IIT Mandi should work towards addressing issue of forest fires for the safety of environment, animals, and local residents: Shukla

Hon’ble Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla graced the ‘Technology for Society’ at IIT Mandi with his esteemed presence on 29th June 2023. The One-day conclave was a part of the ongoing mega G20 – S20 Meet at the Institute and provided a platform for influential delegates from the public and private sectors to come together and explore potential knowledge sharing and discussion opportunities to address societal development with technological interventions.

Speaking about Technology for Society, Chief Guest, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Hon’ble Governor, Himachal Pradesh said, “I am happy to see the energetic steps being taken by IIT Mandi faculty members to deliver to the society. Under its presidency, India is celebrating the G20 throughout the country. The Institute’s intervention in projects such as ropeway project to address the challenges of hilly areas, solar powered efficient cooking stoves to fight the pollution and save the environment is another example of innovative work being done by the Institute. I would request the Institute to work towards addressing the issue of forest fires for the safety of the environment, animals, and local residents. IITs have the capabilities to make our county Vishwaguru and I am sure IIT Mandi will energise the state with its aura.”

Speaking at the event, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, said, “We are honored to have our esteemed guests Hon’ble Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla; Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, S20 Chair and Former DST Secretary, and Padma Shri Dr. Janak Palta Mcgilligan with us. Science and technology is the backbone of IIT Mandi and as an Institute of national and international eminence, we aim to contribute to the society by addressing the challenges it is facing. Today, we have the opportunity to connect and interact with some of the most prominent individuals and learn from them on how we can contribute to our society and the nation.”

Speaking during his Inaugural address, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, S20 Chair and Former DST Secretary, Govt. of India, said, “It is very important to connect science to the society and culture. The theme of G20 is ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ and we can only achieve this if we start looking into the global problems using a holistic lens.”

He further added, “For Sustainable development, we must think about radically different solutions to share the society using Science. Technology is everywhere and it can be used to conserve our heritage and culture – to conserve nature or develop medicines. Society and Technology must go hand-in-hand to make sure holistic growth can be achieved.”

IIT Mandi aims to create knowledge through team effort for the benefit of society at large. In the same spirit, the Institute announced collaborations with IIT Jammu to:

●        Explore partnership in innovation and entrepreneurship drive opportunities

●        Collaborative consultancy and sponsored projects

●        Exchange of intellectual know-how and resources between the institutes

●        Sharing of scientific-technical network, R&D infrastructure, and resources

In addition to this, the Institute also committed partnership with Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh for academic and research collaborations.

The One-day conclave included multiple guest talks from the public and private bodies on the importance of technology in fostering societal development. Expert lectures focused on the description of technological details and implementation strategy of successful technologies which has brought grassroots changes in terms of improving access to healthcare facilities, clean water availability, and energy access among others.  Some glimpse of it includes

Padma Shri Dr. Janak Palta Mcgilligan, Founder Director, Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development, mentioned, “We must focus on responsible usage of our natural resources. It is important for us to learn how to use solar energy, wind energy and soil for sustainable growth and conservation for our future. We must harness Science and Technology to address the grassroot problems of society. ‘Thinking globally and acting locally’ is the mantra for global growth and our collective efforts will surely make our country ‘Atma Nirbhar’.”

Other key speakers from the event included Prof. Virendra Kumar Vijay, National Coordinator, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan program of Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chaudhary, Member, Co Founder HIIMS Hospitals; Prof. Manoj Gaur, Director, IIT Jammu; Dr. Ms. Bineesha P, Advisor, Science and Technology Cluster, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, GOI; Sh. Sukhpreet Singh, CEO, TANSAM and Prof. Baldev Setia, Director, PEC Chandigarh.

Technologies related with healthcare such as low cost neonatal care devices that can be convert an adult ambulance to a neonatal one and can also serve as a newborn warner in the low temperature areas of Himachal Pradesh, point of care devices, bioenergy utilisation systems such as pine leaf Briquetting machine, efficient cookstoves, water and wastewater management systems, rural connectivity improvement systems such as ropeways, drones and underwater robots will certainly make grassroot impact in coming future. IIT Mandi also shared its commitment to strengthen the rural economy by developments in the climate control agriculture and integrated sustainable gaushalas.

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