Gist of The Hindu: AUGUST 2022
'Harnessing Green Hydrogen - Opportunities for Deep Decarbonisation in India'
- Niti Aayog has proposed setting up green hydrogen corridors and providing grants and support to entrepreneurs to promote its production, storage and export.
- In a report titled 'Harnessing Green Hydrogen - Opportunities for Deep Decarbonisation in India', Niti Aayog also said there is a need to facilitate investment through demand aggregation and dollar-based bidding for green hydrogen.
About Green Hydrogen:
- Green hydrogen is produced by electrolysis of water using renewable energy or from biomass.
Key observations of the report:
- Green hydrogen can abate 3.6 gigatons of cumulative CO2 emissions by 2050Key
- Demand: Hydrogen demand in India could grow more than fourfold by 2050,representing almost 10% of global demand.
- Industrial Decarbonisation: Green Hydrogen is crucial for decarbonisation ofharder-to-abate sectors such as fertilizers, refining, methanol, maritimeshipping, iron & steel and transport.
- Manufacturing and Exports: Globally competitive green hydrogen industrycan lead to exports in green hydrogen and hydrogen-embedded low-carbonproducts like green ammonia and green steel, unlocking 95 GW of electrolysiscapacity in the nation by 2030.
Deregulation of sale of domestically-produced crude oil
- The government allowed firms like ONGC and Vedanta to sell locally produced crude oil to any Indian refinery for turning it into fuel, such as petrol and diesel, as it deregulated one of the last few avenues that were still under its control.
- While contracts for oilfields awarded since 1999 gave producers the freedom to sell oil, the government fixed buyers for crude produced from older fields, such as Mumbai High of ONGC and Ravva of Vedanta.
- However, the ban on the export of crude oil will continue.
- Greater transparency in production, infrastructure and marketing of crude oil. All exploration and production (E&P) companies willnow have freedom to sell oil from their fields in the domestic market.
- Incentivizing private investments in the upstream oil and gas sector forincreased exploration and production; helping to reduce importdependence.
- Promotion of Ease of Doing Business through greater operationalflexibility to operators/industry.
- Increased Government Revenues through royalty and cess.
- Help companies like Oil India and ONGC to get better realisations for theircrude.
New Strategic Concept
- Representatives of NATO member states gathered in Madrid on Tuesday (June 28) for a summit.
- They will be finalising their first strategic concept document since 2010, which will lay out the present challenges faced by the alliance and its strategy for the future.
- Established in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty in response to the perceived threat of theSoviet Union’s expansion in post-war Europe.
- NATO is a security alliance of 30 countries from North America and Europe.
- The principle of collective defence is at the very heart of NATO’s founding treaty.
- Fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means.
- NATO approved the new Strategic Concept, which describes how NATO will address threats and challenges in its securityenvironment in coming years.
- NATO to boost number of troops on high alert to over 300,000 compared to 40,000 troops that currently make up NATOResponse Force (NRF).
- NATO Membership Invitations for Finland and Sweden, after Turkey lifted its veto on their membership.
- The document denes Russia as the most significant and direct threat to NATO’s security.
- For the first time, NATO recognised China’s threat to the alliance’s security, interests and values.
- Russian forces left out the strategic Black Sea outpost of Snake Island, in a major victory for Ukraine that could loosen the grip of Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian ports.
- Snake Island, also known as Serpent Island or Zmiinyi Island, is an island belonging to Ukraine located in the Black Sea, near the Danube Delta, with an important role in delimiting Ukrainian territorial waters.
- On 24 February 2022, two Russian navy warships attacked and captured Snake Island. On 30 June 2022, Ukraine said that it had pushed Russian forces from the island.
- The bare rocky outcrop overlooks sea lanes to Odesa, Ukraine’s main Black Sea port, where Russia is blocking food cargos from one of the world’s leading grain suppliers.
Business Reform Action Plan 2020
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP)- 2020 in New Delhi.
- In the report, seven states have been identified as the top achievers based on implementation of the Business Reforms Action Plan. The states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
- The report further mentioned that Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh figure under the Achievers category. While Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Kerala, Rajasthan and West Bengal have been placed in the Aspirers category.
- The purpose of BRAP exercise is to infuse a culture of learning from each other state's best practices and improve upon the business climate in each State and Union Territories.
- NASA launchedCislunar AutonomousPositioning SystemTechnology Operations andNavigation Experiment(CAPSTONE), a CubeSat that will fly in cislunar space, the orbital space near anaround the Moon.
- The orbit is known as a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO), located at a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon.
- It is headed toward an orbit intended in the future for Gateway, a Moon-orbiting outpost (partof NASA’s Artemis program).
- As a pathfinder for Gateway, CAPSTONE aims to help reduce risk for future spacecraft byvalidating innovative navigation technologies, and by verifying the dynamics of the halo-shapedorbit.
Aviation Turbine Fuel
- Oil marketing companies (OMCs) hiked Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices by 16.3%, taking jet fuel prices to a record high of Rs 1.41 lakh per kilolitre in Delhi.
- The record increase in ATF prices, combined with the depreciating rupee, is set to increase the cost of operations for airlines, which could lead to an increase in air fares by up to 15%.
What kind of impact will ATF prices have on the cost of operations?
- The cost of ATF constitutes up to 50% of the cost of operations for airlines in India that are already struggling due to the high cost environment and lower fares in the country.
- Airlines have been facing the consequences of the fall in the value of the domestic currency (the Rupee is 5.7% weaker since June 2021 against the US$) since costs like lease rentals, payments to foreign airport operators and expat pilots are all dollar denominated.
- The airline industry had sought respite from high fuel prices through a cut in excise duty on ATF or by bringing jet fuel under GST, that would have brought down prices and also allowed airlines to claim input credit tax on the GST paid.
- While bringing ATF under GST seems unlikely for now, the Aviation Ministry had requested the Finance Ministry to reduce excise duty on jet fuel by 2 percentage points to 9 per cent. The Finance Ministry, however, did not cut any taxes on ATF.
Migration in India 2020-21 report
- A report named ‘Migration in India 2020-21’, released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Tuesday showed.
Who are ‘temporary visitors’ and how do they differ from ‘migrants’?
- The ‘Migration in India’ report, which is based on first-time collection of additional data during the annual round of Periodic Labour Force Survey for July 2020-June 2021, separates the categories of ‘temporary visitors’ and ‘migrants’.
- While ‘temporary visitors’ have been defined as the ones who arrived in households after March 2020 and stayed continuously for a period of 15 days or more but less than 6 months, ‘migrants’ have been defined as those, for whom the last usual place of residence, any time in the past, is different from the present place of enumeration.
Main findings of the report:
- After the start of the Covid19 pandemic in March 2020, 0.7 percent of the population of India were registered as “temporary visitors” in all households in the period July 2020 to June 2021 due to job loss, closure of educational institutions and health reasons.
- The migration rate for all of India was 28.9% for July 2020, June 2021 with 26.Migration rate of 5% in rural areas and 34.9% in urban areas.
- The women had a higher share in the migration rate at 47.9%, 48% in rural areas and 47.8% in urban areas.
- The male migration rate was 10.7%, with 5.9% in rural areas and 22.5% in urban areas.
- Among women, the highest migration rate was observed in 86.8 percent through marriage, while 49.6 percent of men migrated for work reasons.
Courtesy: The Hindu