Sustainable development is possible in Assam by ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and renewable energy for citizens, said Gauhati University vice-chancellor Pratap Jyoti Handique.

“There are ample opportunities available for researchers, volunteers, social entrepreneurs to join the initiatives of energy access to achieve sustainable development and climate change,” said vice-chancellor Handique.

He further said such a goal needs community engagement, systematic persuasion and collaborations.

Handique also talked about climate change mitigation measures with renewable energy resources and talked about the global and national scenarios of the various energy resources and policies.

Handique was speaking at an international webinar on energy access and rural development organised by NSS Cell Gauhati University in collaboration with Centre for Participatory Action and Social Support (CPASS) on Thursday.

Ranjan Kumar Kakaty, director of Students’ Welfare, Gauhati University highlighted the relevance of the webinar in the context of rural development in Assam and discussed the pertinent issues related to renewable energy and the role of the National Scheme Service.

Claudio Lutzky of George Mason University, Argentina made a detailed presentation on agriculture, energy and gender in the webinar.

Lutzky in his speech threw light on the importance of the basics of inclusive energy agenda for sustainable development in the context of agriculture and rural development.

He stressed the decentralized distribution energy system and plans the energy access policy without discrimination.

Manabendra Pathak of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in his speech mentioned the role of science & technology in the sustainable development of humankind, especially in rural areas.

Pathak analyzed the energy scenario of Assam and proposed innovative solutions through renewable energy intervention.

He also explained the challenges in the implementation of renewable technologies in rural areas, particularly in northeastern states.

Tridip Kumar Goswami, global head of compliance C Quest Capital Washington DC, focused on the issue of averted disability-adjusted life years and reduction in premature deaths.

He discussed how to avoid time spent gathering firewood and cooking over polluting open fires measured in hours saved for women and girls and building social capital through energy access.

The webinar was moderated by Arup Jyoti Kalita, director, CPASS.

The webinar witnessed the presence of professors, research scholars, NSS volunteers, social workers, scientists and around two hundred college students.

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