River Ganga has significant economic, environmental and cultural value in India. Rising in the Himalayas and flowing to the Bay of Bengal, the river traverses a course of more than 2,500 km through the plains of north and eastern India. The Ganga basin – which also extends into parts of Nepal, China and Bangladesh – accounts for 26 per cent of India’s landmass, 30 per cent of its water resources and more than 40 per cent of its population. The Ganga also serves as one of India’s holiest rivers whose cultural and spiritual significance transcends the boundaries of the basin. A river basin with the complexity of the Ganga cannot be managed from an environmental view point without the benefit of an adequate knowledge base, analytical tools, targeted research, and awareness building. Ganga Knowledge Centre (GKC) is set up at National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) primarily to address these issues and to enhance the quality of implementation of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) program.
GKC is conceptualized as a premiere and autonomous knowledge based institution which will blend system characterization, innovation and stakeholder participation so as to optimize the investments of NGRBA. The major objectives of GKC are:
• Create and manage knowledge resources including analysis and modeling of diverse data sets relevant to Ganga River Basin.
• Design and foster research innovation through identification of knowledge gaps, need for new ideas and supporting targeted research.
• Facilitate stakeholder dialogue through public involvement and building partnerships with universities/institutions of national & international repute, public & private entities and NGOs.
GKC will be one of its kinds of institution which will generate the state of art scientific and technical knowledge even while reflecting constantly on traditional and local knowledge but still remain focused on relevant issues and stay connected to the stakeholders.
The immediate outcome of the efforts of GKC would be:
• Knowledge & Knowledge based products including publications, online and multimedia products, virtual data bases and E library.
• Customized query management tools.
• Analysis of the proposed investments using the knowledge base and modeling tools.
• Sharing the development vision across agencies.
• Technical support to the social outreach and community participation activities.
• Training and capacity building at all levels.
The ultimate benefits of the efforts of GKC would lie in the meaningful engagement of all the stakeholders in the conservation of the Ganga river eco system through building a public opinion based on scientific knowledge and by infusion of fresh ideas/innovations. In such an endeavor GKC would establish itself as a Centre of Excellence with active collaboration with acclaimed peer institutions across the globe and by maintaining the state of art of knowledge.