21, September 2016

1.National wastewater reuse policy sought

Source: The Hindu

Report:

As per the PwC report India needs a national wastewater reuse policy to help address the “perennial concern” of urban water stress by mandating targets and laying out legislative, regulatory and financial measures to hit those targets.

The report, “Closing the water loop: Reuse of treated wastewater in urban India” released by the global consulting firm, underscores the need for a comprehensive national policy.

The suggestion for such a policy comes against the backdrop of the PwC report highlighting “water stress to be a perennial concern’’ in most Indian cities.

Necessary of policy under Urban Growth:

The country is expected to add approximately 404 million new urban dwellers between now and 2050. This rapid urban growth will be linked with higher industrial output and greater energy demand thus adding to the urban water stress.

Hence, sound policy and regulatory interventions by the Central and State Governments are a prerequisite for the launching of innovative reuse projects

Groundwater exploitation due to depletion of water:

Regulatory intervention was key to prevent industries from utilising groundwater at a level that led to over-exploitation. The current low cost of exploiting groundwater makes reuse unviable and at the same time, irrecoverably depletes groundwater resources.

Initiatives of water reuse: (way ahead)

The PwC study suggested that the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Water Resources should work together to define quality norms for different grades of industrial water. This would help standardise the design of reuse systems nationwide.

Like other infrastructure sub-sectors in India, the wastewater sector would also have to be driven by government initiatives and implementation models would be designed around these initiatives.

Historically, infrastructure development in the water sector had been fully funded by the Central Government. For PPP (public-private partnership) structures to evolve in this sector, significant government interventions were required to create a favourable environment for private sector participation.

2.Coastal corridor: ADB approves $631 mn. Loan

Source: The Hindu

Multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank has approved $631 million for building India’s first coastal industrial corridor between Visakhapatnam and Chennai.

The fund will help develop the first key 800-km section of the planned 2,500-km East Coast Economic Corridor expected to spur development on India’s eastern coast and enable seamless trade links with other parts of South and Southeast Asia.

The total cost of the project is $846 million and work on it is expected to be over by 2031. The remaining $215 million would be funded by the Andhra Pradesh government.

3.Moody’s sees slower pace of new bad loans

Source: The Hindu and Indian Express

According to a report released by Moody’s Investors Service, India’s banking system is moving past the worst of its asset quality slump.

Analysis of five key factors:

This outlook is based on the company’s analysis of five key factors—

1.Operating environment,

2.Asset risk and capital (stable),

3.Funding and liquidity,

4.Profitability,

5.Government support.

Report:

1.According to the report, while the stock of impaired loans may still increase during the horizon of this outlook, the pace of new impaired loan formation should be lower than what it has been over the last few years.

2.While the operating environment for Indian banks is supported by a stabilising economy, the asset quality indicator still remains a problem but the picture is getting better on account.

3.However, asset quality will remain a negative driver of the credit profiles of most rated Indian banks.

4.The ratings outlook on 11 of the banks is positive, reflecting the global rating agency’s positive outlook on the sovereign rating and the high degree of government support that could be expected for the banks, if needed.

Moody’s baseline scenario assumes headline GDP growth of 7.4 per cent over the next two years compared with 7.3 per cent in 2015, with key drivers being a favourable monsoon season, ongoing public investment, and continued growth in foreign direct investment.

What is NPA?

  • The assets of the banks which don’t perform (that is – don’t bring any return) are called Non Performing Assets (NPA) or bad loans. Bank’s assets are the loans and advances given to customers. If customers don’t pay either interest or part of principal or both, the loan turns into bad loan.
  • According to RBI, terms loans on which interest or instalment of principal remain overdue for a period of more than 90 days from the end of a particular quarter is called a Non-performing Asset.
  • However, in terms of Agriculture / Farm Loans; the NPA is defined as under: For short duration crop agriculture loans such as paddy, Jowar, Bajra etc. if the loan (installment / interest) is not paid for 2 crop seasons, it would be termed as a NPA. For Long Duration Crops, the above would be 1 Crop season from the due date.
  1. Smart Cities (Ministry of Urban Development)

Source: The Hindu

  • The Smart City Plan of Varanasi aims at turning the city into a ‘Suramya, Samunnat, Surakshit, Sanyojit, Nirmal and Ekikrit Kashi’ by addressing the present bottlenecks in infrastructure and city governance.
  • The government has selected 27 new smart cities in the latest round of ‘Smart City Challenge’ competition.
  • The 27 cities, including Madurai, were selected after three rounds of competition, with the total number selected under Smart City Mission standing at 60.
  • With five cities, Maharashtra has the highest number of cities on the list. The 27 new cities are from 12 States, including four each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, three from Uttar Pradesh and two each from Punjab and Rajasthan. Nagaland and Sikkim have made it to the list for the first time.

Funds proposed projects under smart city mission:

Urban Development Minister says the new 27 smart cities proposed projects worth Rs. 66,883 crore under Smart City Mission, including Rs. 42,524 crore under area-based development and Rs.11,379 crore for technology-based pan-city solutions.

Amritsar tops chart

Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities chosen among 63 total cities. Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that have made it to the third list are Ujjain, Tirupati, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur and Ajmer, apart from Agra and Varanasi.

The other cities that are now part of the list are Kalyan-Dombivili (Maharashtra), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Managaluru (Karnataka), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Thane (Maharashtra), Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Rourkela (Odisha), Tumakuru (Karnataka), Kota (Rajasthan), Namchi (Sikkim), Jalandhar (Punjab), Shivamogga (Karnataka), Salem (Tamil Nadu), Kohima (Nagaland), Hubbali-Dharwad (Karnataka), Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and Vadodara (Gujarat).

The implementation of Smart City Mission is now spread over 27 States and Union Territories.

The nine States and Union Territories that are yet to enter the implementation phase are Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra, Nagar and Haveli.

 5.Ken-Betwa river linking project, first of its kind, gets wildlife board approval

Approval:

The phase I of the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project has received the approval of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL).

Standing committee:

 The standing committee of NBWL comprises of two members of NBWL, representatives of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), state governments and user agency who was to visit the site visit and submit a report on the impact of project on habitat and wildlife of Panna Tiger Reserve.

Interlining river:

The interlinking of the Ken and Betwa rivers in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is aimed at providing water to Bundelkhand, an area in Uttar Pradesh fighting continuous drought.

Apart from the Ken-Betwa linking project, the other such projects in the works are the Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, involving Assam, West Bengal and Bihar; Par Tapi Narmada Link to transfer water from the water surplus regions of Western Ghats to the water deficit regions of Saurashtra and Kutch and Damanganga-Pinjal link, which will provide water for the Greater Mumbai.

6.India Successfully Test Fires Surface-To-Air Missile Developed With Israel

Source: The Hindu

In a bid to galvanise its air defence capabilities, India today successfully test fired a new, long range surface-to-air missile jointly developed with Israel and DRDO from a defence base off Odisha coast for Indian Navy successfully flight tested against Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA).

6.BIRAC meet- 5th meet. (Ministry of Science & Technology)

Source: pib

The theme of the meet would be ‘Biotech Innovation Ecosystem – Strategizing the Next Leap’.

BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council), a non-profit Public Sector Enterprise under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology (DBT),  GoI.

The Innovators Meet is being organized for marking BIRAC’s continuous efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in all places of research.

 BIRAC’s mandate is to serve as a single window interface to promote affordable innovation in key social sectors with higher focus on start-ups & small and medium enterprises.



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