Session Information

Unlocking India’s Green Potential: Embracing Clean Technology, Resilient Infrastructure, and Sustainable Policies

Date: Friday, March 4

Time: 8:30am -9:30am

Location: Room 1

Format: Panel Discussion

With a population of 1.2 billion, India is the second most populous country in the world. India will have more than 68 cities with populations of greater than one million people by 2030 where more than 40 percent of Indians will live. According to the World Bank, ecosystem degradation in India currently costs the country $80 billion annually, or 5.7 percent of GDP. Improving economic conditions in India while considering the environmental and social impacts of development and urbanization is essential as part of this transition.  The country is looking to break the cycle of resource depletion, as well as land, water, and air pollution, by embracing environmental and sustainable policies and investments in areas that include resilient infrastructure, renewable energy, clean technology, and innovation.  Investments in clean energy are expected to surpass USD 10 billion in 2015 alone.  Learn about India’s massive green potential and explore the opportunities for new business.

Topic Speakers

Nemkumar (Nemy) Banthia is a Professor, Distinguished University Scholar and Senior Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure Rehabilitation at the University of British Columbia, Canada. One of the most cited in the field of Concrete Infrastructure, for the past twenty-five years Dr. Banthia has worked tirelessly to understand the performance of concrete infrastructure under various conditions of loading and environment, developed numerous advanced ultra-high performance concrete materials with fiber reinforcement, devised innovative methods of laboratory and field testing and developed novel sensors for infrastructure health monitoring. Dr. Banthia holds 5 patents, has published over 400 refereed papers and edited 20 volumes. He serves on Editorial Boards of eight international journals and is the Editor-in-Chief of the J. of Cement and Concrete Composites—a journal with the highest Impact Factor in the field. His awards include Wason Medal of American Concrete Institute, Solutions Through Research Award of the BC Innovation Council, Wolfson Merit Award of the Royal Society of the UK, Killam Research Prize from the Killam Foundation, Horst Leipholz Medal of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, Mufti Medal of Excellence of the International Society for Health Monitoring of Infrastructure (ISHMII) and the Leadership in Science and Technology Award of the Drishti Foundation.  He is the fellow of the American Concrete Institute, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, Indian Concrete Institute, Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Canada.

Recently, Dr. Banthia was invited by Prime Minister of Canada to lead the Canada-India Research Center of Excellence (IC-IMPACTS) as its Scientific Director and CEO. Supported by both Indian and Canadian Governments, the $30 million Center is involved in applied research with India in Water, Infrastructure and Public Health and is dedicated to bringing advanced technologies to communities in Canada and India. Its long-lasting impact is already been felt through its numerous demonstrations projects in Indian and Canadian communities.




Don Purka is currently the Advisor in the Office of the Director General of Private Sector Operations Department at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).  Formerly the director of one of the infrastructure finance divisions, he continues to be active in the origination of private sector project investments in South Asia and Central Asia.  He has been with ADB for 14 years working exclusively in infrastructure. Recent activities include structuring finance for geothermal projects in Indonesia and renewable energy projects in India (e.g., on and off grid solar PV, solar CSP and wind power). He was previously ADB's private sector focal point for all climate related funds (including a $83 million climate change fund with the Government of Canada) and developed ADB’s approach for blending concessional finance with private sector operations.

Mr. Purka has 20 years of experience in emerging market project finance, specializing in the structuring and financing of private sector infrastructure projects, investment credit risk analysis, syndicating B-loans to international commercial banks and advisory work on sector reform and the investment climate for private power development. Most of his experience has been concentrated in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

He is based in Manila, the Philippines.  Prior to his ADB career, Mr. Purka worked for Nexant, Inc. and K&M Engineering and Consulting Corporation, both US-based consulting firms. Mr. Purka holds a M.A. in International Finance from the George Washington University and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary.