Symbiosis Law School, Pune, a constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University), hosted the Golden Jubilee Lecture Series which was delivered by Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics & Information Technology and Communications, Government of India on 19th June, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 4:15 PM. The event was held on the topics of “Social Media & Social Security” and “Criminal Justice System Reforms: An Unfinished Agenda”.
Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, SLS-P, Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU delivered her welcome address. Dr. Gurpur stated that the historic significance of celebrating the Symbiosis Golden Jubilee Lecture Series is brought to life by listening to a luminary like Hon’ble Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad. She mentioned that Symbiosis Law School, Pune has been amongst the top ten Law Schools in India since 2010. The institute is also engaged with the Law Ministry because of its commitment towards public service, values, ethics, and the symbiosis of private-public partnership.Dr. Gurpur highlighted Symbiosis as a home for best institutionalization practices and the incessant endeavors of SLS-P towards internationalization in terms of student and faculty exchange, research collaborations and curricular enrichment. She also stated that “for us our unfinished agenda as an educational institution is in research and impacting lives”. Dr. Gurpur concluded her address remarking- “in the time when we see the extensive use, misuse of social media and the spread of misinformation, there is a need to discuss the ways to meet this new challenge.”
Following the welcome address, Dr. Vidya Yeravadekar, Pro-Chancellor, SIU expressed the University’s honour in hosting Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad. She elaborated on the purpose and details of golden jubilee lecture series and students would gain immensely by listening to his rich vision and experience. She warmly welcomed the hon’ble minister to the Symbiosis Golden Jubilee Lecture Series.
In his address, Prof. (Dr.) S.B. Mujumdar, the Hon’ble Chancellor, SIU, welcomed the guest and briefly narrated the genesis of Symbiosis and how he realised Pune was the favoured destination of foreign students. He mentioned that foreign students are our cultural ambassadors and our endeavor from inception was to attract a large number of foreign students to India with the motto of Vasudhaiva Kutumbkum. Symbiosis stands for interdependence and growth and “we aim to promote international understanding through quality education”.
Thereafter, Dr. Bindu Ronald, Deputy Director, SLS-P introduced the guest speaker and compered the event.
The Distinguished Speaker, Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics & Information Technology and Communications, Government of India warmly greeted the audience and conveyed his greetings and respect to Dr. Mujumdar. He praised the quality of education delivered by Symbiosis and commended Dr Majumdar as the number one ‘institution builders’ of India for building Symbiosis as a good brand of education. He further appreciated Dr. Mujumdar’s dream and how he concretized his hard work giving rich dividends and making symbiosis movement the benchmark of quality education in all disciplines.
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad began his address by mentioning how the proactive contributions of individual, government and non-government sectors have to work together to make a progressive India. Symbiosis is playing a seminal role in this manner. He first addressed the topic of “Criminal Justice System Reforms: An Unfinished Agenda” wherein he emphasized on the need for concrete pragmatic solutions to resolve criminal law cases. Criminal justice is a sovereign exercise, and cannot be outsourced. This necessitates a need for Skilling in Cyber Technologies to law enforcement, academia and judiciary. In the light of increasing cyber-crimes there is a need to reinforce the cyber walls and ensure digital disposal of legal cases by various courts. He also stated that “Access to justice is part of good governance”. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that Justice delivery is an important aspect of making India a business-friendly country. He mentioned, “If India has to progress, India must progress through democracy and the debate should not be if India is fit for democracy”.
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad further expressed his views on the second topic i.e. “Social Media & Social Security”. He said that we live in a digital age wherein this borderless world exposes one to both opportunities and challenges. While commending the Digital India campaign, Shri Ravi Shankar shared the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to build India’s tomorrow we have to amalgamate Indian Talent and Information Technology and pandemic was used as an opportunity to achieve this vision. He acknowledged that Right to access the internet as a fundamental is non-negotiable in a democratic framework of India. He also mentioned the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right. However, Innovation cannot be killed under the garb of Privacy. Digital inclusion can be achieved through technology which is home grown, low cost and inclusive.
The address was followed by the question answer session where the faculties and students from diverse disciplines were given an opportunity to ask questions to the Distinguished Speaker. After an enlightening Question & Answer session, the programme concluded successfully with the Vote of Thanks delivered by Dr. Bindu Ronald, Deputy Director, SLS-P.