PIB – 05th Dec 2020

Passage Exercise (PASSEX) between Russian Federation Navy and Indian Navy in Eastern Indian Ocean Region

  • The Indian Navy (IN) is undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) from 4 to 5 December 2020.  
  • The exercise involves participation of RuFN guided missile cruiser Varyag, large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev and medium ocean tanker Pechenga. 
  • IN is being represented by indigenously constructed guided missile frigate Shivalik and anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt alongwith integral helicopters. 
  • The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between both the friendly navies, and would involve advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, weapon firings, seamanship exercises and helicopter operations.
  • PASSEXs are conducted regularly by IN with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea. 
  • This exercise, being conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region, reflects the strong long-term strategic relationship between the two countries and particularly, defence cooperation in the maritime domain.

Ministry of I&B issues advisory on advertisements on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports etc.

  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, along with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology convened a stakeholders consultative meeting on November 18 with Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and the Online Rummy Federation (ORF).
  • After discussion and consultation, it was agreed that ASCI would issue an appropriate guideline for the benefit of the advertisers and broadcasters to ensure that the advertisements are transparent and protect consumers.
  • The guidelines effective from December 15 were issued after this consultative process.
  • The guidelines: 
  1. No gaming advertisement may depict any person under the age of 18 years, or who appears to be under the age of 18, engaged in playing a game of ONLINE GAMING FOR REAL MONEY WINNINGS, or suggest that such persons can play these games. 
  2. Every such gaming advertisement must carry the following disclaimer: 
  3. Print/static: This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk. 

i. Such a disclaimer should occupy no less than 20% of the space in the advertisement 

ii. It should also SPECIFICALLY meet disclaimer guidelines 4 (i) (ii) (iv) and (viii) laid out in the ASCI code. 

b. Audio/video: “This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk.” 

i. Such a disclaimer must be placed in normal speaking pace at the end of the advertisement. 

ii. It must be in the same language as the advertisement. 

iii. For audio-visual mediums, the disclaimer needs to be in both audio and visual formats. 

3. The advertisements should not present ‘Online gaming for real money winnings’ as an income opportunity or an alternative employment option. 

4. The advertisement should not suggest that a person engaged in gaming activity is in any way more successful as compared to others.

MNRE issues Guidelines for Implementation of Feeder Level Solarisation under Component-C of PM-KUSUM Scheme

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the PM-KUSUM scheme in its meeting held on 19.2.2019. The Scheme consists of three components. 
  • The Component-A includes installation of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants, Component-B includes installation of standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps and Component-C includes Solarisation of Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps.
  • As per provisions of the PM-KUSUM Scheme, the grid connected agriculture pumps can be solarised with central and state subsidy of 30% each and farmer’s contribution of 40%. 
  • The solar capacity allowed is upto two times of the pump capacity in kW and surplus power will be purchased by DISCOM. 
  • Since this component was to be implemented on pilot mode, flexibility was given to states for using different models like net-metering, replacing pump with BLDC pump or any other innovative model as deemed fit by the states. 
  • Scheme implementation
  1. State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) of MNRE will coordinate with States/UTs, Discoms and farmers for implementation of the scheme.
  2. Components A and C of the Scheme will be implemented in Pilot mode till 31st December 2019. The Component B, which is an ongoing sub-programme, will be implemented in entirety without going through pilot mode. On successful implementation of pilot run of Components A and C of the Scheme, these components would be scaled-up, after getting necessary approval.
  • Component A:
  1. Renewable power projects of capacity 500 kW to 2 MW will be set up by individual farmers/ groups of farmers/ cooperatives/ panchayats/ Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO). In the above specified entities are not able to arrange equity required for setting up the REPP, they can opt for developing the REPP through developer(s) or even through local DISCOM, which will be considered as RPG in this case.
  2. DISCOMs will notify sub-station wise surplus capacity which can be fed from such RE power plants to the Grid and shall invite applications from interested beneficiaries for setting up the renewable energy plants.
  3. The renewable power generated will be purchased by DISCOMs at a feed-in-tariff (FiT) determined by respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC).
  4. DISCOM would be eligible to get PBI @ Rs. 0.40 per unit purchased or Rs. 6.6 lakh per MW of capacity installed, whichever is less, for a period of five years from the COD.
  • Component B:
  1. Individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar Agriculture pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP.
  2. CFA of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the stand-alone solar Agriculture pump will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 30% of the cost as loan.
  3. In North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands, CFA of 50% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the stand-alone solar pump will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 20% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 10% of the cost as loan.
  • Component C:
  1. Individual farmers having grid connected agriculture pump will be supported to solarise pumps. Solar PV capacity up to two times of pump capacity in kW is allowed under the scheme.
  2. The farmer will be able to use the generated solar power to meet the irrigation needs and the excess solar power will be sold to DISCOMs.
    CFA of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the solar PV component will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 30% of the cost as loan.
  3. In North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands, CFA of 50% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, of the solar PV component will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 20% will be provided by the farmer. Bank finance may be made available for farmer’s contribution, so that farmer has to initially pay only 10% of the cost and remaining up to 10% of the cost as loan.
  • Scheme benefits
  1. The scheme will open a stable and continuous source of income to the rural land owners for a period of 25 years by utilisation of their dry/uncultivable land. Further, in case cultivated fields are chosen for setting up solar power project, the farmers could continue to grow crops as the solar panels are to be set up above a minimum height.
  2. The scheme would ensure that sufficient local solar/ other renewable energy based power is available for feeding rural load centres and agriculture pump-set loads, which require power mostly during the day time. As these power plants will be located closer to the agriculture loads or to electrical substations in a decentralized manner, it will result in reduced Transmission losses for STUs and Discoms. Moreover, the scheme will also help the Discoms to achieve the RPO target
  3. The solar pumps will save the expenditure incurred on diesel for running diesel pumps and provide the farmers a reliable source of irrigation through solar pumps apart from preventing harmful pollution from running diesel pumps. In light of the long waiting list for electric grid connection, this scheme will benefit 17.5 lakh farmers over a period of four years, without adding to the grid load.
  • Water saving and enhancing farmers’ income:
  1. The objective of Component-C of PM-KUSUM Scheme is to provide reliable day-time power to farmers, enhancing their income by purchasing surplus solar power and thus incentivising them for saving water. 
  2. In case of feeder level solarisation, farmers will get daytime reliable solar power for irrigation, but there is no provision of selling surplus solar power. Therefore, farmers can be incentivised for saving water and enhancing their income. 
  3. The DISCOMs shall assess the average power requirement by farmers of an area depending upon various factors. This power requirement will be treated as their benchmark consumption. 
  4. The DISCOMs shall incentivise farmers for consuming power less than benchmark consumption. Such saving of power shall be treated as surplus power injected by farmers and they will be paid by DISCOMs against this saved power at pre-determined tariff. This will be an important measure for conserving groundwater level.