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Polite noises: Budget lacks a renewable energy vision
The Hindu Business Line, 21 July 2014
General budget presented by the Union Finance Minister has many positives for renewable energy sector, particularly for solar photovoltaic, wind, and biomass fields. While a total sum of 1,000 crore has been proposed for solar energy projects, a slew of fiscal benefits are accorded to wind and biogas. While these certainly are welcome steps, what is lacking is a ‘vision’ about Indian renewable energy sector. This is especially disappointing after the Prime Minister’s declaration of making India a global force. From that perspective, absence of substantial budgetary allocations for indigenous R&D in renewable energy is inexplicable. Just for comparison, estimated budget for R&D in the atomic energy at 3,430 crore is close to the total budget for Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which is estimated to be 3,941 crore. Likewise, the budget proposes piece-meal measures such as reduction in custom duties. However, a holistic push to make India a ‘renewable energy manufacturing hub’ is missing. Stay competitive In this era of global competition, only way the domestic industry could grow is by remaining competitive in every which way. Protection measures like anti-dumping duties, at best are, Band-Aid solutions only. Instead technology collaboration, upgradation, and economies of scale are the need of the day. It was expected, therefore, that the budget would propose specific schemes and impetus for the renewable energy manufacturing industry. Even budgetary allocations for solar energy indicate some sort of tokenism. For instance, 500 crore has been allocated for Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Laddakh. Earlier, for such a project at Sambar Lake in Rajasthan, it was estimated that 7,500 crore would be required to set up 1000 MW capacity in the first phase. Sure, lots of this would come as private investments, but infrastructure development for solar parks of this scale itself would entail an investment of substantially higher level. Considering that financing of renewable energy projects, especially for the smaller projects, has been one of the key impediments to accelerated uptake of renewable energy in the country, a dedicated fund on the lines of 10,000 crore fund for MSMEs for providing equity, quasi equity, soft loans and other risk capital would have gone a long way in addressing this important issue. For energy innovations While the Clean Energy Cess on coal is proposed to increase from 50 per tonne to 100 per tonne, expanding the scope of National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) to ‘financing and promoting clean environment initiatives’ and funding research in the area of clean environment would have wider implications. NCEF has hardly supported any research project in the field of clean energy. With financing of projects also becoming its mandate, it would be used more as an extra-budgetary source for meeting routine requirements. Moreover, mandating NCEF to promote clean ‘environment initiatives’ would make it more of a generic fund, thereby deviating widely from its originally envisaged focus on clean ‘energy’ innovations. It would also be useful if other initiatives such as National Rural Livelihood Mission, Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and Rural Infrastructure Development Fund are designed in more integrated fashion, making renewable energy one of their central architectural elements- Amit Kumar The writer is on the faculty of Teri University (This article was published on July 20, 2014)

Coca-Cola, TERI University fund water management schooling in India
The Daily Star , 20 July 2014
Beverage giant Coca-Cola has established a department on water studies at India's TERI University in a bid to tackle the challenges regarding water sustainability. The Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies also aims to help scientifically manage water resources in India with the help of research and development as well as build capability for various stakeholders who can influence policy and implement research effectively. It will examine water issues in an interdisciplinary framework, bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions towards a better, holistic approach to water management. The department is supported by funds from the Coca-Cola Foundation and TERI University, said Asim Parekh, vice-president of Coca-Cola's India and Southwest Asia Business Unit. Freshwater is a subject of immediate attention and concern across the world. “All of us need to come together to address these issues.” Parekh said Coca-Cola by establishing the department is trying to create a centre of excellence that will provide people that have the right skill set to address all the issues regarding freshwater. The department will provide MTech, MSc, post-graduate diploma, PhD and a certificate course. The courses are open to students and professionals who are graduates or equivalent from any branch of engineering. Postgraduates from environmental science, physics, mathematics, statistics, chemistry, geology, atmospheric science, economics and geography can also apply. Parekh said the partnership brings together the golden triangle of government, business and civil society with academia. “We hope that this department will lead in the field of water governance.” “Coca-Cola believes that through this partnership with TERI University, we can contribute to the creation of human resource capital in the area of water management as well as help in research and development on water management.” In the first phase, the Atlanta-based company will be supporting the department with an endowment of $750,000. Parekh thinks 21st century business entities must create shared value for shareholders, stakeholders and local communities, as the problems that the world now faces are too large for any single entity to solve. “As a leading business organisation, we consider it our responsibility to play a role in issues of water management, sustainable packaging and sustainable agriculture.”

Water world: TERI University invests in regional water studies
India Today (Aspire) , 8 July 2014
TERI University, based in New Delhi, is well known as a centre for creating thought leadership in the feild of sustainable development. This year, it has teamed up with the Coca-Cola Foundation to address a crucial lacunae in the management of India's water resources. The effective utilisation and conservation of water resources may be one of the most critical issues for India but there is a shocking lack of trained personnel to engage in long term planning. In 2012, the National Water Policy, issued by the Union Ministry of Water Resources highlighted this as an area of concern, saying that the lack of 'adequate trained personnel for scientific planning, utilising modern techniques and analytical capabilities constrains good water management'. It points to the absence of a holistic approach toward water management and adds that public agencies responsible for making water-related decisions rarely consult with stakeholders, often resulting in poor and unreliable service. It is to address this shortfall that TERI University, in association with the Coca Cola Foundation, has launched the Coca-Cola Department of Regional Water Studies. The department will examine water issues in an interdisciplinary framework, bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions towards a better, holistic approach to water management. The programme aims to develop a cadre of young professionals who can scientifically manage water resources with new technology and can influence policy decisions. Some of the core courses that will be offered will include courses on water law and policy, water quality monitoring and assessment, water and sustainability science, water planning and management as well as water economics and financial management to water disasters: management and planning. Depending on the candidate's area of study and degree type, specified courses that will be offered include courses on applied hydrology, industrial pollution control, water audit and demand management, wetland conservation and management, integrated watershed and river basin management etc. Students can apply to either an MTech or an MSc two-year, full time degree programme in Water Science and Governance. In addition to the two year full time course, candidates will also have an option of registering for a one year PG Diploma programme or a six month certificate programme in either MTech or MSc. Applications for these programmes are now open and will be received at TERI University, 10 Institutional Area, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi until 16 June 2014. The University will take in batch of 30 students to start with though it expects at least a 1,000 professionals to graduate from the department over the next ten years. "India needs to urgently build the capacity to conserve, manage and efficiently utilise all its available water resources. Policies, regulatory frameworks, financial mechanisms, access and equity issues all have to be aligned to urgently reduce our water vulnerabilities while enhancing our food and energy security. The Coca Cola Department will strive to respond fully to these needs," Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor of TERI University said in a statement. "For The Coca-Cola Company, water is central not just to our business, but to the societies in which we operate. As part of our global framework of sustainability, Coca-Cola places a high importance on water, women and wellbeing." said Asim Parekh, Vice President, Technical and Supply Chain, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia. "We believe that through this partnership with TERI University, we can contribute to the creation of human resource capital in the area of water management as well as help in research and development on water management. We hope that this department will lead in the field of water governance. " he added.


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Date News Title Source
1 February 2012 TERI University Hosts its Fourth Convocation... Moneylife Personal Finance site and magazine
27 January 2012 India Today Aspire Education Summit awards... India Today
18 January 2012 Teachers need to assimilate the varied components ... The Hindu
4 January 2012 Announcement of launch of MBA (Urban Management) i... The Hindu (Opportunities, Campus Buzz)
28 November 2011 Workshop on chemical processes in the troposphere ... Presentation

India trade mission a success
Concordia Journal, 11 February 2010

Under the agreement with TERI [The Energy and Resources Institute] University, to take just one example, researchers will be working on climate change, biofuels and sustainable business, all recognized areas of strength at Concordia.


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