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First-Of-Its-Kind Solar Manufacturing Plant Will Be A Game Changer In Off-Grid Solar Power Scenario Of India

 

Bhoomi Poojan and Foundation Stone Ceremony of India’s First Locally-Owned Solar Panel Manufacturing Plant Held Recently


Mumbai: February 7,2017

For the first time in India, a solar module manufacturing plant fully owned and operated by local tribal communities is being set up in Dungarpur, Rajasthan. The foundation stone laying ceremony was held a few days back.

 

Considering the importance of renewable energy in India, IIT Bombay had already started a Department of Energy Science and Engineering and established a National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education. In order to identify and tackle the challenges in implementation and dissemination of renewable energy technology in society, IIT Bombay has lead projects which provide solar lamps to school students across India. The Institute has already distributed 1 million solar lamps and has been given the responsibility to plan and execute distribution of 7 million more such lamps. IIT Bombay believes that the sustainability of solar solutions can come only when local communities are involved in various operations of solar technology implementation and distribution. To take this forward, IIT Bombay has begun promoting local manufacturing of solar products in rural areas. The Institute has helped implement this first-of-its-kind solar PV module manufacturing plant, which will be completely owned and operated by tribal women in Dungarpur, Rajasthan.

 

On this occasion, the Director of IIT Bombay Prof. Devang Khakhar said, “IIT Bombay is taking significant steps to contribute positively in energy scenario of the country not only through academics but also by undertaking scientific and social projects”.

 

The foundation ceremony was attended by Chief Guest Mr. Sushil Katara, Honourable State Minister for Public Health Engineering, Ground Water and Chairperson Mr. Harshvardhan Singh, Hon. Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha).

 

The foundation stone is a historic moment not only for Dungarpur but also for India. Livelihood generation in remote areas will move from farming and animal husbandry to industrialisation and localisation. It is hoped that this will set in motion a trend of decentralised manufacturing in India to reverse the course of rural poverty and urban migration. The effect of this project on the morale of the local community and on national policies is expected to be tremendous.

 

“It is a great initiative for women empowerment. I hope that the women will take it forward. Rajasthan government will always be there to support them,said Mr Rajeev Singh Thakur, State Mission Director Rajeevika and Secretary Rural Development. Rajeevika has played the important role of catalysing the formation of Cluster Level Federation and built the capacity of the community to start taking such initiatives.

 

The district administration of Dungarpur, Rajasthan invited IIT Bombay to start its programme of solar study lamp distribution (Project Million SoUL) in remote areas of

 the district by forming partnership with cluster level federations (CLFs) of Rajeevika (Rajasthan Grameen Ajeevika Vikas Parishad). IIT Bombay had already distributed a million solar study lamp by that time in various other parts of India.

Women self help groups (SHG) from CLFs were trained and mentored to locally assemble and sell the lamps. The most important part of the project was that local women were trained to provide repair and maintenance to the lamps by setting up solar shops so that regular maintenance was available for these lamps. This was a unique initiative that empowered local women, from tribal and one of the most backward blocks of Rajasthan, to earn their livelihoods by becoming solar entrepreneurs and a roaring success for Rajeevika entrusted with the task of generating livelihoods.

 

 

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Source: IIT Bombay

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