ALIGARH December 27- President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on Friday inaugurated the five day long XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress at Kennedy Auditorium, Aligarh Muslim University on “Building an Ecologically Sustainable Society”.
In his inaugural address, the President, said 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. “we need to conserve as well as replenish our water resources”, he stressed.
President of India pointed out that India is one of the mega-bio-diverse 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 front-lines 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 XXXVII 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.
Shri Mukherjee also congratulated the Aligarh Muslim University for developing a “Social Science Cyber Library”.
In his welcome address, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice- Chancellor, AMU 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, Lt. 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.
Lt. 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.
He hoped that AMU would become the first “Green University” in the country. For this, an investment of Rs. 50 Crore is required for which he has requested the President of India to sanction the amount.
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, pollution in agriculture and industries, increase in nuclear use etc. has endangered our very existence.
Brig. (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali, Pro Vice-Chancellor, AMU proposed the formal vote of thanks. He said that as a Finance Minister, Shri Mukherjee played a pivotal role for providing handsome grants for AMU centres at Murshidabad in West Bengal and Malappuram in Kerala.
The President also inaugurated the Social Science Cyber Library. The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri. B. L. Joshi released the souvenir and presented the first copy to the President of India.
Vice Chancellor presented a portrait of Shri. 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.
Prof. Shabahat Husain, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and the Organizing Secretary of the five-day Social Science Congress conducted the programme.