International Seminar on Vision for Varanasi- Approach to City Management




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Varanasi is known to be one of the oldest living cultural cities and now the Prime Ministerial constituency, has to gear up to see the new dawn of transformation. It has to prepare itself to respond to the coming opportunities and challenges. To restore its cultural heritage with rapid technological advancements, requires a structured approach to city management. In continuation to that, the two day International Seminar (IS 2015) 'Vision for Varanasi- Approach to City Management' was organised by Rajarshi School of Management And Technology, U.P. College, Varanasi in collaboration with Washington State University on February 7-8, 2015. The theme of the seminar was dedicated to Vision for Varanasi contemplating its future vision of becoming a centre of east-west cross cultural management centre and a citadel of knowledge of ancient philosophy, metaphysics, culture and spiritualism in the world.

The Seminar was inaugurated by our Patron and President UPES, Ex chief justice of India Shri K.N Singh and the Chief Guest and Patron Shri Ram Gopal Mohley Ji, the Mayor of Varanasi Nagar Nigam. The distinguished guests present during the session were Mr. M.P Singh, Vice President, Arcelor Mittal, London, Prof N.K Singh , Seminar Director and Chairman of Rajarshi School of Management and Technology, Mr. U.N Sinha, Secretary UPES, Dr. A.P Singh Joint Secretary UPES and Mr. Ahsan Rauf Khan, GM, Varanasi Motors.

The prime objective of seminar was to unshackle the thinking, planning and management of the ancient city of Varanasi. The commitment to preserve the heritage character of the city is fundamental to making any changes. At the same time contemporary and modern technology may find abundant expression in the amenities and sanitation of the city. Experts from design, architecture, city administration and management pooled their minds together to work out a structure more efficient to manage the city services and find new ways to preserve and enhance the culture and heritage of the city. A structured approach to develop new ways of doing better in the existing structure with needed modification was explored in the Seminar.Different thematic clusters of the seminar were, History and Cultural Significance, Landscapes, Heritage Archetype and Urban Ecology, Transforming Vision into Action: Building and Managing Sustainable Development and Branding and Marketing of Varanasi. This International Seminar sought to improve communications on this very topic among the world's scholars with multi-disciplinary backgrounds, consultants, policy makers, entrepreneurs, civil societies and NGOs. The findings from the discussions have brought forth new thoughts and enriched understanding of the impact of diasporas, especially in the field of modernizing the city while preserving its soul.

The distinguished guests of the Seminar were Mr. M.P Singh, Vice President Arcelor Mittal; Shri Ram Gopal Mohley, Mayor Varanasi Nagar Nigam; Mr. Ajay Upadhyaya, Editor, Editor Build of India; Prof. Dilip Patadia, Prof, Dean, Chairman Patdia Foundation, Texas, USA; Prof. K T Ravinendran, Prof. Dean Emeritus, RICS School of Built Environment Amity University; Mr.Pragyal Singh, Director, Government Infrastructure Advisory Services; Prof Shailendra Singh, President of National Academy of Psychology India IIM Lucknow; Mr. Akio Sugimoto, Director ,Gifu University Japan; Mr. Shyamlal Singh, Chairman of Architect Association, Planner India Pvt. Ltd.; Prof Alok Rai, FMS,BHU; Prof Rana P B Singh, Department of Geography, Faculty of Science BHU; Mr. Ashok Kapoor, Managing Director- R K Impex Pvt.Ltd, Prof Ravi Singh, Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, BHU; Prof Devendra Mohan , Head Civil Engg. Dept.IIT BHU , Mr. B. K Pandey, G.M. Jalkal Department, Varanasi, Mr.V.K. Malhotra, Sen. Indian Govt. Officer; Mr. Anupam Raghuvanshi, Director , TIMES Institutes; Mr. Sanjeev Vashishth, Asst. Director, Tourism Dept. Varanasi; Mr. R.K Agarwal, Advisor to Mayor,Nagar Nigam Varanasi; Mr. Prakash Nanda, Editor in Chief, Uday India (a national weekly) and Mr. Deepak Madhok, Chairman, Sunbeam Group of Schools.

Justice K.N Singh, President, UPES was given Plaque of Honour by Mayor Shri Ramgopal Mohley for his contributions and achievements. During the Seminar , two books were released by the dignitaries on 'Vision for Varanasi approach to City Management' and 'Varanasi- Critical Issues in City Management'. Thirty papers were presented during different technical sessions by Scholars & researchers from Uttarakhand, Kerala, West bengal, Mauritius, U.K. & U.S. Declaration of Awards (Best Paper) was facilitated by Prof N K Singh. The best paper award was given to Ms Margie Parikh from Ahmedabad and Ms. Shivangi Dwivedi from Jabalpur. Certificates were distributed to all the participants.
With this background, this International Seminar on 'Vision for Varanasi- Approach to City Management' aimed to provide a platform for a distinguished group of speakers and participants who discussed, debated and shared their insights in furthering understanding on the critical issues in city management. The Mayor appreciated this initiative and hoped that the outcome of the seminar which is being submitted to Ministry of Tourism and Urban Development will be a road map for developing the city into a one of the most favoured tourist destination in the world.