07 April 2016 Current Affairs: Union Government on 5 April 2016 launched the low cost micro solar device, Surya Jyoti. The solar dome would help rural and urban population to have a reliable access to electricity.This low cost and environment-friendly solar lighting device was launched by Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The device would light up homes without electricity and save millions of units of power.The device has been developed under the aegis of the Department of Science & Technology.According to preliminary estimates, if this technology is adopted in 10 million households only, it has the potential of saving 1750 million units of energy.It would also lead to an emission reduction of about 12.5 million ton of CO2 equivalent, hence giving a fillip to the mission of ‘Clean India, Green India’.The manufacturing process, being labour-intensive, would also generate huge job opportunities in the economy.The Micro Solar Dome captures sunlight through a transparent semi-spherical upper dome and concentrates it inside a dark room.The light passes through a sun-tube having a thin layer of highly reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage. It also contains a lower dome having a shutter at the bottom that can be closed if light is not required in the daytime.It is leak proof and works for almost 16 hours daily, that is, throughout the day and 4 hours after sunset.The Photo-Voltaic Integrated Micro Solar Dome costs about 1200 rupees and the Non Photo-Voltaic version around 500 rupees. These cost figures are expected to get further reduced to 900 rupees and 400 rupees respectively post the scaling-up of the manufacturing process and future linkages with the subsidies under various schemes of the Ministries of Urban Development, Rural Development and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.According to a TERI University test report, the illumination level of the light during mid-day goes as high as a 15W LED bulb. Extensive Testing of the device for select parameters has been completed at IIT Bombay, TERI University and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Kolkata. Field trials have been conducted and 300 Micro Solar Domes are being installed in the slums of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.