Mr. Girish Sohani, President & Managing Trustee BAIF development research foundation, made pertinent points. He admired the contribution Dr M. Visvesvaraya has made to the rural region of Mysore. On his visit he saw that every road in the village is constructed in a way to a dam. He appreciated the vision and genius of Dr MV. He admired the vision to collect every drop that is fallen from the rains which is retained. “This method to store every drop of rain tells us how these regions can never get affected by drought or floods. This truly is an engineering feat.”

Sohani in his talk said we are in the midst of a new revolution, of Information and Technology, which he cautioned has a massive effect. “Today we are seeing a huge transformation which has brought about total change in economics. However it has a big fall out.”

After the first two Agrarian and industrial revolution Dr. Sohani said we are in the midst of the technological revolution. New technology has transformed the way information is processed, compiled and used. It brings undercurrent of changes on various levels. We are seeing robotics increasingly coming into factory production, surgical use, remote handling of transformation process and also 3-D printing, which can produce different products. He called upon the audience to look to nature for the solutions which he emphasised should be done in decentralised manner. “The important point to note is that nature teaches us how not to waste and whatever is being done henceforth in decentralised manner. The benefits should be long lasting.”

Mr. Sohoni, “For this new technology to sustain we need to take a relook at the collateral effects which are mainly wastage of power and other utilities.”

The fall out of the new revolution is energy which is being used on a massive scale. Any transformation process always creates waste. It is accompanied part material, heat and energy. “We are seeing that the global warming is on the rise, we have seen temperatures world rising by a degree and now the reports say that the sea levels too are expected to rise by 100-200 feet,” said Mr. Sohani. In this whole cycle, many new species can get wiped out. Humans however will not die, since they are most adaptable and can move easily, unlike other species. He emphasised that the future is not of droughts, it will be of excessive water. “We will witness unseasonal rains and floods. Situations of extreme weather like we are experiencing today,” said Sohani.

Mr. Sohani said “It is time to shape policies which will be effective for over decades.” One of the goals is to reduce ecological foot prints, amount of energy, water, wood, fuel being used. “We need to think of alternatives to strive towards reduction of using power and water.” He highlighted, “There is a lot to learn from nature. There is no wastage, whatever is produced it becomes source for new product. All energy consumption in nature is minimal. The only consumption is for photosynthesis, where the consumption of solar energy at room temperature. It creates, not wastes and we need to strive towards this goal.”

This Dr Sohani said is the time to shift to renewable energy and to achieve this all, he emphasised decentralization is need of the hour. It is not just Mahatma Gandhi, Dr MV showed it through practice that true strength lies in rural areas.

“Take for example the river interlinking project that Dr. MV had started. Even our power grid, when states have joined in the network grid of power there has been stability.”

He later elaborated on the work their organisation has been doing. Our organization is using technology for agriculture, seeds and rural development. “In India we pioneered collecting high quality semen, we freeze it inseminate to cows for high quality of progeny, bio F did 40 years ago,” Sohani said.

Today, farms cannot sustain breeding bullocks as most produce 90 percent cows and not bulls. Now they are using sorted semen, where by only cows will produced. He said using the reference of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, “The use of science and technology has to be conceptualized and mitigate the negatives in the past.”

Sharad Upasani in his vote of thanks reiterated that we efforts need to be taken to ensure technology is made sustainable. He appreciated the call to look at nature and work towards decentralisation. He added, “When people are talking for smart cities, I believe in smart villages. Technology should be for masses and classes,” said Upasani.

Earlier, Mr, Vijay Kalantri, the Vice Chairman of WTC Mumbai, in his introductory speech highlighted the achievements of the visionary Sir M. Visvesvaraya. He explained how the WTC Mumbai building was constructed and the pivotal role played by Sir M. Visvesvaraya. “In the 50s it was unimaginable to think of the first escalator and such a tall building in India. Man with great vision such was the great engineer,” said Kalantri.