The first hydro power station in India was commissioned in 1897 at Darjeeling by the local municipality; its purpose was to light the town (a project still operational today). The pace of power development in the pre-independence times (before 1947) was slow. At the time of independence, India had a generating capacity of 1362MW, out of which hydro constituted 508MW. As years past, the share of hydro power rose steadily to 50.62% by 1963. The increase in hydro capacity up to this year was due to the accelerated development of river valley multi-purpose projects, primarily for irrigation with the incidental benefit of power generation. The pace of development which had picked up in the first few decades since independence slackened later on, primarily due to long gestation periods (Gangopadhyaya, 2005).

The country has a hydro potential of about 150,000MW in terms of installed capability. In addition, the potential for pumped storage has been assessed as 93,920MW, along with an assessed prospective of 6782MW for small hydro schemes. Thus an aggregate potential of 249,403MW exists in India (Gangopadhyaya, 2005). However, the actual current operational installed capacity is about 30,135MW. Indian hydro plants generated 73,796GWh in 2003/2004 (13.2% of national electricity).

As per the planned capacity addition plan framed by the government of India, it is expected that by the end of the XI plan (2007-2012), the energy mix will be 67.4% thermal, 29% hydro power and 3.6% nuclear and others.

About 400 schemes with a combined potential of 100,000MW are yet to be developed in India. Recently, the Prime Minister launched a ‘50,000MW hydroelectric initiative’, in addition to the ongoing projects. Under this programme, a pre-feasibility report for 162 new hydro projects across 16 Indian states with a proposed capacity of over 50,000MW are to be implemented by the end of the 12th Five year plan in 2017 (Indian National Hydropower Association).

Educational programme

• The University of Roorkee has offered education and training in Hydro Power Planning since 1997. Two centres at the university, the Water Resources Development Training Centre (WRDTC) and the Alternate Hydro Energy Centre (AHEC) are actively offering education and training in this area. For many years, WRDTC has been running a programme in which the participants may either complete their studies in 10 months or stay on for a further six months to obtain a Masters degree. The Masters course Alternate Hydro Energy Systems is being implemented at the Alternate Hydro Energy Centre, where it also offers an Master of Technology in hydraulics under the department of Civil Engineering (IEA Technical Report, 2000).

• The National Institute of Technology, Warangal, has a Master of Technology in Water Resources Engineering under its department of Civil Engineering; this is further divided into the more specific Water and Environment division. The broad areas of expertise available in the Water and Environment division are: Hydrologic Modelling; Water Resources System Planning and Management; Watershed Management; Water Distribution Systems; Irrigation Management; Design of Waste Water Treatment Plans; Air Pollution; Solid Waste Management; Urban Storm Water Modelling; Digital Simulation of Aquifers; Quality Analysis of Water and Waste Water; Environmental Impact Assessment; GIS Applications; and Noise Pollution.

• Anna University, under the College of Engineering, offers a Masters programme in hydrology and water resource engineering and a part time Masters in Energy Engineering.

• Jamia Millia Islamia University has a bachelor’s degree in Technology with a special emphasis on Water Resource Engineering, and a diploma in Hydraulics under the department of Civil Engineering.

• The University of Delhi offers a Master of Engineering in Hydraulics and Flood Engineering, run under the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

• The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, offers Master of Technology and PhDs in Water Resource under the department of Civil Engineering.

• The Indian Institute of Technology, Karagpur, offers an Master of Technology in Water Resource Engineering with a duration of two years, run under the department of Civil Engineering. The institute also indulges in research work in the field of Water Resource and Environment Engineering.

• Guwahati’s Indian Institute of Technology teaches a Master of Technology programme in Water Resources, introduced in 2003. This course is conducted by the Water Resources section of the Civil Engineering department. Under a PhD programme, it has an option for students to take research work in Hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering.

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