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'India likely to be water-stressed soon'

Last updated on: January 22, 2013 14:24 IST

'India likely to be water-stressed soon'

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India is likely to become water-stressed, a veteran space scientist warned, emphasising the need to step up research in key areas of preservation, optimisation and regeneration of the natural resource.

Planning Commission Member K Kasturirangan, who is also former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, said the country should address the question of water recycling, desalination, hydrological mapping and optimisation of water usage.

"India is likely to become water-stressed," he told PTI.

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Image: Torsha, a four-year-old orphan elephant drinks water in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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Kasturirangan also said there is a strong need to scale up research to improve efficiencies in energy production, and also on third-generation fuels bio-fuel, fuel cells, lithium ion batteries and electric mobility.

Referring to the 12th plan (2012-2017), he said, "Science and technology is going to be ambitious and the country is going to have an envelope of varied types of projects."

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Image: A woman carry drinking water from a village pump.
Photographs: Reuters

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He said there would be a thrust on creating applications relating to socio-economic sectors dealing with water and energy, among others.

The aim during the five-year period is also to take Indias position from the current ninth to sixth in terms of number of publication of scientific papers, and grow the number of full-time research workers from the current 150,000 to 250,000, Kasturirangan said.

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Image: A child drinks water at a flood relief camp in Araria district town in Bihar.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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"Science and Technology gets a quantum jump in terms of government allocation (in the 12th plan)."

The governments intention is to increase its expenditure on research and development in science and technology to up to one per cent of the gross domestic product and get the corporate sector to invest an additional one per cent by extending substantial support to high-risk projects, including prototype-building, among other initiatives, he added.

"The model is being worked out as to how we do that (to get more investment from corporate sector in the R&D spend)," Kasturirangan said.


Image: Women drawing water from a well.


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