New Delhi, Dec 15: In a major decision impacting inter-connected sectors of energy, education and women, Power Minister Piyush Goyal Sunday announced that a government girls' school in Punjab would be the first in the country to introduce energy efficiency as a subject in the school curriculum.
"The Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar will be the first school where energy efficiency will be introduced in the school curriculum," Goyal said at the awards function on National Energy Conservation Day, where the girls from Punjab, along with students from other schools across the country, interacted with the minister via video link.
Displaying a startlingly novel mode of decision-making, Goyal along with senior officials, in response to the student Simran Kaur's suggestion, said he would immediately put up to union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani the proposal to have energy efficiency as a subject in schools.
"There could be a period once a week, or even in a fortnight where ideas and techniques on energy efficiency can be taught," Goyal said.
"This is the way to go for energy efficiency. There is to be no compulsion because energy efficiency is most efficacious when it is voluntary. It should come from the heart," he added.
A Punjab school being designated to be the first to implement a curriculum on energy efficiency is especially significant for a state that is saddled with one of the lowest female sex ratios in the country.
Responding to a suggestion from another school, Goyal promised that by Jan 31, every state will have a toll-free number to report cases of street lights staying on during daylight. "Now it a challenge for the states to take these figures to mobile connectivity so that calls to it can be logged to be followed up by the time taken to act on the complaint," the minister said.
More importantly, Goyal announced his ministry's resolve to have all municipal lighting in the country switch over to a much more energy- efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs) by 2016. The target was set, at the minister's request, by the school representing Andhra Pradesh where Visakhapatnam's street lights have been fully converted to LED after the Hudhud cyclone havoc.
Earlier, Goyal and the officials gave away the National Painting Competition Awards for school children organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The competition, which attracted around 100,000 schools, saw a record participation of six million children this year -- up from 4.5 million last year.