About Memorial Events

Throughout his professional career, Girish made immense contributions to the energy sector, primarily to serve the interests of the poor and to improve governance of the sector to prevent gross inefficiencies, earning him respect and friendship from across the spectrum. He also motivated and mentored a large number of young researchers to work in energy policy and governance issues.
Several friends and well-wishers of Girish are initiating two activities in memory of Girish Sant, to further his work of independent analysis and advocacy to promote public interest issues in the energy sector. Both the initiatives would have young researchers as their primary target.

An annual lecture in memory of Girish Sant would be organized in Pune, where an eminent person from the energy or social sector would provide a public interest perspective of some interesting issue in the energy / development space (Note that this lecture would be different from the Girish Sant Memorial Lecture organized by IIT Bombay). The lecture would be organized in the first week of February each year, and targeted at young citizens who are interested in public interest matters, particularly in the energy and infrastructure area. Attempts would be made to increase the reach of the lecture through means such as webcasts etc., and also to produce a short booklet based on the lecture.
In order to encourage more young researchers to take up public interest oriented research in the energy sector, a one-year fellowship would be awarded to deserving candidates. Any young researcher desirous of pursuing energy research and advocacy activities in public interest can apply for the fellowship, and the fellowship award would be decided by the memorial management committee.
The activities would be managed by a small committee consisting of people from within and outside Prayas who shared Girish’s values and vision. The committee currently comprises of the following persons, and it is envisaged that its composition would change every two years or so.

  • Navroz Dubash, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi
  • Sharachchandra Lele, ATREE, Bengaluru
  • Sanjeevani Kulkarni, Prayas (Health group)
  • Shantanu Dixit, Prayas (Energy group), Pune
  • Ashok Sreenivas, Prayas (Energy group), Pune

Prayas (Energy group) will act as the secretariat for the committee and help in organizational matters. We envision that the funds to support these activities will come from individuals and foundations, not from corporations. A separate fund and bank account would be created within Prayas to manage the memorial activities. Friends and well-wishers desirous of knowing more about the memorial program to further Girish’s work and vision for the energy sector are requested to contact any of the committee members or write to energy@prayaspune.org

Past Activities & Events

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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