IIM Trichy Organises Movie Screening And Discussion On ‘Navigating Development Discourse And The (Imminent?) Flood’

IIM Trichy clubs Drishtikon and Enviro organised a movie screening followed by a guest lecture on the topic “Navigating development discourse and the (imminent?) flood” by Dr. Manu Mathai based on the documentary Before the Flood. Drishtikon is an initiative of the Library Resource Center (IIMT) to screen films, documentaries, plays, and launch books on social issues. Enviro Club is a student body which is invested in organising activities to raise awareness towards environmental issues and practices, and carrying out a research on sustainability.

Dr. Manu Mathai has done his PhD from Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, University of Delaware, USA currently a professor in Azim Premji University, Bangalore. He’s extensively researched about the intersection of energy, environment and human development policy questions, with a focus on technology choice and norms of human well-being and economic development amenable to greater fairness on a shared and finite planet. His research interests include a critical scrutiny of Green Growth and Green Economy narratives and an exploration and synthesis of evidence, ideas and approaches for building an enabling context for existing low-carbon realities. His earlier work has included a study of India’s economic development discourse and its proposal of civilian nuclear power as a “green” alternative. Prior to Azim Premji University, Dr. Mathai worked at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Delaware Center for Energy and Environmental Policy.

Once the screening of the documentary was over, Dr. Mathai opened the lecture with his views on the current global scenario and about the topics highlighted in the documentary. Elaborating on the observation made in the documentary on how a government is bound to act on a subject if the people show concern. Citing Barack Obama as an example, he mentioned how policy changes are more about the society than the beliefs of some particular individual.

Dr. Mathai used a very remarkable analogy to describe the current global energy scenario. He asked the audience to think of the energy consumers/extractors of today’s world as a drug addict. Using relatively easy-to-tap non-renewable energy sources is the same as a drug addict takes another shot to calm himself down, not realising that one day we’ll eventually run out of them. Making it more of a discussion forum, Dr. Mathai answered questions related to how can any government implement efficient policies to support the cause, how feasible are Tesla’s Giga factories and about how to appropriately subsidise products that encourage the use of renewable energy sources. The session was concluded by our very own Dr. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil without whose cooperation and support this event wouldn’t have been nearly as successful. The event saw overwhelming participation from the student community of IIM Trichy and it also attracted faculties and students of National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli.