A viral message on social media claims that the government is distributing free solar panels to everyone. Further, the message claims that one just has to fill a form and the last date to apply is 25 May. The claim reads:
‘*प्रधानमंत्री फ़्री सोलर पैनल योजना*
*फ़्री मैं लगवाएँ सोलर पैनल अपने घर या गाँव मैं,आपको किसी प्रकार का शुल्क नहीं भरना बस जल्दी से फ़ॉर्म भरे* *आवेदन करने की अंतिम तिथि 25 मई 2019 है* तो जल्दी करें और इस मैसेज को अपने सभी दोस्तों को भी भेजें ताकि इस योजना का लाभ सभी को मिल सके | अभी आवेदन करें http://solor-pannel.freeregistration-now.in’
(Translation: *Prime Minister's Free Solar Panel Scheme * * Free solar panels in your home or village, you do not have to pay any kind of fees just fill up the form quickly * * The last date for application is 25 May 2019 * So hurry and send this message to all your friends so that everyone can benefit from this scheme. Apply now http://solor-pannel.freeregistration-now.in’)
Several social media users shared it on Facebook and Twitter with a similar claim.
The Quint also received a query about the claims on the same video via our WhatsApp helpline.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claims made in the viral message are false. Both the viral message and the registration link mentioned in the message are dubious.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT?
The website mentioned in the viral message is not the official website of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) which is the ministry that is authorised to issue such schemes. While the address of the official website is www.mnre.gov.in, the website address mentioned in the message is www.solor-pannel.freeregistration-now.in.
Also, the words ‘solar’ and ‘panel’ have been spelled wrongly in the URL.
The users are required to fill in details such as name, contact number, state and village in the registration form.
After filling in the details, the site takes you to a web page which asks you to share the message with 10 people on WhatsApp. Even if you do not enter any detail and click on ‘Register now’, it will still direct you to the same web page. On clicking the ‘Get registration number’ option, the site again asks you to share the message with 10 people on WhatsApp.
Also, a chunk of text in very small font size can be seen at the bottom of the website which mentions information about three secrets to finding the perfect health insurance deal. An excerpt from the message reads: ‘Top three Secrets to Finding the perfect Health Insurance Deals Presently, it is simply to find health insurance deals in most countries, because a lot of health insurance companies offer purchasers very affordable and advantageous insurance deals.’
A senior official in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy told The Quint that the viral message is fake. He said, “There is no such scheme as ‘Pradhanmantri Free Solar Panel Yojna.’ This appears to be fake news. All authentic schemes launched by MNRE can be seen on our website www.mnre.gov.in”