Renowned industrialist and founder chairman of Praj Industries, Dr Pramod Chaudhari, who is popularly known as the ‘Ethanol man’, recently said that agricultural inputs form the base of biotechnology and these can be used to uplift the socio-economic status of farmers. Dr Chaudhari was speaking at an event held in his honour and hosted by United Western Business Forum at Hotel Sayaji in Wakad.
Dr Chaudhari was felicitated by Dr Anand Deshpande, the CMD of Persistent Systems, for being the first Indian recipient of the prestigious George Washington Carver Award, 2020.
Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol and PMRDA (Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority) Commissioner Dr Suhas Diwase also attended the programme.
Dr Chaudhari said that biofuels are redefining transportation fuel mix and they also help combat climate change as they have low carbon content. The use of agricultural feedstock for production of biofuels provided an additional source of income to farmers, he added. Dr Chaudhari said that bio-based renewable chemicals and materials are “the new frontier of bioeconomy”.
Mohol said Dr Chaudhari’s “achievement is a matter of pride for Puneites” and added that “People like Dr Chaudhari will inspire the youth of the city.”
Dr Deshpande said an entrepreneur should always think about achieving the next level for his business, because any business can stagnate after reaching a certain level of success. He also suggested that a wide base of mentors was required to guide the entrepreneurs through difficult times.
The dean of alumni and corporate relations at IIT Bombay, Dr Suhas Joshi, said that the institute was in advanced stages of discussions with Dr Chaudhari for setting up a lifelong learning centre for IIT-B alumni. The institute has a strong base of over 65,000 alumni working across various segments and they have an urge to learn new skills from their alma mater, Joshi added.
Dr Diwase pointed out that biotechnology had the potential to make agriculture sustainable and economically viable. This will also help reduce urban influx and ease pressure on cities, he said. “The current Covid-19 pandemic has shown the youth the importance of moving back to the fields rather than seeking opportunities in big cities,” he said.