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Social Enterprise

“Ministries are not making very informed decisions,” Prof. A K Gosain, INRM

Brinda Lakshmi
27th Sep 2012
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It’s been 6 years since the documentary – The Inconvenient Truth was made. The climate has been changing even more rapidly since then. This year’s monsoon season has seen a major slide in rainfall levels throughout the country leading to a momentary consternation. Invariably, we don’t worry as long as our resources are in abundance. But when it is low in supply, we don’t have enough to continue our misuse and there begins the problem. In many areas in our country, resource availability is lower than the increasing demand. The time has come for scientists to guide them in better management of their resources.

“People from the government are not enough to assess the situation. You also need other people who can contribute. I belong to civil engineering, specifically water resources engineering. I also felt that if you need to put a good group of people together to do this, then you need to have a business plan that will keep the interested people with the organization making it sustainable. That’s how INRM was born,” shares A.K.Gosain, Professor of Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi.

Sensing this need almost 12 yrs ago, in 1999, Prof. A. K. Gosain along with Dr. Sandhya Rao (Ph.D., in groundwater modeling from IIT Delhi) and R. Srinivasan (Professor & Director, Spatial Sciences Laboratory, A&M University System, Texas, USA) decided to start Integrated Natural Resources Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (INRM). INRM is from the first batch of startups from IIT Delhi’s TBIU. The work INRM does in IIT Delhi is research on hydrological modeling. It is mainly concerned with what is the fate of precipitation in different areas that ends up forming the river bodies. How they formulate river systems and what happens to them? While most of the assessment parameters are certain, there are also some crucial uncertainties and INRM works on assessing these conditions.

INRM has been involved in several projects since its inception which have the potential of impacting the society positively. The results and recommendations have either helped significantly in guiding Action Plans and Policies or shall help the same in the future. A few of their projects include, Strategic Assessment of the Ganges (a World Bank Commissioned Project), Climate Change Impact and Adaptation of Coastal Cities Study: The Case of Kolkata, Assessment of Vulnerability & Adaptation for Water Sector, and Modelling Railway Track Alignment between Birganj & Katmandu in Nepal.

INRM has a team of nine full time working professionals. Consultants from various institutions like IITs, IIMA, IISc, IMI Kolkata, CWSTRI Dehradun etc. also work closely and chip in as independent experts depending on the various project requirements. Interestingly, INRM began without taking any loans or funding. “We took no loan. We started with no money. We have survived so far. We are not funded at all. We took a limited number of projects. We didn’t run after volume. Most people who have joined are people who have worked with me in some project or the other at IIT”, shares Prof. A.K.Gosain. Even after 12 years, INRM does not spend on marketing. Their business has grown purely on word of mouth based on the quality of their work over the years.

As for the vision of INRM, their focus will be to provide their services to the resources sector where they see a need for support. “Ministries are not making very informed decisions. A lobby shouldn’t be able to shout a few slogans and say something is not working and the government stops it. Can we prove that the government initiated measures are feasible? ”, asks Prof.A.K.Gosain. Apart from that, they also plan to build an advisory resource repository for farmers in an accessible manner. INRM will also keep working to cope with current requirements to give the society options letting them know that information is available.

Check out INRM’s website to find out more about their work.

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