Prof. Durgesh Pant is among the earliest adopters and pioneers of Computer Science and Information Technology in the Uttarakhand Himalayan region of the country. He is credited with establishing the Department of Computer Science of Kumaun UniversityNainital as early as 1989-90. He has been instrumental in the establishment ofmanyinstitutions as Head of Department and Convener of Computer Science,Kumaun University. He has extensively worked for strengthening the ODL (Open and Distance learning) paradigm since 1994 through his association with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) first as its counselor and later as its coordinator from 1999 for about 11 years. He has also been associated with the establishment of Open University in the state in Uttarakhandin the year 2005.
He is also credited with establishingUttarakhand Open University’s school of Computer Science & ITin July, 2010. He established Dehradun Campus of Uttarakhand Open University in November, 2010 as its founding Director resulting in ODL’s phenomenal spread inGarhwal region of the state since then.
He also held the additional charge of the Director, Uttarakhand Space Application centre (USAC) for about three years. Under his guidance, USAC scaled new heights and started several new initiatives in association with ISRO and other organizations of repute. One of the prominent achievements of Prof. Pant during this stint was to accomplish the ‘Uttarakhand School Mapping Information System’, project. Under this project, over twenty thousand schools in Uttarakhandhave been mapped and a comprehensive Information system for planning and decision-making was developed. Prof.Pant was also given additional charge of one more Science and Technology Department of the Government of Uttarakhand–Uttarakhand Science Education &Research Centre’ ( USERC) for more than five years till 5th September, 2020.Under his supervision, USERC became a vibrantnationally -internationally acknowledgedScience education centre having a huge network covering every nook and corner of the state of Uttarakhand.
For more than thirty-oneyears, he has been an avid promoter of Computer Science, IT and Science & Technology at all levels. He has been a meritorious student all through that earnedhim scholarship from school to University level.He is an alumnus of Kumaun University, Nainital and Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra. He has chaired, participated in and presented research papers 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. He is currently working with Uttarakhand Open University as a Professor & Director of the School of Computer Science and IT, Vocational Education and ONLINE education.
During this Covid period Prof. Panthas initiated many initiativeswhich are of considerable significance. A few are the following:
Initiated the development of the first tracking app, Uttarakhand COVID 19 tracking system released on 60th March, 2020. He promoted ONLINE education through series of Webinars, e-workshops, web conclaves on ‘TechnologyEnabled Education’. He has been a part of the Community Radio Programme during Covid-19. PEOPLE’s POWER COLLECTIVE has initiated this initiative – Under Ummeedprogramme connecting five operational community radio stations of the state covering more than 12 lac people covering ten districts. He has been delivering talks on this network since early April,2020, and by now given about 60 talks on various community related issues rekindling hope and positivity among people. People from far off places of this state are connected through this network.
Establishing eco-clubs across the state for school children, establishing ‘JalShala’ for promoting water education , creating a centre for disability studies along with promoting Artificial intelligence, cyber security and other technological interventions have been his fields of interest. Ecology, technology and sustainability are the areas he is working in relentlessly.
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