The Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (CUPB) under the patronage of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Raghavendra P. Tiwari, celebrated International Earth Day by organizing an international quiz and a special conference on “How to develop a resilient society earthquakes ”. The keynote speaker for this program was internationally renowned geophysicist Padma Shri, Professor Harsh K. Gupta, President of the Geological Society of India, Bangalore. The CUPB Department of Geology led this program. About 3175 participants of different age groups from almost all states of India and 10 foreign countries took part in the “Mother Earth International Quiz”. A total of 30 questions were asked on the themes of sustainability, climate change, planet Earth and biodiversity during this quiz competition hosted by Dr Felix Bast. Mr. Jayakrishnan VM (Kerala), Mr. Honey Kumar (Punjab) and Mr. Suraj Sharma (Delhi NCR) respectively secured the first, second and third positions in this competition to raise awareness to make the earth a better place or live. his keynote address, Padma Shri, Prof. Harsh K. Gupta shared details of earthquakes that have occurred in recent centuries and pointed out that despite scientific and technical developments, the impact of earthquakes / tsunamis continues to increase in the 21st century citing examples of Muzaffarabad Earthquake in 2005, earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and others. He informed that the Himalayan region was the most active recipient of severe earthquakes and that three of the seven most devastating earthquakes of the 21st century (with a magnitude of 7 and above) had occurred in and around the Indian subcontinent.
He said that so far there is no precise mechanism to predict earthquakes and with increasing urbanization it is very important to develop an earthquake resilient society to reduce causation and loss of infrastructure in any uncertain natural disaster. He stressed the need to strictly enforce the protocol for disaster risk reduction in urban areas to make development projects safe from disasters. During his address, Prof. Gupta also discussed the initiatives of the National Disaster Management Authority, GOI to raise awareness on the consequences of major earthquake scenarios in the Himalayan region, facilitate earthquake management in state governments and raise awareness by conducting simulated exercises and programs in states vulnerable to earthquakes.Vice-Chancellor Prof. Raghavendra P. Tiwari mentioned that Prof. Gupta is one of the foremost scientists in the world. field of seismology and that this is a great opportunity for our students to listen to and interact with him. He said that in recent decades our mother earth is becoming an inappropriate place to live due to the “ More is Less ” paradigm of modern human civilization versus the “ Less is More ” paradigm. of ancient civilization. He stressed the need to adopt sustainable development means, i.e. natural processes and emerging green technologies to preserve all spheres of planet Earth such as the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and the atmosphere. He called on everyone to make their efforts to restore our Mother Earth, which is the theme of “Earth Day 2021”. He further stated that earthquakes cannot be predicted and will continue to occur in the future. Therefore, the only option available to humanity is to learn to live with this natural calamity with the adoption of the “ Earthquake Resilient Society Model. ” At the outset, Dr. Sunil Mittal, Dean of the ‘School of Environment and Earth Sciences gave a welcome speech. Professor Vinod K. Garg, Dean of Student Welfare, introduced the keynote speaker. Towards the end, Dr Jitendra K. Patnaik, Head of the Geology Department, formally expressed his thanks. Professors, researchers and students from different institutions around the world have practically participated in this program.