Editorial Team

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) is establishing the ‘Chandrakanta Kesavan Centre for Energy Policy and Climate Solutions’ to assist policy makers with practical solutions to the problems of climate change. India as a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement will need to develop, adapt and implement technologies to reduce emissions and grow sustainably. The aim of the Centre will be to spearhead the development of technology and policy solutions to help India and the world combat climate change. Detailed description of the centre can be seen on https:/iitk.ac.in/see/ckcepcs/.

An agreement to establish this center was signed on July 15th, 2021 between IIT Kanpur and Sudhakar Kesavan, an alumnus of the Class of 1976 from IIT Kanpur. The Centre is named in the memory of his mother Dr. Chandrakanta Kesavan who was a role model for Indian women in science. 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. Her biography is attached to this release. Sudhakar and Alka Kesavan have pledged USD 2.5 M for supporting various activities of the Centre.

After graduating with B.Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering, Sudhakar 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. (www.icf.com) for over 20 years. With over 7000 employees, ICF is one of the world’s largest specialty consulting firms specializing in four broad areas: energy and environment, health and social programs, disaster management, and digital transformation and technology services. He serves on the Boards of several non-profits and corporations in the United States.

The Centre will be an autonomous organization within IIT Kanpur. It will be anchored in, and work closely with, the Department of Sustainable Energy Engineering (www.iitk.ac.in/see). The Centre 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 policy makers from across the world together to discuss and address these issues.

At the launch of the center, Mr. Kesavan said “I owe a large debt of gratitude to IIT Kanpur. The five years I spent at IIT Kanpur were an extraordinary experience in every way. The educational experience was enriching, the faculty was extraordinary and the bonds of friendship with my classmates are as strong today as they were then. I am honoured to be a part of the Institute’s endeavours in creating impactful initiatives to tackle the climate change. I believe that the Chandrakanta Kesavan Centre for Energy Policy and Climate Solutions will add a fresh dimension in policy, communications, education and outreach efforts so that technology and science-based solutions can be effectively implemented in society. 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. I am also very pleased that Prof Ashish Garg, Head of the Department of Sustainable Energy Engineering has agreed to serve as the first Centre Coordinator”.

Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director, IITK said “In the light of growing importance of sustainable energy and climate change, this center will promote and develop appropriate technology and policy solutions to help India and the world combat address challenges in energy and climate change. 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 the climate change, towards attaining a sustainable living. The Center will also act as the resource hub for policy makers and technologists.”

The Centre also aims to conduct a Master’s programme with a specialization in ‘Energy Technology and Policy’, e-Masters in ‘Energy Technology, Economics and Policy’ for working professionals and communicate and engage with governments, businesses, and NGOs.

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