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Water, food and energy scarcity could lead to World War-III: Oz Professor

Expressing concern over the growing global shortage of water, food and energy, Prof. Akhtar Kalam, Head of Engineering, Leader- Smart Energy Research Group, Victoria University, Australia on Monday warned that this could possibly lead to the third World War.

Prof Kalam is at Jamia Millia Islamia to deliver a series of lectures on “Advances in Power Electronics & Renewable Energy Sources” organised by the Department of Electrical Energy, under the aegis of week-long MHRD-Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN) Course.

Inaugurating the course, Vice-Chancellor, JMI, Prof. Talat Ahmad said the university was proud to host an internationally recognised academic of the calibre of Prof. Kalam. He asked the participants to make maximum use of the knowledge that they will receive from him. He requested the Australia-based Professor to include JMI scholars in his future research activities and projects.

Highlighting the importance of becoming first-hand producers of knowledge, Prof Kalam said that students must get into the habit of inventing and discovering things instead of just being satisfied with received ideas and information. Having an inquisitive mind was essential if they are to go beyond re-hashing old information. “Students should be trained to become knowledge seekers at a time when ‘cut-copy-paste’ is becoming rampant”, Prof Kalam added.

Emphasizing on the practical aspects of teaching, he said that Engineering is not a field that could be taught by textbooks alone.

Prof Kalam who is Head of Engineering, Leader- Smart Energy Research Group, Victoria University, Australia has been with the university since 1985 and is also the current Chair of the university’s Academic Board. He also lectures in the Masters programmes in the Engineering Institute of Technology, Perth, Australia. Additionally, he has held Distinguished Professorship position at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and 5 Malaysian universities.

The course is a response to the exponential increase in energy demand today. Given that fossil fuels have limited reservoirs, there are severe fears of an impending energy crisis complicated by climate change concerns. Renewable energy sources are seen as a solution to these concerns. The main renewable energy sources are solar, wind, fuel cell to name a few.

Dr. Ahteshamul Haque, Senior Member- IEEE and Asst. Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering who is the course coordinator of the GIAN programme said that the course had received an overwhelming response with 70 scholars registering for it from various states including Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Bihar, U.P. Karnataka and Delhi and the NCR. It has also attracted 2 students each from Egypt and Yemen.

The standard of the class have been further raised given that not just university students and research scholars but also there is participation from the industry sector and the PSUs. This diversity will enrich the programme, Dr. Haque added.

The main objective of this course is to understand the research challenges in the area of Power electronics and its application. The specific objectives are: (a) Exposing participants to the advancements in Renewable energy sources and its conversion process (b) Providing background of power electronics and its control requirement for Renewable energy sources (c) Providing exposure to the various types of renewable energy systems like grid connected, microgrid (d) Enhancing the capability of researchers to develop and solve the existing issues and to work on upcoming areas in this field.

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