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DST Organizes Climate Change Conclave at IIT Delhi, Focuses on AI and Climate Adaptation

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) hosted a Climate Change Conclave at IIT Delhi from May 27-28, 2024, focusing on AI-based climate modeling and adaptive solutions.

Saurabh Shukla
DST Organizes Climate Change Conclave at IIT Delhi, Focuses on AI and Climate Adaptation (Photo Source: @IndiaDST/X)
DST Organizes Climate Change Conclave at IIT Delhi, Focuses on AI and Climate Adaptation (Photo Source: @IndiaDST/X)

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) hosted a two-day Climate Change Conclave from May 27th to 28th, 2024, at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. This event brought together leading experts from across India to discuss the development of foundational models in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for climate modeling specific to the Indian context. The conclave emphasized the need for quality control of climate data, improving predictions, and strengthening community interactions for better climate adaptation solutions.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of DST, highlighted the significant progress made by DST's two key missions: the National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and the National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). "These missions have supported 19 Centres of Excellence and 37 major R&D programs over the years," he noted. Prof. Karandikar stressed the importance of developing AI-based foundational models tailored to India’s unique climatic challenges.

During the conclave, Prof. Karandikar released the draft executive summary of the 'District Level Climate Risk Assessment for India.' He pointed out that indigenous climate models, built on localized data, are crucial for understanding and addressing climate change effectively. "A holistic approach, involving researchers from multiple disciplines and a range of stakeholders, is essential to tackle the ongoing challenges of climate change, especially its impact on agriculture, water resources, and the environment," he added.

Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Advisor at DST, discussed the inception and evolution of DST's Climate Change Programme. He detailed the interventions made by DST in the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) and the development of climate science and adaptation R&D programs across the country. Dr. Gupta emphasized the importance of collective action and community collaboration in developing solutions to secure the future against the threats of climate change.

Dr. Anita Gupta, Head of Climate, Energy, and Sustainable Technology (CEST) at DST, underscored the urgency for climate change solutions, highlighting that 40% of the global population is already vulnerable to its adverse effects. She outlined the efforts of DST’s missions under NAPCC in supporting nationwide R&D programs. Additionally, she discussed DST's participation in Mission Innovation, a global initiative launched in 2015 to foster clean energy solutions.

Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director of IIT Delhi, showcased the work of the Centre of Excellence on climate change modeling at IIT Delhi. He highlighted innovative technologies such as coal-to-methanol conversion, blue hydrogen production, and carbon capture and storage as key mitigation strategies.

The conclave saw active participation from climate change experts from various prestigious institutions, including IIT Bhubaneswar, Banaras Hindu University, University of Delhi, Kashmir University, IISc, University of Allahabad, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, India Meteorological Department, ICRISAT, and DST Centres of Excellence. DST officials also engaged in discussions, reinforcing the collaborative effort needed to address climate change.

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