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

Now, India Is The Third Largest Electricity Producer Ahead Of Russia, Japan.

Background

  • India’s electricity production grew 34% over seven years to 2017, and the country now produces more energy than Japan and Russia, which had 27% and 8.77% more electricity generation capacity installed, respectively, than India seven years ago.
  • India produced 1,160.10 billion units (BU) of electricity–one BU is enough to power 10 million households (one household using average of about 3 units per day) for a month–in financial year (FY) 2017. Electricity production stood at 1,003.525 BU between April 2017-January 2018, according to a February 2018 report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), a trust established by the commerce ministry.
  • With a production of 1,423 BU in FY 2016, India was the third largest producer and the third largest consumer of electricity in the world, behind China (6,015 BU) & the United States (4,327 BU).

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • With an annual growth rate of 22.6% capacity addition over a decade to FY 2017, renewables beat other power sources–thermal, hydro and nuclear. Renewables, however, made up only 18.79% of India’s energy, up 68.65% since 2007. About 65% of installed capacity continues to be thermal.
  • As of January 2018, India has installed power capacity of 334.4 gigawatt (GW), making it the fifth largest installed capacity in the world after European Union, China, United States and Japan.
  • The government is targeting capacity addition of around 100 GW–the current power production of United Kingdom–by 2022, as per the IBEF report.
  • India achieved a 34.48% growth in electricity production by producing 1,160.10 BU in 2017 compared to 771.60 BU in 2010–meaning that in these seven years, electricity production in India grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.03%.
  • Of 334.5 GW installed capacity as of January 2018–up 60% from 132.30 GW in 2007–thermal installed capacity was 219.81 GW. Hydro and renewable energy installed capacity totaled 44.96 GW and 62.85 GW, respectively, said the report.
  • The CAGR in installed capacity over a decade to 2017 was 10.57% for thermal power, 22.06% for renewable energy–the fastest among all sources of power–2.51% for hydro power and 5.68% for nuclear power.
  • Growing population and increasing penetration of electricity connections, along with increasing per-capita usage would provide further impetus to the power sector, said the report.
  • Power consumption is estimated to increase from 1,160.1 BU in 2016 to 1,894.7 BU in 2022, as per the report.
  • Power sector has a 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) permit, which boosted FDI inflows in the sector.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

Government Approves Integrated School Education Scheme.

Background

  • In a decision aimed at bringing together all school education-related schemes, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on 28th March, 2018 approved an integrated school education scheme that will subsume Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) from 1 April, 2018.
  • The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the integrated scheme with an estimated allocation of Rs75,000 crore over the next two years, which is a 20% increase over the current allocation.
  • Calling it a “holistic approach to education”, the government said it will lead to an integrated administration looking at school as a continuum.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • An official statement explained that the integrated scheme seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education from nursery to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal for Education.
  • The government said that the scheme gives flexibility to the states and union territories to plan and prioritize their interventions within the scheme’s norms and the overall resource envelope available to them.
  • Listing out other benefits, the government said it would lead to inclusion of senior secondary levels and pre-school levels in support for school education for the first time, focus on strengthening teacher education institutions, enhance use of digital technology through smart classrooms and digital boards, improve the quality of infrastructure in government schools and support “Khelo India”.
  • The CCEA also approved continuation of a credit guarantee fund for education loans, which would also increase the ceiling of eligible loan amounts from the existing Rs4 lakh to Rs7.5 lakh. This will provide education loans to 10 lakh students, the statement explained.
  • Meanwhile, on the jobs and skills front, CCEA gave the go-ahead for expanding the scope of a social safety net meant for informal workers and cleared a planned restructuring of the National Skill Development Corporation. Under the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana, as per the statement, the government will now take care of the entire employer contribution to social security schemes meant for new formal employees for a period of three years from the date of joining.
  • Earlier, the government had only reimbursed a part of the employer contribution. The move is expected to bring in more informal workers into the formal workforce.

Sources- Livemint.

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

PSBs To Link SWIFT With Core Banking Solution Systems By April 30, 2018.

Background

  • All public sector banks (PSBs) will have to link their SWIFT systems with their respective Core Banking Solution (CBS) systems by April 30 as a measure to prevent frauds like the recent one perpetrated on Punjab National Bank (PNB), it was announced on 15th March, 2018.
  • The state-run banks also decided to speed up the process of introducing “cyber insurance”, it was told at a workshop of senior PSB officials on risk management held in New Delhi.
  • The Rs 13,540 crore fraud on PNB by accused diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, involved the use of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) issued in favour of the accused by bank employees who misused their access to PNB’s SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) electronic messaging system used for overseas funds transfers.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • None of these fraudulent transactions were registered on the bank’s internal transaction messaging system, the CBS, enabling the fraud to go undetected for long.
  • State Bank of India Deputy MD and risk officer, M.S. Shastri, said the banks have decided to restrict SWIFT transactions to between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • LoUs are bank guarantees through which a bank allows customers to raise money from another Indian bank’s foreign branch as short-term credit.
  • LoUs and LoCs have been a system peculiar to India, Shastri said, adding that traders who have been doing business through these two instruments will now have to shift their transactions to Letters of Credit and Bank Guarantees, which would increase the cost of credit.
  • The banks are in the process of establishing their Cyber Security Operations Centres wherever not in place to monitor all IT assets, he said.
  • Improving risk and ethical awareness among staff and strengthening Know Your Employee (KYE) through technological intervention are some of the areas identified to strengthen operational risk management, he added.

Sources- Hindustantimes.