A unique mobile app has been launched by Shri P. Goyal who is the Minister of State of the Department of Power, Coal, and Energy. It has been named ‘Suryamitra’, the meaning of which is a friend of the sun in Hindi. The mobile app is designed to promote the new solar PV technology in our country. The mobile app will be beneficial not only in spreading the use of renewable sources of energy like solar energy, but also to help generate employment in this sector. The solar PV system is a huge field where several developments are going on around the nation under different projects. The mobile app is given access only in India.


Who are the Suryamitras?

To promote and implement the wide use of solar appliances in India, the NISE has started a skill development project which aims to train the youths of the nation and create a huge workforce of about 1 million youths. They will receive technical training on fitting, maintenance, and servicing of the solar PV systems. After getting skillful training under NISE, they will work under the regulation of that same institution. The Suryamita mobile app will be widely used by users of solar-powered systems. In case of any difficulty related to service, maintenance, and installation, this app will help in sending the Suryamitras to the required place to provide efficient service.

Some features of the Suryamitra app

The Suryamitra mobile app will be available only in India and can be used by the customers, Suryamitra workers, and the NISE officials. At present, it is available in the Google Store for mobile app downloads from where smartphone users can download and install this unique app into their mobiles. There will be a GPS-enabled feature tagged along with the app so that the area of concern can be revealed and located easily for the members of Suryamitra to respond and provide service in that location efficiently. This mobile app is designed so that it can multitask and can serve the needs of thousands of users of solar PV systems users by handling their queries. All calls or service requests made to the Suryamitra will be registered instantly and necessary action will be initiated. The movement of the working members of Suryamitra can also be tracked by the user as well as the regulatory authority.

The regulatory authority of this mobile app project

The mobile app which will be a new transformation in implementing the practice of solar energy appliances for both household and commercial purposes has been developed by an autonomous body named the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE). It has worked in the development as well as maintenance of this Suryamitra app. NISE works under the authority of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The main work of NISE is to research and development in the implementation of solar energy in the day-to-day lives and to promote the National Solar Mission.

National Solar Mission and its vision

The NDA Govt. has started this national Solar Mission which aims in maximizing the use of solar energy for domestic, industrial, commercial and agricultural purposes. Solar energy is a never-ending renewable source of energy. So it is high time for everyone to switch to these types of energy systems rather than depending on the limited and non-renewable energy sources. The Suryamitra scheme is a part of the Make in India Project. This solar project has been developed and implemented by the NISE, working under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The vision of this solar project is to create infrastructure in India so that it can produce around 100 GW of solar power by the year 2022.

Selection of candidates for training to become Suryamitra

To achieve the target of having 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022, India needs efficient manpower for the implementation of the project. So the NISE which is the development and regulatory body of the solar mission will s3elect candidates for training to work in the quick response team to solve the service, maintenance, installation, and other issues of the solar equipment and solar panels in various parts of the country. The candidates must have an ITI or diploma degree to get eligibility in the selection of the Suryamitras. Higher educational qualified candidates like B.Tech candidates cannot join this program. The govt. has decided to give emphasis on the backward classes, women, and lower-income groups for including them in this training program and to train them and help them get employment in this sector.

Skillful training of the Suryamitras

The NISE will also conduct skillful training of the selected Suryamitra candidates to prepare a huge workforce to be used for the installation, service, and maintenance of solar projects in different fields. The training period for the Suryamitras is three months i.e. 600 hours of skillful training with total exposure to practical field apart from theoretical training. This course is a residential training program carried out by the Govt. at its own expense. The courses will be jointly operated by the NISE and the concerned ministry. Apart from teaching the basics of electrical engineering, they will be given training on handling solar PV systems. After the training, the candidates will be certified Suramitra workers and will be absorbed by several solar projects of the Govt. as well as private sectors. They may also opt for entrepreneurship in this field.

Institutes for nurturing the Suryamitras

Several educational institutions are selected for providing residential training to the youths of the nation on solar PV systems and similar projects. These educational institutions include several ITI colleges and universities where the Suryamitra training is going on. Almost every state of the country have these institutions set up by the Govt. to impart practical and theoretical knowledge and skillful training to work in the field of solar-powered systems. As per records of the Ministry, a total of 125 such educational institutions are already functional providing skillful training to the Suryamitra candidates across 25 states. The Govt. has planned to expand this training program further.

Using Suryamitra mobile app in Off Grid Solar PV systems

Lakhs of off-grid solar PV systems have been already installed across various working fields in the country. These systems include solar roof panels, solar pumps, solar water heater systems, etc. Some use of solar PV systems is also going on in the agricultural sector. So to keep these systems under working conditions and address their service requirements, Suramitra mobile app will be beneficial. Suryamitra app can be used for the request of installation of solar-powered systems. After installation, these systems require regular checkups, maintenance, and service. So the Suryamitra mobile app can be used to call the technicians for solving the issues. MNRE has set a target of installing a total of one lakh solar pumps across India in the current year.

Charges for service by the Suryamitras

The technicians who will visit to provide service under the Suryamitra scheme will charge a nominal amount for their visit and work. The fixed charge for service, per visit, is Rs. 150. This charge is already set by the NISE as per the recommendations of MNRE. The service charge will be applicable for the installation of new solar-powered systems/equipment, addressing the regular maintenance requests, and providing repairs and service. The monitoring of the Suryamitras will be done by NISE.

Future plans by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

MNRE aims to achieve the target of 100 GW solar power in India by 2022. To achieve this mission under the Make In India project, it has launched the new Suryamitra mobile app to increase its connectivity to more customers and users of solar-powered systems. For this current year, the target of MNRE is to have more than 7 thousand Suryamitras trained and get them working in the field. In the next three years, the MNRE has targeted to produce manpower of 50 thousand skilled workers or Suryamitras. At present approximately 3,200 Suryamitras are there in the country. They have already been registered to work under the Suryamitra mobile app.

Scope of entrepreneurship

The Govt. is also promoting the idea of entrepreneurship in the field of use of solar PV systems. Those trained to become Suryamitras can also operate individually to support the Make in India project. The Suryamitra mobile app will also help the entrepreneurs of this field to get support and service and to expand their business.

 Some Important data regarding Suryamitra mobile app:             

Sl. No. Attributes Related Data
1 Name of the mobile app Suryamitra Mobile App
2 Availability Open for download in Google Play Store
3 Country of accessibility Only in India
4 Date of launch 7th June 2016
5 Development and implementation body National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE)
6 Regulatory Ministry Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE)
7 Charges for service and installation visit Rs. 150
8 The total duration of training for Suryamitras 3 months residential training
9 Mode to track the movement of Suryamitras GPS tracking

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