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One day International Seminar on Social Policies in India and Canada

The Department of Social Work, Pondicherry University organised a One day International Seminar on “Social Policies in India and Canada - Insights and Perspectives”. 

Dr. K. Anbu, Associate Professor and Head (i/c), Department of Social Work, Pondicherry University delivered the welcome address. In the opening remarks Prof. A. Shahin Sultana, Seminar Coordinator, Department of Social Work, Pondicherry University, highlighted the relevance of the seminar in the department’s curriculum. 

This was followed by the Inaugural address by Prof. Clement Sagayaradja Lourdes, Dean, School of Humanities, Pondicherry University. He gave a brief note on the relations between India and Canada, the culture and educational opportunities. He also quoted on Dr. Baiju P Vareed’s interesting article ‘West Meets East- How Gandhian Ethics Works  Across Culture’. The Inaugural program ended with the special address by Dr Baiju P Vareed, PHD RSW, School of Social Work, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who gave a brief note on the relevance of this topic in the current context. The Vote of thanks was proposed by a first year MSW representative.

In the seminar Dr. Baiju briefly shared his insights on Social Policies in Canada which he compared with that of India, including health care, employment, pensions, child welfare and indigenous communities. He gave his perspectives on how social policies are framed with social, cultural, economic and religious context of a country. The contrast between composition of organised and unorganised sectors of India and Canada and its effect on job security, pension and insurance were also presented. The insights on how the government of Canada pumps huge amounts of money towards the economy to support the private enterprises which in turn builds employment helped understand their economic policies. 

He also discussed the limitations in the Social Welfare System.  The seminar gave varied perspectives on the role of social workers in frontline service and policy analysis. This was followed by an interactive session during which Dr Baiju answered questions from social work trainees and scholars. He introduced us to some of Canada's interesting take on Covid-19 policies that did not interfere with personal freedom of its residents and the frequent intervention of social workers in the framing and implementation of welfare policies.  The seminar ended with a vote of thanks proposed by a first year MSW representative. On the whole the Seminar with the support of the University administration proved to be a huge learning experience for the participants in the Seminar.

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