January 15, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Shri Karia Munda (India’s previous Minister of Coal in the Union Cabinet) has assumed charge as India’s new Minister of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES). Immediately after taking over, Shri Munda held a meeting of Senior Officers of the Ministry and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to apprise himself about the country’s various programs for the development of rural and urban areas in this sector. The Minister was briefed about various programs (solar, wind, remote village electrification, bio-mass power and co-generation etc.) and also about technologies like hydrogen energy, fuels and bio-fuels. Shri Munda was also informed about the activities and significance of the three specialized technology institutes namely, Solar Energy Centre (SEC) at Gurgaon, Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET) at Chennai and National Institute for Renewable Energy (NIRE) at Jalandhar. He sought details of various programs for urban and rural areas along with the research and development activities.