Man on a sustainability mission
A researcher with more than two decades of experience, exploring the intersection of Sustainability, Circular Economy, Policy and Finance, Dr. Prasoom Dwivedi, Professor, UPES School of Business, has been relentless in his pursuit of sustainable solutions derived from local wisdom
His research in sustainability and allied areas has won him widespread acclaim and several accolades. Dr. Prasoom Dwivedi, Professor, UPES School of Business, alongside teaching, has been carrying out extensive research in the field of energy economics. In 2010, he was tasked with the responsibility of setting up the Centre for Energy Economics Research (CEER) at the university. Energy economics recognises energy as a scarce resource, dwells on policy recommendations to promote renewable energy supply, and advances understanding of the interplay between energy, environment and climate change.
Dr. Dwivedi has received support from UPES to engage in funded projects for leading national and international agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank, European Union, International Association of Universities (IAU), GIZ, Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF, fund of The Royal Society, United Kingdom), Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), and Uttarakhand Council for Science and Technology (UCOST), a state nodal agency of Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, to name a few. The research efforts resulted in UPES signing MoUs with NITI Aayog and Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
His project ‘UK-India Sustainable Development and Research collaboration: Watermills Modernization-cum-Enhancement Planning, Training, Capacity Strengthening, and Entrepreneurship Development in Uttarakhand Hill Communities, India’ was funded under GCRF, Academy of Medical Science, UK, 2018, in collaboration with Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, UK.
Dr. Dwivedi trekked over 3000 kms to reach out to 2800 households and 10,000 individuals, about 200 MSMEs, 100 garhat (water mill) owners in about 145 villages in Uttarakhand. Garhats have been the lifeline of village inhabitants for centuries, particularly those in the Himalayan region. They are primarily used for grinding grains such as wheat, barley, ragi, maize, etc. These flour mills run on water tapped from the river, hence no electricity or fossil fuel is required. With the rampant use of diesel motor and electricity-run flour milling machinery these days, the watermills are increasingly becoming obsolete, resulting in widespread environmental degradation.
Recently, Dr. Dwivedi completed a pilot project in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT-R), in which a value chain of pine-needle-based products was developed. Pine needles are forest bio-residue and since the project propagated the use of sustainable resources, National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) funded this project and implemented it in two villages of Nainital district. The research team has successfully developed a chain of stakeholders, including more than 500 direct beneficiaries, NGOs, hotel and restaurants, roadside vendors, households and many more.
“I find ‘Sustainability in Business’ the most promising field from an Action Research (AR) perspective,” Dr. Dwivedi says. “Back in 1996-98, when I was doing my Master’s, I observed that there is a scope for better interface between higher education and other stakeholders in the society. AR allows the researchers to study the social problems from the existing theories and concepts, reviewing them in real life, providing solutions to the society and exposure to the learners,” explains the man who has been pioneering change through his environmental stewardship and conservation efforts. Dr. Dwivedi has delivered talks on ‘Sustainability in Business’ at Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor, Slovenia, under Erasmus Plus mobility program in 2016 and in 2022, funded by Government of Slovenia.
When he needs a break from his voluminous research work, Dr. Dwivedi likes to write poetry, sing or cook. He also volunteers for a local non-profit – Himalayan Environmental Studies & Conservation Organisation (HESCO) – that works for the welfare of villagers in Uttarakhand.