On 24 March 2021, Union Minister of Power and new and renewable energy, Raj Kumar Singh, launched “Gram Ujala scheme” in Varanasi (PM Modi’s constituency).

About Gram Ujala Scheme

It offers world’s cheapest LED bulbs across rural areas in the country at the cost of Rs 10. Gram Ujala Scheme is financed on the basis of carbon credits. It will claim carbon credits under “United Nations Clean Development Mechanism”. The Carbon credits will contribute to rupees 60 per piece while Rs 10 will be paid by rural consumer Under the scheme, incandescent and compact fluorescent lamp bulbs will be taken back from the rural customers.

Significance

Gram Ujala Scheme will boost rural employment as well as local economies. It will also uplift villages of the country and will contribute in climate change mitigation. Use of LED Bulbs will help in saving energy because a 12-watt LED bulb provides light equivalent to 100-watt incandescent bulb. It will result in to savings of 2025 million kWH per year and reduce the CO2 emission by 1.65 million tonne CO2 each year. The scheme will enable better illumination at the affordable price.

First Phase of the Scheme

Under the First phase Arrah district in Bihar begins this scheme. It does not come with any government support or subsidy. Under this phase, 15 million LED bulbs will be distributed across villages of Arrah (Bihar), Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra) and western Gujarat. Under phase 1, around 1 crore 50 lakh LED bulbs will be distributed.

Who will offer bulbs?

The LED bulbs under the scheme will be offered by state-run Convergence Energy Services Limited which is a subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. Around 600 million LED bulbs will be offered in rural areas at rupees 10 per piece.

Backdrop

Currently India is second-largest LED market in the world by value. Government’s previous Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Lighting for All scheme (UJALA Scheme) was providing LED bulb at Rs 70 per piece.

Gram Ujala scheme launched