The Department of Human Genetics of Guru Nanak Dev University organised the Sardar Jaswant Singh Rai Memorial Lectureship Award for 2023 at Sri Guru Granth Sahib Bhawan of the University.
The Sardar Jaswant Singh Rai Memorial Trust, Jalandhar, established in 1999, by Prof. Dr. Karamjit Singh Rai sponsored the event wherein the esteemed geneticist Prof. Dr. Jai Rup Singh, founder Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda and former Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar was the chief guest and the recipient for the award.
Prof. Dr. Jai Rup Singh was graciously welcomed with guard of honour by the NCC cadets of the University. The lecture was well attended by faculty members and keen students from various departments. The event was presided over by the honourable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Jaspal Singh Sandhu.
Dr. Manpreet Kaur, head of the department, commenced the event by welcoming the dignitaries and the audience and the lighting of lamp was performed by the guests of honour. She introduced the foundation, evolution and achievements of the Department of Human Genetics through the years.
Following that, Prof. Dr. Vasudha Sambyal familiarized the audience with Sardar Jaswant Singh Rai Memorial Trust, it's mission and impact, and enlisted the past recepients of this award.Prof. Dr. Vanita Kumar introduced the chief guest for the day, Prof. Dr. Jai Rup Singh, and highlighted his achievements, rightfully calling him "a pioneer for human genetics in India".
Prof. Dr. Jai Rup Singh delivered an engaging lecture titled "Demystifying Myths". His talk centered around the past, present and future of genetic disorders and the myths that have surrounded them and prevailed in the human society for eons.
He enlisted the common myths in various cultures ranging from the Mahabharata to the Greek mythos and expertly linked them to genetic disorders which present a more realistic version of those myths, hence establishing that they are infact a hyperbole of natural occurrences.
Speaking of the future, he exclaimed that tools like CRISPR-Cas9 would be revolutionary in combating several genetic disorders, but stressed that there also have arisen many conundrums, as these tools have astronomical costs and may even be used to play god, all to the detriment of humanity.