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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 16 May 2017
Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
India’s ‘Ujala’ to light up UK homes
Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal recently launched the Ujala Scheme related to the energy efficient LED bulbs in London.
What you need to know about Ujala?
Ujala is globally one of the largest efficiency programmes and being run by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, an energy services company promoted by Indian state-run power majors.
- Through this initiative, the government plans to replace all 770 million inefficient incandescent and CFL (compact fluorescent lamps in the country with LED (light emitting diode) bulbs.
- The programme has already turned India into the world’s LED capital, accounting for 10-12% of the global market 4 billion bulbs.
- The Ujala scheme uses economy of scale and a sustainable market mechanism.
Paper 3 Topic: Disaster and disaster management.
Meeting of National Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction
The second meeting of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) is being held today. The meeting will be attended by over 1000 distinguished guests including Union Ministers, State Ministers, Parliamentarians, Heads of Local Self Government, Heads of specialized disaster management agencies, academicians, representatives from private sector organizations, media and civil society organizations.
Theme: “Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development: Making India resilient by 2030”.
What you need to know about NPDRR?
The NPDRR is a multi-stakeholders National Platform headed by the Union Home Minister and it promotes participatory decision making in disaster management, and strengthens federal policy of our country. It was set up through a resolution in 2013.
The National Platform aims to bring together the whole range of India’s disaster risk community from Government, Parliamentarians, Mayors, Media, International Organisations, NGOs, local community representatives, scientific and academic institutions and corporate businesses etc. It will help in sharing of experiences, views and ideas, present findings of research and action and explore opportunities for mutual cooperation in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. The output from the National Platform will offer a strategic direction and a road map for the formulation of our future national action plans on DRR.
Functions of the national platform:
- To review the progress made in the field of disaster management from time to time.
- To appreciate the extent and manner in which the Disaster Management Policy has been implemented by the Central and State Governments, and other concerned agencies, and to give appropriate advice in the matter.
- To advise on coordination between the Central and State Governments/UT Administrations, local self-governments and civil society organisations for Disaster Risk Reduction.
- To advise suo-moto or on a reference made by the Central Government or any other State Government or a Union Territory Administration on any question pertaining to disaster management.
- To review the National Disaster Management Policy.
Paper 3 Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Anti-dumping duty imposed on clear float glass imports from Iran
The Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on ‘clear float glass’ imports from Iran. The definitive anti-dumping duty, imposed by the Revenue Department and which will be valid for five years, ranged from ‘nil’ to $55.59 per tonne, depending on the producer and exporter.
- Clear float glass, which is a superior quality of glass, is used in the construction, refrigeration, mirror and solar energy industries.
What you need to know about Anti-dumping duty?
Anti dumping is a measure to rectify the situation arising out of the dumping of goods and its trade distortive effect.
- Purpose: The purpose of anti dumping duty is to rectify the trade distortive effect of dumping and re-establish fair trade.
- Is it permitted? The use of anti dumping measure as an instrument of fair competition is permitted by the WTO. It provides relief to the domestic industry against the injury caused by dumping. It is levied on distrustfully low-priced imports, so as to protect the domestic manufacturers.
- Need for anti-dumping duty: Dumping is an unfair trade practice of exporting goods to another country at a price lesser than what is paid in the exporting nation or their normal production cost, thereby distorting international trade and causing injury to the domestic manufacturers of the goods in the importing country.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
NBT to host diaspora meets
National Book Trust is planning to introduce a new element: a conference for the Indian diaspora. The trust has planned Beijing Book Fair in August, the Frankfurt Book Fair in October and Sharjah Book Fair in November as venues to host such meets.
Need for such conferences:
- The conferences will encourage overseas Indians — the “cultural ambassadors” of India abroad — to write literature on themes related to Indian values. The NBT will also offer to publish such works.
- The vision behind such conferences is two-fold: to bring Indian diaspora writers on one platform so that they can engage with one another and develop a common thought, and to encourage them to write literature that represents Indian values to reach out to the next generation of Indians in that country.
National Book Trust (NBT) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education of the Government of India. NBT now functions under aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development.
India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru envisioned that NBT would be a bureaucracy-free structure that would publish low-cost books.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Ease of getting electricity in India
World Bank’s electricity accessibility ranking for the year 2016 has been released.
The ranking was based on ten parameters, including the ease of getting electricity. Some other parameters were: number of procedures involved, time taken to obtain a new connection, cost for obtaining a commercial connection (up to 140KVA), and reliability of power supply.
Performance of India:
- India moved up to the 26th spot. India was at the 99th position in 2014; it jumped 73 ranks in 2016.
- The Centre has taken several initiatives that have improved India’s ranking for 2016. The government’s rural electrification program has mainly contributed to the improvement.
Some of the initiatives include:
Amendment of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) regulations for installing transformers (up to 500KVA) on double-pole structures; waiving off electrical inspector approval for 11kV installations by Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) and allowing self-certification by DISCOM engineers; changing tariff regulations, rationalizing LT (low tension) tariff, and changing supply codes.
Some of the administrative measures are:
- Providing online portals enabling customers to apply for connections without the need for physical documents,
- Reducing the procedures for the release of a new connection to only three: online application and site inspection, demand note generation (if required), and external connection and meter installation,
- Providing connections (up to 150KVA) within 7/15 days if there is a necessity.
Sources: the hindu.