Rural Infrastructure Schemes

[op-ed snap] Power drive: Getting affordable electricity to every household needs sustained policy supportop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The anomalies and the possible solution discussed in the newscard.


  1. When PM recently announced that all inhabited villages now enjoy electrification, it signalled a significant milestone in the country’s development
  2. Yet, statistics conceal severe disparities

Importance of access to electricity

  1. It drives the productivity of households, empowers women and enables education and communication

Some anomalies
(1) The actual number of households in villages that have power connections

  1. The existing definition to declare a village electrified is coverage of a mere 10% of households and common facilities such as schools, panchayats and health centres
  2. Rural household electrification has a wide range across States, from 47% to 100%

(2) The number of hours they get reliable power

  1. The average hours of power supplied in a day to rural areas in January 2018 ranged from 11.5 in Mizoram, 14.91 in Haryana and 17.72 in Uttar Pradesh to 24 hours in Kerala, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu

(3) The per capita power that rural and urban Indians consume

  1. The per capita consumption between rural and fast-rising urban India also represents a challenge, since there is a divergence between the two

Consequences of these anomalies

  1. These anomalies are often the result of infrastructure deficits and administrative inefficiency
  2. They also show that(even with supportive Central schemes) the Power for All 24×7 goal adopted by States and Union Territories with a deadline of April 1, 2019 is far from realistic.

Is the renewable sources of energy a ready solution for rural India?

  1. To many, the falling cost of renewable, decentralised sources such as solar photovoltaics represents a ready solution for rural India
  2. Yet, the evidence from States such as Maharashtra damage and lack of technical capacity can pose serious hurdles
    Possible solution
  3. The answer may lie in a hybrid solution that ensures continued scaling up of both grid-connected and standalone solar systems in appropriate areas
Posted on | The Hindu

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