Will double oil refining capacity in 5 yrs: PM Modi at Petroleum University convocation

“Today there are unlimited opportunities in the energy sector in India. You all have reached this sector at the right time. In this decade, in just the oil and gas sector, crores of investment will happen. So for you, there are ample opportunities from research to manufacturing,” said PM Modi

India will double its oil refining capacity in the next five years and will multiply the usage of natural gas by four-fold, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday while addressing the 8th convocation of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU). He also suggested that PDPU alter its name to include the word “energy”.

Telling students that India was passing through a transitional phase, PM Modi told the students graduating during the Covid pandemic that they were entering the energy sector at the opportune time. “Today there are unlimited opportunities in the energy sector in India. You all have reached this sector at the right time. In this decade, in just the oil and gas sector, crores of investment will happen. So for you, there are ample opportunities from research to manufacturing,” said the prime minister during his virtual address of the convocation where Mukesh Ambani, president of Board of Governors of PDPU and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani had also participated.

Stating that India targets to cut down on its carbon footprint by 30-35 percent, Modi told the students of this Gandhinagar-based university, “Keeping in mind our energy needs, it is our endeavor to increase the proportion of natural gas by four times in this decade alone. In the next five years, efforts are already being made to double the country’s oil refining capacity. There are many opportunities for you here as well.”

Asking students to become soldiers of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” Modi said, “Today’s India is passing through a big phase of transition. You have the responsibility of building an India of the future. Think about what a golden period you are in. You would not have thought of it. India will complete 75 years of independence in 2022 and 100 years in 2047. These (upcoming) 25 years are most important years of your life.”

Narrating his own experience of battling “pre-conceived notions” as the chief minister of Gujarat, PM Modi told the students how he had helped separate feeders supplying electricity to domestic and agricultural consumers, thus ensuring round the clock and efficient power supply in the state. “This experiment changed the mindset of all our officers at that point in time … if I had stuck to preconceived notions, this would not have become a possibility. I had a clean slate and I used to think in a new way,” he added.

He also told the students how the Gujarat government under him had gambled with solar power and had purchased power at Rs 12-13 per unit when thermal power was available at Rs 2.50 to Rs 3 per unit. “I had a clean heart. I genuinely believed that we will have to do something to change our lifestyles. So we finally decided to go ahead with solar energy and with honesty we decided to start solar plants in Gujarat,” Modi said adding how solar energy has now become a movement in the country and the cost of solar power has fallen below Rs 2 per unit.

During his speech, PM Modi suggested PDPU alter its name. “Looking at the progress of PDPU, I request Gujarat government, to make appropriate changes in the law if required and rename it as an energy university instead of just calling it a petroleum university. It’s features and limits are going to expand… The imagination of having a Petroleum University was mine, and expanding upon my imagination, I request to connect it to the entire energy sector, instead of just petroleum. Please do think about it and if you find my suggestions appropriate then you may act accordingly.”

The convocation saw 2600 students receive their degree certificates. This included 40 PhD scholars receiving their degrees and 77 students receiving medals of merit.

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