“India is poised for decadal double digit growth in the days to come and is poised to become a superpower with a billion plus happy people. India has the potential to transform and can move into the big league very rapidly if we leverage the economies of scale bring in greater degrees of transparency and monitor work that has been undertaken,” said Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy.
Goyal was speaking at the session, “Making India a Global Economic Superpower” at the Conference on Young Indians, here today.
However, adding the caveat of the need to ensure equal opportunities for people at the bottom of the pyramid, Goyal said, “We cannot become a super economic power unless the person at the bottom of the pyramid gets equal opportunity to study, to be skilled and has the opportunity to move towards a better quality of life. To my mind, lack of electricity access in villages across the country is a serious concern for us as a nation. There are about 50 million homes which do not have access to electricity. In Arunachal Pradesh, there are about 808 villages which lack electricity access. While we are now working on building a grid in Sikkim and Arunachal, it will take time. Hence, we are looking at off-grid solutions in the interim.”
Emphasizing on the importance of working together he said, “The Government and the youth need to work together, ideate together and implement the ideas together and work as a team we can take the fruits of development to the bottom of the pyramid.”
Citing examples of where the Government and the youth have successfully demonstrated that team work can lead to substantial benefits he said, “The Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna, amongst the most comprehensive reform programmes that has been recently implemented in the power sector, was conceived and driven by a young team at the Ministry of Power. Similarly, the roadmap for the transition of the country from a coal and power deficit state to a surplus position and the increased production by Coal India was drawn out by the subsidiaries of Coal India which hired teams of 500 young people who were the principal architects of this example. Importantly, a young team of over 365 engineers are working towards electrifying villages which have no access to electricity and have electrified 7000 villages.”
Elaborating on the need to take a holistic and 360 degree view of the various programmes being implemented by the Government Goyal said, “There is a need to recognize the opportunities in the ecosystem and look at how these can be converted into an actionable agenda. If the various programmes that the Government of India has initiated in the last 22 months are seen in isolation, they may not have that much of an impact. But if we realise how these various programmes (Skill India programme, the Jan Dhan Yojna, the Mudra Yojna, Mission Innovation, etc.) integrate and work in consortium with each other then the benefits of all these programmes will integrate into a brighter tomorrow for the youth of India.
Talking about the great demographic dividend that India has,Goyal said that this demographic dividend is our greatest strength and we should leverage and take advantage of this. Talking about this programme and how the youth in India can play a key role in India’s transformation to a super power, he said, “To my mind this programme can become the nucleus of a transformational initiative.” He urged the youth to partner with the Government and work together we can and we will.
Discussing the key role innovation and access to technologies will play in moving towards a developed country he said, “If we can look at getting best technologies across sectors like has been done in the power sector, use economies of scale, and incentivize manufacturing this will help India leapfrog inefficient technologies, assets and practices and deploy ones that are more efficient and less emission intensive.”
Goyal further mentioned that a small working group under the leadership of Nitin Gadkari has been created. “The working group is evaluating the possibility of India making the transition to 100 per cent electric vehicles by 2030. This programme is going to be on a self financing model and will look at monetizing savings that consumers have on petroleum products.
Highlighting the success of one of the key programmes of the Ministry of Power, Goyal said, “The LED programme in India is going to result in savings of 100 billion units of electricity annually and will benefit the consumers directly. In monetary terms it will lead to savings of $6.5 billion annually. Given the environmental concerns, this programme will result in the reduction of about 80 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. This programme demonstrates how economies of scale can be leveraged to achieve a significant reduction in the cost of LED bulbs.”
Given he importance of energy security in the country’s move to become a super economic power, Goyal said that India has the ability to generate 150 per cent of the power that we generate today given the assets that we have which are underutilized and the country today is poised to become energy secure. He said, “We are now working on reducing our dependence of oil and gas. Simultaneously we are working on programmes to reduce our consumption. We are looking at increasing consumption which we can blend with petrol. We are now moving to 5 per cent ethanol blending with petrol and at the next level this will have a transformational impact on the farmers income.”