Dr. Anil K. Rajvanshi has more than 28 years of experience in renewable energy R&D and rural development. He did his B.Tech and M.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur in 1972 and 1974 respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Mech. Engg. from University of Florida, Gainesville, USA in 1979 under solar energy pioneer Dr. Eric Farber. He was on the faculty of University of Florida (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering) for 2 years before returning to India in 1981 to run his own rural NGO – NARI in Phaltan, Maharashtra.
NARI has done pioneering work in agriculture, renewable energy and sustainable development areas specially those affecting rural population. Dr. Rajvanshi has devoted the last 28 years at NARI to apply sophisticated science and technology to solve the problems faced by the rural people in the areas of energy, water, pollution and income generation, broadly based on renewable energy in environmentally sound ways.
Consequently very innovative technologies have been developed at NARI. They include ethanol from sweet sorghum, solar distillation plant for ethanol, very efficient lanterns for rural lighting, low concentration ethanol stoves and lanterns, biomass gasifiers and electric cycle rickshaws, among others.
Dr. Rajvanshi has written extensively on his work on rural self-sufficiency and has attracted the attention of the print and visual media worldwide. He has more than 160 publications and 7 patents to his credit. He has been inducted into several prominent committees of the government of India at the national and state level. He is the principal author of the Govt. of India national policy on Energy Self Sufficient Talukas.
For his pioneering work, Anil has received a number of prestigious national and international awards, such as Jamnalal Bajaj Award, induction to the U.S. based Solar Hall of Fame, Energy Globe Award, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) Annual Award, and Sweden based Globe Award, among others. He has been a featured speaker at many prominent conferences and forums, both in India and U.S. and lectures regularly on the issues of sustainability and rural development.
Besides his engineering work he is also involved in studies of human consciousness and the interaction of spirituality and technology. His writings on these issues have appeared regularly in Times of India in Speaking Tree column. He is an author of a book entitled, “Nature of Human Thought”, which tries to bring about a synthesis of ancient Indian Yogic thought and modern cosmology and brain research. The book contains many essays on spirituality and technology and reflects his belief that sustainability and spirituality go hand in hand. Recently he has also penned his memoirs of his US student days in a new book entitled “1970s America – An Indian Student’s Journey”.