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28,29 & 30 July 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

28,29 and 30 July 2023

G20 Conference on Green and Sustainable Growth Agenda for the Global Economy

G-20 Conference on Green & Sustainable Growth Agenda for Global Economy to  begin in New Delhi |

  • NITI Aayog, the Government of India’s institution for policy planning together with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, and the Global Development Network (GDN), New Delhi, is convening a two-day international policy workshop of around 40 leading thinkers to examine prospects and challenges for green and sustainable growth globally. 

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • IDRC is a Canadian federal Crown corporation.
  • IDRC champions and funds research and innovation within and alongside developing regions to drive global change.
  • IDRC invests in high-quality research in developing countries, shares knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, and mobilizes global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.
  • IDRC was established by the Parliament of Canada in 1970 under the International Development Research Centre Act

Global Development Network (GDN)

  • The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in Low- and Middle- Income Countries (LMICs), to promote better lives.
  • Founded in 1999, GDN is currently headquartered in New Delhi, with a presence in Clermont-Ferrand, France and the United States.

Parliament Monsoon Session – Highlights

Information given by Ministers in a written reply in the Parliament

Share of Natural Gas in Energy Basket

  • Presently in India the share of natural gas in energy basket is 6.7%.
  • The Government has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in energy mix to 15% in 2030.

Various steps taken by the Government in this direction include

  • Expansion of National Gas Grid Pipeline
  • Expansion of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network
  • Setting up of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminals
  • Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiatives to promote Bio-CNG, etc.. 
  • With the aim to create a National Gas Grid (One Nation, One Gas Grid) and increase the availability of natural gas across the country, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has authorised approximately 33,592 km Natural Gas Pipeline network across the country.

One Nation, One Gas Grid

  • It refers to the joining of several regional grids, creating a national grid, and supplying multiple stakeholders, including the central government, state governments, the public sector, and the commercial sector, with natural gas-produced energy.
  • Natural gas-based energy can be produced and distributed throughout the entire country on a single gas system.
  • Given that there is now very little natural gas available across the nation, it will aid in reducing the regional disparity in gas availability.
  • The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the organisation responsible for approving the construction of pipelines, and a 33,500 km network of natural gas pipelines has been authorised nationwide.
  • Out of this, there are natural gas pipelines totaling 21,715 km that are in operation, while another 13,605 km worth are in various phases of construction.
  • Continual efforts are made to expand pipeline infrastructure based on assessments of regional gas demand.

Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT)

  • It is an initiative aimed at setting up of Compressed Bio-Gas production plants and make it available in the market for use in automotive fuels by inviting Expression of Interest from potential entrepreneurs.
  • The initiative was launched in October 2018 by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in association with Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) viz. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
  • Aim – establishing an ecosystem for production of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) from various waste/ biomass sources and for promoting its use along with Natural Gas.
  • The Government has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in energy mix to 15% in 2030 from about 6.7% now.

Compressed Bio-gas

  • Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc.
  • After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 95%.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas has the potential to replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses in the coming years.

 

India’s Energy Basket

Why we still have to rely on hydel power | Mint

National Policy on Biofuels-2018

  • The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 has identified various feedstocks such as non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil (UCO), animal tallow, acid oil etc., for production of bio-diesel.
  • An indicative target of 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel /direct sale of bio-diesel by 2030 has already been outlined under the National Policy on Biofuels-2018.
  • Sixty one plants are currently registered with Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies for supply of bio-diesel produced from various feedstocks.
  • These plants are operational in the private sector.
  • At present, there is no proposal for Public – Private Partnerships (PPP) for manufacturing bio-diesel. 

Salient features of e-Shram portal

  • Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India launched eShram portal (eshram.gov.in) on 26th August 2021 for creation of a comprehensive National Database of Unorganised Workers verified and seeded with Aadhaar.  
  • eShram portal is meant to register and support the unorganised workers by providing them a Universal Account Number (UAN).
  • eShram portal captures details of workers such as name, permanent address, current address, occupation, educational qualification, skill type etc.
  • eShram portal allows registration under 30 broad occupation sectors and around 400 occupations. 
  • eShram portal provides multiple modes of registration, through self-registration as well as assisted mode registration to facilitate smooth registration process.
  • Self-registration   includes registration through eShram portal and Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) mobile app.
  • Assisted mode registration includes registration through Common Service Centre (CSC) and State Seva Kendras (SSKs). 
  • As on 18th July 2023, over 28.96 crore unorganised workers have registered on eShram portal. 

Government has taken several steps to provide the benefit of Government schemes to the unorganised workers registered on eShram such as:

  • eShram has been integrated with National Career Service (NCS) Portal.
  • An unorganised worker can register on NCS using his/ her Universal Account Number (UAN) and search for suitable job opportunities.
  • eShram has been also integrated with the  Pradhan Mantri Shram-yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM).
  • PM-SYM, is a pension scheme for unorganised workers who are aged between 18-40 years.
  • Using UAN (eShram), any unorganised worker can easily register on Maandhan portal (maandhan.in).
  • To provide skill enhancement and apprenticeship opportunities to unorganised worker, eShram has been integrated with Skill India Digital portal of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • eShram registrant, who is registered on NCS can also avail digital trainings through DigiSaksham Programme.

 

Atal Bhujal Yojana

  • Atal Bhujal Yojana is being implemented in water stressed Gram Panchayats (GPs) of 229 administrative Blocks/ Talukas in 80 districts of 7 States, viz., Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for a period of 5 years from 01.04.2020.
  • The scheme aims at community led sustainable ground water management through convergence of activities. 
  • The scheme is being implemented through active participation of the communities in the participating States in various activities such as monitoring and disseminating ground water data, water budgeting and preparation of Gram Panchayat wise Water Security Plans
  • The fund under the scheme, inter alia, are being released as per performance based upon achievements of certain pre-defined indicators.

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)-Har Ghar Jal

  • Since August 2019, Government of India in partnership with States, is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)-Har Ghar Jal to enable every rural household in the country, to have assured potable water through tap connection.
  • As on 24.07.2023, out of 19.47 Crore rural households in the country, around 12.63 Crore (64.9%) households are reported to have tap water supply in their homes and the remaining 6.84 Crore are likely to be covered by 2024.

Implementation Of Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme

  • Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has taken up Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme (NAQUIM) since 2012, under the scheme of Ground Water Management and Regulation.
  • NAQUIM aimed to delineate aquifer (water bearing formations) disposition and their characterization for preparation of aquifer/ area specific ground water management plans with community participation.
  • NAQUIM study was an innovative gigantic task to cover nearly 25.00 Lakh Sq KM of mappable area of the country with an aim to map & characterise the various aquifer system of the country in a time-bound manner to make expeditious availability of groundwater related information for suitable interventions to the stake-holders.
  • The study was taken up at a 1:50000 scale with recommendations of creation of recharge structures on a macro level.
  • At this scale, the NAQUIM report gives information which can be suitably implemented on ground with reasonably good outcomes.
  • The NAQUIM studies for the entire country have been taken up by the CGWB for delineation and characterisation of aquifers and development of groundwater management plans.
  • Out of nearly 33 Lakh Sq. Km of geographical area of the country, the mappable area of around 25 Lakh Sq. Km was identified to be covered under NAQUIM.
  • The entire identified area has already been covered by the CGWB before 31st March 2023.

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoH&UA) through Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is supplementing the efforts of State Government to provide safe and clean drinking water in urban areas.
  • AMRUT was launched on June 25, 2015, in 500 selected cities across the country covering around 60% of the Urban Population.
  • Further, AMRUT focuses on development of basic urban infrastructure in the selected cities in the sectors of Water Supply, Sewerage & Septage Management, Storm Water Drainage, Non-Motorised Urban Transport, and Permeable Green Spaces & Parks.
  • In Water Supply sector, State/Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) may take up projects related to new/augmentation/rehabilitation of water supply system; rejuvenation of water bodies for water supply and recharge of ground water etc.
  • To ensure universal coverage of water supply & make 4,902 statutory towns of the country ‘water secure’, AMRUT 2.0 was launched on 1st October 2021 for a period of five years. On-going AMRUT Mission-1.0 has been subsumed under AMRUT 2.0.

Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan Scheme

  • Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has developed a Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan which was launched by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, on 1st June, 2023
  • Any government/ private entity operating or intending to setup a Biogas/ CBG/ Bio CNG plant can obtain a registration number of the plant by registering on the portal (https://gobardhan.co.in/).
  • The Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan is for registration of Biogas/CBG/Bio CNG plants. 
  • The portal gives a registration number to a functional/under construction /yet to start plant.

GOBARdhan Scheme

  • The GOBAR-DHAN scheme, with its focus on keeping villages clean, increasing the income of rural households, and generation of energy from cattle waste, is an important element of this ODF-plus strategy.
  • The scheme aims to positively impact village cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste.
  • The scheme also aims at creating new rural livelihood opportunities and enhancing income for farmers and other rural people.
  • The scheme is being implemented as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin).
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) comprises two main components for creating clean villages – creating open defecation free (ODF) villages and managing solid and liquid waste in villages.

PM SVANidhi

  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched Mobile app of PM SVANidhi for street vendors (SVs) on 1st June, 2023. 
  • MoHUA has been implementing Prime Minister Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), a Central Sector Scheme since 1st June 2020.
  • With the help of mobile app, Street Vendor (SV) can apply for loan and Letter of Recommendation (LoR) under PM SVANidhi Scheme.
  • The SV can also check their loan application status and cashback history.

Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme

  • It was launched with the objective of facilitating collateral free working capital loan to street vendors to restart their businesses.
  • As on July 20, 2023 the scheme has successfully disbursed 50.63 lakh loans, amounting to ₹6,492.02 Cr., to 38.53 lakh street vendors.      
  • The PM SVANidhi Scheme has been made available to all street vendors vending in urban areas.
  • Further, the lending under the Scheme has been extended from March, 2022 to December, 2024.
  • This would help in getting more and more vendors under the ambit of the Scheme.

SVANidhi se Samriddhi

  • ‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ component under the PM SVANidhi Scheme, launched on 04 January, 2021, to build safety net for the beneficiaries’ families for improving their living conditions.
  • It is an additional program of PMSVANidhi
  • SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ program was started to provide social security benefits to street vendors for their holistic development and socio-economic upliftment.
  • It links the beneficiaries’ families to existing eight welfare schemes of the Government of India, targeting their holistic development and socio-economic upliftment.
  • These schemes are PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, One Nation One Ration Card, PM Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana, Registration under Building and other Construction Workers (BoCW), Janani Suraksha Yojana and PM Matru Vandana Yojana.

Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC-India)

  • The Government has been making concerted efforts towards adopting new and emerging building materials and technologies in construction sector.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has initiated Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC-India) and undertaken six distinct construction technology for six light house projects across the country to showcase these technologies for widespread adoption throughout the country.
  • Under the scheme of PMAY (Urban) around 17 lacs houses are under construction based on new technologies.

Key Initiatives

Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC- India)

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has conceptualized a Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC- India) which aims to identify and mainstream a basket of innovative technologies from across the globe for the housing construction sector that are sustainable, eco-friendly and disaster-resilient.

Light House Projects

  • They are being constructed under GHTC-India which envisages to provide an ecosystem for adoption of innovative technologies in the housing construction sector in a holistic manner.
  • The LHPs are being constructed at Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • They comprise about 1000 houses at each location along with allied infrastructure facilities.
  • These projects will demonstrate and deliver ready to live houses at an expedited pace within twelve months, as compared to conventional brick and mortar construction, and will be more economical, sustainable, of high quality and durability.
  • The LHPs will serve as live laboratories for facilitating transfer of technology to the field and its further replication.

ASHA-India

  • Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators – India (ASHA-India) aims to promote domestic research and entrepreneurship by providing incubation and acceleration support to potential future technologies.
  • Under ASHA-India initiative, five ASHA-India Centers have been set up for providing incubation and acceleration support.

PMAY-U Mission 

  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U) Mission has been designed to achieve the vision of “Housing For All by 2022”.
  • In order to recognize the outstanding contribution by States, UTs,Urban Local Bodies and beneficiaries, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has introduced annual awards for excellence in implementation of PMAY-Urban.

NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing).

  • Prime Minister released a certification course on innovative construction technologies named NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing).

SAMUDRAYAAN PROJECT

  • Deep Ocean Mission has been launched w.e.f. 07.09.2021, as a Central Sector Scheme of Ministry of Earth Sciences with the approval of the Cabinet.
  • Samudrayaan is a project under the Deep Ocean Mission.
  • Under the Samudrayaan project of Deep Ocean Mission, MATSYA 6000 manned submersible design has been completed so far. 
  • Under the Mission, Deep water Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) namely Ocean Mineral Explorer (OMe 6000) has been deployed for exploration.
  • Deep sea mineral exploration was performed using OMe 6000 AUV during December 2022 using research ship Sagar Nidhi at Polymetallic Manganese Nodule (PMN) site at a depth of 5271 m in the allocated area of International Seabed Authority at Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).
  • Deep Ocean Mission was approved by the Cabinet with the overall estimated cost of Rs.4077 Crores for two phases of the Mission period during 2021-2026.

Polymetallic nodules

  • Polymetallic nodules, also called manganese nodules, are mineral concretions on the sea bottom formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core.
  • As nodules can be found in vast quantities, and contain valuable metals, deposits have been identified as a potential economic interest.

International Seabed Authority (ISA)

  • It is a Kingston, Jamaica-based intergovernmental body of 167 member states and the European Union established under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
  • The ISA’s dual mission is to authorize and control development of mineral related operations in the international seabed and also protect the ecosystem of the seabed
  • The ISA is to safeguard the international deep sea, the waters below 200 meters or 656 feet, where photosynthesis is hampered by inadequate light.

ACROSS SCHEME

  • Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS) umbrella scheme is central sector scheme, pertains to the atmospheric science programs of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • The entire gamut of weather/climate prediction involves the observational systems, assimilation of meteorological observations, understanding the processes, research and development of dynamical models and providing the forecast services.

Each of these aspects is incorporated as sub-scheme under the umbrella scheme ACROSS and is implemented by four different institutions under MoES namely:

  1. India Meteorological Department (IMD)
  2. National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF)
  3. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and
  4. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) which implements a small part of one of the sub-schemes. 

The progress made under the ACROSS scheme are listed below: 

  • Development of global advanced weather prediction models and Ensemble Prediction System to generate deterministic and probabilistic forecasts at a high horizontal resolution of 12 km.
  • A first of its kind high-resolution Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi has been developed to predict extreme air pollution events in Delhi.
  • Procurement of 6.8 Petaflop High Performance Computer (HPC) in 2018.
  • The number of Doppler Weather Radars (DWR) network has been increased to 37.
  • A Multi-Mission Meteorological Data Receiving & Processing System (MMDRPS) has been established. The system has three dedicated earth station and data receiving system to receive the data from currently operational Geostationary satellites INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR and INSAT-3DS to be launched in year the 2021-22.
  • Seventeen (17) High Wind Speed Recorders (HWSR) were installed
  • Establishment of 199 new Agro-Meteorological Field Units (AMFUs) for rendering Agromet Advisories
  • IMD provides agrometeorological advisories twice in a week in collaboration with Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  •  A Lightning Location Network with sensors at 83 locations across the country has been put in place. The DAMINI LIGHTNING ALERT Mobile App has been developed and released in May 2020.
  • The Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) observational campaign, was conducted during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for understanding cloud and rainfall processes in natural and seeded clouds over the rain shadow region
  • The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has developed an Earth System Model (ESM) for the first time. The IITM-ESM will be the first climate model from India that participated in the Coupled Modeling Intercomparison Project-Phase 6 (CMIP6) experiments required for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report.

EEWS

  • The National Centre for Seismology (NCS), an attached office of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) intends to install the earthquake early warning system on pilot basis. 
  • The decision to establish an EEWS pilot program would depend on various factors, including the geographical location of target area & seismic activity. 
  • Though, response time of taking action after occurrence of earthquake is very small (few seconds) depending upon the distance between source and responders but information based on EEWS can help to safeguard the critical facilities by stopping their operations such as electric & gas supply, power plants and trains etc. to minimise losses of life and property.
  • NCS plans to collaborate with other countries including USA and Japan to explore the feasibility of EEWS and various algorithms suitable for Indian context.
  • Presently, no proven system exists in the country to provide the early warning of earthquakes.
  • In 2021, Uttarakhand launched India’s first early warning mobile application, which can inform users before an earthquake. ‘Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert’ is the name of the app, which was created by IIT Roorkee. The Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority funded the project.
  • As per the seismic zoning map of the country, the total area is classified into four seismic zones. Zone V is seismically the most active region, while zone II is the least. Approximately, ~ 11% area falls in zone V, ~18% in zone IV, ~ 30% in zone III and remaining in zone II.

Earthquake early warning (EEW)

  • EEW can provide a few seconds to tens of seconds warning prior to ground shaking during an earthquake.
  • Several countries, such as Japan, Taiwan, Mexico have adopted this methodology based on the fact that such warning can (1) rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, (2) determine the size (magnitude) and location of the event, (3) predict the peak ground motion expected in the region around the event, and (4) issue a warning to people in locations that may expect significant ground motion1.
  • Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) uses existing seismic networks to detect moderate to large earthquakes very rapidly so that a warning can be sent before destructive seismic waves arrive to locations outside the area where the earthquake begins
  • These warnings allow people to take protective action and can also triggering automatic responses to safeguard critical infrastructure.

Achievement of SVAMITVA Scheme

  • Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas (SVAMITVA) Scheme is being implemented with the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Revenue Department, State Panchayati Raj Department and Survey of India (SoI) to provide the ‘Record of Rights’ to village household owners possessing houses in inhabited areas in villages with issuance of legal ownership rights (Property cards/Title deeds).
  • Under this scheme mapping of land parcels using drone technology is done by the Survey of India.
  • States need to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SoI for implementation of the scheme.
  • So far 31 States/Union Territories (UTs) have signed MoU with SoI.
  • The scheme aimed to cover all the rural inhabited (Abadi) areas of the States, approximately 6 lakh villages, which have signed MoU with SoI.

Lok Sabha passes Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023 in Parliament

  • The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023 was passed in Lok Sabha
  • Through The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023, a total of 183 provisions are being proposed to be decriminalized in 42 Central Acts administered by 19 Ministries/Departments.

Decriminalization is proposed to be achieved in the following manner: –

  • Both Imprisonment and/or Fine are proposed to be removed in some provisions.
  • Imprisonment is proposed to be removed and fine retained in few provisions.
  • Imprisonment is proposed to be removed and Fine enhanced in few provisions.
  • Imprisonment and Fine are proposed to be converted to Penalty in some provisions.
  • Compounding of offences is proposed to be introduced in few provisions.

KEEP Learning KEEP Evolving

TEAM CL/GKP

Daily Current Capsules

28,29 and 30 July 2023

G20 Conference on Green and Sustainable Growth Agenda for the Global Economy

G-20 Conference on Green & Sustainable Growth Agenda for Global Economy to  begin in New Delhi |

  • NITI Aayog, the Government of India’s institution for policy planning together with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, and the Global Development Network (GDN), New Delhi, is convening a two-day international policy workshop of around 40 leading thinkers to examine prospects and challenges for green and sustainable growth globally. 

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

  • IDRC is a Canadian federal Crown corporation.
  • IDRC champions and funds research and innovation within and alongside developing regions to drive global change.
  • IDRC invests in high-quality research in developing countries, shares knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, and mobilizes global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.
  • IDRC was established by the Parliament of Canada in 1970 under the International Development Research Centre Act

Global Development Network (GDN)

  • The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in Low- and Middle- Income Countries (LMICs), to promote better lives.
  • Founded in 1999, GDN is currently headquartered in New Delhi, with a presence in Clermont-Ferrand, France and the United States.

Parliament Monsoon Session – Highlights

Information given by Ministers in a written reply in the Parliament

Share of Natural Gas in Energy Basket

  • Presently in India the share of natural gas in energy basket is 6.7%.
  • The Government has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in energy mix to 15% in 2030.

Various steps taken by the Government in this direction include

  • Expansion of National Gas Grid Pipeline
  • Expansion of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network
  • Setting up of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminals
  • Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiatives to promote Bio-CNG, etc.. 
  • With the aim to create a National Gas Grid (One Nation, One Gas Grid) and increase the availability of natural gas across the country, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has authorised approximately 33,592 km Natural Gas Pipeline network across the country.

One Nation, One Gas Grid

  • It refers to the joining of several regional grids, creating a national grid, and supplying multiple stakeholders, including the central government, state governments, the public sector, and the commercial sector, with natural gas-produced energy.
  • Natural gas-based energy can be produced and distributed throughout the entire country on a single gas system.
  • Given that there is now very little natural gas available across the nation, it will aid in reducing the regional disparity in gas availability.
  • The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the organisation responsible for approving the construction of pipelines, and a 33,500 km network of natural gas pipelines has been authorised nationwide.
  • Out of this, there are natural gas pipelines totaling 21,715 km that are in operation, while another 13,605 km worth are in various phases of construction.
  • Continual efforts are made to expand pipeline infrastructure based on assessments of regional gas demand.

Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT)

  • It is an initiative aimed at setting up of Compressed Bio-Gas production plants and make it available in the market for use in automotive fuels by inviting Expression of Interest from potential entrepreneurs.
  • The initiative was launched in October 2018 by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in association with Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) viz. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
  • Aim – establishing an ecosystem for production of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) from various waste/ biomass sources and for promoting its use along with Natural Gas.
  • The Government has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in energy mix to 15% in 2030 from about 6.7% now.

Compressed Bio-gas

  • Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc.
  • After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 95%.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas has the potential to replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses in the coming years.

 

India’s Energy Basket

Why we still have to rely on hydel power | Mint

National Policy on Biofuels-2018

  • The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 has identified various feedstocks such as non-edible oilseeds, used cooking oil (UCO), animal tallow, acid oil etc., for production of bio-diesel.
  • An indicative target of 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel /direct sale of bio-diesel by 2030 has already been outlined under the National Policy on Biofuels-2018.
  • Sixty one plants are currently registered with Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies for supply of bio-diesel produced from various feedstocks.
  • These plants are operational in the private sector.
  • At present, there is no proposal for Public – Private Partnerships (PPP) for manufacturing bio-diesel. 

Salient features of e-Shram portal

  • Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India launched eShram portal (eshram.gov.in) on 26th August 2021 for creation of a comprehensive National Database of Unorganised Workers verified and seeded with Aadhaar.  
  • eShram portal is meant to register and support the unorganised workers by providing them a Universal Account Number (UAN).
  • eShram portal captures details of workers such as name, permanent address, current address, occupation, educational qualification, skill type etc.
  • eShram portal allows registration under 30 broad occupation sectors and around 400 occupations. 
  • eShram portal provides multiple modes of registration, through self-registration as well as assisted mode registration to facilitate smooth registration process.
  • Self-registration   includes registration through eShram portal and Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) mobile app.
  • Assisted mode registration includes registration through Common Service Centre (CSC) and State Seva Kendras (SSKs). 
  • As on 18th July 2023, over 28.96 crore unorganised workers have registered on eShram portal. 

Government has taken several steps to provide the benefit of Government schemes to the unorganised workers registered on eShram such as:

  • eShram has been integrated with National Career Service (NCS) Portal.
  • An unorganised worker can register on NCS using his/ her Universal Account Number (UAN) and search for suitable job opportunities.
  • eShram has been also integrated with the  Pradhan Mantri Shram-yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM).
  • PM-SYM, is a pension scheme for unorganised workers who are aged between 18-40 years.
  • Using UAN (eShram), any unorganised worker can easily register on Maandhan portal (maandhan.in).
  • To provide skill enhancement and apprenticeship opportunities to unorganised worker, eShram has been integrated with Skill India Digital portal of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • eShram registrant, who is registered on NCS can also avail digital trainings through DigiSaksham Programme.

 

Atal Bhujal Yojana

  • Atal Bhujal Yojana is being implemented in water stressed Gram Panchayats (GPs) of 229 administrative Blocks/ Talukas in 80 districts of 7 States, viz., Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for a period of 5 years from 01.04.2020.
  • The scheme aims at community led sustainable ground water management through convergence of activities. 
  • The scheme is being implemented through active participation of the communities in the participating States in various activities such as monitoring and disseminating ground water data, water budgeting and preparation of Gram Panchayat wise Water Security Plans
  • The fund under the scheme, inter alia, are being released as per performance based upon achievements of certain pre-defined indicators.

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)-Har Ghar Jal

  • Since August 2019, Government of India in partnership with States, is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)-Har Ghar Jal to enable every rural household in the country, to have assured potable water through tap connection.
  • As on 24.07.2023, out of 19.47 Crore rural households in the country, around 12.63 Crore (64.9%) households are reported to have tap water supply in their homes and the remaining 6.84 Crore are likely to be covered by 2024.

Implementation Of Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme

  • Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has taken up Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme (NAQUIM) since 2012, under the scheme of Ground Water Management and Regulation.
  • NAQUIM aimed to delineate aquifer (water bearing formations) disposition and their characterization for preparation of aquifer/ area specific ground water management plans with community participation.
  • NAQUIM study was an innovative gigantic task to cover nearly 25.00 Lakh Sq KM of mappable area of the country with an aim to map & characterise the various aquifer system of the country in a time-bound manner to make expeditious availability of groundwater related information for suitable interventions to the stake-holders.
  • The study was taken up at a 1:50000 scale with recommendations of creation of recharge structures on a macro level.
  • At this scale, the NAQUIM report gives information which can be suitably implemented on ground with reasonably good outcomes.
  • The NAQUIM studies for the entire country have been taken up by the CGWB for delineation and characterisation of aquifers and development of groundwater management plans.
  • Out of nearly 33 Lakh Sq. Km of geographical area of the country, the mappable area of around 25 Lakh Sq. Km was identified to be covered under NAQUIM.
  • The entire identified area has already been covered by the CGWB before 31st March 2023.

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoH&UA) through Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is supplementing the efforts of State Government to provide safe and clean drinking water in urban areas.
  • AMRUT was launched on June 25, 2015, in 500 selected cities across the country covering around 60% of the Urban Population.
  • Further, AMRUT focuses on development of basic urban infrastructure in the selected cities in the sectors of Water Supply, Sewerage & Septage Management, Storm Water Drainage, Non-Motorised Urban Transport, and Permeable Green Spaces & Parks.
  • In Water Supply sector, State/Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) may take up projects related to new/augmentation/rehabilitation of water supply system; rejuvenation of water bodies for water supply and recharge of ground water etc.
  • To ensure universal coverage of water supply & make 4,902 statutory towns of the country ‘water secure’, AMRUT 2.0 was launched on 1st October 2021 for a period of five years. On-going AMRUT Mission-1.0 has been subsumed under AMRUT 2.0.

Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan Scheme

  • Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has developed a Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan which was launched by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti, on 1st June, 2023
  • Any government/ private entity operating or intending to setup a Biogas/ CBG/ Bio CNG plant can obtain a registration number of the plant by registering on the portal (https://gobardhan.co.in/).
  • The Unified Registration Portal for GOBARdhan is for registration of Biogas/CBG/Bio CNG plants. 
  • The portal gives a registration number to a functional/under construction /yet to start plant.

GOBARdhan Scheme

  • The GOBAR-DHAN scheme, with its focus on keeping villages clean, increasing the income of rural households, and generation of energy from cattle waste, is an important element of this ODF-plus strategy.
  • The scheme aims to positively impact village cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste.
  • The scheme also aims at creating new rural livelihood opportunities and enhancing income for farmers and other rural people.
  • The scheme is being implemented as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin).
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) comprises two main components for creating clean villages – creating open defecation free (ODF) villages and managing solid and liquid waste in villages.

PM SVANidhi

  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched Mobile app of PM SVANidhi for street vendors (SVs) on 1st June, 2023. 
  • MoHUA has been implementing Prime Minister Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), a Central Sector Scheme since 1st June 2020.
  • With the help of mobile app, Street Vendor (SV) can apply for loan and Letter of Recommendation (LoR) under PM SVANidhi Scheme.
  • The SV can also check their loan application status and cashback history.

Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme

  • It was launched with the objective of facilitating collateral free working capital loan to street vendors to restart their businesses.
  • As on July 20, 2023 the scheme has successfully disbursed 50.63 lakh loans, amounting to ₹6,492.02 Cr., to 38.53 lakh street vendors.      
  • The PM SVANidhi Scheme has been made available to all street vendors vending in urban areas.
  • Further, the lending under the Scheme has been extended from March, 2022 to December, 2024.
  • This would help in getting more and more vendors under the ambit of the Scheme.

SVANidhi se Samriddhi

  • ‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ component under the PM SVANidhi Scheme, launched on 04 January, 2021, to build safety net for the beneficiaries’ families for improving their living conditions.
  • It is an additional program of PMSVANidhi
  • SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ program was started to provide social security benefits to street vendors for their holistic development and socio-economic upliftment.
  • It links the beneficiaries’ families to existing eight welfare schemes of the Government of India, targeting their holistic development and socio-economic upliftment.
  • These schemes are PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, One Nation One Ration Card, PM Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana, Registration under Building and other Construction Workers (BoCW), Janani Suraksha Yojana and PM Matru Vandana Yojana.

Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC-India)

  • The Government has been making concerted efforts towards adopting new and emerging building materials and technologies in construction sector.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has initiated Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC-India) and undertaken six distinct construction technology for six light house projects across the country to showcase these technologies for widespread adoption throughout the country.
  • Under the scheme of PMAY (Urban) around 17 lacs houses are under construction based on new technologies.

Key Initiatives

Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC- India)

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has conceptualized a Global Housing Technology Challenge – India (GHTC- India) which aims to identify and mainstream a basket of innovative technologies from across the globe for the housing construction sector that are sustainable, eco-friendly and disaster-resilient.

Light House Projects

  • They are being constructed under GHTC-India which envisages to provide an ecosystem for adoption of innovative technologies in the housing construction sector in a holistic manner.
  • The LHPs are being constructed at Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
  • They comprise about 1000 houses at each location along with allied infrastructure facilities.
  • These projects will demonstrate and deliver ready to live houses at an expedited pace within twelve months, as compared to conventional brick and mortar construction, and will be more economical, sustainable, of high quality and durability.
  • The LHPs will serve as live laboratories for facilitating transfer of technology to the field and its further replication.

ASHA-India

  • Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators – India (ASHA-India) aims to promote domestic research and entrepreneurship by providing incubation and acceleration support to potential future technologies.
  • Under ASHA-India initiative, five ASHA-India Centers have been set up for providing incubation and acceleration support.

PMAY-U Mission 

  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U) Mission has been designed to achieve the vision of “Housing For All by 2022”.
  • In order to recognize the outstanding contribution by States, UTs,Urban Local Bodies and beneficiaries, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has introduced annual awards for excellence in implementation of PMAY-Urban.

NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing).

  • Prime Minister released a certification course on innovative construction technologies named NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing).

SAMUDRAYAAN PROJECT

  • Deep Ocean Mission has been launched w.e.f. 07.09.2021, as a Central Sector Scheme of Ministry of Earth Sciences with the approval of the Cabinet.
  • Samudrayaan is a project under the Deep Ocean Mission.
  • Under the Samudrayaan project of Deep Ocean Mission, MATSYA 6000 manned submersible design has been completed so far. 
  • Under the Mission, Deep water Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) namely Ocean Mineral Explorer (OMe 6000) has been deployed for exploration.
  • Deep sea mineral exploration was performed using OMe 6000 AUV during December 2022 using research ship Sagar Nidhi at Polymetallic Manganese Nodule (PMN) site at a depth of 5271 m in the allocated area of International Seabed Authority at Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).
  • Deep Ocean Mission was approved by the Cabinet with the overall estimated cost of Rs.4077 Crores for two phases of the Mission period during 2021-2026.

Polymetallic nodules

  • Polymetallic nodules, also called manganese nodules, are mineral concretions on the sea bottom formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core.
  • As nodules can be found in vast quantities, and contain valuable metals, deposits have been identified as a potential economic interest.

International Seabed Authority (ISA)

  • It is a Kingston, Jamaica-based intergovernmental body of 167 member states and the European Union established under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
  • The ISA’s dual mission is to authorize and control development of mineral related operations in the international seabed and also protect the ecosystem of the seabed
  • The ISA is to safeguard the international deep sea, the waters below 200 meters or 656 feet, where photosynthesis is hampered by inadequate light.

ACROSS SCHEME

  • Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS) umbrella scheme is central sector scheme, pertains to the atmospheric science programs of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • The entire gamut of weather/climate prediction involves the observational systems, assimilation of meteorological observations, understanding the processes, research and development of dynamical models and providing the forecast services.

Each of these aspects is incorporated as sub-scheme under the umbrella scheme ACROSS and is implemented by four different institutions under MoES namely:

  1. India Meteorological Department (IMD)
  2. National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF)
  3. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and
  4. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) which implements a small part of one of the sub-schemes. 

The progress made under the ACROSS scheme are listed below: 

  • Development of global advanced weather prediction models and Ensemble Prediction System to generate deterministic and probabilistic forecasts at a high horizontal resolution of 12 km.
  • A first of its kind high-resolution Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi has been developed to predict extreme air pollution events in Delhi.
  • Procurement of 6.8 Petaflop High Performance Computer (HPC) in 2018.
  • The number of Doppler Weather Radars (DWR) network has been increased to 37.
  • A Multi-Mission Meteorological Data Receiving & Processing System (MMDRPS) has been established. The system has three dedicated earth station and data receiving system to receive the data from currently operational Geostationary satellites INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR and INSAT-3DS to be launched in year the 2021-22.
  • Seventeen (17) High Wind Speed Recorders (HWSR) were installed
  • Establishment of 199 new Agro-Meteorological Field Units (AMFUs) for rendering Agromet Advisories
  • IMD provides agrometeorological advisories twice in a week in collaboration with Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  •  A Lightning Location Network with sensors at 83 locations across the country has been put in place. The DAMINI LIGHTNING ALERT Mobile App has been developed and released in May 2020.
  • The Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) observational campaign, was conducted during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for understanding cloud and rainfall processes in natural and seeded clouds over the rain shadow region
  • The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has developed an Earth System Model (ESM) for the first time. The IITM-ESM will be the first climate model from India that participated in the Coupled Modeling Intercomparison Project-Phase 6 (CMIP6) experiments required for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report.

EEWS

  • The National Centre for Seismology (NCS), an attached office of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) intends to install the earthquake early warning system on pilot basis. 
  • The decision to establish an EEWS pilot program would depend on various factors, including the geographical location of target area & seismic activity. 
  • Though, response time of taking action after occurrence of earthquake is very small (few seconds) depending upon the distance between source and responders but information based on EEWS can help to safeguard the critical facilities by stopping their operations such as electric & gas supply, power plants and trains etc. to minimise losses of life and property.
  • NCS plans to collaborate with other countries including USA and Japan to explore the feasibility of EEWS and various algorithms suitable for Indian context.
  • Presently, no proven system exists in the country to provide the early warning of earthquakes.
  • In 2021, Uttarakhand launched India’s first early warning mobile application, which can inform users before an earthquake. ‘Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert’ is the name of the app, which was created by IIT Roorkee. The Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority funded the project.
  • As per the seismic zoning map of the country, the total area is classified into four seismic zones. Zone V is seismically the most active region, while zone II is the least. Approximately, ~ 11% area falls in zone V, ~18% in zone IV, ~ 30% in zone III and remaining in zone II.

Earthquake early warning (EEW)

  • EEW can provide a few seconds to tens of seconds warning prior to ground shaking during an earthquake.
  • Several countries, such as Japan, Taiwan, Mexico have adopted this methodology based on the fact that such warning can (1) rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, (2) determine the size (magnitude) and location of the event, (3) predict the peak ground motion expected in the region around the event, and (4) issue a warning to people in locations that may expect significant ground motion1.
  • Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) uses existing seismic networks to detect moderate to large earthquakes very rapidly so that a warning can be sent before destructive seismic waves arrive to locations outside the area where the earthquake begins
  • These warnings allow people to take protective action and can also triggering automatic responses to safeguard critical infrastructure.

Achievement of SVAMITVA Scheme

  • Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas (SVAMITVA) Scheme is being implemented with the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Revenue Department, State Panchayati Raj Department and Survey of India (SoI) to provide the ‘Record of Rights’ to village household owners possessing houses in inhabited areas in villages with issuance of legal ownership rights (Property cards/Title deeds).
  • Under this scheme mapping of land parcels using drone technology is done by the Survey of India.
  • States need to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SoI for implementation of the scheme.
  • So far 31 States/Union Territories (UTs) have signed MoU with SoI.
  • The scheme aimed to cover all the rural inhabited (Abadi) areas of the States, approximately 6 lakh villages, which have signed MoU with SoI.

Lok Sabha passes Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023 in Parliament

  • The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023 was passed in Lok Sabha
  • Through The Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2023, a total of 183 provisions are being proposed to be decriminalized in 42 Central Acts administered by 19 Ministries/Departments.

Decriminalization is proposed to be achieved in the following manner: –

  • Both Imprisonment and/or Fine are proposed to be removed in some provisions.
  • Imprisonment is proposed to be removed and fine retained in few provisions.
  • Imprisonment is proposed to be removed and Fine enhanced in few provisions.
  • Imprisonment and Fine are proposed to be converted to Penalty in some provisions.
  • Compounding of offences is proposed to be introduced in few provisions.

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