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Rural India Becoming Hubs Of Growth Rather Than People Of Rural India Migrating To Cities As Labour: Atul Bhatnagar, CEO Sunmoksha

There are certain environmental aspects that need to be seriously addressed in today’s world judging the situation at hand

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Adity Nagori (Emcee) – Cimate change and deforestation is the need of the hour with the forest just not available and the forest catching fires and we humans not taking care of it.

Miniya Chatterji, Founder and CEO, Sustain Labs Paris (Session Chair) –
We will be discussing some of the solutions for making the industries which probably today have the highest environmental footprint and how to make these sustainable. Our panelists represent some of these industries and also one of them works with policy makers so I am sure it is going to be an interesting discussion.

Mahua Acharya, Asia Director, Climate Policy Initiative – In the economic package that has been released there is just isn’t enough. In the energy sector where I spare a fair bit of time I continue to be surprised that the level and kind of developments, sometimes more rapid than I ever assumed and as a developer you lose sight of time, India in a matter of 10 years has achieved a lot in renewables. It went in the other direction. Prices went so low, tariffs, to such affordable levels that we can have a normal mainstream conversation bringing renewables versus coal. I had never imagined that in my profession.

Dhaval Monani, CEO, First Home Reality – It is definitely possible to reduce the carbon footprints which we can see. These energy savings happen at a very high cost. Now the biggest mistake that our industry has made is not gone back to the basics and tried to encompass these from a proper method right from planning and designing. The way your home is designed is actually with a lot of materials you use and the other mistake which we usually make is track the carbon footprints of the material used rather than the lifetime effect.

Manish Kharbanda: Advisor, Jindal Steel & Power – We are recovering and generating power which was earlier going into the environment. It was polluting the environment and was getting waste. If you see coal itself, it contributes in a big way to the environment and if you gasify it and then try to produce DRIs and in a very simple language the use of coal has a very low GCV (Gross Calorie Value) which was not usable but you use it in the coal gasification plant to make gas which can be used to create DRI directly. On the mining side the environmental policies have become very strict from 2006 onwards. I can proudly say that in our plants we have been very fortunate because Jindal happens to have a political and industrial background, we understood the depth very well so we have given a lot training and industrialization to small micro industries and we have empowered them.

Atul Bhatnagar, CEO Sunmoksha – Covid is like a technology disruption, I would say we have to reimagine and reboot the entire ecosystem itself so what happened before and I would see a silver lining in this migrant labour relocation back to the villages as not everybody has gone back but India is a country which is so populated anyway that you will find out it is there. Before the Covid world we were seeing that the unemployment was rising, so there are a number of people who were looking for jobs. Now from the skill development side let me give you a macro picture that I was with NSTC and we were battling with it at that time. First is fresh skilling. There were one million people joining the workforce every month for a period of 10 years from which 7 to 8 years have gone. So we have already seen people joining the workforce for those who need fresh skill development. Then there are people who have to be reskilled and I am talking about the pre Covid world. Now with fresh skilling is one challenge, second is reskilling which means basically there are places where there are jobs and no skill workers for your heavy machinery and logistic trucks, so they aren’t many people around for doing that kind of job and there is over supply like in the BPO world and there are people who are trained in BPO and can’t find jobs. The BPO industry itself is in a bit of trouble right now. So we need to reskill these people. And the third one is recognition of prior learning. Now that becomes a very important thing, especially with the current situation because the number of people who are certified skilled are less than 5% in India. In South Korea it is 95%. Japan, Germany and the US have a high percentage as well.