IIT-Bombay has initiated an innovative project that aims to provide 1 million Solar Urja Lamps (SoUL) to 1 million students in rural India.
As part of this ‘Right to light’ programme, Techfest, IIT- Bombay’s annual science and technology festival, has floated a competition whereby it has asked participants to design an innovative solar lamp suitable for study.
The project attempts to enhance schoolchildren’s night studies, exam preparation and homework, while eliminating the traditional lamps which is hazardous to health.
An official from the Institute said, “The various project outcomes expected are improvement in attendance and performance of students in schools, reduction in school dropout rate, reduction in kerosene consumption, and employment generation and entrepreneurship development.”
As a part of the drive there will be proper distribution and service of high quality study lamps, distribution of one million SoULs and research on the impact of solar technology on various socio-economic indicators at the grass-root level.
Once the project is implemented it is expected to improve attendance and performance of students in schools, reduction in school dropout rate, reduction in kerosene consumption, and employment generation and entrepreneurship development etc.
The lamp components should be easily assembled and battery should last for more than 1,500 charging-discharging cycles.
While the best model will get Rs 5 lakh, the second best model will get Rs 2 lakh. The best design will receive Rs 1 lakh and the best usage of solar energy will also get Rs 1 lakh.
For the overall SoUL project, the institute has received sanction from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), to distribute one million solar lamps to several states across India.