Secy DST e-inaugurates Rs 8-cr project; VC vows to fulfill CoE mandate
Precious Kashmir News
Srinagar, Dec 4: In a move which could give a huge fillip to research promotion and development at the University of Kashmir, the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has awarded the varsity with an ambitious Centre of Excellence for Glacial Studies (CoEGS) in the Western Himalaya.
DST Secretary Prof Ashutosh Sharma e-inaugurated the ambitious CoE, budgeted at approximately Rs 8-crore, to boost the glaciological research activities in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).
The CoEGS at KU is among three Centers of Excellence awarded by DST as part of its National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE). Two other CoEs have been set up at Sikkim and Tezpur universities.
The CoEGS aims to quantify the past, present and future climate changes in the western Himalayan region, reconstruct the past glaciation in the western Himalaya, conduct climate change impact studies on glaciers and water in the western Himalaya, and, study the linkages and impacts of the depleting snow and glaciers on springs and lakes to suggest long-term strategies for sustainable development of springs and lakes in the region.
In his inaugural remarks, Prof Ashutosh said the fragile and diverse Himalayan ecosystem is highly susceptible to natural hazards that trigger concerns about current and potential climate change impacts, including abnormal floods, droughts, landslides, loss of biodiversity, threat to food, water and energy security.
In recent times, the receding glaciers due to climate change have led to global concerns, he said, adding that any slight change in the Himalayan ecosystem can drastically impact and alter millions of lives and impact them in substantial and adverse ways.
KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad thanked the DST for recognising the varsity’s strenuous efforts to become a part of the country’s research and development initiatives on matters of great societal and scientific importance.
“Having such important Centers of Excellence makes us not only develop greater research expertise in critical areas like climate change and glacial studies, but also open the doors of our university for collaborative research activities and exchange programmes at the national and international level,” he said.