Asthra 2016, The Flagship Event of Amrita School of Business, Kochi
Amrita School of Business, Kochi as a part of the 5th edition of its student driven initiative, Asthra 2016, conducted an International Symposium on the theme “Green Energy for a Sustainable Future”, at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Kochi on January 22, 2016.
The main objective of the symposium was to gather actionable insights to reduce the use of depleting energy resources by acquiring innovative ideas in the field of green energy and thus facilitating its effective utilization. The symposium generated a learning curve to the future prospects in the field of green energy, on analyzing the feasibility of sustainable strategies that have been adopted by the firms in various sectors and practice them for sustainable future.
This edition of ASTHRA is conducted in association with Energy Management Centre, Kerala (EMC), Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), International Centre for Research on the Environment & the Economy (ICRE8), Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL).
Prof. Sunanda Muralidharan, Chairperson, Amrita School of Business, delivered the welcome address. She conveyed the message of Amma, “In our approach to sustainable development, we should not forget that it is by strengthening the people at the base of the pyramid that the entire edifice of the society becomes healthy and strong”.
Sampujya Swamiji Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanadamayi Math, rendered the benedictory address. In his address, Swamiji highlighted the importance of synchronization of spiritual wisdom with our day to day practices, as the pursuit of material wellbeing has taken a huge toll on the natural and environmental resources in terms of depletion/ contamination of water, degradation of the land and forest biomass resources. Swamiji highlighted the need for inculcating the basic human values of purity in mind and sacrifice in our approach to manage the environment and natural resources.
T. M. Manoharan, IFS (Rtd.), Chairman, Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) delivered the Inaugural address. In his address, Shri. Manoharan discussed the various policy, legal and regulatory issues and the technological challenges in promoting the green energy in India. While the policy, institutional and regulatory interventions appear to be congenial for development of RE, the progress in implementation of the projects had been rather slow due to a host of socio-political and techno-economic challenges.
Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Kochi felicitated the occasion. He pointed out that how Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, since its days of inception institutionalized the principle of “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle”, much before the relevance of green energy was widely acclaimed.
This was followed by Introduction to the theme by Mr. Rohit Menon, President, Asthra 2016 and the release of the souvenir “Prakriti”.
The key speakers of the technical session were: Mr. Sathesh Kumar Pai, Senior Manager, Cochin International Airport Limited; Dr. Nikhil, P.G. Senior Research Scientist, National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurgaon; Mr. Suresh Kumar M, Additional Director, Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India; Prof. K.K. Sasi, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Viswa Vidyapeetham; Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, Founder and Scientific Director, International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy (ICRE8), Athens, Greece; Mr. Nidhish Kumar, Team Sustain, Kakkanad, Kochi and Prof. Ralph M Kennel, Department of Electrical Drive Systems and Power Electronics, Technische Universtat Munchen (Germany).
Sathesh Kumar Pai, Senior Manager, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) talked about the evolution of CIAL into the world’s first airport to be completely empowered by solar energy and explained about the technical details of the 12 MWp Solar PV plant that CIAL implemented.
Dr. Nikhil P. G., Senior Research Scientist, National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurgaon under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) talked in length about the application of concentrated solar thermal technologies in India with live examples. He focussed on the various applications of concentrated solar technologies in milk pasteurization, process heating and cooling.
Suresh Kumar M., Additional Director, Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas stressed on the necessity of ecological driving- smarter and more fuel manoeuvring of a vehicle.
Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, Founder and Scientific Director of International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy, Greece (ICRE8) talked in length about the role of Economics in shaping up Coastal Management: Nature, People and Institutions.
Prof. Ralph M. Kennel, Technische Universtat Munchen, Germany discussed about the importance of sensorless control in reducing fossil fuel usage.
Nidhish Kumar who represented Team Sustain, Kochi discussed about the relevance of sustainability in every project and spoke in length about energy security.
Prof. K. K. Sasi, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore shared his technical expertise and knowledge on the new business models for renewable energy.
This was followed by rapporteuring by Dr. P. K. Viswanathan, Associate Professor at Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad.
In his valedictory address, Prof. Shantikumar Nair, Dean and Research Director, Amrita Center for Nanosciences elaborated on some of the major development initiatives that Amma had envisioned and launched around twenty years earlier, that had a definite bearing on sustainable environmental management practices.
Dr. P. Indira Devi, Professor and Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Economics, Kerala Agricultural University, spoke on the occasion and she emphasized the increasing need for students to promote the sustainable development practices for a better future.
The presentations and deliberations at the symposium were effective in terms of articulating the emerging issues and challenges of energy insecurity and the need for new pathways and alternatives towards attaining a sustainable future.