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Manipur University, 30/05/2024: The Department of Sociology, Manipur University, Canchipur, inaugurated a two-day national seminar on ‘Reservation for Women: Past, Present, and Future’ today. Sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, the seminar brought together esteemed scholars and experts from all over India to deliberate on the critical issue of women's reservation in India.

The inaugural session was held in the Conference Hall of the Department of Commerce. The Chief Guest, Prof. N. Lokendra Singh, Honorable Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University, along with presidium members, lit the inaugural lamp, symbolizing the enlightenment and knowledge-sharing expected from this seminar. The session began with a welcome address from the organizing secretary, followed by a keynote address by Prof. Rajesh Gill, former Dean of Research at Panjab University, Chandigarh. Prof. Gill’s insights set the tone for the seminar by raising significant issues such as the necessity of women’s reservation even after 76 years of independence, whether intersectionality has been addressed, and why the reservation is set at 33% when women comprise half of the population. Subsequent speeches were delivered by distinguished guests of honour.

Prof. Shweta Prasad from the Department of Sociology at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Secretary of the Indian Sociological Society, via an online platform, emphasized that our goal should not only be to increase their numbers but to ensure that their participation translates into meaningful and impactful governance. Prof. Rajendra Kshetri, former Head of the Department of Sociology at Manipur University, provided enriching sociological perspectives, suggesting that women must not remain a class in itself, but must become a class for itself.

The Chief Guest, Prof. N. Lokendra Singh, Honorable Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University, in his address, underscored the importance of academic discourse in shaping public policy and promoting gender equality. He stated that the intersectionality of gender with caste, class, and other social identities adds layers of complexity that demand nuanced approaches and solutions. He further emphasized that it is crucial to understand that the challenges faced by women are not homogenous and that policies must be tailored to address these diverse experiences.

The session was presided over by Dr. M. Lilee, Seminar Convener and Associate Professor & Head of the Department of Sociology, Manipur University, who delivered a thoughtful presidential address highlighting the motive behind and purpose of organizing the seminar. The inaugural session concluded with a vote of thanks, followed by a group photo session.