Lok Sabha

August 4, 2017

Ratna De Nag speaks on The National Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017

Ratna De Nag speaks on The National Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017


Thank you, Deputy Speaker Sir, for giving me the opportunity to speak. The National Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017, aims to set up an Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy at Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It also declares the institution as one of national importance.

I appreciate the aim of the Bill as it provides high-quality education and research focussing on the theme of petroleum and hydrocarbons energy. The Government is going to pump in Rs. 655.46 crore to achieve this goal. It is stated that the budgetary support for capital expenditure is expected to spread out till 2022-23. Would the Hon Minister state what the plan of action in place is, particularly when our aim is very challenging and amount to be spent is so high?

Sir, the said institute is expected to be a domain-specific energy institute that will serve as the fountainhead of a nurturing, world-class technical human resources capable of serving as leaders and innovators in the field of petroleum technology and energy. What fieldwork has been put in place as of now or proposed to be put up for taking the issue further?

Sir, the said institute isn’t just extending high-quality education but also conducting advanced research in all aspects related to the conventional hydrocarbons. I appreciate the exalted aim. Will the Hon Minister state how he intends to go about this and what initiatives have already been put in place to achieve this aim of quality education and conducting advanced research in petroleum?

About the constitution of the Board of Governors responsible for the general superintendence, direction and control of the affairs of the institute, will they have a General Council of the institute, inter alia, to review both policies and programmes from time to time and suggest measures for the improvement, development and expansion of the institute.

I would like to know from the Hon Minister what measures have been put in place to make the functioning of the institute transparent and accountable? Will the institute have autonomy to steer clear of the impending issue that we face while navigating towards an institute of excellence and that is important in setting a benchmark for other institutions in other fields like agriculture and science et al?

Coming back to the aims of the Bill, what is the stand on this thing? How prepared are we? What are our challenges in the field of petroleum energy? Have we analysed them? Where are we placed vis-a-vis other countries in terms of technology and state-of-the-art innovations in the field of petroleum energy? There is a need to have a relook and a fresh look at the whole gamut of issues and concerns involving providing education and research when our institutions find hardly any place of excellence in hundred out of two hundred best institutions of the world.

There is an urgent need to bring in foreign faculty, who are experts and who know what is happening and what new developments and innovations are taking place in the realm of petroleum energy sector. I hope the Hon Minister endorses this view that there is a lot of room for improvement; and what you would do to strive towards making the National Institute of Petroleum Energy as Centre for Excellence in the real sense of the term and not make it as an achievement of the government of the day (that it has gifted an institute to the state and forget patronising and monetary aid).

Sir, I am representing Bengal. Would the Hon Minister consider setting up an Institute of National Importance to cater to the emerging and challenging needs in the domain of petroleum energy in Bengal?

Lastly I request the Hon Minister to withdraw the decision taken by the Ministry to stop the subsidy for LPG.

Thank you very much.