India's rural energy challenges are formidable with the presence of majority energy poor. In 2005, out of a rural population of 809 million, 364 million lacked access to electricity and 726 million to modern cooking fuels. This indicates low effectiveness of government policies and programs of the past, and need for a more effective approach to bridge this gap. However, before the government can address this challenge, it is essential that it gain a deeper insight into prevailing status of energy access and reasons for such outcomes. Toward this, we perform a critical analysis of the dynamics of energy access status with respect to time, income and regions, and present the results as possible indicators of effectiveness of policies/programmes.