President Kovind Launches Solar Charkha Mission for Artisans

The program will generate employment opportunities while paving the way for a clean economy


The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, recently launched the Solar Charkha Mission in New Delhi under which the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) will disburse a subsidy of ₹5.5 billion to the artisans covered under this mission.

The government expects the Solar Charkha Mission to help generate employment in rural areas and contribute to green economy. The mission will cover 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2,000 artisans.

The creation of this mission had been initially proposed in the Union Budget provision for Ministry of MSME to harness non-conventional solar energy to further employment generation.

Allocation under Khadi Grant was enhanced significantly from ₹2.65 billion in 2017-18 to ₹4.15 billion.

According to Giriraj Singh, Minister of State, MSME, “To employ one person at textile mill with 25,000 spindles, the capital cost is around ₹6,000,000, whereas it requires only ₹60,000- 70,000 in the case of a solar charkha.”

At present, there are over 2,300 Khadi institutions registered under Societies Registration Act, Trust Act, Co-operative Societies Act, are implementing Khadi program throughout the country according to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

This will be a low-cost method for production of yarn and will also help in knocking off conventional power from the grid. Per KVIC, an artisan can begin working with a solar charkha within a week of training.

The products such as towels, bed sheets, pillow covers, duster cloth, produced using solar yarn will be sold to government departments, railways, with the support of KVIC.

Recently, the government also announced that it was preparing to launch the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) program with an aim to solarize the agricultural sector using solar-powered water pumps and provide solar-powered electricity to rural areas.

Image credit: Flickr

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.