CSIL inaugurated at KU
Srinagar: The Vice-Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Nilofer Khan and Dr Mohit Gera Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of J&K’s Forest Force on Wednesday inaugurated the Conservation Science and Innovation Laboratory (CSIL) at the varsity.
The laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility that will benefit biodiversity conservation in the region besides help decrease the crimes against wildlife.
Prof Nilofer Khan presided over the inaugural ceremony and thanked all collaborating organisations for setting up the facility.
“The facility will boost multidisciplinary research on issues and concerns related to biodiversity conservation in the region of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” she said.
Dr Mohit Gira who was the chief guest at the inaugural function said the CSIL must undertake research on vast plant life in the region, besides achieving the desired goals related to curbing crimes against wildlife.
He also gave an account of J&K’s rich forest wealth to highlight the need for its conservation through multidisciplinary research and institutional tie-ups.
Pertinently, the CSIR-CCMB, along with Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) of CCMB and IKP Knowledge Park from Hyderabad partnered with the Kashmir University’s Centre of Research for Development (CORD) to establish the CoSI Lab, with generous support from Rural Electrification Corporation Foundation (RECF) under its CSR initiative.
The University of Kashmir further provided space and human resource for setting up the facility, which aims to undertake institutional training and skill development programmes in DNA technology for forest and law-enforcement officials, besides promoting an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in conservation biodiversity.
“The laboratory will also function as a field office and knowledge hub for testing innovative technologies, providing transferable skill training and forensic diagnostic services to interpret legally relevant evidence which can curb wildlife crime in Jammu and Kashmir,” the official hand out reads.
Dr Vinay Nandicoori, Director CCMB, who was a guest of honour, gave a brief about the activities and works being undertaken at the organisation.
“CSIL is a great initiative towards biodiversity conservation, prevention of human-animal conflicts in the long run and to find out which animals are being poached,” he said.
Chief Wildlife Warden J&K S K Gupta in his address said that 11.5 per-cent of J&K’s geographical area is under Wildlife Protected Area Network, which is highest in the country.
“This makes wildlife conservation in the region and forensics related to it very important,” he said.
Senior Principal Scientist CCMB Dr Karthikeyan Vasudevan highlighted and appreciated the efforts of various collaborators in setting up the facility.
Dr N M Rao, CEO of AIC-CCMB said said conservation was a necessity and we have to collaborate to make it happen with exchange of knowledge and skill development.
Director CORD Prof Niamat Ali gave a brief introduction about CORD and its activities, including the current collaboration leading to setting up of CSIL.
Dr Tawqir Bashir, INSPIRE faculty and In-charge CSIL delivered the vote of thanks.