Green-Term Ahead Market
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has launched pan-India Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) in electricity as a first step towards Greening the Indian short term power market.
- The introduction of GTAM platform would lessen the burden on RE-rich States and incentivise them to develop RE capacity beyond their own renewable purchase obligation (RPO). This would promote RE merchant capacity addition and help in achieving RE capacity addition targets of the country.
- GTAM platform will lead to increase in number of participants in renewable energy sector. It will benefit buyers of RE through competitive prices and transparent and flexible procurement. It will also benefit RE sellers by providing access to pan-India market.
- Green Term Ahead Market contracts will allow additional avenues to the RE generators for sale of renewable energy; enable Obligated entities to procure renewable power at competitive prices to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO); and provide a platform to environmentally conscious open access consumers and utilities to buy green power.
Key features –
- Transactions through GTAM will be bilateral in nature with clear identification of corresponding buyers and sellers, there will not be any difficulty in accounting for RPO.
- GTAM contracts will be segregated into Solar RPO & Non-Solar RPO as RPO targets are also segregated.
- Further, within the two segments GTAM contracts will have Green Intraday, Day Ahead Contingency, Daily and Weekly Contracts.
- Green Intraday Contract & Day Ahead Contingency Contract – Bidding will take place on a 15-minute time-block wise MW basis.
- Energy scheduled through GTAM contract shall be considered as deemed RPO compliance of the buyer.
Labour reforms in Qatar
Recently, Qatar has brought about a change in its labour laws, scrapping rules requiring migrant workers to take their employers’ permission before changing jobs, and setting the monthly minimum wage at about $274, an increase of over 25 percent.
What are the new labour laws?
- The first reform has abolished the unjustified ‘kafala system’ or requirement for a “no objection certificate” that migrant workers needed to get from their employers before changing jobs. Now, workers will have to serve a one-month notice period if they have worked for less than two years and notice period of two months if they have worked longer.
- The second reform involves increasing the minimum wage by 25 per cent to $274 or 1000 Qatari riyals and an additional 300 QAR for food and 500 QAR for accommodation in case not provided by the company. These reforms are now applicable to workers of all nationalities and in all sectors, including domestic workers who were previously excluded.
Pinaka Missile System
Recently, The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that its acquisition wing had signed contracts with three Indian companies for supply of six regiments of the Pinaka Rocket System to be deployed along borders with Pakistan and China.
- In the battlefield, long range artillery systems like Pinaka are used for attacking the adversary targets prior to the close quarter battles which involve smaller range artillery, armoured elements and the infantry.
- The development of the Pinaka was started by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the late 1980s, as an alternative to the multi-barrel rocket launching systems of Russian make, called like the ‘Grad’, which are still in use.
- After successful tests of Pinaka Mark-1 in the late 1990, it was first used in the battlefield during the Kargil War of 1999, quite successfully. Subsequently multiple regiments of the system came up over the 2000s.
About Pinaka Missile System –
- The Pinaka, which is primarily a multi-barrel rocket system (MBRL) system, can fire a salvo of 12 rockets over a period of 44 seconds.
- One battery of Pinaka system consists of six launch vehicles, accompanied by the loader systems, radar and links with network based systems and a command post. One battery can neutralise an area one kilometre by one kilometre.
- As a key tactic of long range artillery battle, the launchers have to ‘shoot and scoot’ to ensure they themselves do not become the targets, especially due to its back blast. Thus the launcher vehicles are required to have a high degree of manoeuvrability.
- The Mark-I version of Pinaka has a range of around 40 kilometres and the Mark-II version can fire up to 75 kilometres.
- The Mark-II version of the rocket has been modified as a guided missile system by integrating it with the navigation, control and guidance system to improve the end accuracy and increase the range.
- The navigation system of the missile is linked with the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. In comparison to artillery guns, rockets are less accurate, but with addition of guidance and navigation systems, this aspect is taken care of.
Special Frontier Force or Vikas Battalion
Recently, there were reports that a Special Frontier Force (SFF) unit, referred to as Vikas Battalion, has been instrumental in occupying some key heights on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh to thwart any occupation by the Chinese troops.
What is the ‘Special Frontier Force’?
- SFF was raised in the immediate aftermath of the 1962 Sino-India war. It was a covert outfit which recruited Tibetans (now it has a mixture of Tibetans and Gorkhas) and initially went by the name of Establishment 22. It was named so because it was raised by Major General Sujan Singh Uban, an Artillery officer who had commanded 22 Mountain Regiment.
- Subsequently, the group was renamed as Special Frontier Force and it now falls under the purview of the Cabinet Secretariat where it is headed by an Inspector General who is an Army officer of the rank of Major General.
- The units that comprise the SFF are known as Vikas battalions.
- The SFF units are not part of the Army but they function under operational control of the Army. The units have their own rank structures which have equivalent status with Army ranks. The SFF units function virtually as any other Army unit in operational areas despite having a separate charter and history.
- Incidentally, women soldiers too form a part of SFF units and perform specialised tasks.
Role in 1971 Indo-Pak war –
- In 1971, the SFF operated in the Chittagong hill tracts in East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) to neutralise Pakistan Army positions and help the Indian Army advance ahead. The operation was code-named ‘Operation Eagle’.
- They were airlifted into operational areas and infiltrated behind enemy lines to destroy lines of communication of Pakistan Army.
- They also played a vital role in preventing the escape of Pakistan Army personnel from Bangladesh into Burma (now Myanmar). By one estimate more than 3,000 SFF personnel were used in the covert operations in the eastern theatre of the 1971 war. A large number of SFF personnel received awards for their bravery.
Rare Renati Chola inscription
A rare inscription dating back to the Renati Chola era has been unearthed in a remote village of Kadapa district.
- Found engraved on a dolomite slab and shale, which are part of a fragmentary pillar recently excavated from the fields of Chinnadudyala village in Muddanur manda.
- Going by the language and characters, the inscription was written in archaic Telugu, which was readable in 25 lines — the first side with 11 lines and the remaining on the other side. It was assigned to the 8th Century A.D., when the region was under the rule of the Chola Maharaja of Renadu.
- The inscription seems to throw light on the record of a gift of six marttus (a measuring unit) of land gifted to a person Sidyamayu, one of the Brahmins serving the temple at Pidukula village.
- The last lines are indicative of the priority given to morality in those days. It says the people who safeguard this inscription for future generations will acquire the status of conducting Aswamedha Yaga, and those destroying it will incur sin equivalent to causing a death in Varanasi.
About Renati (Renadu) Cholas –
- The Telugu Cholas of Renadu (also called as Renati Cholas) ruled over Renadu region, the present day Cuddapah district. They were originally independent, later forced to the suzerainty of the Eastern Chalukyas. They had the unique honour of using the Telugu language in their inscriptions belonging to the 6th and 8th centuries; the inscriptions at Gandikota.
- The earliest Chola family in the Telugu area was that of Renadu. Regarding their origin, they belonged to the family of Karikala Chola.
- The earliest of this family was Nandivarman (500AD) who claimed descent from the family of Karikala and the Kasyapa Gotra. He had three sons Simhavishnu, Sundarananda and Dhananjaya, all of whom were ruling different territories simultaneously; the family seems to have had its origin in Erigal in the Tunmkur district, situated in the border between Pallava and Kadamba regions.
- Dhananjaya is described as Erigal-mutturaju and as ruling Renadu. In the first half of the seventh century, we find Punyakumara, a descendant of Nandivarman, ruling over Renadu and Hiranyarashtra, he too bears the title Erikal-mutturaju.
About Chola Administration –
- Chola Empire was divided into 6 Mandalams or provinces, administered by Governors.
- Mandalams were further divided into Valanadus.
- Valanadus into Nadus and Nadus into Taniyars.
- Ur was a type of assembly of common villages. All members of the village could become the member of ur.
- Local self government was there (concept of Panchayati Raj has been borrowed from it).
- Agriculture and economy flourished.
- Silk weaving at Kanchi flourished.
- Commerce and trade were brisk with trunk roads or peruvazhis and merchant guilds.
- Arabian horses were imported in large numbers to strengthen the cavalry.