In a significant stride towards bolstering the nation’s water resources, a momentous initiative commenced on 28 February. While challenges lie ahead, the steadfast progress in river basin management across the country promises a future where India emerges as a hub of water abundance. Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Central Minister of Jal Shakti, expressed this optimism during the signing ceremony of an agreement between the ministry and 12 esteemed technical education institutions. This collaboration aims to advance academic and research efforts towards basin management for six pivotal rivers.

The agreement, forged under the aegis of the National River Conservation Plan of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, entrusts 12 institutions—including various IITs, NITs, and NEERI—with the crucial task of research, monitoring, and technical knowledge accumulation. The focus will be on assessing conditions and formulating management strategies for the Mahanadi, Narmada, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, and Periyar river basins.

The event, held at the Dr. Ambedakar International Centre in New Delhi, witnessed the presence of heads of participating institutions and officials from the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Ministry of Jal Shakti. Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat lauded the exemplary work of cGanga (Centre for Ganga Basin Management and Studies), administered under the stewardship of IIT Kanpur. Drawing from the Upanishadic principle of ‘Ekoham Bahusyam’—the notion of unity expanding into diversity—he highlighted how c Ganga has epitomized this philosophy by fostering collaboration among academic institutions for basin management across six rivers.

Just as cGanga has contributed significantly to enhancing the technical facets of Ganga river basin management, similar expectations are pinned on these academic institutions for rivers spanning the eastern, western, central, and southern regions of India. Ms. Debashree Mukherjee, Secretary of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, and Sri G. Ashok Kumar, Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga, also shared their insights during the event.

Dr. Vinod Tare, the Founding Head of CGanga, provided a comprehensive overview of the condition assessment and management plans for the six rivers.

The following institutions got the responsibility:

Mahanadi River Basin ManagementNIT Raipur and NIT Rourkela
Narmada River Basin Management   IIT Gandhinagar and IIT Indore
Godavari River Basin ManagementCSIR-NEERI Nagpur and IIT Hyderabad
Krishna River Basin ManagementNIT Warangal and NIT Surathkal
Cauvery River Basin ManagementIISc Bangalore and NIT Trichy
Periyar River Basin ManagementIIT Palakkad and NIT Calicut