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An ‘EChO Network’ for cross-disciplinary leadership in India

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An ‘EChO Network’ for cross-disciplinary leadership in India

In an event today, Prof. K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, launched a national program to foster cross-disciplinary leadership in India. Named the EChO Network, it focuses on increasing research, knowledge, and awareness of Indian ecology and the environment. It is hoped that this program would develop a national network to catalyse a new generation of Indians who can solve real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology.

“India has recently embarked on a number of national-level efforts to promote ecological and environmental research on the subcontinent. However, there remains a lacuna of trained scientists with interdisciplinary skills and collaborative mindset,” said Prof. VijayRaghavan, speaking on the program. “We need to train a new generation of educators and students who can identify and solve problems in an interdisciplinary manner and listen to our natural world. I am convinced this network will inspire an entirely new approach to Indian education and exploration necessary for the post-technological world.”

The network aims to identify gaps in knowledge regarding environment and then train postdoctoral leaders in research and outreach on these topics, incorporating current public and private efforts. Over time, it intends to create an internationally distributed institute comprising of individuals in industry, government, private, and academic sectors.

The initiative has drawn in partners from government, industry and academia, with The Office of the PSA steering the program under the guidance of Prof. Shannon Olsson, Director, EChO Network. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, RoundGlass, India Climate Collaborative, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and the Centre for Cellular And Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) are the current founding partners of the EChO Network.

"This is a mission of hope. Throughout my career in India, I have met countless individuals working hard to make a positive difference for Indian ecosystems. The purpose of this Network is to bring all of us together to share knowledge and synergize efforts under the umbrella of science,” remarked Prof. Olsson, talking about the mission of the network.

This event report is based on the press release from the office of the PSA.