ICPR, NEW DELHI SPONSORED Textual Workshop on Śāṅkara Advaita Vedānta Concludes


The School of Philosophy and Culture (SOPC) of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU), Katra organized a 16-day “Textual Workshop on Śāṅkara Advaita Vedānta” from 16th – 31st March 2015. The Workshop was completely sponsored by Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), New Delhi. The chief guest of the inaugural session was Prof V. Verma, the then Officiating Vice Chancellor, SMVDU, and the guest of honour was Prof. V. N. Jha, Director and resource person of the Workshop. Prof. V. K. Bhat, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, SMVDU, presided over the inaugural session. Dr. Varun K. Tripathi (Director, SOPC) welcomed the guests and participants. Dr. Anil K. Tewari (Coordinator of Workshop) introduced the concept note of the Workshop. In his address, Dr. Tewari highlighted the need of such programmes to fill the yawning gap between the ancient wisdom contained in the Indian philosophical texts in Sanskrit and its modern understanding based on secondary sources and borrowed language. The resource person Prof Jha expressed his deep concern over the neglect of the time-tested wisdom of Indian intellectual tradition in the modern education of India. He said that there is no alternative to learn this wisdom in its original source, primarily in Sanskrit language. Prof. Bhat, in his delivery, remarked that the richness of Sanskrit language cannot be captured in totality in any other language. The chief guest Prof. Verma highlighted the importance of indigenous languages especially Sanskrit. In his witty remark, he said that his own knowledge of the traditional wisdom of India is based on the articles of Speaking Tree due to lack of Sanskrit. He also said that no culture can flourish if it is oblivious to its own tongue, the indigenous language. Altogether 52 persons including research scholars and faculty members of philosophy and Sanskrit and some persons of general interest participated in the Workshop.


The Sanskrit text which was selected by Prof. Jha for the Workshop was the Vedāntaparibhāṣā of Dharmarājādhvarīndra (c. 17th century AD). This text, which belongs to the Vivaraṇa School of Śāṅkara Advaita Vedānta, is an introduction to the Advaita philosophy. It is written in the terse language of the Navya-Nyāya which was developed in circa 10th century AD for precise communication in Sanskrit language. After the necessary introduction of the Advaita tradition and the Navya-Nyāya language, Prof. Jha undertook the guidance of text reading. He went into great details of the linguistic and philosophical nuances of the first section of the text which is on ‘perception’. The focal point of discussion was how an occurrence of cognition is characterized as perceptual cognition. What are the metaphysical and epistemic conditions, according to the Advaita philosophy, leading to perceptual cognition? Since the text is written in a dialogical form—the cherished style of Indian scholastic tradition, the discussion on the issue proceeded in view of the dialogue between the Nyāya and the Advaita philosophy. As a befitting accord to the discussion was a cultural tour of the participants to Krimchi Temples near Udhampur. The tour guide was a renowned Hindi and Dogri writer Prof. Shiv Nirmohi from Panthal village near SMVDU. These temples are believed to have been established almost in the same period when the propounder of the Advaita philosophy Śāṅkarācārya lived (i.e. 7th or 8th century AD). The Workshop concluded on 31st of March 2015 and the valedictory session was graced by Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of SMVDU Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain. A brief report of the event was presented by the Coordinator of Workshop Dr. Anil Tewari. The Vice-Chancellor felicitated the resource person Prof. V. N. Jha and applauded his effort for the learning of Sanskrit language and philosophy. The participants were awarded with certificates of participation and appreciation of merit. The vote of thanks was delivered by Director of the School Dr. Varun Tripathi.

SMVDU Faculty Contributes as Leading Author and only Indian Scientist in an International Research Project

Dr. Swarkar Sharma, Assistant Professor in School of Biotechnology, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, J&K, India, contributed as a leading author in an international multi-institutional research project that identified a new region in human genome “PAX1 enhancer” responsible for susceptibility to a spinal disorder, Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). 20032015_newThe research work has been published in a highly reputed scientific journal “Nature Communications” that appeared online on 18th March 2015 and gained appreciation worldwide. The research team was mainly comprised of almost 50 scientists from top institutions of USA, Japan and China. This study was supported by premier international funding agencies like National Institutes of Health (NIH) USA, the TSRHC Research Fund USA, Crystal Charity Ball USA, Scoliosis Research Society USA and the Cain Foundation, USA.

Dr. Swarkar Sharma is the only Indian Scientist in the research group. His research team is pursuing excellent research work in Human Evolutionary Genetics and Human Medical Genetics. Their research team has also recently identified the mysterious crippling disorder of Arai Village of Jammu and Kashmir and characterized the Gene and Mutation causing the disease in the population. In light of contributions he has made, he has been awarded recently “Leading Health Professionals of the World-2014 (Medical Genetics) by International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England (UK).

Team Mechanix - brings laurels to SMVDU in SAE BAJA 2015

Only team from J&K participated in International racing event


Katra: A Team of 24 students from School of Mechanical Engineering, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University who had successfully designed and fabricated an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) led by Mr. Varun Dutta (Asst. Prof.) and Mr. Mir Irfan Ul Haq (Asst. Prof.) participated in the international racing event SAE BAJA 2015 held at Indore (M.P). Team Mechanix SMVDU holds the distinction of being the only team from the state of J&K to participate in International BAJA SAE 2015 event at National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRIP) facility, Pitampore Indore (M.P). The event involves showcase of teams of undergraduate engineering students, where the design and fabrication skills are assessed at a common platform every year globally by the Society of Automotive Engineers, USA. SAE BAJA originated in the year 1976 (Mini - BAJA), at University of Carolina, USA. Since then, the event has spanned across six countries – USA, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Korea and India.

Earlier, the Team Mechanix qualified the virtual round (Phase-I) and in Phase-II the ATV designed and fabricated by the team cleared all the rounds which include Brake test, Safety test and Engine test. The overall design as well the performance of the vehicle was appreciated by various auto experts from and among the panelists including M&M, John Deer, Bosch,Volvo, etc. The team was also felicitated for their holistic efforts and design by Dr. Pawan Goenka (CEO, Mahindra and Mahindra) being the only team hailing from a remote location of the country. Guneet Singh,a team member of Team Mechanix who was earlier selected as an anchor for SAE BAJA 2015 carried out the stage proceedings in the presence of an audience of nearly 3000 participants. Dean Faculty of Engineering, Prof V.Verma and Director School of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Ankush Anand congratulated the team for their success. The faculty coordinators as well as the director thanked the Vice Chancellor,SMVDU, Prof. S.K.Jain as well as Registrar SMVD University Mr. Ajay Khajuria for their wholehearted support. The faculty coordinators also conveyed their thanks to the local industries and business establishments for their support in the fabrication of the All Terrain Vehicle.

SMVDU Faculty appointed editorial board member of prestigious journal

Dr Rakesh Kumar, Assistant Professor School of Biotechnology, SMVDU has been appointed as editorial board member and reviewer of prestigious journal of cancer and oncology research from 20th Nov 2014 to 20th Nov 2017. 18032015_rak01Dr Rakesh Kumar is already a regular reviewer of nine international scientific journals and has published more than 45 research papers, which include journals like NATURE and PNAS USA. He has done his PhD from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi and Post doctorate from Washington university school of medicine, St.Louis MO, USA and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre Dallas USA. Vice Chancellor Dr S.K. Jain has congratulated him on this academic endeavour. His group’s current research interests are cancer biology and DNA damage in region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Textual Workshop on Samkara Advaita Vedanta begins at SMVDU


SMVDU, Katra J&K: 16 March, 2015 - The School of Philosophy and Culture, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVD University) Katra organizes “Textual Workshop on Samkara Advaita Vedanta”, sponsored by Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), New Delhi from 16th – 31st March, 2015. The chief guest of the inaugural session was Prof. V. Verma, acting Vice Chancellor, SMVD University, and the Guest of Honour was Prof. V. N. Jha (Resource Person). Prof. V. K. Bhat, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences presided over the inaugural session. Dr. V. K. Tripathi (Director, SOPC) welcomed all guests and highlighted the merits of Advaita Vedanta. Dr. A. K. Tewari (Coordinator) introduced the concept note of the textual workshop.


Prof. Jha expressed his deep concern on the need to revive Sanskrit writings as translated works (in English) is more of loss than gain. Prof. Jha also emphasized that unless one understands the structure of a language one cannot understand the philosophical contributions made through the language. Reading a philosophy through translation results into loss of meaning and actual intent of a text. Prof. Bhat highlighted the inability of English language to capture the Sanskrit language repertoire. Prof. Verma in his address accepted the need and importance of indigenous languages especially Sanskrit. He also gave example that no country in the world has given up its own language, so Indian languages must be promoted particularly when we wish to understand a classical texts. Mr. Sumanta S. Sharma delivered the vote of thanks. There are more than 50 participants from all corners of the country and Prof. Jha will be teaching the text ‘Vedantaparibhasha’ of Dharmarajadvarindra during the coming fifteen days.

Two day workshop on “Bionformatics: Approaches in the –omics Era” concluded at SMVDU


Two day workshop on Bioinfromatics on the theme “Bionformatics: Approaches in the –omics Era” concluded today at the School of Biotechnology, SMVDU, Katra. During the workshop Lectures and Hands-on sessions were carried out by Dr. M.M. Kumar Scientist SciGenome, Kerala, Dr. Satish Kumar and Dr. Bhanu Bhargava, Scientists Genotypic Technology Ltd., Bangalore as the resource persons. They delivered lectures on the use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Strategies for Human and Plant Genomes in addition to its applications in Metagenomics. In the Hands-on session the use of various softwares analyses was demonstrated. The participants were also given training on Linux-based software tools frequently used in Bioinformatic analyses. The workshop concluded late in the evening after the Hands-on session. Prof. V.Verma, Acting Vice Chancellor and Co-ordinator Bioinformatics centre SMVDU speaking on the occasion highlighted the importance of the Next Generation Sequencing in the biological samples and thanked the resource personnel for their very well designed Hands-on training & lectures programme. Later he distributed the certificates of participation to the participants.

Workshop on Cyber Safety Conducted at SMVDU


SMVDU, 12 March: In today’s digital era, our virtual lives have overtaken the real ones we spend more time with our social media than our real friends. Nowadays the cyber world is the new reality, but with the advent of this cyber age there has arise new problems - the Cyber Crime Especially in India, a country which boasts of a massive population of internet users, cyber security has become a matter of prime concern.13032015_cyber02And to make today's youth aware of these problems, the NSS in collaboration with School of Computer Science, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University organized a workshop on “Cyber safety and Social Issues” from 11-12 March. Mr. Rakshit Tandon – a veteran and expert in the field – serving as advisor to different govt. agencies and ministries and other organization across the world, was the resource person on the occasion. Mr.Rakshit Tandon is also the director of ABR Information Security Solutions Pvt.Ltd, as well as a consultant for cyber crime department for Delhi and Haryana Police.

Dr. V. K. Tripathi flagged off the workshop with a small speech emphasizing the need for cyber security in India followed by Dr. Ajay Kaul, Director School of Computer Science, who made students aware of the looming cyber threats which we are facing today. During the workshop Mr. Rakshit Tandon   discussed various cases of cyber crimes he came across as a consultant for cyber crimes department. He especially emphasized the problem of online stalking, bullying and sexual predation against minors, which has recently become a major problem in Indian cyber space. The Fact that nothing once digitalized can ever be deleted, as well as our negligence towards this matter has been the reason for the Indian cyber population falling prey to online crimes. While India has a population of nine hundred million internet users, only 8-10% are aware and responsible netizens. Another major problem is lack of proper supervision of the younger generation online. This has led to unguided and unrestricted usage of online resources which often leads to minors diverting towards cybercrime, ruining their lives. According to statistics, India loses about 8 billion USD to cyber frauds each year, and this too, when only 10-20% for our netizens are aware and qualified users.

The workshop also covered topics like internet addiction, cookie tracing, difference between Hacking and Ethical Hacking, android vulnerability and importance of Cyber Hygiene and Netiquettes. The workshop concluded with discussion on career prospects in the field of cyber forensics. The workshop concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. V.K. Tripathi, Coordinator NSS, SMVDU.  

Workshop on Bioinformatics: Approaches in the –omics Era


A two days workshop on “Bionformatics: Approaches in the –omics Era”, funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India was conducted at School of Biotechnology (SBT), Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra from 10th -11th March, 2015.


Prof. V. Verma, Acting Vice Chancellor SMVDU and Co-ordinator Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility, SMVDU welcomed all the participants and apprised the gathering about the scope of the workshop in this important area of research. He gave a detailed overview of the history of bioinformatics in India particularly the BTISNet system of DBT. He further highlighted the activities of the Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility (BIF) centre of SMVDU. Mr. Ajay Khajuria, Registrar, SMVDU in his address apprised the gathering about the progress made by the university in different spheres of academics. The proceedings of the inaugural function were carried out by Mr. Parvez Singh Slathia, Assistant Professor, SBT. Dr. M.M. Kumar from SciGenome, Kerala was the resource person for the technical session. He delivered a lecture on the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Strategies and its applications. In the hands on session Dr. Kumar demonstrated the use of software s required for NGS data analysis. The aim of the workshop is to impart hands-on training to the participants to the latest bioinformatics tools in use in various areas of biotechnology using state-of-art soft & hardwares. 40 delegates from various institutions and universities of the region are participating in the event. The goal of this workshop is to bring together eminent and active researchers in the area of bioinformatics from research institutes and academia, for presentations and dialogue.

SMVDU Faculty delivers an Invited talk on Nanotechnology

08032015_phy01Dr. Vinay Kumar, a young and dynamic faculty member in the School of Physics, SMVDU has delivered an invited talk entitled “Recent development of nanophosphors in Solid State Lighting and displays” in the three day “National Conference on Microscopy & Advances in Material Sciences” (NCMAMS – 2015) organized by Crystal Growth & Material Research Lab in association with Electron Microscopy Society of India (EMSI) – North Zone Chapter and the UGC – SAP programme at Department of Physics & Electronics, University of Jammu.

Dr. Kumar, talked in detail about the importance of fluorescent nanoparticles (so called nanophosphors) which is a essential component of all kind of lights and displays like LED bulbs, CFL, and latest 4K TV and plasma HD TV and displays”. He covered the entire technology from laboratory to practical applications which includes the basics of synthesis, microscopic characterizations (TEM & SEM) and various spectroscopic (PL, UV, XPS etc) techniques of the oxide based nanophosphors to its practical use in lighting and displays. His research is financially supported by various funding agencies like DST (Govt. of India), DAE (Govt. of India) and UGC, New Delhi.

In concluding session, Dr. K. Muraleedharan President EMSI and Director, DRDO (Technical) at Head quarter, Delhi appreciated the work presented by Dr. Kumar.

SMVDU organizes an ICSSR sponsored one day National Seminar


Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, SMVDU, Prof. Sudhir K. Jain, presided on the occasion as Chief Guest. Prof. Jain, pioneer in Intellectual Property Rights Education in India, emphasized upon the need Geographical Indication for the economic development of local business of north-western region.

Prof. D. Mukhopadhyay, Dean, Faculty of Management and Chairman of the Seminar, welcomed the audience.

Dr. Ashutosh Vashishtha, Director, School of Business of SMVD University briefed the participants about the Department and University.

Prof. Dipankar Sengupta, Head of Economics department of Jammu University, the Keynote speaker, discussed about the strategies to enhance economic growth of the north-western states. He emphasized upon the need to develop local businesses like handicrafts, fruits and dry fruits, pashmina, tourism to have unique proposition to be identified on global horizon.

This National Seminar provided a platform for exchange of ideas to combat the challenges of business and economic concerns of North-western region of India. The opportunities in north-western states to establish and enhance business were also discussed.

45 papers were selected for the seminar for presentation. The papers were received from TBS, Commerce Department, Udhampur campus of Jammu University, SMVD University, BGSB University, Pacific University, Udaipur, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Arni University and Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, and North Bengal University.

Prof. Neetu Andotra was the Guest of Honour in Valedictory Session. She shared her expertise and knowledge with the audience. The best papers were selected. First prize went to Amanpreet Kour, Research Scholar of Punjab School of Economics of GNDU, Amritsar. Her paper titled, ‘Social Sector Spending in India with Special Reference to Northern States’ was co-authored by Dr. Baljit Kaur. Ms Vaishali of Commerce Department, Jammu University, got the second prize for her paper titled, ‘Impact of Group Behavior on Group Performance: A Study of J&K Public Corporations’. Her paper was co-authored by Ms. Ramandeep Kour and Ms Richa Gupta. Third prize went to Ms. Roomi Rani for her paper titled, ‘The mediating effect of talent management on mentoring and organisational commitment in the banking sector’. Her paper was co-authored by Dr. Jeevan Jyoti of Commerce department of Jammu University.

The seminar details were given by Mr. Pabitra Kumar Jena, the Coordinator of the Seminar and vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Rashi Taggar, the organizing secretary of the Seminar.

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