Union Minister Nitin Gadkari urges IITians to focus their research on the use of bio-technology for the production of bio-CNG bio-LNG and green hydrogen from bio-mass
We need to identify the commodities being imported into the country and then focus on developing Swadeshi alternatives for those: Union Road Transport and Highways Minister
“Prioritize research on forest-based industries, agriculture, and rural technology, tribal sectors for the upliftment of backward districts.”
By PIB Mumbai
Mumbai, October 29, 2022
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today asked the IITians to focus their research on the use of bio-technology for the production of bio-CNG, bio-LNG, and green hydrogen from bio-mass. We are moving towards the use of green hydrogen at a large scale; he said. The Union Road Transport and Highways Minister were speaking at Alankar-2022, a global leadership summit organized by Shailesh J Mehta School of Management in IIT Bombay today.
We require prioritizing needs-based research, he further said to the IIT Bombay students. He said research should come up with Import substitute, cost-effective, pollution-free, indigenous solutions. “We need to identify the commodities being imported into the country and then focus on developing Swadeshi alternatives for those. This will lead to a decrease in imports, an increase in exports, and make our economy stronger”. Proven technology, economic viability, availability of raw materials, and marketability should be considered for all research projects, he said.
The Minister also said that 65 percent of our population depends on agriculture, though Agriculture GDP is only 12 percent. He further said that the country has 124 districts, comprising a considerable proportion of the population, which are socially, economically, and educationally backward. He urged the IITians to prioritize research for forest-based industries, agriculture, rural technology, and tribal sectors in those districts. “We need to identify the rural, agricultural raw materials which have the potential to bring about a revolution. It will bring about a lot of development and create employment opportunities, ” he added.
Stating that green hydrogen will be used in various industries like chemicals, fertilizers, steel, etc, and also in the transportation sector in the future, the Minister urged the young, talented engineering man-power of the country to do research on manufacturing green hydrogen from electrolysing sewage water and bio-digestion of organic wastes. This will also help municipalities of the country in implementing the Swacch Bharat Mission along with value-addition in the form of waste to wealth, he added. In this context, the Minister narrated how the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has practically demonstrated this philosophy of waste to wealth by undertaking the treatment of sewage water and then selling it to the state power producer Mahgencos for their power projects at Koradi and Khaparkheda Thermal Power Station which is generating an annual revenue of Rs 325 crore for them.
We should become an energy-exporting country in the future, he said. He urged the IITians to take up a big challenge which was to be solved for fulfilling the Prime Ministers dream of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The energy crisis is our problem, said the Minister. While solar energy forms 38 percent of the country’s power basket and its share is being increased, we still cannot let go of thermal power in the fastest growing economy of the world, he added. However, pollution is a big concern for our environment and ecology, and our country used to import fossil fuel to the tune of Rs 16 lakh crores, he stated. Hence, we need to focus on green fuels, said the Minister.
Green hydrogen can be produced in our country from molasses, B-Heavy molasses, sugarcane, broken rice, bamboo, food grains, and agro-wastes. In Assam a project of producing ethanol from bamboo has started, IOCL project in Panipat forms 150-tonne bio-bitumen per day from rice straw (or parali as in called in Hindi), an agro-waste product which is the major cause of air pollution in Delhi and neighbouring areas in the winters. This project is also generating 1 lakh litre bio-ethanol. Besides, 5 tonnes of parali also gives 1-tonne bio-CNG at the IOCL plant, informed the Minister. In this context, he said, water, power, transport, and communication are pre-requisites for industry, which in turn will bring about capital investments and employment.
Speaking about alternative fuel-based transport, Nitin Gadkari stated that companies are making motorcycles and scooters run on bio-ethanol fuel. Now research has shown that ethanol’s mileage is the same as that of petrol, whereas the price of ethanol which is around Rs 60 is much lesser, he added.
Stating that research organizations should not work in silos, Nitin Gadkari urged that research papers should be made public. This calls for cooperation, coordination, and communication between the stakeholders, he added.
Speaking about the technological revolution in the road and transport sector, the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister informed that a tunnel to connect Ladakh and Leh was coming up, which will be built at a cost of Rs 12000 crore. “A lot of research has gone into it, which led to a saving of around Rs 5000 crore”. He informed me that an IITian led a pilot-project for developing a funicular railway over there. Now, the project has led to the development of a smart transportation solution to be implemented in the form of funicular railway transportation of people, two-wheelers, and flocks of sheep between those rugged mountain ranges. He also spoke of a study being conducted for a smart transportation solution for traffic-congestions in Bangalore. He urged IIT students to also focus their research on new technologies for the transport sector. He said there is a potential to run 10 lakh electric buses in the country, comprising double-decker, AC, and luxury buses. Now electric vehicles have become popular in the country, he commented. There are 400 start-ups in the country working for electric vehicles, he informed.
Nitin Gadkari said that a lot of successful start-ups have started from the IITs. He advised the young talents to focus their research more on the upliftment of villages, the poor, workers, and farmers. “Work to develop technologies to bring an end to poverty, hunger, and unemployment in the country, because that will be beneficial to the country for socio-economic transformation. Honesty, reputation, and credibility are the biggest capital of the 21st century. Try to become job-givers, not job-seekers, ” advised the Union Minister to the IIT Bombay students. Speaking of building a $5 trillion economy and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Nitin Gadkari said, knowledge with entrepreneurship, successful technology, and human values are at the core of success.
The Director of IIT Bombay Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri and students of the institute were present on the occasion.