Announcement was made at the inaugural ceremony of three Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Central Universities from two North-Eastern states and Kashmir
Its aimed towards continuously assessing the Himalayan region's health status and formulating policies for sustainable development
The 13th Climate Change (CC) cell under the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) will soon come up in Ladakh, said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, the secretary of Department of Science & Technology (DST), on Monday.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of three Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Central Universities from two North-Eastern states and Kashmir, Sharma said that until now CC cells have been set up in 12 out of the 13 states and Union territories of Himalayan region.
"Out of the eight national missions which are part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change, NMSHE is the only site-specific mission that aims to take suitable measures for safeguarding the Indian Himalayan Region. With capacity building the major focus of NMSHE, we have set up Climate Change (CC) cells in 12 out of the 13 states and Union territories of Himalayan region and will soon have 13th state CC cell in Ladakh," Sharma said.
Pointing towards the need for CoE at the University of Kashmir, Sikkim University and Tezpur University, Sharma said it is important to focus on relevant interventions in this region, which is the third pole and is both a contributor to climate change and regulator of it.
Professor S.P. Singh, the chairman of expert committee of DST on Climate Change programme appreciated the setting up of the centres in the two parts of the Himalaya and said: "The Himalayan region offers several systems where research can be done, whether it is glaciers, forests or alpine meadows. We should take advantage of these systems which offer a system to answer many of the questions and are of global interest."
Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor Kashmir University, pointed out that there are more than 13,000 glaciers in the Himalaya and study of these need development of a large workforce with expertise in this field.
Prof. V. K. Jain, Vice-Chancellor, Tezpur University underlined the necessity of a centre in the Northeast which is home to a significant proportion of the tribal community with a need to deal with issues related to their sustainable livelihood.
Prof. AvinashKhare, Vice-Chancellor Sikkim University said this CoE will help in the capacity building of the Sikkim University by strengthening fieldwork and other research and infrastructure facilities.
The NMSHE was approved by the Centre in 2014 to continuously assess the Himalayan region's health status and formulate policies for sustainable development there.
The mission was launched with an outlay of ₹550 crore during the 12th Plan. Its primary objective is to generate new information, build scientific and technical capacity, and produce new channels of collaboration between scientists, policy-makers and law-makers to ensure that climate action is based on sound knowledge and science.
Under NMSHE, institutes and civil society organisations working on the Himalayan ecology have been mapped for ease of coordination between governmental and non-governmental agencies.
The mission covers 12 Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and West Bengal.