Eminent Indian Scholar & Environmental Activist Dr. Vandana Shiva presided as Chief Guest
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 8th Aug, 2020: An online national conference on ‘Sustainable Management of Environment & Natural Resource through Innovation in Science and Technology (SMTST-2020)’ concluded successfully at UPES today. The conference organized by the ‘Department of Health, Safety, Environmental & Civil Engineering (HSE)’ School of Engineering, UPES was conducted in collaboration with ‘DBS (PG) College, Dehradun’ and was funded by ‘Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology (UCOST)’. Eminent Indian scholar environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate and anti-globalization author – Dr. Vandana Shiva presided over the conference as the Chief Guest.
Briefing the media on the event Arun Dhand, Sr. Director UPES shared that the conference aimed at discussing various aspects of sustainable technologies and scientific approaches towards cautious management of environmental resources, their conservation and protection. “The conference was initially planned to be held on a face to face mode but had to be converted to virtual mode due to the current pandemic”, Dhand added.
Welcoming the guests & the participants, Dr. Nihal Anwar Siddiqui – Head, HSE apprised that UPES has always advocated the ideology of preserving environment & natural resource and has been a contributor in their sustainable management. Conveying the motto of conference, Dr. Nihal thanked the participants for their cooperation in conduct of the conference and expressed his happiness in bringing together the environmental experts, scholars & activists across the nation on a single platform to deliberate upon this important issue. “Environment & natural resources witnessed an overhaul during the lockdowns under the current pandemic situation. Human intervention has caused great harm to both hence the responsibility of their sustainable management lies upon them too,” he said. The ‘Conference Convener’ Dr. Kanchan Deoli Bahukhandi – Assistant Professor (SG) HSE briefed the schedule of the two-day conference to the participants.
Addressing the participants, the ‘Chief Guest’ Dr. Vandana Shiva emphasized that well-being of the environment is always more important than the technological & economic development and quoted the example of Himalayan forests depletion due to the unplanned utilization/application of technological interventions. Dr. Shiva further shared her experiences while founding ‘Research Foundation for Science, Technology & Natural Resource Policy (RFSTN)’ – an organization devoted to developing sustainable methods of agriculture working in close partnership with local communities & social movements; and ‘Navdanya’ – a national movement to protect the diversity & integrity of living resources especially native Indian seeds and to promote organic farming and fair trade with the participants. The ‘Conference Convener’ Dr. Nirmala Koranga – Assistant Professor, DBS (PG) College thanked the Chief Guest for her inspiring address & enlightening insights. In his message to the participants, UPES Vice Chancellor – Dr. Sunil Rai expressed his delight on the valuable exchange of knowledge & ideas on the important issues of environment & natural resources under the national level event organized by the university.
Delivering his keynote address on ‘Emissions From Coal Cooks Stoves And Possible Future Work in The Area of Processed Solid Fuels For Cook Stoves’, Dr. Virendra Sethi – Professor ‘Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering’, IIT-Mumbai spoke on ambient air quality sampling/monitoring conducted by him at two small village sites; Chandrapur in Maharashtra and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh; on various types of raw & carbonized coal (domestic) based cooking stove emissions. In other keynote session, Dr. Suresh Jain – Associate Dean: Academics, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Tirupati shared his insights on ‘COVID-19 and Environment Benefits, Challenges and Way Forward’, which highlighted upon the reduction of environment pollutant levels during lockdown across various places in India. A ‘Technical Session’ hosted by Dr. Paritosh Singh from DBS (PG) College followed the keynote addresses. Dr. S.K. Bartarya and Dr. Gagan Anand chaired the session. ‘Conference Co-Chair’ Dr. Syed Mohammad Tauseef – Assistant Dean Research, SoE UPES apprised that around 150 research papers, received from national & international universities & research institutes were presented in four parallel online technical sessions.
Delivering the ‘Vote of Thanks’, Dr. Kanchan Bahukhandi expressed her gratitude to the ‘Chief Guest’ Dr. Vandana Shiva & Keynote Speakers for sparing her valuable time and valuable insights. “The event owes its success to the organizing committee members Dr. Maheshwar Pathak, Dr. Shefali Arora, Dr. Shalini Vohra, Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, Mr. Abhishek Nandan, Mr. Prasenjit Mondal, Mr. Akshi K. Singh, Mr. Arun PA, Mr. Venkata Krishnakanth, Ms. Tabassum Abassi and Mr. Surendar V from UPES and Dr. Nirmala Koranga and Dr. Paritosh Singh from DBS(PG) College and members of the support team/staff. I thank them all for their committed support” she shared.