GU Geography Department Conducted Webinar On Covid-19 Crisis And Challenges In Health, Education And Society
GUWAHATI: The Department of Geography, Gauhati University organized an international webinar on 30 June 2020 on the theme ‘COVID-19 CRISIS AND CHALLENGES IN EDUCATION, HEALTH & SOCIETY’.
Participating in the webinar as a key speaker Dr. Venkat Pulla, Brisbane, Australia-based social scientist, social commentator and futurist spoke on the theme ‘Life After Covid 19’.
Dr. Pulla comprehensively dealt with the changing economic and political dynamics in the post COVID 19 era which has created obsessive nationalism and provincialism. He pointed out that discarding freedom has become the new maxim: ‘When you give up your freedom you live and let others live a full life. Freedom became meaningless for many’.
He, however, expressed his optimism about the future and commented that even if economy does not recover from the pandemic, people will recover. He stressed upon the fact that for a social scientist like him disaster is an invaluable lens to study ‘the good, the bad and the ugly in everyday lives.’
Inaugurating the webinar, Prof. P. J. Handique, Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University and eminent biotechnologist reflected on the new challenges emanated from the COVID 19 and also the possible future.
Participating in the webinar as a speaker Dubai-based Chartered Accountant Dr. Indrani Hazarika focused on new openings in teaching and learning processes in the post-COVID 19 world. With illustrations, she talked about the Paradigm Shift in Education that necessitates transforming teaching into learner-centric.
She further pointed out that the COVID-19 challenges have warranted professional development of teaching team using E-Content in Flipped Classroom environment. As a concluding remark she said that the option before us is to embrace it, and it will ‘influence creation of new values for customers, employees and the society.’
Another speaker in the webinar Dr Saumya Shankar Chowdhury (Deputy General Manager. NEEPCO), Agartala-based medical practitioner gave a broad overview of the trajectory that the humanity has passed through after outbreak of COVID 19 epidemic. He pointed out that people started adapting to the new normal and family and friends assumed good deal of importance during this period.
However, social media has become very powerful making us dependent on us and zoom, google meet, etc. have emerged as the channels of keeping people connected. But, at the same time suspicion, fear and stigma also assumed new proportion. Pointing out that the viral infection will rise, but it has its own limits too. As COVID 19 is a novel coronavirus, the epidemiology is still evolving and in such situation vaccines take time to develop. Therefore, the need of the hour is to cope up with the new reality following basic rules of hygiene and to live with the COVID.
Moderating the webinar, Prof. Madhushree Das, Head, Department of Geography, GU has pointed out that the key lesson that the pandemic has taught us is equality and has brought the society to almost one level. The epidemic discriminates none and therefore ‘we are forced to sail the same boat with different cabins and different level of perceived discomfort’. Around 300 participants from the university, college and other organizations attended the webinar.