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GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

Curtain Raiser Event Held For The Founding Ceremony Of International Solar Alliance In Bonn, Germany.

Background-

  • A Curtain Raiser Event for the Founding Ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held at Bonn, Germany on 13th November, 2017.
  • Speaking at the event, Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India hoped that, in the spirit of affirmative action, developed countries will earmark a percentage of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) towards solar energy projects in developing countries.
  • He suggested that Multilateral Development Banks and other financial institutions provide wholehearted support for solar projects through low cost finance, and research & technology institutions worldwide try their utmost to bring the cost of solar power and storage within the reach of all.

Highlights Of The Development–

  • Recalling that the ISA initiative is the vision of Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Kumar reaffirmed Indian Government’s continued support for the ISA. He also spoke about the Government plans to increase the share of renewable energy in India’s energy mix, especially towards achieving cumulative installed renewable power capacity of 175GW by 2022.
  • Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, Shri C.K. Mishra, underlined the need for visualising solar energy in the context of sustainable development goals.
  • Interim Director General of the ISA, Shri Upendra Tripathy, informed that ISA will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation on 6 December 2017. 44 countries have already signed the ISA treaty, and many more are set to join. He spoke on the ISA’s three ongoing programmes: facilitating affordable finance for solar, scaling up solar applications for agriculture, and promoting solar mini-grids in Member Nations.
  • The discussions also covered the ISA’s Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) project, aimed at de-risking investments into solar energy projects in developing countries, and thereby, encouraging flow of funds into the sector.
  • Speaking at the occasion, H.E. Ségolène Royal, Special Envoy for the implementation of the ISA, Government of France, emphasised upon five key points to accelerate global solar deployment: setting concrete goals, developing and leveraging common tools, enhancing projects, establishing decentralised PV solutions, and forging new partnerships that capitalise on complementary capabilities.
  • The ISA was jointly launched on 30 November 2015 by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and then-President of France, H.E. François Hollande, on the side lines of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties 21 (CoP21) at Paris, France. The ISA is a treaty-based alliance of 121 prospective solar-rich Member Nations situated fully or partially between the Tropics, and aims at accelerating development and deployment of solar energy globally.

Sources- PIB.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

First Power Plant Under PM Ladakh Scheme Commissioned In Drass.

Background

  • The New and Renewable Energy Ministry on  10th November, 2017 said the 1.5 Mw small hydropower plant in Biaras Drass of Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir has become the first project to be commissioned under the Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative.
  • The power project will meet normal power requirement of close to 1,000 families.
  • According to the statement, the Biaras small hydropower project (SHP) of 1.5 Mw was commissioned on November 4, 2017.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The total cost of the project, fully funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is Rs 17 crore and this is the first project to be commissioned under the Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative (LREI).
  • The plant will power the Drass town in Kargil, which is one of the coldest places in India.
  • Power from the Biaras SHP would be sufficient to meet normal power requirement of about 1,000 families, which would make them comfortable in the extreme winter season.
  • The project has been developed by the Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency (KREDA) under the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper III- Environment.

Northeast To Get India’s First Air Dispensary: DONER Minister Jitendra Singh.

Background

  • The northeast region will get India’s first Air Dispensary, Minister of Development of North East Region (DONER) Jitendra Singh said on 13th November, 2017.
  • For the air dispensary, which will be based in a helicopter, the government has contributed Rs 25 crore as initial funding.
  • For quite a few months, the DoNER Ministry had been exploring the idea of introducing a helicopter-based Dispensary/OPD service in such far-flung and remote areas where no doctor or medical facility is available and the patients in need also do not have access to any medical care.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • According to Singh, the proposal, put forward by the Ministry of DoNER, has been accepted and is in the final stages of processing in the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • The government aims to start the project by the beginning of 2018.
  • Nearly a third of India’s population does not have access to proper hospital bed care, as a result of which poor patients living in remote areas remain deprived of crucial medical care.
  • Singh suggests that the experiment being introduced in the Northeast, at the behest of the Ministry of Northeast/DoNER, can also be emulated in other hill states having difficult topography like Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The minister said that as per the envisaged plans, the helicopters would be based at two locations — Imphal in Manipur and Shillong in Meghalaya — to begin with.
  • Both these cities have premier postgraduate medical institutes from where specialist doctors, along with the necessary equipment and paramedical staff, would be able to move into the helicopter and hold a dispensary/OPD in different locations across the eight states of the region.
  • On its way back, the same helicopter can also transport a sick patient requiring admission to a city hospital.
  • Giving an account of other new helicopter service plans for the northeast, Singh said that three twin-engine helicopters are planned to be placed for initial operation on six routes in regions around Imphal, Guwahati and Dibrugarh.

Sources- Business-Standard.