Anil Kumar Jain, IAS, additional secretary, heads the energy division at NITI Aayog, which has a team of over a dozen professionals addressing the policy needs of segments as diverse as biofuels and atomic energy.
An IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Jain has 15 years’ experience in the energy sector. Beyond energy, he has over three decades of administrative experience at the field and policy formulation levels in various ministries/departments in the state and central governments.
Between 2003 and 2008, as director and joint secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, he was closely involved with policy formulation and implementation for upstream and downstream development of the gas sector in India, including exploration, award of acreages, and the pricing and distribution of natural gas.
Jain feels that the energy sector is exciting because there is always something happening. It has a lot of entrepreneurism and a lot of capital invested, and it sees tectonic shifts every four to five years. However, a significant challenge that Jain faces in policy formulation is keeping pace with the rapid changes taking place in the power sector. Some of the big triggers for these changes are the falling cost of renewable energy, the fast evolving technologies in energy efficiency and the use of information technology, which is enabling the energy sector in a huge way, not only through data generation but data analytics as well. On financing for energy projects, Jain says that there had been some investor resistance because of the lack of profitability, subsidies and government interference, but these have now been addressed.
Jain has published a number of papers and articles on the sector, including a book on the natural gas policy framework in India. He has been a visiting senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford. An economics graduate, he also has an MBA and a diploma from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. Jain loves research and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. on the future role of gas in the Indian economy at TERI University.
At NITI Aayog, he has been working closely with energy think tanks and has been leading his team for preparing the long-term energy demand and supply projection tool – IESS, 2047. Jain and his team are currently giving the final touches to the country’s new National Energy Policy, which, according to him, should be ready in a few months’ time.