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Coca-Cola and TERI University Focus On Building Experts for Sustainable Water Resource Management and Cleaning of Indian Rivers
India Education Diary , 8 October 2014
New Delhi: Cleaning Indian rivers has been a major issue that our country has been grappling with for many years. Despite cleaning of rivers being a major agenda for the Government, there is a significant decline in water quality - arising from growing population, increasing urbanization and industrial growth, which needs to be tackled with expertise. Against this background and with an aim to address the foremost challenges in water resource management, Coca-Cola and TERI University organized a High Level Dialogue on the theme “Cleaning of India’s Rivers - Design of Participatory Approaches’. The half-day symposium brought together key stakeholders to deliberate on a collaborative approach in the area of cleaning Indian rivers. Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, Ms. Uma Bharti, was present at the occasion, along with Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Research Institute (TERI), Dr Leena Shrivastava, Vice Chancellor of TERI University and Mr Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia. Delivering the keynote address, Sushri Uma Bharti, Hon’ble Union Minister for Water Resources said “We need to analyze why rivers, that were unpolluted for thousands of years, have suddenly become severely polluted during the past 40-50 years. Today, even animals cannot take a dip in the waters. We need a judicious mix of knowledge from global and national best practices to clean up our rivers, as it has happened in Sabarmati, Thames and the Rhine. The most important task is to ensure minimum biological flow of the river. Even treated water should not be allowed to flow into the river. She further added, “We need a participatory approach from various stakeholders, including industries, to make cleaning the Ganga a success. The industry needs to realize that if rivers die, the industries would die too. It is easy to dwell on the problems, but difficult to come up with solutions, or even to know where to start.” Dr R K Pachauri, Chancellor, TERI University and Director-General, TERI, said: “India’s rivers are polluted to an extent that does not allow any life to survive in them. The result is not only widespread economic loss, but also the spread of disease on account of pollutants, toxic waste and disease carrying organisms being transported by our rivers. For this reason the Government of India is placing great emphasis on cleaning of the country’s rivers. However, success in this regard would involve not merely action by the Government, but the involvement of all stakeholders, ensuring participatory action by all.” Speaking on the occasion, Mr Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said, The National Water Policy states that the lack of adequate trained personnel for scientific planning, utilizing modern techniques and analytical capabilities incorporating information technology constrains good water management. It is here that the Coca-Cola Department of Water Studies can help the Government’s plans on holistic water management. Also, as we move towards making India the growth engine of Asia and bring about well-rounded development, we will need some very innovative approaches to water management. This will include efficiency in water usage projects as also ways to provide access to clean water at low costs and with minimum wastage. We are hoping that this department will generate enough intellectual capital to cater to the needs of a modern India”Speaking at the Dialogue, Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI University, said: “TERI University is preparing its students to provide systemic solutions to the critical sustainability challenges that we face today. We have spent an enormous amount of time and resources in trying to clean our rivers unsuccessfully. While large-scale, centralised technological solutions are undoubtedly important, they are obviously not sufficient to deal with a complex river system – avoidance has to be invested in as much as treatment and decentralised solutions have to be part of the package of measures. And for this, we need proper policies, regulations and incentives to engage people in both water conservation and protection.” The Dialogue marked the formal beginning of The Coca-Cola Department of Water Studies with 21 students joining the various courses in the first year. Water benchmarks The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola India and TERI University have collaborated to launch the Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies for Master’s level programme on Water Science and Governance. The Department aims to develop a globally competitive cadre of young water management professionals, scientifically manage water resources in the country with the help of research, development and new technologies, as well as build capability for various stakeholders who can influence policy and implement research effectively. Focused towards addressing the challenges of water management in the country and the need for multi-disciplinary solution to achieve a long-lasting and agreeable outcome, the program will examine water issues in an interdisciplinary framework, bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions towards a better, holistic approach to water management. The High-Level Dialogue held today is the first in a series of upcoming interactive seminars, which will be hosted by the newly-formed Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies. Eminent experts on rivers discussed various facets of the problem linked to institutional issues, inadequate waste management, infrastructure and services, lack of financial incentives, poor environmental monitoring and regulation. The delegates who participated at the Dialogue, included decision-makers, representatives from academic institutes and multinational organizations, policy-makers and representatives from Non- Governmental Organizations. The event served as a platform to discuss challenges, strategies and opportunities for cleaning of rivers for sustainable water management. Findings of River Study Students from TERI University presented an analysis of the evaluation and quality restoration plan for river Yamuna. The study focuses on linkages between public perception of water quality, the associated risk perception and their willingness to participate in water management projects. The recommendations include: · Declaration of the river quality, post river action plans is important · Development of water quality surveillance according to the restoration plan and technological requirement · Entire NCR must be sewered to the extent possible to ensure near “zero” discharge in the river. This can be done by upgrading the existing STPs, rehabilitating exiting sewers and laying new ones. · Any excess sewage entering directly into the river must be tapped and treated by establishing alternative drainage systems like canals or bandha (a kind of retaining wall or dam extending from a few meters below the riverbed to the river’s flood level) on either or both sides of the river to dispose the entire wastewater without lowering the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels in the river. • River front development needs to be looked upon as both an economically-viable and environmental-friendly solution to promote the concept of “Green City”. • Flow augmentation via impounding the river to use the water stored during the monsoon period and released during the dry periods. • The recycle and reuse of treated wastewater is also one of the main opportunities, by which water can be used for irrigation, horticulture, and industrial purposes. It can also be used for cooling the towers in power stations etc. •Diffusing pollution via urban and agricultural runoff can be minimized by establishing rainwater harvesting units within the city and sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDs).
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Learning Right
Times of India (Speaking Tree), 13 September 2014
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) focuses on sustainability issues such as environmental ethics and green development.“Students are exposed to the whole picture so that they can get attuned to nature. They learn how to approach and tackle issues with a multi disciplinary perspective, imbued with a set of values, which embrace human progress by inclusion of environmental considerations and the state of the natural resources in the world,”says Rajiv Seth, registrar, TERI University.


Cost Hurdle - Long way to go for rooftop solar systems
The Times of India, 3 September 2014
Delhi government still has a long way to go in clarifying the policy before private individuals take the decision to set up rooftop solar systems. The net metering scheme that was announced by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Tuesday is only a nascent step in this direction. The most important issue is the financial incentive that will push residents to invest in solar rooftop systems. Other problems are resolving technical issues like uneven height of houses, specifications for orientation of the roof, how much roof space is required, how will these systems be maintained, among others. “We are glad to know that net meters can be installed and we are open to setting up such systems. But the question is what is in it for us? First the government will have to clarify how much subsidy and what financial incentive will be given to individuals. It must also check whether it is feasible to do these on small roof tops of less than 200 sq yards,” said Atul Goel, convenor of United Residents Joint Action of Delhi who had some meetings with Greenpeace, an environmental NGO studying whether Delhi can implement solar rooftop systems on a large scale. As of now, projects in Delhi only get a 30% subsidy from the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). “It’s a welcome move that DERC has finally come up with a net metering policy. But how can people use it without a comprehensive solar policy which will specify financial incentive in detail? Only if the incentive is attractive that people would think about it. As of now, a few individuals in Delhi have set up rooftop solar panels to meet their back-up needs because diesel generators cost a lot,” said Abhishek Pratap, energy campaigner at Greenpeace India. The few who have already installed solar panel systems may, however, stand to benefit immediately from the net metering scheme. Anand Prabhu Pathanjali, who recently conducted a study on Delhi’s solar potential, said, “There are very few residences that have set up such systems. Now they can definitely benefit from the net metering scheme. This will also get more people to set up the system in their houses.” There are a few houses in South Extension and Safdarjung Enclave, apart from a few others in West Delhi that have installed solar panels of less than 5kW. The German House of Research and Innovation and WHO building also have panels with over 10 kilowatt peak (kWp) capacity that can benefit from net metering. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is planning to install a system of less than 100 kWp on their office building. “We don’t have much space so we are exploring what can be done. However, we’ll probably not generate enough to have more power than our requirements. On weekends we can supply entirely to the grid,” said Amit Kumar, Adjunct Professor, TERI University.
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26 August 2014 Education sector needs enlightened approach! ... careers360.com
18 August 2014 Responding to Sustainable Development Issues: News... The Financial Express
21 July 2014 Polite noises: Budget lacks a renewable energy vis... The Hindu Business Line
20 July 2014 Coca-Cola, TERI University fund water management s... The Daily Star
14 July 2014 Sustainable Soulutions... The Times of India (Education Times, Delhi)

 
Malnutrition and Its Linkage to Sustainable Development
ThinK to Sustain, 10 February 2012

Nida Yamin, a student at TERI University, explores the long-prevalent issue of malnutrition in India and its effects on growth and development of the country as a whole, and suggests how community-based programs can improve the situation and lead to national nutrition security.   
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