The International Academy of Ethics, under the aegis of Aazaad Foundation organized a Two Day International Conference on Contemporary Ethics, at Tricity Chandigarh, in which Prof. Manjit Singh, eminent scholar and political analyst from Chandigarh, was the Chief Guest, and Dr Rana Nayar, former Professor of English, PU, was the Keynote speaker. Talking on the occasion, the President of the IAE Dr. Jernail S. Anand, who chaired the function, said that this Academy is a precursor of the University of Ethics which will be a unique organization dedicated to the study of Ethics. Dr. Parneet Jaggi, Professor of English from Rajasthan, the Organizing Secretary, anchored the function with elan. The Conference began with welcome address by Dr. Maja Herman Sekulic, Vice-President, Dr. Basudeb Chakraborti, Chairman Org.Committee and Dr. Molly Joseph, Chief Coordinator.

Dr. Anand in his opening speech welcomed the scholars, and alluding to W.B Yeats’s ‘The Second Coming’, focused on the need to introduce the idea of ethics in human conduct. He stressed that in education, the study of ethics should not be optional, but a priority. Because ultimately, education is not about giving jobs. Going beyond this objective, it is also to make a great human being. He mentioned that Universities are judged on the basis of several parameters by NAAC, but Ethics does not figure anywhere. Are we educating the youngsters only to make them employable, and is education concerned only with 8 hours in office? What about the rest of the day? How to conduct themselves in society? Can we leave them to the forces of materialism?

Prof. Manjit Singh, in his address, stressed the need for removing the baggage of civilization, and returning to natural life, so that humanity can be saved from the onslaught of technology. The dehumanization of mankind stems from increasing space usurped by technology. He cautioned that if humanity is to be saved, we have to start the process of unlearning, and relearning the basics. We have natural intelligence, which should be enough for man to lead a happy life.

Dr. Rana Nayar addressed a wide range of issues and stressed the need for man to return to the idea of ‘dharma’ which stands for his ‘duty’ towards himself, and other human beings. He pointed out that the western world conceived the idea of individualism, and happiness is considered the greatest desire of mankind. But he added, Indian philosophy does not support the idea of a selfish happiness. It has to be with a sense of responsibility. Dr. Swaraj Raj lamented that in the process of mal-development, we have destroyed our nature, and it is imperative that our progress is redirected to include the wellbeing of nature’s beings, also. Col.D.S. Cheema wanted that we should have Schools of Ethics in Universities and Colleges and the message should be taken to the students at large. Others who spoke include Dr. Lalit Mohan Sharma, [Dharmsala], Dr. Bhagyashree Varma [Mumbai University], Sh. Rajiv Ranjan Roy, Prof. Randhir Gautam [ITM Univ. Gwalior], Prof. [Dr]Manju Verma, P.U, Dr. Manju Chouhan [Chandigarh University], Sh. Vinod Khanna, Vice President Readers and Writers Society, and Dr. Veer Abhinav, a theatre and film artist. Sh. KP. Singh, News Head, Jus TV was also present as a distinguished guest.

The IAE has come up with A Handbook of Contemporary Ethics, edited by Dr. Molly Joseph, which includes views of more than 30 scholars in question answer form. This book was released at the occasion, along with several others books by Dr. Anand, Dr. Parneet Jaggi, Sh. Vinod Khanna & others. Another major book release was related to Poetic Anthology WPC-5. The Vote of Thanks was proposed by Vice-President of the Aazaad Foundation, Dr. Manminder S. Anand. Among others, he appreciated the Pixel Club for the photographic services rendered to the Academy.

The paper presentations were made in the online session on 29/3/2024, chaired by Vice-President, Dr. Maja Herman Sekulic, in which scholars from universities and colleges of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, and Mumbai presented their papers, which proved to be a great discussion of the dangers of AI and the idea of Ethics. Dr. Mukesh Yadav, Prof. & Head, UEM, Jaipur, was the Keynote Speaker The Guests of Honour included CEO of Different Truths, Sh. Arindam Roy and international scholar from Canada, Rawle Iam James. The function was hosted by Dr. Shalini Yadav and Dr. Sushmindar Jeet Kaur.

Dr. Jernail S. Anand

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