Conferences & Seminars 2016 -17
NATIONAL LEVEL 2-DAY CONFERENCE: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR REVITALIZING INDIA



The conference on sustainable development for revitalizing India, organised jointly by the departments of history, economics, sociology and travel and tourism, began with a successful inauguration at 9.30 a.m. Mr. Thomas acted as the emcee and gave the welcoming address. As the choir sang soulfully, the lamp was lit and a prayer seeking the almighty's blessings followed. Mrs Sarah Samuel welcomed the chief guests of the day and gave a brief introduction to their illustrious careers.

The principal Dr Sr Elizabeth then came on stage and delivered her message. She warmly welcomed the guests, staff and students and spoke about the rich history of India. In that history and heritage, she said, lies the answer to our current problems. There is a need to preserve our diversity, ensure the welfare of rural areas and above all, for equitable growth.

Next, Mrs Leena Nair from the department of economics gave the audience an overview of the conference. The theme for economics was sustainable development for revitalizing India, for history was journey through the past - revisioning India, for sociology was empowerment of women, and for travel and tourism was responsible tourism and rural development.

Following this, Prof Shivanand B Hosamani, the chief guest, delivered his address. He spoke of the large number of poor in India and how the trickle-down effect helps to create opportunities for them. He pointed out that a significant number of poor are those working in industries sensitive to vagaries of climate change, such as agriculture and fishing. He stressed the importance of sustainable development involving the 5 Ps of people, prosperity, partnership, peace and the planet.

Prof Hosamani showed how the Indian scenario of growth varies across the country. Some states are very good in terms of sustainable development, such as Arunachal Pradesh, some are moderate (Karnataka) and some are poor despite high economic growth (Gujarat). He ended his talk by once again speaking of the need for equal distribution and equal responsibilities.

The Indian dance team of JNC then regaled the audience with a dance performance to a Kannada song about relaxation and being laidback. Then, with all the dignitaries on stage, the abstracts of the research presented by each department were released.

Finally, the guest of honour Mr Sandeep Kulshreshtha delivered his address. He spoke of the pros and cons of India's growth and its continued popularity among other nations. He projected high growth rates for tourism in the future and encouraged the students to look at it as a serious profession.

After the vote of thanks by Mr Thomas, the inauguration ended.

DAY 1 (9TH AUGUST 2016)

ECONOMICS SEMINAR: TECHNICAL SESSION 1

MIGRATION, MGNREGS AND THE URBAN POOR

Dr Kala S Sridhar spoke with great enthusiasm about her own research into the problems of the poor. Firstly, she summarized her research into migration from rural to urban areas. She differentiated between push and pull factors and talked about how her study tested Michael Todaro's hypothesis about rural-urban migration in a sample of workers from Bengaluru.

She spoke of an innovative methodology she and her team came up with to differentiate between push and pull factors reported by the respondents. The study showed that under the age of 30, push factors are more important for skilled workers. Females and general category workers were also pulled. Migrants from within Karnataka were pushed, a large chunk of them by family size.

Dr Sridhar's next study was on the NREGS. Responding to the opinion that urban workers migrate back to rural areas due to NREGS, thus depriving the urban market of labour, she said that there are various factors that determine whether or not a worker returns to a rural area seeking employment under the NREGS. The reservation wage demanded by the workers was much higher than both the promised wage of the NREGS and the actual wage received through NREGS. Thus, if at all workers returned to rural areas and were employed under the NREGS, it was most likely due to a feeling of nostalgia and homesickness.

Dr Sridhar's final study was about the urban poor of Bangalore and Chennai. She analysed their social participation and voting behaviour.

ECONOMICS SEMINAR: TECHNICAL SESSION 2
SUSTAINING EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATIVE PRACTICES IN MANUFACTURING

Dr S Nagaraj Rao of S N R Innovative Technology conducted this session on innovative practices in manufacturing. He spoke of the reality and ubiquity of competition and the need for survival. The key to survival is innovation, and the mantra for excellence is 'on-time delivery, quality and cost'.

Dr Rao pointed out the ten most damaging wastes of a manufacturing industry. They were: down time, not getting things right the first time, running machines and improper speed and load, excessive changeover time, poor yield, producing what is not required, excessive inventories, underutilization of available skills, mismatched timings and unwanted material movement. In addition to this, he presented a model for identifying the extent to which each waste is present and how to decide which waste to eliminate on priority.

He then spoke about TQM - total quality management and the various levels ranging from 0-4 that a company can find itself in, in terms of quality. In order to improve one's innovation strategy, some fundamental questions must be asked. Dr Rao explained these and emphasized the need to include talents from outside the organization as well.

The session ended with a discussion on innovation with the audience and a Q&A session.

ECONOMICS SEMINAR: TECHNICAL SESSION 3

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN THE SOCIAL SECTOR

Prof M D Bavaiah from Sri Krishnadevaraya University presided this session on sustainable development goals in the social sector. Drawing from his personal experience, Prof Bavaiah went off the beaten path and spoke on a very personal and relatable note to the audience.

He spoke of the difficulties he faced when conducting a study into the socioeconomic status of female-headed households back in the 80s. He spoke of how he ultimately helped the tribal women set up their own businesses and how a rural road network can be a giant leap in bringing development to the forgotten rural corners of the country.

ECONOMICS SEMINAR: TECHNICAL SESSION 4

PAPER PRESENTATION
Prof S C Vijayashree joined Prof M D Bavaiah as rapporteur for the paper presentation. Mr Keshavamurthy K presented his paper on Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA) Schemes in Karnataka.

Mr Keshavamurthy spoke about the various schemes of the government of Karnataka launched to look into the welfare of the farmers. His study analysed how the MMA schemes benefited families in Karnataka.

After walking the audience through the various types of schemes, Mr Keshavamurthy concluded by saying that there is a strong need for strengthening the implementation of these schemes. Farmers are not aware of sustainable practices, maintenance of records is poor and the supply of inputs is often late. Prof Bavaiah resumed centre stage and ended this session with his account of his work in Ethiopia.

DAY 2 (10TH AUGUST 2016)
ECONOMICS SEMINAR: TECHNICAL SESSION 5
ENHANCING RURAL INDIA TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This session was conducted by Dr A Saravanadurai from Periyar University, Salem. In his meticulous lecture, he detailed the impact of various government programmes on rural sustainable development. He discussed his own case studies and delineated the effects of the numerous government initiatives to encourage sustainable agricultural practices.

ECONOMICS SEMINAR: TECHNICAL SESSION 6

PAPER PRESENTATION
Prof Clement D'Souza of St Joseph's College, along with Dr Saravanadurai, chaired the paper presentation session. A number of interesting papers on sustainability and agriculture were presented. The presenters included Prof Chetan from National Law School who spoke about the legal domain of sustainable development and students from Periyar University who presented their findings on floriculture, dry land farming and drip irrigation. In the second session of paper presentation, Dr Mrinalini Muddi from Jyoti Nivas College presented a paper on the nascent field of bioeconomy and its scope in India. Following that, there was another paper presented on the topic "agriculture and sustainable development". When the floor opened for questions, some interesting opinions and questions were raised about the true nature of legal recourses to sustainability.

ECONOMICS SEMINAR: TECHNICAL SESSION 7 - JOINT SESSION

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT FOR REVITALIZING INDIA

In the final session of the conference, Mrs. Sadhna Kaikini from Buoyancee spoke about youth empowerment for revitalizing India. By interacting with the audience and using real-life examples, she put forth the message that each individual must empower themselves for the nation to be empowered. We must all take personal responsibility and make good choices.

The conference ended with the valedictory session. Each department's activities were described and feedback from the delegates was received.