The India Post, Chandigarh 29th November :The XXV IATLIS National Conference which began here at Panjab University, Chandigarh with the inaugural session with Prof. S.L. Sharma as Chief Guest on 27 November 2008 and concluded today with the Valedictory Session. Prof. B.S. Ghuman, Dean Faculty of Arts said in his Presidential Address said that India is emerging as a knowledge economy and has the demographic advantage of 550 million youth below the age of 25 years. Commercialization and privatization of education is taking place in favour of the elite professions like medicine, engineering and business management, whereas, the social science subjects including library and information science are being pushed to the periphery. There is an immediate need to make our courses relevant to the job market to stay in the main stream. More and more empirical research should be done to generate valuable information to inform social science programmes. He further said that resource crunch will be increasing day by day but this does not mean that we compromise on quality of education and training. Our teaching methods should be based on the blending of traditional teaching methods and ICT-based teaching methods because ICT can help us in the functional areas but not in the basic understanding of the subject. He also emphasized that the relationship between the tradition and modernity should be complementary and not competitive. Speaking at this occasion Prof. C. R. Karisiddappa, President of IATLIS said that the LIS faculty is required to develop the employable skills among the future professionals.
He further emphasised that there is an immediate need to change the faculty mindset to strengthen the Indian Association of Teachers of Library and Information Science (IATLIS) he lementered that only 30 % of the faculty is member of the IATLIS. It is high time that we ask ourselves that what we have given to the IATLIS. The faculty must encourage the students to become independent learners and critical thinker. Earlier Dr. Trishanjit Kaur, Rapportaur-General, presented a comprehensive report of the proceedings this three conference. Dr. Ashu Shokeen, Director of the conference presented 8 resolutions based on the discussions during the three days. At the outset Dr. Ranjana Vohra, Organising Secretary expressed her satisfaction upon the deliberations of the conference. Dr. Preeti Mahajan, Co-Orgnanising Secretary presented the vote of thanks and Mr.. Rupak Chakravarty, Lecturer in the Department conducted the stage. About 75 delegates from all over India participated in this National Conference.
At the Inaugural Session Prof. R.C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University , Chandigarh in his presidential address emphasised the need to make the LIS education programmes / courses more interactive, dynamic and full of personal touch. Prof. Jagtar Singh, the Keynote Speaker and Dean, Faculty of Education and Information Science, Punjabi University, Patiala made a case for a shift from rote learning to resource based student centred learning to develop independent learners and critical thinkers. Prof. S.L. Sharma, the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Session said that to make the courses acceptable to the employers, all the stakeholders must be involved in the process of curriculum development.