New Delhi: The winners of the Sumant Sinha Sustainability Leadership Award, instituted jointly by the Sumant Sinha ReNew Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Energy & Environment and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD), were felicitated in a ceremony held at the IIT Delhi campus on Tuesday, 27th November, 2018. The CoE was set up in IIT Delhi in the year 2017 to promote clean energy-related research and foster regular exchange of ideas between industry, academia and policy makers to accelerate adoption of renewable energy. The Sustainability Leadership Award was instituted earlier this year to recognize demonstrated action and exemplary leadership by students of IIT Delhi with respect to climate change/sustainability/ environmental issues – with a view to enhance awareness and interest amongst students about this key issue.
To mark this occasion, ReNew Power and IIT Delhi organized a Sustainability Leadership Dialogue wherein the Chief Guest, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Additional Secretary (Technical Education) and Chief Vigilance Officer, Ministry of Human Resource Development gave away the award to the winners. Post evaluation of a total 20 nominations, the selection committee comprising of senior Professors from IIT Delhi and representatives from ReNew Power Ltd., two teams of IITD students – the Green Warriors and the Climate Crusaders – were declared winners. The Green Warriors were chosen for excellent work done in the area of segregation, management and efficient use of waste while the Climate Crusaders were recognized for their efforts in raising awareness about different types of pollution and steps taken to curb this. The winners were felicitated with a cash prize of Rs. 75,000 and a trophy for their contributions.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Sandhu drew attention to the importance of protecting our environment against over exploitation and pointed out that the MHRD has been funding and driving a rising number of R&D projects to help preserve the environment. Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director IITD, informed about his plans to make IITD a ‘zero waste’ campus by 2020 and also shared that the campus generates 2 MW of power from renewables with an additional 1 MW in the pipelines.
Mr. Sumant Sinha, Chairman & MD, ReNew Power Ltd, said, “Humanity will be doing itself a great disservice if it opts for a carbon heavy, fossil fuel dependent growth path as it harms the environment. It is now clear that renewables driven energy is the way forward for the world at large. The biggest challenge today is better grid management so it can absorb more renewable energy and hence, this is the current focus area of the CoE at IITD.”
The ceremony concluded with an engaging panel discussion on the theme ‘Strengthening and promoting industry – academia collaboration for sustainability’, moderated by Ms. Vaishali Nigam Sinha – Chief Sustainability, Communication and CSR Officer, ReNew Power with panelists including Mr. Amit Jain – Renewable Energy Specialist with the World Bank, eminent professors from IITD and senior executives from ReNew Power. Varun Sivaram, CTO, ReNew Power, summarized the discussion and said, “Universities and industry are natural partners to conduct both basic and applied R&D, spanning from invention to commercialization. Leading universities like Stanford, Columbia, and IIT Delhi have pioneered innovative models to foster industry cooperation and harness interdisciplinarity to solve real-world problems.”