Chandigarh May 25, 2020

Educative comic series Kids, Vaayu and Corona jointly published by Panjab University and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh is being covered by Vigyan Prasar in Document "Science & Technology Efforts on COVID-19 in India” in issue of 21st May 2020 under section Science Outreach & Popularisation Efforts. Vigyan Prasar -an autonomous institution under Ministry of Science & Technology engaged in large-scale science communication and popularization activities and spreading awareness about the S&T efforts of the Government of India as well as private sector in finding solutions for COVID-19, has compiled all initiatives being undertaken.

IEC comic titled “Kids, Vaayu & Corona” part 1 and part-2 was released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in March 2020.

Dr Suman Mor, Chairperson, Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University and one of author of comic states that children always idolized their superheroes and observed how their favorites role model solves problem through difficult situations. Keeping this in view this comic was conceptualized with Superhero- Vaayu- a global citizen who works for public health and environment. Now this superhero is very famous among children and clear the doubt of kids regarding COVID-19. In first part of comic, Vaayu make children aware about the threats and spread of Coronavirus and explains simple steps for prevention and control of spread of infection. Whereas in the second part of comic series Vaayu explains more technical terms like quarantine, isolation, pandemic, PPEs and helplines for contacting people. Comic series has been released in 10 languages nationally and internationally (Hindi, Punjabi, English, Gujarati, Malay, French, Arabic, Dutch, Spanish).

Dr Ravindra Khaiwal, Additional Professor of Environment Health, PGIMER stated that initiative is taken to clear the doubts and address all the queries among kids by making interesting comics series and to motivate them to fight against COVID-19. He further stated that we are happy that our comic is being appreciated all over and we are able to convey right information to people. This shield helps to sensitise and aware about the prevention of transmission and spread of the novel coronavirus infection. Simple preventive steps shown in Public health shield if followed properly will help to fight COVID-19.

===============================================

Chandigarh May 25, 2020

Researchers from 5 Countries, 25 States and Union Territories Deliberated In the International Conference World After COVID-19: Economic, Social and Political Transformations Organised by University Business School, Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana

University Business School, Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana organized first virtual International Conference on the theme World After COVID-19: Economic, Social and Political Transformations. Around 200 participants from far off places India, Nepal, South Africa, Australia and Oman participated in the International Conference and shared their research papers on various aspects related to the theme of the conference. Prof. Ravi Inder Singh, Director, Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana extended welcome to the guests and participants and introduced the theme of the conference.

Prof. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh presided over the inaugural session, Prof. R. C. Kuhad, Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Haryana graced the Inaugural session as the Chief Guest. Prof. J.B. Nadda, Director, Consortium for Educational Communication, New Delhi and Prof. C.L. Chandan, Vice Chancellor, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cluster University, Himachal Pardesh graced the ceremony as the Guests of Honour. Key note address on social transformation aspect was delivered by Prof. Herman Vander Merwe, Deputy Dean Planning and Development, North West University, South Africa and the Key note address on Economic Transformation was delivered by Prof. Lakhwinder Singh, Director, Centre for Economic Development and Innovation Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala.

Prof. Raj Kumar, honourable Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh while presiding over the Inaugural session extended thanks to all the prominent personalities, he stated that the three aspects i.e. economic, social and political as stated in the theme of the conference can’t be separated and they move in association with each other. He stated that there is a very bright opportunity emerging out of the COVID-19 as many companies are moving out of china and India may be the next destination for their place of business. India will emerge as a land of opportunities.

Prof. R. C. Kuhad, Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Haryana, Chief Guest, while speaking on the theme of the Conference stated that never ever in the history of mankind, such kind of disruption has been seen in the economic and social activities, alngwith the economic activities even the places of worship like Gurudwaras, Temples and Churches have been shut down. He stated that at present a series of serious questions emerging from the COVID 19 pandemic are perplexing the human mind like what will be the economic impact of COVID-19 on world as well as domestic economies. which country will emerge as the world super power. People are debating about the expected change in the international political scenario and the society post COVID-19.

Prof. J.B. Nadda, Director, Consortium for Educational Communication, New Delhi while speaking on the theme of the conference stated that automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and information technology are going to occupy a very crucial role in the Post COVID 19 era. With the passage of time, organisation structure will change and will take oval shape. He further expressed apprehension that since IT is going to occupy a very prominent role, it may erode our social values and culture. Over the last fews years, joint was breaking and importance of individualism was increasing but with COVID 19 coming in, we may move back to the joint family culture. Prof. Nadda also talked about the impact of COVID 19 on federal structure of the country.

Prof. C.L. Chandan, Vice Chancellor, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cluster University, Himachal Pardesh stated that the crisis is not yet over and he opined that it will have disastrous consequences. Its consequential impact on social and economic life is already visible. Already our social behavior has undergone change, he quoted the change in the scale and system of marriages and religious gatherings and he was of the view that it will continue like that. Prof. Chandan also talked about the job losses and change in the living style of people post COVID 19.

Post Herman Vander Merve, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business, North West University, South Africa while delivering his key note address talked about the importance of Entrepreneurship which may work as anti-virus to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof Lakhwinder Singh another Key Note Speaker, while delivering his Keynote address stated that countries should not focus on recovery only, rather the focus should be on sustainable recovery, he stated that the economic recovery post COVID 19 is going to shape a U shape cover, it will take time to grow.

A total of 90 papers were presented in the 8 technical sessions of the conference, researchers from South Africa, Australia, Nepal, Oman and India were presented in the conference. The prominent personalities who chaired the various technical sessions in the conference were Prof. Sanjay Kaushik Dean College Development Council, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Prof. Upasana Joshi Sethi, Director, University Institute of Applied Management Sciences, PU, Chandigarh. Prof. Gurcharan Singh, Head, School of Management Sciences, Punjabi University, Patiala. Prof. Jasveen Kaur, Head, University Business School, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Dr. Smita Sharma, Faculty, Department of Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Prof. Sukhdev Singh, Dean Research, CT University, Ludhiana.

Dr. Monika Kansal, Sr. Lecturer, Central Queensland University, Australia, Dr. Ankit Katrodia, Faculty, School of Economics and Business, North West University, South Africa. Prof. Gulshan Kumar, University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh

Dr. Nitin Arora, Faculty, Department of Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Dr. Ashish Saihjpal, Coordinator, MBA, University Business School, Ludhiana. Mr. Shashi Kapoor, Faculty, University Business School, Ludhiana. Dr. Shiv Kumar Dogra, Faculty, University Institute of Laws, PU Regional Centre, Ludhiana, Mr. Taranjeet Singh, Faculty, University Business School, Ludhiana, Dr. Rajneesh Saryal, Faculty , University Institute of Laws, PU Regional Centre, Ludhiana, Dr. Debajani Dhall, University Institute of Laws, PU Regional Centre, Ludhiana. Dr.Pooja Sikka, Assistant Professor of Economics and Conference Chair proposed the vote of thanks.

=======================================

Special Webinar on “Corona Pandemic and the Emerging World Order” at PU Defence Studies

The Department of Defence and National Security Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, in collaboration with Gyan Chakra Think-tank, as part of it’s ongoing online academic endeavors during the Covid-19 lockdown, organised a Special Webinar on the theme – “Corona Pandemic and the Emerging World Order” by Lt Gen Jasbir Singh Lidder UYSM, AVSM, former Force Commander and Deputy SRSG, UN Mission in Sudan” today.

The General who holds a vast experience in the field of Conflict Management in both military and political spheres, began his lecture by explaining how the ongoing pandemic has affected people of all socio-economic backgrounds and nationalities alike. All major developed countries have been amongst the most affected countries. All the supply chains in the globalised world have been disrupted and this is affecting the world economy.

We are witnessing a New Cold War between the two leading world powers, the USA and China. They are both involved in a blame game holding each other responsible for the pandemic. Tensions have been there between these two nations over the years but this is the worst of times for US-China relations. The Americans are trying to hit the Chinese both politically and economically, and in this Trump has his personal stakes since it’s the election year. Supply chains are attempted to be shifted out of Mainland China. The Chinese on the other hand are mocking the Americans at their mishandling of this virus. And at the same time they are continuing to offer medical skills and financial aid to the distressed. The Chinese are trying to portray that they themselves are victims of the virus.

Russia, the erstwhile Cold War player appears to be descriptively quiet. Initially the Russian Corona cases were very low however there has been a considerable increase since then. They are feeling relieved at the Americans shifting of their primary target to China. After Russia being on focus because of the Ukraine crises etc., it has finally got some breathing space. This does not imply that the Russians are going to dilute their strategic interests in in Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa.

The American mishandling of the pandemic has actually raised serious concerns regarding their internal resilience as a superpower. Also China’s image has suffered because of lack of transparency on Corona Virus has created credibility issues. However as viruses in the past have never been designated country specific, we should be very careful at the Western stigmatization of the virus as in future it can be directed against us as well.

The Chinese' latest aggressive messaging is surprising, since they have in the past been silently diplomatic and working on long-term gains. However in the last few years we are witnessing a distinct change, especially in the last two years, which may be caused by some new grand-strategy or even overconfidence of the Xi regime, it remains a mystery. Though the source of the Pandemic is being investigated, however blaming China has affected it’s Grand Strategic Vision of 2030. There is a huge anti-China sentiment in the world. The Chinese diaspora is coming under pressure. The Chinese have overstretched themselves probably due to President Xi's arrogance.

Europe has been the biggest victim of the Pandemic. The European nations, particularly Italy, Spain and France have suffered huge fatalities. This crises has exposed their vulnerability to critical decision making, border control and responsive health systems. The Asia Pacific region has shown professional approach in handling this crises. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have managed to control the virus as of now. Timely measures to control the spread, good recovery rate, reduced death rate have been the positives in South Asia. The General also discussed the handling of the Pandemic by nations across all major continents.

Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi PVSM, AVSM, VSM & ADC, former Eastern Army Commander also participated in the proceedings. He said that in the coming years, trade and economic sanctions are going to be used more often. There will be a thrust towards indigenisation, a tacit acceptance of higher costs of manufacturing as long as it does not affect National Security objectives and challenges. Budgets are going to be stressed and impacted, where the balance between development and security will be a huge challenge, especially in developing nations. And alliances will be in the making whether loosely formed, regional alliances or institutional alliances since no single nation state can take on the unipolarity responsibility in the forth coming future and this, there will be swing States which will swing the balance between the main nations who are positioning themselves for a global role. Identification of these swing States would be important so that we are not caught on the wrong foot.

General Ved Prakash Malik, PVSM, AVSM, former Chief of Army Staff, in his remarks said that the global and the regional organisations have not been able to work effectively against the pandemic. Every country at the moment is looking after itself. International borders are closed, the supply chains have broken down, it will take some time to recover. In the long term their will be a change in the comprehensive national power equations and it will impact the alliances or strategic partnerships world over. China under the leadership of Xi seems to be in a hurry and creating these hotspots everywhere might prove counterproductive since the other countries might join hands with each other.

He said that our present leadership and the kind of governance we have are doing much better. We need to show more confidence in them. It’s time for each one of us to contribute and show our resilience in this fight against the pandemic.

The webinar was attended by senior armed forces veterans from the tricity, faculty members, serving armed forces officers pursuing courses in the department, research scholars and students.