With an aim to provide last mile electrical connectivity and ensure electrification of all the willing rural and urban households, the Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, also known as Saubhagya Scheme. The funds will be provided largely by the central government to all the States and Union Territories. This topic comes under the Government Welfare scheme section of the General Studies Paper-II in the UPSC Syllabus for IAS Exam and other government Exams.
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It mandates the states and union territories to complete all household electrification. The scheme is in line with the Government’s agenda to provide 24/7 power for all by 2019.
- Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011 will be used as the basis to determine the beneficiaries for free electricity connections. The other un-electrified households are required to bear a charge of Rs. 500 in order to get an electricity connection, which the electricity distribution companies of India (DISCOMS) would recover in 10 installments as a part of their electricity bill.
- The nodal agency for implementation of the scheme across the country would be the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC).
- Transformers, meters, wires, and other such types of equipment will be made available at subsidized prices.
- For rural households without electricity in remote and inaccessible areas, solar power packs of 200Wp-300Wp with battery banks will be provided. The same would be repaired and maintained for 5 years from the date of installation. It will consist of a DC power plug, a DC fan, and five LED lights.
- A mobile application would be used for the survey of households. It provides for on-spot registration of identified beneficiaries by obtaining their application for electricity connection with identity proof and photograph.
- The Gram Panchayats or Public Institutions in rural areas are required to take care of the application process and documentation. They shall, in consultation with Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies be authorized to distribute bills and collect revenue.
Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana Objectives
The scheme aims to fulfil the following goals and objectives:
- Reduced environmental degradation by ruling out the use of Kerosene for lighting purposes.
- Improved educational services.
- Improved health services.
- Improvement in communication.
- Improvement in public safety and quality of life, primarily for women.
- Increased employment opportunities.
- Increased economic activity.
Condition of Power Sector in India
- The Ministry of Power which started functioning independently in 1992 is primarily responsible for the development of electrical energy in the country.
- India ranks third globally in terms of electricity production.
- As per the Paris Accord on Climate Change, India made a pledge that by 2030, 40% of installed power generation capacity shall be based on clean sources, it was determined that 175 GW of renewable energy capacity will be installed by 2022.
- This includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydropower.
- India has 5th Global position for overall installed renewable energy capacity, 4th position for wind power and 5th position for solar power.
- As of October, 2018, a total of around 73.35 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed in the country, which includes around 34.98 GW from Wind, 24.33 GW from solar, 4.5 GW from Small Hydro Power and 9.54 GW from Bio-power.
- Power sector has a 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) permit, which boosted FDI inflows in the sector.
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Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana- Saubhagya Scheme:- Download PDF Here
Recent Initiatives by Government for Nation-wide Electrification
- Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) –
- The scheme provides for
- strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in urban areas;
- metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in urban areas
- IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.
- The scheme provides for
- Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY): The scheme has been launched for the operational and financial turnaround of Discoms.
- Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY): The rural electrification scheme provides for
- separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders;
- strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas including metering at distribution transformers, feeders and consumers end.
- GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) App: To monitor transparency in implementation of the electrification schemes, Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs) have been appointed by the government to report progress through GARV app.
- ‘4 Es’ in the revised Tariff Policy:
- The 4Es include
- Electricity for all,
- Efficiency to ensure affordable tariffs,
- Environment for a sustainable future,
- Ease of doing business to attract investments and ensure financial viability.
- The 4Es include