GIBC: Smart Village Roadmap 2017 Towards India's Rural Energy Independence

3/17/2017 7:45 AM

GIBC: Smart Village Roadmap 2017 Towards India's Rural Energy Independence

GIBC: Smart Village Roadmap 2017, Towards India's Rural Energy Independence

GIBC and GSU (Georgia State University) are organizing a seminar on March 17th in Atlanta on a very important subject.

We are creating a coordinated single platform by bringing scientists, researchers, scholars, entrepreneurs, economists, marketing professionals in this seminar to workout the future pathway to energy independence for millions of villagers in India. 

Please note we will be publishing the seminar brochure which will be circulated in the PMO (Indian Prime Minister's office), Ministry of health and human resources, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture. Mr. Nagesh Singh, Consular General of India-Atlanta will be one of our speakers. CGI is also fully supporting our efforts in organizing the seminar. 

The current Indian government under the dynamic and imaginative leadership of Prime Minster, Mr. Narendra Modi has brought in the last two years several rural economic development schemes for uplifting the poorest section of the nation's villages. However, only government efforts cannot solve the massive rural unemployment and the abject poverty resulting from it. Therefore, NGOs like GIBC and private enterprises have a very important role to play in these monumental national efforts.

The time is right. GIBC is teaming with Georgia State University to start along a roadmap towards rural energy independence. Success in this ambitious endeavor requires your participation at every level. You will hear about the roadmap to bring basic power to all the villages of India, starting with the first steps. How to start with education, and turn basic energy systems into force multipliers in skill development. The logistics of reaching and connecting and maintaining systems in all 660,000 villages. The strategies to introduce new technologies. To convert waste into energy. To ultimately reach a clean hydrogen economy. New businesses that will reverse urban migration and make the villages clean, modern places to live and work. 

The entrepreneurs among us will benefit from hearing of the innovations and breakthroughs that researchers have made.  The researchers require your business expertise to find field test results and market success for their innovations. All need the experience of the dedicated NGO volunteers on how to bring patient education and support as the villagers discover opportunity and technology, and develop the skills to turn energy into economic growth and freedom. And they in turn need our support. 

We will capture the lessons and reconvene after some time to refine our approach and redouble our efforts. Please join us in this exciting venture. Every one of us has a role to play in helping Indian villages to become self-sufficient in their energy needs which would increase their standard of living and well being.

Speakers include Dr. Jagdish Sheth, a renowned scholar and internationally recognized thought leader, Dr. Rajendra Singh, Clemson University, Prof. Jane Davidson (U.Mn), Prof. Vijay Madisetti, Georgia Tech, Prof. Narayanan Komerath, Georgia Tech, Ms. Sarah Elizabeth Hillware (DC), Mr. Bala Ganesh (UPS), Mr. Dhirendra Shah (GIBC), Mr. Vijay Vemulapalli (VIBHA), Malla & Manjula Reddy (Ekal). Mr. Nagesh Singh, Consul General of India to the Southeast USA will provide introductory remarks.

Date: Fri March 17, 2017
Time: 7:45am registration, 8am - 4pm event
Venue: GSU Robinson Business College, Buckhead Center, Tower Place 200 #610, 3348 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326
Register: $50,
Contact: RSVP Narayanan Komerath,, 770-906-6235; Dhirendra Shah,, 770-664-8779

About the GIBC
The Global Indian Business Council was founded in 2014 with the aim of facilitating business exchanges between India and other nations, primarily the USA. It has offices in Boston and Atlanta, USA, and Ahmedabad and New Delhi, India

Georgia State University’s Buckhead Center
is home to the J. Mack Robinson College of Business executive and graduate business programs.
Contact: Dr. Sushil Nifadkar

The Smart Village Way to Energy Independence
This morning, over 300 million people in India, perhaps 1.2 billion worldwide, woke up to a day with
no access to electric power. They are denied access to knowledge and excluded from the fruits of
technology and human development. Lack of non-agricultural rural employment denies a business
case for infrastructure, power grids, connectivity and transport routes, closing the vicious circle.
Migration to urban areas in search of employment drives down the quality of life everywhere. We
believe that this migration can be reversed, arriving at Smart Villages and the prize of energy
independence. Our roadmap starts with basic photovoltaic electricity access for one village, then
growing to 1kW to every village, adding clean cooking, biogas systems, thermochemical fuel
generation, energy-enabled employment, DC microgrids, the Internet of Things, and on to a postmodern,
clean hydrogen economy. But first, education, clean water, health, skill development, basic
access and most of all, opportunity.
Recent events such as the explosive growth of mobile phones in India drive optimism. Other
changes are less known. Since 2014, over 700 million new bank accounts have been tied with
catastrophic-insurance coverage through the Aadhar national identity card. Government assistance
under “right to work”, directly reaches the end-recipient. Cashless transaction technology and mobile
banking reduce the need for physical access to banks or ATMs. Universal access to electric power
would in turn alleviate the water situation, open up employment and boost the case for infrastructure.
The challenge of bringing energy independence to rural areas is as massive as it is transformative.
Even 200 Watts of solar photovoltaic power installed in each village would transform rural life and
provide employment opportunities to jump-start economic growth. Solar photovoltaics (PV) offer the
first and fastest power all over India, limited by the cost of energy storage. Biogas would fuel clean
cooking and heating, and turn waste into fertilizer. Local extraction of transportation biofuels would
provide mobility, free from imports. Locally powered wireless connectivity would revolutionize
knowledge and opportunities. Urban migration can be reversed, the villages again becoming superior
for work and living. 

Solar photovoltaics (PV) offer the first and fastest
power all over India, limited by the cost of energy
storage. Biogas would fuel clean cooking and
heating, and turn waste into fertilizer. Local
extraction of transportation biofuels promises
mobility, free from imports. Locally powered wireless
connectivity will revolutionize knowledge and
This calls for thoughtful cross-disciplinary,
coordinated innovation. The end-users start in
abject poverty, so standard models of fast revenue
do not work. Following the inspiring example of
‘Single Teacher Schools’, trained technicians must
be retained with attractive opportunity, to maintain
multiple technologies and systems. Rapid rise in
power-related employment is needed to sustain the
installed systems and their benefits. Innovative
funding and knowledge models are needed. Public
policy issues are paramount when bringing solutions
to the most vulnerable people in society. Experience
and data are invaluable in refining the approach for
the next attempts. This is a conference of
researchers, product developers, retailers, microcredit
financiers, NGOs (non-governmental
organizations) working at grassroots in targeted
areas, government representatives and business
people assembled for focused discussions on
what is possible, and what is needed. The
initial focus is on India in order to integrate
solutions in a context where there is clear
support from the government, with adequate
humanpower and educational resources
available. This first conference will focus on:
• Summary of the problem & opportunity.
• Thermochemical fuel production.
• Biogas heat, cooking and and power
• Micro DC grids and innovative storage
• Waste burning for power and clean air
• Rural employment using power
• Skill development and training
• University testbed / incubator models
• Reaching the villages
• Business case for village level plants
• NGO education and mentoring
• Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
• Templates for mass replication
• Continuous refinement and adaptation
• Integrating retail trade with power.

“Urj Swavalambi”
The dream of Energy Self-Reliance.

To bring 1kW of renewable power to all 660,000 of India’s
villages, would take only about $13B. However, installing
generators is not enough: they must generate income and
employment to be sustainable and grow. The roadmap
starts with education.
One-teacher schools run by NGOs in tribal villages are
chosen for the first Solar PV installations. The manuals are
translated into the local language by the teachers, and the
kids will grow up comfortable with technology. DC micro
grids will be incorporated. At 50 units, Internet of Things
technology will tie the systems.
Biogas systems will be added through the schools in
Level 2, growing past 1000 systems.
Corporate Social Responsibility plans will be tapped to
go to 10,000 systems.
Skill Development and a quasi-commercial model will
enable 100,000 systems and beyond.
The 2nd iteration will bring in thermochemical systems
to localize fuel production. As the number of systems
grows towards 100 million, public-private partnerships
with firm ties to the research leading edge will bring full
energy self-reliance, build the rural economy, and
reverse urban migration. The twin monsters of fuel
imports and environmental pollution will never be
allowed to dominate again.

ThermoChemical Fuel Generation
While solar photovoltaic systems dominate the renewable energy market today, systems that
use intensified solar energy are growing in effectiveness towards the dream of plentiful
hydrogen-oxygen generated from sunlight and water. University R&D in the US aims to take
intensified solar converters to 2000K where they can achieve close to 100% efficiency in
electrolysis of water. At 1000K, today’s small reactors generate liquid hydrocarbon fuels by
anaerobic reactions of green wastes such as tall grasses. Rural India is a promising venue to
develop this technology and its limitless market towards its ultimate promise.
Intensified solar systems have many other uses as heat engines in powering a rural economy,
with and without conversion to electricity. Combined heat and power systems may be
integrated with fuel generation facilities in villages.

Air quality in India, particularly in the north during winter, is severely impacted by
outdoor burning. Technologies to incinerate urban and rural waste without smoke, are
combined with power generation techniques. Associated with this are high-efficiency
“choolhas”, or cookers. Community-level waste incinerators may also provide much of
the heat needed for thermochemical fuel production when the sun is not shining.
Segregation and reprocessing of waste into useful materials will provide an avenue for
rural employment.
Waste to Energy

This presentation from a major US corporation will discuss the logistics of reaching each village,
adapting techniques used by home delivery services in the US. Optimal routes can be developed.
A smart integration of transportation logistics, data collection and health monitoring of systems
provides several unique opportunities. Setting up the infrastructure to create energy independence
in India is the first challenge. Another interesting problem is to knit together a network of 600,000
villages spread over a wide variety of terrain to support these technologies with spares and
knowhow. This talk will discuss the logistics of reaching each village: adapting learnings used by
delivery services in the US and painting a picture of a future where data, technology and good oldfashioned
informal networks (aka crowdsourcing) come together to achieve this goal.
Reaching 660,000 villages: Logistics Ideas
Internet Of Things: Massively Distributed
Synergistic System
Every power generator and power user system is potentially a node in the Internet Of Things.
Close on the heels of the first power generators, we hope to bring in cellular network
connectivity using towers connected by beamed microwaves, as has been successfully
demonstrated all over India in an amazingly swift revolution. DC microgrids along with Internet
connectivity, allows remote monitoring of every device. In turn, this allows the data collection
and analysis that is crucial to optimizing power generation and usage. 

How can people who are so poor pay for these energy systems?
Without the systems, how can they generate income?
In our scheme, NGO-operated schools are used to bring the first energy, followed by skill
development and employment generation using the energy. A combination of NGO support,
Corporate Social Responsibility resources and microcredit financing brings the expansion towards a
self-sustaining economy, tilting the scales to reverse urban migration with accelerating development.
Economics of Rural Energy
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporations operating in India are required to spend 2.5 % of profits on social uplift causes. This
is an avenue to construct linkages where the money spent by a corporation provides short-term
resources and benefits to develop and install systems, and conduct education, but is also an
investment in long-term strategic benefits to the corporation. Corporations can stay informed of
opportunities to use their technical and logistics expertise, thus building relationships with future

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) provide the crucial grassroots resources without which
good intentions cannot lead to success in bringing technology and advancement to rural populations.
The One Teacher School program that has caught on in many States of India, is based on Mahatma
Gandhi’s call to urban dwellers, to take education to the villages in their context. The One Teacher
sent to each village, especially in India’s remote tribal and forest villages, carries a huge
responsibility. S(he) must teach students all the way from elementary grades to 8th grade, and teach
all subjects. Increasingly, NGOs see this as a way to encourage education and employment of
women, in turn setting up role models in the community. We see this as a way to reach the children
of the villages who we hope will swiftly learn about renewable power generation, and grow up
comfortable with the latest in technology.
NGOs are also the route to build skill development programs that bring employment. In our
experience, people in villages often have not had experience of using electric power to augment their
income, such as by using power tools and machines. Developing the local workforce to install,
maintain, collect data and grow energy independence, is a crucial part of the roadmap. NGOs enable
the link to mainstream educational and R&D institutions as well as commercial installers.
NGOs and Skill Development
The above summary glimpses just a few of the myriad opportunities for small business
ventures in rural India, as energy independence grows. Note that our aim of 1kW for every
village is a drop in the ocean of possibilities, but enough to establish the logistics, education,
skill development and connectivity to open the door to the massive growth. With an average
population of 1000, and a middle-class target of 2kW installed power per 4 people, every
village should eventually reach at least 500kW, along with the economic growth and
consumer buying power to sustain and benefit from that. That is at least a 500-fold
expansion from our program.
+Small Business Ties

BALA GANESH, Vice President, UPS.
Ganesh joined UPS in 2012 and currently works in the Advanced Analytics and
Revenue Management group at UPS.
Prior to joining UPS, Ganesh was responsible for strategy development and mergers
and acquisitions at MedAssets. From 2006 to 2010, he led consulting project teams for
McKinsey & Co. Ganesh also has worked as an aerospace engineering researcher at
the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a PhD in Aerospace Engineering
and an MBA. Early in his career, Ganesh served as a pilot in the Indian Air Force.

JANE H. DAVIDSON, Ronald L. and Janet A. Christenson Chair in Renewable
Energy, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota.
Jane Davidson received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from the
University of Tennessee and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University.
Her areas of research include solar thermo-chemical cycles to produce fuels, thermal
storage, and advanced polymer and additive manufactured heat exchangers, and
building integrated solar. She is past Editor of the ASME Journal of Solar Energy
Engineering. Her efforts have been recognized with the 2012 ASME Frank Kreith
Energy Award, the University of Minnesota 2009 Ada Comstock Award, the 2007 American Solar Energy
Society Charles Greeley Abbot Award, the 2005 University of Minnesota Distinguished Women Scholar
Award in Science and Engineering, the 2004 ASME John I. Yellott Award, and the 2000 John Tate Award
for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. She has co-authored 2 books, 6 book chapters and 150 archival
journal publications and her work has been featured on PBS Tech Talk, PBS NewsHour and the Weather
Station. She is a Fellow of ASME and ASES.


Shri Malla Reddy holds a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (Chennai) and an MBA
from the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkatta. He retired as Manufacturing Director from the Robert
Bosch Corp. Mrs. Manjula Reddy is an active volunteer for the Ekal Vidyalaya (Single Teacher School)
Non-Governmental Organization. As a team they are involved in many initiatives assisting NGOs in
fundraising, education and skill development.

NAGESH SINGH Consul-General of India in Atlanta.
His Excellency Shri Nagesh Singh comes with economics degrees and experience all
over the world in the Indian Foreign Service, including Afghanistan/Pakistan, Senegal,
Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bisseau, Mali, Mauritania and France. He was an
Officer on Special Duty to the Vice President of India in New Delhi. He has served as
Counsellor to the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in New York.

Vijay Vemulapilli is a PhD from IIT Mumbai. VIBHA ("Help Make a Future For Kids") is a non-profit
organization that focuses on children's well-being, primarily in India. He spent a career in the USA, much of
it in Atlanta.

VIJAY MADISETTI Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech.
With degrees from IIT Kharagpur, and U. California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer
Sciences, Dr. Madisetti leads several research and educational programs at Georgia Tech in the area of
digital signal processing, embedded computing systems, chip design, wireless and telecom systems, and
systems engineering. He has authored or edited several books, including VLSI Digital Signal Processors
(1995) and the Digital Signal Processing Handbook (Second Edition, 2010). He is also a frequent
consultant to the industry. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and won the 2006 Frederick Emmons Terman Medal
by the ASEE and HP Corporations. He is currently serving on several campus initiatives, and is the
Executive Director of Georgia Tech's India Initiative. Dr. Madisetti also received the Georgia Tech Doctoral
Thesis Advisor Award from Georgia Tech in 2001. Professor Madisetti has recently written a book on the
Internet of Things.

Sarah Hillware is a global communications strategist and social entrepreneur working in international
development. She is currently a consultant at the World Bank helping to manage external communications
and corporate engagement for their cross-sectoral Efficient, Clean Cooking and Heating (ECCH) Program.
In addition to the broader program activities, she also works with task teams to implement behavior change
communication at the country level. Sarah has an academic background in international affairs, global
health and entrepreneurship and has held positions in international organizations, NGOs and private sector
media and marketing companies. Prior to working for two major United Nations agencies, she supported the
execution of two major campaigns for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Foundation. In 2012, she founded Girls Health Ed, a nonprofit
health education program for low-income girls and young women ages 8-17. The organization has since
hired employees to manage day-to-day operations, but Sarah continues to advise the organization on
strategic initiatives. Sarah's research on school- and community-based health communication interventions
have led her to give talks at TEDxBerkeley as well as at the UN through TEDxUNPlaza. Visit her blog on
Huffington Post or follow her @sarahhillware.

SUSHIL NIFADKAR Assistant Professor, Institute of International Business, J. Mack Robinson College of
Business, Georgia State University. He holds a Ph.D. in business administration from
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, an MBA and B.A. in India and worked as a
senior executive with a major IT company in India. His current research focuses on
international management issues as they relate to Indian business. Dr. Nifadkar has
received a number of awards for his scholarly contributions over the years such as
Journal of Management‘s Best Paper Award and Academy of Management OB
Division’s Outstanding Reviewer award. In addition, he has been a reviewer for
Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of
International Business and Academy of Management conferences. He teaches
graduate and undergraduate courses on international management, emerging
economies and international entrepreneurship.

DHIRENDRA SHAH President-Elect of the Global Indian Business Council.
Educated at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, the London School of
Economics and Harvard Business School, his career as a businessman spans
experience in a major company in India in the 1960s, then in the Persian Gulf
countries, then in America, starting an international trading company in Greenwich,
CT. He is a long-time Atlanta resident where he runs Suraj International. He is the
founder of the India Awareness Foundation, and President of WAVES, the World
Association for Vedic Education and Studies. His social activities include organizing
lectures, seminars and discussion groups on wide ranging topics , writing and
speaking on social /politics/ economics/history with particular reference to India and USA.

NARAYANAN KOMERATH Joint Secretary of the Global Indian Business Council.
Educated at IIT Madras and Georgia Institute of Technology, Narayanan Komerath is a
Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. He has co/authored 3 US Patents,
5 books and over 400 papers. Four of his 19 PhD students have won Georgia Tech’s
Sigma Xi Outstanding PhD thesis award, and 5 others have been finalists for that top 1%
award. He is a founder member of the NASA-funded Eighth Continent Chamber of
Commerce, Fellow of the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts, a Boeing Welliver
Fellow, and a Sam Nunn Senior Security Fellow. He has served as President of the
ASEE’s Aerospace Engineering executive, and chair of the American Helicopter Society
(AHS International)’s Aerodynamics Technical Committee. He was awarded the 2015
ASEE and 2016 AIAA John Leland Atwood Award for excellence in aerospace engineering. He has taught
in India’s Global Initiative for Academic Networks, and co-authored a book on Micro Renewable Energy

RAJENDRA SINGH, D. Houser Banks professor in the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer
Engineering and Automotive Engineering at Clemson University (CU). He is also the
Director of Center for Nanoelectronics at CU. He left India in 1973 and during the
energy crisis of 1973 decided to do Ph.D. dissertation in the area of Silicon Solar
Cells. In the last 43 years, he has contributed and witnessed the growth of
photovoltaic industry. With proven success in operations, project/program leadership,
R&D, product/process commercialization, and start-ups, Dr. Singh is a leading
technologist with the focused goal of eradication of energy poverty and poverty of
under privileged people all over the world. He is fellow of IEEE, SPIE, ASM and AAAS.
Dr. Singh has received a number of international awards. In 2014, he was honored by
US President Barack Obama as a White House “Champion of Change for Solar

JAGDISH SHETH Jagdish N. Sheth is the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing in the Goizueta
Business School at Emory University since 1991. Prior to his present position, he was
on the faculty of University of Southern California (USC), University of Illinois, Columbia
University and MIT. He is the past President of the Association for Consumer Research
(ACR) and Division 23 (Consumer Psychology) of American Psychological Association
(APA). He is also a Fellow of APA. Professor Sheth is the recipient of all of the top four
academic awards bestowed by the American Marketing Association (AMA). His
academic publications include more than 300 hundred papers and several books,
including ‘The Theory of Buyer Behavior’ with John A. Howard; ‘Marketing Theory:
Evolution and Evaluation’ with David Gardner and Dennis Garrett; ‘Consumption
Values and Prediction of Choice Behavior’; and ‘Customer Behavior’ with Banwari
Mittal and Bruce Newman. He has also published several professional books including,
‘The Rule of Three,’ ‘Clients for Life,’ ‘Self Destructive Habits of Good Companies,’
‘Chindia Rising,’ and ‘Firms of Endearment.’ All of them have been translated into multiple languages. His
latest publication is ‘The Sustainability Edge’ (Rotman 2016).

GIBC: Roadmap to India's Rural Energy

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