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JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY  
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                                                                                  2014[6]
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Lecture on Big Science as a Form of Life: Transnational Entanglements of Cultures of Science

The Centre for Studies in Science Policy organized a lecture titled "Big Science as a Form of Life: Transnational Entanglements of Cultures of Science" on 24 September, 2014as part of CSSP Special Lecture Series. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Amit Prasad, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the United States. The session Chair Dr. Madhav Govind of CSSP introduced the speaker as a contemporary researcher whose research focuses on transnational and postcolonial aspects of science, technology and medicine.

In this talk, Amit narrates transnational histories of research on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), particularly in select countries. It is interesting to note that India got involved in MRI research way back in 1940s, beginning with work in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) led by Prof G Suryan at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. G Suryan developed several innovative techniques for the measurement of NMR signals in the late 1940s. This presentation was the synthesis and continuation of his related research papers titled "Beyond Modern vs Alternative Science Debate: Analysis of MRI Research" (2006), "Scientific Culture in the 'Other' Theater of 'Modern Science': An Analysis of the Culture of MRI Research in India" (2005), and "Science in motion: what postcolonial science studies can offer" (2008). In this presentation, Amit describes his findings from his recent book titled "Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain and India", published by MIT Press in 2014. The lecture concluded after a vibrant discussion and Q&A session with the audience. Audio recording of this event is now available at www.mixcloud.com/cssp_jnu/, an open access audio channel maintained by the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP), JNU.

Anup Kumar Das
Documentation Officer
Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS


International Research Workshop in Cloud Computing (RWCC-2014)

School of Computer and Systems Sciences organized an International Research Workshop in Cloud Computing (RWCC-2014) on 26 – 27 September, 2014 at the Convention Centre, JNU. The workshop was meant to provide an opportunity to the participants to upgrade their knowledge in recent advances in Information Technology with special focus on research issues in Cloud Computing.

Eminent Researchers from India and abroad delivered the talks and demonstrated their research work in the area of Cloud Computing. Prof. Rajkumar Buyya, Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering and Director of the Cloud Computing and Distributed Systems (CLOUDS) Laboratory at the University of Melbourne, Australia gave a keynote address on Market-Oriented Cloud Computing & Big Data Applications. Dr. Sanjiva Dubey, who is GTS Service Delivery Executive, Asia Pacific, IBM Global, discussed Managerial Challenges and Strategies for Cloud Adoption. Prof. Jemal H. Abawajy, Professor at School of Information Technology, Deakin University, Australia, discussed Security issues in Cloud. Prof. Rammohan Rao Kotagiri, Professor of Computer Science, University of Melbourne, Australia deliberated upon New Trends in Data Mining and Cloud-based Big Data. The workshop also had a practicing Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, Mr. Pavan Duggal who has made an immense impact with an international reputation as an expert and authority on Cyberlaw and E-Commerce law. He deliberated upon the legal aspects in Cloud and the use and misuse of Indian laws in Cloud Computing. Prof. Anil Kumar Tripathi, a renowned Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, spoke about the Issues, Challenges and Problems in Dealing with the Non Functional Aspects in Cloud Computing Investigative Research.

The next day of the workshop had a complete lab session handled by Dr. K. Raghavendra, Scientist at ADRIN, Department of Space, Govt. of India and Mr. Rajinder Sandhu of Gurunanak Dev University, Amritsar. About 150 delegates from India and abroad participated in the workshop. Briefly, the topics that have been covered in the workshop are as follows.
• Technologies for creating Cloud Computing Environment on a Network of Computers
• Tools for building Cloud applications
• Initiating innovative R&D projectsin Cloud computing

D.P. Vidyarthi & Dr. Zahid Raza
Coordinators


"India, China and the US 'Pivot' to Asia"

The Centre for International Politics, Organization, and Disarmament(CIPOD) jointly, with the Association of Asia Scholars (AAS) and the School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS), University of Melbourne, organized a two-day International Conference on the theme "India, China and the US Pivot to Asia" on the 29 – 30September, 2014 at the School of International Studies. The conference was convened in the wake of US declaring 'pivot' to the Asia, also called rebalancing Asia-Pacific region generating a lot of debate among the intellectual community and more importantly the political elites across Asia. The ramification of US pivot to Asia on the important players in the region namely China, India, Japan and Australia are vital and their responses to this new geo-political reality that will determine the future of Asia, were wholesomely captured by the deliberations of this conference.

The inaugural Session charted the areas that would be explored in the Conference. Prof. C. S. R. Murthy from CIPOD, chaired the session and Prof. Anuradha Chenoy, Dean of SIS, delivered the welcome address. She pointed out that the threat perceptions in the region, arising out of the US 'pivot' to Asia, was greater than the actual threat and there is a felt need for greater engagement among Asia's major powers. Prof. Pradeep Taneja from SSPS, University of Melbourne, introduced the seminar and presented critical insights from Australian discourses and perceptions about this US pivot to Asia. Prof. Swaran Singh from CIPOD proposed the Vote of Thanks and expressed hope for the fruitful engagement and debate among the Indian and Australian participants in various specialized sessions of the Conference.

The first session –'Geopolitics of US pivot to Asia' saw papers being presented by Dr. Krishnendra Meena from CIPOD and Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra from CCUSLAS. Dr. Krishnendra delved into politics behind geopolitical mapping of the global space, specifically the Indo-Pacific framework. The Indo-Pacific region, according to him, lacked coherence and seemed to be a geopolitical imagination against China thereby requiring a 'reproduction' and manipulation. Prof. Mahapatra highlighted the economic downturn in USA, its foreign policy fatigue and ever increasing Chinese political clout as the motivation behind US strategy of rebalancing in Asia Pacific. He also added that the pivot rather than taking the shape of concrete policies has largely been relegated to the rhetoric. Prof. Timothy Lynch from SSPS chaired this session which saw serious debate following paper presentations.

In the ensuing session on the 'Response of China, Japan and India', Professor Rajat Ganguly from SSPS, University of Melbourne, pointed that China's increasing presence in the Indian Ocean region was driven by markets and its three front war strategy. The risks of arms race triggered by the pivot loomed large and he spoke of the necessity of restraint in adopting strategies that could be construed as anti-Chinese. Professor GVC Naidu from CIPS of SIS underlined the importance of perceiving the geo-politics in the Indo-Pacific as one of engagement and not containment. He believes there is enough space for accommodation of interests of all players in the region. Dr. Jayati Srivastava from CIPOD chaired the session and students' participation was noticeable.

The final session of the first day – 'China and US pivot to Asia' was chaired by Prof. Patricia Uberoi, Co-Chairperson of Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi. Prof. Pradeep Taneja in his presentation spoke of the need for Australia to balance its ties with China, its largest trading partner and USA, its largest security partner. He spoke of the need of USA to actively engage China in economic and security arrangements in order to make it more robust including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Prof. Swaran Singh spoke of the need for pragmatism by all the states when engaging in the Indo-pacific region and especially of the need to cultivate and engage China into this new geopolitical formulation. He noted that China rather than being an outlier has actually been the main trigger for the Indo-Pacific debates and for rebalancing strategy of US bridging Indian and Pacific Ocean through its trade relations.

The second day of the conference began with a session on 'India and US Pivot to Asia' chaired by Prof. Pradeep Taneja. Prof. Timothy Lynch in his presentation highlighted how US policy towards China and India witnesses more of continuity than change. He outlined four levels of analysis to explain the above- personality, rhetoric, economics and ideology. Kush Kumar Gayes an, a Ph.D scholar at CIPOD, reiterated that Indo- Pacific was more inclusive than Asia- Pacific in all respects. He highlighted India's successful naval diplomacy with the littoral states in the region through various maritime exercises and naval symposia.

The concluding session was an open house discussion which saw the emergence of a larger consensus among the participants on the need to make the engagement in Indo-Pacific more inclusive, the role of India in the shaping of a stable and prosperous regional order in the Indo-Pacific and the immediate need to dispel misperceptions and tension arising out of US 'pivot' to Asia. The session was chaired by Dr. Reena Marwah, General Secretary, AAS. Prof. Swaran Singh and Prof. Pradeep Taneja highlighted the special relationship that JNU and University of Melbourne share and which had inspired this Conference in the first place. Both agreed that this would be the first step in encouraging their joint research efforts. The overwhelming participation of the Research scholars and students in the formal sessions and informally, during tea and lunch, ensured an active and effective two days discussion. All the participants expressed their satisfaction at the brilliant shape the conference had taken and expressed their desire for such constructive engagement in the future as well.

R Archana
Research Scholar, Centre for International Politics
Organisation & Disarmament, SIS


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International Conference on Geostatistical and Geospatial Approaches for the Characterization of Natural Resources in the Environmental: Challenges, Processes and Strategies

The international conference on "Geostatistical and Geospatial Approaches for the Characterization of Natural Resources in the Environment: Challenges, Processes and Strategies" was organized by Dr. N. Janardhana Raju, Chairman IAMG 2014, School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University form 17 – 20 October, 2014 under the joint auspicious of International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMC), USA. This international IAMG event was being organized for the first time in Indian subcontinent to promote the mathematical geosciences among the budding scientists working in the fields of geosciences. IAMG is part of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) which is devoted to international research and cooperation in the field of geological sciences.

The international conference began with an encapsulated opening and welcome remarks by Prof. I.S. Thakur, Dean School of Environmental Sciences. Dr. N. Janardhana Raju, Chairman of IAMG2014 explained the importance and introduced the themes of the conference. Prof. Qiuming Cheng, President of IAMG highlighted the programmes of International Association for Mathematical Geosciences during his presidential address. Delivering his address Chief Guest of the occasion, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences strongly emphasized the importance of earth sciences study and environmental issues in the Indian context. In addition, he also shared his thoughts on the exposure of mathematical application in geosciences on young researchers which is really in its nascent stages and the need of the hour in our country. Dr. Shailesh Nayak delivered the inaugural keynote talk on "Societal Benefits of Earth System Sciences" by giving examples from the Indian context. Lastly, Dr. S. Sreekesh, Associate Professor, CSRD proposed the vote of thanks.

IAMG2014 provided an opportunity to Indian earth and environmental scientists who desire to develop application of mathematical skills in earth sciences by interacting with eminent international scientists working in the field of mathematical geosciences. The objective of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG) was to discuss recent research and technological challenges and to gather innovative ideas and information from international reputed scientists involved with application of mathematics in natural resources management and environment issues. In long term we expect to exchange the scientific and technical know-how between the countries through scientists/researchers to facilitate the advance studies in the field of mathematical geosciences. IAMG program was comprised of several oral platforms and poster presentations, organized into four parallel sessions that addressed a variety of science disciplines and technologies. The sessions were chaired by national and internationally reputed leaders in the field of environmental, mathematical geosciences and geoinformatics. We are very happy to have received an enthusiastic response of 357 contributions (251 oral and 106 posters) to the IAMG2014 from our co-researchers covering different parts of India and overseas such as Germany, USA, Brazil, Norway, France, Poland, Russia, China, South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Australia, UK, Canada, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Spain, Tajikistan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, that encompass the identified themes of the conference viz.,3D Visualization in geo-and environmental sciences; Hydrology and time series analysis; Isotope hydrology; Environmental geochemistry and pollution; Climate and groundwater functioning: the need for correct questions; Numerical solutions in hydrogeology; Engineering geology and geotechnical engineering; Trendy geostatistics; Multivariate geostatistics; Classical statistics in the earth sciences; Compositional data analysis and its application; Prediction and characterization of natural disasters; Fractal modeling; Multiple point geostatistics; Marine geology and oceanography; Advances in mining assessment; Petroleum systems; Digital rock geophysics; Mathematical morphology in geosciences and geoinformatics; Remote sensing and geoinformatics for natural resources management; Sedimentary basin analysis; Observed changes in Himalayan cryosphere; Computer application in earth sciences; Spatiotemporal modeling; Agriculture, environment & ecosystems; New frontiers of mathematical geology for resources exploration. Two pre-conference short courses were organized, one on Mathematical morphology in Geosciences and Geoinformatics by Prof. B.S. Daya Sagar, Bangalore, India and other one on Time Series Analysis in Geology: An Antiquated Method? By Dr. Wolfgang Gossel, Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany.

There were keynote (IAMG Award winners) talks delivered by Prof. Jef Caers, Stanford University, USA on "Multiple-point Geostatistics: Stochastic Modeling with Training Images; Prof. Clayton V. Deutsch, University of Alberta, Canada on "Managing Complex Relationships with Incomplete Data" and Prof. K.G. van den Boogaart, University of Freiberg, Germany on "Multiple Point Statistics Understood in Matheronian Principles" simulated the participants of the conference. Prof. Qiuming Cheng, President of IAMG delivered a Keynote Speech on "Geomathematical and Geoinformatical Challenges for Resourcing Future Generations" before the Valedictory ceremony. On the 17 October, first day of the conference, a welcome reception was organized in the evening and a cultural program comprising various Indian dances were performed to entertain the conference participants on 18th evening. A cultural trip to Qutub Minar was organized for the participants on 19 October followed by the Banquet Dinner at Palika Services Officers Institute (PSOI), Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

On the last day of the conference, the valedictory session was chaired by Prof. I. S. Thakur, Dean SES, JNU. Dr. M. Sudhakar, Advisor, Ministry of Earth Sciences was the Chief Guest of the function and elaborated the need for mathematical application in the Geosciences. Prof. Qiuming Cheng, President IAMG, USA was the Guest of Honour at the function. Prof. Qiuming Cheng presented two Best Poster Awards for Young Research Scholars for the selected Awardees of IAMG 2014. Dr. M. Sudhakar presented mementos to all the session conveners of the international conference. The cooperation and support from Ministry of Earth Sciences; Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi; Coal India Limited, Kolkata; Oil and Natural Gas Limited, Dehradun; National Mineral Development Corporation, Hyderabad; Indian Meteorological Society, New Delhi; Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai; Hindustan Coca-cola limited, New Delhi; and Saudi Aramco Limited, Saudi Arabia is highly acknowledged. Finally, Dr. N. Janardhana Raju, Chairman of the 16th International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG) proposed the vote of thanks.

N. Janardhana Raju
Chairman, IAMG2014
School of Environmental Sciences


Lecture on Achieving Rural Sanitation for All: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

The Centre for Studies in Science Policy organized a lecture titled "Achieving Rural Sanitation for All: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" on 29 October, 2014 as part of CSSP Special Lecture Series. The Lecture was delivered by Mr. Achintya Kumar Sen Gupta, who is Director General of the International Academy of Environmental Sanitation and Public Health, New Delhi. This is a think-tank institute under the Sulabh International that facilitates the country-wide Sulabh sanitation movements. The session Chair Dr. Madhav Govind of CSSP introduced the speaker as an experienced environmental engineer and sanitation specialist who worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for South-East Asia at New Delhi.

In this talk Mr. Sen Gupta narrated sanitation as one of the basic determinants of quality of life and human development index. Good sanitary practices prevent contamination of water and soil and thereby prevent diseases. The concept of sanitation was, therefore, expanded to include personal hygiene, home sanitation, safe water, garbage disposal, excreta disposal and waste water disposal. Open defecation is a traditional behaviour in rural India. This along with the relative neglect of sanitation in terms of development priorities was reflected in the country's low sanitation coverage at the close of the 1990s when it was found that only 30% rural households had access to a toilet (Census 2011). The census report shows that 67.3% i.e. 113 million rural households practice open defecation. This fact, combined with low awareness of improved hygiene behaviour, makes the achievement of the goal of total sanitation a pressing challenge in rural India. The responsibility for provision of sanitation facilities in the country primarily rests with local government bodies – Gram Panchayat in rural areas. The State and Central Governments act as facilitators, through enabling policies, budgetary support and capacity development. In this presentation, Mr. Sen Gupta then highlighted changing policy paradigms in the areas of rural sanitation due to concerted efforts made by WHO, UNICEF, Sulabh International, and other organizations. He then analysed salient features of erstwhile Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and its new avatar Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, conceived by new union government. The lecture concluded after a vibrant discussion and Q&A session with the audience. Audio recording of this event is now available at www.mixcloud.com/ccp_jnu/, an open access audio channel maintained by the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP), JNU.

Anup Kumar Das
Documentation Officer
Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS




 
             

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