Business and Policy Dialogue with Dr Karan Avtar Singh, IAS

Dec 11, 202016:00 - 17:00

Punjab is one of the states, where agriculture still provides primary employment. It is also known as the breadbasket of India due to its contribution to the total production of rice and wheat in India. For the last 2-3 decades, agriculture as a sector has shown a decline while other sectors such as manufacturing and services have reported an increased growth. 98% of the agricultural land in Punjab is irrigated, which is one of the highest in India. However, irrigation is dependent more on groundwater than on the surface water. As a result, groundwater in Punjab is being overexploited, leading to water insecurity, a steady decline in groundwater and water quality issues which is affecting the domestic water supply. Salinity in water has been reported as one of the major challenges for water quality in Punjab apart from the presence of chloride, nitrate and toxic heavy metals affecting the health of general people.

In recent years, some policy initiatives have been taken to look into the issue of water security for its people in Punjab. One of them is the Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Act, 2020. This Act empowers the Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) to manage the state’s water resources while ensuring its equitable use. PWRDA may issue directions and tariff orders, impose restrictions, collect statistics and conduct surveys, investigations and research to fulfil its mandate. At the same time, PWRDA is to be guided by the Integrated State Water Plan set out by the Punjab State Council for Water Management and Development.

With this background we take pleasure in inviting you to session on ‘Groundwater development, irrigation and farmers protest in Punjab: Connecting the dots’ on Friday, December 11, 2020, from 4 pm – 5 pm. This session explores the issue by connecting the dots between overexploitation of groundwater, the drawdown of the resource, agrarian distress and the recent farmers protest in Punjab. What would be the role of PWRDA, a newly established body, in managing the water resources of Punjab and what is the vision for the state?

Dr Anjal Prakash, Research Director and Adjunct Associate Professor, Bharti Institute of Public Policy at Indian School of Business will be in conversation with Dr Karan Avtar Singh, IAS, Chairman, Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority, Government of Punjab. Do register and also please share with your friends and others who may be interested in this subject. Look forward to your participation. You can register here -

This edition of the Business and Policy Dialogue is in partnership with Bharti Institute of Public Policy.