National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA) had organised ‘Re-Imagining Urban Rivers’, a national level thesis competition in September 2020, under a joint project that the two organizations are implementing to promulgate river- sensitive development in our cities. This is a first of its kind initiative to engage young minds to research and envisage solutions for urban river issues. The purpose of this sponsored thesis competition is to tap into the intellect and creativity of students to arrive at innovative solutions for re-imagining the outlook and management of rivers that flow through cities and their associated features. The competition had three themes – Re-imagining water bodies and/or wetlands, developing eco-friendly riverfront projects and Promoting River tourism. Students from leading institutes across the country presented their thesis in the grand finale of the competition on 19th Aug 2021 at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
“Namami Gange is an integrated program with many innovative features and which has been engaging with academic institutes to get new ideas and perspectives in river rejuvenation,” said Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga. He shared that the idea behind this thesis competition was to continuously engage with young researchers and scholars who can think in integrated ways and have new planning perspectives. They can also share fresh and innovative ideas. He also shared the idea of developing a river city alliance for institutionalising such thinking.
Sh. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, in his special address emphasised the importance of river tourism in urban areas. Citing success stories of Sabarmati River Front, Ahmedabad and making Indore water plus city, he said, “The development which we had been planning for so many years is happening today.” Addressing the participants he added, “Now you don’t have be wait for government to work on your projects. Each one of you have the potential to make it a huge success.”
Second edition of the Sponsored Thesis Project Competition was launched at the event. This year’s themes will be ‘Reducing River pollution’, ‘Rejuvenating water bodies’, ‘Creating a vibrant river zone’, ‘Generating river-related economy’ and ‘Engaging citizens in river management activities.’ Entries can be mailed at email@example.com. The last date of submission will be 26th September 2021.