The inaugural Prof. Jai Krishna Memorial Lecture delivered by Dr Pramod K Mishra

The inaugural edition of the Prof. Jai Krishna Memorial Lecture organized online on Nov 6 by the Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management (CoEDMM), Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee was delivered by Dr. Pramod K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India and Sasakawa Laureate for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Special Representative to UN Secretary-General and Head, UNDRR, Ms. Mami Mizutori brought distinction to the Programme by attending and sharing her thoughts. Shri. B. V. R. Mohan Reddy, Chairperson, BoG, IIT Roorkee, Dr. R K Bhandari and Prof. Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director IIT Roorkee also spoke on the occasion.

Dr. Pramod K. Mishra, in his address said “Prof Jai Krishna was a pioneer in earthquake engineering and a man of extraordinary talent. He laid the foundation of modern earthquake engineering and established the Indian National Academy of Engineering that has stood the test of time. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to learn from the traditional practice of disaster risk management and its relevance in the 21st century. The resolve of Indians to bounce back from events that have caused a lot of human suffering and economic and environmental impact is inspiring.  India’s efforts to combat cyclones have been lauded globally. There is a need to establish a multi-tiered disaster risk system in each country and at the regional and local levels”

He identified four black swan events in the 21st century- the tsunami in 2004, the collapse of residential markets in the US in 2008, a triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in 2011, and lastly, the ongoing pandemic.

He emphasized the need for repurposing capacities from multiple disciplines even research, a calibrated approach to scaling clinical management capacities. Galvanizing citizens’ support, judicious use of technology and research, need for a dynamic risk management tool. Lastly, he called for the need for greater community involvement and leadership that enables the government to anticipate the unintended consequences of its actions.

Summarizing his lecture, Dr Mishra said, “Risk is global but resilience in local. There is a need for a systemic resilience by building redundancies, a strong feedback mechanism and a robust modular system at the local level”

Mami Mizutori, Special Representative to UN Secretary-General and Head, UNDRR 

 highlighted the need to change the COVID-19 opportunity into resilience and further added, “It is important to protect yourself and the local community as endorsed by Sendai Framework to leave nobody behind. We should connect and keep on working to strengthen resilience”

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Shri B. V. R. Mohan Reddy, Chairperson, BoG, IIT Roorkee said “Prof. Jai Krishna was a pioneer in many fields. He immensely contributed to institution- building and nation-building. He was also an outstanding contributor to earthquake-resistant design. This initiative will have an immense impact on encouraging future generations to emulate him as a role model. I would also like to congratulate IIT Roorkee for choosing Dr. P.K.  Mishra ji an outstanding civil servant, to deliver this inaugural lecture. He has enlightened us on the significance of learning from the past, living in the present and planning for the future. Amid the global healthcare crisis threatening life and livelihood, digital technology which was slowly transforming the world, it is now accelerating the transformation”

On this occasion, Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee said “We will make every effort to live up to the responsibility you have expressed for Institute’s like IIT Roorkee to take up in shaping a resilient world. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the significance of strengthening disaster management and mitigation efforts. IIT Roorkee through its Centre for Disaster Mitigation and Management is committed to augmenting its efforts in this field. We are also glad to announce that CoEDMM has taken an initiative to forge the South Asia Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (SAADRI). It will be a reality soon.