Foundation-stone for a multi-crore-rupee Centre of Excellence on “Bio-Resources Management and Energy Conservation Material Management” funded by World Bank and Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence & Equity (OHEPEE) was laid at the FM University campus by its Vice-Chancellor Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo on Thursday.
The centre would concentrate on biodiversity assessment with special emphasis on seaweeds, mangroves, medicinal plants, microorganisms, marine mammals, etc. It would also study the pollution monitoring and management and assess the ground and surface water quality. Besides, the team would carry out research on development of hybrid nano-composite materials for energy conservation.
The 10,000-square feet state-of-the-art centre would have world-class laboratories with all facilities, including sophisticated equipments. The building would be constructed by the Odisha Police Housing Corporation and completed by December 2021. Prof Sahoo said biodiversity is important for everyone’s life. Despite rapid pace of developments and technological advancements, mankind is facing innumerable challenges, including climate change or global warming, pressure of population inflation, deficiency of food and nutrition, fresh water deficit, energy crisis. Now, the Covid-19 pandemic has emerged as one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century and many more new challenges would come in the future.
To combat them, the need of the hour is to find solutions through scientific and technological intervention. “Bio-resources management and energy conservation only cannot play a significant role in combating some of these challenges but also can generate billions of dollars as revenue to our economy and create millions of jobs in the country,” maintained Prof Sahoo, who is a former Director of the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) of Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim and the brain behind India’s Cherry Blossom Festival.