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Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham inks MoU with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)

June 14, 2022 - 3:02
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham inks MoU with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
  • The collaborative thematic research includes 10 key areas which aim at providing technology-based early warning solutions to the coastal community.
  • The MoU shall also involve several academic, research, and capacity building programs between Amrita and INCOIS
  • Tsunami Ready program was collaboratively launched with INCOIS and the members of Alapad Community, Kollam, Kerala

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India for a period of 5 years. The MoU spanning 10 thematic areas addresses various collaborations in areas like community resilience, hazard and disaster preparedness, joint research & development, and collaborative courses. The MoU, on behalf of Amrita School for Sustainable Futures, UNESCO Chair on Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation and Development, Amrita Centre for Wireless Networks and Application, was jointly signed by Dr. Srinivasa Tummala, Director, INCOIS, and Dr. Maneesha Vinodini Ramesh, Provost, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in presence of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Dr. TVS Udaya Bhaskar, Scientist F & Head, Ocean Data Management Division and Mr. B Ajay Kumar, Scientist D, Operational Ocean Services Division also graced the occasion.

Speaking about the partnership, Dr. Srinivasa Kumar, Director, INCOIS said, “INCOIS is happy to collaborate with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. This MoU will strengthen collaborative research between the academic and scientific community, thereby enhancing the scope and reachability of INCOIS operational ocean forecasts to the coastal population. Further, the Tsunami ready community recognition Programme proposed under this MoU will enhance the capacity of coastal communities to effectively prepare and respond to tsunamis and other ocean-related hazards”.

Speaking about the partnership, Dr. Maneesha Vinodini Ramesh, Provost, International, Research & Innovation and UNESCO Chair on Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation & Development, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, said, “We are excited to enter into the collaborative partnership with INCOIS. With this partnership, we aim to bring sustainable solutions toward building community resilience to the coastal population. By blending multidisciplinary domains and technology-based interventions, Amrita and INCOIS will work towards developing an impact-based early-warning assessment of natural hazards such as tsunamis, storms, and high waves sea-level changes that would help enhance the climate readiness of the maritime community. Along with this, several academic and research collaborations are planned to be carried out in areas such as joint courses, faculty exchange, and R&D activities”.

The collaborative thematic research include broad area such as joint research and development activities, which are of mutual interest for both the organisations, R&D in operational oceanography for the development and validation of products required for the maritime community, joint programs to enhance the awareness and preparedness of coastal communities for the natural hazards, collaboration in preparing Tsunami ready and climate-ready community, provide opportunities for master’s students of Amrita University to carry out academic projects in INCOIS on the topics related to R&D activities of INCOIS etc. The key scope of the collaboration also includes training and capacity-building programs for scholars at Amrita and INCOIS. As a part of the collaboration, a project monitoring committee shall be in place to implement and assess various programs, activities, and deliverables.

The Tsunami Ready Program was launched on the occasion in collaboration with INCOIS and Alappad grama panchayat. Tsunami Ready is a community performance-based program initiated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO to promote tsunami preparedness through the active collaboration of the public, community leaders, and national and local emergency management agencies. Dr. Srinivas Kumar, Director, INCOIS spoke on how the program will help to measure community preparedness with the help of indicators and help in evacuation thereby making community tsunami ready. Dr. Maneesha V Ramesh, addressed the community members and provided an overview of the program and its benefits. Dr. TVS Udaya Bhaskar and Mr. B Ajay Kumar, INCOIS also graced the event with their presence.

Sri Ullas Unni, President, Alappad Grama Panchayat, Dr. Sreeja Unnikrishnan, Hazard Analyst, Kollam DDMA and Sri Ranga Nathan, Chief Coordinator, Amritasree Self Help Groups also addressed the event. Dr. Sreeja Unnikrishnan spoke about the importance of community preparedness in the wake of disasters, the importance of effective evacuation mechanisms and extended her whole hearted support in making the community Tsunami prepared. Sri Ranga Nathan spoke about the Amritasree SHG initiative that was launched as a response to the 2004 Tsunami by imparting vocational training in 21 areas to women from the coastal communities and lauded efforts of Chancellor Amma in relief, rehabilitation and building community resilience in the coastal region in the wake of disasters.

The program seeks to build resilient communities through awareness and preparedness strategies that will protect life, livelihoods, and property from tsunamis. The first meeting was held with 11 ward members and panchayat president along with community members from Alapad panchayat, Kollam Kerala, Amrita faculty, and students. The program is planned to be rolled out to the nearby coastal regions in the future phases.

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