Lightning is the most dramatic and most common natural activity that occurs in the atmosphere. Lightning strikes cause tremendous losses each year and pose threat to property. It can cause severe damages to physical structures and can claim lives. Transmission towers, communication towers, transmission lines and other tall physical structures are more vulnerable to the lightning activities.
Lightning ignites fires that may bring an entire building or a house down to ashes. At a lower degree of damage, the lightning current may destroy electrical, electronic and communication equipment beyond repair. However, one of the most significant loses that lightning may cause as far as industries are concerned is the downtime. A couple of hours of standstill of normal operation or a loss of some important data stored in a computer may cause a company an economical loss of several millions.
A country that is rapidly industrialising unavoidably becomes vulnerable to lightning related hazards due to several reasons. The increasing susceptibility of electrical equipment to electromagnetic impulses, the wide spread usage of electrical and electronic appliances, the modification of the atmosphere due to high rising buildings and artificial activities can be given as few reasons.
Therefore it is the high time to launch a national level programme in the developing countries to educate the engineering, technical, scientific and civil communities in the subject of lightning safety and protection.
To deliberate on these issues, the Centre for Science & Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) jointly with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Government of Nepal and Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Kathmandu, Nepal announces the organisation of a 3-day International Symposium on Lightning Protection at Kathmandu, Nepal during 12–14 October 2011.
The programme aims to educate the engineering and scientific community on the need for lightning protection and safety, proper ways of lightning protection and maintenance and the current international issues and trends with regard to lightning protection, safety and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) with the objectives to minimise the death toll and other lightning hazards to the human beings and live stock, to reduce the lightning damages to properties, industries and other services such as power and communication and addressing basic issues of EMC
Objectives of the Symposium
1. To educate the engineers and technocrats so that they will understand the basic concepts of lightning phenomenon, the lightning threats in their fields of work, safety measures that should be taken to minimise lightning hazards, essentials of lightning protection, selection of protective equipment and the finer points of implementing, testing and maintaining a proper lightning protection system.
2. To encourage research scientists in investigating the sub-tropical lightning characteristics and lightning occurrence densities at localised areas so that the implementation of new industries and expansion of power grids will be done avoiding hot spots.
3. To promote the awareness of lightning threats and their impact on the operation and reliability of service among the administration at decision making level.
4. To bring the engineers, scientists and other professionals engaged in research and consultation on lightning protection into a common forum that they will share their views and experience for the betterment of the nation.
5. To convey the message to the policy makers and other related authorities on lightning protection and safety issues.
6. To initiate a study group or research centre in Kathmandu for conducting research in all areas such as lightning protection and safety, lightning injuries, insulation coordination, development of lightning protective devices, etc.
7. To convey the message to the policy makers, environmentalists and other concerned organisations that climate change can be monitored with the help of lightning activities.
Programme of the Symposium
A tentative programme of the Symposium is given below:
About the Organisers
NAM S&T Centre
The Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre; www.namstct.org) is an inter-governmental organisation with a membership of 45 countries spread over Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. The Centre was set up in 1989 in New Delhi, India in pursuance of recommendations of various NAM Summit meetings for the promotion of South-South cooperation in science and technology.
The Centre undertakes a variety of programmes, including organisation of workshops, symposiums, meetings and training courses and implementation of collaborative projects. It also offers short-term research fellowships to scientists from developing countries in association with various Centres of Excellence.
The Centre also produces technical books and other scientific publications in different subjects. These activities provide opportunity for scientist–to–scientist contact and interaction; familiarising participants on the latest developments and techniques in the subject areas; identification of the requirements of training and expert assistance; locating technologies for transfer between the members and other developing countries, dissemination of S&T information etc. In addition to the above, the Centre encourages academic-research-industry interaction in the developing countries through its NAM S&T-Industry Network.
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Government of Nepal
The Government of Nepal instituted the Ministry of Science and Technology on 15 April, 1996 to make coordination amongst all the bodies to perform the functions relating to Science and Technology (S&T) in the process of national development and to accelerate the activities thereto by creating conducive environment for the proper development of S&T. The Ministry has formulated S&T policy along with sectoral policies on other emerging fields, such as IT, Biotechnology and Nuclear policy and their implementation.
The Ministry is working on new technology along with promoting traditional indigenous knowledge through public private partnership model as well as implementing R&D program in the field of science and technology. The Ministry has active role in coordinating national and international scientific organizations for networking and S&T development.
Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Kathmandu, Nepal
Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) is an autonomous apex body established in 1982 to promote science and technology in the country. The main objectives of the Academy shall be to develop and facilitate to promote science and technology for the overall development of the country, conserve and modernize local technologies or facilitate to do so, conduct or facilitate to conduct research in science and technology, identify foreign technologies appropriate for the country and facilitate to transfer such technologies.
The Symposium programme has been primarily designed for specialists and professionals from the government departments, academic and research institutions and the private sectors in developing countries with relevant background and active involvement in the subjects related to Lightning Protection. The selection of the participants will be strictly based on merit and relevance of their current responsibilities to the subject of the Symposium as well as the quality of the extended abstract of the presentation to be submitted along with the completed nomination form. A pre-condition for participation in the Symposium is that the participants must submit the final manuscript of their presentation, in MS-Word format, at least a fortnight before the commencement of the programme.
The Symposium will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The exact venue will be informed in due course.
Resource persons for the Symposium will comprise eminent experts from Nepal and other countries.
Submission of Application
Scientists and professionals desirous of participating in the Symposium, excepting those from Nepal, are required to submit their Nomination Forms directly to the NAM S&T Centre as early as possible, but latest by Friday, 9th September 2011. The form should be completed in all respects and no column should be left blank. The submitted application should contain an extended abstract of the paper to be presented at the Symposium.
Presentation of Papers
Each participant will be required to present a country status report and / or a research / scientific paper on any of the themes appropriate to the Symposium.
Publication of Proceedings of the Symposium
A publication edited by one or more international experts and based on the papers presented by the participants during the Symposium and also containing papers contributed by eminent experts in the field will be brought out in the form of a book as a follow up of the deliberations of the programme. Therefore all participants are required to submit the manuscripts of their full country reports / scientific or research papers in MSword format well in advance, but at least 15 days before the commencement of the workshop programme (i.e. before 27th September 2011).
Local Hospitality and Travel
The hosts MOST and NAST, Nepal will provide free local hospitality, including accommodation and meals, to all the foreign participants and invited resource persons from 11th October (Noon) to 15th October 2011 (Noon), i.e. commencing from one day before the Symposium and for an additional day after its conclusion. The foreign participants and invited resource persons will have to make their own arrangement of stay beyond these days and therefore they should arrange their flight schedules accordingly. Free transport will also be provided to the participants for their travel from/to the airport to/from the place of their stay and for visits in connection with the Symposium programme.
Financial Arrangements for Travel
This is being conveyed separately to each member country of the NAM S&T Centre and other developing countries.
Entry Formalities, Immigration and Health:
The Symposium Participants must be in possession of a current passport or any other internationally recognised travel document. These must have a period of validity of at least six months beyond the time of stay allowed in Nepal and must be endorsed for travelling to Nepal.
Participants should have a valid visa for entry into Nepal. The diplomatic mission of Nepal located in the country of participants should be approached for obtaining an entry visa. If required, the organisers will facilitate the issuance of visa by providing the participants with an official letter of invitation.
For countries that do not have a Nepalese mission, the participants may submit their passport details for assistance in the issuance of visa to these e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other useful Information:
Climate: Autumn season ranges between 15-25 Degree Celsius (59-75 Degree Fahrenheit) with occasional short bursts of rain.
Voltage: 220-240; 50 Hz
International dial code: +977
Nepalese Standard Time is +5:45 hour ahead of GMT
The Nepalese Currency is Nepalese rupee (NPR); the current exchange rate of US$1 is approximately ~72 NPR.
° The governments / institutions of all the participants will be required to bear the following costs:
- All expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for passports, required medical examinations, vaccinations and miscellaneous expenses such as internal travel to the airport of departure in the home country.
- Salary and other related allowances for the participants during the period of the Symposium.
- Cost of medical insurance to cover the period of participation in the Symposium.
° The organisers will not assume responsibility for the following expenditure in connection with the participant’s attendance in the symposium:
- Expenses incurred with respect to any insurance, medical bills or hospitalisation fees.
- Compensation in the event of death, disability or illness of participants.
- Loss of personal belongings or compensation for damage caused to them by climatic or other conditions.
- Other costs, including airport tax and excess baggage.