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Anil Rajvanshi receives Distinguished Alumnus Award from University of Florida

Feted for his work in renewable energy for India’s rural regions.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Renewable energy scion Anil Rajvanshi has been feted by the University of Florida (UF) for his efforts to provide sustainable energy for rural areas throughout India.

Rajvanshi was awarded the school’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, a recognition is calls “the highest honor that [UF] can bestow on its alumni. Rajvanshi was previously a Ph.D. student at UF, graduating in 1979 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He then taught at UF, spending two-and-a-half years there as a professor before leaving in 1981.

“It is in recognition of the honor and prestige you have brought your alma mater through your accomplishments and services that we honor you,” said Dr. Bernard Machen, in a statement at the UF convocation ceremony in Gainesville, Florida last week, according to a press release put out by the Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI).

“In accepting this award, you will join an elite group of outstanding university alumni who are excellent examples of what our students should strive to become as they step off campus and into the world as graduates,” Machen added.

Rajvanshi’s work in renewable energy has made him famous around the world. In 1981, Rajvanshi joined NARI in Phaltan, Maharashtra; NARI is a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to research and development in the fields of agriculture, energy, animal husbandry and sustainable development. It has a staff about around 40, according to its website, of which five hold Ph.Ds in their respective fields.

Currently, Rajvanshi is the director of NARI, and has received numerous awards for his work. In 2001, he received the Jamnalal Bajaj Award from the Indian Government, the Federal of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry award in 2002, and the Global Award for Sustainable Energy in 2009.

A native of Lucknow, Rajvanshi earned his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kanpur in 1972, and his master’s degree from the same institution in 1974. He has over 130 publications and 7 patents to his name, and is the author of two books.