A three-day National Seminar on “Geodynamics, sedimentation and biotic response in the context of India-Asia collision” during 26th -28th November was inaugurated by Pu Vanhela Pachuau, Chief Secretary to the Gov of Mizoram on 26. 11.2009 at 9.00Am in the Conference Hall, Beraw Tlang. Padma Shree Dr. Harsh K. Gupta, former Secretary, Dept. of Ocean Development, Govt. of India was the Guest of Honour while Sri D. P. Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India and Dr. N. C. Mehrotra, Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany were present as the special invitees. The seminar was attended by nearly 125 eminent earth scientists from the 45 organizations representing research institutions, IITs and universities spread-over 20 states of the country.

Pu Benjamina, IDAS, Registrar of Mizoram University and the president of the organizing committee welcomed the delegates and thanked them for visiting Mizoram for attending this seminar and contributing their research finings on the themes of the seminar leading to its grand success. He stated that this is the one of the largest gatherings of scientists in the Northeast region in a common platform to discuss and address the issues involved with the India-Asia collision. Prof. R. P. Tiwari, Head, Dept. of Geology and Convener of the seminar in his opening remarks highlighted the role played by India-Asia collision in shaping the geological and geophysical destiny of the Indian-Subcontinent. He stated that the whole process of India-Asia collision should be understood in its totality and all the resulting processes, particularly seismicity, movement of India Plate and crustal shortening need to be monitored for improved understanding and for successful modeling. Dr. N. C. Mehrotra stressed on the need of intensifying palaeontological researches in the sedimentary succession of Northeastern region for solving several vexed geological issues and assured that his institution is ready to offer all scientific assistance to the universities in this region in this endeavour. Sri D. P. Singh while addressing the gathering stated that crustal structure, studies, Earthquake occurrence processes, plate motion studies and structure safety and public awareness are thrust areas in which Ministry of earth sciences is encouraging and funding research programmes.  He appealed to the earth scientists to develop innovative research proposals on these topic for funding by the Ministry.

Prof. Amar Nath Rai, the Vice-Chancellor of Mizoram University and internationally acclaimed microbiologist, in his remark highlighted the importance of seminars/co references/ symposia in the academic and research fields. He stated that these occasions provide platform for taking stock of the current status of research and in drawing contours for future course of research. He praised the organizers for arranging a seminar of this magnitude.

Padma Shree Dr. Harsh K. Gupta, former Secretary, Dept. of Ocean Development, Govt. of India and currently Raja Ramanna Fellow at National Geophysical Research Instutute, Hyderabad delivered a key-note address on The successful medium term forecast of an M~8 earthquake in North East India Region: Revisit and Extension. He stated that the northeast India is seismically one of the most active intra-continental regions in the world and ithe region has witnessed  10 earthquakes of M = 7½ during the period 1897 through 1952, including the great Shillong earthquake of June 12, 1897 of M 8.7, and the great India- China border earthquake of August 15, 1950, also of M 8.7. He informed the gathering that he and his team made a successful medium term forecast of an earthquake of magnitude M 8 ± ½ that had an epicenter in India-Burma border in 1988. This example encourages us to take up a systematic study of earthquake swarms and quiescence preceding major earthquakes in the Himalayan region. He is hopeful that we shall succeed in identifying a few locales where precursory swarm has already occurred and the region is presently experiencing the quiescence phase. This may lead to making medium term forecasts. A follow up effort should be to take up with multi parametric precursor studies and see whether success can be achieved in converging to short-term forecasts.

Pu Vanhela Pachuau while delivering the inaugural speech stated that the Himalayan mountain range including Indo-Burmese Range formed due to India-Asia collision has contributed significantly in shaping the destiny of India as the fertile lands of Indo-Ganjetic plains that ensures food security to the vast population of the country are due to Himalayas. The mighty rivers systems of the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra also ensure perennial supply of water. These mountain barriers have also greatly influenced the climatic conditions prevailing in the country. The rock succession developed due to collision has great economic potentials particularly for oil and natural gas and limestone deposits. At the same time this collision has rendered the region highly seismic prone zone (Zone-5) and highly susceptible for landslides as well. Therefore, there is need to understand the complex process of India-Asia collision and resulting geological processes and their consequences and it is praiseworthy that the organizers have selected the appropriate theme to deliberate upon and address the pertinent issues related to the India-Asia collision. He appealed to the scientists to disseminate knowledge to the grass-root level for the benefit of the society.

Dr. Shiva Kumar, Co-convener of the seminar delivered a key-note address.


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