A workshop on "Microwave field measurement, biological effects and application in nanoscience"
A workshop cum symposium was organized on 4–5 March, 2011 on "Microwave field measurement, biological effects and application in nanoscience". Department of Science and Technology (DST), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Jawaharlal Nehru University, sponsored the event. The meeting was attended by more than 100 delegates from all over the country. Prof. Sudha Bhattacharya, Dean, SES welcomed all the participants. The symposium program was attended by the chief guest Prof. (Dr.) Lidia Szpyrkowicz Scientific Councilor, Embassy of Italy. Dr. R. S. Sharma delivered a keynote address and Prof. J. Behari introduced the theme. Mr. V. P. Sandlas, AMITY University made concluding remarks and vote of thanks was presented by Dr. Paulraj R (JNU).
The first session was mainly concerned with the topics relating to radiation measurement and biophysical phenomena relating to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiations followed by another on osteoporosis. The concluding session discussed the criteria for safe exposure and the uncertainly involved in it. A need for its implementation in our country was emphasized and expressed satisfaction with the current progress emerging in this direction.
The second session started with the talk "Measurement of EMF in mobile communication: Concept of SAR revisited" of Prof. J. Behari and invited talk on a Review of SAR Measurement Techniques: Low Power Exposures by Dr. S. P. Mathur, Mangalayatan University, Aligrah "McKesson BioServices, USA". An interesting talk of Mr. Narayana, Manipal, pointed out biological implications of mobile phone radiations. In another session on the first day, Prof. Girish Kumar (IIT Mumbai) gave an informative talk on radiation norms and thermal effects of cell tower radiation and safety criteria. Thereafter, Dr. Paulraj R (JNU), Dr. Henning Hintzsche (Germany) and Dr. Jayanand delivered lectures on Biological application of microwave exposure. In the last session of the day the talk of Dr. D. V. Rai and Prof. R. Mathur discussed pulsed electromagnetic fields therapy. The plenary talk of Dr. Shashi Bala Singh "Scientist G" Director, DIPAS, Delhi concluded with talk on microwave fields and biological implications. The day ended with GBM of microwave applications society of India.
The symposium moved with the theme application of Nanoscience. Where, Prof. H. B. Bohidar (JNU) gave a talk on Biopolymeric nanoparticles and Ms. N. Pawar delivered a talk on Dynamics in Nanoclay – Polymer Complex. Prof. P. K. Bhatnagar (UDSC, Delhi University), Dr. Paulraj R (JNU), Dr. Anit K. Verma (Delhi University) and Dr. T. Basu (Amity, Noida) presented their papers on the theme of Nano synthesis and basic concepts in medical sciences. Dr. D. K. Tiwari and Ms. Grace Mathew Abraham also delivered an important talk on biotechnological and environmental aspects. Finally, a poster session commenced with competition for young scientist award. In this session the students/faculty participants has presented their research in front of expert panel and participants. The special guest Prof. S. P. Mathur distributed the young scientist award.
The symposium concluded with a panel discussion on perspective and future trends by experts. Prof. S. P. Mathur, Prof. R. Mathur and Prof. D. V. Rai concluded the Final session by their valuable talk and suggestions. At the end of symposium, experts and participants recommended further comprehensive studies and standards for safe exposure due to radiofrequency exposure. Mr. V. P. Sandlas talk on 'Electromagnetic Radiation Hazards and Protection' highlighted the harmful effect of microwave radiation and called it a 'silent killer'. It was felt that the event was successful and effort may be made to have the next symposium as early as possible.
Jitendra Behari, Professor,
School of Environmental Sciences
Seminar Series in the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance
A series of lectures was conducted by Centre for the Study of Law and Governance in the months of February and March, 2011. In this series scholars from diverse disciplines presented their views on various socio-political and economic challenges faced by society in contemporary times. The first seminar of series was on 'Normal Trade Law' delivered by Robert Wai, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada on 25 February, 2011. In his presentation Wai, traced the developments that have led to a de-centering of the WTO towards other international institutions, regional and bilateral arrangements, and transnational law regimes. According to him, internal and external developments did not suggest the end of international trade law, but rather the establishment of a new normal trade law of pragmatic policy balancing, of management of boundaries and exceptions, and of chastened interface among plural regimes.
Next seminar was by Diana Coole, Professor of Political and Social Theory, Birkbeck, University of London and Leverhulme Research Fellow 2010-2013 on 4 March 2011. Title of her paper was 'Becoming Elderly in an Era of Population Ageing: A Story of Growth and Decline.' Diana said while world population is increasing, it is also ageing. As older people comprise a larger proportion of their populations, governments in developed countries are addressing new challenges that will shortly also become salient for developing countries. As a political theorist, she analyzed the normative assumptions and discursive frameworks that underpin current policies. While her analysis shows two kinds of response – in the shorter term, pension reform and in the longer term, pronatalism – she argued that both are underpinned by neoliberal commitments to sustained economic growth that may be detrimental to older people, for whom social inclusion is a double-edged sword. She showed how narratives of growth and decline underwrite current attempts at reconstituting elder subjectivities and modifying their behavior.
Third seminar of the series was on 'The Perils of Developmental Democracy: Reflections on the West Bengal Experience' by Samir Kumar Das, Professor of Political Science, University of Calcutta, Kolkata and Research Coordinator of Calcutta Research Group (CRG) on 11 March, 2011. He argued that Liberal democracy's reluctance to theorize the connection between the electoral majority and the body politic as a whole has turned into a nemesis now, particularly in the wake of globalization. The development agenda is being pushed at a time when the forces and processes of globalization have fractured the whole in a hitherto unprecedented way. Developmental democracy signals a crisis of democracy insofar as (a) the whole is uttered into existence through public pronouncements and rule of exception; and (ii) it has shifted the focus away from the mediators like political parties and interest groups to such institutions and movements that precisely rupture such mediation - eventually rendering electoral majority incompatible with the social majority.
The recent seminar of the series was given by David Peck, Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Lecturer in Comparative Civil Liberties, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi & Brigham Young University-Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho on 'The Genetics of Conviction: DNA and the Death Penalty in the United States' on 18 March, 2011. His lecture covers the increased use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions in the United States, and the effect of DNA evidence on conviction rates for violent crimes. The impact of post-conviction exoneration of dozens of “Death Row” inmates based upon DNA evidence is discussed, together with the reduction in death sentences handed down and carried out in America in connection with DNA-based exonerations. Current American public opinion is shifting concerning the death penalty, leading two states to eliminate the penalty, and others to virtually abandon its practice.
These seminars were chaired by Dr. Amit Prakash and Dr. Jaivir Singh. These lectures benefited the students and faculty members from various schools across the University and institutions in exploring new dimensions of thoughts.
Rukmani, Research Scholar
Centre for the Study of Law Governance
International Conference on "America & Asia: Perspectives on Peace Security and Development"
The American Studies Programme of the Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, School of International Studies, organized an international conference on the theme 'America and Asia: Perspectives on Peace, Security & Development' during 9-10 March 2011 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The Conference was co-sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs, American Centre, ICSSR and IIC.
The conference held over two days was well attended by participants from the academia, strategic community, some government officials, the media and members from the city's diplomatic community. The conference was inaugurated with the presentation of the concept note by Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra, the convener of the conference. Encouraging and topical words from Prof. S.K. Sopory, Vice-Chancellor, JNU and from Prof. Christopher S. Raj, Dean, SIS gave an august opening to the proceedings. An eloquent presentation on the essence of India-US relationship and its bright future by HE Ambassador of the United States to India, Timothy J. Roemer, filled the room with much enthusiasm.
The paper presenters from the US, China, South Korea, from different universities around India and from various prominent think-tanks around the capital deliberated on a wide range of issues canvassing the changing political, strategic and economic landscape of Asian continent. Focus was on the US role and approach towards the continent that will apparently shape international politics in the 21st century. The papers discussed during the conference, while traversing through the broader trends that are shaping the Asian order, also went into a micro-analysis of different factors like issues of economic interactions, social transformations, political upheavals and non-traditional security threats like proliferation of nuclear technology, drug trafficking, climate change, etc. Each session was accompanied with invigorating parleys of questions and answers with the participative audience comprising students of the centre, faculties from around India and representatives from the strategic, diplomatic and the media community. After two days of engrossing debate and discussion, the conference came to an end with a much appreciated speech on the contours of India-US relations from distinguished guest Mr. Javed Ashraf, Joint Secretary, Americas Division, Ministry of External Affairs, government of India.
Christopher S. Raj, Dean
School of International Studies
Lecture on "Creative East-West Cosmopolitanism: the changing role of international mobility for young Japanese Contemporary Artists"
On 11 of March, Dr Adrian Favell, Professor of Sociology at the Aarhus University in Denmark, delivered a talk at the School of Arts and Aesthetics titled 'Creative East-West Cosmo-politanism: the changing role of international mobility for young Japanese Contemporary Artists.' Dr Favell is a sociologist who specializes in urban sociology and has studied the mobility of labour, with a special interest in creative industries. For several years, he has worked on Japan and the Japanese diaspora, and his talk at SAA discussed the art world of Japan in relation to the sharp fluctuations in Japan's economic fortunes in the last two decades. Tracing the 'Mount Fuji of Japanese economy', a graph that shows the rapid growth, plateau and decline of Japanese economy, Dr Favell discussed the work of two generations of Japanese artists, the first who came of age at the time of seemingly limitless growth and possibilities, and the second, who began their careers at the time of economic decline. The two generations showed marked differences in their attitude towards art, aesthetics and their audiences. It was a fascinating, richly attended talk.
On 12 of March, the SAA hosted a one-day workshop titled "The Burden of Representation: Curatorial Concerns around Islamic Art."
This workshop was held at the conclusion of the visit of Professor Avinoam Shalem, who had been the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the SAA this semester, under the aegis of the School's grant from the Getty Foundation.
In the morning, Professor Avinoam Shalem gave an illustrated talk on a major exhibition he curated at the Haus der Kunst in Munich in late 2010. Titled "The Future of Tradition: the Tradition of the Future", this exhibition was mounted to mark the centenary of a 1910 exhibition in Munich, "Masterpieces of Muhammadan" Art, which was the first comprehensive art-historical survey exhibition of Islamic art mounted by a Western museum. The 2010 exhibition both recreated and interrogated the earlier exhibition and its now-tired masterpieces through imaginative designs and contemporary commentaries by curators and artists. Dr Shalem's lecture described both the 1910 and the 2010 exhibitions in detail, and brought up theoretical issues concerning the same.
In the afternoon, the discussion shifted to Resemble/ Reassemble, a ground breaking exhibition of contemporary Pakistani art that had been held at a private museum in Gurgaon in early 2010. The exhibition was curated by the well-known Pakistani artist Rashid Rana, who was unable to attend the event, but who made a video recorded statement. Seeking to avoid the mantle of a 'national survey show' and the thematizations of Pakistani art usually seen in such survey shows, Resemble/Reassemble's novel curatorial proposition was to present the exhibition as a sort of tease. Rana's video recorded comments were followed by a panel with distinguished critic and curator Geeta Kapur, and Reha Sodhi and John Xaviers, the two assistant curators from Devi Art Foundation who worked with Rana on the show. The evening concluded with a lively discussion.
Kavita Singh, Associate Professor
School of Arts and Aesthetics
Seminar on "Rural Urban Continuum in Twentieth Century India"
The Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences organized a seminar “Rural Urban Continuum in Twentieth Century by Dr. Will Glover, University of Michigan on 23 March, 2011
Professor Glover's talk explore the history and implications of a concern that organized architectural and planning discourse on the Indian city for much of the twentieth century: namely, how to plan for the proper intermingling of rural and urban people, practices, and ways of life brought together by rapid urbanization. The talk traces the emergence of the idea of a rural/urban continuum in India (from an earlier assumption that the two were separate and incommensurable domains), explore how this continuum was formalized within circuits of expert knowledge, and examine a key artifact produced in its wake: namely, comprehensively-planned “new towns” built in large numbers during the mid-twentieth century in India.
Kunal Chakrabarti, Chairperson,
Centre for Historical Studies, SSS