International Training and Capacity Building Program

The Capacity Building and Training Programme was organized by SPA Foundation for Innovation and Research for Social Transformation (SPA FIRST) in collaboration with SPA New Delhi from 1st to 5th December 2021.

Inaugural session

The inaugural session started with a welcome note by Prof. Dr. Sanjukkta Bhaduri, Vice-Chairman, SPA-FIRST.

At the outset, the Program Coordinator, Prof. Dr. Sanjukkta Bhaduri, Vice-Chairman, SPA FIRST welcomed the esteemed Chairman, Chief Guest, Speakers, organizing team and other participants of the program that includes faculty members & students from various colleges and other working professionals.

The Chief Guest for the program was Dr. P. G. Dhar Chakravarty, former executive director of the National Institute of disaster management, Secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority of India, and the founding director of the SAAR’s Disaster Management Centre. Prof. Dr. PSN Rao, Director SPA New Delhi & Chairman SPA-FIRST welcomed him with a plant.

Starting with the session, Chairman Prof. Dr. PSN Rao spoke about the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, and the training program. He conveyed that the institution has completed 8 decades of imparting education. “The institution started in 1949 as a Department of Architecture of the erstwhile Delhi Polytechnic, which was also the part of the British Government Education Department Report prepared on Technical Education that was set up in year 1939. Simultaneously, with the increase in student admission, the town country planning department got set up. Currently, there are 12 departments specializing in urban planning, regional planning, Transportation Planning, environmental planning, and so on. A very large number of disciplines, which are all in one way or the other associated with the planning and managing of human settlements.”, he added.

The director then introduced the International Training and Capacity Building Program under the theme ‘Resilient Urban Development’. It was to be a 5-day program based on different topics pertaining to urban risk and resilience. To explain more on the theme, the Chairman spoke about the Hood Cyclone that happened recently in his hometown of Vishakhapatnam.

Extending to the thought of resilient urban development Prof. Dr. Sanjukta Bhaduri added, “Our cities are going very, very fast. The world is urbanizing. It is bringing more vulnerabilities, more hazards, risks, and all the exposure to disaster and climate-induced risks. The dynamism of this risk is impacting all of us. It is impacting the cities in a greater way than it was decades back. So, therefore, what is resilience? It is basically a journey from vulnerability to sustainability. We have to trade a path to resilience. We have to make our cities resilient enough. We have to adapt. We have recovered which is the ability to adapt to transform in the face of shocks and stresses. Today, this theme is very, very applicable. It’s what we can see all around us. What is happening with the kind of the with various other issues? How do we address these issues? How do we learn and how do we apply this knowledge in urban development? That’s what the intent of this training program is.”

The chief guest of the session, Prof. PG Dhar Chakrabarty is a disaster management professional with vast experience in working at the local level to the regional, national, and international levels. He is from the 1980 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service of the Jammu Kashmir Carder. And during his long distinguished career of over three decades, he has worked in various organizations and departments of the government at the state as well as at the Central deputation. He has headed cities or City Administrations, so, he has had first-hand experience of the challenges of the potentials of cities as well as in disaster management. He was the executive director of the National Institute of disaster management, Secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority of India, and the founding director of the SAAR’s Disaster Management Centre. Since then he has been involved in various activities of disaster management. He was nominated by the secretary-general of the United Nations to serve as a member of The Advisory Group of the central, emergency response fund or the surf. And he contributed to the global assessment reports of 2013 and 2015 and was the lead author of successive Asia-pacific disaster reports. He was a distinguished fellow at the energy and resources Institute and after his retirement, a visiting faculty of many eminent institutions in India and abroad. He’s the lead consultant also for developing the disaster scorecard of India which is taken overdone by the UNDP. The fifth edition of the World Conference on disaster management was also chaired by him through the scientific and technical committee.