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BHU feels accountable towards rising Ganga Pollution, develops research centre for Water Resource Management

The university plans to enlist 100 scientists from various fields to develop environment-friendly technologies and harness their multi-disciplinary expertise

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Rampur Hall of IIT (BHU) Varanasi, an example of Indo-Gothic architecture Image Source: Wikipedia Commons
  • BHU is going to play a major role in coordinating research projects on the Ganga pollution control and river basin management 
  • Spread over 1,300 acres, the Banaras Hindu University started in 1916 on land donated by the then Kashi Naresh Prabhu Narayan Singh
  • It is the only institute in the world where courses ranging from nursery and primary school to post-doctoral studies are offered and studies

On the southern edge of Varanasi, near the banks of the river Ganges, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya had envisioned an international residential institution that would become the pride of the nation. A hundred years later, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is excellence personified. With over 30,000 students and 3000 faculty members, BHU is one of the largest residential universities in Asia.

Now, the BHU’s executive council has decided to establish a research centre for Ganga river development and water resource management that will be named after the visionary founder. BHU is going to play a major role in coordinating research projects on the Ganga pollution control and river basin management under joint collaboration of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Pollution at the ghats of Varanasi. Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

According to the India today report, the university plans to enlist 100 scientists from various fields to develop environment-friendly technologies and harness their multi-disciplinary expertise to meet the present and future needs of water resource management and rejuvenation of rivers.

“We will make an extensive study of the stretch of the Ganga between Allahabad and Patna to collect authentic data of the sources of pollution for the formation of a viable and eco-friendly river basin management plan,” said BD Tripathi, noted environmentalist and chairman of the committee constituted recently by the vice-chancellor Lalji Singh to the Times of India.

Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi with students. Image source: India Today
Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi with students. Image source: India Today

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Spread over 1,300 acres, the Banaras Hindu University started in 1916 on land donated by the then Kashi Naresh Prabhu Narayan Singh. India’s philosopher-president Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the vice-chancellor of the university for almost a decade, from 1939 to 1948. Now, BHU is organised into 6 institutes and 14 streams with 135 departments. It is the only institute in the world where courses ranging from nursery and primary school to post-doctoral studies are offered and studies.

Shri Vishwanath Mandir is the most prominent landmark and is located in the centre of the campus. The foundation for this 252 feet (77 m) high complex of seven temples was laid in March 1931 and took almost three decades to complete.Bharat Kala Bhavan the art and archaeological museum on the campus was established in January 1920 and had Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as its first chairman.

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BHU has dedicated institutes highly specialised in the domains of agricultural sciences, medical sciences, environment and sustainable development and management studies. It also has a separate Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan Sankaya and faculty of Ayurveda. It has 15 specialised centres of study, including a Malaviya Centre for Human Values and Ethics which is aimed at inculcating humanistic values and ethics among students and teachers.

“We impart education based on a holistic approach that emphasises building of character and instils values. It is the confluence of Oriental Indian knowledge and modern scientific temper” ,says BHU vice-chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi to the India today.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • AJ Krish

    It is great to see universities in India taking up initiatives to save the river.

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    Ganga has been one of the major rivers in India, when people talk about taking initiatives to save the river, new hopes arise with it

  • Aparna Gupta

    To reduce the pollution in River Ganga, it will really be helpful. Further, it will also help in education.

SHARE
  • AJ Krish

    It is great to see universities in India taking up initiatives to save the river.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Ganga has been one of the major rivers in India, when people talk about taking initiatives to save the river, new hopes arise with it

  • Aparna Gupta

    To reduce the pollution in River Ganga, it will really be helpful. Further, it will also help in education.

Next Story

Does India’s Giant Step in the Direction of Green Energy Signal an End to Coal?

Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years

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When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced its target to increase India’s renewable energy capacity to an equivalent of 40% of the nation’s total green energy output, it raised eyebrows. Could this mean an end to India’s coking coal industry?

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For any alternative to coal to be a serious consideration, there must be investment sources. Already India’s renewable target has attracted investors like Japan’s SoftBank, which agreed to a deal to sell power generated from a Northern Indian solar bank at 2.4 rupees per unit – below that of coal power, which currently costs over 3 rupees per unit.

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For instance, state-run NTPC has cancelled several large coal mining projects, including a huge plant in Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, the private sector has continued investing in renewables. Adani Power has over $600 million invested in solar panels in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

That Modi has made an investment of $42 billion in the renewable energy sector over the past four years and his renewables plan is likely to generate a further $80 billion in the green energy sector in the next four years is good news for the Rupee. External investment in India is likely a sign of increased currency transaction in forex trading signalling the Rupee gaining strength against other pairs. Like the Indian economy, millions of dollars are traded on currencies every day, and increased interest in the Rupee helps cement India’s economic and investment potential.

How reliant is India on coal power?

Not so long ago the Indian government had a target to connect 40 million households to the national grid by the end of 2018. It even tasked CIL, the state coal monopoly, to produce over a billion tonnes of coal per year by 2020, an increase of almost 100% from 2016. It’s an ambitious goal, notwithstanding the environmental impacts of mining for such an unprecedented amount of coal. This is the same coal that already generates 70% of India’s primary commercial energy requirement; compare that figure to the UK’s 11%, Germany’s 38%, and China’s 68%, while France has practically shut all of its coal power stations. This means that India’s shift from coal could have important implications for the global climate, and any investors looking towards coal would be making a very brave and risky decision.

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Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas.

The increasing problem with relying on coal

Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas. Clean-up costs could make coal an out-of-date power source sooner rather than later. A report by Oxford University estimated that investors in coal power may lose upwards of half a trillion dollars because assets cannot be profitably run or retired early due to global temperature rises and agreed carbon emission reductions.

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Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years – although it’s difficult not to see coal remaining an important power source considering India’s significantly large coal reserves still available in Eastern India.