Piyush Goyal: NASA images depict humongous change in India's brightnessLast updated on May 02, 2018, 02:31 pm
Two interesting images released by NASA established a significant change of brightness in India in 2016, compared to 2013.
Taking a dig at the naysayers, former power minister Piyush Goyal tweeted, saying, "Images depicting humongous change in India's brightness at night were not fake."
With the Modi government celebrating its successful 100% rural electrification drive, these images come as a pat on their back.
"Results are already easy to see"
Incidentally, National Geographic also substantiated the government's electrification success by saying that "India has brightened dramatically."
Stating the fact that fair share of people in India live without electricity, the TV channel said, "Its (Indian) government has been working to change that by establishing a rural electrification programme... investing heavily in renewable energy.... the results are already easy to see on Nelson's map."
Schemes and targets
Push for rural electrification under the Modi government
With an aim to electrify all Indian villages by May 2018 , Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana was launched by the Modi government in 2015.
It was followed by the Saubhagya yojana, launched last year, with the focus to supply 24-hour electricity in rural India by December 2018.
Though the government has fulfilled 100% electrification promise, 24-hour power supply by December remains doubtful.
But, still a long way to go
According to the government's definition of rural electrification, a village must have basic infrastructure in place for power supply and only 10 percent of the village's households need to have access to electricity.
Naturally, electrification does not mean fulfillment of 24 hour power supply.
Moreover, a World Bank report (with access to data upto 2014), put India and Nigeria as the most power-deficient countries.
Not so fast
Pace of rural electrification since 1950s
The pace of rural electrification has been abysmal. In 1950 only 3,000 villages had electric poles.
Twenty years later, in 1970 only 18% villages were electrified.
In 1980 about 35% villages had no electric poles.
So, historically speaking, Modi-led electrification is uniquely significant because even remotest areas like Chhattisgarh's red zone and rural Ladakh can finally enjoy the benefits of electricity for the first time since Independence.