IASCLUB Daily Current Affairs : 20 August 2019

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Govt. set to cut time to issue green clearance

Topic : GS III ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the government is working to reduce the time taken to accord environmental clearances to projects down to 60 days.

Details:

  • Prior to 2014, it would take 640 days for a proposal to get environment approval, the rules have now been simplified and it takes 108 days for the same.
  • The government is set to take further steps to streamline the process of giving green nods to infrastructure projects.
  • “Very soon it will be further brought down to 60 days, but at the same time, without compromising on environment protection,” Mr. Javadekar said.
  • The process of grant of environmental clearance includes specifying Terms of Reference (ToR), holding public consultations, preparing an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report and, if approved, a subsequent grant of Environmental Clearance by the ministry.
    • Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is a formal process used to predict the environmental consequences of any development project.
    • Environment Impact Assessment in India is statutory backed by the Environment Protection Act in 1986, which contains various provisions on EIA methodology and process.
  • Reducing the time taken to clear projects has been a major thrust of the Modi government.
  • The reduction in time for grant of Environment clearances is done with an aim to increase investments so as to soon meet the ambitious goal of $5-trillion economy.
  • After 2014, the government has introduced a clearance process that allows the details of a project to be uploaded online.

NTPC to set up 5,000 MW solar park in Kutch

Topic : GS III ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
  • NTPC aims to set up a 5,000 mw-Ultra Mega Solar Power Park, at Kutch in Gujarat.
  • The estimated investment of the project is Rs 20,000 crore.

Details:

  • While coal-based power generation would continue to be the company’s primary business, it is expanding presence in alternative energy sources such as solar power, and has plans for municipal waste-fuelled power.
  • The company plans to increase its power generation to 130 giga watts (GW) by 2032 with 30% coming from non­fossils.
  • Of NTPC’s 55,786 MW capacity, only about 900 MW comes from solar.
  • The recent move is aimed at scaling up the renewable portfolio of India’s largest power producer.
  • Since last year NTPC has been running a pilot project in Banaras in UP that converts bio-waste into electricity.
  • NTPC is also looking at Rajasthan for setting up an ultra-mega solar park. In addition to solar parks, NTPC is also working on options in the floating solar segment.
  • The larger company strategy also includes blending solar with coal-sourced power off-take. The company will explore battery technology as a transit option for its existing thermal and solar power capacities.

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC):

  • National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking, engaged in the business of generation of electricity and allied activities.
  • It is India’s largest power producer.
  • It is a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and is promoted by the Government of India.

Investment in water infra will spur growth: analysts

Topic : GS III Economy

Context:

Analysts opine that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on the 73rd Independence Day on providing water connections to every household in the country at an estimated capital expenditure of over Rs. 3 lakh crore is expected to create huge business opportunities for corporates.

Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • Jal Jeevan Mission, under the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, will focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.
  • This Mission will converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.

Details:

  • Multiplier impact of the central government’s capital outlay on aggregate demand is much higher and continues for a much longer period as compared to the revenue expenditure such as tax cuts or other income stimulus.
  • It is said that the investments in water-related projects are a step in the right direction and the move would provide employment to millions of people and may kick-start the investment cycle.
  • Such investment results in job creation and ancillary economic activities.

However, some analysts express doubt on the availability of huge funds for these projects.

Crucial manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 today

Topic : GS III  Science and Technology

  • India’s Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 was successfully launched in July 2019.
  • All eyes are now on September 7 when the lander and rover modules of the spacecraft will make a soft landing on the surface of the moon.
  • The moon-bound Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is now scheduled to undergo a crucial orbit manoeuvre as it approaches its destination.
  • To make the spacecraft capture the lunar orbit and start going around the moon, its handlers at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will fire its engines briefly to slow it down to capture the moon’s orbit.
  • The move, called the Lunar Orbit Insertion or LOI, is one of the two top orbit manoeuvres of the mission, along with the high point: the soft-landing of the Vikram lander on the southern polar region of moon on September 7.
  • The primary objective of Chandrayaan-2 is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface.
  • Scientific goals include studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.

 

 

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