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KMCT Memorial Lectures

These Memorial Lectures are given by scientists renowned in their fields and are conducted approximately once every quarter.

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Inaugural Lecture | 23 March 2021

Importance of Geological knowledge – from grade school to graduate school - by Prof Raja V Ramani

ABSTRACT

At the present time, there is increasing realization that life on Earth is threatened by numerous safety, security and sustainability issues and that concerted action is essential to develop strategies that are effective in the long term.  Geology is defined as the scientific study of the origin of the Earth along with its rocks, minerals, landforms, and life forms, and of the processes that have affected them over the course of the Earth's history. It is often said that all human resource needs must be addressed by the basic industries of mining and agriculture and their contributions to the secondary and tertiary industries of manufacturing and commerce. Clearly, it is important to understand how Earth works as a system, particularly how the natural and human processes interact with each other within the system, to manage the system for the benefit of mankind. As our ability to see and collect data from far away in space and from deep in the bowels of Earth has increased, we have also come to appreciate the need for better understanding of the complexity of the interactions of the land, water and atmospheric components of Earth. Knowledge in geology has been considered essential in several fields of science and engineering though its relevance to every human being and to every day life is not widespread in the general public or even in some decision-makers. The purposes of this presentation are to overview the development of geology from the early years to the present and to productive avenues for enhancing geological knowledge from grade school to graduate school.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Prof. Venkata Ramani is a graduate of Indian School of Mines [ISM],Dhanbad in Mining Engineering [1962], he is a certified First Class Mine Manager [1965] and Professional Engineer [1971] and holds M.S. [1968] and Ph.D. [1970] degrees in Mining Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, United States .  He is a life member of the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India and has directed U.S. sponsored research and seminars in India on computer applications, longwall mining, ground water issues and environmental planning. His contributions to mineral engineering in teaching, research and service have been widely acknowledged for their excellence and significance with several awards from academia and technical and professional societies in the United States and abroad.  Among the notable awards are Distinguished Alumni Award [ISM, 1978], SME Distinguished Member [1989], APCOM Distinguished Achievement Award [1989], Honorary D.Sc. [ISM, 1997], U.S. National Academy of Engineering Member [2005], AIME Honorary Member [2010], and Distinguished Fulbright-Nehru Chair [2014-15]. Prof.Raja V. Ramani, was President of SME in 1995, SME Foundation President, during 2001-2004 and a Legion of Honor member of SME. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Mining and Geo-Environmental Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University and Emeritus George H., Jr. and Anne B. Deike Chair in Mining Engineering. Very recently he has been selected for Distinguished Alumni Award of Pennsylvania State University for the year 2022.

Second Lecture | 20 July 2021 

How is Antarctica changing and why should we care - by Prof Martin Siegert

ABSTRACT

For more than 2000 years we have been fascinated by the discovery and exploration of Antarctica. The idea of Terra Australis Incognita (the Unknown Southern Land) began with the ancient Greeks, who argued a southern landmass was required to balance the northern world. This quest for knowledge led to the second voyage of Captain Cook in the late eighteenth Century, heroic expeditions by Robert Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Douglas Mawson, and the post-WW2 scientific collaboration of the International Geophysical Year in 1957-8. While much is now known about Antarctica, it still remains unquestionably the most unexplored region on Earth. In this lecture, I will talk about how our appreciation of Antarctica has changed as a consequence of the technological advances required for its scientific exploration. I will show how the perception of Antarctica as a static, lifeless continent has transformed to that of a dynamic region that has the power to alter our global environment. Finally, I will question what changes in the Antarctic could mean for us, and why it should concern everyone.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Prof. Martin Siegert FRSE has been the Co-Director of the Grantham Institute since May 2014. Previously, he was Director of the Bristol Glaciology Center at Bristol University, where he is now a visiting Professor, and Head of the School of GeoSciences at Edinburgh University, where he now holds an Honorary Professorship. He led the Lake Ellsworth Consortium - a UK-NERC funded programme that designed an experiment to explore a large subglacial lake beneath the ice of West Antarctica. He has undertaken three Antarctic field seasons, using geophysics to measure the subglacial landscape and to understand what it tells us about past changes in Antarctica and elsewhere. In 2013 he was awarded the Martha T. Muse Prize for excellence in Antarctic science and policy, and in 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Third Lecture | 27 Oct 2021 

How India Parted Company from Gondwana : Constraints of Space and Time - by Prof Colin Reeves

ABSTRACT

India formed an integral part of the Gondwana ‘supercontinent’ throughout Paleozoic times.  Disruption of Gondwana started early in the Jurassic but it was not until late in the Cretaceous, 100 myr later, that India began its well-known rapid journey northwards, eventually to collide with Asia and form the Himalaya.  Data from the southern oceans – primarily ocean-floor topography and marine magnetic anomalies – have been used to investigate (a) the precise configuration of the present-day continents within reassembled Gondwana and (b) the processes of disruption that determined the paleogeography of the southern continents in the 100 myr interval from 184.2 Ma (start Toarcian) to 83.64 Ma (C34, start Campanian). The most recent 40 myr of this interval (i.e. 121.4 to 83.64 Ma) are devoid of marine magnetic anomalies and so demand some conservative plate-tectonic assumptions in addition to careful interpretation of the ocean-floor topography created.  Plate-tectonic modelling software (Atlas, Cambridge) has been used to model both continental positions and the likely geometry and behaviour of the mid-ocean ridges across the entire Gondwana-wide system of plates from the onset of disruption to 83.64 Ma, by which time India had begun its rapid northward journey. From this analysis it emerges that initial disruption into East and West Gondwana accelerated early in the Cretaceous (from 142.3 Ma, Berriasian).  By 121.4 Ma (M0, start Aptian) most of the well-known continental outlines had been established, many of them in the shorter interval 130-125 Ma (Hauterivian-Barremian).  These events are attributed to the more-or-less simultaneous outbreak at this time of the Kerguelen and Tristan mantle plumes.  The former created the (Greater) India-Australia-Antarctica triple junction, the latter started the main phase of South Atlantic opening.  At about the same time, re-invigoration of the Bouvet plume, located perpetually midway between Africa and Antarctica (and responsible for the original 184 Ma Gondwana disruption) ensured continuity of new mid-ocean ridge systems from West Africa to western Australia, a distance of more than 11 000 km, by Albian times.  From early in the Cretaceous the entire India plate, confined at its southern continental tip (along with Sri Lanka) between Africa (including Madagascar) and Antarctica, rotated counter-clockwise by way of two major dextral strike-slip transforms, one off western Australia and the other off Arabia-Somalia.  This continued until an ‘escape route’ to the north became possible at about 90 Ma (Turonian) with the outbreak of the Marion plume. The work has been conducted under the umbrella of IGCP-628 (www.gondwana.geologia.ufrj.br/en/) which will shortly publish the new geological map of Gondwana.  Animations and explanatory text concerning the work described here may be found at www.reeves.nl/gondwana.  The timescale of GTS2020 (www.timescalefoundation.org) has been used throughout. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER


Prof. Colin Reeves has been outstanding exploration geophysicist and studied in Cambridge, Birmingham and Leeds universities in U.K.  He has been specializing in application of geophysical techniques, especially aeromagnetic for reconnaissance geological mapping, and tectonics, and resource exploration in many countries in Africa, Arabia, India, Middle East and Australia. While in International Institute for Aerial Surveys and Earth Sciences (ITC), Delft, Netherlands, he guided almost 250 students from Africa, India and Latin America and helped to build capacities in these countries. He has been instrumental in defining the process of Gondwana dispersal, and actively participated in Gondwana Map project of IGCP.  He has made significant contributions in the development of the “Atlas” plate reconstruction software. He has delivered many lectures throughout the world and published widely on exploration geophysics

Fourth Lecture | 23 Mar 2022 

Landslide Scenarios and Studies in India – A Review
Dr. Saibal Ghosh, Deputy Director General (Geology), GSI, ER, Kolkata

ABSTRACT

The extra-peninsular terrain of India and its neighboring nations are known hot spots for landslide hazards. Nearly 4.34 lakh km2 areas in the country in parts of 18 States/ UTs are prone to landslide hazards.


Already more than 70,000 historic landslides have so far been inventoried in India by the nodal agency for landslide hazards – the Geological Survey of India (GSI). About 1000s of landslides of varied dimensions, and varied failure mechanisms do occur in such hilly/ mountainous terrains every year.


These landslides are mostly triggered by monsoon rainfall, a few by earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or more, or as a domino effect because of multi-hazards (flood, avalanche, glacial or landslide lake burst, earthquake etc.).  


In addition to the above, landslides are also triggered by anthropogenic actions like toe cutting/ excavation during hill road widening and construction, construction of buildings and other civil infrastructures in hills, etc. Off late, it is also observed that due to the frequent climatic extremes, and unpredictable hydro-meteorological situations, frequency of landslide occurrences, even fatal are increasing nowadays, which is a real concern to the sustainability of the mountainous areas. 


Given the above challenges, it is apparent that landslides in the Indian extra-peninsular regions warrant detailed studies. The nodal agency (GSI) and other institutes like IITs, CSIR Institutes, NRSC and other central Institutes are engaged in varied types of landslide investigations since centuries with an ultimate aim to mitigate and minimise the landslide risks.

With the above background in mind, in this lecture, we will steer our discussion through the following major threads to offer a synoptic picture on landslide studies in India

i) Landslide hazard and risk scenarios – International and National perspectives, 

ii) Approach of landslide studies and objectives in India, 

iii) Role and contributions of nodal agency, 

iv) Details of legacy data that are available for further R&D and use, 

v) Trends in modern R&D activities on landslides by other stakeholder organisations, 

vi) Gap in knowledge and challenges, 

vii) Scope and utility of a national geodatabase for managing such hazards, 

viii) Ongoing endeavours on landslide early warning, and 

ix) State-of-the-art terrain-specific engineering solutions offered for typical problem sites, 

x) Possible way forward.  

ABOUT THE SPEAKER     

Dr. Saibal Ghosh did his M.Sc. and M.Tech. on Applied Geology in 1991, and 1993 respectively, from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. Subsequently, he completed his Ph.D. on Landslide Hazard and Risk Modeling in 2011 from the Faculty ITC, University of Twente, The Netherlands. During nearly 3-decade long professional career in Geological Survey of India, Dr. Ghosh was associated with several geotechnical and landslide investigations in the Himalayas, and Northeast as a consulting engineering geologist and landslide expert. Dr. Ghosh was instrumental for the nation-wide launch of National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping (NLSM) program in 2014, and also mentored more than 100s of geoscientists for this national task. Dr. Ghosh has published so far more than 30 research articles in various national and international peer-reviewed journals and currently has a Google Scholar Citation of 579. He is also a regular reviewer of the leading international peer-reviewed journals. He was the Secretary of the Indian Society of Engineering Geology (ISEG) for 2018 and 2019 which is the India National Group of the International Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG), and was the Convener, Science Program Subcommittee for the 36th International Geological Congress. Currently, he is working as the Deputy Director General (Geology) and Regional Mission Head-IV (Fundamental & Multi-disciplinary Geosciences) of the Eastern Regional HQ. of GSI at Salt Lake, Kolkata. 

Fifth Lecture | 14 Jul 2022 

Importance of Deep-Sea Technology and Ocean Science for India’s Economy - Dr. S. Satheesh Chandra Shenoi, FASc., FNASc.

ABSTRACT 

The ocean is the largest ecosystem of our planet, regulating change and variability in the climate system and supporting the global economy, nutrition, health and wellbeing, water supply and energy. Holds an estimated 80% of Earth’s mineral resources, produces half of the oxygen we breath and meets about 15% of the protein requirement of 70% of world’s population.  The coastal zone is home to about 40% of world’s population and provides habitat for 80% of the living organisms in the world. The top 10 feet of the ocean holds as much heat the entire atmosphere. 


Indian coastline running over 7500 km is home to nine coastal  states and 1382 islands. The country has 12 major ports and 187 non-major ports, handling about 1400 million tons of cargo every year, as 95% of India’s trade by volume transits by sea. India’s Exclusive Economic Zone of over 2.2 million square km is rich in living and non-living resources and holds significant recoverable resources of crude oil natural gas, Placer Minerals (Ilmenite, Rutile, Magnetite, Sillimanite, Garnet, Zircon, Monazite) and Limemud. The coast also sustains over 4 millionfishermen and other  coastal communities. India also has exclusive rights of exploration in 75000 square km area for polymetallic nodule deposits in the international water of Central Indian Ocean seabed and 10000 square km area for polymetallic sulphides in the Southwest Indian Ocean. With these vast maritime interests, the Blue Economy in India has a vital relationship with the nation’s economic growth. Currently, the size of the Blue Economy in India is conservatively estimated to be about 4% of Gross Domestic Product. But the current thinking is that that needs to be tripled or quadrupled by sustained development of technology and scientific knowledge. 


This talk examines some of the technological developments in the country for deep sea exploration, mining, offshore energy, freshwater generation, etc. and the development of scientific knowledge that helps in predicting weather, climate and ocean genic hazards (storm surges, tsunamis, etc.) that affect the economy and lives. Talk concludes with underlining the necessity for sustainable development to create an healthier better managed ocean for the wellbeing of all. 


ABOUT THE SPEAKER 


Dr. Shenoi did his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Cochin University of Science & Technology. He researched extensively on the dynamics of the waters around India and the role of Indian Ocean on the monsoon at CSIR-NIO, Goa during 1983 to 2009. His other research interests included observational oceanography, ocean circulation, sea level variability and satellite oceanography.


He served as Director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad during 2009-2020 and also as Director of National Institute of Oceanography (NIOT), Chennai during Aug 2015 – Feb 2018. He led the establishment of International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography, a UNESCO Category 2 Centre, at INCOIS. He is an elected Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences (2007), Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India (2009), Fellow of Indian Geophysical Union (2011), Fellow of Andhra Pradesh Akademi of Sciences (2014) and Fellow of Telengana State Academy of Sciences (2015). Indian Geophysical Union awarded him with Dr. H.N. Sidique Memorial Lecture Award (2011). AMET University, Chennai conferred the Honorary Degree (Honoris causa) of Doctor of Science (2016) and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India awarded him the National Award for Ocean Science & Technology (2018). 


He served as the Vice-Chair of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in 2019-2021, Co-chair of International Indian Ocean Expedition-2 Steering Group (IIOE-2 - SG) during 2015- 2022, Chair of Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS) during 2017-2021, Member of the Executive Council of International Association for Physical Sciences of Ocean (IAPSO)/IUGG in 2011-2015 and in 2015-2019. Currently he is the Chair of IUGG’s Union Commission for Data and Information (UCDI)/IUGG since 2014

Sixth Lecture | 22 Nov 2022 

Ecosystem Restoration - Sri Syed Khalil

ABSTRACT 

Deciphering complexities of ecosystem degradation anywhere is a daunting task, selecting a suitable restoration strategy thereon is more so since a suggested course of action has to meet the exalted standards of scientific sustainability, financial viability and even social accountability. In addition, its real and/or potential benefits need to be convincing enough to the affected populace. 


World over, several nations including India are grappling with ecological problems/potential disasters of divergent hues and have been adopting solutions with varying degrees of success commensurate with their resources and of course limitations.  Rapid developmental activity is occurring everywhere with huge risk of damaging ecological balance and creating vulnerable infrastructure.  This has necessitated adoption of already executed common template on which restoration strategies in other regions/domains have been planned and implemented.  


Understandably managing complex ecosystem environments of coastal Louisiana in which the natural and socio-economic systems are highly integrated is inherently difficult. In addition, deltaic environs are uniquely challenged due to the interdependence and delicate balance of water, land and economic systems and future uncertainties regarding the magnitude and rate of climate change impacts. In this context a peep into Louisiana State’s Holistic Sediment Management Plan for a Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration of a Degrading Delta Plain can be instructive.  


Syed Khalil proposes to take us through different stages of conceptualization, planning and execution of over two decades of this fascinating project to create, conserve, and preserve land, to mitigate the perennial and catastrophic impacts of land loss to millions of people in coastal Louisiana. Khalil would also emphasis the dictum that despite an acceptable common template the ecosystem restoration strategies are complex, unique and one of a kind where adaptive management plays a key role in every aspect of execution of such large-scale efforts.      


ABOUT THE SPEAKER 


Sri Syed Khalil hails from Gaya District, Bihar and obtained his M.Sc (Geology) degree from  the Patna University. He joined the Geological Survey of India and worked extensively as a land geologist in Central and Eastern India before migrating to the Marine wing as a Geologist (Sr.) and he was promoted as Director. He was a UN Fellow at the University of Hawaii (Honolulu), USA working mainly on deep-sea swath bathymetric surveys around Hawaiian Islands for ferro-manganese crust exploration (SeaMARC II). 


He then migrated to the United States and obtained an M.S. degree in Coastal Geology from the prestigious Florida Atlantic Research University. His area of interests are seafloor mapping via integrated coastal/marine geoscientific surveys, coastal zone management, sediment evaluation, regional sediment management for coastal restoration, and geoscientific data management. 


Khalil’s primary focus is on the geo-scientific issues pertaining to restoration, mitigation and management of the Louisiana coastal environment to address severe and chronic wetland loss. Concurrently, he is also responsible for development/implementation of an expansive   Adaptive Management Program as a co-Program Director. This includes implementation of SWAMP (System Wide Assessment & Monitoring Program) - an overarching monitoring and assessment program for the entire coast of Louisiana documenting changes in various critical areas, including: physical terrain; water quality; waves and currents; and. biotic integrity. 


Khalil has conducted numerous integrated oceanographic and hydrographic surveys involving seafloor mapping of the world’s major water bodies including the Pacific, Mid-Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, the Arabian, Andaman, Mediterranean, Japan, and South China Seas, and the Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. 

  

He has published numerous professional papers in international scientific journals besides being the editor/Associate editor.  

Seventh Lecture | 23 Mar 2023

Similitude and Implication of Veda-Vedanga Principles in Modern Science, Engineering and Technology, with an Emphasis on Earth sciences

Vasudevan Rajagopalan

Retd. Scientific Officer-H, AMDER, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India,

1-10-153, Begumpet, Hyderabad-500016, Telangana, India.

ABSTRACT

           

The human race struggles for existence and when existence is assured, seek for ‘Peace’. It is a state of tranquillity and bliss, which is perceived differently by a scientist, an engineer, a technologist (SET), others and a vaidika-scholar (VS) but intrinsically perceptions converge when a set goal is achieved as desired. Eureka and Moksha or Mukti are the ultimate destiny desired by the SETs and VSs.  The source of wisdom and treasure of knowledge being Vedas - Shrutis and Smritis, others like Vedanga, Upanishads, Puranas, Itihasas, Dharmaa-sastras, etc are their discrete derivatives only. In fact, the Veda-vedanga & Neeti Sastra concepts are directly applicable to the diverse needs of modern researches, management, health, human behaviour, etc. Maslow’s (hierarchy of needs) theory is used in many disciplines to explain human behaviour, from business, to education, psychology, technology, and more. However, such concepts are observed in age-old Yajnavalkya-Smriti and Manu-Smriti for grahastas, besides Vidura neeti for Raja and Praja, and Kautilya Sastra (राजर्षिवृत्तम् (विनयाधिकारिकम्, प्रकरण-३, अध्याय-६) indirectly. The desired success leading to seeker’s prosperity with values, synonym of Mukti / Moksha for materialistic world, are certain, provided the given concepts implied from mantras and Smritis are properly understood and then rigidly followed.

It is needless to emphasize, as per Rig-veda,  that the various aspects of scientific truths unravelled by the Rishis regarding psychological matter (consciousness) pervading the physical matter (electrons) which is present in the whole material creation / universe in three forms: (1) In latent form as Agni, a dominating factor in the terrestrial sphere; (2) In violent form as Vayu & Indra, a dominating factor in the mid-sphere; & (3) In ionized or luminous form as Surya, a dominating factor in the celestial sphere. These three actually constitute our Geo-sphere and these three components only give rise to living creations, non-living things as well as rocks and minerals, which include in true sense water and oil too. The Ricas are mantras related to Agni directly related terrestrial sphere, which is Geology. The Yajusas are mantras related to Vayu & Indira, which are related to Wind, rain, clouds, atmosphere, etc. And, the Samans are mantras on Surya, which deals with Astronomy, space, etc. 

The universe is infinite with numerous controlling entities. Knowing its intrinsic nature (causes and the effects) are the aims of both, the Science and the Vedanta. Attempts are made to explore it in detail, since ages by the evolved human through different means but the results accrued is still little. So, knowing it totally is next to impossible, as said by Raja Rtuparna to his charioteer Bahuka, “सर्व सर्वं न जानाति सर्वज्ञो नास्ति कश्चन। नैकत्र परिनिष्ठास्ति ज्ञानस्य पुरुषे क्वचित्।“ (MB:3.7.72.8), which means: “Everyone does not know everything. There is no one who knows it all, and so, the complete knowledge”.

The universal Cause and Effect (CE) is an established theory since ages and widely applied in diverse fields at different stages of the project formulation and execution, mainly because of it has maximum contribution to the success and failure of envisaged project, may be materialistic by SETs or spiritualistic by the VSs. Incomplete understanding of the CE may not lead to the desired destiny. So, they define and re-define the CE, through engineering, re-engineering or reverse engineering, based on available and accrued facts. Actually, the CE is an integral part of Prakruthi (Nature) and are interwoven and inter-dependent. The CE processes with benefits and constraints, for achieving desired goal, as a person of SET or VS, are implicitly discernible from the Veda-vedanga (VV) & sastras like: Darshanas. अनुबन्ध चतुष्टयम् of Vedantasara, पुरुषार्थम्, Neetis (-Yagyovalkya, Vidura & Kautilya), etc. The CE theory of Science, conservation of Mass and Energy, concepts on Gravitation, Earth’s shape, Astronomy-Vaidika Jyotisham, Vaastu-Sastra, Eclipses, dos & don’ts during celestial events, yoga, Ayurveda, etc are fromthe Vedas supplemented by Vedanga, where in Kalpasutras explains different components needed for the life.

The process chosen may vary on the physical plane between a vaidika and a research scientist but on an objective plane, the integrated path of discipline, patience, perseverance, endurance, involvement, dedication, belief, self-confidence and unshakable hope of achieving the goal in near future are the inherent, synonymous characters of any Scientist as well as the Vaidkacharya besides their non-materialistic and non-individualistic nature.  So, the socio-holistic approach (an extension of spiritualism) chosen by the Scientists also follow the same three Afflictions (tāpatrayas: ādidaivika. Ādibhautika & ādhyātmika) for achieving their Goals.

Also, the means of acquiring knowledge of an object in Vedic-sastra or Science are through प्रमाणम् (Proof) that varies in number in six-Astika and three-Naastika Darshanas. The implication and salient applications of major Pramanas (pratyakṣa, anumāna, Shabda, Upamana, arthāpatti, anupalabdhi,etc) in modern technology, manangement and research, including earth resource exploration are discussed. Invariably, many of the vedic annotations were differently christened but having same connotations as observations, deductive and inductive logic, iteration, inter- & extrapolation, nearest neighbourhood classification, probability, analogy, projections, normalisation, optimization of parameters, inferences, etc, is used by the modern scientists. Conditionality, completeness, confidence and possibility of error are simply their derivatives, with subtle differences but do not remain same in space and time.

Such versatile, precisely defined vedic concepts once are conceived then their direct or indirect applicability in Science and Technology or any field of researches, including different language processing systems, are analogous to numerous items prepared by a skilled potter using the same mud and wheel.

As Agni component dominate the major part of the Geology, inclusive of mineral exploration and the other two covers the Earth-science completely, the relevant impact of these and their implications, especially based on the concepts of tāpatrayas, Anubandha chatushtaya, four-Puruṣārthas, six prime Pramanas with their modern derivatives are discussed. The Science & technology results are always nascent in real-time applications and they get outdated over the time as fresh needs arise. It is not so with the ever fresh and auto-replenishing Vedas. The causative factors as well as the caution factors given by the erstwhile Neeti-sastragyas of few centuries BC are still valid in 21st century AD in totality, proving their versatility beyond space and time. Thus, it is proved that the divine reservoir of knowledge, the Vedas are neanimorphic and their rachankartas remain with us as chiranjeevis and immortals, because their divine atmas are still in the Shrutis and Smrutis, ever waiting to bless us, the agyanis.

Though all the constituent elements are sufficiently or optimally present, in a thermodynamically closed system, any well developed, flawless crystal with an ideal stoichiometry and best crystallinity can form only at a specified pressure, temperature, bulk chemistry of the host fluid and is dependent maximum on the slowest possible rate of cooling. Similarly, the crystallized wisdom from the Vedas cannot be acquired by any easy means, despite having the potential and interest, but only through total surrender to the supreme master, who is the only sarvagani.

More and more we extend our inner-eye’s vision beyond the domain of space of the Celestial sphere and visualize deeper and deeper in to sub-atomic domains of the Terrestrial sphere, we do realize that the heterogeneity of nature is part of the homogeneity, which appear to be a truth on smaller scales (i.e. narrow thinking / vision) and the heterogeneity is the real truth and it is the one and only original character of the NATURE. Similitude, as theory, has its universality and incorporates epistemology with methodology. And, the Human, as a Vedic-scholar or as a scientist (both being one and the same like two sides of a coin or a sprouted seed peeping out of the mother earth with lot of valour, vigour and hope are not separable) is a part of the same Nature, especially those associated with the भूगर्भ-शास्त्रम् (Geology / Earth-sciences). Being a blessed creation of nature (human), let us try to become a true Human first on this Karma-bhoomi then try, if at all one wishes, to get identified as a person of glittering names and illusionary laurels. 

माता भूमिः पुत्रो अहं पृथिव्याः पर्जन्यः पिता स उ नः पिपर्तु॥  नमो मात्रे पृथिव्ये, नमो मात्रे पृथिव्या:।


ABOUT THE SPEAKER


Vasudevan Rajagopalan, hails from Thirumananjeri near Kumbakonam in Tamilnadu.

He is a topper of M.Sc.Tech (Applied Geology, 1979) from the RSTM Nagpur University. He did Master of Computer Applications (3-years PG degree) from the Madurai Kamaraj University, Specialization in Applied Hydrology, Civil-Engineering from the IIT-Mumbai, Remote-sensing from the Indian Institute of Remote- Sensing, Dehradun, Digital Image Processing of Satellite data from the IIT-Mumbai and Department of Space,  Intellectual property rights, Management courses from the Administrative staff College, Hyderabad, M.P.School of Administration, Bhopal, Dept of Management studies, IIT, Mumbai, besides professional certifications in varied fields of Computer Science and languages, etc.. He is a recipient of Poetic award Certification in English from the International Poetic Society, USA.

He has 37 years of professional experience, in the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research, a R&D unit of the Department of Atomic Energy, Govt of India,. He has worked in most part of the India as an exploration geologist, most of the geological Laboratories, including Aerial-surveys and Remote-Sensing and held supervisory positions in them. During his long professional career he updated himself continuously from premier institutions in India and abroad in diverse fields of science, engineering and technology. He has published 90 and odd research papers in national and international forums and journals, besides a unique discovery paper on a rare solid solution series amongst U,Th, Si, REE, which was published on the message board of the American Mineralogist.. He is associated with the Mathematical & Computer modelling, and Geo-statistics for atomic minerals exploration and generation of Atomic Minerals Database. He has the unique certification as a subject expert in Electron Micro-probe (EPMA) and instrumentation from the International Society of Scanning Electron Microscopy, USA. He has guided a number of PG students from a few universities and associated as a freelance Multi-disciplinary geo-expert with a few Research institutions and associated with international experts in REE Mineralogy.

Over five years, he is a freelance professional but a Nishulk teacher of Sanskrit, Panini-grammar, Veda-vedanga-Darshana-Puranas-vedantasara-Dharma Shastras with reference to modern Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics & Technology, Sanskrit literature and Kavyas besides computer based Sanskrit linguistics, etc. He has a few active Vedic-Science groups and the one by name Gyana-Pravah, having intellectuals as members from India and abroad, is confined to the Vedas and allied fields related to the Sanathana Dharma, where he delivers lectures regularly over a year and few months. His aim and objective of life is to become a HUMAN in totality and least known as a Scientist or a vedic-scholar.

The recording for this session could not be uploaded since the video was of poor quality and not very audible. Hence the abstract and details are included here. For any more details please contact parthasaradhi.evr@gmail.com

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Eighth Lecture | 25 Jul 2023 

Application of AI/ML to Geosciences - Kalachand Sain 

Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun

ABSTRACT 

Geosciences play a very important role in comprehending the surface processes and delineating subsurface geologic structures/features that are used for the exploration of hydrocarbon; characterization of ground water, geothermal or mineral resources; and understanding geodynamics or seismo-tectonic processes. Over the past decades, several attributes derived from 3D seismic data, acquired on the surface have revolutionized interpretation of subsurface geologic structures, stratigraphic features, and reservoir properties. The seismic data, collected by the explorationists, keep on growing and the task of data processing and interpretation have been tedious. It is the high performance computing systems that have allowed the processing of a large volume of data within a reasonable time, but the tiresome interpretation by human analysts still remains. This has necessitated for automatizing or reducing the human intervention in accelerating the process of interpretation, particularly in areas that are geologically complex. Recently, we have developed AI-based new approaches for the delimitation of 3D architecture of geologic features based on their seismic properties and characteristics. Several work flows have been designed in merging multiple attributes into a single hybrid attribute, known as the “meta-attribute”. The exciting part of this semi-automatic method is the fusion of human intelligence with the machine intelligence over a small volume of data, followed by automatizing the process of delineating subsurface 3D architecture from a huge volume of surface data, and thus speeds up the interpretation. Success stories from a variety of basins across the world including India would be presented. 


The Himalaya is prone to geo-hazards caused by natural processes, environmental degradation and anthropogenic activities. As a measure of disaster risk reduction and secured living in the Himalaya, it is ideal to set up different web-based sensors for monitoring landslides, glaciers/glacial lakes and earthquakes, and develop respective Integrated Early Warning System (IEWS), coupled with satellite data and ground-based observations, wherever possible. All these real-time data need to be analysed and integrated by AI/ML algorithms. Some of the initiatives on this aspect with reference to the most disaster-prone Uttarakhand Himalaya would also be presented. 


ABOUT THE SPEAKER 

Kalachand Sain obtained his M.Sc. (Tech) in App. Geophysics from IIT-ISM, Dhanbad and Ph.D. in Active Seismology from Osmania University, Hyderabad. He visited Cambridge University (UK) and Rice University (USA) as a post-doctoral Fellow, and USGS (USA) as a Visiting Scientist. He is the Director at Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology - An Autonomous Institute of DST, GoI. Earlier, he was the Chief Scientist & Head of Seismic Group at CSIR-NGRI. He is also an honorary Outstanding Professor at the AcSIR, Ghaziabad. 


He visited 20 countries, collaborated with 10 international organizations/universities, and delivered more than 100 lectures as a plenary, invited and keynote speaker covering diversified topics: traveltime and full-waveform seismic tomography, attribute characterisation, rock physics, imaging, AI/ML approaches, seismo-tectonics, geo-tectonics, basin evolution, hydrocarbons in difficult terrains: Himalayan fold belt, sub-volcanics and deep oceans, unconventional energy resources: gas-hydrates and geothermal, climate change and mitigation measures, glacier dynamics, avalanches, glacier-lakes outburst floods, seismicity, landslides, flash floods, early warnings against geo-hazards due to glaciers avalanche and glacier-lakes outburst, landslides, earthquakes precursory, etc. He organised 22 sessions in international/national forums, chaired 40 sessions, conducted many short courses, handled several projects worth of INR 62 crores, and procured INR 160 crores worth industry-standard data for research. All these have resulted into 190 SCI articles; 100 Non-SCI articles/documents; 26 book chapters; 5 Authored Books; 7 Edited Volumes; Section Editor for the ‘Encyclopaedia of Solid Earth Geophysics’ by Springer; Supervision of 13 Ph.Ds., mentoring of 70 Master-dissertations, etc. 


He is a Fellow of all three Indian Science Academies: INSA (New Delhi), IAS (Bangalore), NASI (Allahabad), as well as Fellow of AP Akademi of Sciences (Hyderabad) and Telangana Academy of Sciences (Hyderabad); Recipient of J.C. Bose National Fellowship of SERB-DST, National Merit Scholarship by Min. of Education, Raman Fellowship of CSIR and BOYSCAST Fellowship of DST. 

Honored with Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT-ISM, AP Scientist Award, National Geoscience Award by MoES, National Mineral Award by MoM, YS Award of CSIR, Krishnan Medal and Decennial Award of IGU. He is the Vice President of IGU; Secretary General of FIGA; Member of National Committees of SERB-DST, CSIR, MoES, DST, MoE, MoEFCC, Science Academies, RACs/GBs of many National Institutes and Universities.


Some remarkable achievements: 

  • Demonstrated subsurface hydrological imbalance to the causes of land sliding (2023) at Joshimath 

  • Identified seismic precursors from 2021 ice-rock avalanche leading to develop early warning system 

  • Established AI Centre of Excellence (2022) at WIHG, Dehradun for application to geosciences data 

  • Provided scientific accounts of flash floods/snow avalanches (2022-23) in UK, HP, J&K Himalaya 

  • Developed AI-based tools (2022) for automatic delineation of subsurface features from surface data 

  • Developed 2D tomography (2023) of wide-angle seismic data, first in India, for subsurface imaging 

  • Projected the hydrocarbon and renewable/green energy status of India (2022) for her energy security 

  • Mapped geothermal resources in UK Himalaya (2020), and pursuing to convert into electrical energy 

  • Established Gas Hydrate Research Center (2008) with world-class facilities at CSIR-NGRI-Hyderabad 

  • Characterized and evaluated gas-hydrates in KG, Mahanadi and Andaman basins validated by drilling 

  • Estimated critical parameters - pre-requisite for development of gas-hydrates production technology 

  • Delineated high-resolution crustal structures over Indian provinces (onshore, offshore and Himalaya) 

  • Led scientific cruises for (i) heat flow, (ii) gas-hydrates & (iii) imaging subduction plate geometries 

  • Leading a Project on “Characterization and Assessment of surface and subsurface Processes in Himalaya for Seismogenesis, Geodynamics, Geo-hazards, climate-tectonics, and Natural resources 

Ninth Lecture | 09 Nov 2023 

Mining and Environment

- (Prof) Dr A R Kulkarni 

Principal, College of Non-Conventional Vocational Courses for Women, Kolhapur, Maharashtra 

ABSTRACT

India endowed with huge resources of many metallic and non-metallic minerals. Mining sector is an important segment of the Indian economy. Since independence, there has been a pronounced growth in the mineral production both in terms of quantity and value. India produces as many as 95 minerals, which includes fuel, metallic, non-metallic, atomic and minor minerals (including building and other materials). The wide availability of minerals in the form of abundant rich reserves and the eco-geological conditions make it very conducive for the growth and development of the mining sector in India. By and large India continued to be wholly or largely self-sufficient in minerals which constitute primary mineral raw materials that are supplied to industries, such as, iron & steel, aluminium, cement, and deficient in magnesite, manganese ore, rock phosphate, etc. which were imported to meet the domestic demand.   

India occupies a dominant position in the production of many minerals across the globe. Mining being one of the core sectors of economy and significantly contributing to GDP of India amongst the Industrial sectors. In recent years mining has received lot of criticism due to adverse environmental impacts, illegal mining, eco-sensitive zones, forest area, wildlife sanctuaries, protected areas and other legal issues due to unscientific development in some cases.     

As a major resource for development the extraction and management of minerals has to be integrated into the overall strategy of the country’s economic development. The exploitation of minerals has to be guided / augmented with existing long-term national goals and perspectives. It is the need of the time to infuse environmental concepts in every stage of mining i.e allotment of PL/ ML area, exploration, production, transportation, progressive mine closure and final mine closure. Project proponents understand and address the environmental issues at the beginning of the projects so that adverse impacts can be minimized by developing a very good quality of Environmental Impact Assessment Report. A good EIA report is a tool to help build a balance between environment and development. Impacts can be identified and mitigation measures can be put in place beforehand. Public Hearing with Local communities can be helpful if taken in confidence and discussed the project with them. Good environmental management plan can prevent from non- compliances and in return will provide monetary, direct & indirect environmental benefits. The whole objective should be sustainable development of Mining sector for the well-being of the people and environment.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Dr. Anilkumar Kulkarni is currently the Principal, College of Non-Conventional Vocational Courses for Women, Chh. Shahu Central Institute of Business Education & Research, Kolhapur. He obtained his M.Sc. degree in Geology from Pune University in 1986 and Ph.D. in Environment Science from Shivaji University in 1994. He was Prof.& Head, Post Graduate Dept. of Environment Management since last 28 years and Chairman, Board of Studies (BOS) in Master of Environmental Management and Geology of various Universities and Academic Council Member. He has published/presented over 60 papers in the National and International Seminars. He has executed over 60 industry sponsored projects in Mining and Environment consultancy. Currently he is engaged in 6 national and 7 international consultancy projects. He was the first technocrat to start float ore mining of bauxite in Maharashtra. He is a Recognized Qualified Person (RQP) of Indian Bureau of Mines, Ministry of Mines, Government of India and Recognized and Approved Analyst for Air and Water quality by the Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. He was a Member of National Expert Committee on Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project Plant and of National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET), Quality Council of India (QCI) recognized as Functional Area Expert (FAE) for Mining Sector.

Tenth Lecture | 19 Jan 2024

The Indian Lunar Exploration Programme

-  R K Srinivasan 

Deputy Director (Retd.), Mechanical Systems Area, U R Rao Satellite Centre,

I S R O 

ABSTRACT


The Indian Lunar Exploration Programme is an ongoing series of outer space missions by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the exploration of the Moon. The development and operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the experience of developing and on orbit maintenance of  satellites opened up the opportunity for India's first extra-terrestrial exploration mission to the Moon. The idea of a lunar scientific mission was first raised in 1999. Subsequently there have been three missions so far. While the first CHANDRAYAAN mission was successful, the first lander and rover which were part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, crashed on the surface. The second lander and rover mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the Moon on 23 August 2023, making India the first nation to successfully land a spacecraft in the lunar south pole region, and the fourth country to soft land on the Moon after the Soviet Union, the United States and China.  


The Chandrayaan programme has been vastly regarded as both technologically and scientifically successful, especially with the discovery of lunar water. It continues to provide scientific data and high-resolution imagery thanks to Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) which is the most advanced lunar camera so far with 25 cm (9.8 in) spatial resolution and it is currently operational onboard Chandrayaan-2's orbiter. Technically it has provided the platform to develop the required expertise for interplanetary travel , technology for soft landing and operations of a rover on the planet’s surface. This lecture traces the salient features of these three missions. It brings out the complexities of carrying out such missions. The main events like reaching moon’s orbit and landing and the science related findings have been well publicised and find a passing mention in this lecture. However before launching such complex missions, lot of work has to be carried out on ground simulating the harsh space environment and ensuring flawless working of both the spacecraft hardware and software. The second part of the lecture deals with some of the behind the scene activities and the ground testing done to build reliability and confidence in the actual events of landing . 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER 


Shri R K Srinivasan  obtained his BE (Civil) from UVCE, Bangalore, 1973 and ME (Aeronautics) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 1975. He Joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, ISRO and worked in the area of design and analysis of launch vehicle structures. Mainly worked on PSLV stage structures. From 1982 to 2015 worked in UR Rao Satellite Center and superannuated as deputy director, Mechanical Systems Area. Subsequently continued as professor/consultant in URSC till 2021. Specialized in design and analysis, fabrication, and testing of spacecraft structures. Was Involved in design and development of light weight composite structures used for satellites at URSC. As chairman of the committee, I was responsible for review of the design, analysis, component testing, and system level testing of mechanical elements of Chandranan 2 & 3 lander. I was also responsible for the review the test plan and test results of the dynamic testing of most of the satellites launched during 2000 to 2021. 

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