Strategic Oil Reserves and Energy Security: Analysis

Reading Time: 7 mins A major fall in the international crude oil prices prompted India to get its strategic Energy reserves filled at a low cost. Recently in a tweet, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said that India has saved Rs. 5000 crores in foreign exchange while strengthening its energy security by filling up the strategic reserves with full capacity.

Sagarmala – Significance, Issues, Solutions

Reading Time: 7 mins The Union Budget 2020-21 has given very low priority for the Sagarmala Project. Only Rs.297 crore is allocated for this infrastructural development scheme. This comes in the backdrop of very low allocations for the maritime sector in general out of the Rs.1 lakh crore allocation for the infrastructure sector – most of which is to be tunnelled into the National Infrastructure Pipeline. This is significant as India has an advantage with regards to its long coastline and its position in the Indian Ocean, which could be utilized to its full potential with the sustainable development of its coastal areas. Additionally, Sagarmala program needs an overhaul to make it more sustainable and inclusive so that the local fishing communities are not harmed.

The Draft Electricity Act Bill 2020: A Detailed Analysis

Reading Time: 7 mins Electricity is one of the most critical components of infrastructure which is essential for sustained growth of the Indian economy and welfare of the nation. Ministry of Power, in an attempt to further develop the power sector, has issued a draft proposal for amendment of the Electricity Act, 2003 in the form of the draft Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill. This is the fourth draft since 2014.

National Energy Policy – Need, Issues, Solutions

Reading Time: 9 mins The International Energy Agency, in its India 2020 Energy Policy Review, has recommended adoption of NITI Aayog’s Draft National Energy Policy, which is under consideration since 2017 and is yet to be enforced due to several inter-ministerial differences. This said policy fails to address various other issues faced by India’s energy sector. Therefore, changes must be made in a way that enables coordination of all parties and also allows the country to adopt green energy as climate change has a significant impact on India’s economy and people. This reformed policy must be adopted as soon as possible as the country is currently facing rampant energy poverty despite having surplus energy under its domain.

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) & Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – India’s Membership

Reading Time: 7 mins Since conducting its second nuclear tests in 1998, India had adhered to a self-imposed commitment to “No First Use” of nuclear weapons on another country. However, on August 16th, 2019, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had hinted that in future India’s “no first use” policy “depends on circumstances”. Following this episode, the Defence Minister had effectively reduced the already bleak chances of India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. However, in the current situation, it matters very little for India as it already has the necessary benefits it needs to expand and operate its nuclear programme.

City Gas Distribution (CGD) & National Gas Grid (NGG) – Significance & Challenges

Reading Time: 5 mins

What is the Context?

  • PNGRB will launch the 11th City Gas Distribution round soon
  • The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas released a draft city gas distribution policy
  • The Union budget 2020 declared that about 27,000 km of national gas grid pipeline would be completed in the coming years connecting Kutch to Kohima and Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Power Sector in India – Overview, Problems, Reforms

Reading Time: 11 mins The power sector in India, like many other sectors in the Indian economy, is presently facing numerous issues. At least three indicators of the health of India’s power sector, demand, supply or generation and capacity utilisation of power plants are painting worrisome picture fuelled by the broader on-going economic slowdown and the continued deterioration in the financial health of discoms. Government measures have mostly focused on short-term problems without addressing the core issues and their causes. A comprehensive strategy to promote the growth and development of this sector is a need of the hour.

FASTag – Working, Advantages & Disadvantages

Reading Time: 4 mins FASTag is made mandatory for all vehicles, private and commercial, from January 15, 2020. According to the FASTag transactions data released on January 1, 2020, by National Payments Corporation of India, about 6.4 crore FASTag transactions, worth Rs.1,256 crore, were processed in December against 3.4 crore transactions worth Rs.774 crore in November. Paytm Payments Bank issued over 40% of all FASTags in December. Currently, the government is taking the necessary steps to promote it.