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International Symposium on Role of Herbals in Cancer Prevention and Treatment

The International Symposium on "Role of Herbals in Cancer Prevention and Treatment" was organized at the School of Life Sciences (SLS), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India during 9 – 10 February, 2016. Approximately 250 scientists participated in this event. The symposium was organized in association with the University of Colorado Denver, USA, University of Pittsburgh, USA, University of Oklahoma, USA, Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO), Noida, India and Cancer Research and Care Academy, India.

The program included discussions on recent advances in the field of herbal research for cancer prevention and treatment. The symposium aimed to provide an accumulated knowledge and nurture interactions among the various subjects focused on how to control cancer. In addition, the symposium emphasized on advances in the translational aspects of cancer control. The scientific discussions spread over two days comprised outstanding comprehensive lectures by plenary speakers, oral presentation by young researchers and poster based discussions on recent developments in the field of cancer control. The discussion highlighted that the current knowledge of the chemistry and biology of many beneficial herbal plants is very little, and thus more such effort is needed to explore these plants and their constituents, and the mechanisms in biological system. This will be helpful in improving the herbal formulations in our traditional medicine system.

The symposium deliberations also included the ideas for combinatorial chemoprevention by phytochemicals as a promising approach for cancer control and emerging trends for the use of herbal radio-modulators to sensitize the cancer cells for apoptotic cell death. Many bioactive phytochemicals such as silibinin, benzyl isothiocyanate, anthocyanidins, nexrutine, tocopherol, etc. were discussed for their in vivo efficacy in animal tumor models, associated mechanisms, and translational potential. Targeting tumor microenvironment with small molecules was found promising and having translational potential for prostate and breast cancer chemoprevention.

The advances in technology and understanding of the process of cancer development suggests that the reported lesser incidence and death due to cancer could be due to under diagnosed and underrepresented cases. Further, increase in life span as well as ignorance about the disease puts populations in South and South East Asian countries at higher risk to develop cancer. With the increasing rate of cancer incidence every year in non-Western countries, cancer is estimated to become the deadliest disease in coming decades. Conventional chemo- and radiotherapies during the past three decades have not been able to contain the disease, and also have caused serious side effects. Many natural agents, especially small molecules from plants are nontoxic, easily available, and may have anticancer potential. Thus, screening phytochemicals as anticancer agents could be a better approach in cancer prevention and treatment. This chemoprevention approach may have translational significance for prevention and treatment of cancer.

The novel work and ideas presented at the symposium were helpful in guiding the research orientation of scientists, especially the young researchers who will benefit at all levels of their career development.

Rana P. Singh, Professor
School of Life Sciences

National Conference on Environmental Pollutants: Impact Assessment and Remediation (NCEPIAR-2016)

School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, hosted the National Conference on Environmental Pollutants: Impact Assessment and Remediation on 18 – 19 March, 2016 in the Amrita Devi Bishnoi Seminar Hall inside the School premises.

The well-attended Conference was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. M Jagadesh Kumar in the presence of the Dean SES, Prof. IS Thakur, SES faculty, invited guests, speakers and students. The presiding guests of the Conference were the external experts for the UGC-SAP-DSA-II program, Prof. AK Kumaraguru, former Vice Chancellor, MS University, Tamil Nadu and Prof. GD Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Bilaspur University, Chhattisgarh. At the outset, the convener of the conference, Dr. Meenakshi Dua, Assistant Professor, SES warmly welcomed all the participants and delegates and introduced the theme of the conference. She highlighted the opportune time the conference was being held, coinciding with the rising global concerns on deteriorating environmental status and hoped that the talks and deliberations made during the sessions would be educative for the participants, specifically students. She apprised the audience that almost all the conference themes were being represented and that out of a gratifying number of abstracts received, the screening process of the review committee had selected presentations for each of the two oral and poster sessions organized theme-wise over the two days. She thanked all help extended to her in organizing the event and wished the conference success. The Dean SES, Prof. IS Thakur, himself an academician with passionate interests in Bioremediation and Biofuels further elaborated on the scenario of environmental pollutants and said that the main objective of the conference was to bring together leading academic scientists and research scholars to exchange and share their study and research results. He reiterated that the conference presented an interdisciplinary forum to address the contemporary status of 'Global Environment' which has undergone significant changes in terms of accumulation of pollutants and to discuss recent innovations, concerns and practical challenges and the solutions adopted in the field of environmental pollution and remediation. He expressed his happiness at the enthusiastic participation and wished the program well. The Vice Chancellor, in his address, congratulated the School for the event and lauded its continuous efforts in publishing research papers in reputed journals. While observing that the School had produced the maximum publications in the past one year, he also gently cautioned that the responsibility of the School is now even greater in ensuring that the quality of the publications is upheld and kept consistent in future. He wished the conference great success and wished all participants a pleasant time and stay. Prof. AK Kumaraguru, the external expert, also addressed the gathering. He appreciated the event and expressed his pleasure to be a part of it. The Keynote talk of the conference was titled "The long road to Environmental Science: looking back and ahead" and was delivered by Prof. Charles U. Pittman Jr., Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry, Mississippi State University, USA. Prof. Pittman' sillustrious career is dotted with a PhD in Chemistry (organic major) at the age of 24, a post doctoral fellowship with a Nobel Laureate, and active duty in the US Army (Ordinance Corps). He has worked on catalysis of solid rocket propellants, has many patents and over 830 refereed publications. He has given over 400 invited lectures, has been on the editorial boards of reputed journals and supervised more than 75 students. Besides all this, he has also been an ace football player and a sprinter of his times. His talk culminated with a simple take-home message, "never be afraid of making a mistake or trying an idea that others may think has little merit. Fear of failure is terribly self-limiting. Your Journey through life should be bold."
Finally, the formal vote of thanks was proposed by Prof. Saumitra Mukherjee. He expressed his gratitude to the invited guests, speakers, delegates, participants and to the Organizing Committee. He also extended hearty thanks to all student volunteers and staff and acknowledged the financial support from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the ENVIS program of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The Technical Session I (TS-I) and the Poster Session I (PS-I) on Day One of the Conference were spread over 4 hours and saw 26 presentations being made collectively from Theme 1 (Air Pollution, Aerosol Physics, Noise Pollution, Meteorology, Environmental Modeling, Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming) and Theme 4 (Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Development, Environmental Parasitology, Dynamics of Ozone and Bioaerosols, Environmental Microbiology and Bioremediation, Geospatial Analyses and Informatics, Forest Ecology and Ecophysiology, Biodiversity and Conservation, Pollution Biology, Nanotoxicology and Cancer Biology, Environmental Toxicology and Human Health, Microbial Communities in Nature and their Interaction, Molecular analyses of microbes). TS-I was chaired by Prof. AK Kumaraguru and co-chaired by Prof. CK Varshney. The opening talk of the session was delivered by Prof. Sudha Bhattacharya. The oral paper presentations in TS-I addressed at length the issues ranging from biological pollutants to air pollution and environmental modeling to remote sensing as a tool for identifying biological species. The talks also included topics of vanishing biodiversity and ecological imbalance. The session was an intriguing one, represented both by SES faculty speakers and student speakers. An excellent summary of the talks read out by the Chair, Prof. AK Kumaraguru at the end of the session drew it to a perfect close. Prof. CK Varshney, co-chair, wound up by giving his subjective inputs and affectionately blessing the School he had co-founded way back in 1974. The day ended with the closed door Advisory Committee meeting of the UGC-SAP-DSA-II in the VC office, Administration building, JNU.

The Technical Session II (TS-II) and the Poster Session II (PS-II) on the second day spanned 4 hours once again and saw 20 presentations made collectively from Theme 2 (Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics, Hydrogeology, Natural Hazards, Hydrogeochemistry, Climate Change Implication on Natural Environment, Ground water Hydrology, Environmental Geochemistry) and Theme 3 (Air pollution chemistry, Water Pollution Chemistry, Soil Pollution Chemistry, Environmental Impact Assessment, Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Change, Biorenewable Resources, Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, Aerosol Chemistry). TS-II was chaired by Prof. GD Sharma and co-chaired by Prof. AK Kumaraguru. The opening talk of the session was given by Prof. Saumitra Mukherjee. The oral paper presentations in TS-II spoke in detail on topics ranging through remote sensing and geoinformatics to infer groundwater quality, environmental monitoring and impact assessment of air pollution, specific issues with air pollution over Delhi and possible remedies, assessment of heavy metals in river Yamuna, the importance of life cycle assessment in pollution studies, the looming threat of e-waste and its impact on human health and the use of biochars to remediate soil and water environments. The session saw a mix of faculty and student speakers and was interesting for the listeners. At the end of the session, the Chair, Prof. GD Sharma thanked all the speakers and the audience.

All the posters in both the poster sessions, PS-I and PS-II were evaluated by a set of evaluators from each theme to decide the best poster awards. The two days of the Conference culminated into a Valedictory Session which was chaired by Prof. Saumitra Mukherjee. Among a total of 31 posters that were put up, five best poster awards, two runner-up awards and two consolation awards were presented to the winners by the External Expert and the Dean, SES. The successful event ended with thanks and appreciations and a hope that the zeal to safeguard our Environment shall continue to drive willing researchers to think out-of-the-box and develop methodologies in remediation. Lastly, the gathering assembled for a group photograph before dispersing for lunch.

Meenakshi Dua, Assistant Professor
Convener, NCEPIAR-2016
School of Environmental Sciences

Pandit Hridya Nath Kunzru Memorial Lecture Series, 2016

The School of International Studies organised the prestigious Pandit Hridya Nath Kunzru Memorial Lecture Series, 2016, at SIS from 4 – 9 April, 2016. This series of lectures is the most prestigious outreach programme of SIS.

Pt. Hridya Nath Kunzruis a leading legal luminary and a celebrated name in India's anti-colonial struggle. He has had a long and distinguished career in public service. He was born in an illustrious Kashmiri family that had made Agra its home and had joined the Servants of India Society as a youth. A man of exceptionally keen intelligence, independent views and strong patriotism, he soon made his mark in the freedom struggle. What set him apart from others was the spirit of selfless service, commitment to values and great modesty. Pt. Kunzru was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India, the States Reorganization Commission as well as Chairman of the UGC in temporary capacity (1956). In association with Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Pt. Kunzru set up the Indian Council of World Affairs on the eve of Indian Independence Pt. Hridya Nath Kunzru was nominated for the Bharat Ratna – the highest civilian honor that this nation can bestow – but he declined to accept it on grounds of principle as he had argued against the institution of such awards in a democratic, egalitarian India. This lecture series commemorates a great son of India, thanks to whose farsightedness this school was born and systematic study of international relations began more than half a century ago. A postage stamp was issued in his honour in 1987.

In honour of Pandit Hridya Nath Kunzru, the School of International Studies, JNU has been organising the prestigious Kunzru Memorial Lecture Series annually for more than three decades now. Every year a particular theme within the larger disciplinary area of International Studies is chosen and a series of lectures is delivered by experts and scholars over weeks/days around the selected subject. Continuing with this tradition, this year the theme of the lecture series was 'Migrants and Refugees in International Affairs'. In the light of growing refugee crisis that has influenced all the major continents of the world, and ever increasing migration in the current phase of globalisation, the theme intended to explore issues, aspects and challenges pertaining to migration (both legal and illegal) and refugees in different regions all over the world. This year the Centre for European Studies was nominated to co-ordinate the Lecture Series. Dr. Sheetal Sharma, CES/SIS co-ordinated, planned and executed the lecture series, along with the support of Dr. Teiborelang T. Kharsyntiew, students, and staff members of CES and SIS. The faculty members of CES and SIS too supported this successful event.

The Lecture Series was inaugurated on 4th of April. Prof. Ajay Patnaik (Acting Dean SIS) delivered the welcome address and highlighted the significance of the lecture series. He thanked the Hon' Vice Chancellor, JNU, Prof. M Jagadesh Kumar for gracing the occasion and giving the inaugural address. In the inaugural address Prof. Jagadesh Kumar highlighted how over the years the process of migration has changed the nature and character of societies the world over and how it has led to mixing of cultures. He commented that as compared to the past, migration and travel has become easy in some respects and difficult in other respects and vice-versa. Delivering the keynote address, Prof. BS Chimni from the Centre for International Legal Studies, offered a theoretical framework and an overview of the theme to understand issues related to migration, globalization and refugees. Over the entire week, speakers delivered lectures pertaining to the theme and deliberated about the specificities of migration and refugee problems in different parts of the world. On 5th of April, speakers from the Centre for West Asian Studies, Prof. AK Pasha and Dr. Vrushal Ghoble made presentations. The speakers discussed the causes and consequences of the refugee crisis in the Middle East. On 6th of April, a panel discussion of speakers from the Centre for European Studies was organized, focusing on the current refugee crisis in Europe. The panel comprised Prof. RK Jain, Prof. Ummu Salma Bava, Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva, and Prof. Bhaswati Sarkar, and was chaired by Dr. Sheetal Sharma. The panelists analysed and offered economic, social, political perspectives on the crisis and talked about its security implications in Europe and how Europe was responding to the crisis. On 7th April, there were lectures presenting perspectives from three main regions/ countries. Dr. Saumyajit Ray from the Centre for the US, Canadian and Latin American studies spoke on the United States, Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli from the Centre for Chinese Studies presented perspectives on China, and Prof. Sanjay Panday of the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies discussed Russia. The speakers highlighted the specific nature of migrant communities and refugee population in these countries and how they influence local politics and society. On 8th of April, the Lecture Series focused on the South Asian region. Speakers from the Centre for South Asian Studies discussed the migrant and refugee situation in South Asia. Prof. SD Muni (Emeritus Professor, SIS) offered detailed insight on the movement of refugee populations, its causes and consequences with particular focus on regional security in South Asia. Prof. Sanjay Bhardwaj discussed issues of illegal migration from Bangladesh and the response of Indian State. Prof. Sangeeta Thapliayal offered insight on Tibetan Community in Nepal and analysed the social, political, and economic dynamics of the community. On 9th of April, the final day of Kunzru Memorial Lecture Series Prof. Jamal Moosa from the Centre for African Studies focused on Refugees from Africa and discussed the causes and consequences of movement of refugee population within different countries in Africa and outside the continent. Prof. Ajay Dubey discussed the role of Indian migrants and Diaspora community in influencing foreign policy with specific reference to India. Finally Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra, Rector, from the Centre for US, Canadian and Latin American Studies delivered the valedictory address. Prof. Mahapatra identified the trajectories and phases in the process of migration in history and deliberated upon social, cultural, and philosophical aspects of migration and its consequences. He highlighted how in contemporary times, issues related to ethnic and religious identities are making the situation of refugees complex and the issue of migration critical. The response to the lecture series was overwhelming and students and scholars from JNU, and other national and international universities, attended all the sessions and lectures in large numbers. The audience also engaged in interesting and meaningful discussion with the speakers during the question and answer session scheduled at the end of lectures every day. As the trend has been for years, the participants who attended all the lectures were given Participation Certificates.

Sheetal Sharma, Assistant Professor
Centre for European Studies, SIS

National Workshop on Earthquakes and Landslides: Addressing Administrative and Technological Challenges in Building Community Resilience

Transdisciplinary Disaster Research Programme, JNU-NIDM in collaboration with the Manipur University organized a three-day workshop on "Earthquakes and Landslides: Addressing Administrative and Technological Challenges in Building Community Resilience" at Imphal, Manipur on 9-12 April, 2016. The workshop conducted five sessions undertaking the holistic regeneration of ideas for enabling sustainable solutions for the disaster prone areas in Manipur. The august gathering was marked by the presence of hundred delegates comprising administrators, State disaster management authority Representatives from Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya, civil society organizations, academicians, experts. The aim was to discover spaces for differently abled, old and other vulnerable communities, and provide a platform for the women to come up with indigenous ideas in protecting their neighborhood and participating in a regular dialogue with the local administration. The workshop was inaugurated by Shri. Hemochandra, the MLA elected from Singjamei of Manipur state and Shri Thockchom Meinya Singh, the Lok Sabha MP from Inner Manipur. The welcome address was given by the Vice chancellor of Manipur university, Dr. H Nanda Kumar Sarma, the keynote address by Shri. Kamal Kishore Member, National Disaster Management Authority, Shri. KM Singh former member of National Disaster Management Authority. The summary of the initiative and objective of JNU DRP, was illustrated by Prof. Amita Singh, Chairperson of the Center of Law and Governance JNU.

The workshop captured a few significant deliverables:
  1. Identifying Priority regions/socio-economic-demographic -health-political factors requiring special attention in Manipur
  2. Highlighting the interests of the Vulnerable Groups and mapping the Exclusions
  3. Understanding existent community friendly technologies
  4. Revisiting the legal framework and identifying accountability
  5. Discussing strategies for administrative and community partnerships
  6. Disaster Risk Mitigation Fund and its utilization.

The workshop adopted participatory exercises to delve into establishing transdiciplinary approach in order to understand community resilience in Manipur.

Different research cluster sites, identified on the basis of documentations of past and recent landslides and earthquakes are 1. Chakpikarong – Thoubal, 2. Imphal- Churachandpur 3. Saikul – Noney. Experts, administrator's, professors and researchers had facilitated the study of the areas and the understanding of the weak areas. The workshop was also attended by international experts from Nepal and different parts of the country like Hyderabad, Bihar SDMA, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Sikkim. Disaster management organizations and institutes like NIDM, NDMA, North Eastern Hill council, MIAS, IIT Guwahati, NEHU shillong, DRP JNU core members, and eminent experts form Manipur University. The spectrum of rich knowledge and experience targeted to be gathered from the ground level civil society organizations like Save the Hills, World vision, CORE had illustrated experiences to offer a bottom up approach in resilience building and disaster preparedness. Attributes of the communities and solutions to reduce the risk of disasters remained significant under the broad umbrella by revisiting the administrative structure and the multifarious ways of reducing risks of the communities.

Transdisciplinary approach to the understanding of earthquakes and landslides have presented an enriching wealth of knowledge dealing with numerous perspectives and describing solutions to the problems as recommendations underlined as:

  • Need to identify school children as resources for DRR training.
  • Strengthening community preparedness
  • Creating awareness and training the builders, mansions for safe building and structures.
  • Creating efficient Government response systems.
  • The need to create employment opportunities for disaster survivors.
  • Identifying strategies to decrease financial loss.
  • Animal husbandry must have an important role in the National Disaster Management Plan of NEC
  • Strengthening livelihood and identifying better strategies to achieve livelihood security.
  • Efforts to decrease the rapid rate of shifting/ Jhum cultivation to decrease the rate of landslides.
  • Creating road connectivity in the hilly areas to facilitate rescue operations.

The Manipur workshop also gathered rich information from the field sites. This enabled the understanding and addressing of issues related to administrative and technological challenges. The urgent and committed need for covering and draping the unprotected tumbling hills with disaster resilient afforestation and reforestation and the prevention of further deforestation formed a significant highlight. A community based awareness and plantation drive should be undertaken in collaboration with plantation experts and all stakeholders.

Homolata Borah, Researcher
Disaster Research Programme
Centre for Excellence in Disaster Research

Eco-club, School of Environmental Sciences organized Earth Day

The national theme for Earth Day this year was "Caring mother Earth". Our Eco-club, School of Environmental Sciences organized Earth Day, its annual event, on 22 April, 2016. Our aim was to provide a common platform for all those who are directly or indirectly involved in nurturingour dear mother earth. Although it was being organized for the first time at the university level, we saw a wide participation of students from different areas of study. Distinguished speakers from diverse fields, working in the field of environmental sciences were invited. The two day event starting on 21 April, 2016. On the first day, interactive activities such as audio-visual quiz, essay and creative writing, debate, painting and cartooning competition, all of whose theme revolved around environment, were organized throughout the day. Not only students from different schools won competitions but their refreshing thoughts also instilled new perspectives within us. The first day concluded with a Green run. It started from Sabarmati Dhaba, went around the ring road via the Administrative Block and ended at Sabarmati Dhaba once again. It was a small initiative towards directing people to go green. More than thirty students took part in this green event and made it successful.

The second day began with lighting of the lamp by Sri Jairam Ramesh, former Environment minister, our chief guest for the event, along with Prof. A. P. Dimri, coordinator of the event and Prof. P. K. Joshi. The speakers from different strata of society, who have made valuable contribution towards environment conservation were invited for the day. Sri Jairam Ramesh delivered a lecture on his recent published book "Green Signals: Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India", sharing his integrated knowledge on environment and government policies. Anubhav Wadhwa, one of the youngest CEOs of India talked about Tyrelessly, an environmentally compliant End-of-Life Tyre collection and disposal service and inspired us to take steps, no matter how small. The second half of the day started with the validation of paintings and photography exhibition by Dr. Surya Prakash, Technical officer and renowned Ornithologist, SLS, JNU and Mr. Anubhav Wadwa. After that, a very informative talk was delivered by Prof. J.K. Garg, GGSIPU. He talked about the application of remote sensing for wetland management. Dr. Anil K. Gupta, head of Policy, Planning and Cross Cutting Issues Division & Training Cell, National Institute of Disaster Management and Dr. Govind Singh, Director of Delhi Green NGO, spoke about the need of environment education for sustainable development. Following the talk, prizes for the competitions organized were distributed by the Dean of the School. The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks by Chadrashekhar Azad V., Convener of School of Environmental Sciences.

The involvement of students from different backgrounds clearly showed that everyone was aware about environmental issues. The speakers invited from different walks of life, imparted their knowledge and shared their experiences, thus helping in developing a diversified view and stimulating our minds.

Chandrashekhar Azad V., Research Scholar
School of Environmental Sciences

"Release of Annual Reports", JNU-NIDM collaborative Disaster Research Programme

JNU – NIDM collaborative transdisciplinary Disaster Research programme released the JNU- NIDM collaborative publications on 9 June, 2016. The release of report was initiated by Shri Kiren Rijiju, Hon'ble minister, state for home Affairs and Mr. Yuri Afanasiev, UN resident coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, India. The release of the report was marked by the presence of around 100 delegates, comprising Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar, Vice Chancellor, Dr. Pramod Kumar, Registrar, Prof. Satish Chandra Garkoti Rector-II, Shri. Kamal Kishore, and Shri. R.K Jain, members NDMA, Gen. Gupta, Joint Secretary NDMA, Shri. OP Singh DG NDRF, Dr. Suman Sharma, Principal, LSR, Dr. Kumar Rekha, Head of Disaster Management, Noida, Minakshi Sinha, Reader NICFS, Professors of Miranda House, Kamla Nehru college, Indian Council of Medical Research, IIPA, ICMR, DRP core group members Prof. Amita Singh, DRP PI chairperson CSLG, Prof. Bupinder Zutshi Co PI DRP Director Admissions, Prof. Milap Puni CSRD, Prof. Mondira Dutta Center for Inner Asian Studies, Prof. GVC Naidu, Chairperson, Southeast Asian Studies, Dr. Nivedita Haran, IAS (Retd.) DRP Chief Consultant, Dr. Sunita Reddy, CSMCH JNU, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Director CIS JNU. The event was also attended by a large number of college students and faculty from Miranda House College, Kamla Nehru College, and Lady Shri Ram College.

The programme started with listing the activities covered during the year, including their outcome and research in disaster, the role of institutions in governance, the role of technology and communication, livelihood and agriculture and lessons learnt from different state and non-state actors.

The following reports were released during the event, which were covered under the ambit of the initiative of disaster research programme.

1. International Workshop JNU NIDM collaborative programme on Disaster Research: The international workshop consisted of undertakings of 2nd World Congress on Disaster Management, 19 to 22 November, 2015, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India and Spatial governance Development, Planning Smart Cities and Disaster Management 17 – 21 November, 2015. The first conference covered multipolar sessions, which involved approximately one thousand disaster professionals focusing on the decrease of complexity of disaster, decrease in illiteracy, enhancing government equipment , mobilizing resources, and involvement of the community in disaster risk reduction. The second conference highlighted the specifics of disaster over space and time, and the significance of technological developments used as important tools to address issues pertaining to the warning systems. The study on coastal vulnerability from a global perspective was discussed in depth. It was also emphasized that management of natural and manmade disaster should consider local responses through community awareness, which could strengthen risk reduction during disasters. Several presentations were discussed in depth.

2. National Workshop JNU NIDM collaborative programme on Disaster Research: The initiatives covered under this umbrella are "Community Resilience and Institutional Preparedness", 30 January – 2 February, 2016, Kolkata, Sundarbans, West Bengal and "Earthquakes and Landslides: Addressing Administrative and Technological Challenges in Building Community Resilience, 9 – 12 April, 2016, Imphal, Manipur. The first workshop brought about issues of periodic up-gradation and dissemination of location-based disaster risk information and risk maps obtained from geospatial information technology to build knowledge of government officials at all levels, communities at risk of exposure to disaster, volunteers, and the private sector. This could be attained through sharing experiences, lessons learnt, good practices, and training and education on disaster risk reduction. The second initiative in Imphal established some significant findings from the field and the following issues were addressed: the need to identify school children as resources for DRR training, strengthening community preparedness, creating awareness and training the builders, mansions for safe building and structures, creating efficient government response systems, the need to create employment opportunities for disaster survivors, identifying strategies to decrease financial loss, the importance of animal husbandry in the National Disaster Management Plan, strengthening livelihood and identifying better strategies to achieve livelihood security, efforts to decrease the rapid rate of shifting/ Jhum cultivation to decrease the rate of landslides and creating road connectivity in the hilly areas to facilitate rescue operations.

3. Research Report- JNU NIDM collaborative programme on Disaster Research: The sustainability of disaster risk reduction efforts had to be maintained by involving the youth indentifying the vulnerabilities in the spaces around their institutions. While the Principals of these colleges became the lead administrators, groups of students picked up from interdisciplinary disciplines, including the NSS and NCC, were placed under a committed teacher/s to visit the field around their college and be trained in disaster management. Six Delhi university Colleges, namely Miranda House, Lady Shri Ram, Kamla Nehru, Center of Law and Governance, JNU etc., were initially a art of this programme. The report contains significant findings from the research conducted by the Prof. Milap Punia CSRD, Prof. Bupinder Zutshi CSRD and Prof. Mondira Dutta SIS.

4. In House Activities of JNU NIDM Collaborative Programme on Disaster Research: the launching ceremony & national debate on "exploring social sciences tools in teaching disaster research", 21 September, 2015 and the Lecture series undertaken by different disaster experts were covered under this programme. The initiatives were focused towards developing community resilience and enhancing the existing implementations of the given laws and bringing about a reduction in the risks posed by the different disaster events.

The initiatives enriched the understanding through collection of findings, facts on vulnerabilities and outlaying the bottom up solution of development of sustainable reduction in the loss and damage and reducing vulnerabilities of the communities.

Homolata Borah, Researcher
Disaster Research Programme
Centre for Excellence in Disaster Research


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