Bhopal: “Water conservation is the biggest challenge before India,” said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, while addressing the eighth convocation of Indian Institute of Forest Management here on Monday.

Urging youths to participate in the cause, he said that the younger generation has more intense ideas.

“Young people should visit the website of Planning Commission to contribute their ideas so that while making new plans, these ideas can be taken up for effective solutions,” he said. 

Emphasising on to recharge the water resources, he said, “Institutes like IIFM by introducing water conservation courses along with forest conservation can help the newer generation”.

He added, “Our country’s population has multiplied in the past few years but water crisis is still the leading problem. Without the proper water supply we cannot accelerate our GDP.”

Talking about the efficiency of IIFM, Ahluwalia said that he would meet Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, to see what can be done to achieve the development process.

He said that water conservation is also related to forest development. Elaborating on the issue, he said, “Forest development is also very crucial as trees help in combating the harmful emissions of carbon.”

No to gowns

On the occasion of the eighth convocation of IIFM, Ahluwalia was seen in casuals. Talking about his dress he said, “I am in a habit of dressing according to the season and really like the tastes of south Indians in this matter.”

Jairam Ramesh was also scheduled to participate in the function, but he could not make it to the event. Earlier on the occasion of seventh IIFM convocation, Jairam Ramesh also kept aside the gown, calling it an act of enslavement to the old school.

The mood was witnessed in this convocation too as all students were spotted wearing white shirts and saris.

Students of the sessions of 2009-2011 and 2008-2010 of PGDFM (Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management) were awarded degrees on the occasion.

Eighteen girl students out of seventy students were awarded with diploma certificates. Though boys were more in numbers, gold and silver medals went to the girls.