Mumbai: The Indian
government is planning to set up a "Smart Meter Task Force" that
will look into modernising the "primitive ways" of calculating
power usage, tech czar Sam Pitroda said Monday.
"It is amazing to see how India - which is a super power in
Information Technology - lags terribly in the power sector. It is
really annoying to see our primitive ways of providing power - be
it evacuation, grids, meters or even the way we manually calculate
power consumption till date," said Pitroda, advisor to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh on public information infrastructure and
"All this has to change and it will change, for this decade has
been declared by the government as the 'Decade of Innovation'," he
Pitroda, who also heads the Indian Smart Grid Task Force, was
speaking at the inaugural session of GridWeek Asia 2012 organised
by Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA).
According to Pitroda, the government reckons that India needs 100
million meters and towards this end, the Smart Meter Task Force
will be entrusted the task of introducing low cost meters, costing
between Rs.1,000 to Rs.1,500.
"We need a 2-chip meter that can be connected through GSM
technology. Basically a dumb meter that is smart enough. These
low-cost meters will feed critical data into the smart grids that
are considered to be the panacea for our primitive power sector,"
He said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has
also set up $1 billion venture fund to foster innovation across
"We have set up a national innovation centre that will oversee
state innovation centres and 100 sectoral innovation houses.
Today, I personally think that power is our biggest bottleneck for
8 percent GDP growth. It is a larger challenge that many of us
don't realise, considering that power has to reach to the bottom
of the pyramid and that too, cheap power," he said.