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ND GulhatiLate President Honoraire N.D. Gulhati (India) has been called as `the father’ of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). Mr. Gulhati was an eminent Civil Engineer, India’s principal negotiator on the Indus Water Treaty (1960), and a Water Resources Consultant to the United Nations Institutions, like - IDA, ESCAP and the World Bank. Late Mr. N.D. Gulhati had dedicated his entire professional life to the development of irrigation engineering and conceived and implemented the concept of an International Commission for ensuring international cooperation on advancing the world knowledge in the fields of irrigation, drainage, and flood management. He was the recipient of India’s prestigious award “Padma Bhushan” presented by the President of India for his distinguished services of a high order.


Late President Honoraire N.D. Gulhati was born in Lahore (now in Pakistan) on 15 November 1904. He took his technical education at the Thomson College of Civil Engineering, Roorkee (now Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee) and passed out with honours in 1926. He was appointed to the Indian Service of Engineers in October 1927 and posted to the Irrigation Branch of the Public Works Department, Punjab. From August 1945 to March 1949, he was Secretary of the Central Board of Irrigation and Power.


In 1950 he was responsible, as the Chief of the Natural Resources Division in the Planning Commission, Government of India, for initiating proposals relating to the development of irrigation and power, soil conservation and mineral development in the First Five-Year Plan. He was made Chief Engineer and Joint Secretary in 1953 and Additional Secretary to Government of India in 1958. From 1952 until the lndus Waters Treaty was concluded in 1960 (and ratified in 1961), Mr. Gulhati was lndia's Chief Representative on the Indus Waters negotiations conducted under the aegis of IBRD. He represented India in many international engineering conferences. 

He was awarded the high distinction of "PADMA BHUSHAN" by the President of India in 1961 "for distinguished services of a high order".


After retirement President Honoraire Gulhati worked as Water Resources Consultant to many State Governments in India and as Consultant to IBRD (1963), as Consultant to the International Development Association (1963-1973), and as Consultant to United Nations (Economic Commission for Asia and Far East, now ESCAP) in 1969.


He has been rightly called the "Father" of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, as it was he who conceived this organization. The proposal of setting up of the Commission was mooted to the Government of India by him in 1946. The Commission was set up in the year 1950 and Mr. Gulhati was elected as its first Secretary General. He served ICID as founder Secretary General from 1950 to 1957, as Vice President from 1957 to 1960, and as President from 1960 to 1963.


Besides engineering and scientific papers contributed to the national institutes (e.g. Punjab Engineering Congress; Institution of Engineers, India) and the American Society of Civil Engineers, Mr. Gulhati had some 20 books and publications to his name.


Mr. Gulhati was always amongst the foremost supporters of ICID and did everything possible to promote the objects of ICID. He was the founder Editor of the ICID Bulletin. He was responsible for getting the land for the office building of the Central Office of the Commission in the prestigious Diplomatic Enclave. His mature leadership, dynamic personality and diplomatic and adroit handling of all matters won him universal respect and endearment with all the members of the International Executive Council.


N.D. Gulhati @ WIKIPEDIA




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