The press meet witnessed a number of crucial aspects being discussed and the vision of ULJFL – to propagate safety mission – reflected through all of its ideas. The keynote addresses presented by Dr. Roychand and Mr. Sugavanam, have been highly enlightening. From talking about the courses to be offered in the campus to the services to be provided, all core areas have been addressed appropriately.
Talking about ULJFL, Mr. Suresh Sugavanam said that collaborating with an academia provides opportunity to reach to the millennials and inform them about the crucial aspects related to fire safety. Initiatives like ULJFL will help to equip youth with better knowledge and idea about fire hazards and safety measures. “We will be able to train next generation of fire fighters”, he added. He said ULJFL is one of the stepping stones to further UL’s safety mission in Indian society. “At the end of the day what we are looking for is a safer India”, he said.
Dr. Chenraj Roychand addressed the media by invoking the accounts of two major fire incidents- Venus Circus fire tragedy (1981) and Geetha complex fire accident (2005). By referring to these stories he shed light on the dire need of efficient and competent fire service providers in the city to tackle fire disasters. He said that fire safety educational programs to be offered in the institute will produce proficient fire fighters to combat major incidents and also facilitate research activities and validation of quality products.
On the second and the final leg of the event, held on 11th August, 2016, the ULJFL laboratory was launched at the JGI Global Campus, Kanakapura, amid the presence of Dr. Chenraj Roychand, Mr. Suresh Suvaganam, chief guest Prof. Navakanta Bhat, faculty members, department chiefs and students. The event was followed by a demo projection of fire extinguishing techniques and process.
The event gained momentum when the chief guest and invited dignitaries alike cheered for the accomplishment of this first-of-its-kind project, which is aligned with the visions of two major flagship programs initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’.
Prof. Navakanta Bhat, Department of Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), Indian Institute of Science, who was the chief guest at the event, hailed the initiative as a ‘first-of-its-kind in India’. He said that the collaboration of both the reputed institutes and the establishment of the world-class infrastructure in a university campus to facilitate fire safety measures, is the much needed step taken for the first time in India. He said that in India there is no dearth of ideas but dearth of facilities and by developing facility like this, the country can produce a pool of skilled manpower and resources.
Mr. R A Venkitachalam, Vice President of Fire Safety Mission, UL, said that while the smart cities are built across cities in India, their safety and security should also be considered and new measures should be initiated. “The ULJFL lab will not only be a hub of research but will also lead to industrialization of fire safety products and accelerate job opportunities”, he said. He hailed the contribution of JGI Group for assisting with infrastructure and manpower and said, “It’s a dream come true.” He also highlighted the need of good quality fire safety products and trained fire fighters in India and this laboratory will facilitate all the crucial activities.
Jayhan Bea of UL USA, said that the initiative resonates with UL’s core philosophy. He shed light on UL’s long term mission which lies in aligning with Indian government’s new initiatives and to collaborate with academies to further UL’s safety mission.
Milindkumar Desmukh, President, National Association of Fire Officers said, “This initiative was in demand for a long time in India, especially when fire technology is fast evolving. The state-of-the-art infrastructure and the vision and the mission with which the facility has been established clearly reflects its commitment to offer excellence in the field of fire safety.”
The dignitaries and invited guests also witnessed the live demonstration of firefighting techniques and usage of fire extinguisher. The research and demo labs established in the facility were also visited by the guests.
Although UL has collaborated with different entities to set up a range of laboratories across the country, but this initiative holds great significance as JGI Group is the first educational institute in India with which UL has entered into collaboration to establish a fire safety laboratory. According to the agreement signed between both the institutes, JGI Group will run this facility as a non-profit set up and provide manpower and infrastructure support. UL will assist with technical support and contribute to a year-round training and certification programs.