Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for increasing indigenous production of crude oil through strong R&D efforts to ensure the energy security of the country.
He was addressing the First Convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE), a dedicated university for petroleum research in Visakhapatnam.
Calling for ‘Atma Nirbharta’ in the country’s energy mix, he suggested focussing more on increasing domestic exploration of petroleum, harnessing the full potential of renewable sources, and aiming for excellence and innovation in the energy industry.
Noting that India is the world’s third-largest consumer of crude oil and yet import-dependent for more than 80 percent of its needs, Naidu underlined the importance of increasing production, not only to save foreign exchange but also to ensure energy security.
He noted various policy reforms of the government such as the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) aimed at increasing exploration in new sedimentary basins.
The Vice President said the energy demand had increased due to population rise and industrialization and ‘India’s primary energy demand is expected to grow at an average rate of more than 3 percent till 2045 as compared to less than 1 percent growth for the rest of the world.’
In this regard, he called upon IIPE and other energy institutes to bridge the supply gap of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and build stronger industry-institute linkages with the prominent market players.
He suggested encouraging Ph.D. students to undertake research on problems faced by the industry and thus ‘bring a multi-disciplinary approach into academic research, which is the aim of National Education Policy 2020.’
Observing that India is blessed with ample renewable sources such as solar, wind, and tidal power, the Vice President suggested tapping the potential of these sources of energy fully as part of the efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
The Vice President expressed confidence that IIPE will show the way forward by becoming an exemplar in the domain of energy research. He presented awards to gold medalists from the batches 2016-20 and 2017-21.
Rameswar Teli, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Labour and Employment; Dr Seediri Appala Raju, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries & Dairies Development; Prof P K Banik, President of the Board of Governors, IIPE; Prof VSRK Prasad, Director, IIPE, Vice Chancellors of various Universities, and other dignitaries participated in the event.