To compensate for lack of power and erratic supply of electricity in the far-flung regions of the country, the government of India, through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has been running a program under which solar study lamps have been distributed in various states across the country.
The minister of Power, R.K. Singh, informed the Rajya Sabha about the details of the government-run program. Speaking in the House, the minister said, “One million solar study lamps have been distributed in three Indian states under “The One Million Solar Study Lamps Program” which was approved in January 2014 by MNRE for empowering underserved communities. The states which benefited from this program are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.”
According to Singh, a total of 306,000 solar study lamps have been distributed in the state of Rajasthan and 927 people, including 360 women, have been trained for the local assembly and repair of the solar study lamps.
After the program was successfully implemented in May 2016, the MNRE approved the distribution of 500,000 solar study lamps in various states across the country.
Following the success of the program, MNRE also approved a new project for the distribution of 7 million solar study lamps in the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh in December 2016.
“The MNRE also has a separate skill development program “Surya Mitra” for imparting training in the field of solar energy for installation and repair and maintenance of solar power systems,” Singh added.
To ensure universal electrification in the country, the government has been running programs such as Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGYA) to electrify all willing households in the country, in rural as well as urban areas using solar power.
However, electrifying all household is a time-consuming and daunting process and government programs such as “The One Million Solar Study Lamps Program” can help provide immediate relief to citizens from the erratic and sometimes non-existent power supply.
In November 2017, Mercom reported that India’s renewable energy industry and various government agencies have developed a range of mobile and desktop applications to encourage interaction, increase transparency and improve customer understanding of India’s renewable energy market.
Image credit: By Geni (CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0) via Wikimedia Commons