The College of Economic and Social Development (CESD) at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) organized the Annual International Conference on Social Sciences (AICSS) 2019 on the theme of “Geo-Political, Economic, Educational and Psycho-Social Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century” at its campus on January 28-29, 2019 according to IoBM Public Affairs Section. Invited at the inaugural session were local, regional, national and international luminaries. Bashir Janmohammad, Chancellor IoBM, Chairman and Director Westbury Group of Companies, Dalda Foods (Pvt.) Limited and Mapak Edible Oils (Pvt.) was the Chief Guest. Talib Karim President, IoBM addressed the Conference and introduced the institution. The Welcome Address was given by Dr. Shahida Wizarat, Dean CESD, IoBM, Vote of Thanks was delivered by Ambassador, Retired, Syed Hassan Habib, Senior Fellow, Center for Area and Policy Studies (CAPS), IoBM. The Academic Partner of AICSS 2019 was Dr. Abdul Salam Lodhi, Director, University College of Zhob, Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).
Guest speakers included Professor Dr. Stephany Griffith Jones, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), England and Columbia University, USA and Professor Dr. Natalia Zamaraeva, Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow, Russia, Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan’s permanent representative at the UN, Dr. Muhammad Saleem, Policy Analyst, State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Khalid Rehman, DG, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad, Ambassador Hassan Javed, Director, Chinese Studies Center, NUST, Islamabad, Dr. Mehtab S. Karim, Vice Chancellor, Malir University of Science and Technology, Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Dean and Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, Lasbela University, Dr. Riaz Sheikh, Dean, Social Sciences, SZABIST, Karachi, Dr. Aneela Amber Malik, HoD, Psychology Department, University of Karachi, Eng. M.A. Jabbar, Former President, SITE Association, Dr. Lubna Naz, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Karachi, Dr. Shazia Ghani, Former Head of Prime Minister’s Performance Delivery Unit (PMPDU).
Bashir Janmohammad highlighted key challenges facing Pakistan including population growth, lack of education and scarce healthcare facilities. He advised the Conference organizers, researchers and participants to devise ways on how to manage population, disseminate education and provide healthcare for the masses He said that education is of a paramount significance for Pakistan and cited IoBM’s example in imparting quality education to those who can afford it and especially to those belonging to the less-privileged segment receiving education at IoBM. Bashir Janmohammad said that the gap between the rich and the poor is expanding which is creating political disorder and urged that the rich must contribute to the society and help the poor stand on their feet.
Talib S. Karim said IoBM focuses on social sciences and liberal arts apart from business management and allied disciplines, which is why AICSS will prove to be a step forward and hoped that AICSS will become an annual conference hosted by IoBM. He highlighted the generous support of Bashir Janmohammad for IoBM, especially in setting up the Endowment Fund for IoBM’s financially needy students for which he donated Rs. 5 million. He added while Entrepreneurship and Management Excellence Center (EMEC), IoBM provided logistics support for AICSS, the entire AICSS team along with students and faculty, amid the guidance of Dr. Shahida Wizarat, played a vital role in organizing this Conference. He reiterated research and findings at AICSS must be compiled, followed-up and applied as recommendations by researchers and scholars.
Earlier in her speech Dr. Shahida Wizarat identified major national and international challenges to be pondered at the Conference like scarcity of potable and irrigation water, sectarian, ethnic, ideological conflicts and militarization, flight of investment from less developed and developing countries and depletion of world energy supplies adversely affecting GDP growth rates. In order to address this precarious human situation, she urged leaders to sacrifice private interests for larger public benefits and that people, media, intelligentsia, educators, researchers, scholars, academic, economists, strategists, philanthropist’s government organizations all need to join hands to deal with national and global disorder in this regard. Dr. Abdus Salam Lodhi said that Baluchistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) envisages quality education and conducting socio-economic research for Pakistan in general and Baluchistan in particular. Ambassador Munir Akram said that creating sustainable infrastructure is the most important task world leaders should address.
International speakers comprised Professor Dr. Stephany Griffith Jones, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), England and Colombia University, USA spoke on “The Role of Investment Banks in Development Financing” and Prof. Dr. Natalia Zamaraeva, Senior Researcher, Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow, Russia shed light on “Russia-Pakistan moving towards each other.” Available at video conferencing from India are Ujjal Protim Dutta, Lipika Kankaria and Partha Pratim Sengupta. Parallel sessions held at the AICSS 2019 pertained to Education, Economics, Business Management, Psychology and Center for Area and Policy Studies. Interactive sessions and panel discussions were held on Shaping Pakistan’s Future, The Role of Investment Banks in Development Financing, Challenges and Opportunities for Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir Conflict in South Asian Regional Perspective, The Role of Social Sciences in Business Education, Social and Human-Interest issues highlighted in films, Film Screening and Competition.