Published: 07th October 2021
Conversations on SDGs and human greed at the forefront during this conference at Odisha's Centurion University
Called Role of Universities in Achieving SDGs, this conference was conducted over two days at Centurion University in Odisha
Looking at the need of hours, Centurion University, Odisha organised a two-day conference titled Role of Universities in Achieving SDGs on October 5 and 6, 2021. Centurion University has always proved itself to be a frontrunner when it comes to thinking about society. Thus, to facilitate dialogue relating to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this conference was organised.
The conference started with the welcome address by Prof Prasant Mohanty, Dean - Academics of the university. Setting the context of the conference, Vice-Chancellor of the university Professor Supriya Pattanayak stated that the government alone cannot achieve the SDGs which is why academic institutions have a major role to play. She also emphasised on the universal nature of SDGs.
In his keynote address, Prof Omkarnath Moahnty, former Vice-Chancellor, BPUT, shared that the needs of everyday life are okay but greed can destroy the future of the planet and the human race. He said that if we do not respect nature, then we will have to pay for it.
In the education session, linguist Prof Debi Prasanna Pattanayak talked about the importance of language for quality education and Prof Haribandhu Panda, Director, Klorofeel Foundation was of the opinion that education needs to make people accountable socially. During the session on gender equality, Prof Smita Mishra Panda of Centurion University effectively discussed how Centurion has tried to reduce gender inequality and gender expert Suchitra Pradhan emphasised on gender equality. During the Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure session, President of Centurion University Prof Mukti Kanta Mishra mentioned that Centurion University, since its inception, has always worked in the interest of people and has tried to be self-sustainable and community-oriented. Speaker Sangram Keshari Lenka explained the requirement of eco-friendliness.
On the second day, Prof Biswajit Das from Jamia Millia Islamia talked about how universities can play a role in reducing caste-related discriminations and Upasana Sikri from UNDP spoke about reducing inequalities through the Transformation of Aspirational Districts initiative of the government. During the session on building partnerships for SDGs, Ambika Prasad Nanda from Tata Steel, Sukhman Randhawa and Nandita Mathur from UNDP spoke at length about SDGs. In the session on Health and Wellbeing, Abha Mishra and Dr E Venkat Rao emphasised on the need for good health in achieving SDGs. Summary of the sessions was presented by Dr Chhayabrita Maji, Associate Professor of Centurion University and the vote of thanks was presented by Prof Anita Patra, Registrar of the university.
On the occasion of the conference, an exhibition was organised by students of Centurion University. Students, faculty members and scholars from different corners of the country were present during the conference. Among others, Prof Umakant Nayak, Prof Dipankar Bhattacharya, Dr Girija Nandini, Dr Rukmini Mishra, Dr Nitesh Dhar Badagyan, Dr Yashaswi Nayak and Dr Prajna Pani were present.