Dr Pachauri pitches for ICT to deal with natural disasters

Nobel laureate Dr R K Pachauri,on Saturday,stressed on the need for information and communication technology (ICT) in dealing with natural disasters and weather-related events that pose a threat to human life and property.

Written by Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Published: February 1, 2009 12:44:25 am

Nobel laureate Dr R K Pachauri,on Saturday,stressed on the need for information and communication technology (ICT) in dealing with natural disasters and weather-related events that pose a threat to human life and property.

He was addressing the 5th convocation of the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT). Dr Pachuari said: “The world is facing the growing challenge of climate change which has the possibility of affecting every economic activity across the globe.”

Dr Pachauri,the Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI),New Delhi,further said that climate science has advanced at a phenomenal rate largely because powerful computers can “now run very complex models that simulate climatic conditions on land as well as the oceans”.

An environmentalist of international repute,he told the gathering of graduating DA-IICT students that had the ICT infrastructure been in place and utilised properly,the lives of about 4,000 people lost in the 2003 heat wave in Andhra Pradesh could have been saved. There was no early warning provided to the victims of the major heat wave,nor was there any follow up in terms of providing medical advice such as the need for oral rehydration therapy to those who had been affected,he said.

Similarly,human lives and property could be saved from coastal and other natural disasters,if adequate systems for early warning and guidance using the ICT were in place,he added.

He said: “It is imperative that those engaged in the development and the use of ICT broaden their vision and explore areas of application that will enhance the welfare of Indian society,and lead us towards a pattern of sustainable development.”

He also expressed his concern over the failure of the country’s planned development.

He said,of the global 9.2 million under-five deaths in 2007,21 per cent occurred in India,while 22 per cent of all maternal deaths (1.17 lakh of the total 5.36 lakh),took place in this country. Besides,40 per cent of all unimmunised children (9.7 million of 24.5 million) reside in India,and more than one in every five (21 per cent) of all primary age children not in school,are in India,he said,adding that the most relevant applications of ICT are in the fields of health and education.

DA-IICT director S C Sahasrabudhe,while presenting a report card at the convocation,said that placements continue to be fine. As many as 34 companies that participated in the placement last year,made 410 offers for a batch of 339. The maximum salary for this batch was Rs 4 lakh per annum,he said.

At the convocation,degrees were conferred to as many as 245 B Tech (ICT),44 M Tech,51 MS (IT),six M Design (Multimedia) and one MS (IT-Agri) students. Two students – Zakir Laliwaala and Vikram Sorathia – were conferred PhDs.

DA-IICT president Anil Ambani,who was to address the convocation,could not make it due to his “preoccupation.”

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