Chandigarh April 24, 2019-The Four day international workshop on ”health care for older population;
learning from IndoCanadian Experiences” was inaugurated today at ICSSR seminar hall,
Panjab University Chandigarh. The workshop is a collaborative venture between Queen’s
University, Ontario, Canada and Department of Geography, PU Chandigarh. The grant has
been awarded by SICI under the Shastri Development Programme Grant funded by the
Ministry of Human Resource Development jointly to Prof Smita Bhutani at Panjab
University and Prof Rosenberg at Queen’s University.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, P.U, appreciated
the timely initiative which he felt was socially a very relevant issue. He stressed
the need to take the collaboration further and learn from each other to the mutual
benefit of both societies and cultures.
Prof Rosenberg, the Canadian collaborator while introducing the theme said
ageing was one of the three major challenges being faced by a rapidly urbanising
world. There was a requirement in this light to re-imagine health and social systems
to make the elderly a happy and valued segment of our society.
Prof Nayak from NEHU, Shillong delivered the keynote address and talked about
India’s traditional regard for the elderly which was gradually dwindling as the
elderly were perceived as a burden in the family as well as in society at large. He
brought out the need to take steps against abuse of the elderly, create aged-friendly
infrastructure and increase the number of Gerontology units.
The Workshop will see the participation of research scholars, senior citizens,
health care professionals, care-givers, academicians and non-governmental
organisations. It will include 4 technical sessions and three activity sessions along
with field visits to old-age homes and hospitals.
The day concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Prof Simrit Kahlon,
Chairperson, Department of Geography.

One Day Seminar on the theme “Abiding Legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh” at the Department of Defence and National Security Studies
The Department of Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University in collaboration with Gyan-Setu Think Tank organized a one-day seminar on “Abiding Legacy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh” here today to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Sh. V. P. Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab and Administrator U. T. Chandigarh was the Chief Guest during the occasion. He compared the martial qualities of the Sikh Empire with that of the Rajputs of Rajasthan while also highlighting their key common characteristics. He also appreciated the fact that it was the people of Punjab who fought with various foreign invaders who attacked India from the northwest. He further added that Punjab was the state where all the aggressions came since it was the Gateway of India and was invaded many times resulting into this soil producing a valiant warrior race. There was a commonality of thought in Maharana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji and Maharaja Ranjit Singh and this needs to be studied further. He complimented the department for taking this topical and relevant subject for further study and research.
Prof. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University delivered the welcome address during the event. While welcoming the distinguished guests, Vice Chancellor also highlighted the noble initiative of commemorating the 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji by holding such academic events throughout the year in the university. The Vice Chancellor quoted various instances of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Life including his secular approach towards his subjects. Prof. Raj Kumar concluded his speech by congratulating the organisers and hoped that this seminar would generate new ideas.
Earlier, Lt. Gen. K.J. Singh introduced the theme of the seminar and its contemporary significance to the august gathering. He also brought out that the seminar has been divided into two technical sessions with themes being “ Transition of Sikhs from Baba Nanak to Ranjit Singh” and “ Lessons in Security and Military Domains” respectively. Gen Singh also said that the Empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh included more than 50% of Muslims of Punjabi descent which is a reflection of the truly secular nature of his rule and the sense of inclusion that Maharaja had inherited from the Sikh Gurus and other Sikh intellectuals as well.
Prof. Indu Banga, Emeritus, Department of History, brought out that the History of Sikhism is associated with the history of Punjab. She talked about the transition of Sikh religion, from Guru Nanak Dev to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Starting from Guru Nanak she told about the spiritual dimension of the Sikh religion and the chief transition happened from the Guru Arjun Dev from which the Sikh Religion transformed into a religion of protectors. She emphasised that the resistance of Sikhs against Mughals made them Martial Race and after the last Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh continued that legacy. The Statecraft of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was based on the teachings of Sikh religion and people of all faiths lived in peace in his Kingdom.
Lt. Gen. Surinder Singh,GoC-in-C, Western Command, Chandimandir called Maharaja Ranjit Singh one of the foremost Sikh Emperor. He highlighted how Maharaja Ranjit Singh created his own legacy by building a great empire with good infrastructure and by promoting education. He became the part of folklores in Punjab. He gave a few anecdotes from the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh shedding light on his personality.
Dr Jaskaran Singh Waraich, Chairperson of Department of Defence and National Security Studies delivered the Vote of Thanks in the end of the Inaugural Session.
The Technical Session One was chaired by Professor Jaswinder Singh and among the distinguished panellists were Lt. Gen. G. S. Shergill, Shri R. K. Kaushik, I.A.S. and Dr Amanpreet Singh.
Sh. R. K. Kaushik, IAS spoke on the Topic "Maharaja Ranjit Singh - A Great and Secular Ruler”. Sh. Kaushik related a lot of instances from the life of the Great king which showed that he was an able administrator, a brave General and a sagacious ruler. He created a huge empire from Ropar to Khyber with acceptance of his rule by the people. He said that the population under Maharaja Ranjit Singh's rule was 53 lakhs. He never discriminated on the basis of religion and dispensed justice to his people. The East India Company could not enter the territory under his control during his rule.
The Technical Session Two was chaired by Lt Gen (Dr.) D.D.S. Sandhu and among the distinguished panellists were Maj. Gen. Amarjit Singh, Brig. I. J. Singh. Gen Amarjit expressed his views that historians have not been able to bring out the strategy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh for expansion of his state in its real sense which can be a major area for further research. Brig. I. J. Singh brought out the best practices of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Military.
The event was attended by veterans from the armed forces, serving student officers who are pursuing various courses in the department, faculty members from the university, research scholars and students.