About the Program
Each year, EPIC works with its team on the ground in India to bring a cohort of Indian Members of Parliament highly engaged in energy and environmental issues to the University of Chicago for a week-long set of capacity building workshops. Through numerous engagements under this program, legislators and academics share challenges and solutions to address the country’s energy and environmental problems. This knowledge exchange seeds future collaborations.
Dr. Amar Patnaik
Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur
Deepender Singh Hooda
Kalikesh N. Singh Deo
Dr. Narendra Damodar Jadhav
Konda Vishweshwar Reddy
Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal
Prabhas Kumar Singh
Brijendra Singh is a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from Hisar (Lok Sabha constituency), Haryana. Before joining politics in 2019, he was an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from Haryana state cadre. His latest position within Haryana government was of the Managing Director of Haryana State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (HAFED), the apex co-operative federation in Haryana.
Chintakunta Munuswamy (CM) Ramesh is an Indian Politician from the BJP Party, representing Andhra Pradesh in Rajya Sabha. He is also the founder of a leading infrastructure development company which has interests in energy, roads, irrigation, and property development.
Dr. Amar Patnaik is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Odisha. With a PhD in Institutional Economics, he often writes on issues relating to economics, finance, technology, and environment. Dr Patnaik has also authored a book, “Institutional Change and Power Asymmetry in the Context of Rural India.”
Heena Gavit is a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from Nandurbar (Lok Sabha constituency), Maharashtra. A doctor by profession, Heena Gavit has highlighted the public health implication of air pollution at multiple forums. Heena Gavit is also a member of the Parliamentarian Standing Committee on Water Resources.
Kotagiri Sridhar is a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from Eluru (Lok Sabha constituency), Andhra Pradesh. His focus area is in renewable energy and alternatives to single use plastic. Kotagiri Sridhar is also on the Parliamentarian Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Priyanka Chaturvedi is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. In the 12 years of her journey as a politician, she has played an essential part in shaping the media campaign for several state elections. Priyanka Chaturvedi recently submitted a private member’s bill on Climate Change Council in the winter parliamentary session.
Rahul Kaswan is a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from Churu (Lok Sabha constituency), Rajasthan. He has raised questions on energy poverty in the Indian Parliament on multiple occasions. Rahul Kaswan is also a member of the Parliamentarian Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture.
Ritesh Pandey is a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from Ambedkar Nagar (Lok Sabha constituency), Uttar Pradesh. Ritesh Pandey’s core interests lie at the intersection of caste, gender, and climate change. Ritesh Pandey is also on the Parliamentarian Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy.
Shivkumar Udasi is a Member of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha from Haveri (Lok Sabha constituency), Karnataka. He has raised questions on the status of renewable energy penetration and government’s stand on purchasing stubble as a fuel alternative. Shivkumar Udasi is also a member of the Parliamentarian Standing Committee on Energy and Water Resources.
Sh. Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur is the crown prince of Dungarpur and was elected as a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.
He has served as a Member of the Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Member of the Committee on Water Resources. He has also served as a Member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Currently, he is serving as a Member of the Hindi Salahakar Samiti of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Sh. Harshvardhan Singh’s goal is ‘Clean and Green India” and he is deeply passionate about the environment, forest and wildlife conservation. He is interested in heritage conservation, art, architecture and culture. He is concerned about pollution control in the country and has raised questions about industrial units without environmental clearance in Rajasthan. He is keenly interested in power generation from clean sources.
Shri Deepender Singh Hooda is a political and social worker. He was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in a bye-election and was then re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha for his second term. He was the youngest parliamentarian when he entered politics in 2005. His area of expertise includes rural infrastructure, water, agriculture, education and energy.
He has served on several statutory and Parliamentary bodies in various capacities as an elected Board Member of the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology; as a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy; as a Member of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; as Chairman of Indo-UK forum of Parliamentarians. In past, he has been a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committees of Finance, External Affairs, Agriculture and Human Resource Development.
In 2010, he received the Bharat Asmita Jana Pratinidhi Shreshta award for the best young exponent of parliamentary practices for his work towards rural development through education and power generation.
Shri Deepender Singh Hooda is an avid reader of subjects of History, Economics and Politics, with keen interest in topics ranging from American Civil War, Indian Freedom Movement, World War II, French Revolution to social economics, Marxism, capitalistic economic models, polity and governance.
Ms. Selja Kumari was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India as a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party. She was the cabinet minister at the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the United Progressive Alliance Government during the 15th Lok Sabha. She began her political career in the Mahila Congress becoming its President in 1990. She was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha in 1991 from Sirsa in Haryana and has served 4 terms in the Parliament.
She has served as a Member of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarian Steering Committee; Union Minister of State, Department of Education and Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development; and Union Cabinet Minister, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Culture. She was also elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Consultative Group on Human Settlements (CCGHS).
Ms Shelja has a keen interest in the regulation of air quality, abatement of air pollution and pollution norms for industrial units. She has worked on awareness of the implications of global warming. In the parliament, she has raised questions on providing electricity to farmers through renewable energy sources, and initiatives for the promotion of renewable energy sources and power generation through them.
She has extensively worked for empowerment of Women and for upliftment of marginal and disadvantaged groups. Her special interests include contemporary economic and political issues, inclusive growth and environmental concerns in the developing world and habitat and related issues facing the urban poor.
Mr. Kalikesh N. Singh Deo is elected as a Member of Parliament for the second term in the 16th Lok Sabha from 2014 onwards. He spent his initial career working in investment banking and with the energy giant, Enron before being elected to the state legislative assembly.
Mr. Singh is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Gas. His developmental focus remains primarily on livelihood and climate change issues. He has actively participated as a speaker on various platforms to address a range of issues. He was a speaker at the UN Peace Conference in Bangkok and UN HIV AIDS conference in Bali and also led a group of parliamentarians to Nepal to meet the new leadership and further bilateral relations.
He has been championing the cause of climate change and low carbon development and is planning low carbon development activities in his constituency. As an immediate first step, he has supported a study to assess the potential of low carbon development and clean energy access in his constituency Bolangir.
He had initiated debate on national clean energy fund. Back in 2012, he had initiated a private member’s bill on climate change. He has been raising questions in the parliament sessions on sustainable development, clean energy and climate change.
Dr. Narendra Damodar Jadhav is an Indian economist, educationist, public policy expert, professor and writer in English, Marathi and Hindi.
Currently, he is a Member of Rajya Sabha and has previously served as a member of the Planning Commission of India and the National Advisory Council. Prior to this, he worked as Vice-Chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and headed economic research at the Reserve Bank of India.
Dr Jadhav has authored 31 official reports on a wide range of public policy issues. These include reports titled Preparation of Perspective Plan for Higher Education (Government of Maharashtra, 2015), National Skills Qualification Framework (Government of India, 2013), Amendments to the Factories Act, 1948 (Government of India, 2012), Amendments to the Apprenticeship Act, 1961 (Government of India, 2011) and Vision on Vocational Education and Training (Government of India, 2011).
He has written or edited 37 books in three languages – 19 in English, 13 in Marathi, and 5 in Hindi, besides over 300 research papers and articles.
Dr Jadhav is recipient of as many as 67 National and International Awards for his contribution to the fields of economics, education, literature, culture and social work. These include four Honorary D Lit Degrees and the title of the Commander of the Order of Academic Palmes by the Government of France.
Sh. Konda Vishweshwar Reddy is an engineer, entrepreneur and politician. He is elected as a member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha and is the only Parliamentarian from India to be granted a US patent while serving as a Member of Parliament.
He is a Member of the Standing Committee on Industry and a Member of the Committee on Privileges. He is also a Member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Sh. Konda has filed Patents on Solar, Patient Transfer Systems, Cost-Effective Lighting Systems and Rodless cylinders. He holds copyrights on Software such as HiPar, HiRePs and HiCoRe. He has presented several papers on Numerical Control Systems, Micro Processor Based Lighting Control, and microprocessors in Increasing the Efficiency of Electric Drives.
In the Parliament, he has debated issues related to climate change, infrastructure in solar power plants and funding of renewable energy projects by banks. He has been actively involved in the promotion of Bio-Fuel and the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
He has special interests in Innovation, Renewable Energy, Technology in Sustainable Agriculture and has served as the Convener of WASH Legislative Forum of Parliamentarians.
Riti Pathak is a member of the Lower House of Parliament in India from Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party. She was first elected to the Lok Sabha in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as a candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party from the Sidhi seat of Madhya Pradesh and was re-elected to the 17th Lok Sabha in 2019.
She did her bachelor’s degree (BA) in history and Hindi literature followed by a master’s degree in history (from Girls Degree College, Rewa). Then she completed her graduation with an LLB (The Bachelor of Laws).
While in school and college she was also active in co-curricular activities and completed all three NCC certificates by her graduation. She was Joint Secretary at GDC from 1994-95.
Mr. Rakesh Singh was elected as the President of BJP in Jabalpur District. He has been elected to the Lok Sabha since 2004 consecutively 3 times. Mr. Rakesh Singh is a member of the Committee on Privilege, Standing committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture. He is also the Chair Person of the Standing Committee of Coal and Steel. He is a member of several committees such as the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Defence, General Purpose Committee, Hindi Advisory Committee on Defence and Committee on Ethics.
Mr. Singh has taken a lead in various environmental initiatives in his region and his state. He has solely organized 15 days Padyatra(walk) to villages of Jabalpur rural constituency and carried out capacity building of people to save water and ways to conserve rainwater through harvesting systems.
Mr. Singh has taken a lead in various environment and climate change initiatives. He has initiated projects like Stop Water Dam through MPLADS (Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme Fund) and also has been instrumental in carrying out plantation drives voluntarily. He is promoting sustainable agricultural practices and organic farming in various regions. He has taken a lead in various climate change and clean energy dialogues.
Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal is elected as a Member of Parliament for the second term in the 16th Lok Sabha from 2014 onwards. From May 2017 onwards, he is a member of the Committee of Estimates. He is also a member of governing body of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS). He is the co-author of the book, “India The Future is Now”
Dr. Jaiswal has an inclination towards working in environment and clean energy initiatives. Presently, he is Convener of Climate Parliament India Network. He has addressed several national and international dialogues on climate change, low carbon development and clean energy initiatives. He has also participated in various dialogues for defining India’s strategy for the successful implementation of COP 21. He has contributed to various forums including Asia Pacific Forum on Climate Change Finance and Sustainable Development held in Jakarta in September 2015. He also participated in various platforms of COP 22 at Marrakesh, Morocco.
Dr. Jaiswal has undertaken several clean energy initiatives in his constituency, the state of Bihar. He has also been instrumental in getting a major recommendation passed in the final reports of Estimates Committee for increasing the budget of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to 1% of the total plan outlay. He has encouraged MPs for initiating low carbon development works in their respective constituencies and he has supported implementation of various off grid and decentralized renewable energy technologies at local levels.
Dr. Prabhas Kumar Singh is elected as a member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha from May 2014 onwards. He is a member of Standing committee of Human Resource Development and the consultative committee of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. He is also a member of the Odisha Development Council. He has been instrumental in publishing a number of research articles on history, culture, archaeology, etc. in national as well as international journals.
He has encouraged and successfully carried out mobilizing resources, and capacity building of stakeholders for the environment and clean energy initiatives in his constituency and his state.
He has successfully distributed 2000 solar lights under Atal Jyoti Yojana programme in his constituency. He has also promoted a number of models of solar pumps and also spread awareness about importance of off grid renewable energy technologies in his constituency and other neighboring local areas. He is taking a lead in introducing concept of smart classrooms where classrooms in the local areas would be powered by solar energy technologies. The projects of smart classrooms are on-going and he is taking a lead in mobilizing resources of the projects through CSR Funds.
Mr. Vincent Pala has been a Member of Parliament since 15thLok Sabha (2009) and is continuing in the 16thLok Sabha (2014). Currently, he is a member of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice. He is a member in the Committee on Member of Parliament Local Area Development Schemes (MPLADS). Mr. Pala is also a member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
Mr. Pala has done substantial work in the field of climate change and renewable energy. Mr. Pala submitted various memorandums and actively participated in charting India’s strategy for a successful and effective climate change agreement at COP21 in Paris to the Ministry of External Affairs.
In 2016-17, he actively pursued for percentage allocation of MPLAD funds for renewable energy and participated in various committee meetings for capacity building of renewable energy technologies within the framework of MPLAD scheme to promote low carbon development at local levels.
She is member of Rajya Sabha and member of several committees of Rajya Sabha including Committee on Empowerment of Women, MPLADS, Science, Technology, Environment and Forests and General Purpose Committee.
She is a climate change crusader and also an author of a book named Green India Clean India and Swapna Udyachi-Sundar Jagachi (a reference book in Marathi on climate change), 2011. She has participated in several climate change deliberations at national and international platforms including COP 21. Mrs. Chavan has taken a leading role in several environmental movements in the city of Pune. She is also the founding President of ALERT-a network initiative to bring about dialogue between Government, elected representatives and citizens on climate change.
In 2016-17, she took a lead in campaigning for low carbon interventions in MPLAD Scheme and a percentage allocation of MPLAD funds for renewable energy which would help in low carbon local area development.
Mr. Vivek Gupta is a member of Rajya Sabha. He is a member of the Committee of Industry in Rajya Sabha. He is the Chairman of the board and also Editor & Founder of the Hindi daily published newspaper in Eastern India – Sanmarg.
He participates in several debates and policy reforms in the house. He has expressed his voice for rights for forest dwellers, procedures for obtaining environmental clearances and others. He has participated in several dialogues and discussions on clean environment, climate change and renewable energy on national and international platforms. He has also used various parliamentary tools to support the introduction and amendment of various policies for the growth of renewable energy in the country.
Since December 2012 onwards, he is member of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISERs) Council and since October 2013 onwards, he is a member of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. He participated in the World Earth Summit in 2012.