Centre’s boost to solar cooking

DST institutes awards for best designs
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi with a project to give a fillip to solar cooking. As the first of many activities taken up by the government to uphold Gandhi’s ideals, DST has instituted Grand Challenge Awards for the design of solar cooking solutions at both household and community levels to empower rural people. Researchers from academic and research institutions and industry have been invited to submit designs with specifications for solar cooking solutions before December 31 this year. The designs fall under three categories — household cooking (5 persons), small community cooking (50 persons), and large community cooking (300 persons). They should be user-friendly and find wide acceptability. Explaining the rationale for the competitive invitation, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, said, “The basic solar cooking design has not changed for a long time. Unlike in the case of the solar water heater, which has seen wider acceptance and uptake, we don’t see the same for solar cooking. The challenge is to make solar cooking more user-friendly, functional and cheap,” said. “The ones now commercially available are only solar cookers while we are looking at solar cooking solutions that will allow Indian style of cooking, which includes boiling, steaming and frying,” Prof. Sharma said. “The currently available ones can only be used on the terrace or in other open places, while we are looking at solutions which can be used in the kitchen.” To make that possible, DST has set out 12 criteria which include the ability of the cooker to work in diffused light or no light for at least two hours, have temperature control and range, and work independently or in conjunction with grid power.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/centres-boost-to-solar-cooking/article25128446.ece

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