Over the years, the world has made significant developments in agriculture, energy and health that have contributed to human well-being. However, some of these improvements in our lives have resulted in changes to the environment around us. Our environment is a hugely complex system that includes the air we breathe, the land we live on, the water we drink and the climate around us. We must work to ensure that our developments in do not adversely affect our environment. As we strive towards a better world, chemistry’s contributions are realized. Chemistry can help us to understand, monitor, protect and improve the environment around us.
Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay K. Sharma, an alumnus of Basant Prabhu Rastriya Vidya Mandir, Kotputli, Rajasthan is working relentlessly to protect the Mother Nature from the hazards caused on her as a result of global development.
Sanjay hails from a quaint little town located on the Delhi-Jaipur highway – Kotputli, from where he completed his education. He did his schooling first till class 8 at the Vidya Bharati School, then his 12th from Govt Sardar Sen. Secondary School, Kotputli. He then joined the Govt. Lal Bahadur Shastri College, Kotputli from where he studied BSc and MSc in mathematics. From mathematics, Sanjay moved to Organic Chemistry to earn his PhD from Rajasthan University.
After his PhD, Sanjay started working as a lecturer in an engineering college in Alwar, where he served for 10 years. He then joined JECRC University in Jaipur. Presently he is serving as the Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the institute and is also doing research from there.
So far Sanjay has authored around 21 books on Green Chemistry which has been published from publication houses of international repute such as Springer (UK), Wiley (Germany), Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), CRC Press Taylor & Francis (USA), Wiley- Scrivener (USA) etc. He has also authored over 100 Research papers which has been published in journals of international repute. Sanjay is also editing a book series of Springer on ‘Green Chemistry for Sustainability’ and so far he has edited around 39 titles authored by renowned scientists from all across the globe.
Sanjay is a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (UK). The journey of a small town boy to a scientist of international repute is truly an inspiring one. And Sanjay credits his school for all that he has achieved in his life so far.
“I was the Ghosh Pramukh of my school, which required me to represent my school in various occasions. This helped me to know the society more and motivated me to work in a field which will ultimately help in improving the world for all”, mentioned Sanjay.
One of biggest issue the world faces today is environmental pollution. Hence sustainability is becoming increasingly important in almost every industry and chemistry is no different.
“There are various types of Chemistry like organic, inorganic and physical. Every type of chemistry have a negative impact on climate because the outcome of every type of chemistry is some way or the other hazardous to the Mother Nature and ultimately to the environmental sustainability and the climate. So Green Chemistry is a stream or a philosophy of practicing chemistry in such a way that the hazardous or negative impact is minimized and the end product is not compromised”, Sanjay explains.
Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is an area of chemistry and chemical engineering focused on the design of products and processes that minimize or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.
The application of the subject is enormous as Sanjay explains, “Green Chemistry is a study of applied nature. One can work with a computer engineer, a management student, or an engineer… any work of life. Its application is very wide. There are in total 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And in each of these Goals the Green Chemistry plays a very crucial part”.
He further adds cautioning the student those who want to study this subject, “There are several colleges and universities where one can study Green Chemistry. Sometimes students get confused between Environmental Chemistry and Green Chemistry. While Environmental Chemistry is Chemistry of Environment, Green Chemistry is Chemistry for Environment. Students must not get confused before choosing the subject”.
Sanjay’s relentless work has earned his several awards and recognitions. He is a member of American Chemical Society (USA), and International Society for Environmental Information Sciences (ISEIS, Canada) and is also life member of various international professional societies including International Society of Analytical Scientists, Indian Council of Chemists, International Congress of Chemistry and Environment, Indian Chemical Society, etc.
He has been awarded Life Time Achievement Award by Association of Chemistry Teachers.