Girish Sant Memorial Annual Lecture 2014

The Second Girish Sant Memorial Annual Lecture titled "Innovating technologies for the poorest 2 billion" was delivered by Dr. Ashok Gadgil in an event held at S M Joshi Sabhagruha in Pune, on Saturday, February 8, 2014.

The annual lecture revolved around the issues related to developing technology that can help improve the lives of the poor. It drew from Prof. Gadgil’s experience of developing such technology around the world such as cook-stoves for the internally displaced people in Darfur. It also touched upon issues such as the role of Government and policy makers in enabling such technology development and its deployment to really benefit the poor.

The presentation used for the lecture can be downloaded here. The lecture can be viewed below:

Dr. Gadgil is the Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, US. He has been a friend of Prayas for a long time, and the relationship goes back to the supporting role he played in the initial days when Prayas was being set up.

Prof. Gadgil is the Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, US. He is a well-known inventor, innovator and scientist focusing on using technology to better peoples’ lives. Prof. Gadgil is the recipient of many awards and honours. Some of these awards and honours are:

  • The European Inventor Award in the non-European category in 2011 for UVWaterWorks, their cost-effective solution to water purification
  • The Lifetime Award for the 2012 Zayed Future Energy Prize for his sustained humanitarian effort in Darfur by providing energy efficient cookstoves cutting firewood needs by 55%
  • Being elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2013, one of the highest honours in the Engineering profession
  • The 5th Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water - Creativity Prize for inventing an effective treatment for arsenic contamination of groundwater

Prof. Gadgil has a M.Sc. in Physics from IIT, Kanpur and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

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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