International Seminar on 'Amateur Radio Communication In Disaster Management on 18th April, 2005 at Hotel Savera, Chennai, India.
From Left to Right:
Shri Ujagar Singh, IAS, VU2UJS, Shri R.K.Arora, Group Coordinator, DIT, Shri Ajeer Vidya, JS &FA, DIT, Shri N.Vittal, IAS (Retd.)VU2NVO, Shri S.Suri, VU2MY, Shri N.G.Nanda, VU2NG, Shri E.Radhakrishna, VU3LRE.
National Institute of Amateur Radio and other Amateur Radio Clubs in India gather to celebrate 'World Amateur Radio Day' on 18th April every year bringing together some of the most senior, experienced hams and experts in amateur radio communication technologies. This year they organised an international seminar where experts from various countries and India exchanged ideas on various topics.
The program was presided over by Shri N.Vittal [I.A.S (Retd), VU2NVO]. There were four seminar sessions where the speakers spoke about Technology Trends in Amateur Radio Communication, Disaster Management Practices Around the World, Policy Issues of Radio Amateurs and we had a Panel Discussion in the end.
The program commenced at 10:10 AM after one minute silence to mourn the death of Shri.Shrikanth Jichkar. Soon after lighting of the lamp and a welcome note by Shri S.Suri (VU2MY, Chairman NIAR), the keynote address was given by Dr. Seppo Sisatto [OH1VR, Chairman First Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communication Conference - 2005 (Finland)] where he stressed that amateur radio is an essential tool in emergency communications. He also expressed that "Amateur Radio is a Life Style". This was followed by the Presidential Address by Shri N.Vittal.
Topic: Technology Trends in Amateur Radio Communication
Chairman: Shri R.K.Arora (Group Coordinator, Dept of Information Technology, GOVT of India)
Mr.Greg Fismer (DF2IC, Germany) spoke about various Technologies in Amateur Radio Operations. Ms.Jean Parker (KC0HKB, USA) who teaches Radio Jouranalism in Pune spoke on Amateur Radio and the importance of Community Radio Stations. Mr. Frank Rosenkranz (DL4KQ, Germany) talked about antennas and propagation. Mr.R.Ramachandra (VU2RCR) spoke about Amateur Radio trends in India. Ashhar Farhan (Ex: VU2FAX) spoke about homebrewing and about Low Cost Amateur Radio Devices. He also talked about his world famous design "BITX".
Topic: Disaster Management Practises Around the World
Chairman: Shri Ajeer Vaidya (JS & FA, Dept of Information Technology, GOVT of India)
Ms.Catherine Lawhun (K4ECM, DERA, USA) spoke about the emergency communication practices in USA. She stressed about having an "organisation at every level" in order to cope up with emergency situations. Mr.Victor Goonetilleke (4S7VK) from Sri Lanka narrated his experiences at the time of the tsunami emergency communications in Sri Lanka. Dr.Gajapathi Rao (VU2GJR) talked about Medical Emergency Communications in India. Mr.Deepak Mitra (VU2DPM) spoke about the role of amateur radio in disaster management and IT. He even narrated a real life incident that took place when he was coordinating emergency communications during the super cyclone in Orissa. Mr.Sathyapal (VU2FI) pepped and recharged us all with his good sense of humour. He spoke about Emergency Management in India, and reiterated that "hams do their best in their own way". He also discussed some policy making issues like liberalising and speeding up the process of amateur radio licensing in India. Mr.T.Vijayendra (VU2QK, Cerana Foundation) spoke about Information Failure in Disasters and various important factors to be taken care to prevent loss of life at the time of an emergency.
Topic: Policy Issues of Radio Amateurs
Chairman: Shri P.M.Dastidar (IGP Communication, Assam)
Mr.Asutoshan.K(VU2BBJ) talked about the various kinds of policy issues related to amateur radio in India. Mr.K.Shridhar spoke about why is it that out of 14,000 hams, only around 2,000 are active. He also gave a very comprehensive talk about DX-Cluster and even showed an online demonstration of the same. Mr.Nagesh Upadhyay (VU2NUD) perked up the issues raised by many of the delegates and even spoke about HAMSAT (VUSAT) that is to be launched on May 5th, 2005.
In this session, most of the delegates cited examples and said about various drawbacks of certain policies and rules and that they are to be ammended. Ideas and recomendations were taken so as to promote amateur radio and take it to new heights. Some of the issues raised were to speed up the process of licensing, to remove the rule that one should make atleast 40 contacts every year so as to be able to renew his license, to excempt the person from police verification if he/she already has a passport.
11:38 AM Message from the Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands was read out by his deputy congratulating the hams for their timely help in Disaster Management when the tsunami striked on Dec 26th 2004.
11.42 AM The Souvenir was released by Chief Guest Shri N.Vittal (VU2NVO).
11:43 AM Shri.N.Vittal (VU2NVO) receives the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Award.
11:44 AM Shri.N.G.Nanda (VU2NG) receives the Shrikanth Jichkar Memorial Award.
Mr.Sathyapal (VU2FI) received a gold medal, Mr.R.J.Marcus (VU2VTM), Venkatesh.G (VU2COC), Umesh.B.N (VU3BNH) received silver medals each from Catherine Lawhun (K4ECM) of DERA, USA for lending their help in cordinating emergency communications after the tsunami.
Chennai, April 19 (ENS): Promoting amateur radio will pay off hugely for the government in the future by creating manifold development in science and technology and empowering people with knowledge and information, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner N Vittal said on Monday.
Participating in an international seminar on Amateur Radio Communication in Disaster Management here, he said a national policy had to be evolved to utilise non-conventional telecommunication, like amateur radios, in disaster management as against conventional communication modes, which were susceptible to disruptions. The seminar was organised by the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR), Hyderabad.
Said R K Arora, Group Coordinator, Department of Information Technology, Government of India, that wireless HAMs which are less expensive could easily penetrate rural areas. “Now, HAMs could also be connected through Internet and televisions and serve as a support system for emergency communication rather than a hobby,” he said.
Seppo Sisatto, chairman of First Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communication Conference 2005, Finland, explained the work done by amateur radio operators in communicating information and the support extended to HAM by the Finnish Government.
Ajeer Vidya, Joint Secretary, Department of Information Technology, was all for a world-wide HAM campaign provided minor imperfections in the system were rectified. He made special mention of HAM operators who supported the administration in disseminating information during the Tsunamis.
Ujagar Singh, Special Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu, and Radhakrishna, DIG, CRPF, Hyderabad, suggested that the import duty on HAMs be cut and equipment be made readily available.
At the seminar, a message from Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar commending the service of amateur radio (HAM) operators during the Tsunamis at Car Nicobar was read out. Several foreign and Indian HAM operators were felicitated during the function.
Chennai, April 18 (PTI): Amateur radio operators should be treated as national resource and mere appreciation of their contributions during disasters would not be enough, Tamil Nadu Special Secretary Ujagar Singh said today.
Speaking at a one-day international seminar on 'Amateur Radio Communication in Disaster Management' here, he said amateur radio operators have been performing selfless service wherever and whenever disasters struck and they have been functioning with a missionary zeal.
Referring to monitoring of their activities, Singh said not a single instance of misuse of radio had been reported so far. There have been cases of misuse of technology like mobile phones and internet services, but no such cases had been reported in the case of an amateur radio operator, he said.
Singh also called upon researchers to develop radio sets that were small, accurate and well-designed.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Information Technology department's Joint Secretary Ajit Vaidya said there were some shortcomings in the system of amateur radio operations, which needed to be rectified.
He said there was need to increase the number of amateur radio operators in India.
Chairman, First Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communication Conference-2005, Dr Seppo Sisatto, gave a brief information about the forthcoming conference, which is to be held in Tampere, Finland in mid-June this year.
Chennai, April 17 (NT Bureau):
Whenever a disaster strike, the first thing that goes off is the communication system. And this is where the Amateur Radio (HAMs) plays an important role, N Vittal, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner has said.
He said this while addressing a press conference yesterday on the International Seminar on Amateur Radio Communication in Disaster Management to be organised by the National Institute of Amateur Radio and sponsored by Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in Chennai on tomorrow.
Vittal said, 'When the tsunami struck the Indian coast on 26 December 2004, and destroyed all mode of communication in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a team of Amateur radio operators who were on a expedition to the Island helped in restoring communication through HAMS by which the real picture of destruction was brought to light'.
He said the seminar was being organised to shape a policy on the role of HAMs during disaster like cyclone, floods and tsunami. He noted that there were about three million HAMs in the world of which 14,000 were in India.
Union Minister for Telecommunication and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran would inaugurate the seminar and deliver the chief guest address. The seminar is expected to be attended by around 250 delegates from within the country and Sri Lanka, Finland, United States and Germany. Issues such as technology, emergency communication and trends in Amateur Radio would be discussed.
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