British Council’s UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) organized a “Climate Change event” to further strengthen and celebrate India-UK partnership on 21st November 2007 at British Council, 17, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi. This event showcased Indo-UK linkages on climate change research and highlighted the innovations of various collaborative projects. Mr. Rod Pryde – Regional Director British Council (India and Sri Lanka) welcomed the gathering. Sir David King, FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor and Head of the Government Office for Science, UK gave the keynote address. This was followed by an address by Dr PS Goel, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences and Prof. Alan Thorpe, RCUK and Chief Executive, NERC.
Speaking on the occasion, Sir David King said, “This is an extremely important event as international cooperation in the area of climate change is critical. Through the UK India Education and Research Initiative we have established a step wise increase in the process of collaboration. 6 large scale projects and 60 small scale projects are already underway with a very promising and meaningful start in multiple areas through the initiative.”
The ready willingness and the keen interest shown by the scientists from both the countries in forging a joint collaborative research on monsoon related modeling and impact issues have culminated in to the development of a joint research program on the 'Science of Regional Climate Change, Variability and Impacts'. This joint UK-India research program is today one of the 6 projects selected for funding under UKIERI Major Awards in 2006-07. It is being implemented by University of Reading and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Pune.
Under the UKERI Standard award a four-year project on “Impact of climate change on the water cycle and ecosystem functioning at the river basin scale” has also been awarded. Partner Institutions implementing the project include, Institute for Sustainable Water, Integrated Management and ecosystem research, University of Liverpool and IIT Delhi (Department of Civil Engineering)
Dr PS Goel while speaking on the occasion said that “I would like to thank the Government of UK for establishing this UKIERI initiative. Through the event this evening, we are showcasing our projects on climate change and giving them a boost.
We are also setting up a climate change centre at IITM, Pune and approvals within the Ministry of Earth Sciences are under way. This centre will support all researches and collaborations under the science of climate change”.
Prof Alan Thorpe in his presentation focused on the theme of partnership and wished the initiative all success.
This was followed by a panel discussion on “Addressing Climate change through collaborative partnerships” chaired by Mr. Rod Pryde. Eminent panelists included:
• Dr Clare Goodess - Research Manager, University of East Anglia
• Prof BN Goswami - Director- Indian Institute for Tropical Meteorology Pune
• Prof Edward Maltby - Director of the Centre for Sustainable Water, Integrated Management and Ecosystem Research (SWIMMER) - University of Liverpool
• Prof AK Gosain – Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
• Dr Leena Srivastava- Executive Director- The Energy and Resources Institute
• Mr David Radcliffe – Department for International Development
• Mr Matt Coyne - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
• Rod Pryde - Regional Director for India and Sri Lanka - British Council –Chair
To mark the occasion a ‘Poster Display’ of all projects under this initiative was held in the Queen’s Gallery.
The UK- India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) is a five year programme which aims to substantially improve educational links between India and UK ensuring in the longer term we become each other’s partner of choice in education.
Under the initiative, United Kingdom has pledged ₤23 million through contributions by the Department for Innovation and Skills, Office of Science and Innovation, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council and devolved authorties of Norther Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The private sector has added significantly to this contribution through the 4 corporate champions BAE, BP, GSK and Shell. Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India has also pledged matching funding for science related collaboration under the initiative.