$1 bn venture fund to nurture innovation: Pitroda
"We have set up a national innovation centre that will oversee state innovation centres and 100 sectoral innovation houses. We are setting up a venture fund of USD 1 billion to finance innovation. Today, the ordinary person with ideas has no access to money, and we will try to change that," he said, speaking at GridWeek Asia 2012, organised by the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA).
He also said the proposed `Smart Meter Task Force' will look into modernising obsolete ways of calculating power usage, he said.
"It is amazing to see how India, a superpower in information technology, lags terribly in the power sector. It is annoying to see our primitive ways of providing power, be it evacuation, grids, electricity meters or even the way we manually calculate power consumption. All this has to change and it will change," he said.
Pitroda, who is also Chairman, Indian Smart Grid Task Force, said the government feels that India needs 100 million smart electricity meters, and towards this end, Smart Meter Task Force will be entrusted the task of introducing low cost electricity meters which cost around Rs 1,500 apiece.
"We need a two-chip electricity meter that can be connected through GSM technology, ... These low-cost meters will feed data into electricity smart grids that are considered to be the panacea for our primitive power sector," he said.
He further said that the government has initiated a National Knowledge Centre, where 1,500 nodes will capture data across sectors and feed into a central node, he informed.
"750 nodes are already connected and the balance 750 will be operational in the next 12 months. Mammoth number of 250,000 panchayats will be connected through optical fibre enabling faster and better education, health services, public services and governance. The Government has earmarked around USD 6 billion for this," he added.