The Prajnya Trust

FAQ about Prajnya

PEACE, JUSTICE AND SECURITY are the three closely related goals that Prajnya seeks to promote through its research, public education and network-building efforts. Here is how we understand them:

  • Peace begins where violence, coercion and injustice end, but we are truly at peace when everyone in a society is safe and well, where interactions are fair; where relationships are equitable and where people enjoy freedom and human rights.
  • Justice is an end in itself; it guarantees security and is a precondition of peace. Fairness and equity are the most basic meanings of justice.
  • Security most simply refers to physical safety—going beyond freedom from violence to nutrition, health and civil liberties. A realistic understanding of security must include economic well-being and human rights as well. We should not have to choose between the security of individuals, communities and states because they are equally important and closely related.

Legal and Tax Information

  • The Prajnya Trust was established in 2006 as a public charitable trust. It was registered under section 12AA of the Income Tax Act 1961 (695/06-07). The Prajnya Trust PAN is AABTT4334M.
  • In September 2007, the Trust launched Prajnya Initiatives for Peace, Justice and Security, a public policy research centre.
  • Donations to Prajnya from 01-04-2008 to 31-03-2011 qualify for deduction under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as per I.T. Dept. Notification DIT (E) No. 2(573)2006-07 dated 26-09-2008.

Other questions you may not have thought to ask

Why this name?

Prajnya is a word with great resonance for many South Asians.

  • In Sanskrit, it is used to mean wisdom, intelligence, knowledge, discrimination or judgment. The Tamil equivalent, Praggnyai, is translated as awareness.
  • To Hindus, it signifies the arts and eloquence as personified by Saraswati, the goddess of learning.
  • To Buddhists, it signifies true, transcendental wisdom as explicated in the Prajñaparamita.

We aspire to bring these qualities to our work and to our initiatives.

Why here and why now?

The launch of Prajnya followed from our belief that:

  • Scholarship, beyond its innate pleasures and intrinsic value, must benefit humanity in some way.
  • The marriage of scholarship and policy need not deprive one of its contemplative depth and the other of its immediacy and receptivity to the imperatives of the present moment.
  • Multiple intellectual approaches and a variety of expressive forms are essential to the scholarly enterprise.
  • Collaboration and cooperative action are the key to effectiveness and change.
  • Location and identity alter perspective on what constitute security and insecurity, what peace is sustainable and what solutions are just.

Why yet another...?

  • Non-governmental organization? Because civil society’s engagement with peace, justice and security issues cannot be limited to a few fora.
  • Public policy research organization? Because a plurality of perspectives is the foundation of learning.
  • Publications and multi-media source? Because teaching, advocacy and communication bring learning to fruit.
  • Networking hub? Because communication, networking and community-building is an essential part of the Prajnya vision.

Prajnya, vis-a-vis our colleagues

We see and seek common ground with our colleagues, but hold our own in terms of the perspective we bring to work on common issues and in our commitment to public outreach, including children.

We see our greatest contribution as lying in the creation of knowledge assets and in the forging of the attitudinal infrastructure of a peaceful and democratic society.