The Bharat Solar Power Development Forum (BSPDF), floated by the RSS, wants the government to impose anti-dumping duty on imported solar cells and modules, and bring Indian industry and academia together to overcome the gaps in India’s solar manufacturing. “Creating capacity within the country is the only way to go,” said Bhagwati Prakash Sharma, Convenor of the forum, who is also Vice Chancellor of the Udaipur-based Pacific University.
“Local solar manufacturers and universities specialising in renewable energy studies should form a consortium to bring about technological improvements in the quality of domestic solar panels to make them price competitive. The government should also increase the viability gap funding (VGF) it provides users of domestic solar equipment from the current Rs 1.25 crore per MW.” The BSPDF is one of a number of sub groups the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) – a leading arm of the RSS – has set up since the NDA government came to power. (Sharma is also the national co-convenor of the SJM.) Other sub groups include one on defence manufacturing, another of public private partnerships, and more.