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TISS, Australian univ partner for climate change research | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) entered into a strategic alliance with the University of Sydney, Australia for research on the central theme of human security in the current age—where there is a dominant influence of human activities on climate and environment—also called the anthropocene.
The Mumbai institute will get funding of almost Rs 50 lakh annually (or one lakh Australian dollars) for five years, that will be used as seed funding for various research initiatives on climate change and its impact. The topics will vary from policies required for risk reduction during climate hazards like flood and droughts, to research on health and infectious diseases due to the changing climate and the work-health interface in the current geological age as it also relates to heat stress. Researchers from both the institutes are also expected to study urban vulnerability in the current climatic conditions among other aspects.
Chairperson of the international relations office at TISS, Madhushree Sekher, said that the partnership with the Australian university is important for both the institutes as it will open doors for several academic initiatives in the future. “We can offer joint courses, allow students’ exchange programmes, and collaborate for various other research initiatives as well,” said Sekher. She said that the money provided by the university will be used as seed funding for potential research projects proposed by multiple individuals. She added that the collaboration, like the one between IIT-Bombay and Monash University in Australia, will be for continuous and sustainable efforts.
University of Sydney has identified TISS as their priority partner, after working together for eight years. The MoU signed by the university with TISS in 2011 formed the basis for the current interdisclipinary research collaboration, two-way post graduate student exchange programme, involving various schools, centres across both institutions. TISS will also host the university’s undergraduate field schools at their campus.
Some of the other areas for research include the effects of climate change on rural-rural and rural-urban migration flows, differential impacts and responses to climate change within human populations whose livelihoods are highly dependent on resources within local bioregions (such as the fishing or forest dwelling communities), climate change and the concept of environmental refugees, economic analysis of adaptation to climate change.

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