Launch programme of the German Research Foundation DBT - DFG co-funded Research Unit (FOR 2432) at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru (UASB) in association with the University of Kassel and University of Göttingen, Germany, was organised on 15th August 2016. The Research Unit: “Social-Ecological Systems in the Indian Rural-Urban Interface: Functions, Scales, and Dynamics of Transition” (FOR 2432), jointly funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and German Research Foundation (DFG), is a long term project of 6 years being undertaken by a consortium of several Indian universities and institutions namely ISEC, IWST, ATREE, NIAP, IIST and APU with UASB as the nodal organization. Within the framework of this Indo-German collaborative project, these diverse institutions will address several themes such as: impact of urbanization on agricultural production systems, flow of ecosystem services, food security, value chains, socio-economic changes and adaptations.
About 30 scientists from India and 15 scientists from Germany are involved in developing this comprehensive programme that has 14 projects from Germany and 12 projects from India, all interlinked on specific themes. The launch programme was attended by Prof. H. Shivanna, Vice- Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bengaluru and Prof. Dr. B.V. Chinnappa Reddy, Department of Agricultural Economics, UAS, who is also the Indian coordinator of DBT-DFG co-funded Indo-German Research Unit FOR 2432. Mrs. Margit Hellwig-Bötte, Consul General-Designate of the Federal Republic of Germany, German Consulate, Bengaluru; Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey, President, University of Kassel, Germany; Prof. Dr. Andreas Brükert, co-ordinator, University of Kassel and Prof. Dr. Eva Schlecht, University of Kassel/University of Göttingen were also present at the occasion. DFG India office representatives Dr. Vaibhav Agarwal, Senior Scientific Officer and Mr. Krishnan Hariharan. Office Manager, also attended the launch programme and extended good wishes for the overall success of this collaborative project. Representatives of other participating institutions, PhD and Post-doctoral students also attended the programme in good numbers.
The research unit has been initiated under the Indo-German collaboration agreement between DBT and DFG. Specific and General MoUs have been signed between them and with all participating institutions and universities. This project plans to execute in three phases over the next decade and would address varying issues.