16 Jan,2014

16 January: Seminar at Economics Department Government College of Boys, Ludhiana

Increase in spending on health and education is the most essential perquisite for the development and inclusive growth of a society. Therefore it is of utmost importance that the spending on arms be decreased and the money thus saved should be diverted towards health and education; said Dr Arun Mitra – General Secretary Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) while delivering a talk at seminar organized by the Economics Department SCD Government College here today. India and Pakistan both are one among the most deprived but we spend huge amount on arms. India ranks number one with 12% of total arms import and Pakistan ranks number three with 5% of total arms import in the world. Both of us now have about 100 nuclear weapons each. These are enough to put two billion people at the risk of starvation in the case of nuclear exchange between the two countries. Quoting a study carried out by the Nobel Laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) President Dr Ira Helfand, he said that the fall in temperature around the world as a result of dust and soot released into the atmosphere will reduce agriculture growth to a level which could cause serious fall in production of food. The 925 million people in the world who are already chronically malnourished (with a baseline consumption of 1,750 calories or less per day), would be put at risk by a 10% decline in their food consumption. The only option before the world is to abolish the testing, production and putting on launch all the nuclear weapons. He was highly critical that India’s health spending in the last budget was only 1.9% as against the minimum of required 6%. There is urgent need to increase public health spending on the health. Prof. Poonam Mittal, Head of the Economics Department highlighted the need for an inclusive growth of the society and not concentration of wealth in a few hands. Prof. Ashwani Bhalla said that corporate oriented growth has led to widening of gaps in the society. Prof. Pooran Singh said that their department always tries to impart knowledge to the student on various related subjects. Prof. Geetanjli Malik welcomed the speaker and Prof. Iradeep Kaur thanked the participants. Students asked questions from the speakers