Government launches skill development programme in 6 states for speedy electrification of all households under Saubhagya Yojna

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating Deendayal Urja Bhawan — the corporate office of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in September 2017 had launched the Saubhagya Yojna, which was an ambitious scheme to ensure Ghar Ghar Bijli (Electricity for all homes).

On Tuesday, in line with the prime minister's announcement, the Power and Skill Development ministries joined hands to launch a skill development programme to speed up the implementation of the Saubhagya Yojna, the Modi government's flagship universal household electrification programme.

Dharmendra Pradhan and RK Singh jointly addressing video conferencing on Saubhaghya Yojna with six states. Firstpost Debobrat Ghose

Dharmendra Pradhan and RK Singh jointly addressing video conferencing on Saubhaghya Yojna with six states. Firstpost Debobrat Ghose

Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power RK Singh jointly, through video conferencing, connected six state capitals – Lucknow, Bhopal, Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati — to unveil the initiative.

The ministers took stock of the manpower situation, the targets set, and other requirements during the session.

"This (initiative) has added a new chapter to our economic development. Our PM Modi ji wanted a targetted approach so that the scheme could be implemented in a time-bound manner. His dream is to make electricity available to the poorest of poor across the country. It's first of its kind of institutional effort where four stakeholders — Centre, states, Rural Electrification Corporation and National Skill Development Corporation have been brought together to implement this project. Besides, providing electricity to the last man in the row — the poorest person, our focus is on developing skilled artisans," Pradhan said.

For timely implementation, the scheme needed 35,0000 trained personnel.

After interacting with the states and setting goals, Singh said, "The power sector will be immensely helped by this. Lack of skilled manpower was the only hurdle in implementation of Saubhagya Yojna, which has now been overcome."

The objective of Saubhagya Yojna or Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna is to provide energy access to each household. The scheme aims to take electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal household electrification in the country.

The scheme targets to achieve 4 crore connections by March 2019. The project is initially slated to cover six states (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam) at an estimated cost of Rs 16, 320 crore.

During video conferencing, Madhya Pradesh said that they would complete the target (4.5 lakh) by December end.

The Odisha officials said that there's a skill gap in power sector but it would be fulfilled with the implementation of this initiative. "We'll require more than 5,000 skilled artisans and training would be provided to them," the official mentioned.

Uttar Pradesh representative said that the state government has been aggressively working on the project and would complete its target within time.

"It'll be a socio-economic game changer and convergence of two national programmes. Mobile training centres will provide training. Bihar has started its first batch of training,” added Singh.

The main agenda of this scheme is to provide substitution to Kerosene as household fuel, improve electrical services, provide electricity to poor and increase job opportunities.

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Updated Date: Mar 27, 2018 22:36:51 IST

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