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VC's Special session dominates Day 2 of 14th JKSC 2019 at JU

JAMMU: One the 2nd Day of the 14th JK Science Congress, being organized by the University of Jammu, a Special session was organized for the Vice-Chancellors of various Universities of the Jammu & Kashmir.

The session drew attention of a large gathering of delegates and scholars and students as everyone was keen to listen to these Institutional Leaders. Four Vice Chancellors delivered talks on topics of relevance in the fully packed Brigadier Rajinder Singh Auditorium of the University of Jammu. The session was divided into two sub-sessions.

During the first sub-session Prof. Manoj Dhar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Jammu in his address to the audience spoke on "Metabolic Engineering in Some High Value Plants".

Prof. Dhar made a thought provoking Lecture on how he developed a research team over the last 15 years at School of Biotechnology, JU to ameliorate the problem of Vitamin A deficiency in the poor people of the developing countries.

He mentioned that every year lakhs of children lose eyesight or fall prey to diseases due to deficiency of Vitamin A. He informed that for human beings the source of this important vitamin is either animal products or fruits and vegetables. He suggested that our food plate must have sufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables or foods rich in Carotenoids.

Prof. Dhar very elegantly highlighted his scientific contributions in metabolic engineering of Saffron, tomato and carrot in order to enhance the production of carotenoids which are precursors of vitamin A.

He pointed out the great success stories right from the seminal work of Prof. Ingo Potrykus and others on Golden Rice to development of transgenic plants in maize, mustard and many others, wherein he stressed upon the basic nutrition requirement and need of functional food in the developing countries like India.

According to him the metabolic engineering will be of great help in developing nutraceuticals for combating various diseases in human beings and improve the overall health.

Prof Talat Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kashmir, elaborated on the topic "Rise of the Himalaya: Its bounties and Challenges". He stressed that it is imperative for J & K and Ladakh regions to undertake deep research in Himalayan Geology. Prof. Talat Ahmed said that the plate tectonics has a major role in earthquakes.

He also talked about the origin of the current shape of the earth, types of the boundaries, faults and role of Tethys Ocean. According to him the Himalayas are still growing because Indo-Australian Plate is continuously subducting below the Eurasian Plate and is responsible for the frequent Earthquakes in Western Himalaya.

In the second sub-session, Prof. Anju Bhasin, Vice-Chancellor, Cluster University Jammu talked on "Particle Physics - a driver for Knowledge and Technology: Sharing with Society". She stressed upon the contributions of highly specialized experiments of CERN ( French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) Geneva in achieving the five different goals of the sustainable development.

She said the Indian Scientists including physicists from University of Jammu, are also engaged with the experimentations at CERN. She said that University of Jammu has been involved in research collaboration with CERN since last several decades and every year exchange of faculty and students takes place between the two institutions.

Prof. R.K. Sinha, Vice-Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University deliberated upon the "Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development".

He said that according to report "Our Common Future", sustainable development is the requirement wherein the resources including biodiversity must be used in a sustainable manner.

Sustainable Development is basically the economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources.

He further said that biodiversity is such a resource which is distributed along the different climactic regimes on the globe, but anthropogenic activities are depleting it continuously.

According to him we are living in the mid of the sixth mass extinction which is happening because of the human activities. Therefore, sustainable development is the only hope for the nature conservation.

Earlier, Prof. Naresh Padha, Convenor, 14th JK Science Congress underlined the significance of the special Vice-Chancellors session during the congress. He also introduced briefly all the four speakers of the session. Dr. Shashi Prabha, Department of Geography, University of Jammu conducted the proceedings of the function which was highly appreciated by the audience ans being highly productive.

Besides this, Prof. A.K Sinha Vice chancellor Chhatrapti ShivaJi Maharaj University, Navi Mumbai talked about the sustaining water resources through climate smart technologies and community participation.

Prof. Zagar Reshi, Department of Botany, University of Kashmir highlighted about the biological invasions from ecological genetic and epigenetic perspectives.

There were other speakers which include Prof Jagbir Singh Kirti, Punjabi University Patiala, Prof. R.K. Sinha, Thappar Univerity Patiala, Dr. Nandu B. Chaure, Pune University and Prof. A.N. Gill, IIT Una, who spoke on various areas of Science and technology.

In the last session more than more than 200 research scholars from 16 different disciplines presented their work before the experts in their respective areas.

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