Latest Current Affairs for Today – January 21st 2016
Latest Current Affairs#1 – Cabinet approves MoU between India & UK on cooperation in governance reforms
- The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom on cooperation in governance reforms, on 20 January 2016.
- The MoU, which was signed in November 2015 is a part of India’s effort in seeking international collaboration for initiatives in improving governance and administrative reforms.
Features of the MoU
- Cooperation such as sharing good governance practices in public administration, user led service design, reducing bureaucracy in service delivery and government process re-engineering.
- Strengthening of social security
- Collaboration between Government and Industry on staff management, crisis and disaster Management.
- Digital transformation of government.
- Understanding the system of customer oriented public service delivery in UK with reference to rapidly changing environments in public service management and adapting some of the best practices in the Indian Public Service Delivery System.
- Joint Working Group on Public Governance and Administration will be responsible for MoU implementation.
- The First Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is scheduled to be held in January 2016 in London.
The MoU facilitates India to learn best administrative practices from the UK which is renowned for:
- Right to Information Act
- Citizen Charter initiatives in the fields of public administration
The Department of Administrate reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), which is a part of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, have so far entered into:
- Bilateral MoUs with China, Malaysia, Singapore and
- A trilateral MoU with Brazil and South Africa.
Latest Current Affairs#2: ISRO-Kuwait Institute signed MoU for joint space exploration
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) on 20 January 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
Highlights of the MoU
- Will allow use of data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites by KISR for initiating a few research and application projects.
- Will enable Training, Building and launching of remote sensing and communication satellites on commercial terms.
- Will provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing; satellite communication; satellite navigation and exploration of outer space.
- Developing a joint effort in the field of application of space technology for the benefit of humanity.
- Setting up of a Joint Working Group from ISRO and KISR which will work on the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementation of the MoU.
Latest Current Affairs#3: PM Modi released book The Z Factor written by Subhash Chandra
The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time by Subhash Chandra
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book titled The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time in New Delhi on 20 January 2016. It is an autobiography of the promoter of Essel/ Zee Group Subhash Chandra.
A candid memoir of a ‘truly desi’ self-made businessman, who came to Delhi at 20 with Rs. 17 in his pocket.
Subhash Chandra now has a net worth of 6.3 billion US dollars and annual group revenues around 3 billion US dollar.
Latest Current Affairs#4: CCEA approved setting up 5000 MW of Grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its approval for setting up over 5000 MW of Grid-Connected Solar PV Power Projects on build, own and operate basis on 20 January 2016.
The work will be implemented by:
- Solar Power Developers (SPDs) with Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
- Under Batch-lV of Phase-ll of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).
- Total investments expected under the scheme is about 30000 crore rupees.
This will help in creating additional 5000 MW capacity of Grid-connected solar PV power generation projects in four trenches of each 1250 MW capacity during 4 financial years – 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
It will also help in generation of employment for 30000 people in rural and urban areas. There will be reduction of about 8.525 Million T of CO2 emissions into environment per year.
Key highlights of the Project
- Installation of 5000 MW Solar PV plants will generate about 8300 Million units per year, which will cater power to 2.5 Million households.
- Implemented by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as per the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) guidelines.
- SECI will prepare necessary bidding documents for inviting the proposals for setting up of projects on a competitive bidding through e-bidding.
- SECI will enter into Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with selected developers and the Power Sale Agreement (PSA) with the buying entities.
- Commissioning period would be 13 months from the date of signing of PPAs.
- Some capacity in each tranche will be developed with mandatory condition of solar PV cells and Modules made in India. It will be called the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) category and rest will be in open category.
- Requisite funds for provision of the VGF support will be made available to MNRE from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), operated by Ministry of Finance.
- Solar Parks being developed under a separate MNRE Scheme and also at other locations, which will be selected by the bidders on their own.
- MNRE will provide 100 percent VGF to SECI to disburse to Solar Power Developers immediately after commissioning, subject to availability of funds.
- State Governments will appoint a State Level Agency for providing necessary support to facilitate the required approvals and sanctions in a time bound manner to achieve commissioning of the projects within the scheduled timeline.