Suman K A: The National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC) seeks to build a dynamic knowledge system that would inform and support national policy and action in addressing the climate change challenges while not compromising on the nation’s growth goals.
This, it seeks to achieve through a combination of knowledge infrastructure, institutional inter-connections, capacity building and mission mode programmes well supported by an inter-ministerial co-ordination mechanism. Among the key deliverables of the mission are:
- 10 thematic knowledge networks in the areas of climate science , climate modeling, adaptation across GDP critical sectors, energy generation technologies, emission inventories
- 10-12 technical reports on sub-mission programmes concerning Indian monsoon, glaciers melt, frequency and intensity of natural disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones, earth quakes
- Regional and disaggregated climate models
- 50 Chair professorships in climate science and technology and about 200 trained specialist climate change researchers
- At least 3 PPP programmes in adaptation and mitigation technologies
- Technology Watch Groups across climate science, renewable energy, clean coal, sustainable habitats, solar, waste etc.
- Thematic reports on technology policy interfaces in the areas of per capita emissions at various GDP growth rates, energy
- Technology collaborations with the USA, EU, Japan, China on areas identified in the mission elaboration from time to time
(Source: NMSKCC Mission Document, 2010)
While the broader objectives and the deliverables are a step in the right direction, I see a strong need for re-prioritization of the themes and approaches to realizing the mission deliverables. These will have to have a sharp focus across four axes – technology, markets, policy, capacity well supported by a strong technology led collaboration and co-ordination platform.
Further, across each of the axes appropriate interventions will have to be thought through rigorously and with substantial budget allocations than are currently envisaged. Such interventions could take the form of new institutions, programme and partnership models, network – interconnections, or re-hashing of the research priorities. The summary of this thinking is illustrated in the following figure.
While the figure is self-explanatory, key considerations prevail. As exemplars, I suggest
- Technologies: Cost competitive and suited to Indian context;
- Capacity: Radical re-thinking , learning curves, and execution on the part of current institutions and capacity, think tanks, research and development priorities , technology infrastructure to support deep and wide collaboration and co-ordination;
- Markets: GFCS Framework readiness for adoption, markets readiness, exemplar programme models;
- Policy: Science/evidence based approach to policy making, successful international collaborations;
- Budgets: The proposed NMSKCC budgets of INR 150 cr and INR 2500 cr across XI and XII plan periods amount to INR 1.5 – 25 per person(@ 1 billion Indian population count).
I think there is room for re-prioritization and better allocations in order to realize the set NMSKCC mission objectives.
About Author: Suman K A wrote this article for Climate Himalaya’s Youth Leaders Speak Column. An Engineer by training. Suman has great interest in climate change and mountain issues. She is the founder of Change Planet Partners foundation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Himalaya Initiative’s team.
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