07 February 2019: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam

Various programs/schemes for promotion of grid interactive renewable energy

Background:

  • The Government is implementing various programs/schemes for promotion of grid interactive renewable energy such as solar, wind, bio-power and small hydro power in the country.
  • It also has set a target of installing 175000 MW of renewable energy capacity by the year 2022 which includes 100000 MW from solar, 60000 MW from wind, 10000 MW from bio-power and 5000 MW from small hydro power.

Details of major steps taken to attract investment in the renewable energy sector are as follows: –

  1. Waiver of Inter State Transmission System (ISTS) charges and losses for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned up to March, 2022.
  2. Permitting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 100 percent under the automatic route.
  3. Notification of standard bidding guidelines to enable distribution licensee to procure solar and wind power at competitive rates in cost effective manner.
  4. Declaration of trajectory for Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) up to the year 2022.
  5. Implementation of Green Energy Corridor project to facilitate grid integration of large scale renewable energy capacity addition.   

Water conservation fee

Background:

Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had notified revised guidelines to regulate and control ground water extraction in India.

Details:

  • As per these revised guidelines, Water Conservation Fee (WCF) would be levied for use of ground water depending on the category of area, type of industry and quantum of ground water withdrawal.
  • There was no provision for exemption from WCF to Government infrastructure, water supply agencies and mining projects.

Sea plane services

Background:

Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN version 3.0 of Ministry of Civil Aviation, the routes connecting the following six water aerodrome sites have been awarded to start seaplane and helicopter services

  1. Guwahati River Front
  2. Nagarjuna Sagar
  3. Sabarmati River Front
  4. Shatrunjay Dam
  5. Statue of Unity (Sardar Sarovar Dam)
  6. Umrangso Reservoir

Jal Hans:

Jal Hans is India’s first commercial seaplane service based in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. The airline is jointly owned by Pawan Hans, India’s largest helicopter services provider and the Andaman and Nicobar administration and is run on an equal profit and loss basis between them. It aims to promote tourism and connectivity by connecting far flung islands and backwaters with the mainland in a country that has a 7400-kilometre long shoreline.


2nd phase of river information system between Farakka- Patna

Context:

The Union Minister of Water resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, inaugurate Phase 2 of the River Information System on National Waterway-1 (River Ganga) between Farakka and Patna and also unveil new arrangement of Navigation Lock at Farakka that would enable breeding of Hilsa fish in River Ganga and help preserve the river ecosystem.

The River Information System (RIS) (Farakka -Patna)

  • It will enhance the swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and base stations on shore through advance and real-time exchange of information.
  • It is a form of vessel traffic management using next generation technology. It will help in crises management and enhanced inland navigation safety by preventing ship-to-ship collisions, ship – bridge collisions, groundings etc.
  • The service will immensely help in optimization of navigation and minimize collision risks in the waterway thus benefitting the users greatly. The services are being used in advanced waterways of Europe, China and U.S.A. The operationalization of this system in India is a landmark in itself.
  • Under phase II, five base stations – Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah and one control station have been made at Patna.
  • IWAI (Inland Waterways Authority of India) is implementing the project in three phases on NW-1. Earlier, in 2016, the first phase of RIS – on Haldia- Farakka stretch was commissioned. Work on third, Patna-Varanasi stretch   is currently in progress.

About RIS:

  • RIS Services are a combination of sensors like Automated Identification system, Meteorological and Hydrological equipment and software related services designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation. RIS works on the lines of Air Traffic Controls.
  • It aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators and users.

About the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI):
  • IWAI came into existence on 27th October 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation. The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.
  • The head office of the Authority is at Noida. The Authority also has its regional offices at Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Kochi and sub-offices at Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhaglapur, Farakka, Hemnagar, Dibrugarh (Assam), Kollam, Bhubaneswar (Odisa) and Vijayawada (A.P.).
  • India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc.

Hilsa fish passage:

  • After the construction of Farakka Navigation Lock in 1976, movement of Hilsa fish, which once reached up to Prayagraj, was restricted up to Farakka only. 
  • Now, the operations at the Navigation Lock in Farakka will be synchronised to suit the requirements of Hilsa fish movement.  
  • Under Jal Marg Vikas Pariyojana, a fish pass has been envisaged for the free movement of Hilsa at Farakka Navigation Lock.

Significance of Hilsa fish:

  • It has a significant cultural importance in West Bengal, besides being the national fish of Bangladesh.
  • This Hilsa migration will lead to increase in its production in the region. Simultaneously, this will increase the river biodiversity and boost the economy of local fishermen.

Navigation lock:

Navigational lock is a device that is used for raising and lowering boats and ships between stretches of water of different levels on river and other waterways.

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