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 “ONGC helped villages in Betul go smokeless and pollution-free,” says Mohan Nagar, one of the key persons involved in the execution and implementation of the Solar Chulha initiative by ONGC in the Madhya Pradesh villages. In an interaction with Team CC-Delhi, Nagar acknowledged the support provided by energy major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) in the transformation of the villages.

According to Nagar, the implementation of Solar Chulha has helped the villagers to save precious time. Previously, they had to walk miles to collect wooden logs for cooking. Apart from saving time, the solar stoves have ushered in a healthy life for the villagers; pollution in the area has considerably reduced within the span of past 10 months. This has eliminated major air and water borne diseases in the village.

Taking up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s challenge of developing an energy efficient electric cooking stove, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd launched a nationwide ‘Solar Chulha’ competition in 2017 to secure implementable ideas. The energy-efficient electric cooking stoves are aimed at enabling cooking through the use of solar energy, which is abundant in the country.

Through the competition the energy major invited Entrepreneurs/Scientists/ Researchers to participate in the Indigenous Development effort on Design, Development and Demonstration of Solar Chulha (Electric and Thermal) – suitable for indoor cooking of Indian food.

Welcome gate at Solar Chulha Exhibition at DUB, New Delhi
Welcome gate at Solar Chulha Exhibition at DUB, New Delhi

As many as 1,537 applications of proposed ideas were evaluated in two rounds by an expert panel of eminent scientists. The panelists were drawn from various national institutions/ bodies and the panel was constituted under the leadership of former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr Anil Kakodkar.

Following the evaluation of all the applications, five participants were called for the final demonstrations of the proposed concepts during 23-24 April 2018.

The Team of M.Tech students from IIT Bombay – with their project titled ‘Design and development of Solar PV powered electric stove for domestic application’ – bagged the first prize and was awarded Rs 10 lakhs.


Prize Application No Team Details Prize Money
1 101382 Team IIT Bombay Rs 10 Lakhs
2 101391 Team BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore & Nuetech Solar Systems Pvt Ltd, Bangalore Rs 5 Lakhs
3 101186 Team NIT Kurukshetra Rs 3 Lakhs

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at the exhibition
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at the exhibition

Apart from the prize money, all the five finalists were also supported under ONGC Start-up initiative.

Standees depicting project highlights
Standees depicting project highlights

IIT Bombay’s proposal has been taken up for pilot implementation in Betul, Madhya Pradesh under CSR initiative. The project – installation of 86 Solar Electric Stoves – has been completed at a cost of Rs 89,43,000.

The IIT Bombay students, with the help of ONGC, implemented the 86 Solar Chulhas under the guidance of Prof Chetan Solanki. Lauding ONGC’s initiative, Prof Solanki stated that Energy Chulha is an unique concept – the first of its kind in the country. He said that in a time when the world is facing drastic climate changes, the replacement of LPG with clean Solar Energy will certainly help reducing pollution and the adversities that come with it.

Further thanking ONGC for putting trust on the IIT Bombay project, Prof Solanki said that initiatives of corporate bodies to collaborate with educational and research institutes will help students and researchers in their confidence building and innovative thinking. He asserted that IIT Bombay has proposed ONGC to enhance the project and make Solar Chulha beneficial for at least another thousand families.

Winners receiving the prize from the Minister and ONGC Directors
Winners receiving the prize from the Minister and ONGC Directors

This initiative is ONGC’s one of the vital initiatives that comes under its flagship program, INDEG-Make in India. ONGC has been a pioneer in the initiation of promoting the young minds and on import substitution. In the last few decades, through its INDEG Group, ONGC has established many Indian vendors, out of which some of them are now international players in their areas. INDEG-Make in India Campaign is ONGC flagship program which is in line with Government of India vision.