About the Lecture
The illustrated presentation will offer a glimpse of the biological and ecological richness of the Andaman and Nicobar islands and also explore its relatively lesser known and understood post-independence history. It will contextualise the present and the future of the islands based on historical decisions, including events that are not really in human hands, for instance, the earthquake and tsunami of December 2004. The key thesis the presentation seeks to outline is the inter-relatedness of the three pillars that constitute any system – the socio-cultural, the environmental-ecological and the geological. This inter-relatedness and related vulnerability are sharply articulated in a system such as the islands and it is the contours of this reality that the presentation will attempt to illuminate.
About the Speaker
Pankaj Sekhsaria is a researcher, photographer, writer and academic who has worked in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands for over twenty years. He has four books on the islands to his credit, the most recent ones being his debut novel, The Last Wave (2014, HarperCollins) and Islands in Flux – the Andaman and Nicobar Story (2017, HarperCollins).
Sekhsaria is associated with the environmental action group, Kalpavriksh, where he works on the issues related to the A&N islands and also edits the Protected Area Update, a bimonthly newsletter on wildlife and conservation. He also writes extensively on conservation related issues for the mainstream English media. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engg (Pune University) and a masters degree in Mass Communication (Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi). He was recently awarded a doctorate in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from the Maastricht University, Netherlands for his thesis ‘Enculturing innovation – Indian engagements with nanotechnology wherein he studied scientific and innovation practices inside six nanoscience and technology labs in India. Sekhsaria is currently Senior Project Scientist, DST-Centre for Policy Research, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Delhi.