As vice-chancellor, a few aspects of my job that fascinate me most include organizing, attending and presiding over a research conference; may it be regional, national or international. I always think of a research moot as a great learning opportunity and as an excellent platform to meet new people and develop academic and professional networking; besides adding in a significant way to the existing body of knowledge”.
The above views were expressed by VC-SU Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat in his presidential address in the inaugural ceremony of 3-day 1st InternationalConference on the theme of “Contemporary Sociology, Social Sciences and Sustainable Development 2018”.
Dr. Burfat opined that conferences served as excellent platforms not only for researchers but also for policy-makers, teachers and advanced level student scholars to acquire different new perspectives, learn new ideas and get acquainted with the latest trends in their fields.
“As sociologist, I am glad to partake with you that today sociology has more than 600 branches. Sociology pervades human life in all its spheres. Let it be an individual, an institution, a society—let it be customs, traditions, health, development, backwardness, rites, rituals and life styles—let it be human behavior, decisions, plans and attitudes; all these have a sociological background as well as a sociological foreground. In order to understand the entire phenomena in the above said areas one would always need to first understand the sociological motivations behind each of them”, Dr. Burfat elaborated.
The vice-chancellor congratulated Prof. Dr. Nagina Parveen Soomro, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Dr. Aijaz Ali Wassan, Chairman, Department of Sociologyand Dr. Ameer Ali Abro, Secretary of the Conference upon successful organization of the international moot for the first time ever in the history of the Varsity’s Department of Sociology.
Event chief guest Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed, Chief Executive, HANDS, Pakistan said that sociology was essentially all about social development through sensitive and improved understanding of social dynamics of any given society.
“To me, development principally means ‘human development’. Any progress which does not include human happiness and elevation; or does not add to human joys, comforts, health, well being, emotional delight, spiritual ecstasy, financial uplift, knowledge escalation and personal freedom and contentment will, in my view, not qualify to be called as ‘development’”, Mr. Shaikh explained.
The first Keynote Speaker of the session YU Xiahofeng of Zhejiang University of China spoke about the sociological aspects of individual, institutional, organizational, regional, national, international and gender aspects of security; outlining sociological security in traditional and non-traditional types—recommending future research on the spoken areas.
The second speaker of the session Dr. Gul Muhammad Baloch from Malaysia touched upon the conference theme from the angle of health hazards. He said human health depended largely upon sociological setup of societies inhabited by men; stressing that every society cast some particular implications on human nature, temperament, disposition, attitude and behavior. “Understanding such sociological dimensions was imperative towards understanding why particular individual or groups behaved the way they did”, he remarked.
The third keynote speaker who too was from Malaysia Prof. Dr. Sivapalan Selvadurai talked about the economics of sociology. In his erudite presentation, he drove the point home that many developing countries were constructing their own social protection policies. Despite their variety, those social protection pathways shared common features. He added that social protection response in middle income countries in the wake of Asian economic crisis in the 1997 and the global financial crisis in 2008 mandated the countries to specify their security needs under sociological perspective, and at the same time convey to them a loud and clear message that they should not just be focus on the economy but it needed to transform its social policy.
Prof. Dr. Arfana Begum Mallah, President, Sindh University Teachers’ Association (SUTA) and Member, SU Syndicate in her impressions on the occasion said that she was extremely happy to see Department of Sociology organizing international conference. She said she had noted to her disappointment neglect of research activism and policy focus on social sciences as compared to natural sciences; arguing that the social sciences was seminally a discipline from which all other forms of science emanated. She compared social sciences to mind and all other branches of science to body which was controlled and regulated by mind.
Earlier, Prof. Dr. Aijaz Ali Wassan, Chairman, Department of Sociology welcomed the scholars and all other audience members to the conference; whereas, Dr. Ameer Ali Abro, Secretary of the Conference shared the conference brief.
Towards the end, souvenir shields were distributed among foreign and national scholars, presenters, faculty, organizers and volunteers jointly by VC-SU Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences Prof. Dr. Nagina Parveen Soomro.
Prof. Dr. Ghulam Ali Buriro and Ms. Mehtab Khaskheli of the Varsity’s Institute of English Language and Literature moderated the proceedings of the moot.