An Indo-Canadian exchange on diversities

JAIPUR, FEB. 26. An international conference on "Challenges of Diversity: Canada and India", beginning here tomorrow, will analyse the changed scenario in the two countries following the globalisation process and its impact on the social, political and cultural structures, the boundaries of which seem to be shifting as never before.

The three-day conference is being organised by the Rajasthan University's Department of English in collaboration with the Indian Association for Canadian Studies. Among others, the High Commissioner of Canada, Lucie Edwards, will participate.

The Head of the English Department, Santosh Gupta, said today the conference had been planned as a multidisplinary activity, going beyond the literary exercise, to analyse the multi-ethnic, multinational and complex migrant practices resulting in the "blossoming" of diverse peoples within the pale of a singular political identity and in a cosmopolitan situation.

The conference will focus on the concepts and practices in the social sciences and humanities that attempt to grapple with the challenges created by the diverse forms of living in Canada and India. The sub-themes include ethnicity, gender distinctions, politico-legal differences and expectations, bio-diversity and economic principles and practices.

In addition to about 170 Indian experts in Canadian studies from various universities, nearly 20 delegates from Canada, Britain, Germany and Israel will participate in the deliberations. Noted writer M.G. Vassanji, the winner of the prestigious Canadian Giller award for fiction for 2003-04, will read from his works in one of the sessions.

The conference is being funded by the Canada Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, High Commission of Canada, and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, New Delhi.