All SSLA students participate in a community outreach project aimed at initiating student contributions towards social awareness and justice. It carries 4 credits, and is designed to be a full–time project, to be completed over the first summer break. The minimum total number of hours required for the successful completion of the COP is 100 hours and the student is graded on their work and the report in Semester 5.
The Community Outreach Cell (CO Cell) manages all initiatives targeted at community engagement at the local and national level to nurture students into sensitive, ethical and critically conscious citizens who will contribute responsibly to their communities and the wider society. The cell also introduces short- term initiatives addressing pertinent issues, ranging from environmental and mental health awareness to fundraisers and donation drives. Some of the initiatives of the CO cell are listed below.
Sahara - A Fundraiser: The CO Cell organized a weeklong fundraiser, ‘Sahara’ in collaboration with Humsafar Trust, the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ organization in India. A sum total of Rs. 58,677 was raised through the efforts of the students.
Plastic Free Week: A week-long awareness and initiative campaign against the use of single-use plastics, named Plastic Free Week was organized by the CO Cell. This consisted of various cultural activities, collaborations with local businesses that endorse eco-friendly lifestyles, and donation drives to Rudra - a local award-winning organisation that converts plastic waste to polyfuel.
Mahashramdaan in collaboration with Paani Foundation. The foundation was set up in 2016 with the mission of making Maharashtra drought-free. Nine students participated in the drive and worked towards creating simple watershed structures.
Student Initiatives Our students continue to be engaged in outreach activities even outside of the academic requirement.
Students learning Computer classes
Yerawada Slum Settlement Skill Development Project
Internationalization is a vital element of higher education that focuses on integrating a global and intercultural dimension into the purpose, function, and delivery of post-secondary education. The primary component of internationalization is to promote international dialogue, exchange of ideas, and collaborations through the incorporation of international experience within the teaching-learning environment of SSLA. SSLA integrates an international, global and intercultural dimension into everything that it plans through carefully curated international partnerships with like-minded international institutions. These partnerships are fostered through faculty exchanges, joint conferences, seminars, co-constructed and co-taught courses, joint research collaborations, community outreach and workshops.
SSLA, through its Global Immersion Programme (GIP), facilitates student exchange programmes, both incoming and outgoing, in the form of semester exchange programmes and summer or winter school programmes. SSLA’s top international institutional partners for student mobility are Leiden University, Lingnan University, University of Hildesheim, Leibniz University, DHBW Heidenheim, Bournemouth University, and DePaul University. SSLA, through its student mobility programmes, not only provides students with cultural and academic immersion experiences but it also helps develop SSLA’s academic programme in terms of global competency and academic rigour. Short-term Summer and Winter progarmmes are also popular among students for short-duration specialized courses and cultural experiences SSLA has organised two Winter Schools for DePaul students which has also led to a learning experience for SSLA students promoting I@H.
Eva Tanya Banerjee
SSLA faculty Dr. Manjari Jonnalagadda has an active collaboration with Prof. Heather Norton, University of Cincinnati and Prof. Esteban Parra, Head, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto wherein they have engaged in high impact research on pigmentation genetics and demographic history of South Asian populations. A joint research project was undertaken in 2016-2017, by Dr. Manjari Jonnalagadda with Dr. Heather L. Norton focused on ‘Identifying Signatures of Positive Selection in Pigmentation Genes in Two South Asian Populations’. Dr. Manjari Jonnalagadda and Dr. Esteban J. Parra conceived a project focusing on understanding ‘Genome-wide association study of skin and iris pigmentation among individuals of South Asian Ancestry’ in 2017-2019. The project was undertaken due to the paucity of genome-wide association data on South Asian populations. She was invited as a Visiting Professor to the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto to learn genetics association data analysis of dense genomic data in September – October 2017. They have subsequently engaged in exploring the demographic history of the South Asian population using Identity by Descent (IBD) analysis methods. This project focused on the tribal and caste populations in the region of western Maharashtra and explored changes in population size, population relatedness, and ancestry components of the populations under study. This work was selected for a poster presentation at the American Society for Human Genetics Annual Meeting held in Houston in 2019 and based on this work she was awarded the Developing Country Travel Award from ASHG 2019. The results of this project got published in the Nature publication group’s journal ‘Scientific Reports.