Mangaluru: The inauguration of the two-day National Conference on “Current Trends in Entomology and Plant-Insect Interaction” was held at LF Rasquinha Hall, Mangaluru on September 11 and 12 at 9:30 am.
The programme was jointly organised by the Departments of Botany and Zoology at St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru and was sponsored by the STAR College Scheme of the Indian Government’s Department of Biotechnology.
Former Madras University Vice-Chancellor and emeritus scientist Dr S Ignacimuthu was the chief guest for the inauguration ceremony. St Aloysius Institutions Rector Fr Dionysius Vaz presided over the programme. SAC Principal Dr Praveen Martis, Zoology Department head Dr Hemachandra, Organising Secretary Dr Jyothi Miranda, STAR College Scheme Co-ordinator Dr Ronald Nazareth, and Student Convenor Joel Correa were on the dais.
Eminent scientists, Dr Giby Kuriakose, Dr Sinu PA, Dr Shamprasad Varija Raghu, Dr Vanitha K and Dr Mahua Ghara were the resource people for the various sessions of the conference.
In his address, Chief Guest Dr S Ignacimuthu said, “What we have received is the gift of God, but what we are today is our gift to God”. He further said, “Insects were all over the earth before humans came into the world. Insects play an important role in agriculture, but due to urbanization, the number of insects has been drastically reduced. To promote conservation, we must preserve these nature-friendly insects by keeping our environment green.”
Fr Dionysius Vaz, in his speech, applauded the staff of the Botany and Zoology Departments for organizing such a wonderful conference. He said, “Human beings are occupying more space on earth than other species. Due to the greed of human beings, the whole of the biodiversity is destroyed. The insects are nature-friendly and play a vital role in agriculture. Hence, it is our duty to show empathy towards these species to preserve ecology.”
SAC Principal Dr Praveen Martis said, “We are fascinated by the beautiful insects in our environment. 64% of the earth is filled with various species of flora and fauna. The role of insects on this earth is very important as the insects help to keep the environment clean, beautiful and they also contribute to agriculture.”
During the programme, an educational CD on “Inventory on Insects (Fauna) of the College Campus” was launched by Dr S Ignacimuthu. A book of Abstracts was also released by Fr Dionysius Vaz.
Earlier, Dr Hemachandra welcomed the gathering while Caldrida compered the programme. Dr Jyothi Miranda delivered the vote of thanks.
SAC Registrar Dr A M Narahari, Controller of Examinations Dr Alwyn D’Sa, SAC Directors Dr Richard Gonsalves, Dr John D’Silva, Dr Dennis Fernandes, and Biological Sciences Dean Harsha Paul were present for the programme.
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