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Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s International Symposium on Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML) for Ecosystem Restoration & Multi-hazard Resilience (ISIM 2021), a virtual event, held between June 5-9, 2021, attracted a participation of 70 keynote speakers and more than 2000 researchers, academicians, executives, and government officials from 36 countries. The symposium underscored the need for adopting emerging information technologies such as IoT and ML, and embracing interdisciplinary and participatory approaches while addressing ecosystem and climate change challenges.
The panel discussions were held on various themes including Emerging Technologies for Ecosystem Restoration, Impact of Climate Change on Ecosystem & Multi Hazards, IoT and ML for Managing Ecosystem & Multi Hazards, Climate Change Adaptation Techniques & Community Resilience, and Case Studies for Ecosystems Restoration & Multi-Hazard Resilience.
Among the key speakers were Swami Atmananda Puri (In-Charge, Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Australia & New Zealand), K. Rajan (Minister, Land Revenue, Survey and Land Records, Land Reforms, Housing, Govt. of Kerala), Atul Bagai (Head, India Country Office, UN Environment Program). Dr. V. Thiruppugazh IAS (Additional Secretary (Policy and Plan), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India), Eric Falt (Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka), Agendra Kumar (Managing Director, ESRI, India) and Dr. P. Venkat Rangan (Vice-Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India).
ISIM 2021 was organized by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s UNESCO Chair on Experiential Learning for Sustainable Innovation and Development, Amrita School for Sustainable Development, Amrita Centre for Wireless Networks and Applications (Amrita WNA), and ESRI, a global market leader in geographic information system software, in commemoration of World Environment Day that falls on June 5 every year.
The university is also hosting a post-symposium workshop to impart hands-on training for students and researchers in the application of IoT, ML & GIS Technologies in real-world settings. ISIM’s Technical Hackathon, conducted in three phases till July 15, aims at getting people with IT exposure to design, develop, and deploy sustainable technological interventions for ecosystem restoration, and multi-hazard resilience.
In addition to keynote sessions from academic and industry leaders, ISIM 2021 also hosted a Ph.D. Colloquium for doctoral students from various disciplines, and a virtual poster presentation for the participation of bachelors and masters students, research scholars and faculty members.
Commenting on the symposium, Dr. Maneesha Vinodini Ramesh (Dean, School for Sustainable Development & International Programs), said that the main objective of ISIM 2021 is to provide a platform for researchers, government officials, policymakers, industry experts, NGO personnel, and students to discuss the recent research trends and strategies in recovering degraded ecosystems, and in strengthening community resilience in the face of multi-hazards.
She added that the symposium brought out unique perspectives on the challenges in ecosystem restoration and mitigation of related multi-hazards, and highlighted the opportunities the emerging technologies like IoT and ML afford in overcoming these challenges. The participants also discussed the strategies to get the local communities to adopt cutting-edge technologies to combat the impacts of climate change. “The overall message is that for us to address the multifactorial crisis like climate change we need an interdisciplinary and participatory approach, one that would also involve and empower local communities.”
The symposium gained global attention with the participation of international researchers from more than 36 countries including the U.S., U.K., Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Nigeria, and India as panelists and keynote speakers. It provided a platform for young researchers and Ph.D. scholars to present their work in the areas reflecting the theme of the symposium, receive expert comments, and build a virtual academic and professional network. The symposium also witnessed the demonstrations of patented innovations, products and capabilities of companies in the public and the private sectors.