India Young Water Professional Programme Launched

New Delhi: The first edition of the India Young Water Professional Programme was launched virtually today in the presence of Mr. Manpreet Vohra, Indian High Commissioner to Australia, Barry O’ Farrell, Australian High Commissioner to India and Ms. Debashree Mukherjee, Additional Secretary, DOWR, RD & GR, Ministry of Jal Shakti. More than 100 participants joined the launch of India Young Water Professional Program.

This program has been taken up under National Hydrology Project, a Central Scheme of DOWR, and RD & GR and supported by the Australian Water Partnership.

This Program is unique and different from typical capacity building and training programs. It is focused on Engaged Training and Learning Model. About 70% of the program is focused on project based learning through Situation Understanding and Improvement Projects (SUIP). The Program focus on gender equality and diversity, because sustainable water management can only benefit from the views and skills of all members of society. A total of 20 participants have been selected for the first edition of this Programme (10 men and 10 women) from central and state implementing agencies of the National Hydrology Project.

Speaking on the occasion, India High CommissionerManpreet Vohra said that water is a key priority area of collaboration between India and Australia and both countries are working actively on this front. He said that the Young Water Professional Program is a significant milestone in India Australia relationship and will go a long way in institutional strengthening and capacity building.

Australian High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell said that both India and Australia has got common water challenges and issues and there is a lot to learn from each other.

Ms. Debashree Mukherjee said that India and Australia are natural partners and this collaborative effort to train young water professionals is a step in the right direction. She added that the participation of large number of women is particularly inspiring not just with respect to gender equity but because it will make future water women leaders.

“Both the countries are continuously engaging in various areas of collaboration including water use efficiency, climate change mitigation, basin planning, water data and information management and capacity building,” Ms. Mukherjee said. On behalf of the Govt. of India, she said that Australia is Extreamly valued partner for India in the field of water resources. She also said that this program will help in breaking the silos of surface water vs groundwater and participants will learn to take a comprehensive view of water resources management.

Mr. Subodh Yadav, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti and Project Coordinator of NHP said that one of the unique features of India Young Water Professional Programme is that it is outcome-driven and the participants will be having certain tools and techniques by the time they are finished with the Programme. He informed that selecting the participants from a total of 67 applications was both challenging and inspiring. He added that based on the success of this edition, a second phase of YWP will be planned in the later half of year 2022.

The launch of the India Young Water Professional Program marks a significant milestone in Australia-India Water relationship. This Programme looks to prepare future water leaders. The seeds for this Program were sowed during a co-design workshop with National Hydrology Project (NHP) on ‘Sustainable Water Management’ in November 2019.

This Program will be implemented by Australia India Water Centre (a consortium of Australian and Indian universities). This initiative aims to provide a structured platform for capacity building with strategic and long-term investment to support the water management reforms in India.

The objectives of India Young Water Professional Programme are to equip water professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge, behaviours and networks that will better enable them to contribute to the development and management of water resources in India, and to address the competency needs and priorities of the water sector in India.

Mr. Michael Wilson, CEO, Australian Water Partnership, Ms. Lyn O’Connell, Deputy Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Professor T G Sitharam, Director IIT Guwahati, Professor Basant Maheshwari, Western Sydney University, Mr. Vijay Kumar, South Asia Representative of Australian Water Partnership also took part in the launch.