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UK and India upgrade joint research on clean water and clean energy


UK-India research projects on ‘Water Quality Research’ and ‘Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment’ were launched today by Dr V K Saraswat, Member, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) India and Daniel Shah, Director, Research Councils UK (RCUK) India.

The ‘Water Quality Research’ programme has eight projects and ‘Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment’ programme has four projects, with a total joint investment of up to £15 million, under the Newton-Bhabha fund. These projects aim to deliver mutual benefits and research solutions not only to the UK and India but also to address shared global sustainable development goals – clean water and clean energy.

Dr Saraswat, Professor Sharma and Mr Shah commended the true partnership in high-quality, high-impact research between the two nations and their research communities, and wished them success. They released joint catalogues highlighting the potential impact of these projects.

A dossier highlighting India’s national efforts in Building Energy Efficiency comprising details of 30 projects was also released on the occasion.

The ceremony was preceded by an initiation meeting of the ‘Water Quality Research’ projects, providing an opportunity for lead researchers to present their work,   understand how they can work together to deliver a coherent programme and identify any research gaps or potential overlaps. A similar initiation event is planned for ‘Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment’ projects on 20th February 2018.

This meeting brought together senior Indian government officials, funding partners (DST, NERC and EPSRC with support from RCUK India), and scientists both from the UK and India.

Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, British High Commissioner to India said: “Access to clean water and efficient energy are crucial to the well-being and prosperity of every nation.  I congratulate the UK-India research teams leading these projects. Another great example of how the UK and India’s research partnership is a global force for good.”

Dr V K Saraswat, Member of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, highlighted thrust of the Government on Sustainable Development through synergistic efforts and greater inter-ministerial coordination.  “The ambitious targets and missions for renewable energy and energy efficiency for meeting ever increasing needs of the country is an illustration of governments’ commitment. The success achieved in LED programme can be replicated in building sector with scientific inputs.

Research on water quality is extremely critical for our national missions on Ganga rejuvenation and Swachha Bharat.” Highlighting the new initiatives for cleaner fuels such as methanol and desalination, he stressed upon the need to leverage global experience and collaborative endeavour to accelerate the innovations in the very important domains of water and clean energy and lauded the efforts of EPSRC, NERC, DST and all participants of these programmes

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, said: “Department of Science and Technology accords high priority to development of cost effective and environment friendly technological solutions for clean energy, clean water and clean air. The global research fraternity has to play a pivotal role in making these pursuits successful and we intend to pursue these objectives both through our national and collaborative endeavours. Sustained India and UK research collaboration in all domains, especially clean technologies has scaled greater heights and is a valuable instrument to bring best brains together for addressing societal challenges.”

Daniel Shah, Director Research Councils UK (RCUK) India said: “This India-UK water quality programme, supported jointly by the Department of Science and Technology in India, and NERC, EPSRC and ESRC in the UK, aims to equip local communities, policymakers, regulators and businesses with the information and solutions they need to secure the provision of clean water, rejuvenate rivers and restore ecosystems. These eight collaborative research projects should bring benefits to both people and the environment, and we are delighted that the programme is being launched today.”

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Geeny George Shaju, Communications Manager

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