CURRENT AFFAIRS 10TH MARCH

NHPC to acquire Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd (LTHPL)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the acquisition of debt-laden Lanco’s 500 MW Teesta hydro-electric power project in Sikkim by state-owned NHPC.

NHPC will take over debt-laden Lanco’s 500 MW Teesta hydro-electric power project for Rs 907 crore in Sikkim.

CCEA has sanctioned the funds for the acquisition and execution of balance work of the Teesta Stage-Vl Hydro Electric Project by the NHPC Ltd.

The total cost of the project would be Rs 5,748.04 crore (at July 2018 price level), which includes a bid amount of Rs 907 crore for acquisition and estimated cost of balance work of Rs 3,863.95 crore, which includes Interest During Construction (IDC) and Foreign Component (FC) of Rs 977.09 crore.

Teesta Stage-Vl Hydro Electric Project:

  • Teesta Stage-Vl Hydro Electric Project is a Run of River (RoR) project in Sirwani Village of Sikkim to utilize the power potential of Teesta River Basin in a cascade manner.
  • The project involves the construction of a 26.5-metre high barrage across river Teesta.
  • The estimated power generation is 2,400 million units of electricity in a 90 per cent dependable year with an installed capacity of 500 MW (4x125MW).

About NHPC: NHPC Limited, formerly known as National Hydroelectric Power Corp. was incorporated as Central Govt. Enterprise for development of Hydro Power in Central Sector on 7th November 1975. Over the years NHPC has evolved as the largest central utility for hydropower development in India. NHPC is mandated to plan, promote and organize an integrated and efficient development of power in all aspects through Conventional and Non Convention Sources in India and abroad. NHPC which is a premier organization in the country for the development of hydropower has an authorised capital of about Rs.15,000 crores and has a Miniratna status.

Union Minister of Environment released India Cooling Action Plan

India Cooling Action Plan was released by the Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The plan is aimed at reducing emissions and providing thermal comfort to citizens.

India Cooling Action Plan

India Cooling Action Plan provides a 20-year perspective to address the cooling requirements across various sectors and recommends ways to provide access to sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for people.

Under the action plan, the government has planned to achieve at least 30% reductions in cooling energy requirement by improving the energy efficiency of room ACs and fans, better servicing and optimized operations in cold chains.

The government also plans to provide training to 1 lakh service technicians to ensure optimum usage of currently installed air conditions.

The plan also proposes Reduction of the cooling load of building sector through the fast-tracked implementation of building energy codes, adoption of thermal comfort standards, enhancing consumer awareness through eco-labelling of cooling products, push towards public transport and faster adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles.

The plan recommends the use of climate-appropriate and energy efficient building design for construction of houses for economically weaker sections (EWS) under government affordable housing schemes.

The plan states that plan to phase out of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) is already underway, and under the second phase, the most common refrigerant – HCFC-22 would be phased out from six major room AC brands by 2022.

Recognize “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under the national S&T Programme.

Targets under India Cooling Action Plan

  • Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by 2037-38.
  • Reduce refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38
  • Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38.

Al Nagah III Joint Military Exercise

Al Nagah III is the third in the series of the bilateral joint exercise between India and Oman. It will be held between March 12 to March 25 at Oman.

About Al Nagah III

  • Al Nagah III will be held at Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains in Oman.
  • The 14-day exercise will see both the armies exchanging expertise and experience in tactics, weapon handling and firing.
  • The exercise is aimed to enhance interoperability in counterterrorist operations in semi-urban mountainous terrain.
  • The Indian Army contingent is going to be represented by 10th Battalion of the Garhwal Rifles. Similar strength is also to be fielded by Jabel Regiment of Royal Army of Oman.

SC Proposes Mediation Panel for Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Land Dispute Case

The Supreme Court has proposed a court-monitored mediation in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to arrive at a permanent solution to the politically and religiously sensitive issue. The mediation panel consists of three members. Justice Kalifullah, Retired judge of the Supreme Court will chair the court-appointed and monitored mediation process and the other two members are spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.

Note: The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case is a property dispute over the land where the Babri Masjid, a 16th-century mosque once stood. The mosque was razed by kar sevaks on 6 December 1992.

Government Launches e-Dharti app and e-Dharti GeoPortal

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri launched the e-Dharti app and e-Dharti GeoPortal to help the public in getting the necessary information on fingertips and the government to effectively manage its properties.

e-Dharti app                      

Under the e-Dharti app, all the three modules- Conversion, Substitution and Mutation related to properties have been made online.

The payment system in Land and Development Office, L&DO has also been completely digitized.

This enables the public to submit their applications online by visiting the L&DO website. This absolves the need to visit the office for submission of them and for follow up of their applications.

e-Dharti GeoPortal

e-Dharti GeoPortal enables the lessee of the property to see the basic details of property along with the map showing its location.

The lessee can also be issued a Property Card from this office about his property if he asks for it.

e-Dharti GeoPortal will also benefit the government by letting it know the actual status of its vacant properties, whether there is any encroachment on the property.

IBBI Signs Cooperation Agreement with IFC

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has signed a cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to assist IBBI in further building the capacity of insolvency professionals and insolvency professional agencies for the purpose of the bankruptcy code.

IBBI established under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 provides a platform for re-organisation and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner for maximisation of the value of assets, to promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interests of all the stakeholders.

Journalist Priyanka Dubey gets Chameli Devi Jain Award

The bilingual correspondent with the BBC Priyanka Dubey has been named for the Chameli Devi Jain Award for an Outstanding Woman Journalist for the year 2018. The jury honoured Priyanka Dubey for her multi-faceted, investigative and interrogative reportage which  took up the burning and complex social and political issues and uncovering the reality underlying them showing them to be layered, complex, and and variegated. The Chameli Devi Jain Award awards women journalists for their exceptional contribution to the cause of journalism upholding standards of excellence through a sustained body of work.

Raghuram Rajan to Get Yashwantrao Chavan National Award

Raghuram Rajan, former governor of RBI has been chosen for the ‘Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2018’ by Yashwantrao Chavan Prathisthan for his contribution to economic development. Raghuram Rajan will be presented with the award at the 106th birth anniversary of Yashwantrao Chavan on March 12. Raghuram Rajan is credited with steering Indian economy during turbulent times during the post-global financial crisis period. He is credited for positioning Indian currency as among the best-performing emerging markets amid a global currency rout against the dollar as emerging markets witness a major capital flight not seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2018.

Monster Salary Index Report

The Monster Salary Index report has highlighted the following findings:

  • The gender pay gap is still high in India and women in the country earn 19 per cent less than men.
  • Wage inequalities in favour of men are present in all the relevant sectors.
  • The current gender pay gap in India stood at 19 per cent where men earned Rs 46.19 more per hour in comparison to women..
  • The survey report puts the median gross hourly salary for men in India in 2018 stood at Rs 242.49, while for women it stood at around Rs 196.3.
  • Gender pay gap encompasses across key industries, IT/ITES services showed a sharp pay gap of 26 per cent in favour of men, while in the manufacturing sector, men earn 24 per cent more than women.
  • Only in Financial services, banking and insurance industry men earn just 2 per cent more.
  • The survey reports that the gap has narrowed only by one per cent in 2018 from 20 per cent in 2017.

Note: Monster Salary Index Report was prepared by Monster India in collaboration with Paycheck.in (managed by WageIndicator Foundation) with IIM-Ahmedabad as a research partner.


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