11:30 am - 12:45 pm
International Conference on ‘Technological Transformation & Sustainability: Perspectives & Challenges’
A Department of Higher Education, Haryana, sponsored One-Day International Conference on ‘Technological Transformation & Sustainability: Perspectives & Challenges’ was very successfully organised.
Prof. Dinesh Kumar, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Gurugram University, Gurugram, was the Chief Guest of the Inaugural Session of the program.
Padam Bhushan Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi, a renowned Green Activist and the founder of the Dehradun-based voluntary organization, Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO), was the Guest of Honour.
Dr. Ajay Gandhi, Faculty, Leiden University, Netherlands, and Dr. Manoj Patairiya, Former Director, CSIR-NISCAIR New Delhi, were the Keynote Speakers of the session.
The Officiating Principal of the college, Dr. Savita Bhagat, extended her warm welcome to the distinguished guests. She asserted that these days the issue of sustainability is looming large in society. Today as the whole world is witnessing a technical and scientific transformation, it is high time we pondered over the issue of sustainability as the whole humanity reels under the adverse impact of our thoughtless actions on the environment, economy and the society at large.
At the very beginning of the inaugural session, Dr. Savita Bhagat and the esteemed guests released an edited book titled “Sustainable Practices for a Safe and Secure Future – the Need of the Hour” brought out by the college and published by Bloomsbury Publishing House.
Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi, who addressed the gathering online, in his highly illuminating and eye opening keynote address, said that every other species except men has contributed to nature. But in our utter selfishness and short sightedness, we have all but destroyed nature in the short span we have been on the earth. We call it Mother Earth but we have defiled our Mother in every possible way and the ill consequences are there for all of us to see. Our unending desires and greed for more and more material goodies is hurtling us towards extinction. Getting out of our obsession with GDP, we have to think in terms of Gross Environment Product in order to save ourselves and the future generations.
Prof. Dinesh Kumar in his address endorsed what Dr. Joshi had said earlier. He said that the way forest fires, floods and ice melts are increasing; we need to rethink our development paradigm. If we do not mend our ways, we face extinction. The time to act is now and we should try to make our life styles eco-sensitive and sustainable.
Dr. Ajay Gandhi, speaking from Amsterdam, in his Keynote Address examined the issue of sustainability from a very different perspective. He quoted Tagore to drive home the point that we must become aware of the many dimensions of beauty and wonder that we have in abundance in this world. Unless we have an idea of this beauty, we cannot really work for the ecological well-being of the world. While we grapple with environmental problems and the resultant anxiety, we need to develop and preserve our sense of wonder and beauty to transcend this anxiety.
Shri D.V. Sethi, Hony. Treasurer, DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi, showered his blessings upon the participants saying that we should think about how we can sustain nature. He added that sustainability was the topic of day and the way it had been dealt with in the conference was commendable. He advised that we should utilize our resources very carefully in order to ensure a better future for the coming generations.
Dr. Patairiya, the other Keynote Speaker of the session, dwelt upon the need to develop a scientific temper which has nothing to do with formal education. He talked about integrating science and technology with art and culture. We need to trigger minds and synchronise our heads and hands to achieve excellence and sustainability. He talked about looking for organic solutions to our problems and to develop a bit of saintliness that people like Dr. Joshi have in order to achieve the goal of sustainability.
The conference concluded with a Valedictory Session which was graced by Prof. S.C. Sharma, Senior Director, IBS, Gurugram, as the Chief Guest of the session.
Dr. Michael Sonnelitner, Member of Portland Community College Board of Directors, Oregon, the United States, was a Special Guest of the session.
Prof. Pramod Kumar Dubey, former Professor, Bhasha Shiksha Vibhag NCERT, was the Guest of Honour.
Dr. Ernest R. Cadotte, University of Tennessee, the United States, and Dr. Vipin Sharma, Faculty and Director, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia, were the Keynote Speakers in the session.
Mr. Michael said that we should be in control of technology. Technology should not control us. We should be very careful about the way we live because the way we live impacts our eco-system. We have to think about the environmental impact of the gadgets we use, how the electricity we use is produced and how the big dams we build have their own environmental costs. Decentralization should be the mantra. We should generate solar power, for example, at the micro level. Technology should not be destructive of the environment. We have to fight the enemy within. We have to fight our selfishness to save the environment and ourselves.
Prof. Ernest R. Cadotte in his keynote address said that business has contributed singularly to fuelling economic growth. But the pursuit of profit has harmed the environment, employees, customers, suppliers, and the community. Business has now to think in terms of its social impact. He talked about conscious capitalism and the need for creating conscious capital simulations. Business should can do well as well as do good.
Dr. Vipin Sharma talked about using clean energy to clean up the environment. Green fuels, green farming, green buildings and green mobility are the need of the hour. The Government of India has come out with a number of policies to push the green agenda. We educators also need to chip in towards building a conscious society.
Prof. Dubey in his discourse said that Swami Dayanand was a proponent of sustainability much before Gandhi. He said that towards the end of sustainability, the traditional Indian values of life have become all the more important for the whole world. The traditional Indian life style was highly sustainable. Our past can guide us toward a more sustainable mode of living.
Prof. S.C. Sharma as Chief Guest said that there is a gap between what we should do and what we actually do. He quoted from the Vedas to show how nature and man stood in harmony at one time. He also quoted Guru Nanak Dev to drive home this harmony. Therefore, we need to reconnect with our past. Nothing per se is wrong with technology. Ultimately we require technology as well as the environment. A balance between the two has to be struck. This balance will emerge from market forces and govt. regulations. We need to think long term and come out of our short term view and our short sightedness. Sustainability needs to be wired into the psyche of our children.
Towards the end of the session, the best papers awards were given to the papers written by Ms. Deepika and Mr. Vinit Sikka from MRIRS, Faridabad, and Ms. Kamini Singhal and Prashant Kumar from Dayal Bagh Educational Institute, Agra, respectively.
The whole credit for successfully organising the confernce goes to the coordinators, organising secretaries and organising team.
Dr Narender Kumar, Ms Rekha Sharma, Dr Amit Sharma, Ms Rajni, Dr Suman, Dr Bindu, Ms Sunita Dudeja, Dr meenakshi Hooda, Dr Ankita,Ms Rashmi, Ms Kumud Sharma, Dr Surbhi, Dr Lalita, Dr Sonam, Ms Uttama, Mr Parmod, Mr Dinesh, Mr Ansari, Dr Priynka, Dr Priya Kapoor, Ms Omita, Ms Bhavna, Dr Sonia Narula Ms puja, Sr Sujata, Ms Ravinder, Ms Meenakshi Kaushik, along with the full team of non teaching and administrative staff who worked from behind the scene to make the program a grand success.
Some work that they want to see their names in print and some work as they want to see the progress of the college, some work because they know it is a therapy for having peace and contentment and for adding meaning to life, and leaders have to take notice of all those who work whatever be the reason.
The college is thankful to all those who remain unruffled and committed even when their names don’t appear anywhere.
There are some who work when they are told to do so and there are others who chip in with their efforts even without caring that someone has taken their name or not.
Eventually we are proud of our team of teaching and non teaching staff who never let the college down whatever the circumstances.
God bless everyone!