Hyderabad: IIT Madras' International Centre for Clean Water (ICCW), a centre of excellence dedicated to research and development of clean water technologies and incubating startups celebrated its second anniversary on Thursday through an online event. The centre was launched on World Earth Day, which is observed every year on 22 April.

To mark this occasion, the ICCW launched a music video titled 'Rivers of India' to promote awareness about river conservation. It was created by IIT Madras alumnus awardee Dr Kanniks Kannikeswaran and featured prominent singers including 'Bombay' Jayashri, Amrit Ramnath, Sai Shravanam, Kaushiki Chakraborty and Rishith Desikan.

ICCW is working with startups to develop technologies, which, when implemented, have the potential to save millions of litres of groundwater every year. Further, ICCW is also working with the Tamil Nadu government's data centre and postgraduate students of Stella Maris College, Chennai, to map the groundwater quality of the city as a pilot project.

Addressing the celebrations virtually, Dr Shekhar C. Mande, director-general, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), said, "The total water available on earth is 1,360,000,000 km3, of which 97.2 percent is ocean water. Freshwater availability is only 0.02 percent of total water available. The total amount of freshwater usable for humans is really tiny. This actually highlights the importance of the conservation of water. It is our collective duty."

Appreciating the "phenomenal work" being done by Prof T. Pradeep, Dr Shekhar Mande, added, "Water is extraordinarily important. It is good to see IITs efforts in all fronts, not only in generating the next level of human resources and extraordinary translational work."

One in three people globally lack access to safe drinking water. According to a recent report by the United Nations, nearly 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home. In its mission to ensure clean drinking water for people, ICCW has been developing sustainable technologies and taking them to affected communities with commensurate behaviour change activities.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras, said, "IIT Madras research park is a place where several companies have set up their research centres and collaborate with IIT Madras. It is a place where we incubate all our startups and also a place where some of these translational research centres have been set up, including the ICCW. Such efforts to take ideas more quickly to the market and the field have benefitted a lot from the IIT Madras research park."

Funded by HT Parekh Foundation and inaugurated by Mr Deepak Parekh on April 22, 2019, the ICCW is the brainchild of Prof. T. Pradeep, a Padma Shri Awardee and Institute Professor, IIT Madras. This 21,000 sqft-centre has been established at IIT Madras Research Park and has seven exclusive laboratories dedicated to sustainable clean water technologies. It collaborates closely with the industry as well as academia.

The ICCW focuses on clean water implementation projects through sustainable means, effluent management, cutting-edge research and community welfare programmes in partnership with various governments, co-operatives, NGOs, and corporates. US-based companies Marmon Group and Buckman Laboratories are consortia members of ICCW.

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