Chennai, March 03, 2017: There has been concern at both the judicial and public level that #Ganga water is still not potable. Announcements made about the purification of the Ganga have not been able to meet deadlines. In this context, I would like to refer to a proposal I had prepared when I was in the Union Planning Commission in 1980 for ensuring the purity and safety of Ganga waters. My strategy consisted of education, social mobilisation through local Panchayats and regulation where appropriate. During the 1980s, there were nearly 20 Universities along the Ganga ranging from Gangotri to Sagar (Hooghly). All the Universities have programmes for mobilising students for a variety of constructive activities. If Universities and their student associations could be involved all along the Ganga on a long term basis, it will be easier to generate the necessary public cooperation in keeping this “Holi River” pure and potable. Therefore a Universities for Saving Ganga Movement will be valuable. A purely technocratic approach will not help, although technologies can be used for dealing with point pollution like effluents from factories. The more difficult job is to eliminate non-point pollution caused by human activities. This is where the longitudinal involvement of Universities will be of great help.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.