The Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) has its mandate in developing an effective, sustainable network of universities in the HKH, in collaboration with academic, research and knowledge generating and exchange institutions both within and outside the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. The HUC has received a grant from The World Bank (WB), under its South Asia Water Initiative Phase II, aiming to strengthen its network and members’ capacity in the field of water studies and management.
One of the key activities of the HUC WB Grant is to promote exchange between members with relatively weaker institutional and research capacity and those with stronger capacity. To this end, an exposure visit for delegations from HUC members in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal is being organized to provide an opportunity for interaction between delegations and water-focused higher education and research institutions in India.
TERI School of Advanced Studies (TSAS) has been a full member of HUC since October 2016. It has been taking the lead in capacity strengthening activities in the field of climate change and environmental science among HUC members. Its Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies plays a key role in various activities of the HUC WB SAWI Grant. At the International Conference and HUC Annual Meeting in Chengdu in November 2017, TSAS representative offered to co-lead and host a Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Water.
TSAS was set up as a Trust by TERI—a not-for-profit, independent research institute recognized globally for its contribution to scientific and policy research in the realms of energy, environment, and sustainable development in 1998. The TSAS was known as TERI University from October 2006 to November 2017. Beyond its academic programmes, TSAS is actively reaching out to mid-career professionals and policy makers to sensitize them towards the environment and sustainable development in a systemic, solutions-oriented manner.
A proposed exposure visit of HUC member delegations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, to be co-organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and TSAS, aims to provide an opportunity for mid-/senior- career scholars in under-represented countries to interact with leading higher education and research institutions in India working on issues of water use, management, and policy. It will also be the kick-off meeting of the HUC TWG on Water.
In conjunction to this event, there will be a one-day meeting of senior representatives of existing and prospective HUC members in India, who will discuss the draft of the HUC Strategy and Plan of Action, the process to establish HUC India Chapter, and potential for collaboration and resource sharing across the Consortium.
- Mid-/senior- environmental and social scientists in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal who have been conducting research on water related issues.
- University administrators or research institute heads who make critical decisions on research and training directions on the issues.
- Approximately 10–12 senior representatives of existing and prospective HUC members are expected to attend the first day of the HUC India Meet 2018.
- Delegates are expected to obtain updated knowledge on state-of-the-art water studies and training in higher education and research institutions in India and take active part in networking across the region.
- A detailed consultation of a draft of the HUC Strategy and Plan of Action, a draft road map to establish the HUC India Chapter, and a specific plan for resource sharing and mobilization are expected to be achieved at the end of the first day of the HUC India Meet 2018.