In a recent webinar, the Prime Minister of India stated that in recent years, India has added 139 Giga Watts capacity and reached the goal of one nation-one grid-one frequency. He added that reforms like the UDAY scheme were undertaken to improve financial and operational efficiencies. He further added that India has become a power surplus country from a power deficit one. The idea of One Nation, One Grid has been making rounds in the news for the last few years. However, the idea is not new to us. To reach the ambitious goal of India becoming a nation using renewable energy sources for most of its needs, the idea of One Nation, One Grid is vital. The energy sector plays a crucial role in the progress of the country and influences both ease of living and ease of doing business. To fulfil the goals, the nation needs to have last-mile connectivity and One Nation, One Grid is a step forward in this direction.
Due to its high dependence on roads for the goods’ movement, India had long suffered from high logistics costs and slow economic progress. This situation is expected to change next year when Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor are set to be operationalised after the completion of the first phase of the DFC project.
Industrial capacities and critical infrastructure are key targets in warfare. This has been so especially since the Industrial Revolution. Today, cyberwarfare poses a greater threat in this regard as it can cause much greater damage to the target with very little cost to the attacker. The ShadowPad attack on Mumbai’s electricity distribution grid has shown the damaging potential of cyberattacks directed at critical infrastructure. Though the energy sector is one of the most targeted in such attacks, it isn’t the only one. Sectors like transport, telecommunication, manufacturing units and other public sector services could be brought down by cyberattacks.
In the Union Budget 2021-22, the Finance Minister proposed the revival of the DFI model to meet the needs of infrastructure financing. The government has set a target of 5 lakh crore INR loan within 3 years. For this, the proposed DFI is to be capitalized with 20,000 crore INR. Given the importance of infrastructure development in the post-COVID world, there is a need to examine the viability of the DFI model and how it can be made to work in India.
February 7th, 2021 saw the flooding of the Alaknanda River system, claiming the lives of over 60 people. Many others have gone missing and 2 hydroelectric power projects have been washed away. Though the exact cause of the flood is still being looked into, one of the possible causes is a phenomenon called glacier lake outburst flooding (GLOF). Though the region has experienced GLOFs in the past, this recent event is a cause for concern as it has occurred even before the end of winter– a period that is generally considered safe in terms of GLOF risks.
The aviation sector in India has witnessed growth faster than many other industries in India. From the number of flights flying in India to the number of passengers boarding flights in India, India reported exponential growth in this sector. India has become the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world. Although the aviation market is showing promising results, the rise in the number of accidents has also risen gradually. The recent air accident in Kerala of Boeing 737, killing 18 people and leaving more than 150 people injured has been a major setback for the aviation sector in India. Thus, it has become important to understand the various factors affecting air safety in India and suggest measures to deal with the problem.
India is anticipated to be the biggest contributor to the renewables boom in 2021, with the country’s annual growth in renewables doubling from 2020. Recently, the Prime Minister of India mentioned about having huge renewable energy deployment plans for India for the next 10 years which are likely to create business opportunities of around $20 billion a year.
In a bid to move towards the market-based gas economy, series of measures were recently taken by the Indian government, including the approval of the Natural Gas Marketing Reforms and the launching of India’s first gas exchange. Though well-intended, these measures fail to cover the majority of gas producers, leading to lesser investments for the development of this sector. Measures need to be taken by the government to address these issues to increase demand for domestic gas and reduce import dependence.
Recently, the Supreme Court in the case of Adjusted Gross Revenues allowed the telecom companies 10 years’ time to pay the AGR dues to the department of telecommunications. The decision comes after the last years’ judgment which upheld the government definition of AGR calculations. The judgment is important with respect to its detailed and strict plan and its possible impact on the telecom and Banking sector and overall Indian Economy.