70 Lakhs Solar Study Lamps Scheme of MNRE

Rationale for the Scheme

Three billion people in the world lack access to affordable, abundant and clean energy services to support their daily needs and livelihoods.  Among them, 1.2 billion are without any electricity; 221 million of whom are in rural India. It is expected that 81.2 million students are likely to use kerosene for their basic lighting needs given 43 percent rural households in India are kerosene dependent and 189 million students reside in rural areas. Reliance on the dirty fuels especially kerosene results in household air pollution which harms women and children’s health. Moreover, conventional methods of setting up power plants to provide electricity to rural areas in India offer a long term solution to the lighting problem faced by rural households, but do not address the immediate energy requirement. Hence, there is a need to provide speedy reliable and clean lightingsolution that can be further scaled up.

Pilot for the Scheme

The 'Million Solar Urja Lamp (SoUL) Program' (henceforth referred as the MSP) was developed and implemented by IIT Bombay in 2014-16. The objective of the MSP was providing clean light for study purpose to each and every child in rural India, in the fastest possible way and in the most-effective manner. The emphasize was on 'localization of solar energy' through active involvement on local communities in entire implementation process, which included assembly, distribution and repair & maintenance of solar study lamps, by transfer of skills and knowledge of technology. In order to reach remote underserved rural areas and also to empower local communities in handling solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, partnership was formed with State Level Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) and NGOs. IIT Bombay successfully has distributed 1 million solar study lamps to rural school students (enrolled between classes 5 th to 12 th ) in 97 rural blocks (sub-districts) covering 23 districts and more than 10,900 villages of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Maharashtra. There were 54 assembly-distribution centers and 350 after-sales service centers established, with 1,409 local people trained. After-sales service centers provided free repair service for a year in the intervention blocks to ensure long term use of solar study lamps and sustainability of this initiative. The project was supported by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy and other philanthropic partners. For additional details, kindly refer to www.milllionsoul.iitb.ac.in

The 70 Lakhs Solar Study Lamp Scheme

For further up scaling, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy - Government of India, has sanctioned the 70 Lakhs Solar Study Lamp Scheme, that aims to provide 70 Lakhs rural students with high quality, affordable clean light in the form of solar study lamp through skill transfer to local communities in the five states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, which have more than 50% un-electrified households, as per the status reports generated by Ministry of Power and available on the Garv dashboard. The key objectives of the scheme include supporting education, livelihood generation, curbing kerosene dependency, generating awareness and confidence in solar technology and reaching out the most marginalized communities. Blocks will be the unit of intervention and have been identified based on:

  1. blocks with more than 50% households dependent on kerosene as their main source of lighting as per census, 2011
  2. blocks with significant percentage of scheduled tribe and scheduled caste population.
All enrolled school students (Class 1 to Class 12) in the intervention blocks will have an opportunity to buy the solar photovoltaic technology based lamp at a discounted price of Rs. 100 per lamp.

Key Stakeholders in the Scheme

There are five key stakeholders in the scheme. ‘IIT Bombay’ is the central agency for overall coordination, strategizing and implementation, while ‘Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL)’ is responsible to procure and provide the lamp kits, spares etc. in the intervention blocks. For this, EESL will coordinate with ‘the empanelled vendors’. The ‘zonal partners’ or Zonal Execution Agency (ZEA) are responsible for coordinating, mentoring and monitoring the blocks falling under the zone. Government aided Academic Institution or engineering colleges present in the intervention state, particularly in the respective zone is envisaged to act as the zonal partner. The ‘block partners’ or Block Execution Agency (BEA) will be responsible for conducting implementation activities in the blocks. Women Cluster Level Federations formed under State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) and/or NGOs working in the intervention states will be selected as Block Partners and each such partner will be responsible for conducting activities in multiple blocks.

Broad Roles and Responsibilities of Zonal Partner

Each Zonal Partner or ZEA will cater to 2.5 to 5 Lakhs students and is expected to handle 4-10 blocks or Assembly & Distribution Centers. ZEA coordinates with BEA, IITB and EESL for implementation of activities in the scheme and will report to IITB. An approximate budget of Rs. 47 per lamp (translates to Rs. 140 Lakhs for 3 Lakhs lamps) is planned for all the zonal activities, which covers various costs such as manpower, travel cost for monitoring visits, training, entrepreneurship development activities, contingency & overheads at block level. The broad role of zonal partner or ZEA pertains to three aspects of:

  1. Impart training to local communities,
  2. Provide consultancy to establish set up for lamp assembly, distribution, after-sales provision
  3. and at later stage enterprise activities for adoption of renewable energy,
  4. conducting research. The detailed responsibilities of zonal partners are listed below.
  5. Support IIT Bombay to finalize block level partners or BEAs as well as intervention blocks
  6. Act as ‘Trainers’ (Master Trainers from IIT Bombay will conduct Training of Trainers for zonal partners)
  7. in order to facilitate BEA training in the zone
  8. Coordinate with IIT Bombay for material (unassembled kits, spares and replacement of faulty components) delivery schedules
  9. Provide expert assistance to set up A&D centers and network of after-sales service centers
  10. Contribute, plan and conduct activities towards enterprise development
  11. Monitor A&D centers performance, quality control in assembly, distribution, repair and maintenance, inventory, data and fund management,
  12. resolving bottlenecks at the BEA level through regular guidance, handholding and monitoring visits
  13. Submit progress reports
  14. Coordinate with IITB for various research & development activities

Zonal Partners: Other Requirements

In order to execute responsibilities listed above, it is recommended that the Academic Institution meet the following requirements.

  • Designate one or two Faculties as project in-charge for overall coordination, management
  • Hire dedicated full-time staffs for zonal level coordination, management and implementation
  • Provide dedicated office space to accommodate staff and required infrastructure such as tables, chairs, telephone, computers, printers, cupboards, internet facility etc.
  • For conducting training:
    • Training infrastructure such as dedicated classroom or training hall spacious enough to accommodate approximately 50-100 trainees (i.e. local people selected) per batch
    • Adequate space to put up charts, posters, whiteboard or blackboard
    • Facilities such as internet connectivity with adequate band width to transmit or broadcast online live training conducted by Master Trainers from IIT Bombay
    • Audio-visual equipment such as TV screens, projector for live interaction as well as showing videos/documentaries

Broad Roles and Responsibilities of Block Partner

Each block partner will cater to assembly & distribution (A&D) centers in multiple blocks. A Block caters to ~ 60,000 student beneficiaries (actual number is determined by students enrolment in a block) and it might have one or multiple A&D centers. Block partner coordinates with ZEA, IITB and EESL for scheme implementation. An approximate budget of Rs. 63 per lamp (translates to Rs. 189 Lakhs for 3 Lakh lamps) is planned for all the block activities, which covers various costs such as setting-up A&D centers, identification of people from local communities to engage as assemblers, distributors and after-sales service providers, assembly of lamps, awareness campaigning, distribution of lamps through the platform of schools, inventory, data and beneficiary contribution management, payments to people employed, contingency & overheads at block level. The detailed responsibilities of block partners or BEA are listed below.

  1. Assisting IITB/ZEA in selection of the intervention blocks
  2. Setting up the Assembly-Distribution and service repair Centers as per the norms given by IITB
  3. Identifying and hiring local people for the assembly, distribution and providing after-sales service as per the guidelines issued by IITB
  4. Making logistical arrangements for various BEA level training and taking care of training related expenditure as per defined norms
  5. Ensure compliance to quality assurance standards given by IITB
  6. Adherence to standardized mechanisms and procedures given by IITB
  7. Ensure completion of various activities as per the plan
  8. Carrying out awareness campaigns
  9. Providing after-sales service to the beneficiaries by setting up of Service Repair Centres as per the norms given by IITB and ensure beneficiary satisfaction
  10. Collection of beneficiary contribution, transferring the funds at ZEA and submission of audited financial statement
  11. Collection of beneficiary data through in the prescribed format
  12. Adherence to norms set for making payments to the assemblers, distributors and other staff engaged in the implementation of the scheme
  13. Providing all scheme related data to ZEA, IITB and EESL as per the norms
  14. Conducting activities towards enterprise development
  15. Timely submission of progress reports

Block Partners: Other Requirements

In order to execute various responsibilities aforementioned, it is recommended that the NGOs/SRLM meet the following requirements.

  • Designate one project in-charge for overall coordination, management
  • Hire dedicated full-time staffs for block level coordination, management and implementation
  • Provide dedicated office space to accommodate staff and required infrastructure such as tables, chairs, telephone, computers, printers, cupboards, internet facility etc.
  • Willingness to meet the target defined for lamp distribution in the selected block within a stipulated timeline. The target will be defined as 75% of the total school enrollment (Class 1 to Class 12) in the selected block
  • For conducting assembly & distribution activity:
    • Adequate space which is water proof for storage (at least 2000 raw material of lamp kits and 500 assembled lamps) and for conducting assembly activity that can accommodate at least 7-10 assemblers and put up various charts etc.
    • Uninterrupted electricity supply with power backup (earthing), multiple extension boards (At least for 8 soldering gun)
    • Plywood or mat for covering ground floor
    • Open space or roof area available to test solar panel
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Toilet and water facilities

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