Energy access - persistent inequalities by Dr. Satish B Agnihotri

Location and Date: 
Wednesday, September 24, 2015, 4:30 pm, LC 001


Availability does not necessarily lead to access – Amartya Sen’s assertion in the context of the food availability versus food entitlements, is equally true for energy access as well. What is worrysome is the nature of the access inequalities – inter region as well as intra region seen from the census 2001 and 2011 data on the use of fuel for cooking and lighting and from the NSSO data on electricity consumption data by income deciles. Even where the extent of deprivation declines, the relative deprivation appears to persevere. One hopes, the analysis will contribute towards better policy design and implementation achieving the desirable objective of “Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya”, even literally!

About the speaker

Dr. Satish B. Agnihotri recently retired as Secretary (Coordination & Public Grievances), Cabinet Secretariat. Prior to this he was Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Director General (Acquisition) in the Ministry of Defence, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture discharging the role of Financial Advisor and the Director General of Shipping during 2010-12. He has worked as Joint Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Transport Commissioner, Odisha and Secretary, Women and Child Development and General Administration Department. He was Vice Chairman, Cuttack Urban Development Authority, CEO of the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency, Director Industries and District Magistrate in Dhenkanal District. He also worked with UNICEF, Kolkata as Consultant on Child Nutrition and Health. 

He is an IAS officer of Odisha cadre from the 1980 batch. He has done his Master’s degree in Physics followed by M.Tech in Environment Science and Engineering from IIT, Bombay. He later did an MA in Rural Development followed by a Ph.D on sex ratio patterns in Indian Population from School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich UK. His research on declining sex ratios in India has been approvingly cited by scholars including Prof. Amartya Sen. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Mumbai in 2002 and is an adjunct Professor at IIT Bombay in the Centre for Technology Alternatives in Rural Areas. He also writes political satire and science fiction in Hindi and plays flute as a hobby. His collection of satire “TahanTahanBhrashtaachaar” has been published in Hindi by Rajkamal, New Delhi and in Marathi by Parchure Publications as “ZopiGelaaKumbhakarNa”. He has written a short monograph “Energy Access – tracing the contours of deprivation” published by the CSE on the occasion of the Anil Agrawal Energy Dialogue 2015.