EChO Network

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Context: Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India has launched EChO Network to catalyze cross-disciplinary leadership in India.

Relevance:
Prelims: General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change.
Mains: 

  • GS II-
    • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
    • Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • GS III-
    • Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
    • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

EChO Network: 

  • EChO Network is a national program to provide a template for cross-disciplinary leadership in India with the specific focus of increasing research, knowledge, and awareness of Indian ecology and the environment.
  • The purpose of this Network is to bring all those together to share knowledge and synergize efforts under the umbrella of science.
    • In order to do this, we need leaders who are trained to communicate across different sectors of society.
  • EChO Network would develop a national network to catalyze a new generation of Indians who can synthesize interdisciplinary concepts and tackle real-world problems in-
    1. medicine,
    2. agriculture,
    3. ecology, and
    4. technology.
  • With no precedent for such a network anywhere in the world, EChO Network establishes a new platform to change how science is embedded in our modern society.
  • Through interactive sessions with citizens, industry, academia, and the government, the Network will identify gaps in knowledge regarding selected topics in human and environmental ecosystems.
  • The program will then train postdoctoral leaders in research and outreach on these topics, while also incorporating current public and private efforts into a national network.
  • It would then go on to establishing nation-wide awareness in these issues through public discourse and education for citizens, industry, and government with information exchange at all educational levels.
  • Over time EChO Network intends to create an international distributed institute comprising individuals housed within the industry, government, private, and academic sectors, combining their expertise and resources collectively to tackle large scale problems.
  • The initiative has drawn in partners from Government, industry, and academia, with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India steering the program.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, RoundGlass, India Climate Collaborative, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) are the founding partners of the EChO Network.

What was the need for this programme?

  • India faces unprecedented threats to its human environmental and ecosystems, solving which requires a confluence of India’s strong technological expertise and knowledge of the natural world itself.
  • 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 a collaborative mindset.
  • We need to train a new generation of educators and students who can identify and solve problems in an interdisciplinary manner and who can listen to our natural world and tackle real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology.



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