The Department of Geography and Regional Planning, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning, IIT Kharagpur have come together to collaborate for the Summer Study Abroad Programme in India, 2017. Based on the interests and varied disciplinary background of our students and faculty members, we plan to conduct research on socio-economic and geographic issues of tea-plantations and how they are impacted by climate change. Darjeeling has been selected as test bed for this year.
Aim of the Course:
(i) To promote research and learning in areas like Regional Planning, Urbanization, Environmental Justification, and Sustainable Urban Communities and Cities through a rigorous, integrated and interdisciplinary approach.
(ii) To combine the strength of IIT and IUP and expose students to a cross-cultural and cross dimensional scenario for understanding the urban dynamism and challenges faced by planners from a regional perspective.
(iii)To develop inquisitiveness and passion for research and an attitude toward creative problem solving in urban planning through the practical training or the field study component
(i) What are the special factors responsible to give Darjeeling tea its unique "Muscatel flavour" and "Exquisite Banquet”?
(ii) From environmental perspectives, what changes or climate change impacts have been affecting the tea industries?
(iii) How are the tea-gardens evolving or changing their production process as a response to that?
(iv) What are changes in the market conditions of tea-industries in the era of 21st century globalization which might pose threat in sustaining global competiveness?
(v)Considering the harsh reality of decreasing area of wetlands and increasing presence of non bio – degradable chemicals in the water, what should be the role of urban planners in a metropolitan city like Kolkata?
(vi)How can the wetlands be effectively used as resources for urban life?
Coordinating Faculty members
Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) - Dr. Sudeshna Ghosh (Principal Coordinator), Dr. Brian Okey (Co- Coordinator)
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur - Dr. HaimantiBanerji (Principal Coordinato),Dr. SubrataChattopadhyay (Head , ARP), Co-cordinator
Structure of the Summer Study Abroad Programme (3rd – 18th June)
3rd – 7th June - IIT-IUP team stays in Kolkata and Kharagpur , attends lecture, talks to domain experts and fine tunes research agenda. A half-day workshop will be held on 5th of June in American centre.Extensive field study will be conducted in selected spots in Kolkata wetlands which would include sample collection, reconnaissance, photo-documentation.
8th – 12th June - Team travels to Darjeeling, visits tea gardens, collects primary data, conducts survey, interviews, conducts photo-documentation in the tea – gardens.
13th – 17th June - Lab work will be conducted at IIT Kharagpur which will involve processing of data, drawing inferences, debating on the research issues and proposals.The closure will be through preparation of study report and group-wise presentation, panel discussions with invited guests and dialogues on the learning from the programme for future extension of the work.
Benefit of this Bi-lateral event
The study shall culminate in a joint report production at the end of the three weeks programme. The report would include possible policy interventions for maintaining global competitiveness of Darjeeling tea combating the challenges of climate change and other cropping issues.
Creating a repository of knowledge in a shared platform accessed by the students and faculty from both the institute over the years will be a significant contribution of this course.
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