A viral message on social media claims that the Shivaji Memorial – which is to be constructed off Mumbai's coast – will be equipped with solar cells to generate enough electricity for supply to all government offices in Mumbai.
The message also claims that the statue will be equipped with Radial Uniform Projection And Ranging (RUPAR) technology to track boats in the Arabian Sea, in a bid to prevent a 2008-like terror attack.
The message, which initially originated from a Reddit thread, reads:
"The real truth about the Shivaji Statue being installed in Mumbai by PM Modi
Many are cribbing about the cost of the Shivaji statue.
What they do not know is this That the statue is a masterstroke by PM Modi which will pay for itself many times over.
The statue is made of Amorphous Silicon, Cadmium Telluride & Copper Indium Gallium Selenide. This is exactly the same material used to make solar cells. Our government consulted with Dr Immonen Kirsi, Senior Solar Scientist at VTT Research, Finland to develop technology to mould these materials into a statue form. This research took 2.5 years & on December 3rd, Dr Kirsi sent a private email to Modi Sir that it's now ready for mainstream use. The statue will generate enough electricity to power all government offices in Mumbai.
The statue also has Radial Uniform Projection And Ranging(RUPAR) technology to track boats in the Arabian Sea to prevent a repeat of the 2008 Mumbai attack where the terrorists entered India through the sea. RUPAR is the next generation of SONAR technology and has been developed at the Indian Institute of Science.
Congratulations to all Scientists ...????????????????????????
Everyone should know this our PM visits foreign countries not for himself fun but to bring new technology , investments in our INDIA .. ?? [sic]"
The post has gone viral, with many people sharing it on WhatsApp and Facebook.
TRUE OR FAKE?
The claim is fake. If the government were to install solar cells in the statue, this matter would have been public knowledge – and would have been reported by the media.
Now, let's tackle the nuances of the claim.
THE SOLAR CELLS CLAIM
The message claims that solar cells are made of amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide. While these three materials are indeed utilised to make thin solar panels, they will not be used in making the statue.
The Quint reached out to Anil Sutar, who has been asked to sculpt the statue. Sutar confirmed that the statue would be made of bronze, and not of the solar materials as claimed by the message.
"I also received the viral message that claims that the statue will be made of solar cells. However, I can confirm that we will be using only bronze."
As far as Dr Immonen Kirsi is considered, while a web search did throw up a Researchgate profile, her skills and expertise section do not list any subject matter related to solar power. Instead, Dr Kirsi's areas of expertise, according to her profile include "kinetics, hybrid materials, plastics processing and biocomposites."
Further, while the proposal of the Shivaji Memorial mentions a "possible use of solar energy", it does not, in any measure, state that the statue will be pivotal in generation of solar energy.
THE RUPAR TECH CLAIM
The second claim relates to the usage of a technology called 'Radio Uniform Projecting And Ranging' (RUPAR), which the message claims has been developed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore.
When The Quint reached out to the institute to ask about RUPAR, the institute denied having any knowledge of such a technology being developed.
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