Two-Day International Conference on Social Change and Development

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Keekli Bureau, 18th September, 2015, Summerhill, Shimla

bjmc.18.9.15Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh inaugurated a two-day International Conference titled ‘Communication for Social Change and Development: Imperatives & Constraints’ at Himachal Pradesh University here today, which was organized by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, HPU. Speaking at the Conference, Chief Minister Singh opined that social change can be achieved either by revolution or evolution and added, “Media played an important role in achieving social change by evolution. Media has an important role to play in shaping public opinion, poverty alleviation and fighting for the rights of citizens”. He further called for the need for an objective, balanced and fair media. He said that the discourse for social equality and equal opportunities can only be translated into action with the help of the media.

bjmc.18.9.15aProf. ADN Bajpai, Vice Chancellor HPU praised the minister for his commitment to furthering higher education in the state. He said that the university would strive to be the best university in the country. KS Tomar, Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission emphasized on the power of social media to bring about change. He said that media is a vital tool to bring about change in the society. He added that the media had the potential to create a strong ripple effect for change.

Dinesh Kumar, Senior Associate Editor, The Tribune, Chandigarh said that Information and Communication Technologies have revolutionized the media. New media technologies and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and chatting tools like Whatsapp have led to the birth of citizen journalism.  He said that due to the instant transmission potential of media, the need for knowledge and people research has become far more pronounced.

Avinash Singh, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Technology and Management, Shillong said that modern technologies have changed the way communication is done in the present age. He said that everyday there is a new advancement in the field of new media technologies which has transformed the way we live.

bjmc.18.9.15bProf. Virbala Aggarwal, Chairperson, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, HPU and Conference Director said that the Chief Minister has always been a vociferous proponent of girl education in Himachal. He has also made elementary education compulsory in the state. She said that as the world moves towards greater democracy, people at all levels are being included in the communication process leading to their empowerment.

In addition to scholars from abroad, the conference will see participation from renowned academicians from twelve states across India. Nearly 100 participants will present their papers in more than a dozen technical sessions spread over two days at the Conference. Several contemporary themes relevant to media, such as media and development, media and gender issues  and citizens’ rights and media will be taken up for discussion.

The conference has brought together the brightest minds from the academia, government, independent think tanks and non-governmental organizations to address the issue of international communication policy formation and the role of various stakeholders in its formation and implementation.

Among the other dignitaries present at the inaugural were Dr. Om Gauri Dutt Sharma, Director General, Doordarshan, Shimla, MP Sood, Director, Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Rajender Singh Chauhan, Pro Vice Chancellor, HPU, Prof. Laxman Singh Thakur, Dean of Studies, HPU, Dr. Pankaj Lalit, Registrar, HPU and Prof. Varinder Walia, Former Editor, Punjabi Tribune.

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