Zakir Husain College held a symposium on “Re-visiting Darwin: Natural Theory versus Social Practices,” earlier this week. The symposium was part of the Darwin bi-centenary celebrations. The focus was on the contemporary relevance of Darwin and theories derived from his work.

The keynote address linked Darwin’s theory to the evolution of imperialism and how it had been used to rationalise the superiority of one race over another.

The purpose of the symposium was to provide a platform to reinterpret Darwin in the context of contemporary challenges. It provided a forum for discussing results of fresh research on the subject for comparing and learning from regional, national and international experiences. The proceedings of the symposium will be published as a volume, serving as a document for future scientific and social research. The larger attempt was to follow a multi-disciplinary approach and explore the field of social Darwinism.

The 15th international workshop on the physics of semi-conductor devices was inaugurated earlier this week at Jamia Millia Islamia by Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan.

Mr. Chavan expressed the Government’s willingness to augment scientific research and development and its intention to increase expenditure on higher education and research.

The workshop also highlighted the need for initiating focused development of semi-conductor devices in India at the commercial level.

The Miranda House consumer club held a three-day certificate workshop on consumer rights and awareness earlier this month. The workshop highlighted significant issues faced by consumers and was attended by students from various colleges. The importance of being an aware consumer in the era of globalisation was stressed upon.

Media houses were urged to discourage publication of misleading advertisements of various products and help create awareness among consumers. The ways and means of practising fair trade to promote ethical consumerism were pointed out.

The role of culture and tradition in rethinking consumerism were discussed. The role of police in protecting consumers was also highlighted. Student participants made presentations on various issues such as consumer rights, empowerment, redressal of grievances and eco-friendly consumption.

Aligarh Muslim University signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this week with the Darussalam Institute of Islamic Studies, Indonesia. The objective of the MoU is to collaborate on educational matters and to plan long-term strategies for human resource development.

The two institutes agreed to organise conferences, seminars and scientific discussions on various issues including developing curriculum in Islamic studies, language and Islamic heritage.

The institutions will also organise a joint cultural programme involving students and will facilitate the exchange of visiting professors for an agreed period.

The Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune, organised its mentoring and counselling initiative “Coffee With SIBM 2009” here this past week. The event was targeted at prospective MBA students and aimed at addressing their queries on various issues such as preparations for MBA entrance exams, business school admission procedures and life at B-schools and the corporate world.

Students were told about the advantages provided by an MBA qualification and the kind of learning a full-time residential course imparts to students. Questions about the importance of work experience before pursuing an MBA and the course curriculum followed in various B-schools were also answered.