The HSNC University in Mumbai has organized an International Symposium on ‘Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development’ as a part of celebrating IYBSSD.
Dr. Anil Kakodkar, gave the keynote address of the symposium. His talk focused on atomic energy and research for sustainable development.
He said, “People should be out of catastrophic syndrome and understand the use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste for sustainable development.”
He further added that research is important but need of research translation is more important, especially in the field of sustainability so that the research work reaches larger audience.
Sustainability in thought process
Vice Chancellor of HSNC University Prof. Dr. Hemlata Bagla welcomed the participants in her inaugural address. While highlighting the idea behind organizing the symposium, Dr. Bagla said, “To inculcate sustainability in our thought processes, we need a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down one. It’s the young generation that will drive the change. HSNC University is a university of difference and we believe in stressing on the value of sustainability in every walk of life. This symposium is a very important first step towards achieving that.”
Dr Bagla, highlighted UNESCO’s Sustainability agenda which emphasizes development initiatives for basic sciences. She cited a UNESCO report which mentioned contrasting figures of funding towards basic science w.r.t. different countries. She also said that as an educational institution; HSNC University will leave no stone unturned to work towards research and development in basic sciences.
Modernization, Development, Sustainability
Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, the Provost of HSNC University delivered the valedictory address. He spoke about maintaining balance between modernization, development and sustainability especially sustainability for human life. He emphasised on importance of elevating basic human life in India which is hygienic and healthy.
The symposium witnessed invited talks by several scientists and researchers of eminence. Dr. Aniruddha Pandit, Vice Chancellor of ICT delivered a talk emphasizing on mindful development. He spoke on the correctness of progress and development while basing it on the condition of sustainability. He stated that world has to have a radical orientation in which humanity would learn growth while being in coordination of nature.
Aspects of sustainability
Dr. Felix Padel, Professor at IIHMR, Jaipur highlighted the social-anthropological aspects of sustainability. Dr. Padel drew audience’s attention on the indigenous methods of development. He gave several references from his research work which is done in close connection with the tribal people of south-western region of India.
He mentioned that the scientific community has lot to learn from the tribals who live in tandem with nature. Dr. Padel also related the idea of Sustainable Development with the scientific theory of Darwinism. He remarked that Darwin was a supporter of Sustainable Development and showed how nature is close to human beings.
Sanjith Nambiar, Senior Associate of Imperial College of London spoke on the value of Sustainable Development for the corporate sector. He shared the ESG (Environmental-Social-Governance) model of development. Nambiar highlighted the pragmatic and strategic benefits of Sustainable Development for the corporate sector.
Science and future of research
Dr. Rajesh Vatsa, Head Public Awareness Division, DAE India spoke on the power of science and future of research in basic sciences. He also presented an India-specific research model for basic science – the ‘RD3 model’- that focuses on the path of research, development, demonstration and deployment.
He highlighted the need to take scientific research outside the laboratory, into the real world. He said that the research needs to be extrapolated to commercial sector, so that India doesn’t merely remain a follower but becomes a generator of new advanced technology.
Dr. Andy Ogram, Professor of Soil Microbiology at University of Florida made a very impactful and visually gratifying presentation on soil ecosystem conservation. He spoke about the amazing world of soil and the symbiotic relationship it has with microbes who enrich plant life and in turn leading to human health enrichment. He emphasised on the importance of healthy soil for a sustainable planet leading to healthy, happy and nutrition filled human life.
Sustainability as key to…
Dr. A. P. Jayaraman, Chairman of National Council of Science Communicator and Principal Scientific Advisor of HSNC University gave concluding remarks of the symposium. He said that its very important to cultivate the thought of young generation towards sustainability and that exactly what this conference was a step towards.
He ended with a powerful statement that said, “If we live unsustainably we go down in history as lunatics. Sustainability is the only key to survival of planet earth and humankind.”
The symposium was graced by the presence of eminent researchers and academicians from the field of science. Deans of faculties of HSNC University, Principals of constituent colleges and faculty members were also present for the event.
This post was culled from mediabrief.com.