India nationals: Irrigation Modernization Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment
The Support for Irrigation Modernization Program (SIMP) will assist India with embarking on an 
irrigation modernization program of its major and medium irrigation schemes (MMI). Irrigation 
modernization is the process of upgrading infrastructure, operations and management of irrigation 
systems to sustain the water delivery service requirements of farmers and optimize production and water 

SIMP proposes apply global best practices for modernizing MMI in India and achieving greater irrigation 
water use efficiency and crop water productivity. The main concept of the program is to support the 
states and center with improving modernization investments using national and international best 
practices to achieve a meaningful improvement in irrigated agriculture production in India. The strategy 
envisaged under the program is two tiered:

(i)  At the center level: (a) build awareness of WRD, RD & GR and states in subjects related to 
irrigation modernization – particularly the approach and tools that were developed under the studies 
mentioned above. The process would support defining strategic perspectives and options for irrigation 
modernization in water stressed basins to communicate on SIMP initiatives and support candidate states 
with preparing their MMI modernization plans; (b) strengthen design guidelines and streamline review and 
approval processes; and (c) incentivize the states to join the program by financing MMI modernization 
strategy and feasibility studies and providing trainings on irrigation modernization to WRD. 

(ii)  At the state level, SIMP will support candidate states with (a) building awareness of SIMP 
irrigation modernization practices and promote and explore candidate schemes; (b) preparing feasibility 
studies and irrigation modernization plans for specific irrigation schemes that will then assist the 
state’s with preparing their detailed project reports (DPRs); (c) on an as need basis (depending on the 
states’ knowledge of new irrigation modernization initiatives), providing expert advice during 
preparation of detailed designs and tender documents; and (d) assisting them with identifying financing 
for implementing the irrigation modernization plans. 

Scope of Work
SIMP will be implemented in a phased approach. This assignment is for the first phase that will 
establish a Central Irrigation Modernization Office (CIMO) under the Central Water Commission, WRD, RD & 
GR, Ministry of Jal Shakti. Specifically, this phase will finalize the SIMP concept and framework with 
WRD, RD & GR and initial participating states and convene a national workshop to discuss the program, 
prepare the detailed SIMP design and implementation schedule. For the knowledge and awareness programs 
on irrigation modernization, this phase will develop a program of events and study tours to benefit the 
CIMO, WRD, RD & GR and participating states (events and study tour will commence in a subsequent phase). 
This phase will also develop the strategy for supporting states with preparing their irrigation 
modernization plans and projects, promote SIMP to water-stressed states, and help identify about 3-4 
irrigation schemes as SIMP’s first batch for which the CIMO will guide the state in preparing irrigation 
modernization plans. The CIMO operating needs, including staffing and consultants based on the nature of 
the initial investment projects, will be identified and resourced.

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output
Activities to undertaken by the consultant are shown below. In general, the international specialist 
will take the lead and act as team leader for this first phase of activities. The national irrigation 
modernization specialist and institutions specialist will report to the international irrigation 
modernization specialist.

1.  Review terms of reference (TOR) and SIMP objectives to prepare workplan.
2.  Review existing literature (including NWUEISP and MFLW) and summarize and update good practices for 
3.  Review and summarize national and state policies relevant to irrigation development, modernization, 
operation and maintenance, increasing food production, farmer incomes and water use efficiency/crop 
water productivity. Undertake a SWOT analysis and highlight opportunities for improvement under SIMP.
4.  Explore national and state agencies, institutes and service providers that could support SIMP. 
Highlight opportunities for strengthening them and for them to participate in SIMP. Highlight any 
institutional gaps that SIMP could help address.
5.  Summarize and update typology of India's MMIs prepared under NWUEISP study, identifying prevailing 
issues, constraints to modernize and opportunities.
6.  Organize a national workshop to discuss irrigation modernization needs and SIMP objectives with 
interested states and central government agencies
7.  Facilitate workshop and report on its findings
8.  Develop initial project screening criteria for selection and prioritization of first batch of SIMP 
9.  With interested states, identify about 3-4 MMI irrigation schemes as SIMP’s first batch for which 
the CIMO will guide the state in preparing irrigation modernization plans following the framework.
10.  Develop the modernization framework of each MMI and identify initial studies and site 
investigations that will be required for preparing the first batch’s irrigation modernization plans.
11.  Prepare information package on SIMP for dissemination to participating states.
12.  Prepare schedule for preparing first batch irrigation modernization plans.
13.  Estimate CIMO’s operating budget for its first 3-5 years of operation including costs for staffing, 
consulting services, studies, surveys, travel, support staff and office operations.

Minimum Qualification Requirements
The specialists will have post-graduate civil engineering degree or similar, at least 15-years of 
experience of assessing the performance of MMI irrigation systems and preparing irrigation modernization 
plans, and preferably have considerable experience working in India or the region. All specialists will 
be responsible for: (i) managing client relationships with the government and ADB; (ii) conducting 
quality control of outputs from team members; (iii) preparing the necessary outputs; and (vi) supporting 
ADB missions.