India Launches MAHIR
In a joint effort, the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy have announced the launch of a new National Mission called “Mission on Advanced and High-Impact Research (MAHIR).” This initiative aims to identify and develop emerging technologies in the power sector within and outside of India. The mission’s primary goal is to promote indigenous research, development, and demonstration of advanced power technologies, positioning India as a global manufacturing hub. It aligns with national priorities such as achieving Net Zero emissions, supporting initiatives like Make in India and Start-up India, and contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Ministry of Power, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and Central Public Sector Enterprises will pool their financial resources to fund the mission. If necessary, additional funding will be obtained from the Government of India’s budgetary resources. The Mission will span an initial five-year period from 2023-24 to 2027-28 and will follow the technology life cycle approach from idea to product.
MAHIR will establish a two-tier structure comprising a Technical Scoping Committee (TSC) and an Apex Committee. The TSC, led by the Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority, will identify emerging research areas globally, recommend potential technologies, and monitor approved research projects. The Apex Committee, chaired by the Union Minister for Power & New and Renewable Energy, will deliberate on technology and product development, approve research proposals, and explore international collaborations.
The Mission has initially identified eight areas for research, including alternatives to Lithium-Ion storage batteries, modifying electric cookers for Indian cooking methods, green hydrogen for mobility, carbon capture, geo-thermal energy, solid-state refrigeration, nano-technology for EV batteries, and indigenous CRGO technology.
Once research areas are approved by the Apex Committee, proposals for funding will be invited globally, and selections will be made based on quality cum cost-based selection. Pilot projects by Indian start-ups will also be funded, and commercialization will be facilitated through Central Public Sector Enterprises. The Mission will actively seek international collaborations for knowledge exchange and technology transfer, aiming to develop India’s capabilities and make significant contributions to the power sector.
Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), located in Bengaluru, will provide secretarial assistance to both the Apex Committee and the Technical Scoping Committee.
With the launch of MAHIR, the Indian government aims to foster an innovative ecosystem in the power sector, enhance research and development capabilities, and position India among the leading countries in power system technology and applications development.