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
Dr K Kasturirangan was addressing the twelfth annual convocation of TERI School of Advanced Studies (SAS) held today.
NEW DELHI: Liberal education as a foundational component in higher education, is being increasingly recognised as a crucial 21st century educational component, to prepare the future youth, to successfully face the dynamic and complex job environment, said Dr K Kasturirangan in his address during the twelfth annual convocation of TERI School of Advanced Studies (SAS) held today.
A total of 19 doctoral degrees and 229 master's degrees were awarded at the convocation by the Chief Guest Dr Kasturirangan.
"How exactly institutions like TERI SAS can bring concepts of liberal education into the present mainstream educational system is worth giving a thought at this juncture", he added.
"My best wishes go with you for your success and for achieving what you have been aspiring and dreaming. To have had the opportunity to study at this institution of higher learning is a matter of privilege to each one of you. May the value system that this institution has instilled in you inspire you to set high standards in all your future endeavors," he told the graduating students.
The TERI School of Advanced Studies recognized Dr Kasturirangan's contributions to the ?eld of sustainability and education, and conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa, upon the former Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Prof Manipadma Datta, Vice-Chancellor, TERI SAS and Dr Shailesh Nayak, Chancellor of TERI SAS also addressed the students in the convocation function.Read More
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New Delhi: TERI School of Advanced Studies is hosting a three-day international workshop and meeting on Sustainable Forestry in South Asia: Current Status, Science and Conservation Priorities from 7th to 9th November 2019 in New Delhi.
The meeting is being held as part of the NASA Land Cover/Land Use Change Program funded South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative and in collaboration with several international partners including Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC–GOLD), Virginia Tech University, University of Maryland College Park, USA, Michigan State University, USA, Columbia University, USA, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA, NASA SERVIR, START, etc.
The first day of the conference began with inaugural addresses by various stakeholders. In his welcome address, Prof. Manipadma Datta, Vice Chancellor, TERI SAS, started with a quote by Rabindranath Tagore: Give back the forest, take your town. He added, “Forests mean nature and we are the products of nature. It is difficult to over emphasize the role of forest in human civilization. We must be respectful to nature as we’re the beings of mother earth”. Congratulating all the delegates he remarked, “Forest is the integral part of nature, and there needs to be a conscious effort in reconnecting humanity/human development with nature.”
The day included some very thought-provoking sessions. The session on Status of Forest Cover/Resources in South Asia Countries included technical presentations on forest cover/resources status from Forest Department representatives of India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
This was followed by an engaging panel discussion on Remote Sensing of Forestry Research Priorities, where regional priorities were identified. These are as follows: i) Need of capacity building in using advanced remote sensing technology to improve accuracy of forest map; ii) Integration of remote sensing data with non-remote sensing data sets such as census data and migration data; iii) Validation of global forest products for use at national level.
The day culminated with a session on Mapping and Monitoring of Forest Cover and Wetlands Including Degradation, where J K Garg, Senior Fellow, Department of Natural Resources at TERI SAS remarked, “Forest integrity is paramount to preservation of ecosystem integrity of wetlands. And the EBV’s (Essential Biodiversity Variables) are of immense use in establishing a strong link between wetland biodiversity and catchment health”.
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