The Sino – Nepal Joint Research Center for Geography was opened on 28 April 2014 in the premises of Central Department of Geography, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. The center was opened by cutting the ribbon jointly by Secretary of Ministry of Education of Nepal, Rector and acting VC of Tribhuvan University, Prof. Deng Wei, Director of Institute of Mountain Hazards & Environment (IMHE), CAS; Prof. Dr. Padma Chandra Poudel– Head of Central Department of Geography, and Prof. Donghong Xiong of IMHE. The formal opening ceremony took place soon after the signing of the MoU between the Vice President of IMHE, CAS and Head of the Central Department of Geography, TU (CDGTU) on March 7, 2014 at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.
The opening of the research center for geography is a milestone in the history of relationships of the two countries and particularly between IMHE of Chinese Academy of Science and CDGTU as such research collaboration will greatly help in understanding the climate uncertainty and other biophysical and socio economic processes in the both sides of the Himalayas. In this context, the Central Department of Geography (CDG) is an appropriate institution as it is one of the leading Departments of Tribhuvan University doing interdisciplinary teaching and research in many such areas since long back. It was formally established in 1959. Since then, it has been actively serving the country in higher education and research. The Department runs Masters and PhD Programs under the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. It is a pioneer department running academic courses on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS), applied geomorphology, soil and agriculture geography; climate, hydrology and bio-geography; agricultural change and food security, disaster risk management, digital cartography in the country. The Department consists of qualified and experienced professionals who have already served at the higher authority of TU and National Planning Commissions many times.
Welcome and Inauguration of the Center
The formal opening program of the center was opened with the welcome address by Prof. Dr Padma Chandra Poudel, Head Central Department of Geography, TU. He welcomed all participants and dignitaries from both Nepal and China and highlighted the geo physically and environmentally fragile context of the Himalayas and stress on the relevance of the newly established center for studying environmental issues for the advancement of our knowledge and understanding that have been taking place in the Himalayas. He thanked for the IMHE, CAS for their contribution in establishing the center in Nepal.
The center was than formally opened by cutting the ribbon (Figure 1) by six dignitaries. Just after that the signboard of the center was opened jointly by Rector of TU and Director of IMHE Prof. Deng (Figure 2). Thereafter, the key of the newly opened center was handed to Head of the CDGTU by Director Deng.
Delivery of Opening Speech
The three distinguished personalities delivered the opening speech at the program. They were Director Prof. Deng Wei of IMHE, Secretary of the Ministry of Education of Nepal, and Prof Gunanidhi Neupane, acting Vice Chancellor and Rector of TU.
Director Deng Wei said of formally opening scientific and technical cooperation between the two institutions and pointed out it as a new beginning of cooperation between two sides that will enhance the capacity in geography. He also shred about the visit of CAS president in last March and CAS likes to works on science and technological issues in Nepal. He further shared the meeting between him and CDG head about future cooperation and that will be more active ahead and also assured that IMHE will try best and play active role for the sustainable contribution of the newly established center especially in the field of teaching and research.
Secretary of Ministry of Education Mr. Bishow Prakash Pandit
Mr. Secretary expressed his happiness for being part of the opening ceremony of the center and appreciated Chinese Government and IMHE for supporting university and Geography Department. He shared that Nepal has achieved MDG in the field of education but quality issues is still there. Education quality can only be increased by doing research and expressed his confidence that this center will help to increase the quality in geography teaching and research that will help better understanding the climate change impacts and other various bio physical and socio economic processes taking place there. He further said that mountain is still mysterious for research and there has to be done a lot as climate change impact is high in mountain. Various aspects of climate change i.e. GLOF, flash floods hazards and adaptation strategies needs to be explored. Finally, he claimed that the center would greatly help TU its teachers and students in teaching and research.
Acting VC of Tribhuvan University, Rector, Prof. Gunanidhi Neupane
TU rector Prof Naupane expressed his happiness for opening the joint research Centre in Geography and hoped for collaborative research work. He also shared that Geography Dept. is one of the leading departments at TU and hope will contribute more through this collaboration in future. He also highlighted several problems and resource constraints at Tribhuvan University for research and thanked IMHE for their willingness for cooperation and supporting the scientific equipment that will certainly help in teaching and research quality enhancement of geography and Tribhuvan University at large. He also mentioned the collaboration with CAS and TU in different areas that will tremendously help in enhancing the research ability of TU.
Vote of Thanks and Lab Visit
Dr. Bal Mukunda Bhandari Director of Centre for International Relation, TU sincerely thanks IMHE especially Prof Deng Wei and his team for their efforts in establishing this lab at geography department at TU. He also thanks all dignitaries for their availability despite their busy time schedule and also thanked on behalf of the Centre for International also for this sort of collaborative efforts at TU.
After closing the program, the Chief Guest Mr Secretary of Ministry of Education, Director Deng, Rector and Registrar of TU, Directors of research centers at TU, Head of the other central departments at TU and other visited the newly opened laboratory.
NEWS COVERAGE OF THE PROGRAM