Pune, India. The threat of biological warfare and bio-terrorism is a burning issue worldwide, especially when the entire globe is fighting against COVID-19 pandemic. There have been multiple speculations which have been raised regarding the origin of the virus, some claiming it to be a trigger for biological warfare, and such threat calls for an urgent need to evaluate the threat posed by bio/chemical weapons.
To draw light on this issue Pune-based MIT World Peace University, India’s premium educational institute conducted a four-day virtual International Conference on Eradication of Biological and Chemical Weapons. The Conference saw active participation from across the globe with more than 20,000 plus participants.
Through this Conference, the University aimed to spread awareness and awaken the youth against bio-warfare. It also focussed on its end goal of establishing a legal discourse towards curbing research and development of such weapons.
Organising the Conference was significant in view of the escalating border tension between India and China besides being the volatile relationship with neighbouring countries and an increased threat of terrorism globally. Also, the two important bodies Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and Biological Weapons Convention and Organisation (BWCO) which are responsible for getting rid of weapons of mass destruction, unfortunately, do not hold an authority to abolish any decision.
Expressing his view on the current scenario, Prof Dr Vishwanath D. Karad – Founder President, MIT World Peace University said “The COVID-19 pandemic has created utmost disruption in our mundane lives. Many do speculate that the breakout of the virus was purposely intended to take over world supremacy. Sadly, due to some nation’s greed we humans are the ones who suffer the most. We should all take an oath to work towards peace and harmony rather than fighting against each other”.
Echoing his sentiments, Rahul V. Karad, Vice President – MAEER’s MIT Group, Executive President – MIT WPU, founder – BCS, MITSOG, NTC, NWP, Sarpanch Sandsad said: “We all know that COVID-19 pandemic has brought our lives to a standstill, it is high time that we rethink the way the world functions. As an educational institute dedicated to the idea of world peace, we staunchly believe in working towards the eradication of biochemical weapon. Through this International Conference the agenda was to create awareness and preparedness by bringing people from various countries together to evolve a mechanism which will help in the elimination of bio-warfare.”
Speaking on the Conference Dr. NT Rao, Vice chancellor, MIT-WPU said, “In this International Conference various intellectual minds have come together to appeal to the United Nations to destroy this impending threat caused by chemical and biological weapons. At MIT WPU, believers of world peace collectively speak, deliberate and come to a conclusion and pass the resolution for the betterment of the world.”
“We are very glad that through this Conference we were able to reach out to the youth of the nation and most importantly sensitise them towards the threat against bio-chemical weapons. With the support and participation of a host of eminent spokespeople across the globe, we’ve had successfully submitted a plea to the United Nations and the Prime Minister’s Office and we stay committed towards taking this to a logical conclusion,” concludes Pravin V Patil, CEO, Centre for Industry – Academia Partnerships, MIT- WPU.
The four-day long virtual Conference saw many eminent spokespeople/ leaders across fields deliberating, discussing and sharing their expertise on different aspects of bio-warfare and have jointly contributed towards creating a legal framework.
Some of the prominent personalities were Justice KG Balakrishnan – Former Chief Justice of India, Former Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC); Dr. Rajendra Singh – Well Known Water Conservationist (Waterman of India) & Chairman, Tarun Bharat Sangh; GVV Sarma, IAS, Member secretary, National Disaster Management Authority. Government of India; Dr. A. Velumani – Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Thyrocare Technologies Ltd. & Former Scientist, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Founder and Managing Director, Nuclear Healthcare Ltd. (NHL).
Arif Mohammed Khan – Hon’ble Governor of Kerala, Former Cabinet Minister, Energy and Civil Aviation, Government of India, Prof. Dr. Atanu Basu – Director Grade Scientist G, ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Department of Health Research, Min of Health & FW, Govt of India & Adjunct Professor, School of Life Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi and Salman Khurshid- Senior Advocate, Former Union Minister for External Affairs, Law & Justice, Minority Affairs, Government of India were the dignitaries participated among others.