3rd November – ‘Sponge’ cities mission

Time for a ‘sponge cities’ Mission In the wake of torrential rains in the third week of October in Hyderabad, over 50 people died. Almost 10 years ago, scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, built climate change adaptation tools for Hyderabad. However, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority of that time did …

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27th October – SVAMITVA Scheme

SVAMITVA Scheme In a historic move set to transform rural India and empower millions of Indians, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has launched the physical distribution of Property Cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme. What is ‘SVAMITVA Scheme’? SVAMITVA is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, which was launched by the Prime …

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10th October – Natural Gas Market Reforms

Natural Gas Market Reforms Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has announced the ‘natural gas marketing reforms’ that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared recently. These reforms just reinforces how twisted India’s policies are, how reforms are mostly made in a piecemeal manner; that, of course, is the main reason why they don’t deliver as much …

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12th August – Airport Safety

Stronger Airport Regulation The crash of an Air India Express plane at Kozhikode airport, which has claimed at least 18 lives and left dozens more in critical condition, has once again highlighted questions about safety at several Indian airports. A tabletop airport – Kozhikode airport is what is called a “tabletop” airport, like Mangalore airport, …

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India's power sector

10th August – Transforming India’s power sector

Transforming India’s power sector India’s goal of installing 450GW of renewable energy looks to be a challenge, but this will be an even bigger challenge if India has overcapacity due to lower-than-expected demand. Therefore, an innovative response requires retiring old, inefficient coal plants by bundling them with new and cheaper renewable energy (RE) capacity. It …

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Private train

6th August – How private train operations will benefit railways?

How private train operations will benefit Indian Railways? The recent announcement regarding private train operations has received mixed reactions. Private train operations can have a significant impact on Indian Railways, though the reasons may not be obvious. Scepticism regarding the success of the initiative is natural, given Indian Railways’ patchy track record with the private …

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Nuclear Energy

5th August – Nuclear Energy

Whither nuclear energy? It has been exactly 15 years since the announcement of the historic US-India Civilian Nuclear Agreement. This high-profile deal signed in 2005 by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush dominated Indian politics through the second half of the previous decade. But it has failed to provide rich dividends …

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11th July – UDAY Scheme

UDAY Scheme – Power Crisis The audit of state-owned power distribution companies (DISCOMs) for the fiscal year 2018-19 shows that UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) has failed to attain most of its stated objectives. It is likely that the government will once again need to make a large intervention, which would naturally dent general government …

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20th May – Energy Security – Electricity Amendment Act

A jolt to national energy security Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s proposal for reform of power tariff policy – announced as part of the stimulus package following the pandemic – is a piece with the recent comprehensive proposal to amend the Electricity Act 2003; put together, they erode the concurrent status accorded to electricity in the …

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Electricity Act

30th April – Electricity Act

Electricity Act The government has announced that it proposes to make certain amendments to the Electricity Act 2003. The previous amendment Bill was initiated in 2014, though no headway was made after consultation with the states. Amendments proposed – The changes being proposed now include the constitution of the Electricity Contracts Enforcement Authority (henceforth the …

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