IIT Kharagpur plays leadership role in advancing renewable energy in rural India

IIT Kharagpur (KGP) the premier institute of technology and the country’s think-tank take the initiative to advance the use of renewable energy in rural India

Online PR News – 12-March-2010 – – Kolkata, March 10, 2010: IIT Kharagpur (KGP) the premier institute of technology and the country’s think-tank take the initiative to advance the use of renewable energy in rural India. IIT KGP has been working on Bioenergy research for several decades now and with the recent launch of the PK Sinha Center for BioEnergy (PKSCB), the institute today conducted a symposium on Energy for the powerless: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, on the occasion of the fifth year celebration of the Entrepreneurship Cell at IIT KGP.

With the growing changes in technology revolutionizing the lifestyle of the rural masses in India, the PKSCB in its endeavor to promote bioenergy is harnessing the potential of young minds and encouraging entrepreneurship in this direction. While the urban success story of India is still being penned down, the young IITians are working toward the development and betterment of the rural masses. Known for their technological prowess, IIT KGP has the unique advantage of deploying this skill to enhance the life of these rural masses along with promoting entrepreneurship. PKSCB is currently exploring ways to adopt a few villages around the campus in order to help make them self-sufficient and sustainable, energywise.

The center brought together an eminent panel of distinguished members, who encouraged students to emulate their success stories through a knowledge-sharing session that was filled with enthusiasm and excitement from both students and panelists. The panel consisted of Dr. SP Gon Chowdhury, MD, West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited, Gyanesh Pandey, CEO, Husk Power Systems – the company that has recently created waves for their innovative technology of producing electricity from rice husk, Anish Thakkar, Co-Founder and Director, Greenlight Planet Inc. – who has successfully combined cutting-edge technology with innovative distribution networks to commercialize low-power LED solar lanterns for rural India and Dr. Prabha Kant Sinha, Founder & Co-Chairman, ZS Associates.
According to Dr. SP Gon Chowdhury, MD, West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited, “Energy is the key input for socio-economic development of a nation. The fast industrialization and rapid urbanization besides mechanized farming have generated a high demand for energy in all forms, be it thermal, mechanized or electrical. With fossil fuels having been exploited in an unsustainable manner the need of the hour is to develop alternate sources of energy that are not only sustainable but also eco-friendly”. He also welcomed the initiative IIT KGP is taking to develop alternate energy sources and sensitize young minds to the need of the hour.

With both Gynesh Pandey and Anish Thakkar sharing their experiences and answering questions for an invigorated student body, the session was exciting and educating for students opting for entrepreneurship. Said Gyanesh Pandey, CEO, Husk Power Systems, “The power to empower lies in the simplicity of the solution to complex problems while creating socio-economic value for the rural masses and at the same time creating entrepreneurship with focus on sustainable solutions.”

Dr. Prabhakant Sinha, Founder & Co-Chairman, ZS Associates, who joined the seminar through a video conferencing from Chicago, added, “While the center is focused on creating India specific bioenergy solutions it is also keen on using its knowledge base and putting it into action through products, services and business solutions. With the aim of becoming a hub for researchers and industry to gather and share knowledge and information, the PKSCB is excited to facilitate the symposium and looks forward to other initiative of the kind in the future”. Dr. Sinha encouraged youngsters towards entrepreneurship while pointing out the need for inclusive growth and creating value for the bottom of the pyramid.

The symposium ended with young IITians like Sourav Das (winner of Eureka – Business Plan competition of Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Bombay) and Manoj Mandelia (honoured at MIT’s EmTech 2010 where he was the youngest innovator on the list) sharing their plans for entrepreneurship and their dreams to make rural India self-sufficient and sustainable.

About PK Sinha Center for BioEnergy, IIT KGP:
‘PK Sinha Center for BioEnergy’ at IIT KGP, India’s first integrated bioenergy center, is envisioned to accelerate research, education and innovation in the important field of bioenergy. It brings interdisciplinary expertise of IIT Kharagpur faculty to bear, and establish collaborations in India and around the world. This center provides a unique opportunity to apply an integrated and collaborative approach to solve energy, climate change and economic challenges.

About Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur: started in 2005, is a student body which promotes entrepreneurship and innovation among students of IIT and other engineering college, nourishing student ideas to profitable business ventures. It facilitates enterprise formation through various bplan competition, VC and Angel investors forum and strategy consulting. With wide array of industry stalwarts E-Cell provides round the year inspiration through guest lectures, summit and workshops. In short our motto is THINK BIG START SMALL. The cell has helped setup about 20 successful startup companies in the last five years.