- Indo-US Strategic Energy Partnership
- G20 FMCBG Meeting
- Contributions allowed from any person or institution NDRF
Focus: GS-II International relations, GS-III Environment and Ecology
Why in news?
India and the United States have announced new areas of research on:
Transformational power generation based on supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles and advanced coal technologies, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS).
U.S. – India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) review meeting co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Energy and Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and of Steel, paved way for the announcement.
Key points discussed
- New areas of research on transformational power generation based on supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles and advanced coal technologies, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) announced.
sCO2 is a fluid state of carbon dioxide where it is held at or above its critical temperature and critical pressure.
- Smart grids and energy storage are being implemented by consortium comprising of Indian and US entities.
- Policy directions for the societal acceptance of smart grid concepts, Distributed Energy Resources, impact and value of the integrative solutions and emerging role of utilities as Distributed System Operators.
- Common priorities for collaboration evolved in Clean Coal Technologies, Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO2) Power Cycles and Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage (CCUS) technologies.
- One of the notable outcomes of the dialogue is participation of India in the multilateral platform for Accelerating CCUS Technologies (ACT) through which avenues have been generated for possible US- India collaboration.
US-India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP)
- The United States and India have a long and successful strategic partnership, which is technical, economic, and bilateral, in the energy sector – strengthening year after year.
- In 2009, the United States and India launched the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), which is working to accelerate inclusive, low carbon growth by supporting research and deployment of clean energy technologies.
- In order to track progress of the various levels of bilateral engagement on energy, the U.S.–India Energy Dialogue is convened annually.
The SEP organizes inter-agency engagement on both sides across four primary pillars of cooperation:
- Power and Energy Efficiency,
- Oil and Gas,
- Renewable Energy,
- Sustainable Growth.
The SEP also supports USA efforts under the AsiaEDGE initiative, which establishes India as a strong energy partner in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Over the past year, India has revised its renewable energy target to 175 GW by 2022.
- The national solar target was scaled up by five times, reaching 100 GW by 2022.
Partnership to Advance Clean Energy-Deployment (PACE-D)
- Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) is the flagship program on clean energy between the U.S. and India to jointly work on a range of issues related to energy security, clean energy and climate change.
- PACE seeks to accelerate inclusive, low-carbon growth by supporting research and deployment of clean energy technologies and policies.
PACE combines the efforts of several government and nongovernment stakeholders on both the U.S. and Indian sides and includes three key components:
- Research (PACE-R),
- Deployment (PACE-D), and
- Off-Grid Energy Access (PEACE).
Achievements and Progress of U.S. – India SEP so far
- Significant increase in the bilateral hydrocarbon trade through SEP.
- U.S.-India Natural Gas Task Force promotes greater hydrocarbon trade between the two countries.
- A public-private Hydrogen Task Force was launched to help scale up technologies to produce hydrogen from renewable energy and fossil fuel sources and to bring down the cost of deployment for enhanced energy security and resiliency.
- India’s first-ever Solar Decathlon in 2021, which is a collegiate competition to prepare the next generation to design and build high efficiency buildings powered by renewables, is to be held in collaboration with the U.S.
- United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and India’s Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has jointly initiated “Retrofit of Air Conditioning to Improve Air Quality for Safety and Efficiency” (RAISE) for healthy and energy efficient buildings – as a move to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- USAID and NITI Aayog jointly launched the India Energy Modeling Forum to build a network of modeling communities and its linkage with Government for analytical work and policy making exercise.
- USAID launched the South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE) platform focused on the power sector and both the countries have been working to incorporate gender-focused activities across the technical pillars.
Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in news?
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs participated in the 3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting.
Details and Highlights
- The G-20 FMCBG meeting was held to discuss the global economic outlook amid evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis along with other G20 Finance Track priorities for the year 2020.
- This G20 Action Plan lays out a list of collective commitments under the pillars of Health Response, Economic Response, Strong and Sustainable Recovery and International Financial Coordination, aimed at co-ordinating G20 efforts to fight the pandemic.
- The procyclicality of credit rating downgrades by the rating agencies and its deterrent impact on policy options, particularly for EMEs was discussed.
- Highlighted G20 Finance Track deliverables
- Enhancing access to opportunities for Women, Youth and SMEs and a Menu of Policy Options on Access to Opportunities developed by G20.
- The intended deliverable of formulating a solution for addressing challenges related to digital taxation, under International Taxation agenda.
Focus: GS-III Disaster Management
Why in news?
Central Government has laid out the modalities for receipt of contributions/ grants from any person or institution for the purpose of disaster management in the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as per Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.
The Disaster Management Act includes provision to encourage any person or institution to make a contribution to the NDRF.
National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)
- National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) is a fund managed by the Central Government for meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
- It is defined in the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act).
- It comes under the “Public Accounts” of Government of India under “Reserve Funds not bearing interest“.
- It was constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of the states to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of a severe nature.
- NDRF amount can be spent ONLY towards meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation.
For projects aimed exclusively at reducing the risk, impact or effect of a disaster or threatening disaster situation a separate fund called National Disaster Mitigation Fund has to be constituted.
The requirement for funds beyond what is available under the NDRF is met through general budgetary resources.
- A National Calamity Contingency Duty (NCCD) is levied to finance the NDRF and additional budgetary support is provided as and when necessary.
- NDRF is financed through the levy of a cess on certain items, chargeable to excise and customs duty, and approved annually through the Finance Bill.
- Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.
- Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) monitors relief activities for calamities associated with drought, hailstorms, pest attacks and cold wave /frost while rest of the natural calamities are monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Disaster Management Act, 2005
- The Disaster Management Act, 2005, provides for “the effective management of disasters and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto”, and extends to the whole of India.
- The Act calls for the establishment of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), with the Prime Minister of India as chairperson.
- The Act enjoins the Central Government to Constitute a National Executive Committee (NEC) to assist the National Authority.
- All State Governments are mandated under the Act to establish a State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), with Chief Minister of the State as the Chairperson.
- The Chairperson of District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will be the Collector or District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner of the district.
- The Act also provides for constituting a National Disaster Response Force “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under a Director General to be appointed by the Central Government.
- The Act also calls for establishing a National Institute of Disaster Management. Section
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
- National Disaster Management Authority, abbreviated as NDMA, is an apex Body of Government of India, with a mandate to lay down policies for disaster management.
- NDMA was established through the Disaster Management Act enacted by the Government of India in 2005.
- Hence, NDMA is a Statutory body.
- NDMA is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best-practices for coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to ensure a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management.
- It is headed by the Prime Minister of India and can have up to nine other members. Since 2014, there have been four other members.
- The tenure of the members of the NDMA shall be five years.
- The phrase disaster management is to be understood to mean ‘a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures, which are necessary or expedient for prevention of danger or threat of any disaster, mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or severity of its consequences, capacity building, preparedness to deal with any disaster, prompt response, assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster, evacuation, rescue, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction’.