News & Editorial Analysis 27 May 2023
The Hindu News Analysis
1 – Promulgation of Ordinances:
Topic à Parliament related issues:
· The national government has introduced an Ordinance to reverse a unanimous ruling by the SC’s Constitution Bench [which handed the Delhi government control over services in the NCT].
· The ordinance’s details:
· It granted control over services to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor.
· A National Capital Civil Service Authority was created as a result.
· The chief minister and two senior IAS officials shall make up the authority.
· The majority vote would be used to decide issues, which could result in a situation where the elected CM’s opinion is invalidated.
· Meaning In order to address unusual or urgent conditions, the Executive (the President in the case of the Union and the Governor in the case of the State) enacts laws.
· unusual or urgent conditionsThe President [Article 213 – Governor] of India is given the authority to publish ordinances while Parliament is in recess under Article 123 of the Indian Constitution.
· Paragraph 123The President may issue ordinances whenever he is convinced that it is important for him to act immediately, barring times when both Houses of Parliament are in session.
· Actual decision-making power behind the OrdinanceIn accordance with Article 74, the President follows the Council of Ministers’ recommendations. As a result, the Ordinance is actually brought by the government.
· Effect A parliamentary act’s force and impact are the same for an ordinance. However, the government must submit an Ordinance for ratification to Parliament.
· Life An Ordinance will expire six weeks after the reassembly of Parliament if the government is unable to have it approved by the Parliament. An ordinance’s maximum lifespan is equal to 6 months (recess) plus 6 weeks.
· The Ordinance may expire sooner if the President withdraws it or if it is rejected by both Houses, which would indicate that the administration no longer has a majority.
· Lawmaking being a legislative activity, the ability to enact an ordinance is offered to address urgent issues.
· To avoid the legislature, the governments instead take the Ordinance method.
· The extension of an Ordinance’s life by repromulgation enables the executive to further wrest legislative authority.
· SC rulings on the subject:
· In the RC Cooper Case from 1970, the President’s choice to publish an Ordinance might be contested if it is just intended to circumvent the Parliament.
· In D C Wadhwa v. State of Bihar in 1986, the court stated that it would be an improper use of power for the government to disregard the legislature and reissue an ordinance.
· Reiterated that the Governor’s ability to issue an ordinance is one that falls under the category of an emergency power in Krishna Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar 2017. It would be unlawful to re-promulgate the Ordinance repeatedly without submitting it to the legislature.
Source à The Hindu
2 – G 7:
Topic à International Relations:
· The G7 leaders’ 49th annual summit, which was recently held in Hiroshima, Japan, came to an end.
· Summit highlights include:
· G7 nations declared that they will create economic resilience for themselves through a policy of decoupling, not decoupling, but rather diversifying and deepening relationships.
· However, the G7 gave nothing in the way of stepped-up action while acknowledging the need for effective climate action.
· What do the terms decoupling and derisking mean?
· to steer business away from sectors thought to be riskier in terms of potential profits.To lessen market correlation, it is employed in place of an economic boycott.
· should possess robust, efficient supply chains that will not allow any country to be forced.
· Why did the G7 countries employ “de-risking”?
· In order to explain their position on China’s economy.
· Derisking in relation to China :
· It can be viewed as a reduction in the economic dependency on China, either as a market for completed goods or as a source of raw materials, in order to lower the possibility of trade hazards and supply chain disruptions.
· Effective climate action at the G7:
· The window of opportunity for taking decisive action was closing more quickly than ever.
· Over the next five years, the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold was probably going to be momentarily crossed (WMO).
· 2023 is on course to surpass 2016 as the warmest year ever.
· As a result of global warming, the likelihood that heat waves would occur in India and its neighbours has grown by 30 times.
· Milestones for effective climate action are as follows:
· Peaking globally by 2025:
· Insisting that their own GHG emissions had already peaked, the G7 urged the world’s five largest economies—China, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia—to ensure that each of their own emissions peaks by 2025.
· By 2050, the world must be entirely carbon neutral in order to achieve the 1.5 degree Celsius goal. All significant economies were tasked by the G7 to provide thorough plans for achieving the goal.
· By 2025, “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” will be eliminated.
· Obstacles to achieving the milestones:
· The Paris Agreement does not require the 2025 peak year. India has projected that its emissions will increase during the following ten years. The largest emitter in the world, China, wouldn’t reach its peak until the end of this decade.
· Only Germany has stated that it will achieve net-zero status by 2045 among the main emitters, including the US and EU.
· China would achieve net-zero status in 2060, while India has set its goal for 2070. a few more nations.
· The G7 nations did not set a timeline for the reduction of fossil fuel use.
Source à The Hindu
3 – Making cities climate ready:
Topic à Environmental Conservation:
· The World Bank has released a report called “Thriving: Making Cities Green, Resilient, and Inclusive in a Changing Climate” that offers recommendations to local and national authorities on how to build greener, more resilient, more inclusive cities.
· According to the research, the following cities’ green, resilient, and inclusive status:
· Cities in high- and upper-middle-income nations considerably increase the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
· North American cities rank among the top emitters of greenhouse gases per capita.
· Cities in low- and lower-middle-income nations are most vulnerable to threats brought on by climate change.
· Cities in Bangladesh and India are more susceptible to cyclones, heat waves, and floods, which has serious economic repercussions.
· Cities in low- and lower-middle-income countries are more vulnerable and less resilient because of a lack of inclusivity.
· Cities in lower-income nations frequently struggle with poor access to healthcare, education, and basic services like water and electricity.
· Air contaminant:
· Compared to cities in high-income countries, low- and middle-income cities have greater levels of air pollution, notably PM2.5.
· High PM2.5 levels have been recorded in many cities, including Delhi, Kanpur, Patna, etc., especially during the winter.
· Growth vertically and prosperity:
· Vertically expanding cities use less land, can accommodate more residents, and are more prosperous.
· Comparing New York City to cities with sprawling development, the former has a higher population density and economic activity.
· Impact of Heat and Lack of Vegetation:
· Extreme heat events and urban heat island effects have a greater influence on cities with less vegetation, especially in upper-middle-income nations.In cities like Tokyo, where there aren’t many green spaces, heat waves are more intense because of the absence of vegetation and increased heat retention.
· According to the report’s recommendations, there are five sets of tools that cities can use to increase their greenness, resilience, and inclusiveness:
· Policies and actions to inform people, businesses, and local governments about the hazards of climate change, its mitigation, and adaptation options in a reliable and timely mannercreating a climate change information centre to offer information on climate threats unique to their city.
· It entails eliminating subsidies that support actions with detrimental environmental externalities, implementing the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), FAME I and II plan, or tax incentives or refunds for building energy-efficient technologies
· developing climate risk insurance programmes that protect people and businesses from financial harm caused by severe weather, promote investment in climate-resilient infrastructure, and facilitate speedy recovery.
· Developing effective public transport systems that connect urban and rural areas; Policy interventions that support compact cities and improved integration between urban and rural areas.For instance, the Smart City Mission and the PURA Scheme (which offer urban services and chances for employment in rural areas)
· government spending on inclusive, resilient, and environmentally friendly urban infrastructure. This covers strategies to attract private sector funding for sustainable development as well as solutions based on nature.allocating money to develop urban parks, renewable energy initiatives, and green buildings.
· A multifaceted strategy is needed to tackle climate change’s problems and build sustainable cities. Prioritising green practises, fostering inclusivity in urban planning, and increasing resilience to climate impacts are all part of it. In order to combat climate change and provide a sustainable future for future generations, city-level action is essential.
Source à The Hindu
4 – National e-vidhan application:
Topic à Parliament related issues:
· In New Delhi, a two-day national workshop on the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) is being organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
· About NeVA:
· The National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) is a workflow system that was set up on the NIC Cloud, MeghRaj, with the goal of facilitating efficient paperless management of legislative affairs and facilitating smooth operations of the State Assembly or Parliament.
· NeVA’s goal is to integrate all legislators onto a single platform, creating a centralised data repository, and do away with the requirement for written notices or written requests for data gathering.
· It is a member-focused, device-neutral application that gives members access to a wide range of information directly on their smartphones or tablets, including contact information, rules of procedure, a schedule of business, notices, legislation, questions and answers, committee reports, and more. Using the NeVA technology, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh have paperless assemblies.
· About e-Vidhan:
· The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) is implementing it as a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the Digital India Programme with technical assistance from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY). This programme is centrally sponsored. It seeks to digitalize and unite all of the nation’s legislatures on a single platform, generating a vast data repository in the process.
Source à The Hindu
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The Hindu Editorial Analysis
EDITORIAL ANALYSIS à 27 MAY 2023 à THE HINDU
A WAY OUT OF THE COAL TRAP:
· India wants to halt building new coal-fired power plants, apart from those currently in the pipeline, by eliminating a key clause from the final draft of its National Electricity Policy (NEP), in a big boost to fight climate change.
· Status of Coal based Thermal power in India:
· India is the world’s second largest coal producer and importer, with the world’s fourth largest reserves, but a dramatic spike in power demand means supplies are no longer enough.
· Fossil fuel derived energy generation: Thermal power based on fossil fuel such as coal, natural gas and diesel accounts for 80% of the country’s generating.
· Nearly half of India’s installed electrical producing capacity is made up of coal.
· According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), in addition to the approximately 27,000 MW now being built, an additional capacity of roughly 16,000 MW of coal-based capacity will be needed in order to meet the demand for electricity in 2029–2030.
· India’s potential for energy production:
· The majority of the nation’s energy demands are met by coal.
· In the previous four decades, India’s commercial primary energy consumption has increased by nearly 700%.
· India currently consumes roughly 350 kgoe/year of commercial primary energy per person, which is far less than that of wealthy nations.
· According to the BP Energy Outlook 2019, coal will make up less than half of India’s primary energy use by 2040, from 56% in 2017.
· If India’s peak power consumption increases at a 5% annual growth rate, it will reach 301 GW by 2030.
· Much of it can be covered by India’s planned solar power, which is expected to double from 109 GW to 392 GW by 2030.
· Furthermore, by spending on renewable energy and storage, it will result in annual savings of Rs 43,219 crore.
· In 2030, renewable energy sources, such as small hydro, pumped hydro, solar, wind, and biomass, are anticipated to make up 31% of the energy mix, up from the present 12%.
· Problems of Concern:
· Impending coal crisis: According to CRISIL, in order to “avert a possible crisis,” India’s coal-fired plants, which generate more than 70% of the country’s electricity, may need to raise imports by 50% to 60% in April to December 2023.
· Despite a rise in generation capacity, the plant load factor of thermal power plants has decreased from 78% in 2009–10 to 61% in 2018–19.
· The ratio of a power plant’s actual production to the greatest output it is capable of producing is known as the “plant load factor” (PLF).
· When compared to central generators, private and state-owned generators have the lowest PLF, driving up costs.
· Low PLF indicates idle thermal power plants, which could be caused by a lack of fuel (coal or gas), excess capacity, low demand for electricity, or demand being met by other sources.
· According to the Standing Committee on Energy’s 2017 report, the primary issue with the electricity sector is inefficient capacity utilisation.
· Weak discoms’ financial standing, which reduces demand for electricity and capacity utilisation
· The solar tariff has been decreased, and its gestation period is extremely short.
· Due to interstate river water disputes, the share of hydropower has declined from 25% in 2007-2008 to roughly 13% in 2018-19.
· Poor Condition of Discoms: Despite the adoption of UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana), outstanding dues of discoms have escalated.
· Less new investment is being made in the power sector, especially by the business sector.
· The cross-subsidy regime and high industrial/commercial tariffs have a negative impact on the competitiveness of the industrial and commercial sectors.
· Inequitable distribution and high renewable energy costs:
· Around 75 to 80 percent of the overall cost for the discoms is spent on buying power from a thermal power plant.
· According to NITI Aayog, due to their higher cost, poor states are generally less eager to purchase renewable electricity.
· Around 75 to 80 percent of the overall cost for the discoms is spent on buying power from a thermal power plant.
· High losses in the AT&C (Aggregate Technical and Commercial) category
· It is a measurement of both energy loss (technical loss, theft, and billing inefficiency) and commercial loss (payment default and collection inefficiency).
· The AT&C losses for 13 states as of September 2019 are 21.4%.
· Measures the government has taken:
· For the Development of the Coal Sector:
· An ambitious Action Plan for FY 2023–2024 has been developed by the Indian Ministry of Coal with the goal of advancing new technologies, efficiency, and production in the coal industry.
· The UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency through Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) App for monitoring coal quality was released by the Ministry of Coal in 2018.
· The app intends to improve transparency and effectiveness in the process of monitoring coal quality and increase public access to coal governance.
· Through a reverse auction, a new coal linkage policy has been adopted to guarantee a sufficient supply of the fuel to power plants.
· The new strategy will aid in assuring organised fuel supplies to the power plants.
· The Online Coal Clearances System would give investors a single point of entry to submit online requests for all licences, clearances, and approvals issued by the Ministry of Coal.
· The Coal Allocation Monitoring System (CAMS) is designed to transparently track the allocation of coal by CIL to States, to SNA, and to such users.
· opening up of the private sector to commercial coal mining for Indian and foreign businesses.
· The CCEA approved the process for selling coal mines and blocks by auction in 2018.
· Commercial coal mining is permitted, and 50 blocks will be made available to the private sector.
· Entry requirements will be relaxed as a result of the elimination of the rule requiring “washed” coal for power plants.
· Instead of being a fixed cost, coal blocks would be made available to private businesses on a revenue-sharing basis.
· The income share will be reduced as an incentive for coal gasification or liquefaction.
· Rights to extract coal bed methane (CBM) from coal mines owned by Coal India will be put up for auction.
· For the development of the power sector:
· 500 GWhr of storage under the PLI scheme (a government incentive programme).
· All rural houses without power are guaranteed to have one thanks to the Saubhagya scheme.
· Privatising DISCOMs, as done in Dadra Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh.
· The Deendayal Upadhyaya Gramme Jyoti Yojana (DUGJY) is a three-year initiative by the Ministry of Power to provide electricity to 18,500 villages. 3,500 of these villages would receive electricity via off-grid or renewable energy sources.
· The Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), the former program’s rural electrification component, has been included into the present programme.
· The main elements of the new scheme are feeder separation, sub-transmission and distribution network strengthening, metering at all levels (input points, feeders, and distribution transformers), microgrid and off-grid distribution network, and the completion of rural electrification projects already authorised under the RGGVY.
· Coal Mines (Special Provisions) legislation, 2015: The legislation assigns coal mines and vests the right, title, and interest in and over the land and mine infrastructure to successful bidders and allottees in order to assure the continuity of coal mining operations and coal production.
· This will help to address the issue of fuel shortages for electricity generating.
· The Indian government has decided to transfer mining licences and award forest clearances to successful bidders for coal blocks.
· It anticipates that operations will start in about ten more mines by March 2016, easing the need for coal supplies for the mines’ related projects.
· Two national-level initiatives are being introduced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to encourage the growth of solar rooftop systems:
· Off-Grid & Decentralised Solar Applications as well as the Grid Connected Rooftop & Small Solar Power Plants Programme.
· Five brand-new plug-and-play ultra mega power plants (UMPPs) with a cost of about Rs 1 lakh crore would be constructed.
· The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme was introduced by India to promote energy and water security, de-dieselize the agricultural industry, and increase farmer income through the production of solar electricity.
· To instill payment discipline throughout the electrical sector’s supply chain and to maintain cost recovery as a key indicator, continuing activities like the introduction of smart metres, network strengthening, and the empowerment of regulators are essential. By increasing the GDP, India will be able to reach its objective of having a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Additionally, it will assist in achieving the Paris Agreement’s targets for renewable energy and the Global Sustainable Development Goals.
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The Indian Express Editorial Analysis
EDITORIAL ANALYSIS à 27 MAY 2023 à THE INDIAN EXPRESS:
INDIA AUSTRALIA RELATIONS:
· In an effort to assert India’s position in the Indo-Pacific, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wrapping up his three-nation tour in Australia.
· Visit highlights include:
· Upon entering Admiralty House, the Prime Minister received a ceremonial welcome and a guard of honour.
· The visit of PM Modi to Australia, according to PM Albanese, “strengthened the close and strong relationship that Australia enjoys with India.”
· His trip was originally intended to coincide with a multilateral occasion, the Quadrilateral Meeting, but after the U.S. President withdrew due to domestic political issues;
· Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, followed suit, and Hiroshima hosted a condensed Quad Summit.
· As PM Modi reiterated his concerns over vandalism and attacks destroying community centres and temples, discussions of other groups’ activities and conflicts that also have ties to people of Indian descent took place.
· According to PM Modi, the “Three D’s”—Democracy, Diaspora, and Dosti—bind the two nations together today.
· In front of a huge throng at Sydney’s SuperDome, both leaders celebrated. PM Modi claimed that Australians of Indian descent were the “real reason, the real power” behind the bilateral relations.
· The opening of an Australian consulate in Bengaluru and an Indian consulate in Brisbane, a deal on migration and mobility, and the completion of the terms of reference for an India-Australia Green Hydrogen Task Force were among the announcements made at the Modi-Albanese meeting. The substantive agenda included collaboration on renewable energy, defence and security connections, and essential minerals.
· Despite their divergent views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the western sanctions, they continued to find common ground on maintaining an open and free Indo-Pacific and dealing with a belligerent China.
· Australia-India relations as of now:
· Prior to India’s independence, Australia and India had diplomatic ties when the Consulate General of India opened as a trade office in Sydney in 1941.
· Shared principles of pluralistic, Westminster-style democracies, Commonwealth traditions, increased economic involvement, and increasing high-level interaction have supported the India-Australia bilateral relationship.
· India is one of the major sources of skilled immigrants to Australia.
· Both Australia and India embrace a rules-based international order and they are striving to establish regional institutions in the Indo-Pacific which are inclusive, promote more economic integration.
· Both are members of the Quad, Commonwealth, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Pacific Partnership on Climate and Clean Development, and have participated in the East Asia Summits.
· The Mechanism for Mutual Recognition of Educational Qualifications (MREQ) was signed in March 2023. This will allow mobility of students between India and Australia.
· In February 2022, countries signed a Letter of Intent on New and Renewable Energy for cooperation to reduce the cost of renewable energy technology, including ultra low-cost solar and clean hydrogen.
· Way forward:
· The India-Australia relations have strengthened in recent years due to shared values, interests, geography, and aims. Both countries envision a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, unilateral or forceful acts are not favoured and are to be avoided in settling any differences or conflicts.
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