The Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory (C-PACT) at SNU is committed to research on a set of core themes: water, agriculture, health, land and heritage. A Masters Programme on Water Science and Policy is being launched by C-PACT, anchored in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS), as part its multi-disciplinary research on knowledge, governance and policy reforms on water. This will aim to be a first-of-its-kind programme globally. Few programmes across the world are able to incorporate the essential multi-disciplinary character of water. Fewer still deal with the urgent policy requirements of the sector. Our programme will seek to address both lacunae.
As the water crisis deepens by the day, the old 20th century solutions appear to be distinctly running out of steam. At the same time, there are new demands on water posed by rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. Conflicts over water, across uses, across town and country, and across industry and agriculture, have become more and more common. Addressing these new challenges requires a paradigm shift in water programs and policies. It also requires the creation of a large body of professionals with a 21st century understanding of water, its theoretical underpinnings and cutting edge solutions on the ground.
The main aim of the SNU Water Science and Policy Programme is to create a critical mass of water professionals with a historically and socially contextualised, multi-disciplinary perspective and understanding of water. These water professionals would guide development of sustainable and just 21st century policies, programmes and solutions to the growing water crisis.
All the four programmes offered will have a modular structure. The M.Sc. programme will be divided into four semesters as follows:
Semester One:– Basic Concepts: Multi-disciplinary introduction to the water cycle, organised around rivers, aquifers, watersheds, lakes & wetlands, ecosystem services and the historical, social, legal and institutional aspects of water.
Semester Two:- Problems and Applications: A critical assessment of programmes and policies on water in India since Independence, covering large dams, groundwater extraction, watershed development, flood man- agement, drinking water and sanitation, urban and industrial water, legal & institutional aspects of water in India, water conflicts, climate change and SDGs.
Semester Three:– 21st Century Solutions in Water: Students will move into the field to learn how India’s best water practitioners have evolved innovative, sustainable and equitable approaches to managing water across the country. Students will choose courses from a range of options, including traditional water harvest- ing & watershed management, participatory irrigation management, participatory groundwater management, rural drinking water & sanitation, sustainable non-chemical agriculture and water quality, nutrition & health.
Semester Four:–Dissertation: The dissertation will be a mandatory aspect of the two-year post-graduate pro- gramme. The dissertation will generally be field-based, with each student hosted at one of the field partners who are a part of the faculty. The subjects of Semester 3 will form the basis of selecting a dissertation topic.