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VASHANK, 2019: The Future of Our Earth is in Safe Hands

I am sure we have all heard and momentarily been alarmed about the melting of Antarctic ice, global warming, carbon emissions, etc. I sometimes wondered why is it that these grave environmental issues always have a fleeting impact on our conscience. I believe a couple of adages hold true here, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and also, “The devil is in the details”. Listening to Dr N. C. Pant’s talk on “Antarctica, Global Warming and Zero Carbon Emission Regime – Choices or no Choice?” was an eye opener, the vivid visuals and facts presented by him shattered my ignorance and misconceptions about climate change, Antarctica and carbon emissions. He explained how closely these issues are intertwined with our daily lives and our future. Dr Pant was speaking at VASHANKH, 2019.

VASHANKH – 2019 was organized by Terre-X, the geological Society of Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi on 17th October 2019, New Delhi. The society is mandated to spread awareness about Geology as a subject at school and college level, as a future professional path, it’s importance and relevance in everyday life and its role as a common heritage of our planet. The society also focuses on the overall development of the students of the department by giving them immersive, hands-on experience of the subject.

As part of VASANKH 2019, 50+ minerals, rocks, fossils and stone tools were put on display in the Rock and Mineral Show. Posters and Photographs designed and clicked by the students of the society was yet another attraction of the event. The event was graced by the presence of eminent personalities like Dr. Pant, Mr. Jain and Dr. Chauhan from the geological community who illuminated the students with enlightening talks on some of the most fascinating and prominent forerunning topics in Geology.

Dr. N. C. Pant is a Professor in the Department Of Geology, Delhi University. He specializes in Mineralogy, Petrology, Microbeam Analysis, and Polar Studies. His expertise includes working as an Assistant Geologist, ONGC, Geologist in Geological Survey of India and Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Antarctic Geology, mineralogy and metamorphic petrology constitute core areas of his work.

Mr K.C. Jain is a retired General Manager of the C.B.M cell of the Central Mine Planning And Design Institute (CMPDI), Ranchi. He has participated in various international and national seminars for Coal Bed Methane (CBM), Coal Mine Methane (CMM) and shale gas. He spoke on ‘Coal Bed Methane and Shale Gas’. He gave information about various grades of coal and its extraction and the talked about Coal Methane as a new and novel alternative to traditional sources of fuel.

Dr. Parth R. Chauhan is an eminent scholar, working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in IISER, Mohali, Punjab. He has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stone Age Institute (USA) and as a Fulbright Fellow at Deccan College in India. His key expertise and interests are in the stone tool technology and comparing the South Asian evidence with other regions of the Old World. He spoke on ‘The Human Relationship with Rocks in Prehistory” where he discussed the ways early humans used rocks to make tools such as hand-axes and made rock paintings, which symbolizes the functional and aesthetic value that rocks hold.

It was heartening to see that the collective efforts of young and budding students under the able guidance of their teachers resulted in such a sophisticated and enriching affair. Geography and You is proud to be associated with VASHANK 2019. It gives us a comforting assurance that the future of the field in particular and the planet in general is safe and bright in the hands of future vanguards like the student community behind VASHANK, 2019.

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