1. Gujarat’s second ro-pax ferry service to be virtually inaugurated by PM Modi
- PM Modi will virtually inaugurate Gujarat’s second ro-pax (Roll-On-Roll-Off-Passenger) ferry service on 8 November.
- The service will connect Hazira in Surat to Ghoga-Bhavnagar in Gujarat. The service will lower journey time from Surat to Bhavnagar from 10 -12 hours to just four hours.
- In October 2017, PM Modi launched the first ro-pax ferry service in Gujarat. It was between Ghogha in Bhavnagar and Dahej in Bharuch.
- The operation of first ro-pax ferry service was stopped due to siltation at Dahej. On 8 November, a passenger-only service will now operate once in a week at Dahej.
- Similar ferry services will be started by Centre in Kochi in Kerala, Brahmaputra River and Karimganj in Assam.
2. Tamil Nadu government exempts all battery-operated vehicles from motor vehicle tax
- Tamil Nadu government has granted 100 % exemption to all battery-operated vehicles (e-vehicles) from motor vehicle tax.
- Though the state government has now granted 100% exemption, it had earlier issued orders for concessional rate of 50% on lifetime tax.
- This was applicable for battery-operated two-wheelers and four-wheelers non-transport (personal use only) vehicles.
- 100% exemption will be applicable to all battery-operated vehicles (BOVs), both transport and non-transport (EVs), from November 3, 2020 to December 31, 2022.
- Tamil Nadu’s other initiatives for EVs:
- In 2019, Tamil Nadu government launched a separate policy for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
- In March 2020, it has announced that it may plan for a solar power based EV Charging station at a government campus.
- Electric Vehicles related Initiatives of other state governments:
- Delhi government exempted all Electric Vehicles (EVs) or battery-operated vehicles (BOVs) from road tax.
- Telangana government announced a new EV policy. It has fully exempted road tax and registration fees for early adopters in different EV segments.
3. POSOCO data shows increase in India’s power consumption in October 2020
- India’s power consumption in October 2020 increased to 110.94 billion units as per data from Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO).
- In October 2019, India’s power consumption was 97.84 billion units. Power consumption in October 2020 was nearly 14% higher than consumption in October 2019.
- Peak demand or highest demand during any day is also rising.
- Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand are states where electricity consumption remained higher than that in 2019.
- The possible reasons for the rise in electricity consumption and peak demand are given below:
- Removal of COVID-19 restrictions causing increase in commercial activities
- Use of pumps for irrigation with start of Rabi season
- Increase in residential electricity usage due to employee migration to hometowns
- Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO):
- It is a government-owned enterprise. It started functioning in March 2010.
- It comes under the Ministry of Power. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- Regional Load Despatch Centers (RLDCs) and National Load Despatch Center (NLDC) form POSOCO. It was earlier a subsidiary of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.
4. Aloke Singh appointed as CEO of Air India Express
- Aloke Singh has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air India Express.
- He has earlier worked with Indian Airlines, Alliance Air, Air India and Oman Air.
- He has also worked as a consultant with CAPA - Centre for Aviation, an aviation advisory organization.
- Aloke Singh will replace the current CEO of Air India Express, Shyam Sundar Krishnamurti.
- Air India Express is an Indian low-cost airline owned by Air India. It is headquartered in Kochi, Kerala.
5. CCI approves merger of Bharti AXA’s non-life insurance business with ICICI Lombard General Insurance
- Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of Bharti AXA’s non-life insurance business with ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
- After the merger, ICICI Lombard General Insurance will become India’s 3rd largest non-life insurance company.
- Now, ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Bharti AXA will form an integration committee to complete the merger.
- They will obtain regulatory approvals from SEBI, RBI, IRDA, NCLT and others. The deal for the merger was announced in August 2020.
- Competition Commission of India (CCI):
- CCI is a statutory body responsible for implementing the Competition Act, 2002.
- It was formed on 14 October 2003.
- It has a chairman and not less than 2 members and not more than 2 members. The chairman and members are appointed by the central government.
- Chairman: Ashok Gupta
6. Alok Kumar Gupta (AK Gupta) becomes MD and CEO of ONGC Videsh
- Alok Kumar Gupta (AK Gupta) has become Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL).
- He was working as Director (Operations) of OVL. He has also worked as Head of New businesses in Marketing in ONGC and Head Business development in ONGC Videsh.
- ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) is an international branch of ONGC. It is a Miniratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE).
- It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ONGC. ONGC’s chairman and MD is also chairman of ONGC Videsh.