Ramaswamy Iyer

Ramaswamy Iyer
India, China and the Brahmaputra tangle
India needs to be consistent in its approach towards its downstream neighbours while negotiating with its upstream neighbour China over the Bramhaputra's waters.
Posted on 19 Jul, 2015 09:22 PM

Recent news indicates that the Brahmaputra could be a bone of contention between two important countries in South Asia -- India and China. This is because there are unconfirmed but continuing and alarming reports in recent years on China's plans to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra northwards, potentially creating a water crisis in India since it is located downstream to China. 

The Brahmaputra (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Interlinking of rivers project: A disquieting judgement - Ramaswamy Iyer's perspective in the EPW on the recent Supreme Court decision
The Supreme Court judgement of 27 February 2012 directed the executive government to implement the river inter-linking project through a special committee which will take precedence over all other administrative bodies. In this article, first published in the Economic and Political Weekly, Ramaswamy Iyer explains why this backing of a 'potentially disastrous' project is disturbing. The article then calls for a reconsideration of this judgement.
Posted on 20 Apr, 2012 10:52 PM


1. Introduction
Two writ petitions were filed in 2002 on the subject of interlinking. The judgement finally passed in 2012 directs the implementation of this project. This judgement is disturbing for the following reasons:

Alternative National Water Policy: Ramaswamy Iyer's response to comments by Rahul Banerjee and Chetan Pandit in EPW
Ramaswamy Iyer responds to comments in EPW by Rahul Banerjee and Chetan Pandit on his alternative National Water Policy
Posted on 04 Feb, 2012 06:44 PM

Guest post: Ramaswamy R Iyer

This is in response to the comments made by Rahul Banerjee (“National Water Policy”, 13 August 2011) and Chetan Pandit (“Alternative National Water Policy: A Critique”, 10 September 2011) on my article “National Water Policy: An Alternative Draft for Consideration” (25 June 2011).

Epigrammatic Style

"It is necessary to move away from a project-based approach towards a holistic perspective": Report of the dialogue on mainstreaming river basin planning held from 9 to 11 August 2011 (New Delhi)
Posted on 03 Feb, 2012 11:35 AM

This three day dialogue workshop on 'Mainstreaming river basin planning' held from 9th to 11th August 2011 in New Delhi intended to bring together activists involved in dam movements and other social and environmental movements, civil society groups, experts in water resources management, environment, river basin planning, officials from all the relevant ministries and departments and others concerned. Selected invitees from South Asian countries were also invited for sharing their views on transboundary issues.

Map of the Teesta basin showing the various planned dams

India, Pakistan and water - Lecture by Ramaswamy Iyer at MIDS
This lecture by Ramaswamy Iyer delivered at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) highlights the conflicts over water sharing in India and Pakistan.
Posted on 12 Jan, 2012 10:57 PM

It traces the roots of the conflicts to the strained relations between India and Pakistan following the partition and the framing of the Indus Water Treaty in 1960.

Economic and Political Weekly 2011: Review of Agriculture (June 25 - July 8, 2011)
Review of AgricultureHalf a century ago, scholars first noticed that small farms in India demonstrated a higher per acre productivity than large farms. In the 21st century these farms still produce more per acre than large farms. We should be looking at making the most of the higher agricultural productivity on small landholdings.
Where earlier seed varieties were seen as a crucial input for Indian Agriculture, it is now water that has become a critical resource because of its over-exploitation and wasteful use on crop land. In the search for better ways to harvest and use water resources, there has been tendency to hark back to the past and look at small and localized systems, but we forget that the demographic settings then were different and we do not acknowledge the fact that the institutional settings of the time made for inequitable access.
AS the government grapples with modifying the 2002 National Water Policy, an independent effort is made to formulate a draft that looks at water use in all areas in a holistic manner. These and other articles in this review look at different aspects of Indian Agriculture.
Posted on 28 Jul, 2011 02:25 PM


Issue: VOL 46 No. 26 and 27 Jun 25 - July 08, 2011

Review of Agriculture

Irrigation in Telangana: The Rise and Fall of Tanks

Gautam Pingle

Briscoe on the Indus treaty - A response from Ramaswamy Iyer - Economic and Political Weekly
The paper supports and sheds light on the efforts made by India to reach a solution on water issues with Pakistan
Posted on 21 Jan, 2011 09:11 AM

This paper published in the Economic and Political Weekly, provides a critique of the writings by John Briscoe on the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty and argues that it is a biased and a one sided presentation of issues, which ridicules and ignores the attempts made by India at negotiating with Pakistan and reaching a peaceful agreement over the water issue.

"Towards Water Wisdom":New book by Ramaswamy Iyer
"Towards Water Wisdom":New book by Ramaswamy Iyer Posted on 04 Jul, 2007 10:55 AM

(Image is from the Sage Publications webpage listed below)


Limits, Justice, Harmony
RAMASWAMY R IYER : Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi