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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Research Partnership Established Between UHI Scientists and Bangalore North University in India

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University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) researchers from the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) based at UHI North, West and Hebrides Thurso campus, and the Centre for Living Sustainability based at UHI Inverness, recently returned from a visit to Bangalore North University in India where they established an environmental and social sciences research partnership.

Dr. Mark Taggart and Dr. Lydia Niemi of ERI, along with Dr. Lalith Welamedage from the Centre for Living Sustainability, embarked on a four-day journey to India.

Their purpose was to delve into the KC Valley water recycling scheme and explore potential collaborations between UHI and Bangalore North University.

The aim was to comprehensively grasp the scheme’s environmental and social implications.

This innovative initiative involves treating wastewater and utilising it to replenish groundwater in regions susceptible to drought.

Dr Mark Taggart commented on the trip and said:

“We met with healthcare representatives, government engineers, scientists, and local farmers to discuss the effects of the wastewater recycling scheme on water quality, crop quality, agricultural yields, and public and environmental health in the region.

“This visit has facilitated positive engagement and knowledge exchange between UHI and Bangalore North University, identifying strong synergies and opportunities for future collaborative work.”

Highlights of the visit included a warm welcome from Professor Niranjana Vanalli, Bangalore North University Vice Chancellor, and participating in the Kolar district food festival. 

The collaborative project also featured site visits to farms benefiting from the improved water supply, and inspections of lakes and canals transporting recycled wastewater throughout the region.

A seminar with a Q&A session at Bangalore North University’s multi-disciplinary postgraduate centre showcased UHI’s expertise in environmental and social science research.

Vicki Nairn, Principal and Vice Chancellor of UHI, said:

“This visit marked a significant milestone in a British Council funded project aimed at fostering closer collaboration in environmental and social sciences research between UHI and Bangalore North University.

“This was an excellent opportunity to learn more about this groundbreaking scheme and to share our research expertise in environmental science, water quality management and pollution to support communities around Bangalore, whilst expanding knowledge, research, and expertise to support our communities locally and regionally.”

Plans for further collaboration include developing long-term monitoring to assess the scheme’s impact on environmental quality, agricultural productivity, and socioeconomic development in the region.

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