as the American University International Law Review, Asia Pacific Law Review, Australian Journal of Asian Law, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, Georgetown Journal of International Law, Human Rights Quarterly, ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, Michigan State Journal of International Law, New England Journal of International and Comparative Law, San Diego International Law Journal, Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, and Tulsa Journal of Comparative and International Law. He has published several books: CORRUPTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN INDIA: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON TRANSPARENCY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE (2011) published by the Oxford University Press; HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT: LAW, POLICY AND GOVERNANCE (2006) published by LexisNexis, Butterworths; TSUNAMI AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT: LAW AND GOVERNANCE (2006) published by Sweet & Maxwell Thomson; and HUMAN RIGHTS, JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL EMPOWERMENT (2007) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP).
His recent Book on Corruption and Human Rights published by the Oxford University Press got great reviews including the book reviews published in the Yale Journal of International Law, Human Rights Quarterly, International Journal of Constitutional Law and Australian International Law Journal.
Some of the comments in the book are:
Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer had remarked, “Within a short span of time, he has established a prolific reputation as a scholar and a sound thinker in the field of human rights in all its dimensions…".
Justice P.N. Bhgwati had remarked, “Professor Raj Kumar is India’s most outstanding human rights scholar and critical thinkers and has produced an original work that analyses jurisprudential foundations of human rights and how corruption affects human rights and access to justice in India and beyond."
Professor Kumar has held consultancy assignments in the field of human rights and governance. He has been a Consultant to the United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and the International Council for Human Rights Policy (ICHRP), Geneva. He has advised the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) in Sri Lanka and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in India on issues relating to corruption and good governance. Professor Kumar is an Attorney at Law and is admitted to the Bar Council of Delhi, India and the Bar of the State of New York, USA.
Speaking on the occasion Professor C. Raj Kumar said, “I am truly humbled and honored to receive the Capital Foundation Justice P.N. Bhagwati National Award. Justice Bhagwati has been a great source of inspiration for me to pursue research, writing and advocacy in the field of law, justice and human rights. All awards are recognition of collective contributions to society and no award can be given to any individual in isolation. In that spirit, I would like to thank my teachers, colleagues, students, parents, and my family members for their contribution and support all these years to my work. I am particularly grateful to Chancellor Naveen Jindal for giving me an opportunity to help build a global university in India.”
Amongst the other awardees at the function were Professor Ved Prakash Chairman, University Grants Commission and Ms. Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy for Facebook in India, South and Central Asia.
Photo Caption: Professor C. Raj Kumar – Vice Chancellor O.P. Jindal Global University receiving Justice P.N. Bhagwati National Award