Events Conducted by VISH
BA-MA Public Service Guest Lecture Series: Session 3
VIT-AP School of Social Sciences & Humanities (VISH), VIT-AP University, organized the third session of the Public Service Lecture Series on Monday, 24 April 2023. In this session, Mr. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra delivered a lecture titled ‘Ganga: Reimagining, Rejuvenating, Reconnecting.’ Mr. Mishra is a retired IAS Officer and the former Director General of Namami Gange. Currently, he serves as the Chief Advisor at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, India.
At the beginning of his lecture, Mr. Mishra briefly explained the importance of the Ganga River and introduced the significance of the integrated basin approach in managing the river ecosystem. He then discussed the complete trajectory of the evolution of the basin approach, starting from the Ganga Action Plan in 1985 to the Namami Gange Mission in 2014. Mr. Mishra described the strategic areas of intervention in the Namami Gange Mission, particularly highlighting the challenges faced in creating Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) along the course of the river. In conclusion, he emphasized the importance of conserving the river ecosystem to maintain river health. The guest lecture was coordinated by Dr Priyanka Ghosh and Dr Tania Chakravarty.
Learning English with Cinema
A guest lecture on “Learning English with Cinema” was organised by VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities (VISH), VIT-AP University on 21 April 2023. The lecture was delivered by Ms. Damini Kulkarni, Researcher, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune.
In the current times, students are acquiring their education in a landscape that is saturated with ‘content’. Various media products—each packaged more spectacularly than the last—are demanding their attention, with the result that watching movies, or indeed, series that are designed to look like cinema, has become an everyday experience. The session delivered by the speaker examined how cinema offers multiple learning opportunities for students, especially a chance to locate language with the social and cultural contexts in which it occurs.
Ms. Kulkarni in the session made students understand of various levels of English-language fluency that helped the participants to discover how cinema can lead them to a richer appreciation of the language. She further guided the students on how to use their experiences of cinema-viewing to grasp the ways in which English is spoken. The session specifically emphasized the capacity of cinema to lead students towards greater familiarity with a language’s colloquialisms and idiomatic turns. The guest lecture was coordinated by Dr. Ann Mary George.
Foreign Guest Lecture:
Double Protestation Against an Urban Project at Amaravati: Social Struggles and the Right to the City
Prof. Eric Leclerc, a Geography Professor at the University of Lille, was invited to deliver a guest lecture at the university on 24 March 2023. Eric has been working on urbanization in Andhra Pradesh for the past few years, focusing on changes in mobility and spatial relations induced by ICT. His research is initiated by a case study of Indian software professionals, and focuses on digital humanities methodologies (web mapping, networks representation) and their social and political dimensions. The creation of the new capital of Andhra Pradesh (India), Amaravati, constitutes a privileged field of application. Eric discussed the timeline of Amaravati – the people’s capital – with its merits and demerits. He discussed his views on the previous government’s vision for a futuristic, world-class, green city. Prof. Eric’s insights on our region were enlightening and interesting. After the lecture, he patiently heard the opinions of the students and faculty. The post-talk interaction was fantastic; everyone expressed their contentment about the discussion. About 80 students and faculty attended the session, which was coordinated by Prof. Kanaka Himabindu Pottumuthu.
Doing Digital Humanities: A Workshop on SPSS and QGIS
A 5-day workshop on Doing Digital Humanities: A Workshop on SPSS and QGIS was organised by VIT-AP School of Social sciences and Humanities (VISH), VIT-AP University from 13 March to 17 March, 2023 in collaboration with International Institute of Geospatial Science and Technology (IIGST), Kolkata. On 13 th and 14 th March, sessions on QGIS were conducted by Mr Aakash Saha, IIGST. He showed the participants how to operate QGIS, geo-reference a map and add shapefile layer to it. On 15, 16, and 17 March, Dr Suresh Govindapuram, Assistant Professor, VIT-AP University, conducted sessions on SPSS. He explained and demonstrated how SPSS can be effectively used to big data management. The objective of the workshop was to introduce participants to the use of digital tools in Social Science and Humanities research. In course of the 5 day workshop, resource persons discussed the concepts of QGIS and SPSS and its importance in gathering, analysing and structuring data. Participants were also given hands-on experience in QGIS and SPSS so that they can explore possibilities for new forms of research in Social Sciences and Humanities, by themselves. The workshop was co-ordinated by Dr Tania Chakravarty and Dr Priyanka Ghosh.
How to Polish your Academic Writing
A Hands-on Academic Workshop on ‘How to Polish your Academic Writing’ was organized by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, VIT-AP University on 11 March 2023 at Einstein Hall. The first session of the workshop (2.30 pm to 3.30 pm) was conducted by Prof. Aparna Jith who instructed the students on Academic Referencing Styles. The students were briefed on formatting, plagiarism and introduction to different stylesheets including, MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago, IEEE, ASA, and LSA followed by a detailed discussion on APA and Chicago Style.
The next session was guided by Prof. R Harikrishnan (from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm) who addressed the students on Technical Communication across cultures. He directed the students on ethical and legal issues, the different bodies of laws including copyright, trademark contract, and liability, usage of social media ethically and legally, and communicating ethically across cultures. At the end of these two sessions, the students were given some tasks, including description of photographs in cross-cultural scenarios and changing referencing styles from Chicago to APA. After the tasks, the session was open for audience interaction.
Foreign Guest Lecture
A Geographic Perspective on Myanmar
On Monday, March 13, 2023, Dr. John Bowen, a professor in the Department of Geography at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, USA, delivered an invited lecture titled “A Geographic Perspective on Myanmar”. During his lecture, Dr. Bowen covered a range of themes including the country’s geographic situation, climate, natural hazards, population, cultural diversity, military repression, and poverty. He drew parallels between India and Myanmar, and provided detailed information about the physical geography of the country, specifically tropical cyclones. Dr. Bowen also elaborated on the ethnic and cultural diversity of Myanmar, highlighting the mistreatment of certain ethnic groups such as Burmans during the British colonial era. He provided insights into the political trajectory of Myanmar since its independence, culminating in the recent coup in 2021. Overall, his lecture provided new insights into the diversity of Myanmar and helped listeners view the country from a fresh perspective. The invited lecture was coordinated by Dr. Priyanka Ghosh and Dr. Ankita Swetaparna.
From Story to Screen: Directing A Short Film
The guest lecture on “From Story to Screen: Directing A Short Film” was organised by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, VIT-AP University. The talk was given by Mr. Pampally. He is an Indian Film Director, Screenwriter, Oscar Jury Member and the winner of more than thirty-five national and international awards for his contributions in the fields of literature and cinema. He was the recipient of two prestigious awards at the 65th National Film Awards ceremony, which honoured the best films of 2018.
The speaker enlightened the students by imparting knowledge on how to direct a short film, capture the attention of the audience, use dynamic camera work, and write a script. Most significantly, the speaker in this talk expounded on the concepts of location, issues, budget, subject, and storyline. He made the students understand that the technique for directing short films is one of the most straightforward showcases of a filmmaker’s talent. The industry guest lecture was coordinated by Dr. Anupama A. P. and Dr. Amar Wayal
Industry Guest Lecture
Digital Transformation in Agriculture: Scope and Potential for Entrepreneurship
The industry guest lecture on “Digital Transformation in Agriculture: Scope and Potential for Entrepreneurship” was organised by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, VIT-AP University on February 24, 2023 at 12:00 pm. The talk was given by Mr. Roshan Mammen, Vice President for Exports in the NACL industry. His scholarship appears in the Latin American market with 22 years of experience in the agri-input industry, the domestic market, and international businesses.
The speaker enlightened the students by imparting knowledge of entrepreneurship, start-ups, and their vital role in agriculture and discussing the ways of pitching ideas to investors for funding their businesses. The speaker familiarised students with various concepts used in understanding processes involved in entrepreneurship and business formation and development. He made the students understand the digital transformation of the agricultural world into the digital world and focus on those technologies to get jobs in various sectors. The industry guest lecture was organised by Dr. Amar Wayal and Dr. Anupama A. P.
Travel through Academic Lens
An International Webinar titled, “Travel through Academic Lens” was conducted by VISH on January 21st and 22nd, 2023 via the Zoom platform. Dr. Rajneesh Mishra, Dean, VISH welcomed the gathering and shared his ideas on travel and its relevance in the contemporary times. The first session of the webinar (10:00 am-11:00 am) was titled “Digital Transformation in Tourism” by Dr. Ankita Devnath. She elaborated on the digital transformation in the tourism industry, the online travel ecosystem, and the digital solutions to change the course of travel/tourism. The session was followed by a brief discussion. The second session (02:00-03:00 pm) was titled “Travel Psychology for all” and the speaker Mitesh Jain talked about the various travellers, their purpose of travel and the role of a travel psychologist in helping the travellers. The session was followed by a brief discussion. In the third session of the webinar (07:30-08:30pm), “Travel and Literature: Reflections on the Deep Connection between Story and Place”, the travel writer Mary Morris shared her travel experiences and read excerpts from her travel memoir. Her talk was followed by an interactive question and answer session.
The second day of the webinar (09:00-10:00 am) began with Prof. Nelson Graburn’s talk on “Tourism Imaginaries; How, what and why we think about Destinations. He elaborated on the ways by which tourism imaginaries differ from one traveller to the other. The final session (02:00-03:00 pm) of the webinar was on “Remembrance of Things Past: On Women Documenting Memory and History of their Travels” by Dr. Devika .S. She spoke about the ways by which European women travelled and documented their travel experiences. After a brief discussion, Dr. Susmitha Shyamsundar, Associate Dean, VISH, addressed the gathering and thanked the guest speakers, the organizers and the participants of the webinar for its successful completion. Dr. Arpana Venu proposed the official vote of thanks. The webinar was coordinated by Dr. Arpana Venu, Dr Tania Chakravarty, Dr. Priyanka Ghosh, and Dr. Ilakkiya L.
Mahlzeit!: Food in German Speaking Countries
Aboli Patwardhan delivered a guest lecture on 6 February at 11.30 am to discuss the food culture and cuisine in German-speaking countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Aboli Patwardhan is a German language trainer from Pune, Maharashtra. She runs an institute called Kaleidoscope in Pune for German Language courses. She is also a visiting faculty at the German Section, Department of Foreign Languages, Savitribai Phule Pune University. The Guest Lecture was aimed at familiarizing the students with German cuisine and introducing vocabulary related to the same. The session began with a discussion about Indian food items that students love. The speaker then went on to discuss with the students the types of food that are important to German cuisine with the help of graphic representation. This included foods such as Gebackenes (Bakery Products), Milchprodukte (Dairy), meat & vegetables etc. The speaker also gave insights into German cuisine regarding the seasonal favourites and likes and dislikes of Germans out on her own experiences in Germany. This was followed by a discussion on the food habits of Germans e.g., German meals, timings, table manners, greetings as well as new trends in food. The session ended with an informative video about fun facts related to German food. The Guest lecture was organized by Dr Renuprasad Patki.
Industry Guest Lecture
Narration: Storytelling basics for 21st Century Professionals
A guest lecture was organized on 18 January 2023 for the B.A./M.A. 2nd year Public Service students of the university. The resource person of the session was Ishita Ray, a facilitator and trainer in the field of business and intercultural communication and design thinking. She mentioned in her talk that storytelling is a powerful tool that can help professionals to cut through the noise and connect with their audience. Storytelling is an important skill for professionals in the 21st century, regardless of their industry or field. A good story can capture the imagination, engage emotions, and make information more memorable. She shared tips for effective storytelling which include knowing your audience- before you start crafting your story, you need to understand your audience- what are their interests, values, and beliefs- what problems are they facing, and how can your story help them, keeping it simple- good story doesn’t need to be complicated, using visuals- Visual aids can help to bring your story to life and make it more memorable- consider using images, videos, or infographics to help illustrate your points, and practicing your story until you can deliver it confidently and without hesitation. This will help to connect with your audience and make a lasting impression. She concluded the session by reiterating that storytelling is a powerful tool that can help professionals to connect with their audience, communicate complex ideas, and stand out in a crowded job market. By understanding the elements of a good story and following these tips, professionals can create stories that engage, inform, and inspire their audience. The guest lecture was organized by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Industry Guest Lecture
Writing Brands, Writing News
Mr. Monu Rajan, a senior content writer at A.P. Moller-Maersk, delivered an online guest lecture on Wednesday, 18 January, 2023. In the beginning, he briefed the students on the importance of audience while writing reports for newspapers, and the different styles adapted by the reporters depending on the Newspaper brand they work for. He explained the structure of writing reports, and how a writer and editor should focus on logical accuracy and factual consistency. With the examples of demonetization reports from different media channels, he familiarized the students with perspectives on argumentation. Next, he spoke about the significance of voice and tone in representing a brand. He explained how language can differ for brands that cater to the general public, and those who cater to other companies or industries. Additionally, how a single content’s description should be differently represented in web pages and social media was explained with illustrations. The guest lecture was coordinated by Dr Pragya Sengupta
Foreign Guest Lecture
Varieties of English Language: British, American, and Canadian
Fabiana Crispim delivered a guest lecture on 16 December 2022 at 7 pm IST to discuss how English – a global lingua franca- is enhanced by diversity or varieties. Fabiana Crispim is a business English expert from São Paulo, Brazil. The talk aimed to help students employ different varieties of English to communicate meaningfully in multinational workplaces. The session began with a discussion on the necessity to know about different varieties of English in the current globalized world. Students could be working or staying in multinational spaces and might encounter colleagues or clients speaking or writing in different varieties of English like British, American, or Canadian. In such situations, they need to communicate with individuals who use different varieties of English. Hence, it is important to be aware of the diversities associated with English. Fabiana suggested that while taking an exam, students need to conform to one of the varieties of English instead of using more than one variety. She also discussed how British, American, or Canadian English varies by spelling and pronunciation. She demonstrated by giving examples from a list of common words which are spelt and pronounced differently in different varieties of English. At the end of the session, students asked her questions and requested suggestions to improve their speaking skills. The guest lecture was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Foreign Guest Lecture
Navigating Diversity: Effective Intercultural Communication Skills
A guest lecture was organized on 12 December 2022 at 4 pm IST to discuss the opportunities and challenges of intercultural communication and stereotyping, and to improve intercultural communication skills among students. The resource person of the session was Karin Heuert Galvão, a business English expert and a corporate trainer from São Paulo, Brazil. The lecture aimed to develop effective communication skills using appropriate intercultural conventions. The audience of the talk was the 1st year engineering students of the university. Karin opened the session with questions on assumptions related to culture and stereotyping. Next, she discussed intercultural sensitivity and intercultural diversity. She advised students to understand and appreciate cultural differences that promote appropriate and effective behaviour in intercultural communication. Karin further added that if an individual aimed to work in a multinational workspace, then he/she needed to broaden perspectives and promote inclusion and engage in meaningful dialogue, increase intercultural awareness, and develop social responsibility. Then she answered queries raised by students regarding working in a multinational and multi-ethnic workplace. The guest lecture was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Industry Guest Lecture
Conversational Etiquette@Workplace: Collaborative- Virtual & Face-to-face
Shweta Paropkari, TESOL Qualified Teacher and Teacher Trainer with expertise in Business English, IELTS and ESP, Hyderabad, delivered a virtual guest lecture on 07 December 2022 at 7 pm IST. She interacted with the 1st year engineering students of the university. In the session, she discussed polite conversational etiquette for conversing in a group and virtual and in-person meetings. In the talk, she discussed how etiquette changes from place to and as aspirants who wish to join MNCs, students needed to be updated and aware of such aspects. She raised awareness among students on various aspects like- body language, company etiquette, cultural and emotional intelligence, etiquette video-conferencing, telephone, and email. Next, students were introduced to different kinds of workplace communication- in-person talk, email, instant messaging (IM), telephones, and meetings. Ms Paropkari also discussed the two very important aspects of workplace communication- email etiquette and body, at length. The session ended with a question-and-answer session between the speaker and the audience. The event was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Foreign Guest Lecture: Anthropogenic Channel Network Development in Forested Watersheds in Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri Ozark
Dr Tasnuba Jerin, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Geology, and Planning, Missouri State University delivered an invited lecture titled “Anthropogenic channel network development in forested watersheds by recent stream channelization practices in Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri Ozarks” on Saturday, 26 November 2022. Dr Jerin first provided background information on bio-geomorphic interactions through the formation of sand dunes in coastal areas. Through this example, she explained to students the scope and content of bio-geomorphology. In her talk, she explained the concept of bio-construction, which is the accumulation of materials by biota which enlarges, stabilizes, or covers a surface for a period of time. She brought a specific example of bio-construction from her research and explained how natural vegetation or plants trap sediments to create a lateral bar in a particular river channel. Additionally, she explained the concept of bio-protection by drawing examples of coastal sand dunes. In the later part of her talk, she explained the anthropogenic impact on channelization or the deepening of the channel and how that impacts the overall morphology of a fluvial system. In sum, her lecture enlightened students about the effects of vegetation on the landscape evolution process in a fluvial system. The guest lecture was coordinated by Dr Priyanka Ghosh and Dr Tania Chakravarty.
Guest Lecture Series: BA-MA Public Service, Session 2
Mr Anurag Wasnik, Innovation Lead, Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI-Aayog, delivered a guest lecture titled “My Journey into the Field of Public Policy” on Monday, November 14th at 10 AM. At the beginning of his lecture, Mr Wasnik discussed his academic and professional background before joining the NITI-Aayog. In his talk, Mr Wasnik explained the role of NITI-Aayog in creating policies for India and how it creates competition among different states on diverse parameters such as health, education, and innovation. In particular, he discussed the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which is a flagship programme of the Government of India to create and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. He then talked about various initiatives launched by AIM, like the Atal Tinkering Lab, the Atal Incubation Centre, the Atal Community Innovation Centre, etc. Finally, he encouraged the students to learn about public policy in India so that they could contribute to society and impact the lives of many in a short time. Dr Priyanka Ghosh and Dr Tania Chakravarty coordinated the invited lecture.
Field Trip – Kondapalli Fort, Ibrahimpatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Day & Date: Saturday, 12th November, 2022
Survey at Kondapalli Fort
A one-day field trip to Kondapalli Fort was conducted on Saturday, November 12th, for B.A./M.A. 2nd year Public Service Students. Situated in the Eastern Ghats, the fort is located in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. In the morning of November12, 19 students and two faculty gathered at the ground floor of AB-2 and boarded the VIT-AP University bus. The purpose of the field trip was to learn about the history of Kondapalli Fort, or Kondapalli Kota, and conduct a tourist satisfaction survey to understand tourists’ perceptions of the site. Students also visited the Kondapalli Fort Museum and learned about different rulers who occupied the fort in different periods, starting from the Reddy dynasty, Gajapati dynasty, Vijayanagar, Qutb Shahis, and the British Indian government.
Furthermore, students observed different architectural styles at the fort, including Persian, Bahamani, and Mughal. Additionally, they learned about various sculptures and inscriptions carved on granite stones. Besides gaining historical knowledge of the fort, students conducted a questionnaire survey to understand the present condition of the fort as well as tourists’ perceptions about the site. Most tourists who visited the site on November 12th came from different districts of Andhra Pradesh, such as Guntur, Krishna, NTR, and Vijayanagaram. Students collected data on tourists’ age, gender, nationality, occupation, education, the trip’s origin, number of visits, how the tourists came to know about the fort, and the tourists’ level of satisfaction regarding the tourism site. The field trip was organized by Dr. Priyanka Ghosh and Dr. Tania Chakravarty.
Guest Lecture: Design Thinking Requirements in Real World
A guest lecture for the Design Thinking Fall Semester 2022-23 batch was organized on November 6, 2022, with an industry expert as the speaker. The speaker was Ms. Sumaiya Ahshan, a first-year BBA student at VIT-AP University, who co-founded a digital works firm named Phantasm in Vijayawada with her brother, an alumnus of the same university. During the COVID pandemic, they started their firm at home and have since made a name for themselves in the digital marketing industry, catering to clients in India and abroad. Initially, Sumaiya spoke about her firm without revealing her identity as a student of the university. She shared case studies from her work, highlighting design elements and client requirements. Their primary focus is on providing the best possible service to clients in the realm of digital marketing and advertising, with a particular emphasis on color coordination, content development, and marketing strategies. Sumaiya started working as a designer at the age of 14, which provided her with real-world experience beyond what she learned from books. The students were surprised when Sumaiya revealed her identity as a student of their campus. Her inspiring journey was well-received by many. The event was coordinated by Prof. Kanaka Himabindu Pottumuthu.
FDP: Preparing students for the 21st Century Workplace: Approaches and Practices
An FDP with three sessions were conducted by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities where resource persons from the industry were invited to interact with the faculty members of the School. The title for the first session was “The 21st century Curriculum: Bridging the Academia-Industry Gaps”. The key objectives of the session were to demonstrate how to evaluate an academic curriculum using industry lenses and how to use the backwash effects of Assessment to highlight and address gaps. Studies show that existing jobs will fast disappear and get replaced by new ones. In order to equip students to function effectively in a constantly evolving business environment, the curriculum needs to be regularly updated to remain relevant. It needs to focus on developing higher order skills that will future-proof students. The session was conducted by Dolon Roy, co-founder BCFAI (Business Communication Facilitators Association of India).
The title of the second session was “The 21st Century Educator: Leveraging Content for Workplace Readiness. The resource person of the session was Ishita Ray, a facilitator and trainer in the field of business and intercultural communication and design thinking. The second session focussed on the role of educators in curating, creating and using learning content in Business English and communication courses: how can learning content be designed, developed and curated in a way that can help students face increasing levels of complexity of interaction in 21st century workplaces?
- The session was divided into three parts:
- ● The 21st century learning context
- ● How to leverage learning content as seen through the lens of the Developmental Model of Linguaculture Learning (DMLL) by Joseph Shaules
- ● The Approach in Practice: The Evolving Role of an Educator
The 3rd session discussed the “The 21st Century Classroom: Simulating the Real World”. It highlighted the importance of a student centric classroom. The discussion was around how to make classrooms more dynamic with robust delivery style, innovative curriculum and collaborative activities. The spotlight was on the necessity to create an experiential learning space with authentic material and meaningful exchange among participants. The essence of the session was to upskill our students with 21st century competencies so that they are industry ready. The resource person of the session was Alaknanda Sen, An ESL teacher, soft skills and behavioral trainer. The FDP was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Invited Lecture on “24hr cafés feel like an urban shelter for me”: Understanding South Korean’s socio-economic challenges through the case of night consumption in Seoul
A guest lecture was organized on 18 October 2022 on ‘24hr cafés feel like an urban shelter for me’. The purpose of this guest lecture was to make undergraduate students understand the rapid economic development of South Korea as well as the spatial dimensions of socio-economic challenges that many South Koreans who live in or commute to Seoul have faced. In her lecture, Jonghee explained how the government of South Korea focused on developing a nighttime economy and promoting Seoul, the capital of South Korea, as a city that never sleeps. Jonghee’s research specifically focuses on 24hr cafés in the city of Seoul. It examines why people in Seoul stay after midnight at cafés instead of at a home or any other space, and what the broader implications are regarding society, culture, and the economy. In addition, Jonghee traced the origin of café culture in Seoul and showed how the total number of cafes increased from 767 in 2002 to 15,184 in 2017. Finally, she explained three precarity that can explain why people spend their nights at the 24hr cafés: job insecurity, social isolation, and housing. The lecture was coordinated by Dr Priyanka Ghosh.
International Seminar on Sustainability and Governance: Current Trends in Tourism Industry
An international seminar on Sustainability and Governance: Current Trends in Tourism Industry was organized from 11 to 12 October 2022. The seminar discussed how the government, private sector, and non-profit organisations have attempted to reduce the environmental impact of visitors. The role played by local communities in tourism management and their relations with government and non-government agencies formed a part of the discussion. Furthermore, this seminar focused on how tourists consume a destination and how the dissemination of pro-environmental tourist behaviour is becoming an essential criterion for reducing the negative impact of the tourism industry on our environment.
The first day of this seminar was graced by Dr Aditi Choudhary, Assistant Professor and Chairperson Internship, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management- NOIDA and Mr Kamil Hamaty, Independent Researcher, International Expert in Sustainable Development, Migration, and Food Security. Dr Aditi’s talk explained how sustainable tourism is not a form of tourism but an approach to any type of tourism. Tracking the history of tourism development policies in India, she also discussed current governmental efforts to make tourism more sustainable through the Sustainable Tourism Criteria Index (STCI). Mr Kamil Hamaty explained the evolution of the tourism industry in Lebanon in its changing socio-economic and political contexts. He discussed the positive and negative impacts of the private sector on the tourism industry. In the second day’s first session, Dr Suresh Jagannadham, Assistant Professor, at VIT-AP University, delivered his talk on the negative impacts of tourism development on tribal communities in Andhra Pradesh, India. In the second session, Dr Amir Gohar, Senior Lecturer, at the University of Huddersfield, UK, spoke about the challenges and opportunities of sustainable tourism development along the southern Red Sea coast in Egypt. All the speakers made a strong case for sustainable policy development in the tourism sector, including greater involvement of local communities. The international seminar was coordinated by Dr Priyanka Ghosh and Dr Tania Chakravarty.
Guest Lecture: Design Thinking and New Age Applications of Technology in Design
An industry guest lecture was organized for the Design Thinking course of the Fall Semester 2022-23 batch on September 17, 2022, from 10 to 11 am. Dr. Shiva Ji, who is an Assistant Professor at IIT Hyderabad in the Department of Design & Department of Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, was invited as the speaker. His research areas include Design for Sustainability, Sustainability Assessment, LCA, New Age Products/Services, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Architectural Heritage Digital Reconstruction. About 500 students and six faculty members from the campus attended the lecture on the Microsoft Teams platform. During the lecture, Dr. Shiva Ji spoke about the process of Design Thinking and his projects on reliving heritage sites through virtual reality. He emphasized the importance of documenting and experiencing heritage and culture, and presented his research on virtual reality with heritage sites and the need to restore the heritage through VR. His talk covered various aspects of design thinking and technology collaboration. Dr. Shiva Ji re-emphasized the importance of thinking creatively and not forgetting the design element in any idea. He highlighted that Design Thinking can be a problem solver in the simplest way and emphasized the need to experience certain places or monuments to promote knowledge creation and creativity development. The event was coordinated by Prof. Kanaka Himabindu Pottumuthu.
Public Service Lecture Series: Journey to Public Services
Mr. Sangeet Singla, Director, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, delivered an invited lecture titled “Journey to Public Services” on Saturday, 20th August, 2022. As a part of the Public Service Lecture Series, the purpose of this lecture was to create awareness about importance of public servants as a career opportunity. Mr. Singla also discussed the limitation of a civil servant and emphasized the role of passion to serve the nation. He also shared his work experience with the students and shared some strategies to qualify the Civil Services Examination. Additionally, he pointed out some necessary skills such as data analysis and presentation skills which are required in today’s jobs. The event was attended by faculty members and current students of DDP BA-MA Public Services. Students, interested in joining the programme, also attended the event with their guardians. The event was coordinated by VISH, VIT-AP University.
GUEST LECTURE: Social innovation from creative collaboration between public, private and citizen sectors
Dr Shunsaku Komatsuzaki, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Center for the Development of Global Leadership Education was invited to deliver a lecture on 27 July 2022. In the talk, he spoke about the importance of the use of energy in developing sustainable smart cities. He specifically discussed his research on energy systems and the importance of local governments in Japan and Stockholm. It was interesting to hear his research findings on the multilayered framing of sustainable energy policy. Dr Rajneesh Mishra, Dean VISH and Dr Susmitha Shyamsundar, Associate Dean VISH had given their support and remarks during the session. The session was conducted online on Zoom and was available live on YouTube on the university link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6-dJ3Qxa0oThe event was organized by Prof. Himabindu Pottumuthu.
GUEST LECTURE: Cognitive Psychology
A online guest lecture was conducted on July 18, 2022 for students who had enrolled in the introduction to Psychology course. Dr. Shabnam, Assistant Professor of Psychology, NIT-Kurukshetra delivered a talk on cognitive psychology. In the guest lecture, students were helped to explore the nuances of cognitive psychology and how it is relevant in today’s world. The link between cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence (AI) was discussed, as was how AI can help us understand our minds better. The potential to revolutionize the way we think and approach problems using cognitive psychology was highlighted. Furthermore, the lecture shed light on how understanding cognition can help us better understand ourselves and others, as well as improve our decision-making skills. With this knowledge, the students would be better equipped to make informed decisions that could benefit them both personally and professionally. Finally, the need of the hour regarding cognitive psychology research and its implications for society was discussed. The guest lecture was organized by Dr Ilakkiya.
Workshop on proposal writing for funding agencies
Workshop on Proposal Writing for Funding Agencies was conducted on 14th June 2022 by the School of Social Science and Humanities for the research scholars of VIT-AP. It was instructed by Dr. Sudesh Manger to help them understand the basic structure of research proposal. The workshop was scheduled for 2 hours, where research scholars from SCOPE, SENSE, SMEC, VISH, SAS, VSL and VSB participated. The workshop focused on training the various components of proposals such as writing style, importance of grammatically correct sentences, punctuations, research questions, highlighting the importance of the research undertaken, logical connection with paragraphs etc. The sample from different proposals were shown and discussed the way it is written and why is it a good way of writing. The samples taken are from SENSE, SMEC, VISH, SAS, VSL and VSB papers published in the scopus journals. At the end of his presentations, the students asked questions on what are the possibilities for getting a research funding in their respective areas, what else should one do if one is not trained in research, how to come up with the research question, identify, and validate. The event was coordinated by Dr. Sudesh Manger.
Some of the pictures taken during the sessions:
Industry Guest Lecture: International Museum Day China Imagined: Understanding China via Chinese Painting Collection and Exhibition through Two Case Studies
Mr Yitao Qian, Former Senior Curator, Shanghai Duo Yun Xuan Art Centre, China, delivered a lecture on ‘China Imagined: Understanding China via Chinese Painting Collection and Exhibition through Two Case Studies’ on 18 May 2022. The industry guest lecture was organised on the event of International Museum Day. Mr Qian spoke on various methods through which art and artefacts are acquired, catalogued, and curated and the importance of such materials in preserving the history of human civilisations and contemporary cultural identities. He specifically focussed on the East Asian (China) Collection of the British Museum, London and how this wonderful collection was put together through the efforts of various historians, curators and art experts over the years. He also spoke on issues like forgeries, reproductions and how curators identify such materials. The event was coordinated by Dr Tania Chakravarty.
Academic Guest Lecture: Street as Culture in Istanbul: Finding local, Regional, and global population at the edges of the Middle East
Dr Laçin Tutalar, Adjunct Instructor, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences (FEAS), TED University, Ankara, Turkey, delivered an invited lecture on “Street as Culture in Istanbul: Finding local, regional and global population at the edges of the Middle East” on Saturday, May 14, 2022. As a part of the “Introducing Human Geography” course, the guest lecture aimed to make students examine changes to the local and popular dynamics of the street in a couple of touristic neighbourhoods in Istanbul. In her lecture, Dr Tutalar explained the issues related to the cultural geography of Istanbul, such as migration, music, street art, and gentrification. She also introduced students to the concept of rhythmanalysis and how researchers can use this as a tool to examine changes in social space. Through an ethnographic inquiry supported by audio-visual documentation at different research sites in the city of Istanbul, Dr Tutalar explored various layers of the city landscape and explained the same to the students. The lecture was coordinated by Dr Priyanka Ghosh.
International Conference: Climate Crisis and Future Implications
An International Conference on Climate Crisis and Future Implications from 7th to 8th May 2022. This event was an attempt to create a dialogue between researchers, academicians, activists, and policymakers on climate change policies and responses. The focus was on a wide range of topics related to climate change from environmental policymaking, and climate engineering to its relation to migration, media, and literature. The programme was inaugurated by the chief guest Mr Sanjai Jalla, Mission Head, SICOM Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change in the presence of Dr S. V. Kota Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, VIT-AP University. During his speech, Mr Jalla emphasized the importance of responsible production and consumption of resources in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Keynote speaker Dr Nagaraju Chilukoti from the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, NIT, Rourkela delivered a talk on the assessment of potential climate impact during 1948–2010 using historical land use land cover change maps. Invited international speakers from the United States and the Middle East provided a multi-faceted global perspective on the issues of climate change. Dr Debjani Ghatak from Texas A&M University shared her research on the problems of heat waves and the Indian environment and Mr Matteo Boffa from the Swiss Business Council, Abu Dhabi, gave a highly engaging talk on the promising possibilities of running successful, sustainable business ventures. Other invited speakers were Dr Deepti Ganapati (IIM, Bangalore), Dr Pramitha M (NIT, Calicut) and Dr Aditya Ghosh (Jindal School of Art and architecture, Jindal Global University). The conference had three plenary sessions: Plenary session 1 focusing on climate change and its relationship with science and technology, plenary session 2 focusing on climate change and its social impact and plenary session 3 focusing on climate fiction. The sessions were chaired by Dr Paramasivam R. (Dept of Chemistry, VITAP), Dr Suresh Jagannadham (VISH, VIT-AP University) and Dr Rasheeda Parveen (VISH, VITAP University) respectively. The event focused on providing upcoming researchers with a platform to demonstrate their research and facilitate the exchange of necessary information, skills, and technology to respond to climate change at both local and global levels.
Guest Lecture: Industry Interaction- Communication at the Workplace
Gayatri Devi, Senior Manager HR at Skandhanshi Wellness Pvt Ltd. Hyderabad, delivered a virtual guest lecture on 26th March 2022 at 3 pm IST. She interacted with the BBA, BCA and BFA students at the university to help them understand the basic parameters of communication at the workplace. In the talk, she highlighted some of the minor errors of communication which can tarnish the reputation of an employee. The grammatically incorrect email or the improperly composed email can reflect negatively on an employee. Apart from email etiquette, she spoke about the importance of English in the corporate industry. Good communication skills can be an asset for an employee, who want to grow and take a leadership role. At the end of her presentations, the students asked questions and asked to throw some light on a fresher’s workplace challenges and how to improve English. The event was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta and Dr Sudesh Manger.
Guest Lecture: Industry Interaction- Presentation Skills & Data Interpretation
Subramanian Periasamy, Senior Manager, Micron Technologies delivered a guest lecture virtually on 25 March 2022 at 11 am. He discussed how presentations take place at the workplace and how data is visualized during a presentation. Mr Subramanian explained that during a presentation, one needs to keep in mind various aspects like audience needs, an appropriate amount of content, pictorial representation, data visualization, clear representation of data to avoid misinterpretation, time limit, and allocating time for the question-and-answer session. At the end of her presentations, the students posed questions and asked the speaker to discuss how to handle disagreement and persuasion during a presentation. The guest lecture was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Workshop: 5-day Workshop on Microsoft Excel and R for Social Sciences
A five-day- workshop on MS Excel and R was conducted by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. The Resource Person for Excel was Dr Shah Parth Mukeshbhai and for R was Dr V. Raja. On the first day, the Resource person talked about the basic commands to be used in MS Excel: rows and columns, cells and how to enlarge the size of cells, etc. On the second day he talked about ‘Hands-on with Excel’: the mathematical commands of addition, subtraction, average, etc; the use of the logical operators like IF, AND, OR commands, etc; how to get the maximum as well as the minimum out of the data; how to deal with errors; how to change font style, etc. On the third day how to upload the data in V-Top was discussed. A quiz relating to how to get the maximum out of the students using the VLOOKUP function was also discussed. On the 4th and the 5th day, the basic tenets of R were explained emphasizing how data from a personal system can be put to the R studio platform and the uses of histograms, pie charts, and bar charts for input data were discussed. The workshop was highly enlightening and immensely useful for all those who attended. The event was coordinated by Dr Susmitha Shyamsundar.
Guest Lecture: Nuances of the UPSC Civil Service Examination by AKS-IAS Academy
VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities (VISH) organized two guest lectures for BA/MA Public Service students in collaboration with the AKS-IAS academy on the topic titled “Nuances of the UPSC Civil Service Examination.” The first lecture was delivered on December 20, 2021, followed by another lecture on December 27, 2021. In these two sessions, students were made aware of the nuances of the UPSC Civil Service Examination. The resource person from the AKS-IAS Academy enlightened the students about various employment opportunities and exposures a student receives through such employments. The students also received information on how the UPSC examination provides scope for civil service aspirants to play a crucial role in policymaking and positively impact society. The session also included a detailed discussion on different stages of the UPSC examination: Preliminary Examination, Main Examination, and Personality Test. The resource person also discussed the general studies and optional papers students could choose for the Main Examination. Overall, in these two sessions, students were made aware of the entire UPSC examination process. The coordinator of the event was Dr Priyanka Ghosh.
International Conference: Athena 2021
VISH organized its first-ever international conference “Athena: An Annual International Conference of VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities (VISH)” during 11-12 December 2021 in the virtual mode under the guidance and leadership of the Dean, VISH, Professor Rajneesh Mishra, and the Associate Dean, VISH, Dr Susmitha Shyamsundar and in partnership with Cambridge University Press as Knowledge Partners. The theme of the conference was “Reimagining the Paradigm of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Post-COVID World”.
The event was inaugurated on 11 December 2021 and was graced by the honourable Chancellor of VIT-AP University, Dr G. Viswanathan, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kota Reddy, the Registrar, Professor C.L.V. Sivakumar, Dean, VISH, Professor Rajneesh Mishra, and Associate Dean, VISH, Dr Susmitha Shyamsundar. The esteemed Chief Guest for the day was the Assistant Director-Strategy, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, (Vijayawada), Dr Lajwanti Naidu. The inaugural session and the conference which witnessed registration by over fifty participants received widespread coverage across both national and state newspapers.
Following the inaugural session, the conference commenced with its first guest lecture session by Professor Feza T. Azmi, Professor of Business Administration, Aligarh Muslim University who delivered a refreshing lecture on the topic- “Pedagogical Changes during Pandemic: Hybrid Learning and Inclusive Education”. Subsequently, the first plenary session was chaired by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta, Assistant Professor of English, VISH. The theme of the session was English Language Teaching and Psychology and consisted of paper presentations on topics such as online language teaching and the impact of online teaching on primary caregivers for children with autism. The second guest lecture of the conference was delivered by Dr Gavin Bui, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong. Dr Bui’s lecture topic was “A Decade of Research on Task-Readiness: Theory, Methods, and Pedagogy”. Following Dr Bui’s detailed and highly informative lecture, the second plenary session was chaired by Dr Deepjoy Katuwal, Assistant Professor of English, VISH. The theme of this session focussed on papers by presenters from disciplines such as literature, political science, and psychology. This session was then followed by the third guest lecture for the day on the topic- “Work-Life Balance During a Pandemic: A Qualitative Study Among Middle-Class Women in Hyderabad City”. This highly interesting and relevant lecture session was delivered by Dr Haripriya Narasimhan, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Liberal Arts, IIT Hyderabad. The first day concluded with the third plenary session chaired by Dr Girija Shankar Panigrahi, Assistant Professor of Psychology, VISH. The papers during this session had focused on the topics of psychology and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second day of the conference (12 December 2021) commenced with a thought-provoking guest lecture by the esteemed Professor Stanley Brunn, Professor Emeritus, the Department of Geography, the University of Kentucky on the topic- “Four Challenges in Post-COVID 19 Worlds: Collaboration, Teaching, Research, and Mapping”. Professor Brunn’s lecture was immediately followed by an eye-opening talk by Dr Vikas Kumar, Associate Professor of Economics, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru on the topic of “Rebuilding Trust in India’s Government Statistics”. Following the two guest lectures of the morning session, the fourth and final plenary session of the conference was conducted and chaired by Dr Sipoy Sarveswar, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Viswa-Bharati University, West Bengal. This session consisted of research papers by scholars from geography, anthropology, and English literature. The final guest lecture of the conference was an interactive and inspiring session conducted by Ms Wieke Vink, lawyer and co-founder of Shape Your Europe (SYE), an initiative by a group of students and young professionals across Europe. Ms Vink’s session focussed on the foundational requirements of starting any social-work endeavour. Her guest lecture received enthusiastic participation on the part of students and researchers alike.
The conference was concluded in the evening with a valedictory session during which the best paper prizes for the 3 best papers were announced. One of the prize winners also shared her generous feedback about the participants’ experience of the conference. The event concluded with participants expressing their eagerness for the second Athena conference in 2022. The conference was coordinated by faculty members from VISH: Ms Kanaka Himabindu Pottumutthu (Anthropology), Dr Vadakkan Neethi Alexander (English), Dr Raghavi R.K. (English), Dr Priyanka Ghosh (Geography), and Dr Tania Chakravarty (History).
Guest Lecture: Global Biome
Dr. Li-Chih Hsu, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography, Binghamton University, SUNY, USA, delivered an invited lecture on “Global Biome” on Tuesday, December 07, 2021. As a part of the “Introducing Physical Geography” course, the purpose of this guest lecture was to make students learn the characteristics of diverse terrestrial biomes of the world. At the beginning of his lecture, Professor Li-Chih discussed the ecological hierarchy of organisms from the individual level to the biome level. Additionally, he explained how a dominant vegetation type of a biome depends on climate gradients. Finally, through an interactive session, students learned about and identified the sequence of plant formations across temperature and rainfall gradients. The lecture was coordinated by Dr Priyanka Ghosh.
Workshop: Two-day National Workshop Methods and Approaches for Health Research in Social Sciences
An online Two-Day National Workshop titled ‘Methods and Approaches for Health Research in Social Sciences’ was organized in collaboration with ICMR-NIRTH, VIT-AP University and the Central University of Karnataka on 26 and 27 June 2021. More than 750 participants attended the workshop from the country and abroad. With more than 750 national and international participants, the workshop commenced with a welcome speech by Dr. Aparup Das (Director, ICMR-NIRTH). The Guest of Honour of the event was Prof. Ali Raza Moosvi. The chief guest, Prof. Balram Bhargava (D. G. ICMR, New Delhi) delivered a lecture on the importance of Health Research in Social Sciences. Likewise, Dr. S.V. Kota Reddy (Vice-Chancellor, VIT-AP University) foregrounded the significance of Social Sciences research and the vital role played by universities in R&D. Further, he highlighted the various research facilities, patent funding, innovations and incubation centres provided by VIT-AP.
Key Note address
Prof. Nibedita Ray-Bennett, Associate Professor of Risk Management Programme, University of Leicester, UK and Founder President, Avoidable Deaths Network (ADN) delivered the keynote address on ‘Importance of Mixed Method Approach for Health Research in Social Sciences. She explained Creswell’s Mixed Method Designs and reinforced the need to foster the mixed-method approach to formulating better research practices and gaining research funding.
Dr Jalandhar Pradhan, Associate Professor and HoD, NIT Rourkela, discussed the ‘Development of Quantitative Structured Research Tools’. He opened his talk with ‘Understanding Quantitative Research Design’. Further in his talk, he highlighted the various types of Research designs available. He also focused on the rules of a good questionnaire.
Dr Archana Kujur, Assistant professor, Department of Geography, Central University Karnataka delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Using SPSS for Quantitative Health Research’. Dr Archana spoke about SPSS Statistics and explained the view of an SPSS window, and offered a practical demonstration to the participants about the use of SPSS.
Dr Kalyan B Saha, Scientist and Head of Division of Social Sciences and ethnomedicine, ICMR-NIRTH, delivered a lecture on ‘Using ACSM in Health Research: Communicating with Communities’. Apart from discussing ACSM as a tool, Dr Kalyan spoke about the ‘Dindori Fieldwork Experience’ and explained the different measures taken to study and develop health services for the tribal people.
DAY 2, 27 June 2021
Dr Amrita Sahu, Director Kronicle Consultancy, spoke on the topic ‘Designing of Qualitative Research Tools and Data Collection’. She explained the importance of health research with the help of quantitative tools, and also the Health Complications of Victims of Child Labour Research experience. She gave a detailed explanation about the qualitative exploration of Malaysian Cancer Patients and the process adopted in the research.
Dr Ajay Kumar Gupta, Associate Professor, Mumbai University, delivered a talk on the topic ‘Using ATLAS.ti for Qualitative Data Analysis’. He discussed the types of information required for qualitative analysis and the importance of personally transcribing the collected information. Later, he explained the use of Machine Software to Analyse (ATLAS.ti) data. Dr. Gupta advised the participants to aim to bring a change and help people with their research.
Dr Roli Mathur, Scientist F, ICMR-NCDIR, Bengaluru discussed the ‘Ethics in Doing Health Research’. She explained the principles of ethics and the general guidelines for ‘Health Research’. Further, she explained the role of a researcher, the possible ethical challenges that one might face during research, and provided a detailed explanation about the role of the ethics committee (EC). The next speaker, Dr Ritu Priya Mehrotra, Professor, Center of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She discussed the significance of social sciences in health research. Her lecture focused mainly on the developments of social sciences in health largely from the 1950s-60s. Prof. Mehrotra explained aspects such as Explanatory Frameworks and Plural Epistemologies – The politics of knowledge and Policy and Planning. Also, she briefly discussed the implications for research, i.e., who is going to benefit, and advised that the implications need to be kept in mind while developing the research plan. She concluded her session by stating “The values that underlie health concerns and public health – Holism, caring, equality, empowerment of all.”
Dr Nishant Saxena delivered the vote of thanks and concluded the workshop.
This event was coordinated by Dr Nishant Saxena, Scientist B, ICMR-NIRTH, Dr Madhulika Sahoo, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, VIT-AP University, and Dr Sanjit Sarkar, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Central University Karnataka.
WORKSHOP: REALISE YOUR CIVIL SERVICES DREAM
An online one-day workshop “Realise your Civil Services Dream” was organized on 26 June 2021 by VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities (VISH) in collaboration with AKS Academy. This workshop was aimed at school students and prospective aspirants for careers in the Civil Services and Public Services in India. To orient the students towards the realization of their dreams to serve the nation as a government bureaucrat, a series of speakers, both from within VIT-AP and from the esteemed institute AKS academy, shared information about the B.A./M.A. Public Services programme offered by VIT-AP.
Mr. M.A. Srinivasan, faculty member from AKS Academy and expert on Indian History and Archaeology, and Buddhist Studies, spoke at length to the students on the mental and practical preparation that students would be required to perform to qualify for the highly competitive Civil Services exams. He briefed the students about the many steps in the preparation for the competitive exams, while stressing on the need for holistic and continuous ethical and intellectual rigour.
Following this, Dr. Deepjoy Katuwal, faculty member from VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities (VISH) enlightened students about the Herculean task that the Civil Services examinations constitute and emphasized on the requirement for aided-learning and specialized coaching to succeed in these highly competitive exams. Next, Dr. Pankaj Narke, faculty member from VISH guided the participants through an active session by answering student queries and effectively highlighting the unique opportunities the B.A./M.A. Public Services programme that VIT-AP offers to its students. Dr Narke foregrounded the many advantages that the institute promises: an excellent student-teacher ratio, personalized mentorship, faculty members and students from across states in the country, a multi-cultural learning environment, special training in English language and soft-skills, and intensive exam-oriented training in the core-subjects for the Public Service exams, among many others. The event was coordinated by Ms Himabindu Pottumuthu.
Guest Lecture: Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Cross-Cultural Studies: An Ethical input in Developmental Process
The virtual guest lecture on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Cross-Cultural Studies: An Ethical input in Developmental Process” was organized on 12th June 2021 by the VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Prof. S. Sumathi, Emeritus Professor Anthropology, University of Madras delivered the guest lecture. To her credit, Prof. S. Sumathi is not only a guest research Fellow, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz University, Germany but also the Principal Investigator of AIFORA from India. She introduced the topic by stating that currently, humanity is in a postmodern state of evolution and development which can be actualised using various anthropological school of thoughts. She integrated the concept of societal development with artificial intelligence and reinforced the argument that AI is an adept tool for societal development in the future. Prof. Sumathi further stated that anthropology and technology merge when we need to curate data using logical and scientific methods and implement field-level understanding to generalize the output. Next, she discussed problems we face today when it comes to development that includes environmental crisis and other global catastrophes. She also emphasized in her talk that the future of human interaction will inevitably be through technology. However, to advance the functioning of AI, data is required which demands further research in this area. Prof. Sumathi explained that since AI models on the problems of the past and build solutions, the process of data collection moves beyond curation and entails observation and analysis. She illustrated this with relevant examples and case studies (e.g., situation of migrant labours during COVID). Prof. Sumathi ended the talk by emphasizing the need to treat AI as a multidisciplinary field that will not only includes technological understanding but also social and psychological understanding. The event was coordinated by Dr Madhulika Sahoo.
Guest Lecture- Technical Communication: Industry Interaction
Jamadagni Kotamsetty, Associate Quality Designer at Electronic Arts (EA), Hyderabad, delivered a virtual guest lecture on 3 June 2021 at 2 pm IST. He interacted with a group of students of the university to provide the perspective of the industry on technical communication. In the talk, he provided a solution-based approach to technical communication and reporting. Mr Kotamsetty opened his talk with the purpose and structure of a technical report, followed by the types of technical communication that usually take place in the workplace. Next, he discussed the various types of reports that an engineer needs to create daily to communicate with the team. The different types of reports highlighted in his talk were incident report, daily status report, project status report, build report, IM conversations, and meeting invites. He also informed the students about the jargons of the industry that they need to be familiar with for smooth integration into the workplace. At the end of his presentations, students asked questions and requested to throw some light on the workplace challenges for a fresher. The event was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Two-Day Webinar – Contemporary Research Praxis in Social Sciences and Humanities
VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities (VISH) organised a two-day webinar on “Contemporary Research Praxis in Social Sciences and Humanities” on 29th and 30th May 2021. Aimed at discussing prospective research in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities, the webinar attracted over 65 students and scholars from 50 colleges and universities in the country. In addition, a few international scholars from the Middle Eastern countries also joined the spirited discussion. The webinar started with an inaugural address by the Dean of VISH, Dr. Susmitha Shyamsundar, who spoke about the significance of research in academia and the need for conducting webinars that provide information about contemporary research trends in Social Sciences and Humanities.
Dr. Avishek Parui, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, IIT Madras was the first speaker of the day. His lecture was titled, “The Research Road in Memory Studies.” Dr. Parui gave a brief overview of Memory Studies, various kinds of research currently being conducted in this field, and exciting new interdisciplinary research opportunities. Following his illuminating lecture, we had Dr. Rajni Lamba, Anthropologist and CEO, The Rural Environmental Enterprises Development Society, Punjab our second speaker for the day. Her lecture was titled, “Importance of Anthropology and Sociology in Interdisciplinary Research in Social Sciences.” With her extensive experience of working with marginalised communities in India, Dr. Lamba highlighted the need and impact of doing research in Social Sciences. She elaborated the significance of using ethnography to understand and solve contemporary social problems.
The Second Day’s first session was delivered by Dr. Rajkumar Eligedi, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. In his lecture titled, “Contemporary Trends in Interdisciplinary Humanities”, Dr. Eligedi gave an elaborate outline of Humanities’ turn towards interdisciplinary research. Also, he explained various research possibilities that a prospective scholar can explore in the disciplines of Humanities, particularly in translation studies. The last speaker of the day was Dr. Pankaj Narke, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, VIT-AP University. As a representative of VISH, Dr. Narke demystified popular misconceptions about conducting research in English Language Studies. In his lecture, “Exploring Research Opportunities in English Language Studies” he explicated multifarious disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that can be explored in the field. Further, he gave a brief overview on initiating and designing research. Each of these sessions was followed by a lively interaction between the speaker and the audience, and after Dr. Narke’s session, participants interacted with the School’s faculty members.
The webinar concluded with Dr. Shyamsundar delivering the vote of thanks
Workshop- Sustainable Smart Cities
A five-day workshop was conducted by VIT-AP School of Social Sciences and Humanities (VISH) from 5 April to 3 May 2021. The IEEE Madras section was the knowledge partner of the event. The workshop focussed on discussing the concept of sustainable smart technologies with experts from various fields in social sciences and related disciplines.
VISH did a five-day workshop, spread across a month. Each session lasted for three hours, where two speakers spoke for an hour each and the remaining one hour was for discussion.
- 1. 5 April 2021 (Monday)
- 2. 12 April 2021 (Monday)
- 3. 19 April 2021 (Monday)
- 4. 26 April 2021 (Monday)
- 5. 5 June 2021 (Saturday)
Day – 1
Dr. Aamir Ullah Khan gave an overview and philosophy of smart cities and sustainability-related topics. Dr. Aamir discussed municipality administration in cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Mysore, Gujarat, Mumbai, and Delhi. He also talked about the importance of solid waste management, solar power, smart transport, etc. for the development of sustainable smart cities.
Dr. Daisuke Fukuda gave case studies from Korea and Japan. First, gave a sample study of Songdo International Business District (SIBD) which is a smart city built on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land in the Republic of Korea. The growing economic importance of cities and the necessity to address environmental issues have led both the partner countries to develop local solutions for energy management. He further added that as leaders of sustainable technology and services, European and Japanese companies could benefit from advanced cooperation on Smart City development and management. Following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japan has further adjusted its energy policy. The two economies could improve their models and enhance their competitiveness on a global scale. To assess the opportunities for partnership between Japan and the EU in this regard, the talk investigated the Japanese Smart City policy, from the context in which it is embedded to the different types of projects that have been initiated. Smart City projects throughout Japan had focussed on:
- fostering energy security and efficiency
- boosting local development economically and socially
- enhancing regional and global competition
Day – 2
Dr. Aalok Khandekar spoke about the science, technology, and society’s (STS) perspective regarding smart cities. His study with his team on six cities across the world later spread to many other popular tier 1 and tier 2 cities. Air pollution becoming a key issue of concern and the sociological perspective in making a city fight with sustainability, were discussed with the participants.
Prof. Ch. Subramanyam gave an elaborate explanation about various causes of air pollution and further explained the ways to combat it. He primarily focused on the role of controlling industrial and vehicular emissions. Most modern vehicles are fitted with them, as standard. People are looking at ways of living with poor air quality, whether it is from the smog in Delhi or an unexpected change in wind direction bringing with it factory pollutants from the industrial estate as concluded by the professor.
Day – 3
Mr. Sravan Banda spoke about his start-up about sustainable water management and its significance. Further, he discussed a few case studies that signalled the dire need to focus on water management.
Dr. Haripriya Narasimhan spoke about the cultural and anthropological perspective of water. Relevant ethnographic studies of water were discussed in her lecture. In the later part of the talk, she discussed her research work on sustainable smart cities, in Hyderabad and Kakinada done by her research scholar.
Day – 4
Dr. Digvijay S. Pawar – Dr Pawar began his talk by informing that a total of 599 highway projects covering around 12,903 km of national highways have been sanctioned, incurring an expenditure of INR 108,000 crore (US$ 16.2 bn) over the next 5 years. Next, he spoke about the technology which they have developed in IIT Hyderabad for better traffic management. The sensor technology would help in determining traffic in a congested area. A working model of the same is successfully implemented in IIT Hyderabad, however, Dr. Pawar mentioned that the model requires further improvement.
Mr. Vinod Venkatesan – shared his industry experience regarding electric vehicles. He mentioned that the Indian market for electric vehicles is still nascent, as the challenge is to augment charging infrastructure in big cities immediately and to promote migration to electric vehicles. It has been projected those electric vehicles could account for approximately 5% of the Indian car market, or 175,000 cars, by 2017, while the global market for vehicles could reach about 20 million cars by 2020. Smart parking assist uses sensors which is a latest development in vehicle technology. The chassis and the driveline are also equipped with sensors and cameras that help in parking. Creating technology for inexperienced drivers and learners was one of the focuses. He concluded his lecture by stating that, the upcoming technology increases safety, efficiency and comfort in driving and parking.
Day – 5
Mr. Rajkumar Murugesan spoke about VIT Chennai’s initiative on smart villages. Smart agriculture has become the key focus of study according to him. He explained the ongoing work of rural-urban interaction and possible solutions for making villages smart. He further told all the students to think in such lines to develop agriculture, infrastructure, etc. by displaying model villages.
Dr. Bhakti More being an expert of architecture gave an effective and relatable talk on sustainable architecture. She shared images of different types of architecture which were effective to regulate temperature in particular areas. Towards the end of her session, she conducted some fun exercises for the participants to make it more interactive.
Overall, the five-day workshop received a good response from both in-house and external audience. All the sessions were contemporary, thought-provoking, and interactive. The event was coordinated by Prof. Kanaka Himabindu Pottumuthu.
Guest Lecture- Materials Development: Redesigning the Existing Content for Teaching Effectively
Makaela Anderson, Specialist at the U.S. Department of State, Pennsylvania, United States was invited to deliver a guest lecture on 27 April 2021 at 4 pm IST. She opened her talk with the discussion on the need to redesign materials and the relationship between teaching and materials. She stated that teachers need to redesign materials to promote critical thinking through language, avoid monotony, address multi-level classroom, and involve more relatable content. Then she shared her strategies and ideas that could be considered for redesigning materials. Some of her strategies included using different versions of the same material in a multi-level classroom, involving advanced learners as assistants, finding out leaner’s passion, using interesting social media content, using relatable content like movies, music, comics, graphic novels, and podcasts. Makaela also demonstrated how existing teaching materials can be redesigned to teach effectively both in the face-to-face classroom and in the online mode. This was followed by a highly interactive session between the resource person and the faculty members. The insights given by the resource person was highly appreciated by the faculty members. The session ended with the vote of thanks by Dr Madulika Sahoo. The event was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
FDP- The Importance of Language in Developing Interdisciplinary Research
An online Faculty Development Programme (FDP) was organized by the School on 8 & 10 February 2021. The resource person of the programme was Dr. Kalyanamalini Sahoo from the Université Catholique de Lille, France. On day one, Dr Sahoo discussed ‘Language & Interdisciplinary Research’ and ‘Cognitive Linguistics Typology.’ On day two, Dr Sahoo spoke on ‘Language Contact in India: A Sociolinguistics Perspective of Indian English’. The talk was divided into two areas: ‘Indian English’ and ‘Language in Society’. Following her illuminating speech, faculty spent time deliberating various challenges in language teaching. The programme was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
FDP- Towards better Online Teaching – Learning
An online FDP titled ‘Towards better Online Teaching’ was organized to acquaint the faculty with advance applications that would facilitate online teaching. There were4 four sessions on 16, 17, 18, and 20 July 2020, respectively. All of them provided a hands-on training on online teaching and assessment practices. The titles of the four sessions were as follows:
- a) MS Teams – for Language Teachers
- b) Digital Content / Task Readiness
- c) Language Assessment – Online Tools
- d) Examination Requirements
a) The first session on MS Teams – for Language Teachers was conducted on 16 July 2020. She familiarized faculty with the new Learning Management System (LMS) that the university had recommended. Faculty were offered a virtual training on how to conduct classes on MS Teams which involved multiple aspects like how to create a class/team, add class materials, conduct a class, share screen, take attendance, and add apps. Dr. Tannistha also shared several useful links and tips pertaining to the topic. The session ended with answering queries of faculty members regarding the platform. The resource person of the session was Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
The second session was conducted on 17 July 2020 on the topic, “Task Preparedness or Task readiness while using Digital Content for Online Classes”. The session was conducted to help the inhouse faculty adapt to the new Digital teaching environment and the readiness of the content used in the online classes. The resource person of the session was Dr. Susmitha Shyamsundar, HoD, Languages.
The third session on Language Assessment – Online Tools was conducted on 18 July 2020. In this session, various online tools were introduced to the faculty for online teaching and assessment. This was a hands-on session were using different online tools for teaching LSRW skills, vocabulary, polling, quiz, creating poster and infographics, dialogue creation, brainstorming, rubric creation, screen casting was practiced. Also, online readability checkers, plagiarism checkers, and online resources were shared with the faculty members. The resource person of the session was Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
The fourth session titled “Examination Requirements- Getting introduced to the Exam Cloud platform” elucidated the online assessment procedure of VIT-AP University. As it was the work from home phase and the exam cloud platform was new to the faculty, this session helped them familiarize with the online platform of Exam cloud. The hands-on training offered in this session for uploading the question paper and evaluation of answer scripts was helpful for the faculty. The resource person of the session was Dr. Susmitha Shyamsundar
Webinar – Higher Education Opportunities in France
For the benefit of our engineering and business school student, a webinar titled ‘Higher Education Opportunities in France’ was organized on 11 July 2020 in collaboration with Campus France India, and the French Institute (IFI). Befittingly, Ms. Vasudha Murali Krishna; Manager of Campus France Hyderabad, Ms. Rhea Shivan; Manager of Campus France Chennai, Mr. Eric Perrotel; Attaché of cooperation for French Language in South India, Ms. Rajni; Manager of Scholarships, department of IFI at the Embassy New Delhi and Mr. Aman Kulkarni; VIT Vellore alumni pursuing M.Sc. in France were the invited speakers for the webinar. At the outset, the session began with a congratulatory announcement on Charpak 2020 scholarship winners from VIT. Later, Ms Rajni elaborately explained the various scholarships that are available for students at the level of master’s and research. Subsequently, Mr. Perrotel discussed the significance of the French Language in a technologically dominant and digitally empowered world. Next, Ms Rhea elucidated the advantages of choosing France as a destination for Indian students and Ms. Vasudha apprised the audience on the role of Campus France. Lastly, Mr. Aman Kulkarni shared his first-hand experience at Campus France, and he spoke about the pre-departure workshop for students organized by Campus France. In the end, students had an interactive Q&A session with all the guest speakers and profited from a dynamically digitally empowered platform to collaborate with each other. The programme was coordinated by Prof Carlin Pouamou.
FDP- Lacan, Language and Education
A one-day Faculty Development Programme was organized on 13 November 2019. The Dean of School of English Language Education, EFL University Hyderabad, Dr. Sudhakar Venukapalli was the resource person of the programme. Dr. Sudhakar elaborated the theories of Psychoanalysis postulated by Jacques Lacan. He explained how the theories of Lacan differ from the Freudian notion of Psychoanalysis. In the post-lunch session, the theories of Sigmund Freud’s were discussed. The faculty members of the department made outstanding contribution to the discussion by bringing in their experiences as well as case studies. The programme was coordinated by Dr Karthika V.K.
FDP- Effective Teaching: Strategies & Methods
A one-day Faculty Development Programme (FDP) was organized on 2 May 2019. The resource persons of the programme were Ms. Vineeta Chandekar, the Academic Director at ELS Language Center at Chennai, and Ms. Arul Mary, trainer for corporate employees and international students. The programme began with a session on how to design student centric lessons that are functional, efficacious, and enjoyable at the same time. This was followed by participants taking part in various activities designed by the resource persons. The FDP concluded with exchange of ideas and answering queries raised by the participants. The programme was coordinated by Dr Tannistha Dasgupta.
Workshop- Syllabus Design and Materials Production for Effective ELT Practices
A workshop was conducted on the 25 March 2019 on designing syllabus and producing materials for effective teaching-learning practices. Dr Kishore Kumar, Head, Dept. of ESL Studies, The English and Foreign Languages University, was invited as the resource person. The workshop was divided into two sessions. In the first session, Dr Kishore Kumar discussed the standard practices of curriculum and syllabus design and how learners’ needs should be reflected in curriculum. The second session focused on developing teaching materials that would suit learners’ interest, level of understanding, accessibility for learners as well as teachers, cultural and contextual familiarity of materials, and potential learning outcomes. Dr Kishore shared some important online tools that could be used while teaching English language and testing learners’ level of proficiency at the same. The programme was coordinated by Dr Pankaj Narke.
Workshop- Role of Language in Media
Three workshops were conducted for students and faculty by Mr. Thirumoy Banerjee, an industry expert from The Business Standard media house, New Delhi, on 22 March 2019. He focused on the norms of the English language that media industry follows, editing process, and filtering of the content. Mr. Banerjee provided hands-on training to the participants in editing news items. The highlight of the workshops was his presentation on the opportunities for engineering and management students in the media industry. The content shared by the resource person was highly appreciated by all the participants. The programme was coordinated by Dr Pankaj Narke.
Workshop- Soft Skills Development in collaboration with SMART Training Resources India PVT.LTD
The first national level workshop was conducted on 25th August 2018 with Ms. Gowri Balasubramanyam as the resource person. Around 35 participants from various universities and colleges from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu participated in the workshop. The resource person addressed various strategies that individuals can employ to monitor their soft skills efficiency and she offered great insight into the practice of self-reflection in developing and enhancing soft skills. She discussed in detail how important these skills are in polishing one’s social acceptance as well as employability. The programme was coordinated by Dr Karthika V.K., Dr Rasheda Parveen and Prof Pragya Sen Gupta.
FDP- Worlds are Made by Words: Language and Construction of Power
An FDP was conducted on 11 August 2018 in which Dr Amit Ranjan, the Australia Awards Ambassador, a faculty at NCERT, Bhubaneswar, and a renowned Indian English Poet, delivered a series of lectures on the theme ‘Talking to the future: Dara and Sarmad’s challenge to the language of power.’ In this talk he addressed the students and faculty members and discussed how power was constructed and how power constructed words/poetry. This was followed by the launching of his newly published anthology Find Me Leonard Cohen I’m Almost Thirty. In the end, there was a poetry reading session where he read excerpts from his book and interpreted it for his listeners. The programme was coordinated by Dr Karthika V.K.
Workshop- From Researching to Publishing: A Re-walk 2.0
A one-day workshop for faculty members and research scholars was conducted on 24 March 2018. The workshop was led by Dr Santosh Mahapatra, Assistant Professor at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad. The resource person introduced the possible ICT tools that can be used in the classrooms to enhance the learning output. Faculty members actively engaged in a discussion in which they shared their classroom experiences and the nature of tools that they use. The resource person provided great insight into the ways in which web 2.0 can effectively operate in language classrooms and how data can be obtained by using them which eventually will help teachers to get engaged in classroom research. Dr Mahapatra spoke in detail about action research initiatives the teachers can take up and detailed the ways in which such research enriches the professional development of the teacher-researcher. The programme was coordinated by Dr Karthika V.K.