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President of India inaugurates 37th Indian Social Science Congress at AMU
Friday December 27, 2013 5:06 PM, News Network

President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Friday inaugurated the five-day long XXXVII India Social Science Congress at Kennedy Auditorium, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) titled on "Building on Ecologically Sustainable Society".

Pranab Mukherji at AMU

[Photo Caption: AMU VC Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah presenting a portrait to President of India Pranab Mukherji made by Mrs. Asma Kazmi Friday December 27, 2013]

In his inaugural address, the President of India said that human beings are product of evolutionary and historical process. So far, the desire to be master of nature has guided most human activities. This desire needs to be replaced now by philosophy of cooperation with nature and urge to evolve new paradigms of ecologically sustainable development.

Mukherjee maintained that despite having water on ¾ of its surface, Earth has only one percent drinking water, a large quantity of which is polluted. On top of it, rivers are drying and there is over-exploitation of ground water. Where there is water, there is life and where there is no water, there is no, life. So, "we need to conserve as well as replenish our water resources."

The President of India pointed out that India is one of the mega-biodiverse countries of the world. With four global biodiversity hotspots, India ranks amongst the top ten species rich nations.

He cautioned that climate change is a threat but also a unique opportunity to work together. As a developing country on the frontlines of climate vulnerability, India has a vital stake in the evolution of a successful, rule based, equitable and multilateral response to climate change.

He hoped that the 37th Indian Social Science Congress will be a grand success and deliberations in the congress would be very fruitful. He said that these deliberations could play a vital role in guiding India onto the path of becoming an ecologically sustainable society.

Pranab Mukherjee also congratulated the Aligarh Muslim University for developing a "Social Science Cyber Library".

In his welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah said that the foundation of this great seat of learning was laid by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who was one of the great social reformers and a leading nation builder of modern India.

Paying rich tributes to the founder of this institutions, Gen. Shah said that Sir Syed was a prolific writer and indefatigable speaker. He wrote profusely on such a diverse subjects as religion, philosophy, logic, history, education, medicine, socio-cultural problems, ecology and conservation.

Gen. Shah said that a record number of 487 research papers have been received for presentation from all over the country, of which almost half are from AMU. He hoped that the deliberations of the plenary and parallel sessions will help identify some of the most pertinent ecological problems facing the world.

AMU Vice Chancellor hoped that AMU would become the first "Green University" in the country. For this, an investment of Rs. 5.5 Crore is required for which he has requested the President of India to sanction the amount.

Gen. Shah handed over a memorandum submitted by the students to the President of India and said that the academic community and students of this University felt strongly that it was time to restore Minority Character to the AMU.

Prof. P. S. Ramakrishnan, President of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences highlighted the focal theme of the Congress. He said that continuous destruction of ecology through deforestation, mining, chemicalisation of agriculture and industries, nuclearization etc has endangered our very existence.

AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali proposed a vote of thanks. He said that as a Finance Minister, Mukherjee played a pivotal role for providing handsome grants for AMU centres at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala.

Prof. Shabahat Husain, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and the Organizing Secretary of the five-day Congress conducted the programme. He was the master of ceremony.

The President of India inaugurated the Social Science Cyber Library. The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, B. L. Joshi released the souvenir and presented the first copy to the President of India.

AMU Vice Chancellor presented a portrait of Pranab Mukherjee made by Mrs. Asma Kazmi of the Department of Fine Arts.

He also presented mementos to the President and Governor of UP. The members of Music Club of the University presented national Anthem and the University Tarana.

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