Greetings from the desk of the Director, IIT Guwahati.
I am delighted to announce that a new Centre for Disaster Management and Research (CDMR) has been established here at IIT Guwahati.
Disaster Management deals with management of assets and information for a disastrous occurrence and also how effectively and impeccably one coordinates and mitigates these calamities is critical (pre-, during, and, post event) for the safety of the people and the habitat. Disaster management has to address prevention and prompt mitigation of the hazards and susceptibility rather than only prepare for the worst scenario. In addition, it requires an overhaul of the emergency management. Disaster management in India is evolved from the initiatives taken for dealing with climatic variability and resultant extreme events like floods, drought, cyclones, heat waves, etc. and the consequent loss of lives and properties. Action for responding to climate change and disaster management initiatives is critical for any groups or nations. India presents an interesting case for identifying linkages between disaster management and climate change. IIT Guwahati is trying to leap forward by embracing the rising demands of newer and interdisciplinary areas of research and technology development in disaster management and research by incorporating industry participating in offering courses with multi-disciplinary focus. It was our dream to start this centre at IIT Guwahati. Science and technology of disaster management is very close to my heart and I am very happy that honourable PM is also very keen to see IIT Guwahati to embark on this field of research and innovation.
On 22nd September 2020, Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi ji advised in his convocation address to IIT Guwahati, that IITG should come up with a Centre for Disaster Management at the earliest. He also emphasized the urgent need for such a centre for North East India which witnesses almost all forms of disasters earthquakes, droughts, floods, cyclones, landslides, etc. IIT Guwahati got in to action and worked on the advice of honourable PM and established a Centre for Disaster Management and Research (CDMR) in November 2020 and we have appointed its first Head in January 2021 after due approvals of the senate and the BOG of IITG. This Centre would work in purely multidisciplinary manner and faculty from various disciplines working on disaster management related fields will contribute through research, innovation, consultancy, capacity building and advocacy. CDMR would look forward to collaborations from National and International organisations, institutes & individuals. The Centre has a team of young and energetic faculty who wish to contribute to this NER and elsewhere meaningfully and determined to make this Centre a hub for research, innovation and capacity building.
This new centre CDMR at IIT Guwahati will assimilate the recent developments in both climate change and disaster management fields and specifically address the need for integrating adaptation to climate change and disaster management. The country has been prone to climatic risks such as monsoon failures, delayed or excessive rainfall and severe storms, which resulted in droughts, floods and famines. In addition, large areas of India are prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides and Tsunamis. CDMR will develop activity-based setup to an institutionalised structure; from single faculty domain to a multi-stakeholder setup; and from a relief-based approach to a multi-dimensional approach for reducing risks. CDMR is starting a Master's and Ph.D. programme from July 2021. These courses will strengthen curriculum in view of the enhanced demands from industry, government, and academia that would ensure training in the broadened world of disaster management and research and meeting SDG Goals. IIT Guwahati has been promoting Sustainable Development Goals and has already made it a part of its curriculum at the undergraduate level and has been the first institute in the country to do so. Personnel exchange between industry / government and academia through visiting professorships and sabbaticals or summer leaves in industry and government will also be pursued at CDMR. I wish the CDMR a great success in making North East a disaster resilient society.
Prof. T. G. Sitharam,
PhD (Waterloo, Canada), FICE(UK), FASCE, D.Ge., FISET, FIGS, FIE, FISES
Director, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
and President of Indian Society for Earthquake Technology