Girish Sant Memorial Annual Event, 2020

A Panel Discussion on
Understanding Climate change through health prism -  focus on Maharashtra

Venue: Bal Shikshan Mandir, Kothrud, Pune
Saturday, February 22, 2020
6 to 8.30 pm

In the recent past, occurrences of erratic weather events have risen, causing severe losses to the economy and overall wellbeing of individuals. More often, the occurrence of such extreme weather events has been attributed to climate change. There is little deliberation on the impending impacts of climate change in India on overall health of individuals and responses of health systems to such changes. The panel discussion provided an opportunity to get a more nuanced understanding of health vulnerabilities arising out of climate change trends and deliberate upon adaptive responses.

This year we had distinguished panellists with expertise in climate science, health policy and health systems. Together with the panellists we had discussions around understanding climate change and its implications on the health sector, nature of disease burden and population that would be worst affected, role of governments and preparedness of health systems and finally how climate science and predictions can help in better planning and managing adaptive responses of the health systems.

Following is a video recording of the discussion. More information on the panelists is provided below.

More about the panelists

  Dr. Abhay Shukla is a public health physician, who has been working on health issues in collaboration with people’s movements and grassroots NGOs in Western India since over two decades. He is Senior Programme Coordinator at Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives (SATHI) Pune, along with being a member of the National Health Mission Advisory Group for Community Action (AGCA), as well as having membership of the Core group on Health of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He has co-edited and co-authored multiple books on health systems and health care in India.
  Dr. Anand Bang is a Johns Hopkins University graduate is currently working with the Tata Trusts as Adviser Health, helping to shape the health strategy of the Trusts. He was an Honorary Advisor, Health to the CM of Maharashtra. He has been involved with the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH) of Maharashtra since 2006. He has worked as a Senior Consultant with the National Health Systems Resource Center, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India.
  Dr. Gufran Beig is a meteorologist and scientist-G at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. He has identified important anthropogenic climate change signals in the upper atmosphere and made reliable estimate of the role of atmospheric chemistry on regional climate change. He is the first Indian Citizen to win the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO, United Nations) Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award. He also has many peer-reviewed research papers and publications in reputed journals to his credit.

Memorial Activities

Girish Sant Memorial Annual Event, 2021

A Panel Discussion on

Energy: Taxes and Transition

The energy sector, and in particular, fossil fuels are a significant contributor to the overall revenue of India’s central and state governments. For example, the GST Compensation Cess, which started in 2010-11 with a cess of ₹50/ton on all coal has kept increasing over the years and now stands at ₹400/ton. Further, governments have traditionally depended heavily on taxes from petrol and diesel, and recent increases in excise and VAT further demonstrate this. Roughly 60-70% of the final prices of diesel and petrol respectively are made up of taxes. The total contribution to public tax revenue from taxes on coal, petroleum & natural gas, and electricity sectors amounted to about ₹6 lakh crores out of a total revenue of about ₹34 lakh crores in 2018-19. The taxes on energy sectors contributed 25% of the total tax revenue of the Centre, and 13% of the total tax revenue to the states. Since many energy sources are outside GST, these taxes cannot be offset. Moreover, since the bulk of the tax revenues from the energy sector accrue from fossil fuels, the inevitable energy transition away from fossil fuels towards renewables and electric mobility will have a significant impact on public tax revenues.

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