Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- General Knowledge
Topic 2 : Energy
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
The Centre has disbursed over seven crore LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
Aim- To provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.
Who is eligible?
An adult woman member of a below poverty line family identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is given a deposit-free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre.
Identification of households: Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories.
Implementation-The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
- Empowering women and protecting their health.
- Reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel.
- Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
- Preventing young children from significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuel.
Read more at: The Hindu
Inconsistent government actions have cast a shadow over developer sentiment in the solar sector and slowed down capacity addition momentum, Crisil said in a report.
- The government achieving only 60% of its 100 GW target by 2022
- The expects solar power capacity additions of 48-50 GW between fiscals 2019 and 2023
- India’s solar sector installed capacity is expected to touch 60 GW by 2022 and 70 GW by 2023.
What is the target?
100 GW target by 2022
What are the hurdles?
- Lack of clarity on several policy issues
- Arbitrary bid cancellations
- Increasing operational cost due to imposition of the safeguard duty on solar component imports and the uncertainty over the Goods and Services Tax treatment of the sector
- Increase in capital costs
Read more at: The Hindu
Govt modifies solar park scheme
The government has modified the existing scheme for development of solar parks and ultra mega solar parks in a bid to ease constraints related to availability of land and evacuation infrastructure.
- Land availability
- Power evacuation infrastructure for solar parks
The new guidelines-Mode-7:
- A new mode is being introduced for development of renewable energy parks (solar/wind/hybrid/other RE parks) through Solar Energy Corporation of India(SECI).
- SECI will make both government and private land available for successful bidders for setting up projects with the assistance of state government.
- The state government would be paid a facilitation charge of Rs 0.02 per unit of power being generated in these parks.
- No fund from Central Financial Assistance (CFA) would be used for the procurement of land.
- SECI would act as a Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) and will get the external power evacuation infrastructure of the parks developed by the External Transmission Development Agency such as transmission utilities.
- SECI would also set up a Payment Security Mechanism to make setting up of renewable projects in such parks more attractive.
About Solar Park scheme:
- Ministry of New and renewable Energy (MNRE) has drawn a scheme to set up number of solar parks across various states in the country.
- The Scheme proposes to provide financial support by Government of India to establish solar parks.
- The scheme aim to facilitate creation of infrastructure necessary for setting up new solar power projects in terms of allocation of land, transmission and evacuation lines, access roads, availability of water and others, in a focused manner.
- The implementation agency would be Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on behalf of Government of India (GOI).
- The Solar Park is a concentrated zone of development of solar power generation projects
- The parks will be characterized by well developed proper infra-structure where the risk & gestation period of the projects will be minimized.
- At the state level, the solar park will enable the states to bring in significant investment from project developers in Solar Power sector, to meet its Solar Purchase Obligation (SPO) mandates and provide employment opportunities to local population.
- The state will also be able to reduce its carbon footprint by avoiding emissions equivalent to the solar park’s generated capacity.
Read more at: ET
Topic 3 : ICT
India Urban Observatory & Video Wall
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has inaugurated the state-of-the-art India Urban Observatory and Video Wall. The concept of Urban Observatories was formally initiated at the UN Habitat-II Conference in 1997 in Istanbul.
About India Urban Observatory:
- It is an important component of the recently launched DataSmart Cities strategy that envisions to create a ‘Culture of Data’ in cities, for intelligent use of data in addressing complex urban challenges.
- The strategy aims to lay down the basic premise, three foundational pillars vis. People, Process, Platform.
- Ii will plug into the myriad sources of data from cities, both from real-time and archival sources.
- It will suggest a roadmap for cities to improve their readiness for intelligent use of data.
- It will showcase the insights gained from the Observatory and the various Missions/ offices with the idea to proactively engage with citizens/ visitors in spreading awareness about the various initiatives of the Ministry
- Making cities ‘DataSmart’ is key to realizing the full potential of technology interventions and innovation ecosystems in cities.
Importance of the concept:
- Improve communities functioning, public services, governance systems
- Empowering their citizens
- Provides access to information
- Good governance
Read more at:PIB