STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Prof Manoj Dhar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Jammu, the Chief Guest on the occasion inaugurated National Seminar on “Understanding the Dynamics of Rural Society in India” organised by Department of Sociology at Brig. Rajinder Singh Auditorium. Prof. Dhar appreciated the efforts of the government for appraisal of development in the rural areas through ‘Back to Village Programme’. He talked about farmer’s suicides and other problems in rural areas and emphasized on the need of techno-centric solutions. Prof. Debal K. Singharoy, Faculty of Social Sciences, IGNOU, New Delhi in his keynote address emphasised on historicity of rural India and also highlighted contemporary issues in rural society. He also explained the various dynamics of rural society and the changes it is witnessing. He discussed the various changes that started during the colonial era and their relevance in the present context. He also talked about the land reforms in Jammu and Kashmir, land ceiling and land to the tiller. The Special Guest, Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj shared her field experiences of serving in rural areas. She talked about caste, class, gender disparities and development divide between rural and urban areas. She emphasised that these disparities are less visible in Jammu and Kashmir in comparison to other states. She also emphasized on the lack of infrastructure facilities in rural areas for e.g. electricity, roads, schools etc. especially in hilly areas. She said the problems of the rural areas cannot be solved without the community participation and the development of rural areas lies with the people in the form of rural local bodies i.e. panchayats. Earlier, Prof. Abha Chauhan, HOD Sociology, University of Jammu and the Convenor of the seminar welcomed the dignitaries and the delegates from different parts of the country. She also focussed on the theme and the sub-themes of the Seminar. Dr. Kuljit Singh, Coordinator, Bhaderwah Campus, University of Jammu also introduced the Keynote Speaker. The dignitaries on the dais also released ‘Book of Abstracts.’ The Co-Convener, Prof. Vishav Raksha presented vote of thanks to all the dignitaries, delegates, Heads, Deans, Faculty members, officers, scholars and students. Dr. Malvika Upadhya, Lecturer, Dept. of Sociology, University of Jammu conducted the proceedings of the seminar.
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