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‘Sensitising youth can create a sustainable future’

According to reports, “India is poised to be the world’s largest economy, but imports 80 per cent of the energy requirement. We, thus, need to do better in terms of finding our own energy sources,” said Yasmine Hilton, Chairperson, Shell companies in India.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the felicitation ceremony of the second edition of the Shell Junior National Science Scholarship here on Thursday.

“We need to have more sustainable energy sources and need to create awareness among the youth in order to bring about that change. Sensitising the youth is the single initiative that can create ripples towards a sustainable future. The time for change is now,” she added.

Held in association with British Council and National Council of Science Museums, this year’s edition saw the participation of over 7,000 students across 450 schools in seven cities.

Three national winners were selected who received a cash prize of Rs 1,25,000 each. In addition, 18 regional winners were awarded a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each.

The company also came out with a survey on Energy Sustainability and Conservation to see the awareness levels among the youth.

On why the youth needs to be encouraged, Hiton said, “In India, so many people have to come out of energy poverty and we have to give them the opportunity. Gas is the cleanest energy we have today and it is something we should be promoting. Also solar, wind, and other renewable sources need to be promoted.”

G. Pradeep, a national winner from Chennai, said, “The way I think about energy now is very different from what I used to. This examination changed the way I look at energy sustainability.”

Apart from this scholarship, the company also conducts Shell Eco Marathon, an annual event which challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. Winners are the teams that go the furthest using the least amount of energy. It also has another programme called PhD 75, wherein 75 Indians are sent to do energy sustainability-related PhDs in the Netherlands. This is over a 5-year period and is co-funded by the Government of the Netherlands.

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