Tap all resources to raise quality of life: scientist

Staff Reporter

Call to ensure availability of energy sources

MALAPPURAM: A national seminar on `India's energy security and the relevance of the Indian Ocean region' held at Calicut University on Saturday highlighted the necessity of tapping alternative sources of energy to meet the demands of future generations.

Presenting a paper on `Future nuclear power in India,' R.H. Iyer, senior scientist from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, said that all available resources, such as coal, lignite, oil, natural gas, hydroelectric power and non-conventional renewable energy, should be exploited to improve quality of life of people without harming the interest of future generations.

Dr. Iyer urged energy managers to look for all sources of energy to ensure long-term availability of current sources. The current fuel resource position pointed to an increase in the use of nuclear fuel, he added.

Speaking on `India's energy trap,' Shebonti Ray Dadwal from New Delhi said that developing countries, such as India, would be affected most by rising oil prices as their dependence on oil was increasing in order to sustain their growing economies.

She said the need to sustain the current and projected growth rates of 7-10 per cent over the next few decades would require Indian policymakers to ensure that access to safe, stable and affordable energy resources was secure.

India's basket of fossil fuel import was destined to grow, she said.

Currently, India imported about 72 per cent of its total oil requirements, 65 per cent of which came from West Asia. India's oil import was projected to increase to 90 per cent in the next few decades, she said.

Alternative energy

Dr. Dadwal said that along with nuclear and hydropower, India should also look at developing alternatives such as solar, wind and other non-conventional energy sources.

She called for a transition in energy policy from a supply-oriented and oil-dependent energy strategy to one which stressed demand control and self-reliance.

In his paper on `Global energy insecurity,' K.R. Singh, visiting professor at the Chair for Maritime Studies and Research, Calicut University, said that India needed to pursue a proactive policy that would not only ensure its own energy security but also contribute to the establishment of a stable energy order at the global level.

Moderating the seminar, K. Shiv Kumar, Commanding Officer of INS Zamorin at Naval Academy, Ezhimala, called for assertive diplomacy to offset the worries about energy resources.

K. Mohanan, former Rear Admiral with the Indian Navy, inaugurated the seminar organised jointly by Kunhali Marakkar Centre for West Asian Studies and Indian Ocean Studies and the Chair for Maritime Studies and Research.

Syed Iqbal Hasnain, Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University, presided over the function. E.K.G. Nambiar, head of Kunhali Marakkar Centre, welcomed the gathering.

Porf. Hasnain also released a book, New Challenges to Maritime Security: Legality and Legitimacy of Responses, by K.R. Singh by handing over a copy to Commodore Shiv Kumar.