For sustainable development and a safer future Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is an essential part of any country’s planning exercise for the future. As the first major international framework for disaster risk reduction, the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World (1994) recognized the interrelation between sustainable development and DRR. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes and reaffirms the urgent need to reduce the risk of disasters. In addition to direct references to the Third UN Conference on DRR (Sendai Framework) outcomes, there are specific opportunities to achieve SDGs by reducing disaster risk. India is prone to various disasters namely flood, earthquake, landslide, riverbank erosion etc. These disasters slow down the rate of growth and North East India witnesses these at regular intervals. Poor infrastructure and challenging geography make it more difficult to manage these disasters. There is a need for out of box solutions to handle such disasters. With this in mind, IIT Guwahati established a new Centre for Disaster Management & Research (CDMR) which started its activities in January 2021. This centre has already started its two academic programs viz. MS by Research and PhD in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. Currently, two batches of Masters and three batches of PhDs are already on the roll.
CDMR with its clearly defined vision- to develop as a state-of-the-art research, innovation, and knowledge dissemination hub for Disaster Risk Reduction intends to work towards the advancement of knowledge and capacity building in disaster management, research, and innovation, to ensure sustainability and societal resilience to disasters.
CDMR is dedicated to working for the research, innovation and capacity building for North East Region.To fulfil this CDMR has taken few proactive steps by signing MoUwith NESAC, NIDM in India and Keio University, Japan to address issues of NER from S&T angle (with NESAC) and Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA, MoU will be signed by October 2022). On the Societal angle, training, and capacity development CDMR shall collaborate with NIDM, New Delhi.Certificate courses on the various roles played by S & T in reducing disaster risk and enhancing the resilience of society are being developed.
Disaster Reduction Risk (DRR) lecture series has been initiated by CDMR which brings in experts from various parts of the world, corporates, Governments, Non-government organizations and virtual workshops are being organized for the capacity development of students and faculty. CDMR students are being trained in various types and aspects of disaster management and risk reduction. To name a few flood, earthquake, landslide, climate change & agriculture, cloud burst, smart design, role of AI in DRR, governance, socio-economy, gender, geomatics, remote sensing etc. The strength of CDMR students is their experience in working in the interdisciplinary ecosystem.Their problem management skills and preparedness for handling the unseen are other aspects that make them suitable candidates for recruitment in any organization.
CDMR is open to workingon joint projects, training, advocacy, consultancy, or any other form of collaboration. This Centre is new, so there is a long way to go.
Dr. Sudip Mitra