Mr. Anil Kumar Agarwal


Late Mr. Anil Kumar Agarwal was the founder-director of the Centre for Science and Environment, India's leading environmental NGO. It is a Delhi-based research institute working in the field of Science and Technology.


Late Mr.Anil Kumar Agarwal was an Indian environmentalist.Mr. Agarwal had worked as a science correspondent for the Hindustan Times. He graduated from IITK IIT Kanpur in Mechanical Engineering in 1970. Mr.Agarwal has spent considerable time travelling to various parts of rural India to document community-based environmental regeneration efforts in villages. Mr. Agarwal's reports have helped Indian decision-makers to understand the importance of involving people in environmental conservation and natural resource management. His work resulted in a study called Towards Green Villages: A macro-strategy for participatory and environmentally-sound rural development in 1989. The study, based on years of learning from the documentation of micro-experiences, presented a macro-strategy for environmentally-sound rural development.
In 1990,Mr. Agarwal co-authored a paper called Global Warming in an Unequal World which led to a global debate and had a considerable impact on the G-77 position in the negotiations leading up to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. It was the first time that the issue of equity had been raised in the context of global warming. Mr.Agarwal documented India's traditional knowledge in rainwater harvesting technology and management. The book called Dying Wisdom: The Rise, Fall and Potential of Traditional Water Harvesting Systems, was published in 1997, and it has been widely read and reviewed in the country.
Mr. Agarwal has spent a lifetime advocating policies that involve the people in natural resource management and learn from India's own traditions. He also had a deep interest in the management of pollution, especially air pollution, and the threat that environmental change poses to public health. At the international level, he has argued for equitable arrangements in dealing with the global warming problem. He was awarded Distinguished Alumni Award, 1991 by IIT Kanpur in Service of Humanities at Large.

Achievements and Honors

  • Conferred with Padma Bhusan for his work in environment and development in 2002.
  • Received the IITK Distinguished Alumni Award, 1991 in Service of Humanities at Large.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme elected him to its Global 500 Roll of Honour for his work in the national and international arena in 1987.
  • The Indian Government also honoured him with Padma Shri in 1986.