International Workshop on FOSS4G for Digital & Skill India

An inaugural workshop of Center of Excellence in Geoinformatics, an international workshop was held on FOSS4G for Digital & Skill India on 17th – 18th August 2018 at International Institute of Information Technology, Pune, India. This workshop was co-hosted by CERG and OSGeo India.

This workshop introduced the MapMint framework that provides quick and easy way to build and manage geospatial web applications using Open Source, Open Standards and Open Data. On the second day Open Data Kit (ODK), a free and open-source set of tools which help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions were covered in detail. 

For more information, click here




After a short summer break, we organised another Gem, a talk on Gemstones. This talk will cover the different aspects of the Navagraha Gems and their effects on health. Navagraha Gems are about the nine gems ruled by nine different planets, according to Vedic astrology. These stones are considered most auspicious as they are believed to bring health, happiness, prosperity, and peace to its wearer. Dr. Jayshree Panjikar internationally renowned gemmologist  presented the talk.

The scientific basis of how gemstones  affect one’s health was discussed in the tal. Dr Panjikar described  the various gemstones present, their chemical composition, and how the light entering the gemstones affect our nerves due to the specific vibration it possess, which in turn explains why different gemstones affect us differently. The talk also included identification and differentiation of natural, synthetic and artificial gemstones.  The talk was well attended not only by non-geologists and a large group of students.


EARTH DAY on 22nd April 2018

Screening of  TERRA – THE MOVIE  a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events are now held in more than 193 countries globally.

‘Geoscience for All’ is a movement geared towards increasing awareness, understanding, appreciation and application of Earth Sciences and its importance in an individual’s day to day life and the communities at large. Under this initiative, we have organized several events over the last five months. We now bring to you the movie – TERRA , a film made by none other than Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the world-renowned photographer.

Screening of TERRA – THE MOVIE a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

WHEN      :   Sunday, 22nd April 2018
TIME         :   6.00 pm (Please be seated by 5:45 pm)
WHERE    :  Audio Visual Hall, Main Building, (above the Principal’s office),                                                                   Fergusson College, Pune 411004

A VISUALLY STUNNING DOCUMENTARY THAT EXPLORED THE RICH DIVERSITY OF LIFE. A 90 minute documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand & Michael Pitiot, produced by Hope Productions. A tribute to the human race, clearly showing that we are still capable of changing our future, just by looking differently at life.

At its core, Terra looks at the natural history of mankind and our existence on Earth. It looks back on the unique journey of a species which, among millions of others, has evolved and emerged from the many phases of our planet’s growth.

As the narration continues– subjectively embodying humanity itself – it will gradually divert from this natural history and begin to show how our species regards and represents the world. How did man become aware of the world around him, and how has this vision evolved over thousands of years to the current state of unconsciousness?

How do we now wish to interact with other species that live around us? The power of Terra resides in this very question. This documentary will show how our own image and representation of nature has always been decisive in human history, and how it can still change the course of events to come.


WORLD WATER DAY on 22nd March 2018

Screening of A THIRSTY WORLD a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

‘Geoscience for All’ is a movement geared towards increasing awareness, understanding, appreciation and application of Earth Sciences and its importance in an individual’s day to day life and the communities at large. Under this initiative, we have organized several events over the last five months. To celebrate the WORLD WATER DAY on 22nd March 2018 and build awareness on the importance of proper water usage, we now bring to you the film – A THIRSTY WORLD, a film made by none other than Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the world-renowned photographer.

WHEN         :  Thursday, 22nd March 2018
TIME           :  6.15 pm (Please be seated by 6:15 pm)
WHERE      :  National Film Archive of India, Law College road

In this film, the famous photographer is looking at one of the major challenges to human survival: WATER. Today, against a backdrop of sharply increasing demand, growth in the world population and the growing impact of an unsettled climate, water has become one of the most precious natural resources of our planet.

Faithful to Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s reputation, A THIRSTY WORLD, filmed in some 20 countries, reveals the mysterious and fascinating world of fresh water through spectacular aerial images shot in regions that are difficult to reach and rarely filmed, like Southern Sudan or Northern Congo. It also lets us discover the most beautiful landscapes on our planet, the lakes, rivers and wetlands created by water.

A THIRSTY WORLD attempts to bring together Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s trademark aerial view of the world with the harsh, everyday reality of all those people who are deprived of water and may even die for lack of it, the people engaged in the daily struggle to find water, purify it or bring it to those who need it.



Three exciting days, an event to remember and cherish, first time in Pune and probably in India.  A quiz devoted entirely to Earth Sciences. Keenly contested and sincerely applauded. Meticulously planned and brilliantly executed – from the preparation of questions to the hosting of the event.

After a very successful Geo-week 2017 celebration, the Centre for Education & Research in Geosciences conducted an Earth Science based Inter-School Quiz contest – GEOQUEST 2018 under its ‘Geoscience for All’ initiative.

The event was held for 3 days from 2nd – 4th February 2018 by CERG in association with AISSMS’s Shri Shivaji Preparatory Military School, Pune and conducted in their large and spacious Assembly Hall.

For details of the event – Click here




Volunteers of the ‘Geoscience for All” initiative conducted a Geo Workshop for young geoscience enthusiasts in the Kering Hospital Compounds on 18th Jan ’18.

The primary objective of such workshops is to make learning simple, effective and fun creating a blend of creativity and knowledge. Children learn a little better when they see visual representations of the topics they study and even more effectively when they actually get hands on experience of the same. With the same thought in mind, our target approaches involve using unconventional methods like clay modeling, fabric models and audio-visual aids to help children understand the concepts like interior of earth, plate tectonics, fold mountains and mountain ranges of India.

As a part of its ongoing intiatives with schools, CERG plans to carry out such workshops in schools for the standards from 4th to 10th. Anyone who is interested or is associated with a school can write to us at for more information. We will get back to you with the details.

For pictures of the event – Click here



Sunday,  31st December 2017 

The 31st of Dec 2018. Early morning saw a motley group of excited school children climbing a hill and collecting white stones (minerals).  Their first introduction to the wonderful world of rocks and minerals. – a ‘very hands on’   input into some basics of Earth Sciences – Interior of the earth, Types of rocks and the physical world.

After initial briefing and instructions, CERG volunteers lead the students up hill to a land excavation/hill cutting site where the young students collected different types rocks and minerals for their personal collection. Here they were given a brief on how formation of hills, rocks and minerals takes place.

Led by the young enthusiastic volunteers of “Geosciences for All” initiative of CERG, the morning climb and the activity following the sandwiches and cakes break was learning with fun.

The kids were instructed on how to use clay to model the earth’s interior.  With a focus on creative and fun learning, the method of teaching used here involved use of modelling clays of different colors to construct a model of the Earth demonstrating interior layers of the Earth—Core, Mantle & Crust. Deeply engrossed, the students had no difficulty in understanding the Earth’s interior and its processes.

Later, guided by the volunteers, the young children got to model some of the physical characteristics of the earth – the seven continents, five oceans and major mountain ranges of the world.  

Very pleased and proud of their minerals, rock samples and clay models, the students were thrilled. They evidently enjoyed the unique learning experience.

All good things come to an end. Come mid-day and it was time for the parents to pick up their children. But, not without the kids asking for more. 

Learning can indeed be fun is what we in turn learnt in the process!

For pictures of the event – Click here



Saturday, 25th November 2017 

Interactive Talk & Discussion – The need to do Rain Water Harvesting in Pune.

by Shri Shashank Deshpande, Hydro-geologist and Hydrologist on Saturday, 25th November 2017 at the B.V. Rao Memorial Hall, Patrakar Bhavan, Navi Peth, Pune 411030

After a very successful Geoweek 2017, we hosted reputed Hydro-geologist and Hydrologist, Shri Shashank Deshpande.  In his talk titled – Do we need to do Rain Water Harvesting in Pune. Commencing with some generalities of the rock type and statistics of water usage in Pune, Shri Deshpande outlined the geohydrological characteristics of Pune and its peripheral areas. 

He further mentioned that scientific studies show that there are about 6 elementary watersheds and 23 mini-water sheds in Pune region and most of the places that have ground water level at less than 10 metres. These are potential areas for ground water recharge during the monsoons.  However, it is these areas which have good ability to percolate water, are getting concretised due to rapid urbanisation and increase in construction activity. 

In his talk and discussion, he stressed on the importance of why every individual should be aware of the need to take measures for artificial recharge of ground water. Further, he discussed some simple measures which every individual / societies can take up for Rain water harvesting and suggested various kinds of filtration techniques that can be used.

During the discussion, he touched upon ground water quality and belied the myth that the water is not potable.  He indicated that the ground water quality in Pune is reasonably good and most of it has a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of 300-600 mg/l, which is acceptable.  Only a few areas have the TDS above 600 mg/l which is not acceptable. 

The talk was followed by a Q & A session and a discussion with the audience.  Prof. S. Rajaguru, reputed archaeologist and former Director of Deccan College and Mr. Bhaskar Bhusari, former Dy. Director General of Geological Survey of India also contributed to the discussions

For pictures of the event – Click here



OCT 9TH TO 14TH, 2017

What an event? The Geoweek 2017… The week passed by just as it came… some said a week was too long… others felt it was over reaching. On the retrospect, I believe that it was just right… plenty of different activities, multiple venues, day long events. All in all it was a great week… well planned and brilliantly executed by none other than the young volunteers… the ‘Geoweek team’ and now the ‘Geo family’. Yes, we did make a big bang…

An idea which was long in our minds getting translated in to reality by the untiring efforts of the young brigade.  Each one taking ownership, and most importantly each one working to their strengths and with excellent team work.

The event held from 9th – 14th October 2017 by CERG in association with Fergusson College, Pune. With the theme ‘Geoscience for all’ the event focused on demystifying earth science for people from all walks of life including young students from different schools and colleges across Pune. The 6-day event included an exhibition, art & essay contests, talks, workshop and film screenings all revolving around the topic of geoscience.

The event was inaugurated and flagged off by Prof. Nitin Karmalkar, Vice Chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University, Prof. Ravi Pardeshi, Principal, Fergusson College Pune and Prof. R. Shankar, Chair, International Geoscience Education Organization. The inauguration was also graced by renowned quaternary geo–archaeologist Prof. Sharad Narhar Rajaguru. The inauguration was followed by a talk on ‘Paleo-Climates’ by Prof. R. Shankar. Geoscience enthusiasts, professors, students, media representatives and general public were all part of the inauguration function.

The Exhibition organized during the first two days i.e. 9th & 10th October showcased the role of Earth Science in day to day life of a common man. On display were some unique and rare geological rock & mineral samples, maps, educational posters on topics like Deccan traps, Geological marvels of India, the Story of oil.

The highlight of the exhibition was the display of selected entries to the ‘Art Contest’ by student participants from different schools. The best of the artwork were awarded medals.

A workshop on basics of QGIS software for post-graduate students was conducted on the 12th and 13th October. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Kuldeep Kurte and Sh. Abhishek Potnis  of CSRE, IIT, Mumbai.

Every evening during the 6 days of the event various educational films were screened on subjects like Earth, energy, volcanoes, atmosphere, glaciers and formation of continents.

The final day proceedings were graced by chief guest Prof. N. J. Pawar, Former Vice Chancellor of Shivaji University Kolhapur and Guests of honor Prof. Sharad Narhar Rajaguru & Prof. Ravindrasinh Pardeshi. Prof. Rajaguru delivered an informative talk titled ‘Prehistoric environment of Mula–Mutha rivers’ the final day.  Awards were presented to the prize-winning entries of the Art Competition.

Geoweek 2017 would not have been possible without the enthusiastic participation by the youngsters and most importantly the continuous and whole-hearted support by Fergusson College.

The Geo-week is the first of the series of initiatives under the overall theme ‘Geosciences for All’ theme.  Many more events are planned. Do visit this website regularly for updates on our forthcoming activities.

For pictures of the event – Click here