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DRUM (Distribution Reform Upgrades and Management Project)


DRUM Training Program, as a component of a larger national energy strategy and one of four USAID supported Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management Project elements. CORE and the Indian training institutions, with guidance from the Ministry of Power (MoP), will structure and execute training activities in regionally targeted areas to deliver high impact distribution reform training through 15 to 20 top-notch Indian institutions dispersed throughout the country.


Training Objectives

CORE’s USAID funded DRUM Training program is getting country-wide public recognition in India.Recently, one of the Indian stock exchange agencies, Bombay Stock Exchange, published a press release that announced the implementation of the training program developed by CORE.

Reliance Energy Management Institute (REMI), which is among CORE’s partner training institutions assigned by the Ministry of Power, will conduct 10 training programs for utilities personnel this year. The training programs include Change Management in Distribution Business, Distribution and Loss Reduction, and other courses.

The press release underlined the importance of the program implemented by CORE for the Indian power sector, as it builds the capacity of the utilities to reduce distribution losses, improve reliability of power supply, strengthen financial and commercial performance, and increase customer satisfaction. The full version of the press release is available online.

The focus of DRUM Training is to reach the grass-roots level staff of the distribution utilities, represented by linemen, foremen, engineers, technicians, electricians, meter readers, bill collectors, and other customer interface personnel. For maximum results, training will also be provided to the utility supervisors and managers, as well as State Regulatory Commissions and their staff.

The two major objectives of the DRUM Training Program are to

  • Enhance the knowledge and capabilities 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.
  • Support the development and institutional capacity enhancement of the selected Indian institutions for sustainable delivery of distribution business management, reform and regulation training.

Training Strategy
At the center of the strategy for the development of distribution reform training to utility personnel, is a partnership between CORE and the selected Indian professional training institutions, which, as beneficiaries of USAID funds, will provide across-the-board training and capacity building to utility personnel throughout the country. CORE's primary role is to work with the partner institutions and prepare them in providing targeted distribution reform training with the highest level of quality. CORE will also work with the institutions to promote self-sustainability of all the training programs so that the partner institutions can carry out sustained training and capacity building beyond the DRUM Training Project.

Training Launch

Lighting of the traditional lamps at the National DRUM Training Launch Event by the Ministry of Power representatives Mr. Arvind Jadhav, Joint Secretary; Honorable P.M. Sayeed, Minister; Mr. R.V. Shahi, Secretary, and the Chairman of the Central Electricity Authority, Mr. H.L. Bajaj - January 27, 2005

Ministry of Power
Ministry of Power, U.S. Agency for International Developments, and DRUM partner Indian institutions' representatives at the Memorandum of Understanding signing event - December 17, 2004

With cross-cutting support provided by CORE through a variety of intervention techniques, the participating training institutions design and deliver training programs to facilitate awareness, understanding and implementation of key elements in technical and commercial operations of the distribution business. The design of the programs is consistent with both the Accelerated Power Development Reform Program (APDRP) and the Electricity Act 2003. Simultaneously, the training programs aim to include the national and international best practices and innovations in a variety of distribution management functions - technical, commercial, loss reduction strategies, change management, community-based participatory distribution business models, customer relations management, etc. Practical demonstrations, case studies and field visits form an integral part of the training activities being provided by CORE and its partner Indian institutions.
 Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Project

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 which provides a framework for a more competitive, transparent and commercially driven power sector, and the APDRP (aimed at the financing of the modernization of sub-transmission and distribution networks) demonstrate the recognition and commitment by the MoP to urgently address the issues of reducing technical and non-technical losses and improving the quality and reliability of power supply to consumers.

The Ministry of Power, Government of India, and USAID/India further recognize that the major inefficiencies in the electricity distribution sector inhibit a more timely and comprehensive reform of the energy sector throughout the country. As a result, the MoP and USAID/India jointly designed the DRUM project with the purpose of demonstrating "the best commercial and technological practices that improve the quality and reliability of 'last mile' power distribution in selected urban and rural distribution circles in the country". The project is in synch with the Indian Government's policy on power sector reforms, the Electricity Act 2003 and the APDRP scheme. As a comprehensive five-year, $30 million dollar bilateral project, DRUM's four components are based upon a detailed analysis report entitled "Study Report: India Electricity Distribution Reform Review and Assessment", prepared by CORE International. (PDF) For additional information about the overall DRUM Program and its four components that are described briefly below.
 
Component 1:National Strategy and Alternative Financing
The focus of this component is to design alternative financing mechanisms with special attention on furthering the rural electrification program of the Government of India. It is also designed to provide support to the APDRP program initiated by the Ministry of Power.
 
Component 2: State Planning and Design

Activities under this component are designed to support state energy departments, distribution companies and other stakeholders. This capacity enhancement is in preparation and execution of distribution strategies aimed at improved commercial viability of the sector, reduced need for power subsidies and decreased state fiscal deficits.
 
Component 3: Distribution Reform Pilot Projects

The distribution pilot projects in rural and urban areas are designed to demonstrate the best technological, institutional, and commercial practices for wider replication. The distribution circles will serve as models of excellence and permit the showcasing of the high quality and reliability of power delivery and customer service by the application of efficient technologies, systems, business values and practices. A special feature of the project will be its focus on enhancing customer relations and the role of village level communities, co-operatives, and private entrepreneurs in managing the business of rural power distribution.

Component 4: Water-Energy Nexus Activity (WENEXA)

This component is designed to address problems whose roots lie at the intersection of the country's water and energy sectors, as India is facing a crisis of quality and quantity of both resources. While the situation for water and energy is serious when each resource is viewed independently, vicious cycles exist between the two that greatly exacerbate inefficient behaviors. Patterns of waste and inefficiency at the nexus of water and energy resource use exist in all sectors, but are especially prevalent in agriculture, which is the largest single consumer of water and uses 30% of the electrical power in the country.

Overall Project Objectives
The overall programmatic goal of the DRUM Project is two fold (1) to demonstrate commercially viable electricity distribution systems that provide reliable power of sufficient quality to consumers and (2) to establish a commercial framework and a replicable methodology adopted by Indian Financial Institutions for providing non-recourse financing for DRUM activities and programs. Specific anticipated results include:

  •   Improved Power Distribution
  •   Better Availability and Quality of Electricity
  •   Enhanced Commercial Orientation and Drive
  •   Improved Consensus on the Distribution Reform Process
  •   Enhanced Viability of the Sector
  •   Strengthened Distribution Reform Initiatives of the MoP
  •   Enhanced Efficient Utilization of APDRP Funds
  •   Innovative Financing Mechanisms
  •   Improved Groundwater Management

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