GS Paper II Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Now, Aadhaar made mandatory for scholarship schemes

What’s Happening-
School principals asked to ensure enrolment of beneficiaries.
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has made Aadhaar mandatory for providing scholarships to meritorious school students from economically weaker sections.

Key Points discussed were:

  • Students who want to avail scholarship benefits under ‘National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme’ need to get enrolled under Aadhaar by June 30, according to a notification issued by the HRD Ministry on February 15.
  • The responsibility to collect Aadhaar from students or to authenticate them, as the case may be, shall be on the Principal of the School concerned, in coordination with parents or guardians of the children.
  • Aadhaar has also been made mandatory for 12 scholarship schemes administered by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for Scheduled Caste, Other Backward Classes (OBC), economically backward classes and semi-nomadic and nomadic tribe students. Such students need to apply for Aadhaar by March 31.

Put on hold:

  • Earlier, the decision to bring scholarship schemes under Aadhaar was put on hold following suggestions from the UIDAI
  • The Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL), under the HRD Ministry, had also expressed concern over the Centre’s push to link the Aadhaar number with subsidy schemes related to school education in an inter-ministerial meeting.
  • The Cabinet Secretariat has asked all the Ministries to issue notification under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, which makes the use of Aadhaar “an identifier for delivery of various subsidies or benefits or schemes” to beneficiaries.

Background-
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority.
It is established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
UIDAI was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India that is
(a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and
(b) can be verified and authenticated in an easy, cost-effective way.
In 2015-16, around 2.05 lakh students were beneficiaries of the scheme, launched in 2008, aimed at arresting school dropouts at class VIII and encourage children to continue their studies at the secondary stage.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 13

GS Paper III –Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Industry can now trade Energy Savings Certificate on Power Exchanges

What’s Happening-
Energy Savings Certificates, introduced in 2013 by the (BEE), have received the regulator’s nod for being traded on a separate market platform.
BEE in 2013 launched tradable certificates for industries which achieved energy efficiency standards.
Titled ‘Perform, achieve and trade.

Key Points discussed were:

Perform, achieve and trade:

  • The scheme aimed at major sectors such as thermal power generation, cement, fertiliser, aluminium, iron and steel, pulp and paper.
  • These cover 65 per cent of the electricity consumed by industries.
  • These industries were given targets for reducing energy consumption.

How it is Traded?

  • Over-achievement by a certain commercial unit is converted into tradable ‘Energy Savings Certificate’ at the end of the targeted year, which it can sell to the ones that couldn’t achieve the targets.
  • Taking a suo-moto stand on the matter, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) issued a Gazette notification allowing trade of Energy Trading Certificates at the power exchange platforms.
  • The pricing of the certificates would be as per the Energy Conservation Rules.
  • The rules prescribe that one certificate shall be equal to the energy consumed in terms of one metric tonne of oil equivalent (mtoe).
  • “The market price of the certificates shall be as discovered through the process of bidding at the respective power exchange,” said CERC in the notification.
  • The power exchanges would aggregate all the buy bids and the confirmed sell bids and determine the market clearing price and the market clearing volume and the transaction results shall be published on the website of the concerned Power Exchange.

Background-
National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) is an  government initiative proposed to address national problems of inefficient energy use.
It is one of eight proposals created by India’s  and is based on the .
The Mission will enable about Rs. 75,000 crores worth transactions in energy efficiency.
The initiative outlines several actions needed, including:
perform, achieve and trade: – The most innovative and challenging new initiative to be introduced under the Mission is the “Perform, Achieve and Trade” (PAT).