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Press Release

July 24, 2014

New communication technology for disaster management demonstrated by Indo-Japan research team

Photo

Hyderabad, July 24 2014:

Indo-Japan research collaboration on disaster management demonstrated its research outcome in Hyderabad. A portable system that can be installed within an hour and offer rescue teams exclusive communication channels is one of the major outputs of this five year project.

The project titled ‘Information Network for Natural Disaster Mitigation and Recovery' or DISANET started in 2010 as a joint effort by the Indian and Japanese scientists to minimize the impact of earthquake and weather disasters on mankind. The researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH), National Geophysical Research Institute, IIT Kanpur, IIIT Hyderabad, India Meteorological Department, and IIT Madras from India and the University of Tokyo, Keio University from Japan have developed technical bases for communication to be used during immediate rescue operation and post-disaster restoration to help early recovery.

More than 50 researchers in India and Japan tackled with 4 research topics i) Earthquake Disaster Mitigation, ii) Weather Monitoring Platform, iii) Sustainable Communication Infrastructure, and iv) ICT Platform and Resource Development for Emergency and Disaster Mitigation.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jun Murai, Professor & Dean, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University said, "This system through continuous data collection allows for early detection of a variation in climatic conditions, sets up a communication network during the eventuality to direct rapid and optimal resource distribution, thereby facilitating faster recovery and mitigation of effects of natural disasters." Added Dr Murai, "The researchers at the collaborating institutes in India & Japan have demonstrated exemplary teamwork and sharing of know-how which can serve as a benchmark for future collaborative researches."

Dr. U B Desai, Professor & Director-IITH stated, "The research project was challenging as it entailed involvement of disciplines across engineering & environmental sciences and gathering and analysis of a large amount of data. We thank our partnering institutions in India & Japan in developing a system that not only furthers the understanding of mankind on natural disasters but also serves to mitigate loss to life and property in such eventualities."

India and Japan have suffered natural disasters in the recent past and the experiences have shown that building rapidly deployable robust communication system is the key to post-disaster rescue and restoration. A three pronged strategy is adopted to achieve the goals viz., acquiring earthquake and weather data through sensor networks, to develop emergency and post-disaster communication system and development of information sharing platforms and resources. While the strong motion sensors have been deployed in the Indo-Gangetic plains in the foothills of the seismically active Himalaya, the building sensors were installed in the Chandigarh city.

One important activity taken up as a part of this project is to bring awareness on these disasters by educating people in India based on the experience in Japan. This is achieved through outreach programs conducted at various schools in India where Japanese and Indian scientists participate and interact with students and teachers. This project envisages resolving global issues of natural disasters by strengthening the scientific collaboration between India and Japan and takes a lead to spread the fruits accrued under this project, globally, to help mankind.

The project is being co-funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and will end in March 2015. The project has been facilitated under the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) program. This program is designed to promote international joint research in which both Japanese research institutions and those of recipient countries work together based on the social needs in recipient countries. Its aims are to obtain new knowledge and to utilize research outcomes to the benefit of the society with a view to resolving global issues such as the environment and energy, biological resources, disaster prevention, and infectious diseases. In conjunction with this, it also facilitates development of human resources and research infrastructure in recipient countries through joint research.

JICA is extending integrated support programme to IITH for its campus development through ODA loan, joint research collaboration, and academic exchanges through technical cooperation aimed at developing research network between IITH and higher educational institutions and industrial clusters of Japan.

About IITH

Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad started academic programs in 2008 and offers Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral programs in Engineering & Environmental Sciences. IITH aims to be the cradle for inventions and innovations in science, technology and liberal arts, and equip students to handle the challenges of the nation and the world in 21st century.

About JICA

Established as an independent administrative institution, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation as well as the sound development of emerging countries.

JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries and provides assistance in form of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.

JICA India Office Web: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/
JICA India Brochure: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/office/others/brochures.html

Media Contact:

Praveen Gujjari, +91 9000967555, praveen.gujjari@mslgroup.com
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