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'India needs more Himalayan Glaciology experts'

New Delhi,Environment/Wildlife,Science/Tech, Tue, 02 Apr 2013 IANS

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) There has been scientific studies on impact of climate change on Himalayan glaciers but India has very few glaciologists and needs more expertise in the area, experts said Tuesday.

Speaking at the Indo-Swiss capacity building programme on Himalayan Glaciology, T. Ramasamy, secretary, department of science and technology, emphasised on the need to build human capacities for monitoring glaciers in the Indian Himalayas.

"We have very few glaciologists and there is a need to have more experts to monitor Himalayan glaciers," he said.

Calling for international collaboration to study impact of climate change on Himalayas, Ramasamy said: "Climate change happens somewhere but you can see its impact everywhere and global collaboration is not a virtue but a must."

India and Switzerland is conducting a capacity building programme in Himalayan glaciology for 30 PhD students and researchers working in glaciology in the country.

Aiming to provide a comprehensive coverage of basics in the field of glaciology, the training programme is being held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here from April 1-26.

Switzerland is the first country with which India has collaborated for the institutional and human capacity building programme on glaciology.

"We are pleased to be the first country with whom, India has jointly developed this collaboration. This programme provides an opportunity for strengthening capacities of Indian researchers and institutions involved in the research field of climate change and glaciology," said Swiss Ambassador to India Linus von Castelmur.

He said it is also an opportunity for Swiss scientists and experts to collaborate with their Indian counterparts to seek and identify areas of mutual interest for research.

Highlighting the importance of research in glaciology, Sudha Pai, professor at JNU's Centre for Political Studies said: "Himalayas are the water tower of Asia. We need to train a breed of glaciologist to keep an eye on changes happening on Himalayas."

The collaborative programme is part of the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), which is conceptualised and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The programme is coordinated by the climate change programme of India's department of science and technology.

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.

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