Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 3

Winner 5: Rakesh Babu, in response to multiple questions:

We need electoral reforms first, then you can continue with the economic reforms. This will solve 90% of the problems
Information to farmers about what crops to grow, what the prices are etc.
Make users pay more for using electricity at peak time.
Give incentives for solar energy.

Winner 6: Umang Saini, in response to multiple questions:

In two words – Be Transparent and Collaborate
a. Transparency via IT – Realtime analytics on government spending, projections, major initiatives for big social programs. Hard deadlines, milestones and clear roadmap.
b. Collaborate – Let big institutes succeed by collaborating with the best in the world and fulfill their roles.
Side note on Energy / Infrastructure – It’s bad, but we have tolerated far worse in the past. The assumption being that above two will help resolve some challenges in Infra, Transport, Healthcare, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Judiciary etc. as well.
Incentive Structure –
Current policy incentives force the agriculture sector to maximize production and get out of the way. Thus longer supply chain reduces the end benefit to the producer.
To short-circuit the supply chain, small and medium farms need to integrate vertically and cross sell additional products like carbon, water certificates, organic products etc.
One example of increasing farm incomes are by tying up the rewards to sustainable practices can be seen in this presentation link
Equivalently Jwar / Bajra should give higher returns to a farmer compared to Basmati rice , for them to shift to these crops. Current policy is forcing farmers to plant paddy and bombard it with subsidized chemicals in order to maximize their incomes and short term gains.
Reliability –
There is huge potential in smart micro-grids which will match demand with supply in a more efficient manner. Standard demand-response techniques which create Negawatts will thus ensure more reliability.
Generation –
Good potential for Micro-power generation plants – 100kW to 2MW in Gas, Nuclear, Solar and Wind. Bloom Energy Box being a good example of innovation in micro clean energy generation.
Distribution –
Electricity act 2005 allows to break distribution monopoly enjoyed in cities, a fixed last-mile distribution tariff, say 0.40p per unit kWh will ensure that theft will automatically come into check and systems/services/reliability will improve.
I agree that villages can no longer be islands, however their micro-economies still cannot afford solutions deployed even in tier 2-3 cities. They seek solutions that scale down to their immediate short term gaps

Continued on Monday.

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