22 Sep 2023|Gurgaon (Manesar)

Amity University Gurugram sheds light on India's River Future in an insightful online panel discussion on 22nd September, 2023

Amity University Gurugram sheds light on India's River Future in an insightful online panel discussion on 22nd September, 2023

 In celebration of Innovation Week, the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Education and Academic Staff College at Amity University Gurugram organized a thought-provoking online panel discussion titled "Rivers of India - A Journey through Past, Present, and Future,” on 22nd September, 2023. The event aimed to explore India's rich river heritage, discuss the current state of its rivers, and envision a sustainable future for these vital water bodies. The event was been coordinated by Prof Sanjna Vij, Dy Director AASC and Head, Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Education, AUH.

The event was been graced by many eminent speakers along with Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. P. B. Sharma and Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr Vikas Madhukar. Shri S.P. Vashishth, Executive Director (Admin), National Mission for Clean Ganga emphasized the historical importance of rivers as cradles of ancient civilizations, citing examples of civilizations like Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, Harappan, and Egyptian civilizations. As the Executive Director (Technical) of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, Shri D.P. Mathuria highlighted the significance of instituting annual river management strategies within urban areas to ensure access to clean water. He emphasized floodplain zoning and the importance of culturally significant water bodies in effective water resource governance. Prof. C. K. Varshney, a former Dean and Professor of Ecology at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, stressed the need for balancing water body preservation with ecological considerations. He discussed the Namami Gange project and its role in revitalizing rivers as primary water sources. Prof. Varshney also highlighted the importance of wetlands in river revitalization and their natural water treatment capabilities. Prof. Prabhat Kumar Singh, professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT (BHU), shared insights on the minimal civil engineering interventions needed for rivers. He discussed the NITI Aayog's report, which analyzed water sensitivity in different states and emphasized the importance of improving water sensitivity and developing water-smart cities. Prof M L Kansal, Professor (HAG) and Former Head at WRD&M and NEEPCO & JPSS Chair at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, focused on the adverse impact of industrial pollution on rivers. He highlighted the various ways in which industrial discharges pose a significant threat to river ecosystems and water quality. Prof. Kansal emphasized the role of governance and well-designed urban infrastructure in preventing pollution.

Prof (Dr) C S Dubey, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of KR Mangalam University, Gurugram, provided historical perspectives on rivers, emphasizing their role in shaping archaeological sites and cultural heritage. He highlighted the profound connection between rivers and human history, emphasizing the need to safeguard these essential water bodies. Mr. Anshuman from the Water Resources Division at TERI, discussed holistic river management, particularly focusing on the concerning condition of the Yamuna River in Delhi. He stressed the importance of integrated water management approaches and decentralized storage systems to address multiple facets of river conservation. Prof K C Tiwari, Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Delhi Technological University, underscored the significance of adopting minimal river management practices and revitalizing natural ecosystems. He highlighted the detrimental impacts of urbanization and climate change on biodiversity and emphasized the importance of raising awareness, particularly among engineering colleges. Dr. Vimal Singh, Professor of Geology and Earth Sciences at Delhi University, emphasized on riverfront development that respects indigenous characteristics and expressed concerns about the proliferation of dams. He highlighted the need for considering recovery potential in afforestation efforts and creating atlases for Virgin rivers. Dr. Singh also emphasized the lack of educational programs in River Science and the critical link between river health and overall environmental well-being.

In conclusion, the panel discussion provided a comprehensive overview of the historical significance of rivers, the challenges they face today, and the initiatives and solutions required for their preservation and sustainable management. It served as a platform for dialogue and collaboration among experts, educators, and the community, highlighting the urgent need to prioritize the health and vitality of India's rivers for future generations.