India is no longer the problem but the solution to Climate Change: Suresh Prabhu3 min read
Manipal: Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways, Government of India and Prof. M.D. Nalapat, UNESCO Peace Chair at Manipal discussed ‘India’s Climate Policy’ and ‘Hydro Politics in India’ at the Innovation Centre on November 4. The talk was focused on India’s stand on the Paris Climate Agreement and ongoing water treaty issues between India, China and Pakistan.
Suresh Prabhu, who was the Minister of Environment when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, addressed the gathering via video-conference on the issue of global climate change and India’s role in international cooperation. In his half-hour long address, he emphasised on the causes of climate change. “Our current climatic problems are a result of past activities and emissions by human. To preserve and have a sustainable future, not only developed countries but developing countries like India also will have to come to the main stream of saving the environment”, he said. The minister clarified the government’s stand on this topic and added that India is now going to play a key role in such issues. He also expressed concern regarding divided efforts in climate conservation in the country. He advocated for the need of a common centre for the study and research of climate change, in India.
Talking of ‘HydroPolitics in India’, MD Nalapat, who is also the Editorial Director at The Sunday Guardian, said that instead of worrying about what China would do to Brahmaputra, Indian government should think of technological ways to preserve and protect the water resources. Showing his full trust in technology, he said, “I do not worry at all because technology has empowered us today and soon with the help of technology we will make beneficial water systems like making ocean water portable.”
Commenting on the Indus Water Treaty, he lamented that India was not getting the amount of water it should. “This is because of Punjab government which is blocking the canals carrying water, which according to me is ‘anti-national’ “, he said. He further elaborated on how the Indus Water Treaty provides more water to Pakistan than any other water treaty in world gives it to lower riparian states. Reinforcing Mr. Prabhu’s words, Nalapat said, “Yes, India is no longer a problem or only a follower of developed nations but a solution”. He praised the initiatives by Prime minister Modi on such global issues.
The talk was attended by a patient and curious audience of including students and faculty from across the university. In a blazing question and answer session, Prof. Nalapat admired and emphasised the recent steps taken by the Government of India such as Clean India Movement ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’. After the two speakers had addressed the gathering, Dhanasree Jayaram, coordinator of the event and a member of MARG, delivered the vote of thanks to both the speakers, audience and the leadership of Manipal University for their support in the research work by MARG. ”MARG is keenly working towards securing the environment and we will keep organising such talks and discussions for the better ideas on climate preservation”, she said.
The talk was organised by Manipal Advanced Research Group (MARG) in cooperation with Adelphi ((a Berlin-based think-tank for applied research, policy analysis, and consultancy on global change issues).
Edited by Prajwal Bhat