HISTORY DEPARTMENT PU ORGANISES WEBINAR ON ‘EPIDEMICS ACROSS THE AGES: AN ANALYSIS’
THE PANEL OF EMINENT SPEAKERS PARTICIPATED
Saturday, April 25, 2020: Department of History, Panjab University
organised a webinar on the highly relevant theme of ‘Epidemics across
the ages’ on the online meeting platform Webex wherein the historical,
socio-cultural and medical ramifications of epidemics and pandemics
were deliberated upon. Chairperson of the History Department, Prof Dr
Anju Suri was the Director and Dr Priyatosh Sharma was the coordinator
of the webinar.
The Vice Chancellor Prof (Dr) Raj Kumar in his inaugural address,
directed the attention of the participants towards the increasing need
to learn from the lessons of the past in mounting a befitting and
cohesive defence against the challenges posed by the present Covid 19
crisis. PU VC also pressed upon the need to utilise the boon of
technology and communication devices to serve social and educational
needs. He lauded the continuation of the usual academic pursuits with
vigour by the department.
In his address, The Dean, University Instruction, Prof Dr Shankarji
Jha also congratulated the participants and assured them that PU,
Chandigarh would ensure that the academic work of the University would
continue unhindered even in the current lockdown period and beyond. He
reminded the audience that epidemics have been infesting humanity
since the time of the Vedas ad Upanishads and we must rise to the
challenge and defeat this virus, as so many other medical and other
challenges have been defeated in the past.
The panel of eminent speakers included, the keynote speaker, Ms Meeta
R. Lochan IAS, who is the member secretary, National Commission for
Women, New Delhi and a distinguished alumnus of the History Department
herself. Ms Lochan reflected on the lessons that history has to impart
on the significant role played by the human spirit in combating all
manners of diseases and epidemics.
Prof Aarvind Ganachari, from Mumbai University was the next speaker
who elaborated on the response of the government and people to the
challenges posed by the great bubonic plague that swept a greater part
of India in the last years of the 19th century. He also reflected on
how the colonial administration made sanitation and hygiene as part of
the school curriculum so that students could be coached in maintaining
proper health and sanitation regimes right from an early age.
Prof Jigar Mohammed, former Dean Social Sciences, Jammu University
also shed light on the various ways in which Indian and the world has
responded to pandemics and epidemics in the past. Prof Nazer Singh,
Punjabi University, Patiala and Dr Muhammad Idris, Head Dept of
History, Punjabi University, Patiala also spoke at length about the
various ways and means in which epidemics have left an impact on
history and how they have been combated in the past.
The webinar concluded with a question and answer session and with Dr
Anju Suri expressing her gratitude to the participants. The
participants also expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the
Organising Team lead by Dr Anju Suri for providing them a chance to
express their views on such a relevant theme. The webinar was in
response to the prevailing state of lockdown across India and had 600
participants and speakers from across India.
PU UPDATE ON HOSTELS
On the basis of communication sent to students of the Girls Hostel no.
8, 9, 10 and International Hostel , Panjab University, Chandigarh to
take their belongings since these are to be converted into COVID 19
Isolation Unit by Chandigarh Administration, today around 350 students
have taken their belongings from all these hostels, informed Prof
Neena Capalash, DSW(W). They have been given time till 26 April,2020.
However, they still can collect their belongings from the University
till the hostels are handed over to Chandigarh Administration.