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JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY  
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                                                                                  2010[6]
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Seminars & Conferences                 Home

 

Workshop on "E-learning and Multimedia for Education"

The DIT sponsored projects at the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University organized a one day workshop on "E-learning and Multimedia for Education" on November 3, 2010. The inaugural session was chaired by Chairperson, Prof. Sankar Basu. Dr. Girish Nath Jha introduced the theme of the workshop presenting the computational linguistics and e-learning related developments done at the Centre. Dr. Andrew Lynn of Communication an Information Service, JNU presented the Shiksha portal of JNU. Prof. Vaishna Narang, of SLL&CS gave the inaugural address and Dr. Maureen P. Hall from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA gave the keynote speech.

The workshop had five sessions including the inaugural session. The secondary and senior secondary school teachers from some Delhi schools were also invited. Educationists, Sanskritist e-learning experts gave talk and presentations. The last (fifth) session was for industry participants who are working on e-learning and content development. Among these, Educomp, Adobe India and Chinh India Foundation presented their work on different topics in the area of e-learning and multimedia.

Girish Nath Jha, Associate Professor,
Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies

 

Two Day International Seminar on

"The Literary and Cultural Legacy of India and Oman"


The Centre of Arabic and African Studies (CAAS) SLL&CS, organized an International Seminar on "The Literary and Cultural Legacy of India and Oman" on November 8-9, 2010. The basic aim and objective of the seminar was to trace and unravel the commonalities reflected in the literary and cultural milieu and ethos of both the countries and explore the avenues and to foster fast growing socio-cultural relations between the two countries. Keeping this in view, the Centre also decided on this occasion, to commemorate the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Oman more than five decades back. The programme was inaugurated on November 8, 2010 at 11:00 at the auditorium of School of Social Sciences and the chief speaker of the inaugural function was Prof. Zubair Farooqi ex-head of Department of Arabic, JMI, New Delhi, who delivered the key-note address in which he amply  unfolded the contribution of Indian Scholars in the field of Arabic language and literature. Before the key-note address, Dr. Mujeebur Rahman of the CAAS, JNU, welcomed the honorable guests particularly H.E. Humaid Bin Ali Al-Manni, the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman and H.E.Sami Al-Sulaiman the ambassador of Kuwait, Prof. Zubair Farooqi, Prof.Abdul Wadood Azhar, ex-Dean SLL&CS and Prof. Sankar Basu, the present Dean of SLL& CS. After the welcome address Prof. M. Aslam Islahi, the Director of the seminar got the audience abreast with the basic theme and idea of the Seminar and elaborated the fact that the relation between Oman and India goes back to time immemorial. H.E. Humaid Bin Ali Al-Maani who participated in the seminar as Chief Guest delivered his speech in Arabic stressing the significance of diplomatic relation and bilateral ties between Oman and India and forcefully averred that our relations with India are deep rooted and time tested.

On this occasion, H.E. Sami Sulaiman, the ambassador of Kuwait enlightened the audience with the ever growing diplomatic relation of Kuwait with India. After that, Prof. Abdul Wadood Azhar ex-Dean SLL&CS addressed the gathering and shared with them his experiences while teaching in J.N.U. He expressed his happiness over seeing an Arab ambassador for the first time among the students and scholars learning Arabic in J.N.U. After Prof. Azhar the present Dean, Prof. Sankar Basu delivered his presidential remarks in which he expressed his thanks to the organizers of the seminar who gave him an opportunity to highlight the significance of foreign languages in the context of present global scenario.

Before concluding his remarks, the Dean read the letter of regret sent by Mr. Sultan Ahamd, the hon'ble minister of State for Tourism, Government of India. In the letter, the hon'able minister expressed his inability to attend the programme because of his hectic schedule related to the American President Barak Obama's visit to India. In his letter however, he expressed the hope that the "present international seminar will surly help us to further improve our understanding of the beautiful relationship that people of India and Oman shared for decades and will lead to more people to people contact".

In addition to the inaugural session there were three more active business sessions of seminar in which more than 25 prominent Arabic scholars from India and Oman presented their valuable papers which roused the interest of the august gathering in the literary and cultural heritage of both the countries.

In the valedictory session, recommendations and suggestions prepared and tailored by the seminar committee consisting of some eminent scholars and academicians were read in Arabic by the seminar director. A few of these suggestions are as follows

  1. To explore avenues and create opportunities for the promotion of Arabic language and literature in India.
  2. To arrange scholarship and other incentives for students and scholars pursuing Arabic programmes in different Indian colleges and universities.
  3. To strive for the exchange of visiting faculty between Oman and India
  4. To explore the possibility of Arabic student's trips to Arab countries especially during summer or winter vacations.
  5. To organize seminars, conferences and symposia on topics related to Arabic studies and Arab culture.
  6. To make arrangements for training the teachers engaged in imparting the knowledge of Arabic in different Indian colleges and academic institutions.

Aslam Islahi, Chairperson,
Centre of Arabic and African Studies, SLLCS


Panel Discussion "Understanding Indian Society Today: Challenges & Opportunities"

"Understanding Indian Society Today: Challenges & Opportunities" was the theme of the panel discussion organised as part of the Alumni Week during November 15-20, 2010. In the opening remarks, the panel moderator Prof. Anand Kumar underlined the growing disconnect between democracy, development and governance in India in the recent years. The post Mandal dynamics of social changes has created new emphasis about the need of social justice. Similarly religion based political mobilization around Mandir-Masjid disputes has created new crisis about the constitutional commitments for secularism as well as protection of dignity of the minorities. The market centric shift in our economic policies has decentred the poor and poverty. These aspects of our national scenario need to be recognized.

Dr. Rizwan Qaisar  (Historian) presented an analysis of the problems faced by the Muslims in their day to-day life as there is no solution to their voicelessness in the political and economic sphere. He suggested the need of time bound programme for education and employment among the minorities as the first priority of our policy makers to make secularism strong.

Dr. Vivek Kumar (Sociologist) discussed the major trends among the Dalits in the context of democracy and development. According to him there are seven dimensions of growing dalit assertion and movement in India as the result of social changes and political mobilization. These emerging dimensions include the first one is socio-religious reform movement; second is political empowerment through different political parties which began with ILP, SCF and RPI and continuous with BSP. The third movement  is of Dalit employees like BAMCEF. Literary and creative writing movement comes fourth. Dalit women and NGO movement is fifth and sixth type respectively. The Diaspora is seventh in the string of Dalit assertion.

Dr. Ranjana Kumari (Political Scientist) participating in the panel discussion emphasized the need to check growing violence against women in domestic and public spheres. It includes, female foeticide, wife beating, eve-teasing and various forms of sexual harassment. We cannot put an end to this shameful situation unless there in sharing of power between men and women from family to parliament 33% reservation in parliament will be one of the most effective ways of giving respect to women in India.

Anand Kumar, Professor &
Chief Advisor, Alumni Affairs


Seminar on Globalization and Emerging Countries

A panel discussion with the theme, “Globalization and Emerging Countries” was held on 15 November 2010 as a part of Jawaharlal Nehru University Alumni Association Seminar Series. Participating in the panel discussion were the faculty members of the School of International Studies: Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra, Dr. H.S. Prabhakar and Prof. S.N. Malakar. The programme was chaired by Prof. Christopher S. Raj of the Center for American Studies, now the Dean, SIS and concluding remarks were delivered by Prof. K.P. Vijyalaxmi.

Globalization process unleashed liberally capital, technology and labor beyond national borders. The process helped consolidation of corporate financial assets and wealth at their respective corporate headquarters, be it American, European or Japanese. Economic liberalization in China and India also resulted in deregulation greatly. Transfer of technology, including military technology, resulted in prosperity in many developing countries, though prosperity per say was confined to urban centers. Impact of the process of globalization on business was positive and impact on agriculture and rural economy was negative. Positive impact improved the national image and GDP of both China and India whereas negative impact on agriculture impacted on food security. Result was food insecurity in a sense.

Security and defense related implications of globalization, advancing American influence on Asia Pacific Region, including India and China, were in detail explained by Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra whereas Prof. S. N. Malakar explained the inner details of political and social impact of globalization as relating to African Continent with specific reference to a few countries. Similarly, globalization and situations in East Asian Countries as dominated by Japan and China were narrated by Dr. H.S. Prabhakar with specific reference to technology transfer, industrialization, business expansions and export led growth resulting in race for political space as reflected in ASEAN and East Asian Community.

Prof. K.P. Vijyalaxmi while concluding the panel discussion mentioned that such a broad theme as 'Globalization' needs to be continuously discussed.

Abhay Kumar, Research Scholar,
Centre for East Asian Studies, SIS


Panel discussion on "Science, Technology & Education"

A Panel discussion with the theme, "Science, Technology & Education" was held on 16 November 2010 as a part of Jawaharlal Nehru University Alumni Association Seminar Series. The programme was chaired by Prof. Neera Bhalla Sarin, School of Life Sciences and the lectures were delivered by Dr. Narender Singh Yadav, Biochemical Sciences and Engineering, CR&D, Du Pont, Wilmington and Dr. Jatinder Peters, Director, GM (HR) and Head Coordination, ONGC, New Delhi.

The focus of the talk delivered by Dr. N.S. Yadav was about the results of “Genetic Engineering of Yeast to Produce Heart-Healthy Mega three Oil” which has resulted into several new products with great health benefits.  As the human system does not have the capacity to produce some of the acids in sufficient amount, they must be supplied in our diets.  The current major source of omega-3 fatty acid is fish oil.  Concerns over the quality and sustainability of the fish oil supply have generated interest in alternative sources for them.  According to Dr. Yadav a clean and sustainable source of omega-3 fatty acid has been identified using a omega fatty oil engineered strain of the oleaginous yeast – Yarrowia lipolytica.  The presentation of Prof. Yadav generated a number of questions from the audience.  Prof. Yadav in his response acknowledged the contribution of learning at JNU in his M.Phil. days in his academic journey which includes more than 40 patents so far.

The topic of the talk of Dr. Jitender Peters was related with her change of career after higher studies in Life Sciences in JNU.  According to her she became interested in the system organizational human resource development after a few years as Life Scientist and decided to pursue specialization in organizational management and human relations in complex organizations.  She found much support from her science background in evolving into an expert of social scientific theories and practices which got her the responsibility of becoming Director of Human Resource Development Programme of one of the Navaratna companies of India.  She was happy that the JNU educational culture enabled her to have a wide awareness and interest beyond her dissertation topic.

This was attended by faculty members and research scholars of JNU.

Prof. Anand Kumar thanked the speakers, Chair and the audience on behalf of AAJ.

Prof. Neera Bhalla Sareen,
Professor, School of Life Sciences

Lecture on "Problems of Translation and Discourse Analysis"

Centre for Linguistics organised three lectures by H.S. Gill, Professor Emeritus, JNU, in November, 2010. The title of the series of lectures was: 'Problems of Translation and Discourse Analysis.'

In the first of the lectures Professor Gill, presented his theoretical framework for analyzing literary discourses. According to him, the linear 'text' – of literature, painting or music – is only the perceptually available and surface manifestation of a more complex 'discourse' that is immanent and perceptually non-manifest. It is at this latter level, the tensions and 'contradictions' between an author's (or readers') inner intellectual and emotional dispositions and the linear and discrete order of the form of the text come into play. These tensions and contradictions, as far as the individuals involved in the creative process are concerned, may be conscious or unconscious. As a result of these tensions, even when an author's text is filled with words, phrases and sentences, or colours, lines or sounds, depending on the specific artistic medium, the immanent and invisible discourse would be at variance with what is the overtly articulated. The immanent discourse, in this manner, may remain secret, hidden or undisclosed, and it becomes the task of the reader, critic or the analyst to work through what is inadequately manifest, and constitute the 'author's' discourse in his or her own terms. Professor Gill compared this process with what happens in the context of a game of chess, where one is not able to determine from the surface moves what exactly is going on at the level of the immanent discourse that remains invisible in it. This can be interpreted only by an expert in the game of chess, who can be thus compared to a competent reader or analyst of literature or art.
In the second lecture, Gill presented the philosophical basis of the semiotics of the creative process that he developed during his long career of teaching and research. He referred to the works of several French philosophers including Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Etienne de Condillac, and more importantly the 12th century theologian-philosopher Pierre Abélard. The creative process in language, literature and art, according to Gill, moves from the given word to the concept and then back to the word that is expressed in the text. The 'concept' in this sense is nothing but the singular 'idea' which is pecific to the author situated in his or her context, and is not generalisable. Thus every creative text is the manifestation of some existential experience that is specific to an individual. In the process of reading a text this process is somewhat repeated, and therefore the reader's meaning is also the result of an interaction between the text and the specific existential experience of the reader himself. That is why there can never be a general reading a text. That is also why, once a text is published, the author can be more or less ignored, and the author can never really understand his her own text.

But, at the same time, Gill's third lecture reminded the audience, one cannot totally reduce or ignore the author's existential meaning that is immanently present amidst the contradictory drives that preceded the construction of the text. Thus, a translation cannot afford to be insensitive towards the choice of specific words, and the specific organization of a text, both of which are existentially charged. The task of the translator is not to transfer the factual meaning of the linguistic or formal elements in one language to the words that convey the very same factual meaning. It is to be sensitive to to the existential 'charge' that these formal and linguistic elements carry in one language and present it faithfully to the readers in another language. Referring in detail to a well-known English translation of the French writer Flaubert's work on Saint Julien, Gill observed that it is inappropriate to reduce the tensions and contradictions (in relation to characters and their relations) that words carry in this author's original text to words merely carrying superficial information. Translation ofl creative works involve being sensitive to the existentially charged meanings and context that pervades in a specific work, and thus being able to convey the meaning of that non-manfiest immanent plane to the readers in another language. Such creativity in the translation process would always be foreign to translation by machines.

The series of lectures concluded with Dr. Saugata Bhaduri of Centre for English Studies proposing a vote of thanks to Professor Gill and to colleagues and students of the university who participated.

Franson D. Manjali, Professor,
Centre for Linguistics, SLL & CS


Lecture on "European Systems of Innovation"

Dr. Georgi Dimitrov, Policy Officer at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, delivered a comprehensive and analytical lecture on "European Systems of Innovation" at Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS, JNU on 3 December 2010. Dr. Dimitrov came to India for the first time to deliver a lecture in the 13th TCI Annual Global Conference on Competitiveness, Innovative Clusters and Prosperity, held at MDI Gurgaon during 29 November to 3 December 2010. During this  visit, he agreed to interact with JNU faculty and research scholars to discuss India's participation in the global innovation hotspots.

In his lecture at JNU, Dr. Dimitrov highlighted the genesis of newly launched European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIIT), which aims to become a flagship institution for promoting excellence in European innovation. The EIIT was established by the European Parliament and the Council on 11 March 2008 for nurturing excellence in innovation in each member state of the European Union (EU). EIIT became operational at the end of 2009.

Dr. Dimitrov also added that EU member countries have different levels of innovation capability and institutional framework. EIIT aims to strengthen both innovation capability and institutional capacity of each member country. Thus, EIIT strategically helps in designing new models for innovation, collaboration and funding of innovation. EIIT emphasises on integrating three sides of the 'Knowledge Triangle' encompassing higher education, research and business-innovation. To integrate this knowledge triangle, EIIT puts in place a few results-driven instruments such as the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). EIIT has already established three thematic KICs to address common societal challenges, namely, Climate-KIC (climate change mitigation and adaptation), KIC InnoEnergy (sustainable energy) and EIIT ICT Labs (the future of the information and communication society). These KICs are designed to bring highly integrated and excellence-driven autonomous partnerships, which are internationally distributed but thematically convergent. Each KIC will be strategically co-located around a geographical location where all or large part of the innovation chain can be found in close proximity working together across the innovation chain. KIC outcomes to be measured in terms of (i) new business creation; (ii) education and development of entrepreneurial people; (iii) new governance models for innovation-driven collaboration; and (iv) improvements in curricular and learning and teaching methods. In this way the 'knowledge triangle' becomes a strong inter-dependent entity for each KIC, enriching each other's knowledge base.

Dr. Dimitrov pointed out that each thematic KIC identifies and builds up world class innovation hotspots. For example, EIIT- ICT Labs initially establishes world class innovation hotspots in Berlin, Eindhoven, Helsinki and Stockholm. This KIC also establishes associate clusters in Budapest, London and Trento. Each co-location of a KIC hotspot features at least: one strong research institute, one major university, one European-based multinational company, active regional network of SME, and full national and regional support.

Dr. Dimitrov also mentioned that each KIC is very keen to establish linkages with excellent institutions and innovative companies from emerging countries (particularly from India), if they bring added value to the KIC.

Dr. Anup Kumar Das
Documentation Officer
Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS


“4th International Sanskrit Computational Linguistics Symposium (4i-SCLS)"

Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University organized the Fourth International Sanskrit Computational Linguistics Symposium (4i-SCLS) on December 10-12, 2010. The venue of the symposium was SAA Auditorium, JNU. Over 230 faculty, students and researchers including over 20 foreign delegates participated in the symposium. The three day symposium in 15 sessions had the inaugural session, 18 paper presentations, 6 plenary talks and the valedictory sessions. An evening of cultural programme was organized on first day of the symposium in which a Sanskrit play titled 'Karnabharam' was staged mostly by the students of Sanskrit centre.

The welcome address and theme of the symposium was presented by Dr. Girish Nath Jha, the chair of the event. The symposium was inaugurated by Prof. Bal Ram Singh, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The keynote speech was given by Prof. Ramanath Sharma, University of Hawaii, USA. Prof. V.K. Jain, Registrar, JNU gave the presidential remarks and released the proceedings published by Springer Verlag. Prof. Sankar Basu, Acting Chairperson of the centre gave the vote of thanks. The valedictory session was participated by the following eminent scholars of Sanskrit – Prof. V.N. Jha, Prof. Kapil Kapoor and Prof. Radhavallabh Tripathi, and was chaired by Prof. Peter Scharf from Brown University.

Girish Nath Jha, Associate Professor
Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies


International Conference on "Methods and Models in Computer Sciences (ICM2CS-2010)"

The International Conference on Methods and Models in Computer Science (ICM2CS-2010) was held on December 13-14, 2010. The inauguration was held on December 13, 2010 in the auditorium of School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Prof. G.K. Chadha, Chief Executive Officer, South Asian University, New Delhi was the Chief Guest at the Inauguration, who gave the inaugural address and released the conference proceedings. The Inauguration also comprised of keynote lecture  on "Parallel Computing: Past, Present and Future" by Prof. Virendra C. Bhavsar, Faculty of Computer Science, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. The conference had the following invited talks:

  • "Structure and Content Semantic Similarity Detection of XML Data" by Prof. Sanjay Madria, Department of Computer Science, Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, Missouri,USA
  • "Mathematical Modelling and Computers" by Prof. V.V. Menon, Former Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and Engineering, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • "Mining of Biological Data" by Prof. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Machine Intelligence Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata 700 108
  • "Control and Communications Challenges in Wireless Networked Control Systems" by Dr. Munish Goyal, IBM Research INDIA, Research Collaboratory for Service Science, Indian School of Business, Gachibowli, Hyderabad-500032
  • "Why ATM Makes Sense" by Prof. T. Viswanathan, Former professor in Department of Electrical Communication Engineering and Supercomputer  Education and Research Center, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Among the 22 research papers accepted for presentation at the conference, 21 research papers were presented. There were 66 registrations in the conference of which 5 were from abroad (USA, Mexico, Iraq, Oman) and 61 were from India.  The conference had a audience, on both the days, listening to the keynote lecture/invited talks and research paper presentations. Also, students and faculty members from the other Schools in the University were present during the various sessions of the conference. The conference received financial support from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi. The conference was Technically Co-Sponsored by CS Chapter, IEEE Delhi Section.

The conference was successful as it received appreciation from the participants and the invited speakers.

T. V. Vijay Kumar, Convener,
School of Computer & Systems Sciences


Workshop on "Development of Concepts in Modern Biology"

The School of Life sciences organized a winter workshop on "Development of Concepts in Modern Biology" under the auspices of "UGC Networking Resources Centre" from 13-16 December, 2010. Dr Ashwani Pareek and Dr Sushil Jha served as coordinators of the event from SLS, JNU. The workshop was a collaborative effort to help the participants in getting acquainted with the emerging concepts in selected areas of Modern Biology as well as to develop independent research aptitudes including an in-depth review of current status of various facets of modern biology. To achieve this objective, twenty teachers/scientists selected as participants served as representatives of their regional host institutes from different parts of the country. This workshop provided a platform for these ignited minds to be exposed to state of the art research being carried out at leading national and international research organizations like JNU, AIIMS, DU, and University of Arkansas. The workshop was inaugurated by the acting Dean of the school, SLS, Professor B. N. Mallick with a welcome note. He emphasized on the coordinated research efforts across the country and also lauded the salient achievements of the host institute in the past 50 year years. The inaugural lecture by Prof. Deepak Pental focused on the need for amalgamation of both conventional and modern molecular biology practices in the area of agriculture. He also raised concerns about the existing regulatory practices governing GMOs and also stressed on expediting the release of engineered crops after thorough evaluation. This thought provoking lecture was followed by interesting lectures by several eminent personalities from various institutes including Prof K. C. Upadhyaya (SLS, JNU), Prof B. N. Mallick (SLS, JNU), Prof T. P. Singh (AIIMS), Prof N. Raghuram (IPU) and Prof Vibha Srivastava (University of Arkansas). The ethical aspects of modern science discussed by Dr. Raghuram were mind boggling and at the same time encouraged everyone to ponder upon the many pitfalls of competitive research looming large over the scientific community. All the selected participants were then allotted mentors to guide them through their research and give shape to their ideas. The workshop also garnered active participation from the students. Overall, the event was a grand success and also laid a foundation for many such interactions amongst the scientific fraternity in future.

Ashwani Pareek, Associate Professor
School of Life Sciences


 
             

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