Seminar on Impact of Technology on Society: Issues and Challenges

The impact of Technology is felt in all aspects of society and in all segments of society in an unprecedented way. While technology has greatly benefited society, it has negative impacts too, said the Vice-chancellor of Patna University, Prof Y. C. Simhadri. He was addressing as Chief Guest at a national seminar, April 12-13, here.

The seminar on the theme “Impact of Technology on Society: Issues and Challenges”, is organized by St. Xavier’s College, St. Xavier’s College of Management and Technology and Xavier Institute of Social Research, Digha, Patna.

The seminar is being organized with the collaboration of 4 other institutions of Patna: Bihar Council on Science & Technology, government of Bihar, Nabard, Cybotech Campus, and Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology.

Inaugurating the seminar, Prof. Simhadri said that throughout time, technological and scientific advancements have always had an impact on society. In the present globalized world, we are living in the era of advanced technology. Each invention has affected how people relate to one another and how cultures have expanded or ended.

“Technologies are the reason a few people are very rich, that people are more social, and that teaching and learning is changing. However, most modern technological processes produce unwanted by- products in addition to the desired products, which is known as industrial waste and pollution,” he pointed out.

“What the world needs today is not talent in producing new technologies but talent in understanding the impact of technology on the society and individuals. This calls again on education,” he added.

“Technology has re-oriented human lives and there is no going back. But there are deeper questions on the harmful use of technology. Humanists, scholars and intellectuals should work together to monitor its use for the very survival of humanity on this earth,” said the Guest of Honour, Prof S. L. Gupta, Director of BIT, Patna.

“No doubt, Technology has done wonders for the growth of the country. But should it not be used for inclusive growth,” asked Dr. Prabal K. Sen, Prof of Economics from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Chairing the inaugural session of the Seminar, he pointed out how the small farmers and small operators are left out by giant technology-based economic operations.

In his keynote address, Prof Deepak Kumar from JNU, New Delhi traced the history of technology applications in India. “Colonization of almost 80% of the world by the end of the nineteenth century would not have been possible without the new technologies, new tools and new techniques,” he said.

“The neo-liberal policies of the 1990s and the new century under successive prime ministers facilitated the growth of a middle class enamoured with the prospects of a new knowledge-economy and a new knowledge-society,” he pointed out. “It cared less if some poor farmers committed suicide and the divide between the rich and poor grew as never before. Today’s quest for knowledge or wealth is shorn of any moral or social values,” he lamented.

Introducing the theme and explaining the dynamics of the two-day seminar, the Director of Xavier Institute of Social Research, Dr. Jose Kalapura said that while some technocrats raise technology to lofty heights, they tend to forget that much of technology during and after the World War has been used for military use and improper use of it has been destroying not only humanity, but also Nature. It is precisely this reason why this seminar has brought together scholars and technocrats for a multi and inter-disciplinary forum for discussion. Nearly 125 participants from various parts of India have registered for the two-day event, in which more than 80 scholarly papers from various disciplines would be presented, he said.

Earlier, welcoming the participants the Principal of the College, Dr. T. Nishaant said that while we educate our students in arts, management and technology, we emphasis on ethical values so that our students become responsible citizens of tomorrow.

The convener of the seminar, Dr. Jaismin Kantha, Prof. St. Xavier’s College proposed the vote of thanks at the end of the first day of the seminar. The delegates were welcomed by a group of students and the program was anchored by Dr. Sr. Mudita Sodder.