Dr.Avnish Jolly : Chandigarh, 1st March, 2009 : UGC-Sponsored 2nd National Symposium on “Biodiversity: Cell and Molecular Biology” organized by the Department of Zoology, got underway at Panjab University Campus here today. A galaxy of eminent scientists of the region drawn from research institutes of national repute deliberated on myriad aspects of biodiversity with the attendees. 84 participants from the region have registered for the Symposium.
Welcoming the participants, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. R.C. Sobti advised them to utilize the rich experience and expertise of the invited resource persons and answer questions in the classical sciences using the techniques of cell and molecular biology. He stressed that a firm footing in fundamental sciences was essential to achieve that.
In his inaugural address, Prof. V. P. Sharma, former Addl. Director General, ICMR, New Delhi, and Ex-Director, National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi remarked that the only solution to India’s poverty was to do worthwhile science. He pointed out that biodiversity was directly concerned with the food security issue worldwide and India with its teeming millions and rich biodiversity resources required address this issue properly. This, he opined, was important considering the prospects of agricultural food production decline globally beyond 2015.
Speaking on the occasion, eminent entomologist, Prof.. V. V. Ramamurthy of Indian Agricultural Research Institute gave an in depth account of insect biodiversity vis-a-vis climate change. He discussed how insects were a race better adapted to climate change than any species. He was of the view that due to development of biotypes, resurgence, emergence of new pests and the epidemics they cause will become multidimensional and as such exhorted the research community to take note of these complexities.
The Guest of Honour Prof. K.C. Pandey spoke about the various interpretations of biodiversity, the role played by sustained biodiversity in ecological balance and ultimately human survival. He emphasised that biodiversity is the raw material for biotechnology.
Prof. Vibhu Prakash, Principal Scientist with Bombay Natural History Society spoke about the conservation strategies being considered actively for the threatened Gyps vulture in this part of the World.
The Symposium was concluded after lunch session due to tragic and sudden demise of one of the Ph.D students of the Department according to Prof Sukhbir Kaur, Organizing Secretary of the Seminar.