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