Kashmir University Awarded the Centre of Excellence for Glacial Studies

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Department of Science and Technology of the government of India has awarded the Centre of Excellence for Glacial Studies (CoEGS) at Kashmir University.

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, the secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has inaugurated the CoE on December 4, 2020.

The budget of the center of excellence at Kashmir University (KU) is approximately INR 8 crore and it was set up to boost the glaciological research activities in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).

DST awards three centers of excellence as part of their National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and CoEGS at KU is one among them.

The spokesperson of KU stated that the other two centers of excellence were set up at Sikkim University and Tezpur University.

The following section gives the aims and objectives behind setting up CoEGS at Kashmir University:

  • To quantify the past, present, and future climate changes in the western Himalayan region
  • To reconstruct the past glaciation in the western Himalaya
  • To conduct climate change impact studies on glaciers and water in the western Himalaya
  • To 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

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Professor Ashutosh stated that he is happy to see such commitment because one of the greatest socio-economic challenges of the century is the climatic changes and it will remain a challenge for the entire mankind.

The Himalayan ecosystem is fragile and diverse and so it is highly susceptible to natural calamities such as abnormal floods, droughts, landslides, loss of biodiversity, threats to food, water, and energy security.

Professor Ashutosh stated that in recent times the movement of glaciers due to the climatic changes had a huge impact globally.

“So with these CoEs, we have to ensure generation and exchange of knowledge, wisdom, and information that they bring, and share the best practices amongst institutions, and document the same to add value to the NMSHE,” stated professor Ashutosh.

The Vice-Chancellor of KU, Professor Talat Ahmad thanked the DST for recognizing the University’s excellent effort. 

Holding the center of importance will help the university to develop excellent research in critical areas such as climate change and glacial studies. It will also help the university to hold collaborative research activities and exchange programs at the national and international levels.

Dean of Research at KU, Professor Shakeel A Romshoo stated that CoEGS will aim at studying the century to millennia time scale of climate and reconstruct the past and future glaciations.

The CoEGS will also focus on accessing the impacts of climatic changes on the glaciers and other water resources in the mountain state, Romshoo stated.

The Principal Investigator of CoEGS is Professor Romshoo. The multi-disciplinary research team which is involved in conducting the proposed studies consists of four more scientists, all the faculty members of KU, and 16 scientific doctors.

Top DST officials namely Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Head SPLICE-Climate Change Programme DST (in online mode), Dean Academic Affairs of KU, Prof Akbar Masood and Dean College Development Council Prof GM Sangmi, Registrar Dr. Nisar A Mir and various other participants from JKUT and north-eastern universities/institutes (in online/offline modes) have participated in the inauguration ceremony of CoEGS.

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