The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NCMG) and the High Commission of India in London have unveiled a new India-UK collaboration effort as part of the Namami Gange river rejuvenation agenda with the launch of four new chapters in Britain.
The Ganga Connect exhibition, which has been touring the UK since earlier this month, concluded its journey at India House in London this week with the launch of Ganga Connect chapters in London, Midlands, Scotland and Wales.
Each chapter will have convenors who will connect various interest groups with the Namami Gange programme, including scientists, technology companies, investors and community members, to host workshops and outreach programmes to raise awareness around the river Ganga rejuvenation efforts.
“This is about bringing information to the diaspora and encouraging them to participate,” said Indian High Commissioner to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar.
“This exhibition contributes to creating awareness among stakeholders, potential partners including universities, research organisations and private sector partners. There are 10-12 UK companies involved in the Ganga River Basin. We want to make sure people from all over the UK are able to participate,” she said.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav in Glasgow on the margins of COP26 climate summit earlier this month and then travelled to Cardiff, Birmingham and Oxford, before arriving in London.
As part of the London stop, a number of business, finance and scientific roundtables were chaired by Rozy Agarwal, Executive Director of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), and Dr Vinod Tare, founding head of think tank and innovation agency cGanga and a faculty at IIT-Kanpur.
Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Director Generation of NMCG Rajiv Ranjan Mishra also hosted a virtual roundtable with eminent members of the Indian diaspora in the UK earlier this week.
Besides the launch of the four new chapters, they unveiled the Scotland-India Water Partnership to build upon the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the NMCG and the government of Scotland from 2017 and channel the “high level of interest” among Scottish water specialist entities towards the Indian market.
Some of the other outcomes announced include the finalising of a UK-based Clean Ganga charity for fundraising efforts and the establishment of the Ganga Finance and Investments Forum (GFIF) to develop state of the art financial instruments such as river bonds, blue bonds, impact and outcome bonds, credit enhancement and guarantee instruments.