Rohit Kansal is a Director with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the Government of India where he is keenly involved with a number of path-breaking initiatives in cleantech in India including the policy framework of the Indian National Solar Mission. As a civil servant with the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), he has previously headed the office of the (then) Finance Minister in India. As District Magistrate and Collector in some of the most difficult areas in Jammu and Kashmir, India, he oversaw the relief and temporary resettlement of over a quarter of a million villagers displaced by the massive security build-up on the international border. As Additional Chief Executive Officer (ACEO) of the highly revered Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine (Board) at Katra, India he attempted to marry tradition with technology resulting in a significant upgradation of processes and facilities at the Holy Shrine.
His overriding passion, however, remains renewable energy with a particular focus on policy interventions and sustainable business models in the off-grid, decentralised space in order to promote energy access and rural development. He intends to use his tenure at the Australia India Institute to look more closely at the challenges facing the scalability of decentralised energy-access models in energy-poor areas around the world.