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Panjab University: National Seminar on Ecology and Health: Anthropological Dimensions

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Chandigarh: The Anthropology Department, Panjab University hosted a National Seminar on 'Ecology and Health:  Anthropological Dimensions'. The Two day seminar was inaugurated by Professor B. S. Brar, Dean University Instruction Panjab University. He appreciated the efforts of the department and stressed that Anthropology in it very nature was ideally suited to address problems of society that involved both the bio-medical and socio-cultural dimensions. The keynote address was delivered by Professor Nimesh G. Desai, Director Institute of Human behaviour and Allied Sciences New Delhi. He spoke of the increasing urbanization and pointed out that by 2025 almost 50% of the population of India would be expected to live in towns.

The overcrowding of the urban areas is resulting in stress related disorders. Heart related ailments, increased blood pressure, diabetes are symptomatic of these urban lifestyle stresses. He said that even phenomena like domestic violence, road rage substance abuse were also symptomatic.

Earlier at the inauguration of the National Seminar Professor A. K. Sinha welcomed the delegates and traced the growth of this department since its inception in 1960. He lauded the founding teachers led by the then chairman the Late Professor S. R. K. Chopra. He further said that department grown academically and is recognized as a UGC Centre of Advanced Studies in Anthropology and FIST  department by DST of Ministry of Science and Technology. Professor K. D. Sharma the convener of the National Seminar reviewed the growth of Anthropology wherein the discipline now encompasses aspects of biomedical fields. Prof Sharma further emphasized that the application of anthropological methods to public health problems has been an important area of contribution. He elaborated the relation between Ecology and Health and stressed the contribution of changing lifestyles to the emergence of diseases in higher frequency that before. The use of systematic, descriptive, and qualitative methods has proven effective in identifying context-specific factors that contribute to health and disease outcomes. Anthropology brings under its umbrella various disciplines exploring multidimensionality of human existence, diversity, adaptability and change over time and space following scientific approach but also caring human sensitivity. He said that there is an urgent need to ponder the bearing various environmental determinants have on human health and well being. Mr. C. J. Edwin thanked the Sponsors, the University Authorities, participating delegates Staff and volunteers as well as the local and nation media for their diverse contributions in making this National Seminar actualized.
On the first day of the seminar 36 scientific presentations were made through six sessions. These papers were on various aspects of Adaptation and Tribal Health, Genetics Disease and Biochemical Variations, Ecology Disease and Health, Human growth and Body Composition, Nutritional Ecology and Ethno Medicine. More than 100 delegates from Academic Institutions in the Tri-city and other parts of India registered and participated in the Seminar. The evening concluded with elaborate cultural programme presented by the Research Fellows and Students of the Anthropology Department organized under the aegis of the Panjab University Anthropological Association. The
aim of the presentation was to acquaint visiting delegates with various aspects of the culture of North West India. Prof. A. K. Shinha, Chairperson of Department informed.     

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