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Why in News?

  • Minister of Railways and Coal will receive the University of Pennsylvania’s top prize in energy policy for his leadership in reforming India’s power sector through various initiatives.

Carnot Prize:

  • The Carnot Prize is intended to honour those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity.
  • The ministry is being recognised for directing a fast-track effort to electrify 18,000 villages in remote parts of India, helping bridge the country’s vast energy divide. The Carnot Prize is named in memory of French scientist Sadi Carnot, who in 1824 published Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, which is recognised as the first statement of what, is now known as the second law of thermodynamics.
  • Carnot recognised that the power of the steam engine would produce a great revolution in human development.

Recognizing Indian efforts:

  • The 2018 Carnot Prize is a recognition of India’s efforts, as the nation charts the path towards eliminating energy poverty with sustainable energy solutions.
  • The rural electrification drive gave a significant breakthrough to the mission of ‘24×7 Affordable, Environment Friendly Power for all’, as India eliminated decades of darkness in more than 19,000 villages April, 2018.
  • With the Saubhagya Programme, the last-mile connectivity to every household in the villages is being fast tracked, with 51% of the 3.1 crore rural households electrified.
  • The massive thrust to green energy is reflected in India’s 175 GW target by 2022, being the world’s largest renewable expansion programme with 72 GW already achieved.
  • As solar and wind energy market prices achieve parity in India with record low tariffs, renewables are set to become the mainstay of development in the coming years.
  • With the vision of “one world, one sun, one grid” of PM Modi India is playing its role as a committed solar leader through steady progress on all green energy goals.
  • In the last four years, energy efficiency has become a people’s movement in India, making the Government’s UJALA scheme the world’s largest LED distribution programme.
  • Along with private sector participation, 130 crore LED bulbs have been distributed, making India brighter and cleaner.
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