GS Paper I- Indian Heritage and Culture.

Rajnath Singh Inaugurates First Of Its Kind Spoken Sanskrit Centre.

Background

  • Gujarat University on 10th February, 2018 announced a course on spoken Sanskrit in order to popularise the ancient language, making it possibly the first course of its kind in the country.
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the university’s Centre for Spoken Sanskrit which will offer a six-month course for people on how to speak the language.
  • Its coordinator, Atul Unagar, said it was possibly the first such course to be launched by a university in India, adding that classes would be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Anybody who loves Sanskrit, but did not have a chance to learn it in college or school, can join this course. It will teach them how to speak Sanskrit. People will be able to converse in the language after a six-month course, Unagar said.
  • For the course, no prior knowledge of Sanskrit is required, he said, adding that the first batch would hopefully begin in 10 days as the university looks for a minimum class strength of 30 students. The fees have been fixed at Rs 500, he informed.
  • Unagar said that an advanced course, with focus on grammar, would also be offered to students who are inclined to learn more about Sanskrit, enabling them to read ancient scriptures.
  • There are people who could not go for higher studies but are keen to learn Sanskrit in order to understand our ancient scriptures. In a society where families are disintegrating, learning values from society can be helpful, he said.

Sources- The Indian Express.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

NDB Okays 1st Tranche Of $100 Mn Loan For Rajasthan Water Project.

Background

  • The New Development Bank (NDB) has signed a loan agreement of USD 100 million with the government for financing a water project in Rajasthan.
  • The loan agreement for financing of Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for the desert areas was signed between the Government of India and NDB on February 13, 2018.
  • The loan is the first tranche of the USD 345 million by the NDB under the multi tranche financing facility for this project.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The objective of this project is to rehabilitate the 678 km long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water, and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state level policies on water use.
  • The project benefits include arresting the seepage by rehabilitating the deteriorating canal lining of the Indira Gandhi Nahar Project (IGNP) which needs urgent attention; rehabilitation of waterlogged areas; modernisation and optimisation of the irrigation management practices in the project area by involvement of the water users associations (WUA) in the command area.
  • The project will also strengthen the drinking water supply and irrigation facilities.
  • The project implementation period is 6 years.
  • Rajasthan government will implement the project through its water resources department.
  • The loan agreement was signed by Govind Mohan, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the union government and Shaohua Wu, Director General, Project Financing, NDB.
  • The project agreement was signed by Shikhar Agarwal, Principle Secretary, Water Resources Department on behalf of the Government of Rajasthan.
  • The NDB is promoted by BRICS –Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa–with the aim to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in these countries as well as other emerging economies.

Sources- Business-Standard.

GS Paper III- Economic Development, Environment.

ONGC To Introduce Asia’s First Large Scale CO2 Injection Technique At Gandhar Field.

Background

  • Moving beyond conventional techniques, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to introduce carbon dioxide injection in its Gandhar field to recover an extra 20 million barrels of crude oil under the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) programme which is being undertaken to improve India’s energy security.
  • While the technology is a proven concept in the West specially the US and Canada, ONGC’s project would be the first large scale CO2-injected project in Asia. The Gandhar experience would be replicated at other mature fields, said a company official.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • At present, steam and natural gas are pumped into the reservoir to loosen the crude oil and maintain well pressure.
  • ONGC plans to invest $75 million in CO2 capture and another $200 million in injector producer network to recover an extra 15 per cent of residual oil currently valued at $1.36 billion. It will be operational in 20 months, the official said.
  • Gandhar, one of ONGC’s major brownfields, was discovered in 1983. The field produces approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day and is on the decline.
  • ONGC is in talks with NTPC for utilising nearly 5 million tonnes of emitted gas from the latter’s Gandhar plant.
  • The power utility will provide the land in their project campus as well as power while investments would be from ONGC. NTPC’s gain would be carbon neutrality while the nation would get extra oil.
  • Injected gas is miscible with residual oil and reduces its viscosity, making it easier to displace the oil from the rock pores.
  • The carbon dioxide also swells oil, thereby pushing it towards the producing well for extraction. Total oil production in India from established fields has been declining due to their maturity.
  • The EOR programme is set to play a crucial role within the country for recovering up to 20 percent of residual oil from such ageing fields.

Sources- The Indian Express.