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PIB Summaries 27 June 2023


  1. Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme (EBP)
  2. Kharchi Puja

 Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme (EBP)

Focus: GS III: Environment and Ecology

Why in News?

The Central Government aims to increase production of ethanol and also supply of ethanol for the Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Programme, especially in the surplus season. Government policy changes have led to a remarkable increase in molasses-based distilleries’ capacity, soaring from 215 crore liters in 2014 to an impressive 811 crore liters in the past 9 years.

Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme (EBP)

  • Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme was launched in 2003- and this initiative is pursued aggressively in the last 4 to 5 years to reduce import dependence of crude oil as well as mitigate environmental pollution.
  • The Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) seeks to achieve blending of Ethanol with motor sprit with a view to reducing pollution, conserve foreign exchange and increase value addition in the sugar industry enabling them to clear cane price arrears of farmers.
  • Although the Government of India decided to launch EBP programme in 2003 for supply of 5% ethanol blended Petrol, it later scaled up blending targets from 5% to 10% under the Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP).
  • The Government of India has also advanced the target for 20% ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
  • Currently, 8.5% of ethanol is blended with petrol in India.

Advantages of Ethanol Blending

  • Use of ethanol-blended petrol decreases emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
  • The unregulated carbonyl emissions, such as acetaldehyde emission were, however, higher with E10 and E20 compared to normal petrol. However, these emissions were relatively lower.
  • Increased use of ethanol can help reduce the oil import bill. India’s net import cost stands at USD 551 billion in 2020-21. The E20 program can save the country USD 4 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) per annum.
  • The oil companies procure ethanol from farmers that benefits the sugarcane farmers.
  • Further, the government plans to encourage use of water-saving crops, such as maize, to produce ethanol, and production of ethanol from non-food feedstock.

Kharchi Puja

Focus: GS I: Festivals

Why in News?

Recently, The Prime Minister of India greeted people on the occasion of Kharchi Puja.

Kharchi Puja: A Festival of Cleansing Sins in Tripura

  • Significance: Kharchi Puja is a significant festival celebrated in Tripura.
  • Timing: It takes place during the months of July-August, specifically on the eighth day of the new moon.
  • Meaning: The term “Kharchi” is derived from Tripuri words, “Khar” or “Kharta” meaning sin, and “Chi” or “si” meaning cleaning. Thus, the festival symbolizes the cleansing of sins.
  • Date: Kharchi Puja occurs in the month of ‘Ashad’ on the ‘Shukla Ashtami’ day.
  • Worship: The Royal priest, known as ‘Chantai,’ performs the worship of the fourteen Gods.
  • Duration and Location: The festival spans seven days and takes place at the Chaturdasha Devata temple premises in old Agartala.
  • Unique Deities: The deities worshipped during Kharchi Puja consist only of heads and not full bodies.
  • Rituals: On the day of the puja, the Chantai members carry the fourteen Gods to the river Saidra for a holy bath, using water from the river. They are then brought back to the temple.
  • Traditional Customs: Kharchi Puja is deeply rooted in authentic Tripuri traditions and customs.

December 2023