Topic of the Day - Kusum Scheme

Government schemes are an important part of the UPSC exam. In this article, you can read about the government’s Kusum Scheme for the IAS exam.

The Central Government has announced the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan or KUSUM scheme which aims at furthering the production of solar power in India and also give the benefits of solar farming to farmers. The Union Budget 2018-19 has set aside a sum of Rs.48000 crores for this program for ten years.

Kusum Scheme Details

  • Kusum Scheme implemented by: The Ministry responsible for this scheme is the New and Renewable Energy Ministry.
  • Initially, the government will distribute 1.75 million off-grid agricultural solar pumps.
  • 10000 Mega Watts Solar plants will be put up on lands that are barren.
  • The state electricity distribution companies, also called, DISCOMS will buy the additional solar power produced by the farmers on barren lands. DISCOMS will get sops to buy this electricity.
  • Tube wells and existing pumps of the government will be converted to run on solar power.
  • Farmers will get a subsidy of 60% on solar pumps. It shall be deposited to their bank accounts directly. This subsidy is going to be shared by the central and the state governments. 30% of the cost will be obtained as a bank loan. Hence, only the rest 10% will have to be borne by the farmers themselves.

Kusum Scheme Benefits:

  • It shall enable the decentralisation of the production of solar power.
  • Transmission losses of DISCOMS will be under control.
  • Subsidy burden on DISCOMS in the sector of agriculture will be decreased to a large extent.
  • This will give farmers the chance to sell to the grid the extra power that is generated by the solar plants that are stationed on their barren lands.
  • It will provide a fillip to the emerging green economy in India.
  • The program will also aid in the de-dieseling of the agricultural sector in India. This implies that the existing diesel pumps will be replaced.
  • Other benefits that will accrue to the farmers due to the implementation of this program include conservation of water, water security as well as energy efficiency.

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