Pune: CSIR-NCL celebrates National Science Day

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Pune, 3rd March 2022: CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune, celebrated National Science Day on 28 February, 2022 through two events, a lecture for CSIR-NCL staff members, and a lecture for school students.



Prof. Ambuj D. Sagar, Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Professor of Policy Studies & Head, School of Public Policy, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, virtually delivered the National Science Day lecture on “The clean-energy transition: Challenges and opportunities.” Prof. Ambuj Sagar highlighted the current plans of energy transitions in India towards the national goal of reducing the carbon intensity of our economy by 45% over 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2070. Prof Sagar presented data on the Indian emissions and electricity usage per capita, which are among the lowest among countries with comparable GDP. To achieve the national climate action targets while maintain our rate of growth, he emphasized that it cannot be ‘business as usual’, and we have to identify and deploy suitable technologies that are not only fast, economically sustainable, and scalable, but also in tune with our institutional and human resource capabilities. He observed that while the technologies needed to achieve the 2030 goals are available today, the technologies on whose success the 2070 goals are based are not yet established. As such, substantial research and development efforts in this area is required. Prof Ambuj presented data showing the low level of R&D investment in India, which is about half the global average, and less than a third of the average for developed countries. He pointed out the lack of publicly available detailed data on specific R&D in the energy sector. He discussed in brief various options and sectors in which countries are investing in energy R&D, including hydrogen/fuel cells, solar energy, nuclear energy and cleaner technologies for existing fuels. He concluded by emphasizing

that the enormous challenge to be addressed in a short time presents a great opportunity to build a clean energy industry in India, requiring an innovation ecosystem comprising of higher education and research institutes, private R&D organisations, and knowledge partnerships among them.


In the second event, virtually attended by students from city schools, Dr. Kadhiravan Shanmuganathan, Senior Scientist, CSIR-NCL gave a talk on “Converting Waste to Value: Need of Any Society”. Dr. Kadhiravan explained the waste management problems being faced across the globe and the idea of “waste to value”. He told the students about the different types of wastes and how they can be effectively and economically processed or reused using scientific and engineering principles. He concluded the talk by explaining the research work on advanced materials and applications done in his lab, including the elastic piezoelectric aerogels made using cellulose nanofibers.


As part of this outreach program, a live demonstration and instructions on how to construct a simple water-conservation system was conducted.