Today, students in the state of Maharashtra go in for their HSC exams. This is the higher secondary examination whose percentage along with the Common Entrance Test which plays a contribution to a student’s admission into a college of their choice. Newspapers reported that many of the students would have to face trouble because the examination centres at many of the places reportedly don’t have electricity because of the deficit that the state of Maharashtra faced.
While it is easy to sit down and criticise the Government for the lack of planning and implementation of its energy programme, it’s the case of no use of crying over spilt milk. It is now essential to look at stop gap solutions in the interim so that students don’t face trouble and do not curse everyone for their failed future.
I see a possible role for new and renewable energy sources here – one that will also have a long term impact on the next generation of Indians that would probably take India faster on the Renewable Energy track. With a little bit of initiative, schools could have easily collaborated with government agencies like IREDA or MEDA and corporates like Suzlon to install on campus solar or wind energy systems which deliver sufficient power to run fans in school compounds. Better school design would have assured proper ventilation and natural light for writing purposes. Even if that is not possible, meeting the lighting and cooling requirements of a school could easily have been met by a small renewable energy plant.
This not only would fix the problem for students but would also be a problem that the Government can solve with a longer term solution than with short term fixes. Corporate houses can easily benefit in terms of CSR as well as recognition among students who can spread the word on their work much faster than any ad or PR agency. This will also spread word on programmes and financing made available by IREDA and MEDA. Also, just think about how dedicated students will be towards renewable energy which helped them write their exam like any other centre in the State. Since this is a win/win for all concerned, I do not understand why this hasn’t been implemented in schools and colleges. Hopefully it will be – next year if not this year!