Brain Storming meeting of SES

SES Brain Storming Meeting on 17, September 2008 at GSI Auditorium, Lucknow

            A Brain Storming Meeting of The Society of Earth Scientists was held on 17th September, 2008 at the GSI Auditorium, Lucknow, UP. The meeting was presided over by Dr. P. N. Razdan, Sr. Dy. Director General, Geological Survey of India. Scientists/academics/professionals of following organizations attended the meeting:

    Geological Survey of India

  1. Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany
  2. University of Lucknow
  3. Kumaon University
  4. Central Ground Water Board
  5. Ground Water Investigation Organisation, UP
  6. Central Pollution Control Board
  7. Center for Environmental Education
  8. Directorate of Geology and Mining,UP
  9. Regional Science City, Lucknow
  10. IIT, Kanpur
  11. Remote Sensing Application Center, UP
  12. National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi
  13. Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt of India
  14. PWD Research Institute, UP
  15. Indian Society of Scientific Communication
  16. Indian Society of Engineering Geologists
  17. Palaeontological Society of India
  18. Indian Society of Glaciological Studies
  19.  Ecomen Labs, Lucknow


             Dr. PN Razdan, Sr. Dy. Director General,  GSI emphasized that the approach in earth science now has to be an integrated one as we are dealing with nature which doesn’t compartmentalise things.  Citing the example of US Geological Survey, he said that it is wrong to think that role of GSI is confined to a narrow domain.  The USGS, he said, handles issues ranging from earthquakes to the coastal water pollution, medical and environmental geology.  The speaker was introduced by the President of the Society Mr DD Bhattacharya of GSI who also stated the objectives of the meeting.

            The Secretary of the Society Dr. S C Tripathi, also of GSI, elaborated on the goals of the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) as proclaimed by the UN.  He said that the major goal is to apprise people of the great scope of the subject in its totality so that they may also use it for their benefit.  He said that earth science is an integrated science now and the open- access e- journal launched by the Society clearly shows its multidisciplinary nature.  He emphasised the need to sensitise the political and social leaders towards the significance of earth sciences as it can be vital to human survival.  He said the Society will go the whole hog with the help from print and electronic media to inform people about the science of earth related to them.  He said the response to the website has been overwhelming which also includes appreciation from the scientists and organisations abroad.

            Dr. AK Tangri, Remote Sensing Application Centre, Lucknow stressed the societal responsibility of the earth scientists.  He said that all parameters related to the issues should be discussed and data from all relevant agencies should be integrated.  Prof. MP Singh, former Pro- Vice- Chancellor, University of Lucknow, was of the opinion that closer interaction between research institutions and universities is desired.  Dr. Faruquee from the Directorate of Geology of Mining and Prof. Rajeev Sinha, IIT- Kanpur also echoed the same sentiments and said that a better coordination will fulfill need of the industry as well as the academia.  He said that the scientists should contribute to the e- journal of the Society on website

             Dr. CM Nautiyal, BSIP said that the Society of Earth Scientists can play the match- maker between the two using its website.  This will solve the problem of both the parties as the industry will get academic inputs and the academia will get samples and data without financial burden.  He said that the Society can also interface between the common man, the ultimate user, and the scientists by presenting the difficult data in comprehensible form.

             There was a discussion about the availability of data.  Dr. Mukund Sharma, BSIP said that several organisations of other countries do make limited data available to scientific community free of cost such as during the meeting of the American Geological Society.   Dr. Tangri felt that Society should disseminate the information available on the website to people through print and electronic media in simple language.  Prof. Rajeev Sinha said that popular lectures have been very successful whenever there has been an element of interaction. Dr. Rashmi Gangwar of Centre for Environmental Education said that interactive programmes should be added such as activity- based- projects which will be more appealing to the young.  Dr. CS Agarwal of the Ground Water Board spoke about water problem in villages of UP.  Dr. Prabhas Pande, GSI, made a suggestion that wherever there is religious, or other information about natural formations etc., scientific information should also be put up. While the other information is displayed on a board, there is scope for displaying geological information too.  Geoparks, museums etc, can go a long way in popularising geosciences.  He cautioned, however, that the information for consumption of the common man should be screened with extreme care as the common man will trust the information and use without questioning.

             Dr AK Srivastava of BSIP emphasised outreach. Several issues of general interest and related to earth science were also discussed.  Yogendra Deva , GSI said that a serious thought should be given to problems that recur such as the Kosi floods which devastated Bihar recently.  Dr. Anil Gupta from the National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi said that to make things effective, the decision- making bodies must be influenced by feeding with correct scientific information.  He emphasised the need to make known what is available with us and then, he said, the planners will be obliged to use it.  It requires action on our part.

             Some of media people present also spoke on the occasion and congratulated the Society for bringing scientists of different branches on one platform. Prof Rajeev Sinha summed up the proceedings and Dr. Neeraja Jha, Vice- President of the Society, proposed the Vote of Thanks.

 Highlights and Action

  1. There should be a single platform where district level theme based unclassified data (at definite scale) should be stored on GIS base and should be updated time to time in order to enable the developmental agencies/research institutions to utilize it in a more  constructive and meaningful  way. It will also highlight the gray areas of information-gaps. Though several State/Central agencies are on this job but a well-networked and coordinated effort on defined direction is required.

Action: The matter is related to Central/State Governments and the Society will write to them highlighting this point.

  1. Earth scientists should reach  the common people in general and students in particular through organized scientific lectures. In this respect,  writing of popular articles should be encouraged and printed articles be distributed to  schools and libraries  in local languages. Scientists should come forward for this job.

Action: Society is ready to offer its platform for such activities. Popular articles may also be printed and circulated subject to the availability of financial assistance. The Society will also motivate scientists to deliver lectures.

  1. There are several landforms and geological processes around the places of public interests in every city. The boards describing it scientifically (like boards of ASI) should be placed for attracting and informing people about it.

Action: Society with its limited resources will not be able to take up this fantastic idea. However, Organisations involved in field work will be approached with the request to encourage their scientists to take up this job for promoting earth science.

  1. Politicians and decision makers should also be apprised of the role of earth scientists in planning. They should be invited in seminars and symposiums, particularly in the concluding sessions. On a regular basis, Organizations should send the findings of their respective researches  to the planners to drive home the actual  benefits of R&D. The outcome of R&D should not remain confined to the seminars/symposiums or journals/reports.

Action: e-Journal Earth Science India may be fruitfully used for the quick dispersal of current researches to various concerned destinations. The Society of Earth Scientists owns responsibility of sending information published in ESI to all concerned.

       5.   Society should have a membership fee to meet the expenditures.

Action: The Executive Council of the Society will consider it in its forthcoming meeting.