Reforms in governance are possible, if people assert themselves: Prof Dhar

JAMMU: The Department of Political Science, University of Jammu, organised two days National Seminar on "State of Democracy in South Asia" Professor Manoj Dhar, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, in his Presidential Address, articulated that India has emerged as the largest democracy in the world.

He highlighted the realization of the United Nations' seventeen Millennium Development Goals which are highly relevant to South Asia and need critical thinking and strong will of the States to achieve the targets in shortest possible time.

Professor Dhar underlined the challenges confronting democracy in South Asia like its large population, weak governing structures, sectarianism, fundamentalism, militarism and other socio-economic challenges.

Prof Dhar further said that reforms in governance are possible, if people assert themselves and demand that the Country be governed & not ruled and the issues of governance are seriously addressed. This is possible in a democratic system which our Country is following.

Earlier, Professor Amarjit Singh Narang, Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences and former Registrar, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi in his keynote address detailed out the issues pertaining to democracy in the South Asian states.

The keynote speaker also discussed the achievements of democracy in the South Asian states apart from underlining the democratic deficit prevailing in these countries. Prof Amarjit further argued that the diversities are not threats to the democratic structures of the South Asian States if their management and accommodation is proper in the public space and democracy is only the way forward for South Asian states.

Professor Baljit Singh, Director of National Seminar and Head, Department of Political Science, in his welcome address introduced the theme of the seminar and further highlighted the journey of South Asian states from Colonial to Post-Colonial era which in itself was the product of democratic struggle led by the Civil Society Organizations of these states against the colonial rule. Professor Jagpal Singh from IGNOU, Delhi; Professor Karori Singh from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur; Professor Kadloor Savitri from Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi; Professor Harish K. Thakur from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla; Dr. Umrao Singh from Punjabi University, Patiala; Dr. Ambrish Dhaka from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Dr. Shiraz Sheikh from Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi; Professor Baljit Singh and Prof. M Tajuddin, from the Department of Political Science, University of Jammu presented papers on various sub-themes of the National Seminar.

Dr. Karuna Thakur, Organizing Secretary of the National Seminar presented the formal vote of thanks.Among others Faculty members, Scholars and students were also present on the occasion.

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