A webinar on the “Issues and Challenges in Geological Sciences” was held on 27th March 2021, organized by the Department of Geology, NEHU in collaboration with Shillong Chapter, Indian Science Congress Association, Kolkataat 11:30 – 13:30 hrs.
The Inaugural session started with welcome address by Prof. Devesh Walia, HOD, Geology Department, NEHU followed by speech from Prof. Arun Kumar, Department of Earth Sciences, Manipur University, Imphal and former General Secretary (Scientific Activities), Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), Kolkata. Prof. Kumar highlighted the contribution of ISCA towards the dissemination and propagation of Sciences in the country since its inception in 1914, wherein the eminent scientists thought to have such organisation to help formulate policy and execution for betterment of Science and Technology. Every year ISCA organises Congress to appreciate and recognise the contribution of Scientists and Academicians. This year theme of the Science Congress is “Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment” and invited the younger generation to participate and attain knowledge and networking. Prof. H. Lamin, Pro Vice-Chancellor, NEHU spoke about the importance of Geological Sciences and to have more institutes to impart the geoscience education in Meghalaya so that we understand the mother earth in a better way and also to understand the science behind the complex earth processes.
The keynote speaker Mr. Krishanu Nath, Senior Geologist, Geological Survey of India (North-East Region) talked about the various issues related to the Geological Sciences. Mr. Nath stressed the importance of resource management for the sustainable development of the society and to improve the economy of the Nation. Mr. Nath briefly introduced the various activities and issues which have great importance for building a strong nation. He further emphasized on Urban Planning and sustainable development of cities to efficiently manage the natural resources of densely populated areas. He also emphasized on the role of geoscientists for engineering purposes, including construction of dams and tunnels in extremely difficult natural conditions such as mountainous regions of Jammu and Kashmir as well as in Meghalaya.
Prof. Devesh Walia while addressing the gathering discussed the challenges for the upcoming and budding geologists which are critical for growth and development of our region. Prof. Walia discussed about 20 current challenges in the field of Geological Sciences, most importantly being Climate Change, Targeting new mineral deposits, Water Resource Management, Renewable Energy, CO2 capture and storage, harnessing the geothermal energy. The tectonics of the NE region has potential to destabilise the NER by seismicity so there is a need to have concerted efforts for better understanding of the crustal configuration using various geophysical techniques. Meghalaya represents “Geology in a nutshell” and has almost all the metallogenic provinces and epochs so has great potential and mineral wealth which needs to be explored in the national interest. He inspired the young participants of the webinar to pursue their career in the field of Geological Sciences and contribute towards the nation building.
The programme was concluded with Valedictory Address by Dr. Prakhar Kumar, Deputy RD, AMD- NER, he highlighted that the economic mineral and water resources are important component of self-reliance “Atmanirbhar” Bharat to utilise the local strategic resources in an efficient manner which will be extremely beneficial for our country’s growing economy and to secure strategic place on the world stage.