Pune national security talks to focus on disasters, pandemics

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, 25 October

In its sixth edition this year, the Pune Dialogue on National Security (PDNS) will look at how disasters and pandemics affect national security.

The two-day symposium will be held online starting October 28 and is titled “National Security Preparedness in the Age of Disasters and Pandemic”. National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval will deliver the inaugural address and World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan will be the keynote speaker, PDNS Convenor Lt Gen VG Patankar announced at the virtual press conference today.

Dr. Swaminathani

The Tribune Trust, Pune International Centre, Policy Perspectives Foundation of Delhi and Center for Advanced Strategic Studies, Pune are the partners of the annual event.

Lt Gen Patankar said that national security is not merely the defense or territorial integrity of the country but is affected by every aspect of human activities like agriculture, industry and social aspects.

He said that Kovid has posed many challenges. “In the past, we learned lessons from earthquakes, oil spills and major fires. The covid pandemic has been managed, but the same cannot be said about earthquakes. There is a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said.

This year’s conference is divided into four sessions apart from the opening and closing sessions.

The first session will talk about disaster prevention and loss mitigation. Former Army Chief General NC Vij, who was later chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, will preside over it and Pradyot C Haldar, chairman of the Policy Perspectives Foundation, will be among the speakers.

The second session will be on future threats. Ambassador Sudhir Devare, Member, Pune International Center (PIC) will preside over the session.

The third session will be on the role of science and technology and will be presided over by Dr. Sangeeta Kale, member of the Pune International Centre.

Dr. Sanjay Singh, CEO, Genoa Biopharmaceuticals Limited and Dr. Rakesh Mishra, Director, Tata Institute of Genetics and Society will be the speakers.

The final session will be on the imperative of national security. Lt Gen SS Mehta, trustee of the PIC and former commander of the Western Army, will preside over the session.

Panelists will include Kamal Kishor, Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA); Lt Gen SA Hasnain, Member, NDMA; Dr. Krishna Vats, Member, NDMA; Rajendra Singh, Member, NDMA; and Dr. Mrityunjay Mohapatra, Director General, Meteorology, India Meteorological Department.

Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog will be the speaker in the concluding session.

four seasons

  • The two-day event will begin on October 28 and the inaugural address will be delivered by NSA Ajit Doval.
  • WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan will be the keynote speaker
  • Four sessions to focus on disaster prevention and loss reduction, future hazards and the role of science and technology