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Power Distribution Reforms in India
Power distribution reform is widely viewed today as fundamental to improving commercial performance and financial viability of the power sector in India. Recent initiatives, such as the enactment of the Electricity Act 2003, and the Accelerated Power Development Reform Program (APDRP) aimed at the financing of the modernization of sub-transmission and distribution networks demonstrate the recognition and commitment by the Ministry of Power to urgently address the issue of reducing losses and improving the quality of power delivery.
Distribution Reform, Upgrades & Management (DRUM) Project
DRUM is a collaborative joint initiative of Ministry of Power, Government of India and USAID, India. Under the DRUM initiative, USAID and its partners will improve power grid infrastructure, increase use of clean technologies, and support training for 20,000 - 25,000 utility personnel - from linemen to senior managers - on commercial, technical, safety and management aspects of electricity distribution. DRUM envisages to establish pilot electricity distribution projects in selected areas to test out approaches; design alternative financing schemes to fund upgrades and expansion; train utility staff at all levels in engineering techniques and customer service to cut current losses in the system.
Objectives of DRUM Project
The major objectives of the DRUM Training Program are to enhance the knowledge and experience of a significant number (20,000 – 25,000) of distribution engineers, managers and technicians through the facilitation of technical and managerial training delivered by professional Indian training institutions; and support the development and institutional capacity enhancement of selected Indian institutions for sustainable delivery of distribution business management, reform and regulation training.
At the center of the strategy for the development of distribution reform training to utility personnel, is a partnership between Ministry of Power and USAID India and the nominated Indian Institutions. Training programs and related course materials in both the technical and management areas are jointly developed under DRUM project. As beneficiaries of USAID funds, these Institutions utilize various types of training and capacity building interventions.
Power Finance Corporation has been designated as the principal intermediary and implementation partner responsible for technical assistance and training under DRUM components. PFC has empanelled organisations, including utilities, as DRUM Partner Training Institutions for providing training to distribution sector personnel on various technical and developmental areas.
Training Programme On “Distribution Equipment – Technologies & Application” : IEEMA Initiative Under DRUM Project
IEEMA has been closely working with the Ministry of Power, Government of India, supporting its various initiatives in development of Power Sector. Distribution sector reforms are one of such areas where IEEMA has actively worked with the Power Ministry during the last few years.
Ministry of Power has approved IEEMA’s empanelment as a Partner Training Institute under DRUM Project for conducting Programmes on the subject "Distribution Equipment – Technologies & Application". This is a specially developed 3-day programme that covers modules of half-day duration on different equipment like Cables, Capacitor, Distribution Transformer, Energy Meter, Instrument Transformer (CT/PT), Surge Arresters, Insulator etc. Tutorials are conducted by technical experts drawn from the industry, with course content covering areas such as product/ equipment design, Selection/ Specifications, Testing & Quality Control, Erection & Commissioning, Operation & Maintenance, Corrective & Preventive maintenance, Failure Analysis, site problems etc.
IEEMA had earlier conducted these Training Programmes for NDPL, Reliance Energy and TNEB in Delhi, Mumbai and Madurai respectively during 2006-07 as a Knowledge Partner to the respective Utility (Partner Training Institute). As a DRUM Partner Training Institute, IEEMA is now conducting this Training Programme for engineers & technical personnel of different distribution utilities across the country in their own premises. First such programme has been conducted for Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam at Karnal in September 2007.
Support to Distribution Utilities
To impart Training of Utilities Personnel on Equipments under DRUM, following line of approach has been worked-out between USAID, PFC and IEEMA:
1. To conduct assessment of the utility specific competence and accordingly the need for training in the areas of specialization. The exercise has been conducted by the DRUM team incorporating inputs from IEEMA, based upon its members experience and interaction with different utilities.
2. IEEMA being the nodal agency for developing and conducting these programs, will attempt to cover all distribution utilities for training in equipments under identified variances including the following:
Instrument Transformers (CTs / PTs)
Role of IEEMA
IEEMA’s role in this activity begins with coordinating and networking with the industry for soliciting their support in developing and conducting the programs, formulate and develop the course content and reference material for the various course variants in "Equipments Training". Once a Programme is finalised for a host distribution utility, IEEMA identifies Course coordinator for each of the course modules, who will be responsible for organizing and implementation of the program. IEEMA also coordinates with the DRUM Team from time to time and distribution utilities whose engineers are to be arranged to ensure training in equipments, based upon their needs.
Development of course content is undertaken by IEEMA at the respective Product Divisions level. The training needs assessment and consequent training curriculum development is an ever-improving process, with State of Art practices, procedures and technology incorporated in the course contents at regular intervals. Suggested aspects for Course Contents cover areas such as Product / equipment standardization & design, Application and selection, Raw material & procurement, Manufacturing processes, Testing & Quality Control, Logistics, Erection & Commissioning, Operation & Maintenance, Corrective & Preventive maintenance, Failure Analysis etc.
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