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Current Affairs 2023
The Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY) is a sub-scheme under the off-grid and decentralized solar application scheme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India. The initiative aims to provide solar-powered street lights to areas with less than 50% grid connectivity in rural, semi-urban, and urban regions. The scheme is implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and has two phases, with a total cost of Rs 583 crore.
Apr 04, 2023
2 min read
India has made significant strides towards providing electricity to its citizens over the past few years, but there are still many regions in the country that remain in the dark. In an effort to address this issue, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) launched the Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY) in September 2016. The scheme aims to illuminate rural and remote areas through the installation of solar street lights.
AJAY is a sub-scheme under the off-grid and decentralized solar application scheme of the MNRE. The scheme is being implemented in two phases, with Phase I being carried out from September 2016 to March 2018, and Phase II from 2018-19 to 2019-20. The implementation agency for the scheme is the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
During Phase I, the scheme covered rural, semi-urban, and urban areas that face less than 50% grid connectivity in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha. The aim was to illuminate these regions with 7 W solar LED street lights. The lights were installed on major roads, markets, and public conveniences in remote areas to enhance the quality of life for citizens sustainably.
Under Phase II, the scheme has been extended to cover the hilly states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, as well as the north-eastern states, including Sikkim, and the islands of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep. The scheme has also been extended to cover parliamentary constituencies in 48 aspirational districts of states other than those covered under Phase I.
The scheme has been allocated a total budget of Rs. 583 crores, with the MNRE providing 75% of the cost of street lights and the remaining 25% coming from Member of Parliament Local Area Development funds (MPLADS). Under the scheme, solar street lights with an LED capacity of 12 W are being provided as per MNRE norms in the identified states. The estimated cost per light is Rs. 25,000.
The Atal Jyoti Yojana is a step towards ensuring that all citizens of India have access to reliable and sustainable energy sources. By providing solar street lights in remote and rural areas, the scheme is not only improving the quality of life for citizens but also contributing to the nation's efforts towards achieving its renewable energy targets. With the successful implementation of the scheme, India can hope to be a leader in sustainable and renewable energy.
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