CHANDIGARH: January 11, 2010: Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Chandigarh has organized two days National Seminar on the theme, “Relevance of Philosophy in the Era of Science and Technology” from January 11th – 12th (Monday and Tuesday), 2010 at ICSSR Complex Seminar Hall, Panjab University Chandigarh. Today was the first day of the Seminar Dr. H.P. Sah Chairperson, Department of Philosophy has proposed welcome address and elaborated the theme of the Seminar and said that in two days deliberation of the Seminar is going to address the intimate connection between Philosophy and Science and how technology is impacting the domains of knowledge. Professor Yashpal, renowned scientist, educationalist and Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi has inaugurated the seminar and said that Philosophy should not be an isolated activity rather it should emerge from everyday life of the people. Thus, Philosophy represents and attitude of knowing Nature, Society and human condition. However, Science and Technology both need to be invoked in the Sense of collectivity and he further elaborated the importance of Philosophy in taking of the challenge in liberation of Human beings from the yoke of superstition and metaphysical belief system. Professor Emeritus, Dharmendra Goel from the Department of Philosophy has offered Keynote Address in which he has said that Philosophy should not be a homogenous activity rather it should be rational activity and it should work for improvement upon human condition. Professor R.C. Sobti Vice Chancellor, Panjab University has offered presidential address and made a remark that Science by its nature has always being part of natural Philosophy. Therefore, there is no need to separate these disciplines rather these are complimentary. Even, in today’s context collaboration between Philosophers, Scientists and even technologist is needed to redeem humanity from different kinds of orthodoxies in the times of Globalization. Professor Geeta Manaktala from the Department of Philosophy proposed Vote of Thanks towards the deliberations done in the Inaugural Session.
The Second academic session started with three paper presentations by Professor Harjinder Singh Laltu from IIIT, Hyderabad, Dr. Arvind from IISER, Mohali and Professor Alok Srivastava from Department of Chemistry, Panjab University Chandigarh. The session was chaired by Professor Satya P. Gautam, Vice-Chancellor from Rohilkhand University, Bareilly. Professor Laltu spoke on the crisis of dialogue between proponents of Scientists and Social Scientists on the one hand and Philosophers on the other. According to Professor Singh Philosophy as a creative and intellectual activity need to address the diverse the dimensions of human condition so that it may be not arm chair intellectual exercise rather a fruitful activity where the project of Modernity can be realized and human emancipation can be made possible. Dr. Arvind made a presentation on “Distinguishing Science and Technology from Spirituality”, According to Dr. Arvind Science and Philosophy both as a inquiry aim at discovering the truth but the processes of discovering the truth are multifaceted phenomena thus, truths are always subject to Culture, Politics and Ethics. Professor Alok Srivastava spoke on Nuclear Science, Ethics and Politics. According to Professor Alok, Technology has both negative and positive aspects he highlighted example such as radiation can be use of treating cancer patients and radiation is also creating global warming. Professor Gautam, in Chairperson’s remarks said historical dimensions about human existence cannot be avoided in any theorization concerning human society.
Third afternoon session was chaired by Professor Bhuvan Chandel and in this Session there were three presentations made by Professor Oinam Bhagat from JNU, New Delhi, Dr. Ambuj Sharma, Dev Samaj College Ferozepur and Professor Shashi Bala from G.N.D.U. Amritsar.
The Last Session had was Chaired by Professor D.K. Mohanta from Calcutta University, Calcutta and has three presentations by Professor Asha Maudgil from the Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Dr. Anu Kandhar from G.N.D.U. Amritsar and Dr. Sharda from Chandigarh according to Dr. Lallan Singh Baghel, Dept. of Philosophy.