The presentation of nearly 350 papers at the international conference on women development here on Saturday raised many eyebrows as the papers were presented without any discussion and before empty chairs.
While the authorities concerned were patting themselves for the success of the event claiming that over 350 papers were read during 15 technical sessions, but going by statistics the truth is otherwise.
The conference actually started at 11 am on Friday and ended at 2 pm on Saturday. If every presenter was given a minimum of five minutes to read the paper the number of the papers read could not exceed over 150 during all the 15 technical sessions, which included long lavish tea and lunch breaks along with the inauguration and valedictory functions.
The organisers also claimed that over 650 delegates had attended the conference and experts from various fields were present but empty halls also raised a question mark over the claims of the authorities .
In fact, most of the papers were read by university employees of different departments who had nothing to do with the topics concerned.
Sources said whether the conference was a success or not but it did help the organisers to collect an hefty amount as the fee for every registration was Rs. 500.
According to information, 515 registrations were done on day one and 145 on day two. Thus the organisers could collect about Rs. 3 lakh in two days.
Besides, the panel discussions on priority which were supposed to be brainstorming turned out to be silent affairs before a limited gathering.
Sources also revealed that majority of registered applicants came only to take certificates and had no interest or knowledge about the topics.
"Usually it takes 10 to 15 minutes to present a paper and hold discussion on it. So, it is not feasible to read all the papers in such a short time. Instead of increasing the number of papers, the authorities should have considered to match the international quality of work. Strangely, some computer and theatre teachers also presented papers on sociology and that too without having research citations", said a delegate.
Entries by the visitors who got themselves registered only to buy certificates instead of actually presenting research papers remained the topic of discussion among the students.
When contacted, director of women's studies centre Manju Verma claimed that the conference was a great success and discussions were of high academic standard.
Verma said, "All the 350 papers were read and the conference was attended by 657 delegates. The data recorded would be sent to the United Nations office in Delhi and New York," adding that each session was of one hour 30 minute duration.