Representational image.

Discarding freedom has become the new maxim, said social scientist Venkat Pulla.

When you give up your freedom you live and let others live a full life. Freedom became meaningless for many,” said the Australia-based social scientist and commentator.

Pulla said this while taking part in a webinar hosted by the department of geography, Gauhati University on Tuesday.

The international webinar on was organized on the theme Covid-19 Crisis and Challenges in Education, Health & Society.

Pulla comprehensively dealt with the changing economic and political dynamics in the post Covid-19 era which has created obsessive nationalism and provincialism.

He, however, expressed his optimism about the future and said that even if economy does not recover from the pandemic, people will recover.

He stressed upon the fact that for a social scientist like him disaster is an invaluable lens to study ‘the good, the bad and the ugly in everyday lives.’

PJ Handique, vice-chancellor of Gauhati University reflected on the new challenges emanated from the Covid-19 and also the possible future.

Dubai-based chartered accountant Indrani Hazarika while joining the webinar focused on new openings in teaching and learning processes in the post-COVID 19 world.

She talked about the paradigm shift in education that necessitates transforming teaching into learner-centric.

Hazarika also pointed out that the Covid-19 challenges have warranted professional development of teaching team using e-content in flipped classroom environment.

Saumya Shankar Chowdhury, deputy general manager, (DGM) NEEPCO gave a broad overview of the trajectory that the humanity has passed through after outbreak of COVID 19 epidemic.

He pointed out that people started adapting to the new normal and family and friends assumed good deal of importance during this period.

“However, social media has become very powerful making us dependent on us and zoom, google meet, etc. have emerged as the channels of keeping people connected. But, at the same time suspicion, fear and stigma also assumed new proportion,” he said.

Chowdhury pointed out that as COVID 19 is a novel coronavirus, the epidemiology is still evolving and in such situation vaccines take time to develop.

Therefore, the need of the hour is to cope up with the new reality following basic rules of hygiene and to live with the COVID, he added.

Madhushree Das, head, department of geography, GU pointed out that the key lesson that the pandemic has taught people is equality and has brought the society to almost one level.

“The epidemic discriminates none and therefore ‘we are forced to sail the same boat with different cabins and different level of perceived discomfort’,” she said

Around 300 participants from the university, different colleges and other organizations attended the webinar.

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