Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 16th May to 22nd May, 2017

Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 16th May to 22nd May, 2017 (PIB Weekly Compilation)


Archive



Meeting of National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction

{Disaster management}


Source: PIB

  • The second meeting of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR).
  • The meeting will be attended by over 1000 distinguished guests including Union Ministers, State Ministers, Parliamentarians, Heads of Local Self Government, Heads of specialized disaster management agencies, academicians, representatives from private sector organizations, media and civil society organizations.

Theme: “Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development: Making India resilient by 2030”.

 NPDRR

  • The NPDRR is a multi-stakeholders National Platform headed by the Union Home Minister and it promotes participatory decision making in disaster management, and strengthens federal policy of our country. It was set up through a resolution in 2013.
  • The National Platform aims to bring together the whole range of India’s disaster risk community from Government, Parliamentarians, Mayors, Media, International Organisations, NGOs, local community representatives, scientific and academic institutions and corporate businesses etc. It will help in sharing of experiences, views and ideas, present findings of research and action and explore opportunities for mutual cooperation in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. The output from the National Platform will offer a strategic direction and a road map for the formulation of our future national action plans on DRR.

Functions of the national platform:

  • To review the progress made in the field of disaster management from time to time.
  • To appreciate the extent and manner in which the Disaster Management Policy has been implemented by the Central and State Governments, and other concerned agencies, and to give appropriate advice in the matter.
  • To advise on coordination between the Central and State Governments/UT Administrations, local self-governments and civil society organisations for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • To advise suo-moto or on a reference made by the Central Government or any other State Government or a Union Territory Administration on any question pertaining to disaster management.
  • To review the National Disaster Management Policy.

India’s ‘Ujala’ to light up UK homes

{Public Policy}


Source: PIB

Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal recently launched the Ujala Scheme related to the energy efficient LED bulbs in London.

Ujala

  • Ujala is globally one of the largest efficiency programmes and being run by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, an energy services company promoted by Indian state-run power majors.
  • Through this initiative, the government plans to replace all 770 million inefficient incandescent and CFL (compact fluorescent lamps in the country with LED (light emitting diode) bulbs.
  • The programme has already turned India into the world’s LED capital, accounting for 10-12% of the global market 4 billion bulbs.
  • The Ujala scheme uses economy of scale and a sustainable market mechanism.

The Union Minister of Finance launches Operation Clean Portal

{Indian Economy}


Source: PIB

The Union Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley, officially launched the Portal of Operation Clean Money (https://www.cleanmoney.gov.inWill enable citizen engagement for creating a tax compliant society and transparent tax administration.

Operation Clean Money Phase I: 18 lakh persons identified; More than 9.72 lakh taxpayers submitted online responses for 13.33 lakh accounts involving cash deposits of around Rs 2.89 lakh crore, and 5.68 lakh new cases identified for e-verification process.

The Operation Clean Money was initiated by the Income Tax Department (ITD) on the 31st January, 2017 with the launch of e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016.

The salient features of the Operation Clean Money Portal launched today are:

  • Providing comprehensive information at one placeconsisting of Step by Step Guides, Frequently asked Questions, User Guides, Quick Reference Guides and Training Toolkits related to verification process and other issues.
  • Enabling Citizen Engagement for creating a tax compliant societywhere every Indian takes pride in paying taxes.  Citizens would be able to support the Operation Clean Money by taking pledge, contribute by engaging and educating fellow citizens, and share their experiences and provide feedback.
  • Enabling Transparent Tax Administrationby sharing status reports (including sanitized cases and explanation of verification issues) and thematic analysis reports (e.g. taxpayer segment analysis of cash deposit data).

The ITD on-boarded two specialised data analytics agencies and a business process management agency to augment departmental capability in analyzing large volumes of cash deposit data, track the compliance status of taxpayers and reporting entities.

In Phase II of Operation Clean Money, the high risk cases will be handled by selecting appropriate enforcement action (verification, search, survey, scrutiny). A targeted campaign will be initiated in cases with identified risk issues. The key components of the targeted campaign are:

  • Communication of specific issue through digital channels (Email, SMS etc.)
  • Providing detailed explanation to create environment of transparency
  • Sharing investigation findings for specific segments (e.g. Jewellers, petrol pump, traders, property purchasers etc.)
  • Centralised monitoring and gradual escalation of inadequate response cases for enforcement action

NITI Aayog Conducts First Samavesh Meeting

{Economic Development}


Source: PIB

NITI Aayog has conducted the first Samavesh meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners under the co-chairmanship of Amitabh Kant, CEO and Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog. The meeting was also attended by representatives of four States- Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Highlights:

  • The objective of the meeting was to bring together 32 premier educational and policy research institutions to boost the development process, improve institutional capacity and forge a field level interface with the community in pursuance with the Prime Minister’s call for a New India 2022,
  • In the meeting, Memorandum of Understands (MoUs) was signed between NITI Aayog and major think tanks across the country with an aim to create an atmosphere of evidence based policy research.
  • This is the first ever initiative undertaken by the government to bring a huge number of institutions across diverse domain themes to deliberate together to promote inclusive development of the country.
  • This network is expected to promote efficient knowledge sharing and information exchange among all partners in order to achieve a sustainable and more inclusive development in line with the National Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and the 15 year Vision, 7 year strategy and 3 year action plan.
  • NITI Aayog has been emphasizing upon the role that can be played by the country’s Premier institutes to promote for inclusive development of the country.
  • As a part of Samavesh initiative, NITI Aayog will launch a new link in its website that would serve as a major repository of knowledge based reports and case studies across different sectors of the economy.

Boost to transform domestic nuclear industry

{Science and Technology}


Source: PIB

Cabinet approves construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR). The reactors will have a capacity of 700 MW. These reactors will add 7000 MW capacity and will ramp up nuclear power generation in the country.

Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors:

  • Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor(PHWR) is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel, that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator
  • The heavy water coolantis kept under pressure, allowing it to be heated to higher temperatures without boiling, much as in a typical pressurized water reactor.
  • While heavy water is significantly more expensive than ordinary light water, it yields greatly enhanced neutron economy, allowing the reactor to operate without fuel enrichment facilities (mitigating the additional capital cost of the heavy water) and generally enhancing the ability of the reactor to efficiently make use of alternate fuel cycles.
  • India’s first PHWR was constructed at Rawatbhata in Rajasthanin technical cooperation with the Atomic Energy Canada Ltd (AECL). However, the Canada’s support was immediately withdrawn after India’s first nuclear experiment at Pokhran in 1974.
  • India’s first nuclear power plant with a different design was built at Tarapur in Maharashtra. PHWR units are in operation in Rawatbhata, Kaiga, Kakrapar, Kalpakkam and Narora.

Minister of Railways Releases Third Party Audit Report on Station Cleanliness

{Public Policy}


Source: PIB

Minister of Railway released Third Party Audit Report on Station Cleanliness and Inaugurated Swachh Rail Portal. Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Beas in Punjabis the Cleanest Station in A1, A Category Stations Respectively. Khammam station Rank 2nd in Station Cleanliness in A Category from 285 Rank previous Year.

Minister of Railways dedicated a “SWACHH RAIL PORTAL” to showcase rankings of stations and trains, methodology adopted for rankings and stations/trains specific dashboards.  This web portal http://www.railswachh.in will also be leveraged to seek passenger feedback on cleanliness on a continual basis.

The parameters adopted for conducting the survey are: Evaluation of Process of cleanliness in Parking, main entry area, main platform, waiting room,(33.33%) direct observation by QCI assessors of cleanliness in these areas (33.33%) and passenger feedback(33.33%). A 24×7 control room was set up and images were geo-tagged to monitor progress.

The survey was conducted by the Quality Council of India, through interviews with respondents on the questionnaire on cleanliness indicators, which was done face to face by survey teams by visiting each of the 407 stations across 16 Zonal Railways. Every passenger was asked to rate the cleanliness of stations objectively on 40 different cleanliness parameters.


Chitale Committee recommends several measures for Desiltation of Ganga

{Environment}


Source: PIB

Chitale committee on Desiltation of Ganga submitted its report to the government recently.

The committee was constituted in July 2016 by the Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal).

Recommendations are:

  • Study reach wise sediment transport processes.
  • Establish annual sediment budgets to guide de-silting activities.
  • Prepare annual reports (Sand registry) describing the previous de-silting/ dredging activity and a technical institute may be entrusted to conduct the sediment budget.
  • Morphological and flood routing studies should be carried out to examine and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of the reach under consideration.
  • It is necessary to provide the river sufficient areas of flood plain and lakes along the river to moderate the flood level.
  • The de-silting of lakes, etc., should be in such a manner that the sediment continuity is maintained and should not lead to head cut that creates safety issues for the river crossings, water intakes or river training works locally, downstream or upstream.
  • The area freed from the development in the form of oxbow lakes should be used for flood moderation rather than reclaiming it for other purposes.
  • Embankments, spurs and river training measures provided to protect the banks should not encroach upon the flood plains and delink the lakes, flood plains and other riverine environment from the river.
  • De-silting of the confluence points, especially with huge silt carrying tributaries, such as Ghagra, Sone, etc., may be necessary to make confluence hydraulically efficient.
  • The proposed de-silting of any river reach need to be justified bringing out clearly the flooding caused due to siltation along with technical comparisons of the alternative flood mitigation measures with “do nothing” or “proposed de-silting/ dredging” being other options.
  • Agricultural practices along the river flood plains should be such that it does not disturb the passage of flood by increasing the resistance to flow causing aggradations.
  • Any bridges across River Ganga which are causing large afflux (more than 1% of normal depth) should be modified to reduce the afflux, which in turn will also reduce the sediment deposition and erosion of banks on the upstream.

According to the report

  • The committee in its report says erosion, sediment transport and siltation are very complex phenomena.
  • It is impossible to apply a “one-size-fits-all‟ approach to sediment management and control, because the issues involved are frequently very regionally-specific.
  • Local factors such as topography, river control structures, soil and water conservation measures, tree cover, and riparian land-use or land disturbance (for example agriculture, mining, etc.) can have a large impact on sediment loads in rivers.
  • River control structures (such as reservoirs), soil conservation measures and sediment control programmes can cause downstream sediment loads to decrease, while factors such as land disturbance (clearing of vegetation, for example) or agricultural practices can cause increased sediment loads.
  • At the same time, indiscriminate de-siltation works may result into more harm to ecology and environment flow. Thus, there is a need to evolve Guidelines, better broad principles, which should be kept in mind while planning and implementing de-silting works.

The committee says though de-siltation works can improve hydraulic performance of the river and this itself can justify undertaking de-siltation, these have no direct role in improving environment flow in the river. On the other hand, indiscriminate de-silting or sand mining would cause adverse impacts on river e-flow.


Study on Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism for Solar Power Generation Projects

{Sustainable Development}


Source: PIB

ISA Programme aimed at mobilising “Affordable finance at scale

  • India and along with countries like Argentina, Burkina-Faso, Chad, France, Ivory Coast, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Yemen has jointly commissioned a study to define and structure a Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for solar power generation projects in solar rich countries.
  • This is a major step in the implementation of the Paris Declaration of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) adopted on November 30, 2015, and of the ISA programme aimed at mobilising affordable finance at scale.

Key facts:

  • The commissioning of the study is aimed at dramatic reduction in the cost of finance for renewable energy and the overall price of electricity.
  • All the countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics are also invited to join the task force and support this initiative in order to attract investments into solar sector.
  • Need The Council on Energy, Environment and Water calculates the cost of capital to form a substantial amount in the total costs of renewable energy.
  • In India it accounts for 70% of the total cost of solar Power.
  • In this regard, the CRMM is expected to offer a simple and affordable tool that will develop a secure environment for private institutional investment in solar assets.

Task force:

  • The study was entrusted by the Interim Secretariat to a task force chaired by Terrawatt Initiative (TWI), the World Bank Group, the Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and also the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
  • Public and private stakeholders and partners will be consulted to contribute to the initiative and to ensure collective buy-in and validation.
  • Participating countries may each appoint a qualified representative who will liaise with the task force and convey information regarding countries’ specific expectations, experience and needs.
  • They call all other countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics to join them and support this initiative to attract investments into the solar sector.

ISA

  • COP-21 summit, the International Solar Alliance was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande as a union of countries with abundant sunlight.
  • Under this alliance, 121 countries that fall within the tropics {i.e. between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn} have been invited to make collaborative efforts to harness solar energy to generate the electricity.

Most of these countries fall within Asia, Africa and South America.

There are three objectives behind the International Solar Alliance:

  • First is to force down prices by driving demand;
  • Second is to bring standardization in solar technologies and
  • Third is to foster research and development.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Current Affairs ONLY
Register New Account
Reset Password