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Suryamitra Skill Development Programme (SSDP)

Suryamitra Skill Development Programme

Suryamitra Skill Development Programme (SSDP)

Depleting conventional energy sources and the damage they cause to the environment have driven a shift towards renewable, eco-friendly options. The emphasis on cleaner, sustainable resources like solar and wind energy has been growing in recent times. Endowed with the geographical advantage of abundant sunshine throughout the year, India has taken significant steps to encourage the solar energy sector. In view of the employment opportunities in this sector, the Suryamitra Skill Development Programme (SSDP) was launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MoNRE).

Objectives and Implementation of SSDP

Launched in 2015, the Suryamitra training programme is envisioned to train 50000 ‘Suryamitras’ in the next five years. The target is set to be achieved by March 2020. The objectives of Suryamitra Skill Development Programme are:

  • To impart skill to the youth so they may capitalise on jobs created in a thriving solar power industry
  • To train youth in the areas of operation and maintenance which can be put to use both in India and abroad
  • To improve the spirit of entrepreneurship that can contribute positively to the solar power industry
  • Encouraging the ‘Make in India’ initiative

National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) is the nodal agency for implementing the Suryamitra Skill Development Programme. An autonomous body under the MoNRE, NISE was founded to replace the erstwhile Solar Energy Centre. Located in Gurugram, it is considered as the apex institute focussing solely on research and development activities in the solar energy sector. For efficiency, the NISE collaborates with state nodal agencies to ensure the benefits of the programme are accessible to all. NISE has also developed the ‘Suryamitra’ app, which is available for download from the Google Playstore. This GPS-based application ensures the services of ‘Suryamitras’ reach across the country.

Salient features of the SSDP

  • Mode of training: The SSDP is a residential training programme that requires trainees to board at designated hostels in the host institute.
  • Duration of training: The programme is designed for 600 hours or 90 days, following which an assessment will take place. Successful trainees will receive certificates.
  • Number of trainees: Currently, the strength is 30 trainees per batch
  • Fee structure: Suryamitra skill training programme does not charge any fees from the trainees. If the host institute collects a security deposit, it will be refunded at the end of the course. Instead, the MoNRE takes care of these expenses:
    • For boarding – Rs.300 per trainee
    • For course fee – Rs.25 per hour per trainee
    • For assessment – Rs.800 per trainee

Training Structure

The Suryamitra Skill Development Programme incorporates theoretical and practical elements to provide comprehensive training within three months. Important aspects of the course design include:

  • The curriculum is approved by the National Council of Vocational training (NCVT).
  • Trainers have discretion in choosing appropriate teaching methodologies.
  • The course will progress on a fixed daily timetable.
  • The first hour of each day may be set aside for lecture sessions in the classroom.
  • The other hours shall include practical sessions for gaining hands-on experience. They may include laboratories for experimentation, classroom exercises, software simulations and other audio-visual aids.
  • Once every two weeks, an hour-long motivational lecture shall be organised.
  • Students will receive a set of unisex uniform from the organising institution, which must be worn for all classes.
  • Safety equipment including boots or jackets and relevant toolkits will be provided as and when required.
  • Although English or Hindi may be adopted as a medium of instruction based on specific needs, local languages are preferred.
  • Trainees are expected to achieve 100% attendance. Certificates will not be given to trainees with less than 90% attendance.
  • The final assessment at the end of the course will consist of a written test and a practical exam. It will be conducted by NCVT or Skill Council for Green Jobs.
  • A minimum of three industrial visits to medium or large industries and one visit to a 33kV substation shall be organised.
  • Host institute may organise placement drive by inviting solar power companies and other employers in the sector

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet certain conditions to be considered for admission into the Suryamitra Skill Development Programme:

  • The age of the applicant must be at least 18 years at the time of application
  • Minimum educational qualification: 10th pass with ITI certification as an electrician, mechanic, fitter, wireman, etc.
  • Applicants with a diploma in electrical, electronic or mechanical branches are also eligible
  • Experienced certified electricians shall be preferred
  • Applicants who hold a professional degree like B.Tech or any other higher qualification do not qualify for SSDP

Application and Admission Process

  • The advertisement with details, dates and venues of available courses shall be released through print and electronic media by:
    • State nodal agencies of MoNRE
    • Respective host institutions
  • Students may check the eligibility criteria and proceed to apply online or offline, based on the particular host institute. A list of all the host institutions available for each year may be found at the official website:
  • The selection of applicants for admission rests with the host institutions. They are required to submit a final list of trainees admitted to the NISE or respective state nodal agencies of MoNRE.
  • Women, unemployed youth and candidates from rural areas and SC/ST communities shall also be given preference in the selection process.