Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY)

The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana is an Indian government scheme intending to provide an uninterrupted power supply to the rural parts of India. The scheme shortened to DDUGJY is christened in honour of political thinker Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. Government Schemes are very important for the UPSC exam as every year, many questions are asked in both the UPSC prelims and the UPSC mains exam.

The DDUGJY replaces the existing scheme for a similar purpose, the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana. Government Schemes play an important role in the IAS Exam. They are also a significant part of the General Studies paper-2 of the UPSC Syllabus. To follow the IAS dream, check out the IAS Eligibility page and aim for IAS 2020. 

Background

The initiative targets feeder separation (agricultural and households) and also strengthening the transmission and distribution infrastructure. 

Rural electrification is often considered to be the backbone of the rural economy. The government also plans to fix the electricity meters at all levels in rural India. As part of this scheme, the GOI plans an investment of Rs.756 billion for the electrification of rural regions.

Implementing this scheme will also initiate other reforms in rural areas. Rural energy needs include energy for:

  • Cooking
  • Basic lighting
  • Irrigation
  • Communication
  • Water heating
  • Cottage industry and so on

Despite launching ambitious schemes to achieve 100% rural electrification, India has achieved only 67.3% overall electrification (urban and rural together).

Based on Census 2011, States had provided a list of 18,452 un-electrified villages as on April 1, 2015.

In the light of the rural electrification programme launched by the government in 2014, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, in this article, we try to understand the DDUGJY scheme of the government and analyze the challenges and possible solutions for rural electrification.

Objectives of DDUGJY

  • To provide electricity to all villages.
  • Feeder separation to ensure sufficient power to farmers and regular supply to other consumers.
  • Improvement of sub-transmission and distribution networks to improve the quality and reliability of the supply.
  • Metering to reduce the losses.

Some Major Initiatives of the Government till date include –

  • Rural electrification under Minimum Needs Programme, Kutir Jyoti Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).
  • In December 2014, the Government of India announced Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) with major modifications in RGGVY.
  • The Electricity Act 2003 (EA 2003), National Electricity Policy 2005, National Tariff Policy 2006, and Rural Electrification Policy 2006 are some of the major policy and regulatory initiatives supporting rural electrification programmes.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) – Salient Features

  • Separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders.
  • Strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas including metering of distribution transformers feeders/consumers.
  • Rural electrification as per CCEA approval for completion of the targets laid down under RGGVY.
  • To ensure rapid electrification, feeder separation, and strengthening of rural distribution infrastructure.
  • It is necessary to monitor progress intensively for smooth and fast implementation of electrification.

Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs or rural electrification engineers)

  • To transparently monitor the process, the Central government has appointed several Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs or rural electrification engineers) from the same areas.
  • Reports by these GVAs are shared through the GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) app (http://garv.gov.in) with officials as well as the public.
  • It puts pressure on State governments for timely and quality delivery.

Click on the link to read about National Power Portal

Challenges in Rural Electrification

The grid extension based rural electrification promoted through RGGVY and other programmes suffered major hurdles which include:

  • The high cost of grid extension and low recovery due to highly subsidized tariffs, low level of tariff collection resulting in a negative return.
  • Supply rationing due to the non-availability of power.
  • High operation and maintenance costs.
  • Villages are often located in inaccessible or left-wing extremism-affected areas.
  • The several States, particularly in eastern India, have seen even lower levels of electrification.

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The Way Forward

  • For faster, reliable, and effective rural electrification, a unified model for implementation is necessary. An integrated policy framework would help in this regard.
  • We also need a regulatory framework to support mini-grid based rural electrification which can be sustainable in the long term.
    • Mini-grids depend on small local consumers which are mostly dependent on agriculture income. These groups are vulnerable to loss of income from disturbances in agricultural activities resulting in loss of revenue for micro-grids. Such practical difficulties need to be addressed on a priority basis.
  • A transparent monitoring mechanism as mentioned above will help audit the scheme in a fair and meaningful manner.
  • Solar street lights/ lighting community places for village electrification and providing light at community places help achieve 100% rural electrification.
  • Solar lanterns/home lighting systems should be adopted.
  • Mini-grids with a variety of sizes based on solar, wind, small hydro, or biomass power is promising candidates for sustainable business models for rural electrification.
  • Technology development in hybrid systems for mini-grids and energy storage systems for balancing supply and demand in mini-grids or distributed generation in remote areas is essential.
  • Awareness, capacity building, and creating quality consciousness among the players is also an essential part of the process.
  • Rural electrification is complex and challenging, however, an integrated approach of combining renewables with conventional grid extension approach and proactive policies to resolve the integration and tariff issues is one of the preferred ways to move ahead.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana:- Download PDF Here

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