In spite of substantial investment by the Government of India, the country's irrigation and drainage sector finds itself plagued with numerous concerns. The current productivity and efficiency levels, as well as economic returns, are all lower than expected. In light of the growing stress on natural resources and the threat of climatic change, meeting the needs of its growing population poses a huge challenge. To enhance the sector's performance, the central and state governments of India are now looking to decentralize the sector's management and seek collaboration with the private sector. This report is the result of a scoping investigative study initiated by the Asian Development Bank to explore the potential for public–private partnerships in the irrigation and drainage sector in India. It identifies the areas where private sector participation can be envisaged in consonance with the current national policy framework; examines the legal and institutional status, and presence of national and international best practices; and suggests public-private partnerships models appropriate to Indian conditions.