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19 Oct 2020 | Indus Basin Initiative

Afghanistan and India chapters of the Upper Indus Basin Network to support capacity building

Upper Indus Basin Network (UIBN) have agreed to identify and provide resources for the capacity building of researchers.

Debabrat Sukla

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Members from the UIBN-Afghanistan Chapter during a 2018 meeting at ICIMOD (Photo: Jitendra Raj Bajracharya/ICIMOD)
Members from the UIBN-India Chapter during its second meeting in 2019 in New Delhi (Photo: ICIMOD)

In a decision that may increase cross-country collaboration, members of the Upper Indus Basin Network (UIBN) have agreed to identify and provide resources for the capacity building of researchers. A series of interactions culminated in an online meeting on 24 August 2020, where members of the UIBN India and Afghanistan chapters reached this decision.

The members committed to exploring mutually beneficial opportunities in knowledge and research sharing. The UIBN had previously agreed to look into academic and training resources during its annual Regional Strategic Committee meeting in 2019.

Country chapter leads from both Afghanistan (Fayezurahman Azizi) and India (Ashok P Dimri) were joined in the online meeting by members representing institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee and the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad. The discussions focused on exploring modalities where visiting research students from Afghanistan could be involved for a longer period through specialized master’s or doctorate programmes. Members from the India chapter agreed that such an engagement was possible as a number of international students from African countries are housed at institutes like NGRI and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) each year. Programmes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, where many Afghan and international students are pursuing their degrees, also provide similar opportunities.
The country chapters are also exploring other options involving collaboration with the resident Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) Initiative at ICIMOD. The aim is to learn from the expertise that HUC and institutions like IIT Roorkee have with respect to organizing short-term programmes. These could be done in the form of a webinar series or even a certification course. Members of both country chapters are jointly developing a concept note on such a programme. JNU and IIT Roorkee have also expressed interest in arranging a week-long online training for young scientists.

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