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India is world's sixth largest energy consumer, accounting for 3.4% of global energy consumption. To serve the energy needs of the country in a better way, the utilities have been working on interconnecting the different regional power grids into a unified national grid. However this increase in reliability comes at a price of increased risk associated with the possibility of blackouts, experienced quite regularly in the Indian grid. Apart from blackouts there are other factors like; huge gap between demand and supply, extremely high line losses and lack of automation and use of ICT in the grid which needs to be addressed. The developments in the area of smart grid provide an opportunity to address these issues. The Indian government has identified the need of adopting these developments to make the power infrastructure robust, self-healing, adaptive, interactive and cost-effective. This paper investigates the growth and present status of the Indian power grid and provides a critical account of the initiatives taken to make the grid smart.