Meeting of India-Hungary JWG on Water Management

Apr 27: The first meeting of the India-Hungary Joint Working Group, constituted for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of water management between the two countries was held yesterday in New Delhi where wide-ranging discussions were held on challenges and initiatives being taken in the water sector by both the countries. A three-year working programme was signed to guide the future course of India-Hungary cooperation in water management. Both sides made detailed presentations on issues, challenges, initiatives taken and the success stories related to water management in their respective countries.

The major issue of groundwater over-exploitation and the necessity for proper water management practices in India and the numerous programs and projects that are reshaping India’s water landscape were highlighted during the meeting. Six areas of priority for cooperation were identified and agreed upon namely, Management of extreme Phenomenon, Exploration and management of groundwater, Rejuvenation of rivers and water bodies, Mitigation of the impact of climate change on water resources, protection and preservation of the quality of water resources, and training and capacity building.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Interior of Hungary and the then Ministry of Water Resources, RD & GR (presently Ministry of Jal Shakti), Govt of India on 16th October 2016 with the objective to strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities of both the parties in the field of water management. Areas of cooperation between Hungary and India include integrated Water Resources Management, Water and Waste Water Management and Water-related Education, Research & Development. For the implementation of the objectives of the MoU, a Joint Working Group (JWG) has been constituted with members representing both countries. Members of the JWG from the Indian side include Shri Subodh Yadav, Joint Secretary (GW, Admin and IC), Ministry of Jal Shakti as team leader and experts from CWC, NMCG, CWPRS and CGWB. The Hungarian side of the JWG is led by Mr Peter Kovacs, Water Director, Ministry of Interior, Govt of Hungary.

Fostering opportunities for cooperation in water management among countries and an improved understanding of the challenges and benefits of water cooperation can help the world build mutual respect, understanding, and trust, promoting peace, security, and long-term economic growth. Open discussion of the challenges defining our water resources today is driving cooperative action, decision-making and political commitment. At present countries are promoting a consultative culture and improving participatory capacities which is aiding the delivering advantages in many sectors, including collaborative water management.

A field visit for the team of Hungarian experts to Varanasi was organized today to showcase successful interventions under the National Mission for Clean Ganga. The meeting of the JWG has ushered in another milestone in the ongoing cooperation between India and Hungary in various sectors. Both sides aim to gain insight from one another and share experiences through collaboration in the field of water management.

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