- The Institutes will collaborate for Developing Financing Mechanism to extend off-grid electricity in rural India
- 146 organizations applied for the grant; 11 projects selected
Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIM Indore) in collaboration with the University of Canberra (UC) and University of New South Wales (UNSW) won the Australia India Council Grant which was announced by the Australian Governments’ Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Ms. Marise Payne recently. IIM Indore, UC and UNSW have won the grant for a project titled ‘Developing financing mechanism to extend off-grid electricity in rural India’. A total of 146 organizations had applied for the grant, out of which 11 projects were selected.
An MoU was signed for the yearlong project by Prof. Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore; and Dr. Milica Symul, Director Research, and Innovation, University of Canberra, on October 05, 2021. Prof. Milind Sathye, Senior Professor-Banking & Finance, University of Canberra will be the overall lead for the project and liaison with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Australia.
Prof. Rai noted that IIM Indore’s mission is to be a contextually relevant and socially conscious business school. ‘We aim to take every potential step to ensure our contribution to the nation-building. This project will contribute to IIM Indore’s mission of contributing to the betterment of the society and is in line with its vision to increase international collaboration’, he said. This project would also help rapid uptake of the innovation to make the lives of rural communities better, he added.
The IIM Indore team includes Prof. Keyur Thaker, Faculty, IIM Indore and Mr. Sanjay Ghosh, FPM Student at IIM Indore; along with Prof. Himanshu Pota from UNSW and Prof. Milind Sathye, Senior Professor-Banking & Finance from UC.
Prof. Keyur Thaker said that the project explores financing solution to provide access to electricity in rural India with Australia and India both benefitting from the strategic institutional relationship. ‘It also aims to design, develop, and test a sustainable financing mechanism for the rapid uptake of off-grid electricity supply for rural India on a long-term basis’, he said.
The three educational institutes will now be working on this project which envisages the development of an appropriate financing mechanism at the manufacturers and community level to support the uptake of off-grid electricity innovation. The team will hold discussions with various stakeholders such as, regulators, experts, financiers, manufacturers and communities soon and make field visits.
About off-grid electricity & its benefits: As per Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2020, about 789 million people worldwide live without access to affordable, reliable, and safe modern energy. The majority of those living without modern energy services rely on kerosene, candles, battery torches, or other fossil fuel-powered technologies for lighting. These traditional solutions are expensive, harmful to health, hazardous and polluting, and can’t power communication technologies.
Off-grid solar energy products provide a safer, cleaner, cheaper, and reliable alternative to conventional solutions. They generate enough power that can be stored and used at night or when the power grid is down. These are ideal for remote areas where there is no power access from the grid.