Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the country’s leading educational institution located in Delhi, is all set to go green by setting up a solar power plant and introducing e-rickshaws and bicycles on its campus.
The most critical component of the green exercise is the introduction of solar, given the university’s need for 24×7 electricity to power its research laboratories.
Over 60% of the students at JNU are research scholars and cannot afford to have their work – especially in labs across several science schools such as School of Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences or molecular medicine – interrupted by outages.
The JNU administration is consulting with its next door neighbour, the Indian Institute of Technology, to set up a two-Mega Watt (MW) solar power unit on the campus. Currently, the university spends around Rs 22 crore on electricity annually.
“We want to make the varsity a clean and green campus and a big part of this move will be to contribute towards generating green and environmentally clean energy though on a small scale. We plan to establish a solar power generation unit of two MW on the campus to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to crucial science experiment labs so that the sensitive experiments going on in there are not marred, at least not for the loss of power,” said newly appointed Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to India Today.
Two more initiatives by the university are also drawing applause from students and faculty alike – the proposed introduction of e-rickshaws and bicycles on the campus.
JNU is located on the Aravalli hills over an area of 1,000 acres. Students living in hostels and coming from outside have to travel a substantial distance to reach their classes by using DTC buses, autorickshaws and their own private vehicles. The introduction of battery operated e-rickshaws will, besides ensuring last mile connectivity, also significantly help reduce carbon emissions in polluted Delhi.
Similarly, the university plans to make bicycles available to the students at a nominal rent.
“The bicycles will be fitted with RF or radio frequency cards and will be available to students on a very small charge. There will be a station from where they can borrow the cycles after registering there,” Kumar said.