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IGNOU Organizes Seminar on Development and Social Justice

20 February, 2018

The Indira Gandhi National Open University’s (IGNOU) School of Social Science (SOSS) organized a two-day seminar on Development and Social Justice to delve on new areas of research on development and social justice.


“The development in India is still not in proportion to the effort that has gone. There are constraints to produce the desired results. Poverty reduction and overall improvement in the standard of living are attainable goals that bring the world closer to social justice. However, there is little indication of any real ongoing commitment to address existing inequalities. The enormous gap in the distribution of wealth is growing wider, reflecting a general trend that is morally unfair, politically unwise and economically unsound,” said Prof. Swaraj Basu, Director, SOSS, IGNOU.


“The issues that need to be addressed are politicization of social justice. The whole political legal and administrative system is systematically against the masses of the poor people. What are the welfare measures taken for the poor who are still denied of the social and political justice? What is required is a rational and scientific analysis to look into the various failures of the problems in social justice and development in India,” he added.


Prof. Atul Sarma from the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development chaired the panel discussion on perspectives and framework of the topic.


“We have not been able to contribute much to the improvement in inclusive growth even after 70 years of independence. On the contrary, inequality has increased. It is not just a problem for India but for the whole world. This seminar focuses on whether it is possible to think about it with a new perceptive where better income distribution is achieved,” he said.


Prof Das Gupta of Delhi University in his address touched upon the need to develop techniques and use of technology and scientific innovation in a manner that takes cognizance of the local requirements of the peasants in rural India. He reiterated that the local knowledge created over centuries must also be used and no shun away.


He stressed on the fact that with the green revolution in 1960s, the indigenous local knowledge was completely ignored. He recommended for better collaboration between the peasants and the scientific community for better understanding and results.


Highlighting that the disconnect between the agro-scientists and the peasants, Prof Das Gupta said that one of the reasons for Genetically Modified Cotton's failure in Maharastra has been the lack of knowledge of the farmers in adopting the transgenic crop.


Prof. V Upadhyay, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, delved upon how the changing environments affect the development and social justice. “A lot of debates are consolidated to political upheavels and changes in India. The changing development and social justice is affecting the world not just India. The emerging trends point to the dangers.”