The world, as we know it, is facing a severe environmental crisis owing to industrialization and urbanization coupled with population explosion. There is an increasing awareness worldwide about the importance of sustainable solutions to these multidisciplinary problems related to climate change, geohazards, oil and water storage, reduction of waste, waste disposal facilities, contaminant transport, remediation of contaminated sites and energy derived from the ground. These problems require the knowledge of soil physics, soil chemistry, soil mineralogy, hydrogeology, thermogeology, climatology, bacteriology and biological processes, in addition to a thorough understanding of the principles of soil/rock mechanics. In this scenario, there is a need for an effective, concise, and focused platform where experts from all walks of science and technology can come together and provide sustainable solutions to various environmental problems. This provides a prospect for hosting Centre for Geoenvironmental Research and Innovation, CeGReIn, where academia, industry and bureaucracy could interact on these burning issues.
CeGReIn is an innovative concept in the engineering field that is designed to address the growing demands and needs related to environmental geotechnics worldwide. The ambition behind this initiative is to provide fast track access to an extensive canopy housing research facilities and expertise in Engineering & Technology related to environment, agriculture, construction, mining and refineries, thermal power, pharmaceutical, waste handling and disposal, remediation of contaminated soils and water and so on. CeGReIn will facilitate formation of hand-tailored, super-specialized, multidisciplinary teams to take care of issues related to geoenvironment from any area of the globe. It will act as a platform where specialists from all these fields can interact with each other as well as the clientele. The key objectives of CeGReIn are:
- To provide techno-economically feasible solutions to the industries, municipal bodies and other government organisations.
- To create a ‘talent pool’ of experts worldwide specializing in various fields and capable of dealing with the various geoenvironmental issues caused due to human activities and natural hazards.
- To provide easy access to state-of-the-art facilities for young and budding researchers.
- To create a common platform for interaction of various stakeholders for the conservation of environment like the scientific community, industries, municipal bodies, government organisations, regulatory agencies, bureaucracy, and policymakers.
The organization and stakeholders
The collaborators in CeGReIn shall comprise of experts from various walks of science and technology. CeGReIn shall serve multifaceted responsibilities such as incubation center of ideas, research hub, and consultancy services serving for social and scientific cause. Being an education, research and mass awareness drive, needless to say, the CeGReIn, shall be a hub of activities attracting leading professionals and learners at any stage from various parts of the globe and disseminating knowledge in a faster and a crisp way.
Though a virtual centre, the backbone of the CeGReIn will be the Environmental Geotechnology Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay, which is spearheaded by Prof. D. N. Singh (DNS) who has been actively carrying out research in this area for more than two decades.
The draft organizational hierarchy has been presented below
- Formation of an International Advisory Board consisting of both permanent and temporary members, elected on rotational basis.
- The board shall be responsible for formation of the following standing committees
- The financial audit committee shall handle the finances of the organizations and its projects
- The organizational committee shall be responsible for involvement of non-permanent researchers ar the levels of i) Intern, ii) Research Assistant, iii) Research Associate, iii) Senior Research Associate, and iv) Distinguished Research Associate.
- The executive committee (comprising of the permanent members of the organizational board) shall be responsible for keeping track of the progress of the research works and projects undertaken by the organization.
- The legal committee which shall be responsible for handling the legalities og international associations and issues related to IPRs beinging accountability, transparency and objectivity in the system.
- Formation of a nodal agency to undertake and facilitate the work of intellectual property management and technology transfer/ commercialization and establishment of Consultation Cells.