Indo- Swiss Capacity Building Programme on Himalayan Glaciology

Apr 1st, 2013 | By | Category: Adaptation, Capacity Development, Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Ecosystem Functions, Financing, Glaciers, Governance, Government Policies, Information and Communication, International Agencies, Land, Lessons, Research, Vulnerability, Water

Glaciers gaining iceThe first meeting of the Indo-Swiss Joint Committee on Science and Technology on 23 September, 2011, at Bern, agreed to establish a development cooperation initiative for capacity building in the field of glaciology and related areas. It was agreed that the Capacity Building on Glaciology and related areas will be coordinated by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) on behalf of Government of Switzerland and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on behalf of the Government of India. A Joint Working Group (JWG) on scientific cooperation in glaciology and related areas was constituted. The JWG at its first meeting in May 2012 recommended a three level training and capacity building programme to be organized annually.

The Indo-Swiss Capacity Building Programme on Himalayan Glaciology is implemented under the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) of Climate Change and Development (CCD), Embassy of Switzerland. The programme will directly contribute towards the fulfillment of one of the key objectives of the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE). Establishment of comprehensive network and creation of human capacities for monitoring glaciers in the Indian Himalayas is an important component of NMSHE. NMSHE is one of the eight missions of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

The Himalayan Glaciology Capacity Building Programme as envisaged at present consists of Level I and Level II. Level I training programme will be conducted from April 1 to April 26, 2013 and will consist of class room teaching and exercises. Based on assessment of assignments a subset of these students will be selected for Level II training programme. Level II training programme will consist of classroom teaching and field exercises at a glacier. Chhota Shigri glacier in Himachal Pradesh (HP) has been selected for field exercises. Level II training programme will start from August/September 2013. It is being planned to conduct further advanced trainings for selected candidates from Level II programme.

In response to a call for applications, a total 61 responses were received by JNU for Level I training programme. 26 candidates have been shortlisted based on approved criteria developed jointly between Indian and Swiss course coordinators. Preference was given to Ph. D. students and researchers who are working in glaciology and related areas. It was ensured that candidates from various parts of India were represented in the shortlist. One of the key points of consideration for the selection of candidates was to evaluate if they would continue to work in the field of glaciology on a long term basis and thus contribute to India’s capacity.

The course curriculum was developed by the programme coordinators and host institution and approved by DST and CCD. A list of faculty was developed against the course curriculum keeping in perspective the available expertise in India and Switzerland. The Indo-Swiss Capacity Building Programme on Himalayan Glaciology is being hosted by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in the first year. The programme is being coordinated by Dr. Anil Kulkarni from Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore, India) and Dr. Markus Stoffel from University of Geneva (Switzerland).

The aim of Level I training programme is to provide a comprehensive coverage of basics in the field of glaciology. The training programme covers essentials of atmospheric processes, climatic phenomenon, precipitation, glacial dynamics, mass balance of glaciers, avalanches and snow melt and runoff in the Indian Himalayas. In order to ensure that the training benefits the participants an expectation mapping exercise will be carried out with the candidates at the beginning of the course and feedback will be collected from the students at regular intervals.



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