11 mar : A 2-day National Seminar on “Population Environment Linkages in North West India” was inaugurated today by Padamshree Professor R.C. Sobti, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Speaking on the occasion Prof Sobti emphasized that population growth has a definite and visible impact on the environment; urban areas that are bursting at the seams no longer find favor with those who can afford to move out. He urged all present to find time to go out and become ‘active environmentalists’.
The tone for the deliberations was set in motion by Professor Harjit Singh, an eminent geographer and former Dean, School of Social Sciences, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, who delivered the key note address. While emphasizing the vital link between carrying capacity of the land and population growth, he identified urbanization as a primary process of environmental degradation especially in the northwest Himalayas.
While welcoming the dignitaries Professor Smita Bhutani, Coordinator Center of Advanced Study (CAS) in Geography dwelled on the special relevance of the seminar for the looming crises of climate change, polluted and depleted waters and soil degradation.
Professor G.S. Gosal, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, Panjab University, presided over the function and he urged an existence in harmony with nature.
Chairperson of the Center of Advanced Study (CAS) in Geography presented the vote of thanks.
In the technical sessions that followed deliberations took place on the theme of seminar. The eminent scholars who presented their views included Mr Madhav Shayam of the Census of India and Dr Milap Punia CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The link between indigenous feminisms, social environment and Indian Geography was lucidly established by Dr Anindita Datta from University of Delhi, Delhi.