India witnessed a steep hike in the price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) by Rs 86 per cylinder on Wednesday, reflecting the international trends.
Those who will buy non-subsidised LPG, because either they have given up their subsidies or exhausted the quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg in a year at below market price, will now have to shed Rs 737.50
According to state-owned oil companies, the gas cylinders were priced at Rs 651.50 till Tuesday.
This is the steepest hike ever registered in the history of India that comes a month after cylinder price was increased by Rs 66.5 effective from 1 February.
The rates of gas cylinders have been on the rise since October 2016. A non-subsidised LPG cylinder was priced at Rs 466.50 in Delhi in September and has risen by Rs 271 per cylinder or 58% in six instalments.
The price of subsidised cooking gas was also increased by oil firms by a marginal 13 paisa to Rs 434.93 per 14.2-kg cylinder. This follows a 9 paise increase effected from 1 February.
The price of Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was also raised by a marginal Rs 214 per kilolitre to Rs 54,293.38 per kl. The increase comes on back of a 3% hike on 1 February.
Every oil firm revises the rates of ATF and cooking gas on 1st of every month depending on the oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding month.
An official statement by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said the increase in non-subsidised LPG rates were in “line with the rise in global LPG product prices”.
“However, there will be no impact on the LPG consumers receiving subsidised refills,” it said.
The consumer will have to pay Rs 737 for a new refill in Delhi and will receive subsidy amount of Rs 303 in his/her account and the net price for the consumer will be Rs 434, which remains unchanged.
Hence, there will be no net impact of the increase in price of non-subsidised cylinder on the LPG consumers receiving subsidised refills
The Central Government, through its much-publicised campaign, had asked people to give up LPG subsidies. Around 11.3 million people voluntarily gave up their LPG subsidy according to reports in June 2016. Statistics also suggested that only 3% of people who gave up their subsidy had annual income above Rs 10 lakh. Which implies people from the middle and lower classes were far more willing to give up the benefit of the cooking fuel than the more well off.
The increase in the price of LPG is a major blow to the middle-class people who had voluntarily given up the subsidy.
Even at 76, Pradip Burman, the zestful chairman of Mobius Foundation radiates a contagious enthusiasm when he is talking about sustainability. The environmental crusader, better known to many as the great-grandson of Dabur founder Dr S.K.Burman, has devoted substantial attention towards promoting the concept of sustainability in all aspects of life. He refuses to conform to the convenience and comfort in today’s world which ultimately adds on to the adverse effects of climate change.
Talking to The Logical Indian, Burman emphasised why sustainability as a concept is indispensable for us. “We ought to be aware of what lies ahead of us. Soon we will finish the oil, iron, tin, and coal, and our next generations will be left with nothing. Recycling, banning plastics, stop felling trees for paper… This should become a part of everyone’s lifestyle,” he urges.
Traditional wisdom and modern research
A mechanical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Burman had always nurtured a keen interest in helping the society, as evident from his graduation project of designing a sonic aid for the visually challenged, which detected obstacles in the way using ultrasonic wave signals.
As an executive for the nature-centric company Dabur, Burman has always opted for natural alternatives to solve his everyday problems like taking Ayurvedic medicine to cure his Arthritis. He later launched the veterinary wing for Dabur – Ayurvet – which provides nature-friendly solutions for animal health care.
A patron of the ancient scientific wisdom of India, Burman always hailed the confluence of “traditional knowledge and modern research”, which he advocated as the Ayurvet motto.
As part of the CSR initiative of Dabur, Pradip Burman founded SUNDESH (Sustainable Development Society) which has been tirelessly working for last 25 years in remote villages for uplifting the rural communities in an environmentally sustainable way.
An advocate of sustainability
Burman believes that sustainability is the indispensable mantra for the world at present. Due to uncontrolled utilisation of the planet’s resources by human beings, the world today stands at a juncture of destabilisation. Today the human race has reached the pinnacle of progress but the advancement is happening in a very unsustainable manner.
Through energy-efficient use of everyday essentials like transport, communication, altered habits of diet, clothing and daily living, some crusaders of sustainability try to reduce their carbon footprint. Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is one of the forerunners toward sustainability goals.
Mobius Foundation aims to change the sustainability dynamics
In 2015, Burman paved the way for the start of Mobius Foundation, focused on sustainability. Named after 18th-century German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius, the famous Mobius strip has an important philosophical significance. The extraordinary shape symbolises balance and union.
Similar is the essence of Mobius Foundation which wishes to enhance the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principle to a widespread basis in India, helping generations to come.
Founder Pradip Burman wishes to achieve notable development in education, population stabilisation and renewable energy projects.
A dream school in the making
At Coorg, Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is constructing the World Environment School, Coorg (WESc) where the curriculum will surpass the boundaries of books and classrooms, with a special focus on hands-on learning in close collaboration with the environment. Amidst the pristine natural beauty of Coorg, the school will nurture young minds to grow up into future green leaders. As of now, the school will be open to teenagers, welcoming students from standards 6 to 12.
Needless to say, World Environment School will be the first-of-its-kind not only in India but also in entire South Asia. The school is expected to start from March 2020.
The school promises to nurture the responsible behaviour of citizens of our future.
The Sustainability Conference of 2019
In 2019, the Mobius Foundation has planned an international conference, on the lines of the celebrated earth summits over the past decade. The 2019 International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE 2019) aims to bring together environmental activists, practitioners of sustainable development as well as climate change experts to help develop a sustainability-focused curriculum.
It is surmised that the conference will give a platform to innovative concepts of Sustainability Education including an essential change in the existing education system ensuring a wholesome personal development for a student.
The Sustainability crusader
The Mobius founder strongly believes that it is high time to sprout sustainability awareness among a society drowning in consumerism and unknowingly doing irreparable harm to the planet, every second. The best way to achieve this goal is through education which is available to all. At present, the education system is predominantly career-oriented, making the learners a victim of materialism, and thus, their dreams are also outlined in those colours.
Living beyond the limits
When asked about his wish to attain the age of hundred, he strongly asserts that more than becoming a centurion, he wishes his life and work continue to better the society even in his absence. “I have lived my life. I wish that whatever I start before I go, will continue – for the betterment of my country,” says Mr Pradip Burman.
He is also a trustee of the Climate Reality Project – India (affiliated to Mr. Al Gore of the Climate Reality Project Foundation, USA). Climate Reality Project, India, has been actively engaged igniting the spark and spreading the message of climate change amongst educators, policy makers and civil society. The India branch looks after more than 500 trained Climate Leaders, and more than 900 volunteers spread all over the country.
In his journey, Pradip Burman has been a beacon of hope for millions, motivating many to join the movement for sustainability. We wish he continues his tireless efforts for promoting sustainability awareness and inspire generations to come.