November 10, 2020.
TED NewsDesk, Guwahati: Comprehending the current situation of COVID-19, IIT Guwahati, in collaboration with University of Western Sydney, organised a Webinar to launch the Australia-India Water Centre (AIWC) on November 6. The partnership also encompassed 21 partners from Australia and India
“I am delighted to inaugurate the Australia India Water Center (AIWC) to promote water-related research, teaching, and training between the two countries in the presence of officials and experts from the water sector of India and Australia. My wishes for making this collaboration towards water sustainability successful,” expressed Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
The collaborators signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build cooperation for the project. The duration of MoU is 5years. The AIWC is likely to provide a chance to the Australian and Indian associates to grab opportunities and establish a long term association in the field of education and research between India and Australia. The collaboration will cover areas of water research, student and staff exchanges, a joint Masters level programme in water futures, workshops and conferences. Besides, government officials and other candidates can also benefit short-term training in the water sector.
Benefits of AIWC
- Facilitates a joint Water Resource Management Masters course.
- Skill development schemes for government agencies, industry professionals and NGOs.
- Expansion of transdisciplinary training and research in educational courses.
- Publicity of water proficiency of the Center associates which encourages international engagement and networking.
The goals mentioned in the MoU include a long-lasting association in water research, knowledge and technology transfer, ensuring water and food security, and capacity building. Additionally, the goals also mention the provision of safe drinking water, water for liveable cities, water-energy-food chain, river health and other connected areas of benefits to these two countries. The step involved includes modification of tools and mechanisms to manage the challenges related to food and water availability in future. It also involves better management of groundwater, stormwater, springs and coastal reservoirs.
Key points of the discussion
When it comes to water-based challenges, Australia and India face similar problems. Some of them are droughts and floods, side-effects of climate change and growing rivalry for water between urban, peri-urban and rural sectors. Moreover, the pollution of surface and groundwater resources increases the threat to water security.
” Water security is a critical challenge for both countries, and it was jointly decided to deepen policy and technical cooperation on mutually agreed activities to improve water management and sustainable economic development,” stated the joint declaration at the June 2020 virtual summit of the Prime Ministers of India and Australia.
Based on this, various universities, research bodies and business associates from India and Australia joined hands to build AIWC.
Water Resource Management Masters Programme
“Water is likely to play a key economic and strategic role in the future. This Centre will focus on collaboration in transdisciplinary research, capacity building and knowledge and technology transfer, particularly on aspects of water and food security, safe drinking water supplies, river health, water-energy-food nexus, water for liveable cities and other related facets of mutual benefits to Australia and India,” outlined Prof. T. G. Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati.
The event witnessed the virtual presence of other professionals like Dan Tehan, Minister for Education – Government of Australia, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Jal Shakti – Government of India, Indian High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Barry O’Farrell AO, Australian High Commissioner to India, Prof T. G. Sitharam, Director IIT Guwahati, and Directors, Vice-Chancellors, Deans of all the partner institutions.
Source: India Today