Gram Ujala Scheme Launched for Rural Areas

India has launched the “Gram Ujala Scheme” on March 19, 2021 to provide the cheapest LED bulbs in the rural areas. The scheme was launched by the Union power and new and renewable energy minister, Raj Kumar Singh.

About ‘Gram Ujala Scheme’

The Gram Ujala Scheme is an ambitious scheme which offers the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas. This is the first such scheme in India. It provides the LED Bulbs in these areas at a mere ₹10. This the scheme also furthers its climate change strategy and strengthen the self-reliance credentials. The scheme does not come with the government’s support or subsidy. Under the scheme, the bulbs are offered by the state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd’s subsidiary Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL). The scheme proposes for distributing some 600 million LED at rupees 10 in the rural areas. It will be financed entirely through the carbon credits which will be claimed under the “United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)”. The revenue from the carbon credit will contribute to Rupees 60 per LED. This scheme also proposes to take back the incandescent and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs of the rural consumers. After submitting the bulbs, the consumers will get 7 watt and 12-watt LED bulbs with three years’ warranty.

First Phase of the scheme

In the first phase, the scheme was launched from Arrah district in Bihar. In this phase around 15 million LED bulbs will be distributed in the villages of Arrah (Bihar), Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nagpur (Maharashtra), and western Gujarat.

Background

In the year 2014, the previous Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Lighting for All (Ujala) scheme had cut the LED bulb prices to Rupees 70 per piece from around Rupees 310.

Significance of the scheme

India is currently the second-largest LED market across the world by value. So, the scheme will help in avoiding the peak electricity demand of 9,428 megawatts.

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