Current Affairs , 29 November 2019
- November 29, 2019
- Posted By : upliftlife
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Lok Sabha passes Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill
- Nations have a lot of rules, but art and music doesn’t have any such borders
- Rules for the Conduct of Business
- Credit-linked Subsidy Services Awas Portal (CLAP)
- FILM MAKERS OF INTERNATIONAL CINEMA MEET THE PRESS
- National Youth Parliament Scheme
- logo of Lokpal
- Dharmendra Pradhan Participates in Aadi Mahotsav, calls for Greater use of Tribal Products
- Monthly Production Report for October, 2019
- Mission 41K
- Indian Railways restores train services in Kashmir Valley
- China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
- India-Netherland: “Water 4 change”, an urban water management system
- WATEC Conference in Israel
- Asian Archery C’ships
1. Lok Sabha passes Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill
- Lok Sabha today passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
- According to the proposed amendment, the SPG will provide security to Prime Minister, and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence.
- It will also provide security to former prime ministers, and his immediate family members residing with him at the residence allotted to him for a period of five years.
Lok Sabha passes Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill.
- The Bill says that when the proximate security is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, such proximate security shall also stand withdrawn from members of his or her immediate family.
- It says it is considered essential to amend the act to focus on the core mandate, as the security of the prime minister, as head of the government, is of paramount importance for the government, governance and national security
- Replying to the debate on the bill, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the bill should not be seen as a political vendetta as the vindictive approach is not the ethos of BJP.
- He clarified that the security cover has not been removed from the Gandhi Family but it has been changed to Z Plus security with CRPF and Ambulance. He said, the decision to withdraw SPG cover from the Gandhi family was taken after proper professional threat assessment and no political vendetta is behind this.
- Mr Shah said, it is the responsibility of the government to not only provide security to the Prime Minister but also to every citizen of the country.
- The Home Minister also cited the number of instances when the Gandhi family members undertook several trips without SPG cover. Later, Congress party members staged a walkout from the House.
- Earlier, initiating the debate, Manish Tewari of Congress said security is provided to certain individuals based on threat perception. He alleged that threat assessment has become a political process instead of a scientific process.
- BJP’s Satya Pal Singh supported the bill and congratulated the Home Minister for bringing the bill. Mr Singh said, there were many instances when SPG protectees violated the rules and regulations.
- He also said an SPG protectee was given a government bungalow whereas many elected MPs were yet to get the government accommodation which was an insult to them.
- Sudip Bandopadhyay of TMC, A Raja of DMK, Rajiv Pratap Rudy of BJP, NK Premchandran of RSP, and members from other political parties participated in the debate.
Nations have a lot of rules, but art and music doesn’t have any such borders
- When loudspeakers(Kolambi) are silenced forever by a government order, the world turned topsy turvy for an old couple who depended on them for a living. A young artist who meet this couple turned this tragic nature of the Kolambi’s fate into a work of art thereby giving back Kolaambi’s their voice and the couple their life. A beautiful Malayalam film ‘Kolaambi’ that narrates this warm relationship between the old couple and a young girl was the focus of discussion at a media conference organised at International Film Festival of India today in Panaji when the cast and crew of ‘Kolaambi’ met the press. The director of another path breaking biopic film ‘Anandi Gopal’ Sameer Sanjay Vidwans also joined the press conference.
- Director of Kolaambi, T.K. Rajeevkumar said that his film’s plot is about a situation when noise pollution act came into existence in 2005. “ It’s about a man living in the 1960’s, who is passionate about singers. He believes in archiving the history of Kerala through his loudspeaker. This man was after every celebrity and leader,” he said.
- Screenwriter of the film, K.M. Venugopal said that art and music are two essential ingredients of this film. “Nations have a lot of rules and restrictions, but art and music doesn’t have any such borders. Idea of art is to transcend all borders and restrictions”, he said.
- Talking about her role in Kolaambi, lead actress Nithya Menen said, “When the director came to me with this beautiful idea, I really liked the concept. For me, working with him on this film was really nourishing. I believe true artist feel claustrophobic in the commercial environment. For this reason Kolaambi is like a breath of fresh air for me.” Another actress in Kolaambi, Rohini also participated.
- Elaborating on the story of his film, Director of ‘Anandi Gopal’ Sameer Sanjay Vidwans said that it is the story of a couple- Anandi and Gopal Joshi set around 140 years ago. “ Despite the opposition from the society Gopal encourages Anandi to study further in USA and she went onto become the first lady doctor of India, ” he said.
- Kolaambi, a Malayalam film directed by T.K. Rajeev Kumar tells the story of an old couple who turned jobless when Kolaambis (loudspeakers) are banned by government. A young artiste, who comes to Kochi to scout around for a subject for her Art Installation, meets the couple by accident. She is instantly drawn to the tragic nature of the Kolambi’s fate and uses it to create a work of art at the Kochi Biennale.
- Anandi Gopal
- Directed by Sameer Vidwans the film is based on a true story from the 19th century India. Nine-year-old Yamuna (aka Anandi) was married to Gopalrao Joshi, who had asked her parents to ensure she becomes literate. After a personal tragedy, Anandi vows to become a doctor and Gopal supports her decision. But they are heavily criticised by their kin and society, which does not accept a girl being educated and more so become a doctor. Indomitable Gopal sends Anandi to USA to study and become the first female doctor of India!
- The suspension of two Congress members by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla after unruly scenes in the House has brought back focus on the conduct of MPs, and related issues.
- Rule 378 of the Rules for the Conduct of Business states: “The Speaker shall preserve order and shall have all powers necessary for the purpose of enforcing own decisions.”
- Rule 373 says: “The Speaker, if is of the opinion that the conduct of any member is grossly disorderly, may direct such member to withdraw immediately from the House, and any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the remainder of the day’s sitting.”
- The Speaker may, if deems it necessary, name a member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof.
- If a member is so named by the Speaker, the Speaker shall, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the member (naming such member) be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session: Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.
- A member suspended under this rule shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House.
- Rule 374A:
- Notwithstanding anything contained in rules 373 and 374, in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a member coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise, such member shall, on being named by the Speaker, stand automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less: Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.
- On the Speaker announcing the suspension under this rule, the member shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House.
- Political parties should have a code of conduct for their MPs and MLAs to help monitor their behaviour in Parliament and state legislatures.
- Political parties could include such a code in their election manifestos that would help enable voters to make their judgement before voting.
- The code of conduct should include stipulations that members would not enter the well of the house, nor resort to sloganeering and disruptions or any other unruly behaviour such as tearing of papers and throwing them in the House.
- There is also a need for more coordination between the ruling party and the opposition,both inside and outside Parliament, that could help bring about consensus on important legislations.
Credit-linked Subsidy Services Awas Portal (CLAP)
- The Union Government has launched the Credit-linked Subsidy Services Awas Portal (CLAP)for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Housing for All (Urban).
- The portal was launched along with the signing of agreements between the Union Housing Affairs Ministry and state governments for the construction of LightHouse projects under GHTC-India.
- GHTC aims to fast-track the construction of affordable housing and meet the target of constructing 1.2 crore houses by 2022.
- GHTC focuses on identifying and mainstreaming proven demonstrable technologies for lighthouse projects and spotting potential future technologies for incubation and acceleration support through ASHA (Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators) — India.
- To enable adoption of construction techniques for housing that are affordable and takes minimum time as less as three months instead of the conventional three years for construction.
- Bring a paradigm shift in technology transition using large-scale construction under the PMAY-U as an opportunity to get the best available construction technologies across the globe.
- It is being implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA).
- It seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme components:
- In-situ Rehabilitation of existing slum dwellers using land as a resource through private participation.
- Credit Linked Subsidy (Implemented as a Central Sector Scheme).
- Affordable Housing in Partnership.
- Subsidy for Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.
- Today, while developers in India’s metropolitan cities are sitting on lakhs of unsold residences costing upwards of ₹50 lakh, the country is estimated to have a shortage of nearly 20 million housing units needed by the rural and urban poor, at far lower price points of ₹5-15 lakh.
- The PMAY aims to address this shortfall. With the increase in subsidised loan amount, the scheme is expected to cover a higher proportion of the urban poor.
- The PMAY will hopefully incentivise India’s construction and realty sector to reduce its traditional obsession with affluent home buyers in the cities.
5. FILM MAKERS OF INTERNATIONAL CINEMA MEET THE PRESS
- Those who wish to make independent films must keep themselves away from government funding, said Ms. Mahnaz Mohammadi, Director of Iranian film ‘Son-Mother’. “ The government will give funds to directors who follow their rules and listen to them. You have to be part of the system and norms. I used my earnings as a documentary filmmaker to produce my films”, she said. She was participating in a media conference at the 50th International Film Festival of India, here in Panaji.
- Director of ‘I’m Gonna Tell God Everything’ Dev Pinn , Producer of ‘Other Half’ Aludeniye Subodhi Thero and Director of ‘The Fourth Wall’ Zhang Chong were also present.
- Replying to questions about the acceptance of Iranian films across the world, she said, “Iranians grow up with poets. We need poems for every other occassion. That might be the reason why people around the world find movies made by Iranians good”. Elaborating on her movie ‘Son-Mother’, the director said that the film talks about a working widow in Iran who faces an impossible choice whilst trying to keep her family together.
- Sharing the incidents that prompted him to make a film, Director of ‘I’m Gonna Tell God Everything’, Dev Pinn @ Vasu Pinnamaraju said that the film borrows its title from the last words of a 3 year-old Syrian boy in a hospital at Damascus. “ The movie deals with true events that occured in Syria between 2011 and 2018, and how human lives are at stake in one of the bloodiest times of the Middle-east”, he said. He also revealed his plans to make a feature film on the gun culture of America.
- Underlining the theme of the movie, he added that when adults are overwhelmed by their selfish interests and needs, it is the kids that remind us of the core values of humanity.
- Producer of ‘Other Half’ Aludeniye Subodhi Thero said that his film discusses the importance of transforming Srilanka’s teacher centred education system to a student centred one. Environmental concerns like the over use of chemicals for agriculture are also discussed in the film, he said. Subodhi further said that art and cinema can be used to transform people for better and increase human value.
6. National Youth Parliament Scheme
· A special function on the occasion to commemorate 70th Anniversary of adoption of the Constitution of India, – “SamvidhanDiwas” was organized in the Central Hall of Parliament.
· The President of India, Vice President, Prime Minister, Speaker and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs graced the occasion and addressed the gathering of the Members of both Houses of Parliament.
· On this occasion, the President Shri Ram NathKovindlaunched the Web-Portal of “National Youth Parliament Scheme”.
· Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has been implementing Youth Parliament programme since 1966 in Schools under the Directorate of Education, Government of NCT of Delhi and NDMC, KendriyaVidyalayas, JawaharNavodayaVidyalayas and Universities/ Colleges. So far, around 8,000 educational institutions and more than 4,00,000 students have been covered under the Youth Parliament programme of the Ministry.
The web-portal of the National Youth Parliament Scheme is available at www.nyps.mpa.gov.in. The main objective of the portal is to increase the outreach of the youth parliament programme of the Ministry to hitherto untouched sections and corners of the country.
The salient features of the portal are:-
- All recognised educational institutions of the country are eligible to participate in this programme.
- The registration for participation will be done by the education institutions through the web-portal.
- E-training modules, videos, photographs and scripts are available on the portal for online self-learning of the participants.
- After successful registration, the educational institutions will be able to conduct youth parliament sittings in their respective institutions.
- Each student taking part in the sitting will get a Digital ‘Certificate of Participation’ and each Teacher-in-charge and Head of Institution will get a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ through the web portal.
7. logo of Lokpal
· The Chairman of Lokpal, Shri Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose launched the logo of Lokpal, at an event held here today. The Members of Lokpal: Shri Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale (Judicial Member), Shri Justice Pradeep Kumar Mohanty (Judicial Member), Shri Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi (Judicial Member), Shri Dinesh Kumar Jain (Non-Judicial Member), Smt. Archana Ramasundaram (Non-Judicial Member), Shri Mahender Singh (Non-Judicial Member) & Dr Inderjeet Prasad Gautam (Non-Judicial Member), Secretary Lokpal Shri B. K. Agarwal, CEO, Mygov Portal Shri Abhishek Singh and Joint Secretary Lokpal Shri Dilip Kumar were present on the occasion. The motto of Lokpal “मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् was also adopted.
· An open competition was conducted on Mygov portal i.e. the website mygov.in, as well as through the Lokpal registry mail, to invite entries for Logo and Motto/Slogan for using the same as Logo and Motto/Slogan of Lokpal in stationary, backdrop, for IEC and any other way that the Lokpal deem fit. Accordingly, the same was made open for competition amongst all public (individuals/organizations) to submit their Logo latest by 13.06.2019 at 2345 hours.
- The total 2236 entries received for Logo and total 4705 entries received for Motto/Slogan through Mygov portal from people of varied age groups and from different parts of the country.
- On three stage selection process, the Logo design of Shri Prashant Mishra, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh is selected for adoption as Logo of Lokpal.
The logo of Lokpal is based upon the literal meaning of LOKPAL, LOK – meaning people and PAL – meaning caretaker, i.e. “caretaker of people”. The logo symbolizes how LOKPAL protects and cares for the people of India by establishing justice as per law. The logo symbolizes various essence of LOKPAL figuratively in shapes such as: ombudsman (judges bench), people (three human figures), vigilance (Ashok chakra forming eye–pupil), law (shape of book in orange) and judicial (the tricolor two hands are placed below forming a unique balance). The logo is in tricolor representing the national essence of LOKPAL. However, none of the motto received through portal was found suitable. The Lokpal has decided its Motto/Slogan in its full bench meeting based on their own inputs and discussion on 17th October 2019.The Hon’ble Bench unanimously decided to take one portion of the above 1st sloka of ‘Ishabasoupanishad’. The finally selected slogan/motto for the office of Lokpal is as under:-
“मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम्”
The meaning of the above slogan/motto in Hindi is मा गृधः= लोभ, मत करो, कस्यस्वित्=किसी के, धनम्=धन का i.e. किसी के धन का लोभ मत करो. The meaning in English is “Do not be greedy for anyone’s wealth.”
8. Dharmendra Pradhan Participates in Aadi Mahotsav, calls for Greater use of Tribal Products
· Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the Aadi Mahotsav 2019, an annual extravaganza of tribal art, culture, craft and cuisine, here today which is being organised by TRIFED. The event is witnessing participation of over 1000 tribal artisans, chefs, performers etc. from 24 States.
- Speaking on the occasion Shri Pradhan said “Coming from Odisha, I have a special place in my heart for our tribal brothers and sisters. In the tribal map of our country, Odisha occupies an important place. Indian tribes are known for rich culture and heritage. Our tribal brothers and sisters have a life style which makes them closer to environment.”
- Talking about the role of tribal population in energy, he said, “We must indigenise our sources of energy. Our tribal brothers and sisters can play an important role in our Bio Fuels strategy. Forest produce getting converted to energy can help us save foreign exchange and will augment income of our tribal brothers and sisters.”
· Pitching for greater use of tribal products, he said, “Let us resolve to use more and more products in our daily lives which are made by our tribal brothers and sisters”. He further stated that under the leadership of hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, NDA Govt. has brought in a new paradigm of tribal welfare. “Be it Ujjwala Yojana, Saubhagya Yojana, PM Awas Yojana, Swachh Bharat or Har Ghar Jal, our tribal brothers and sisters are at the focus of our development agenda”, he added.
9. Monthly Production Report for October, 2019
- Crude oil productionduring October, 2019 was 2738.44 TMT which is 7.21% lower than target and 5.09% lower when compared with October 2018. Cumulative crude oil production during April-October, 2019 was 19110.46 TMT which is 4.91% and 5.83% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively. Unit-wise and State-wise crude oil production is given at Annexure-I. Unit-wise crude oil production for the month of October, 2019 and cumulatively for the period April-October, 2019 vis-à-vis same period of last year has been shown in Table-1 and month-wise in Figure-1.
Table-1: Crude Oil Production (in TMT)
||% over last year
||% over last year
Note: Totals may not tally due to rounding off. *: Provisional
Figure-1: Monthly Crude Oil Production
Unit-wise production details with reasons for shortfall are as under:
- Crude oil production by ONGCduring October, 2019 was 1712.93 TMT which is 7.22% lower than the target and 2.97% lower when compared with October, 2018. Cumulative crude oil production by ONGC during April-October, 2019 was 11965.11 TMT which is 3.27% and 3.83% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively.
- ESP issues in wells of NBP and Ratna R-series fields.
- Rig deployed at NBP-A well platform and rigs being mobilized for remaining wells.
- Increase in water cut in certain wells of Mumbai High, Heera, Neelam and B-173A fields.
- Sub-sea leakage in some well fluid lines of MH Asset leading to flow restriction. Repairing of remaining well fluid lines planned under PRP VI.
- Production loss due to power Shut Downs & Electrical faults due to thunderstorms/ heavy rains/ water logging in Mehsana and other Western Onshore Assets.
- Decline in pressure & increase in water-cut in Kesanapalli West field in Rajahmundry and Lakwa field in Assam.
- Crude oil production by OILduring October, 2019 was 272.57 TMT which is 5.70% lower than monthly target and 3.69% lower when compared with October, 2018. Cumulative crude oil production by OIL during April-October, 2019 was 1886.83 TMT which is 4.91% and 4.16% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively. Major reasons for lower production is less than planned contribution from workover wells and drilling wells.
- Crude oil production by Pvt/JVsduring October, 2019 was 752.94 TMT which is 7.73% lower than the monthly target and 10.02% lower than October, 2018. Cumulative crude oil production by Pvt/JVs during April-October, 2019 was 5258.52 TMT which is 8.45% and 10.64% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively. Reasons for shortfall in production are as under:
- RJ-ON-90/1-MANGLA (CEIL): Delay in making 45 FM-1/4 infill wells on line. Lag in liquidating the inventory of planned work overs and production optimization jobs. ESP failure in FM-3 well M-357, M-359 and M-387.
- Operational issues in Bhagyam, Aishwarya and ABH fields. (CEIL)
- CB-ONN-2005/9 (Mercator): Oil production from Jyoti-1 is stopped. Well closed for long term pressure build up study and could not be put back in production due to non-grant of EC for development campaign.
- Natural gas productionduring October, 2019 was 2641.04 MMSCM which is 8.46% lower than the monthly target and 5.60% lower when compared with October, 2018. Cumulative natural gas production during April-October, 2019 was 18646.15 MMSCM which is 6.38% and 2.13% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively. Unit-wise and state-wise natural gas production is given at Annexure-II. Unit-wise natural gas production for the month of October, 2019 and cumulatively for the period April-October, 2019 vis-à-vis same period of last year has been shown in Table-2 and month-wise in Figure-2.
Table-2: Natural Gas Production (MMSCM)
||% over last year
||% over last year
Note: Totals may not tally due to rounding off. *: Provisional
Figure-2: Monthly Natural Gas Production
- Natural gas production by ONGCduring October, 2019 was 1954.35 MMSCM which is 8.84% lower than target and 7.39% lower when compared with October 2018. Cumulative natural gas production by ONGC during April-October, 2019 was 14026.05 MMSCM which is 4.72% and 0.72% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively.
- Less than planned gas production from Bassein & Satellite Asset.
- Less Gas off-take from Eastern Offshore Asset by M/s GPPC during the month
- Less production due to less gas off take by OTPC, Tripura.
- Less production due to less gas off take by gas consumers in Cauvery and Rajahmundry Assets and no gas off-take in Jodhpur & Silchar Assets.
- Natural gas production by OILduring October, 2019 was 239.23 MMSCM which is 1.59% higher than the production of corresponding month of last year but lower by 16.98% monthly target. Cumulative natural gas production by OIL during April-October, 2019 was 1623.61 MMSCM which is 1.40% higher than the production during the corresponding period of last year but 18.25% lower than the cumulative target. Reasons for shortfall in production are as under:
- Environmental loss (Bandh and miscreant activities).
- Less offtake by M/s. BVFCL due to major repeated unscheduled maintenance issue.
- Natural gas production by Pvt/JVs during October, 2019 was 447.46 MMSCM which is 1.21% lower than monthly target and 0.96% lower than October, 2018. Cumulative natural gas production by Pvt/JVs during April-October, 2019 was 2996.49 MMSCM which is 6.66% and 9.82% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively. Mainly production is lower due to less offtake by consumers.
- Refinery Production (in terms of crude oil processed)
Refinery production during October, 2019 was 21925.52 TMT which is 1.34% higher than the target for the month and marginally higher 0.19% when compared with October, 2018. Cumulative production during April-October, 2019 was 147653.63 TMT which is 0.43% and 1.92% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively. Unit-wise production is given at Annexure-III. Company-wise production for the month of October, 2019 and cumulatively for the period April-October, 2019 vis-à-vis same period of last year has been shown in Table-3 and month-wise in Figure-3.
Figure 3: Monthly Refinery Production
Table 3: Refinery Production (TMT)
||% over last year
||% over last year
Note: Totals may not tally due to rounding off. *: Provisional
- CPSE Refineries’ productionduring October, 2019 was 12473.31 TMT which is 1.72% higher than the target for the month but 3.60% lower when compared with October, 2018. Cumulative production by CPSE refineries during April-October, 2019 was 83657.55 TMT which is 0.87% and 4.65% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively. Reasons for shortfall of refinery production in some CPSE refineries are as under:
- IOCL, Guwahati: Lower due to HGU interruption.
- IOCL, Barauni: Lower due to High DHDT feed stock.
- IOCL, Gujarat: Crude Units idling due to HSD containment.
- IOCL, Panipat: Lower due to AVU-2 stabilization delay and OHCU extended shutdown.
- IOCL, Bongaigaon: Lower due to deferment of planned M&I shutdown.
- IOCL, Paradip: Lower due BS VI test run.
- CPCL, Manali: Lower due to CDU-1 M&I shutdown.
- NRL, Numaligarh & MRPL, Mangalore: Lower due to HSD ullage constraint.
3.2 Production in JV refineries during October, 2019 was 1770.41 TMT which is 11.49% higher when compared with the production of October, 2019 and 52.71% higher than the target for the month. Cumulative production by JVs refineries during April-October, 2019 was 11410.49 TMT which is 4.04% and 15.51 higher than the target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year.
3.3 Production in private refineries during October, 2019 was 7681.81 TMT which is 1.32% lower than the target as well as corresponding month of last year. Cumulative production by private refineries during April-October, 2019 was 52585.59 TMT which is lower by 0.65% each against the target and corresponding period of last year.
3.4 Refinery-wise details of the capacity utilization and production of petroleum products during the month of October, 2019 and cumulatively for the period April-October, 2019 vis-à-vis April-October, 2018 are given at Annexures – IV and V respectively.
10. Mission 41K
· Indian Railways have been embarking upon various initiatives to reduce the cost of operations. One of the major initiative in this regard has been direct procurement of power as deemed licensee instead of consumer.
· “Mission 41K” document targets for saving of Rs. 41,000 Crore through integrated Rail Energy Management System by 2025. Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL), a JV of Ministry of Railways and RITES Ltd., has been endeavouring to achieve this target by gradual migration from Consumer to Deemed Licensee. Deemed Licensee status enables Indian Railways to buy electricity directly from any generating company by paying wheeling charges to Central and State transmission system under open access as per The Electricity Act,2003.
· In this sequence Indian Railways has commenced flow of 35 MW power in Punjab for 11 traction sub-stations w.e.f. 24.11.2019 which will result into annual estimated saving of Rs. 56 Crore per annum on recurring basis. With the addition of Punjab in the portfolio of open access, Indian Railways is now taking about 1400 MW (70%) of power under open access as deemed licensee in 11 States. These efforts are resulting into annual saving of over Rs. 3500 Crore per annum and a total saving of over Rs. 12000 Crore since commencement of power under open access w.e.f. November’2015 onwards on business as usual mode.
· These initiatives will pave the way for reducing the financial burden of Indian Railways. These efforts have resulted in keeping electricity price at most economical rate on sustainable basis since 2015 on Indian Railways.
11. Indian Railways restores train services in Kashmir Valley
· During the winter season, snowfall often halts the movement of vehicles in Kashmir Valley, in this situation, the train operation is considered the best mode of transportation in Kashmir Valley. Indian Railways has restored train services to benefit the thousands of local commuters to travel by train over the entire area between Baramulla to Banihal (138 Km). The decision to re-start the train services in Kashmir valley was taken after due security audits and assurance by Government Railway Police, Jammu & Kashmir.
· Recently, on 07th November, 2019 due to heavy snow fall, the railway tracks were covered under snow with thickness of 20 to 45 cm. Rail snow cutting machines were pressed into the service to clear snow over railway tracks. The Srinagar–Baramulla section and Srinagar–Banihal section were cleared before permitting safe operation on railway track.
· Accordingly, inspection and trial runs were undertaken between Srinagar – Baramulla Rail Section on 10th November, 2019 and between Srinagar-Banihal section on 16th November, 2019.
· A limited passenger service of two pairs of Trains between Srinagar-Baramulla was commenced at 45 Kmph between 10:00 Hrs to 15:00 Hrs w.e.f. 12th November, 2019. Later, two pairs of train services were allowed to operate between Srinagar–Banihal Section w.e.f. 17th November, 2019 at 45 Kmph.
· Now the period of the train services have been increased from 5 Hrs to 9 Hrs i.e. between 08:00 Hrs to 17:00 Hrs. Further the section has been restored to its normal speed of 100 Kmph. A total of 16 nos services are presently running. The first train starts at 08:05 Hrs and all train services terminate at 17:00 hrs.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
- The US has warned that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)would only benefit Beijing and inflict heavy debt burden on Islamabad.
- The US observed that the CPEC was not an aid to Pakistan but a form of financing that guaranteed profits for Chinese enterprises, with little benefits for Islamabad.
- The CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.
- The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of highways, railways, and pipelines.
- CPEC eventually aims at linking the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiangthrough a vast network of highways and railways.
- The proposed project will be financed by heavily-subsidised loans, that will be disbursed to the Government of Pakistan by Chinese banking giants such as Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
- It passes through PoK.Any Indian participation would inextricably be linked to the country’s legitimate claims on PoK.
- CPEC rests on a Chinese plan to secure and shorten its supply lines through Gwadar with an enhanced presence in the Indian Ocean. Hence, it is widely believed that upon CPEC’s fruition, an extensive Chinese presence will undermine India’s influence in the Indian Ocean.
- It is also being contended that if CPEC were to successfully transform the Pakistan economy that could be a “red rag” for India which will remain at the receiving end of a wealthier and stronger Pakistan.
- Besides, India shares a great deal of trust deficit with China and Pakistan and has a history of conflict with both.As a result, even though suggestions to re-approach the project pragmatically have been made, no advocate has overruled the principle strands of contention that continue to mar India’s equations with China and Pakistan.
India-Netherland: “Water 4 change”, an urban water management system
- The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), operating under the Government of Kerala has launched the “Water 4 Change”.
- Under the project, six prominent institutions from Netherlands will perform a long-term research and field level action on urban water management systems along with Indian scientists.
- The project will bring solutions for water problems in the cities of Kozhikode, Shimla, Bhuj and Bhopal.
- The CWRDM was established by the Government of Kerala to cater the needs of research and development in water management of the state.
WATEC Conference in Israel
- The Jal Shakti Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat represented India at the WATEC Conference that was held in Israel. The Water Technology and Environment Control (WATEC) conference helps to get updates on technologies related to water and environmental management.
- Israel is considered as world hero in terms of water management. The country treats and reuses 80% of its sewage water for agriculture.
- With drip irrigation and sea water desalination, the country has become a global leader in agriculture.
15. Asian Archery C’ships
· Abhishek Verma and Jyothi Surekha Vennam claimed the gold in compound mixed pair event at the 21st Asian Archery Championships, which ended in Bangkok today.
· The Indians defeated Chinese Taipei opponents Yi-Hsuan Chen and Chieh-Luh Chen 158-151 in the final clash. India picked up seven medals including one gold, two silver and four bronze meddles in the event.
· Earlier in the day, the top-seeded trio of Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Mohan Bhardwaj bagged a silver medal in the compound team event as they lost by just one point to Korea 232-233.
· In the compound women’s team event, Jyothi, Muskan Kirar and Priya Gurjar also lost the battle to Korea, 215-231 in finals to settle for silver.
· India had earlier bagged four bronze medals in the recurve events with Atanu Das playing a central role
· The Indian archers participated in the tournament as neutral athletes under the World Archery flag due to the suspension of the national federation Archery Association of India (AAI).
· The men’s team has already secured Olympic quota from the World Championships. The women’s team will look to bag the berths from the continental championship which is offering six places for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.