GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

An Indo-US project has spurred Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to develop a web-based system to monitor the “health” of the Ganga. The project has been jointly sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).


  1. The low-cost, multi-parameter, water quality monitor named Niracara Svayamsasita Vedh Shala (NSVS) consists an array of sensors and auto sampler on a stationary platform, which is semi-submersible, all-weather, robust and perfectly stable.
  2. The “Aquatic Autono­mous Observatory” would enable in situ monitoring, real-time data transmission and web-based visualisation of Ganga, IIT Kanpur said.
  3. The new system has now been installed at the Laxman Ghat on the banks of the Ganga in Bithoor, a town in Kanpur.
  4. With its large riverine network, India battles frequent floods, foam-filled toxic water bodies, unexpected rise in water levels, polluted rivers and so on, impacted by global warming and human activity.

How will it work?

  1. The NSVS system can sense three parameters namely, pH (a scale to measure acidity/alkalinity), conductivity and dissolved oxygen capacity of water.
  2. This can be further utilised to estimate total dissolved solid, specific gravity and presence of metallic ions in water.
  3. It also autonomously collects data every 15 minutes and reports it through a wireless network to the institute.
  4. For self-sustenance, the platform is equipped with energy harvesting systems comprising solar cells and a Vortex Induced Vibration system that can extract energy from the flow of river.