The TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS)family grieves the loss of its founding Chancellor and one of the finest environmentalists and a trailblazer of sustainable development, Dr R K Pachauri, who left for his heavenly abode on February 13th, 2020. The TERI SAS family stands with Dr Pachauri’s family in this hour of grief.
The university held a condolence meeting in memoriam of the departed soul at its Vasant Kunj campus. The demise of Dr Pachauri isn’t just loss to the fraternity of environmentalists and climate change crusaders, but without his valuable insight, the fight against climate change would never be the same.
It was during his leadership that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the former Vice President, USA, Mr Al Gore in 2007. One of the pioneers of sustainable development, Dr Pachauri was also awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, the third and second highest civilian awards of the Republic of India respectively.
Dr Pachauri and his persistent efforts led to the establishment of TERI SAS and his long association with TERI SAS was certainly a driving force which led this institution on the path of excellence.
Dr Shailesh Nayak, Chancellor, TERI SAS expressed his grief and remembered Dr Pachauri for his contribution in the fight against climate change and setting up TERI SAS.
Dr Shailesh Nayak said, “His idea of setting up TERI School of Advanced Studies was a visionary step. He had realised that we will need leaders to address issues related adaptation and mitigation of climate impacts, and formal education is the answer. Today TERI -SAS is in forefront in building capacity for ushering sustainability.”
Dr Manipadma Datta, the Vice-Chancellor, TERI SAS, observed, “Dr R K Pachauri was a global citizen. History will remember him as the trailblazer of sustainable development, education and research. It would be our responsibility to carry his mantle and stand for the principles he lived for.”
The drug menace spread across the world certainly threatens the wellbeing of people, but in South Asia, the situation is quite grave when it comes human security challenges associated with drug abuse.
TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS), New Delhi, India in collaboration with Swansea University, UK organized a weeklong Executive Programme on ‘Human Security and Drug Policy’ from January 27-31, 2020 at its New Delhi campus.
Speakers were drawn from world class Universities and Institutes such as Swansea University, UK; London School of Economics, UK; University of Rosario, Colombia; The New School, USA. The programme was uniquely designed to deliberate and discuss a host of critical issues around human security challenges associated with drug use and abuse, with specific emphasis on South Asia region.
The theme of the workshop is highly relevant and timely, given that the menace of drug abuse in increasing worldwide and has emerging as a key social impairment. This becomes more pronounced in South Asia region, given that the region is highly vulnerable in many ways, including health related vulnerabilities. The workshop intends to discuss an array of policy measures, and possible policy strategies which are contextual and designed to cater to the ground realities.
The focus will also be on designing and strategizing behavioral transformations to arrest such imminent societal challenge. Specific emphasis will be laid on discussing global declarations such as declarations made through SDGs and how these global goals can effectively be translated into regional and domestic policies and plan of actions.
The coordinator of the workshop Dr Gopal Sarangi from TERI SAS opines that “the primary purpose of the workshop is to strategize feasible, smart, and effective drug policy ‘solutions’ that are effective and humane and which utilize best practices, research, and lessons learned from existing policies that have failed and succeeded”.
Prof. David RB Taylor, Director of Global Drug Policy Observatory, Swansea University, who is one of the co-organisers of this workshop says, “It’s been a privilege to be involved with this ground-breaking workshop at TERI SAS.
Our goal has been to improve the knowledge base across and better understand a range of aspects of the drug issue in an effort to move towards a more nuanced, effective and humane drug policy within Afghanistan. And while certainly a process not an event, we have made good progress and established a solid foundation for future activities”.Read More
NEW DELHI: Former Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman K Kasturirangan says the space agency has a proper mechanism to deal with cyber security threats. The veteran scientist, who led the space agency for nine years, gave the statement when asked about a report that alerts were sent to Isro about threats from North Korean hackers just before the Vikram lander's scheduled moon landing date on September 7 this year.
Giving an interview to TOI on the sidelines of 12th convocation ceremony at Teri School of Advanced Studies here, Kasturirangan said, "Though I am not aware of any specific alert provided to the space agency, what I can say is Isro has a process to deal with such (hacking) alerts. There are experts and engineers in Isro who look at it. I am sure they have gone through the process. Nothing is taken lightly by Isro. Isro is extremely serious to deal with every input it gets directly or indirectly. As engineers know their systems well, they will make sure it (cyber security issue) is truly understood. This is the Isro culture."
Talking about Chandrayaan-2 mission, Kasturirangan, an honorary adviser to Isro, said, "Isro has gone into all possibilities of failures and anomalies. It is an opportunity to learn things which otherwise we would not have known. We should be able to correct and improve things. When Isro makes the announcement about Chandrayaan-3, it knows things it needs to address so that even more ambitious missions can be achieved in future."
Whether there is a chance of the revival of Vikram lander lying on Moon's surface, he said, "There is no declared direction in which Isro has confident that Vikram lander will come back, but Isro will continue to explore ways so that it can be revived. Luck would have it if certain things can happen."
The scientist said the "Gaganyaan is a very complex mission". "It includes multiple dimensions of technologies like engineering, science and users. We are learning in the process and preparing for it. Government has given us a deadline to launch the mission by 75th year of independence and we are trying our best. It is a good challenge," he said.
When asked why Nasa satellite images are preferred for spotting farm fires cases in Delhi's neighbourhood when Isro too has several specific satellites, Kasturirangan, who is also the chairman of committee on national education policy, told TOI, "Isro has acquired images of stubble burning, quantified it and provided information on time variation of the stubble burning process. A mechanism is being instituted to provide this kind of data to concerned authorities."
On the role of satellites in better prediction of severe cyclones, he said, "With advanced geo satellites, we can now predict cyclone landfall accuracy up to 50-60km. Such accurate information helps in evacuation much in advance. Isro's (Ahmedabad-based) Space Applications Centre provides such data and creates accurate cyclone models along with IMD, and provides advance warning to state and local authorities through MHA.
Satellites can now catch formative stages of cyclones even when they are several 100km away. They can monitor the movement of cyclones as sensors have large visibility zone up to the size of a continent. The satellites can now take cyclone pictures in the interval of 15 minutes. With optimal images and thermal images, we can even see the eye of a cyclone. With basic parameters of cyclone formation and atmospheric parameters like temperature, wind velocity and pressure, we can now create a model and predict the track that a cyclone takes."
Talking about the monitoring of glaciers, the Padma awardee who is also the chancellor of Central University of Rajasthan, said the "satellite system is monitoring 5,000 locations in the Himalayas for glacier melting. Fringes of glaciers can be monitored with fringe detection system -- analysis of whether there is an accumulation or recession of glaciers on a timely basis. Ground-based technological studies complement satellite data, which provides accurate data about glacier melting."Read More
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The 10th meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) President’s Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development was held today at ADB headquarters.
The Advisory Group’s discussions focused on the results and implications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C for developing member countries (DMCs) and ADB’s work in the Asia and Pacific region. The group also considered approaches for effectively tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability. The Advisory Group has been meeting since 2009.
The ADB President’s Advisory Group is headed by IPCC Chair Prof. Hoesung Lee and composed of the following high-level international experts: Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs (Columbia University), Prof. Leena Srivastava (TERI School of Advanced Studies in India), Mr. Andrew Steer (CEO, World Resources Institute), Prof. Dadi Zhou (National Development and Reform Commission in the People’s Republic of China), Prof. Laurence Tubiana (CEO, European Climate Foundation), Prof. Yukari Takamura (University of Tokyo), and Dame Meg Taylor (Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum). Mr. Lee, Mr. Zhou, and Ms. Takamura came to ADB headquarters for the meeting, while other members participated via video conference.
As part of ADB’s new long-term Strategy 2030, the bank has committed to ensuring that 75% of its operations support climate change mitigation and adaptation by 2030, while providing cumulative climate financing of $80 billion from ADB’s own sources between 2019 and 2030.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Nakao emphasized that the bank will scale up support for climate change mitigation by prioritizing investments for low greenhouse gas emission (GHG) energy, implementing sustainable transport and urban transportation strategies, and encouraging DMCs to shift to a low GHG emission development path. On adaptation, ADB will take a comprehensive approach to promote physical, financial, social and institutional, and eco-based resilience.
Mr. Lee explained the main findings of the IPCC report and challenges to achieving pathways consistent with limiting the increase in global warming to 1.5°C. Ms. Takamura mentioned that one encouraging sign in climate actions is the increase in voluntary involvement of nongovernment actors, such as business associations and local communities. Mr. Zhou suggested that countries should regard clear climate targets as important as gross domestic product growth. Finally, Ms. Srivastava, Mr. Steer, and Ms. Tubiana emphasized ADB’s role among multilateral development banks, increased consumer awareness, and clear messages to the public regarding realistic pathways to limit global warming.
In 2018, ADB loan and grant commitments for climate change mitigation and adaptation totaled $4.5 billion for 103 projects. The projects included green, climate-resilient, and low-carbon urban development in Mongolia; climate-resilient port infrastructure in Nauru; and supporting timely and accurate forecasting of extreme weather events in Tajikistan.
In addition, ADB is providing technical assistance in the region, including helping Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines enhance their capacity for designing and implementing investment projects that strengthen resilience of the urban poor. ADB has also been hosting regional knowledge events such as the 6th Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum in October 2018, which was co-organized with the governments of the Philippines and Palau. The Office of the General Counsel has hosted events on climate and environmental law by inviting judges and other law experts.
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