15, July 2017

India’s first solar-powered 1600 HP DEMU train launched

  • Indian Railways has launched the country’s first solar-powered local train with a battery bank facility that ensures sufficient power even in the absence of sunlight.
  • The entire electrical need of the coaches, which includes lights, fans and information display system, will be met by the energy produced by solar panels fitted atop the coaches of the DEMU (diesel electric multiple unit) train. The train was launched from Safdarjung railway station.

  1. Mahadayi: Goa open to out-of-tribunal settlement

Source: The Hindu

Goa has said that it is open to talks with Karnataka and Maharashtra to explore an out-of-tribunal settlement on Mahadayi issue.

Background

  • Mahadayi, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as a lifeline in the northern parts of Karnataka. The river originates and flows in Karnataka and goes through Goa before meeting the Arabian Sea.
  • The Mahadayi catchment area covers around 2,032 km and includes some parts of Maharashtra near the Maharashtra-Karnataka border region.

About the dispute:

  • The Karnataka government and Goa government are fighting on sharing of waters of the Mahadayi river (called Mandovi in Goa).
  • In order to divert 7.56 tmcft of water to the Malaprabha river basin, Karnataka government proposed to build canals to link Kalasa and Banduri, the tributaries of Mahadayi.
  • However, objecting the move, Goa government argued that if Karnataka implemented the Kalasa-Banduri project, it would prove disastrous for the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats as the proposed project was deep inside the forest.
  • Karnataka had petitioned the tribunal seeking release of 7.56 tmcft of water for Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
  • The tribunal, which gave its interim order after hearing arguments from both Karnataka and Goa, had rejected the state’s plea citing various grounds including ecological damage that the project may cause.

  1. Centre to grant NIIF ₹20,000 cr.

Source: The Hindu

The Department of Economic Affairs has signed an agreement with the NIIF for a ₹20,000 crore contribution to the Fund.

NIIF

  • The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) was proposed in Union Budget 2015. In the last week of December, the government has set up this Rs. 40000 crore fund to provide long term capital for infrastructure projects.
  • The objective of NIIF is to maximise economic impact through infrastructure development in viable projects both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects, mainly in the core infra sector.
  • NIIF has been structured as a fund of funds and set up as Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations.

  1. EU, India set up fund for investments

Source: The Hindu

The European Union (EU) and India have announced the establishment of an Investment Facilitation Mechanism (IFM) for EU investments in India.

IFM

  • The IFM has been established with the key objectives of paving the way for identifying and solving problems faced by EU companies and investors with regard to their operations in India.
  • The mechanism will allow for a close coordination between the European Union and the Government of India with an aim to promote and facilitate EU investment in India.
  • The IFM will cover new investors as well as those already established in India.
  • The IFM is also going to serve as a platform for discussing general suggestions from the point of view of EU companies and investors with regard to ease of doing business in India. Ease of doing business is a fundamental priority of the Indian Government’s Make in India Campaign and the establishment of IFM for facilitating EU investments in India is another step to achieve this goal.
  • As part of the IFM, the EU Delegation to India and the DIPP will hold regular high level meetings to assess and facilitate “ease of doing business” for EU investors in India. This will include identifying and putting in place solutions to procedural impediments faced by EU firms and investors in establishing or running their operations in India.

Background:

  • The IFM builds on the Joint Statement of the 13th EU-India Summit held in Brussels in March 2016, where the EU had welcomed India’s readiness to establish such a mechanism and leaders from both sides had reaffirmed their shared commitment to oppose protectionism and to work in favour of a fair, transparent and rule-based trade and investment environment.

 



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