Chandigarh: The ICSSR Sponsored National Seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction in North-Western India organized by Centre of Advanced Study Department of Geography, Panjab University, Chandigarh concluded onMarch 7, 2017. The seminar was inaugurated by Professor Paramjit Singh Jaswal, Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab.
Pravin K Sinha, IG Cyber Crime and Intelligence Punjab was Guest of Honour. Major General (Retd.) Balwinder Singh, VSM was Keynote Speake.
The seminar was conducted as a micro level response against the global call for taking initiatives on Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The seminar was inter-disciplinary in its spirit. It provided a common platform for interface between the government, technical institutions, responders, medical care, software innovators, academia, students and general public. Sitting together under one roof and sharing knowledge was a rare opportunity to know the collective capability and capacity of each other. This provided an opportunity for introspection and self-assessment. It will be a guiding force for being more proactive.
The sessions of the seminar were divided in seven sections that included five technical sessions covering different dimensions of disaster risk reduction such as present status and future requirements, development fallouts, managing critical risks (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear), early warning system and academic and research inputs.
The need for quality education in disaster risk reduction was highlighted by Prof. Paramjit Singh Jaswal, Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab. He indicated that quality education will develop a culture of practicing preventive measures to reduce the possibilities of risks. Shri P.K. Sinha, IG Cyber Crime and Intelligence, Punjab advocated for strong, very dependable information network by investing in latest communication system. This will enable the responders to improve their response.
It was realised that North-Western States are not strongly following NDMA Act in letter and spirit. The States do not have disaster management plan at all levels, emergency operation centres (EOCs), and trained responders. This lamentable state of affair indicates the apathy that needs correction.
The public at large has no awareness about the CBRN threats and risks. Awareness and education in the campaign mode is vital. For the management of avalanche, it was suggested that a cryosat is launched besides beginning courses on cryosphere study.
Hospitals like PGI are overloaded which caters 25 lakh patients per year. Such hospitals must be given priority in terms of investment and expansion of facilities for managing casualties during disasters. Detailed hazard probability mapping for Himalayan regions is needed. Similarly, active fault mapping of the region is essential.
It was highlighted that we have large number of high quality labs but coordination among them is missing. Educational institutions find restrictions to access for information, a hurdle in teaching and research.
The seminar ended with a valedictory address by Prof. Gopal Krishan who traced out the evolution of disaster management. He mentioned that Survey of India, Geological Survey of India and India Meteorological Department are the oldest institutions in the country. It reflects that it was realised earlier itself the importance of very vital information. Sustainable development and sustainable well being are associated with disaster management.
The seminar was attended by large number of students, faculty members from different Universities, scientists from IMD, SASE, NIDM, NDRF, Punjab State Remote Sensing Center, ESRI, PGI and defence personnel. In the end prof Krishna Mohan, Convener & Coordinator, CAS, Department of Geography read the seminar report and Prof Ravinder Kaur proposed a vote of thanks.
The seminar was attended by large number of students, faculty members from different
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