Conclave on River Basin Management
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Following the path breaking interventions for ‘Doubling the Farmers’ Incomes’, brainstorming workshop held at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi from 15-16 March 2017, a second Conclave on River Basin Management was organized at the VIF from 29-30 November 2017, in partnership with International Commission on Drainage (ICID).

In the pre-inaugural session, the ‘Proceedings of National Workshop on Doubling Farmers’ Income through Scaling-up: KISAN–MITRA’ (Knowledge-based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture Network – Mission India for Transforming Agriculture) held on 15-16 March 2017 was released by the Secretary for Agriculture, Co-operation and Farmer Welfare, Govt. of India, Shri Shobhana Pattanayak, IAS, along with Shri Dhirendra Singh, Dr. Arvind Gupta, Shri Vijay Kapoor and Dr. S P Wani. Before releasing the proceedings, Dr. Wani, Research Program Director, Asia, and Director, International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Development Center, briefed the house about the workshop as well as follow-up actions of through pilot projects in eleven districts of Vidarbha region in Maharashtra and seven districts of Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh in partnerhsip with the respective State Govts., the Govt. of India and the concerned consortium partners, including State Agricultural Universities, Corporates and farmers groups. All the pilot sites of KISAN-MITRA would be functional during the rabi season of 2018-19.

In the opening session, Shri Pattanayak stated that doubling the farmers’ incomes is a dream project of our Prime Minister and this particular conclave on river basin management is a step forward in handling the scarce water resources in achieving food and nutritional security. India receives 400 billion cubic meters total precipitation and considering impacts of climate change, irrigation is a great moderator of adaptations. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) is the integrated program of convergence and is a common platform for water management. In the country, 10 million hectare area (ha) is covered by micro-irrigation, and it is planned to add 1.5 million ha in each year under micro-irrigation, for which National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has operating fund of ₹ 5,000 crore. Micro-irrigation is a silent revolution in water management, particularly in the Maharashtra State but there is an urgent need to scale this up with the help of more than 300 drip monitoring and micro-irrigation equipment manufacturers in the country.

Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shree Trivendra Singh Rawat chaired the inaugural session. Shri Dhirendra Singh, former Secretary to the Govt. of India and member of VIF Advisory Council welcomed the Chief Minister and briefed him about the objectives of the conclave. In his opening remarks, the Chief Minister indicated that there are 12 river basins in the country in which the River Ganges has played an important role as it contributes to 45 per cent of food needs in the country. There are 26 rivers in the Ganges basin. Huge quantity of sewerage generated every day (38354 million liters per day) is polluting the River which need to be resuscitated for sustainable development. The water flow in the Ganges is reducing year by year and river restoration along with water quality improvement is a need of the hour.

The two-day Conclave had five sessions namely, River Basin Management, Legal Framework, Hydropower Development, Food Security and Waste-water Management within the context of River Basin Management. Following the lead presentations by the reputed scientists and policy makers, panel discussions were held in each session. Dr. A C Tyagi, Secretary General, ICID played an important role in organizing the two-day conclave on River Basin Management. About 50 participants representing the academic institutions, policy makers, ICID, Niti Aayog, Central Electricity Authority, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Central Water Commission, Tata Energy Resources Institute (TERI), Central Pollution Control Board, National Mission for Cleaning Ganga, State Govt. representatives and institutes like ICRISAT and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) participated in the Conclave.

Event Date 
November 29, 2017
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