The Ford Foundation approved a grant of $2,50,000 to the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS) for tie-off support to create an Endowed Chair on “Human Rights and Citizenship Studies” in the year 2005.
Ford Chair on Human Rights and Citizenship Studies in our University is intended to establish a premier Human Rights Centre and to secure greater understanding and dissemination of Human Rights Law among law students and other stakeholders in the eastern region of India.
The major responsibility of the chair inter alia, is to spread human rights literacy amongst the people; sensitize public servants to human rights issues; provide free legal aid and assistance in support of human rights; collaborate with NGOs for protecting human rights; to prepare books on human rights for different categories of functionaries engaged in activities involving human rights; to conduct study and research in specific areas pertaining to human rights and other functions to create human rights culture in the society.
Incumbent to the Chair were Prof. Upendra Baxi, Former Vice Chancellor, Delhi University and an eminent Human Right Activist of International repute; Hon’ble Justice Mrs. Ruma Pal, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India; Professor Jose Verghese, Former Vice Chancellor, Hidayatulla National Law University, Raipur; Professor Uday Raj Rai, Formerly Krishna Iyer Chair Professor at National Law School of India University, (NLSIU) ; Hon’ble Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir, Former Chief Justice of India and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tarun Chatterjee, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India.
The Government of West Bengal sanctioned an one time grant of Rupees One Crore in September 2014 to establish Justice Sir Asutosh Mookerjee Chair for Studies in Bengal Tradition, Law and Social Transformation.
The purpose of setting up this chair is to promote the study of contemporary Indian law and society from the second half of the nineteenth century to the first two decades of the twenty first century in the context of Indian heritage, tradition and culture. It will deal with the study of social transformation in India since the independence of the country in 1947, i.e. in the period of decolonization. The contribution made by eminent Indian jurists to social transformation through the establishment of a strong framework of social justice as guaranteed under the Indian Constitution will be discussed through seminars and conferences held under the aegis of this chair. Contributions made by constitutional experts to the building up of an egalitarian society committed to social justice through principles of tradition and culture drawn from revivalist movements of the nineteenth and twentieth century’s such as the Arya Samaj movement, the Brahmo Samaj movement and the Ramakrishna Mission of Swami Vivekananda will be discussed in the workshop organized by the chair. The thoughts of Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Sir Asutosh and of host of others have built strong intellectual tradition on social justice conception.
It will also seek to address the latest trends in Indian Constitutional Studies. Sir Asutosh Mookerjee was one of the most eminent scholars of law. His contribution to the development of the Indian legal system and the judiciary is immense. As one of the earliest Indian acting Chief Justices of the High Court of Calcutta  he played a central role in the making of the modern Indian judiciary at a time when even the Federal Court of India on which was based the Supreme Court of India had not been formed. His appointment as the Acting Chief Justice came at a time when the diarchy system of governance was being proposed in the Montague Chelmsford Accord of 1919. This Chair will seek to deal with these issues of governance in the context of the national movement and its relationship with the colonial government in the pre-independence period.
The income earned from the fund would be utilized in conducting various activities of the Chair. The WBNUJS is grateful to the Government for the grant, and wishes to perform the responsibility systematically, continuously and effectively.
Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, Former Chief Justice, Calcutta, High Court is presently holding the Chair.
Shri V.Sudhish Pai, Senior Advocate and Author, was holding the position until 31.12.2017.
The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Forum for Natural Resources Laws has been set-up in the memory of late Justice Sunanda Bhandare, Judge, Delhi Court, for the research, publications, conferences, training programmes etc. in the field of National Resources Laws. This Forum was set-up with a generous grant from Mr. Rahul Bhandare, of Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Pvt. Ltd in 2014. The Forum continuing to strive to promote legal education and research towards exploring solutions for specific problem areas of natural resources.
The collective research efforts under the Forum yielded result in the form of first compendium of articles on Natural Resources Law: Concepts and Approaches.,published by Eastern Book Co. in 2014. It contained scholarly articles by reputed figires like Justice Altamas Kabir, Mr Sanjay Parikh and Prof Armin Rosencranz and others. It also carried aForeword by Hon’ble Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Judge, Supreme Court of India.
The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Forumhas also organised workshops, seminars and conferences to promote research and awareness around contemporary themes in the field of regulation of natural resources. A National Seminar on Animal Welfare Law was organised on 9th September2016. Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Honourable Minister for Social Welfare, Government of India delivered the keynote address during this National Seminar. Another National Seminar was organised in 2018 on Charting Contours of the Mining Legal Regime: Allocation, Investment, Development & Conservation”. Additionally, an awareness workshop for students in Kolkata was conducted in 2015
The Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) had established a Central Scheme of Intellectual Property Education, Research and Public Outreach (IPERPO) under which IPR Chairs were set up. After that Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, launched a Scheme for Pedagogy & Research in IPRs for Holistic Education & Academia (SPRIHA) in the year 2016 under which IPR Chairs have been set up in select universities and academic institutes. This was in accordance National IPR Policy launched by the Government of India in 2016, which proclaims, as one of the objectives under section 7.2 as, “Strengthen IP Chairs in educational institutes of higher learning to provide quality teaching and research develop teaching capacity and curricula and evaluate their work on performance based criteria.”
NUJS Kolkata has been selected by the DPIIT as one of the 12 universities/organizations for setting up IPR Chairs in the country.
DPIIT has formulated the norms for establishing and functioning of the IPR Chair under SPRIHA. Accordingly, the University has appointed Dr. Pinaki Ghosh, Senior Adviser KPMG as IPR Chair Professor with effect from 25.09.2019.
The objectives for creation and institution of IPR Chairs under SPRIHA are to encourage the study of, education in and research on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), as well as to promote outreach in IPRs, as elaborated below:
Dr. Pinaki Ghosh is M.Sc (MATH) from I.I.T, Khagragpur and Ph.D. in Image Processing (Image Analysis with Morphological Concept from Jadavpur University & Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta (ISI, Kolkata).
Dr. Pinaki Ghosh joined West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata on 25.09.2019 as the IPR Chair Professor.
In the 1st half (1997 to 2002) in GE, He was the researcher and filed 26 patents and 20 papers. Before GE, he had a stint at the DRDO missile division, Hyderabad, immediately after my Masters in Mathematics from IIT KGP and Ph.D. in “Image Processing” from Jadavpur University & ISI Calcutta. He was Head, Innovation & Intellectual Property Cell, Infosys Technology Ltd. from 2005 to 2011. The IP Cell team has been instrumental in establishing several IP processes and systems to create and extract value from IP protection and mitigate/minimize IP risks exposure of the company. Several IP guidelines, policies, and processes were institutionalized in the company through rigorous efforts. Based on these processes, etc., systems were designed and deployed by the team across the company to achieve both the defensive and offensive IP strategy of the company. He has joined as AVP and Head IP & TIM, Central IP Team, Reliance Industries Ltd since 2011 to 2015. Currently, He is a Senior Advisor at KPMG, India. He is joined as IPR Chair Professor at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. Dr. Ghosh used to regularly visit the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, and RGSOIPL, IIT Kharagpur, to conduct lectures on IPR. He is also a member of the CII National Committee on Technology and IPR and the National Committee of Intellectual Property Owners. Dr. Ghosh is the core committee member of the IP of CII, FICCI, and ASSOCHAM.