Itanagar- When the world is suffering from the global pandemic and people are bound to stay at home restricting all kinds of movements in every walk of life, this worldwide crisis has given us the opportunity to evolve and search new strategies, Opined Prof. Saket Kushwaha, VC-RGU during his inaugural address of five-day online faculty development program, on the theme “Re-thinking research and contemporary development priorities: Learning essentials for a sustainable future” organized by Department of Social Work, Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) today. Schools and colleges are closed but with online classes educational institutions are trying to reach to their students and educators so that the learning keeps thriving. The said programme commences online from May 18 till 22, 2020 through Cisco Webex platform. The participants include Academicians, Research Scholars, Development Professionals and Social Scientists representing more than 20 states and 50 different institutions across India.
The inaugural session witnessed participation of 100 delegates and resource persons including Prof. Saket Kushwaha, Vice-Chancellor and Prof. Amitava Mitra, Pro-VC, RGU apart from Prof. Kalpana Sarathy, Deputy Director, TISS, Guwahati. Dr. Kaushalendra Pratap Singh, HoD i/c and Convenor-FDP, delivered the welcome address and briefed about objectives and expected outcomes the programme. Prof. Amitava Mitra, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University highlighted the significance of a trans-disciplinary practice-based discourse for a sustainable future.
Prof. Saket Kushwaha, Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University highlighted the need to revisit fundamentals of our personal and professional priorities for a holistic social development and strengthening social fabric. The Vice Chancellor also highlighted the need to revisit and redefine individual and institutional priorities from sustainability approach. He threw light on how the technological advancement has changed the face of the learning. Importance of emerging practices viz. Gross Happiness Index over GDP as an indicator of growth was emphasized by Prof. Kushwaha in his encouraging address to delegates and the organizers. Dr. Ravi Ranjan Kumar, Assistant Professor and Convenor-FDP served as master of this e-ceremony and also proposed the vote of thanks to the dignitaries as well as the participants for their keen interests in this initiative.
The first technical session was delivered by Prof. Kalpana Sarathy Deputy Director, TISS, Guwahati, Assam who shared practical and theoretical insights on “Mental Health: Vulnerability, Resilience, and Overall Well-being” where she focused on the importance of mental wellbeing as an ignored area in our country and how we can tackle the psychological needs of women, children, youth, specially abled and other vulnerable population pertaining to the current needs of the individuals during unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
The second technical session of the day was delivered by Dr. Rajendra Singh, Waterman of India, internationally acclaimed Stockholm Water Prize (Nobel Prize for Water) & Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and Chairman, of Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS). Dr. Singh shared insights regarding “Environmental Sustainability: Inter and Intra Generational Justice, Trans-boundary Pollution and Population”. He focused on going back to our basic social fabric i.e. villages for preserving our environment. The Waterman or lovingly called Jalpurush of India also suggested to initiate courses like ‘Nourishing Nature’ instead of ‘fashionably’ taught Environmental Studies which offers only synthetic learning and lacks in grass root reality based attitudinal transformation of learners.