India Is Making Rapid Progress Towards Sustainability: Ashwini Kumar Choubey 

By Outlook Planet Desk June 07, 2023

International experts from a variety of fields spoke at the "Imperatives of Sustainable Mobility: Towards Vision India@2047" conference organised by SIAM

India Is Making Rapid Progress Towards Sustainability: Ashwini Kumar Choubey 
EVs can help India meet its goal of decarbonisation, which has a deadline of 2070.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) organised an international conference in New Delhi that took place in conjunction with World Environment Day 2023 under the theme "Imperatives of Sustainable Mobility: Towards Vision India@2047" in order to advance the idea of sustainable mobility.

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, served as the conference's chief guest along with notable government speakers and business titans from India and other parts of the world.

Four thematic sessions were held throughout the conference: Bio Initiative, Electrification, Gas Based Mobility, and Circularity. The use of low-carbon fuels, with an emphasis on ethanol and gaseous fuels in particular, was one of the many subjects covered in these sessions. Additionally, the talks in the automobile industry focused on material circularity, decarbonization, carbon neutrality, and ESG compliance.

The regulatory and legislative framework for alternative fuels, as well as sustainable mobility on both a national and international level, were also topics of discussion at the conference.

Chief guest Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, “India is making rapid progress towards sustainability. Previously, we sought inspiration from the world, but now the world looks to India for inspiration. It is crucial to recognise that progress must be not only significant but also sustainable.”

The development and use of biofuels derived from renewable biological sources were the main topics of the thematic session titled Bio Initiative: Bio-Initiatives for Promoting Low Carbon Economy. The session placed a strong emphasis on the value of alternative fuels in minimising reliance on petroleum and greenhouse gas emissions.

At this session, Hanif Qureshi, Joint Secretary, Government of India's Ministry of Heavy Industries, offered his thoughts, “We have reached a consensus that our objective is to achieve a 20% ethanol blending rate, and we are fully committed to this goal. Originally set for 2030, we have revised our target to 2025, given the progress we have made thus far.”

Different facets of electric mobility were presented at the thematic session Electrification Powering the Future: Benefits and Challenges of Electrification. It included topics such as cutting-edge electric car technology, environmental advantages, infrastructure needs, difficulties with grid integration and charging facilities, government regulations and incentives, and the automobile industry's role in accelerating the switch to electric vehicles.

Sudhendu J Sinha, Adviser (Infrastructure Connectivity – Transport and Electric Mobility), Niti Aayog, further outlined the strategies for transitioning to E-Mobility: Role of supportive policies of the Government, and commented, “Globally, there are examples of successful transitions to sustainable mobility achieved through collaboration between industries and auto associations.”

He added, “We aim to replicate such collaborations and successes in India. The government has supported the development of EVs, components, and charging infrastructure through initiatives like FAME. We anticipate focused efforts in areas such as raising awareness, enhancing R&D capabilities, improving manufacturing quality, and expanding charging infrastructure to expedite the shift towards sustainable mobility.”

During the event, Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM highlighted that the Indian Automobile Industry under the aegis of SIAM is working on Sustainable Mobility solutions with specific emphasis on Ethanol, Electrification, Hydrogen, CNG/LNG and lastly on Circular Economy through Recycling.