Prof. Durgesh Pant is among the earliest adopters and pioneers of Computer Science and Information Technology in the northern Himalayan region of the country. He is credited with establishing the Department of Computer Science of Kumaun University, Nainital as early as 1989-90. For about thirty years, he has been an avid promoter of Computer Science, IT and Science & Technology at all levels. He has chaired, participated in and presented at conferences and seminars across the world. Given his penchant for leveraging science and technology, he has always been involved in developing scientific and technological solutions, innovations which are beneficial to the society at large and particularly to the last-mile learners in difficult geographies like Uttarakhand in India. A strong votary of Open and Distance Learning (ODL), he has been closely involved with it for over two decades, of which over a decade was spent with Indira Gandhi National Open University as coordinator and since 2010, he has been working with Uttarakhand Open University as Professor & Director of the School of Computer Science and Information Technology.
In addition, he has also worked as the Director , Uttarakhand Space Application centre ( USAC), Govt of Uttarakhand for about three years. Presently, he is also working with Uttarakhand Science Education and Research Centre (USERC), Department of Science & technology, Govt. of Uttarakhand as its Director.
Quest to leveraging technologies led him to get into the domains of space technologies i.e. Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing. It has helped him to understand issues related to natural resource management. Climate change, urban planning, water resource management etc. One important angle that was hitherto unattended was environmental concerns , policies and technological knowhow available to take up such studies. However, after 2015 his association with such institutions like USAC , ISRO gave him a broader understanding of technological and scientific background related to natural systems. River rejuvenation, pollution control etc. somehow came naturally to him. As a technologist so far he has used to take up things with a different mindset. However, this realization came that there is only one earth with fast depleting resources. Water bodies are dying and they got to be revived if humans have to survive. To meet this objective see the light of day he is tirelessly working towards establishing a ‘River Rejuvenation Centre’ under USERC in Dehradun besides host of other initiatives at different levels.
While he was working with various schools, institutions across the state in Uttarakhand particularly in far flung areas , it threw up many questions before him. Lack of infrastructure, connectivity , proper wherewithal have been issues huge issues which need plausible solutions. He initiated Technology Enabled Education at different organizations he is associated with and the fruits of that endeavour are distinctly visible now.
Prof. Pant is also credited with establishing a unique centre for people with special needs at USERC. This centre is coming up as a hub for organizations working in the spheres of disabilities particularly in the domains of leveraging science and technologies to this effect.
Serving for nearly three decades in different fields has enriched Prof Pant to have a balanced viewpoint. He has this conviction that Science, technology , environment , engineering and development, all have to coexist in harmony.
An MCA, Ph.D in Technology and an MBA Prof. Pant has addressed seminars and conferences across the world and a no. of research papers and books to his credit in addition to innovations and patents.
Research Areas :
Under my research guidance, fourteen scholars have received Ph. D. degree in Computer Science. Four more research scholars are currently pursuing Ph. D. degree in Computer Science under guidance. The research projects currently underway relate to following areas:
- soft computing
- cyber security
- ICT intervention in Difficult geographies
- Mobile governance