Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Current Affairs - 2020

GoI: Scheme launched for 100% solarization of Konark Sun Temple and Town

On May 20, 2020, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy launched a scheme to solarize the Konark town and Konark sun temple completely.


The scheme has been launched to develop the historic Sun Temple in the town of Konark. Also, the scheme will develop the town into Surya Nagri. The development will be to deliver the message of synergy between the sun temple and the modern use of solar energy. The scheme mainly aims at promoting solar energy.

Key Features of the scheme

The scheme will set up 10 MW grid connected solar project. It will also launch applications such as solar drinking water kiosks, solar trees and off grid solar power plants with battery storage. The project is to be implemented by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency.

Konark Sun Temple

The Konark Sun Temple is a world heritage monument. It was built in the 13th century. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I. The temple had been designed in the shape of a chariot. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.

The temple was once called the Black Pagoda as it was then believed to draw ships and cause shipwrecks. There are also other cultural site in India where the term ‘Pagodas’ has been referred. It is Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. The site is believed to have had “The Seven Pagodas of Mahabalipuram”.

Eritrea, Saint Kittis sign ISA Framework Agreement

Two new countries Eritrea and Saint Kitts and Nevis have signed the International Solar Alliance’s (ISA) Framework Agreement at the second Assembly of ISA held in New Delhi. With this the total number of countries who have so far signed the ISA framework agreement have reached to 83.

About International Solar Alliance (ISA)

The ISA is an Indian initiative which was launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30 November 2015, in Paris, France, on sidelines of COP-21.  This treaty-based inter-governmental organization is an alliance of 121 solar resource-rich sunshine countries lying fully or partially between tropic of cancer and tropic of capricorn as prospective members. The ISA is now perceived as key towards achieving 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and objectives of Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Objectives: ISA aims to lower the cost of energy, increase investment in renewable energy, as well as train and share knowledge and technological know-how among the member countries. ISA’s overarching objective is to collectively address key common challenges to scaling up of solar energy in ISA member countries.

ISA Assembly: It is the supreme decision-making body of ISA. It gives directions on various administrative, financial and programme-related issues.

The second ISA Assembly was hosted by Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and presided by MNRE Minister R K Singh who is also the President of ISA. Brune Poirson, the French Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition is the current co-president of ISA. The first ISA Assembly was held in October 2018.