The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur will establish the ‘Chandrakanta Kesavan Centre for Energy Policy and Climate Solutions’ to assist policymakers and technologists with practical solutions to the problems of climate change. The aim of the centre will be to spearhead the development of technology and policy solutions to help combat climate change.
An agreement to establish this center was signed on July 15 between IIT Kanpur and Sudhakar Kesavan, an alumnus of the Class of 1976 from IIT Kanpur. The Centre is named in memory of his mother Dr Chandrakanta Kesavan. She received her PhD in Acoustical Physics from Allahabad University in 1942, was a Fulbright post-doctoral scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and worked as a pioneering acoustical engineer and administrator at All India Radio, India’s national broadcaster. Kesavan has pledged USD 2.5 million for supporting various activities of the centre.
The centre also aims to conduct a master’s programme with a specialisation in Energy Technology and Policy, e-masters in Energy Technology, Economics and Policy for working professionals.
The centre will be an autonomous organisation within IIT Kanpur and will work closely with the Department of Sustainable Energy Engineering. It will focus on policy, communications, education, and outreach efforts aimed at implementing technology and science-based solutions in the country at large, outside the academic world.
The center will become a platform to bring eminent academics, technologists, researchers, and policymakers from across the world together to discuss and address these issues, IIT Kanpur said.
At the launch of the center, Kesavan said, “I believe that the Centre will be the preferred space for those seeking solutions and advice on matters related to energy technology, adoption strategies as well as policy and climate issues pertaining to decarbonization.”
Prof Ashish Garg, Head of the Department of Sustainable Energy Engineering will serve as the first centre coordinator. “To demonstrate IIT Kanpur’s commitment to sustainable growth I have asked the Centre to develop a plan for IIT Kanpur to become carbon neutral within the next five years. The Centre’s broader aim is to develop low carbon solutions, provide the knowledge to build an appropriate policy framework, and engage with various stakeholders to help mitigate the challenges caused by climate change, towards attaining sustainable living. The center will also act as the resource hub for policymakers and technologists,” said Prog Garg.
After graduating with BTech degree in Chemical Engineering, Kesavan went on to complete his PGDM from IIM Ahmedabad and an MS from the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. He served as chairman and CEO of ICF International Inc for over 20 years.