1. MNRE revises solar capacity addition target under PM-KUSUM scheme
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has revised solar capacity addition target under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme from 25.75 GW to 30.8 GW by 2022.
- Along with revising solar capacity addition target from 25,750 MW (25.75 GW) to 30,800 MW (30.8 GW), Central Financial Support under PM-KUSUM has been revised to ₹34,035 crore.
- Targets for all three components under PM-KUSUM scheme have been revised as given in the following table.
Components of PM-KUSUM
Target (July 2019)
Target (November 2020)
10,000 MW (10 GW) of Renewable Power Plants
10,000 MW (10 GW) of solar power plants
Installation of standalone Solar Powered Agriculture pumps
17.50 lakh pumps
20 lakh pumps
Solarisation of Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps
10 lakh pumps
15 lakh pumps
- PM-KUSUM scheme:
- It was approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in February 2019.
- It is being implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
- PM-KUSUM scheme has three components (A, B and C).
- Component A is about solar power plants up to 2 MW individual capacity.
- Component B is about installation of solar-powered agricultural pumps.
- Component C is about solarisation of agricultural pumps.
2. Government decides to connect capital subsidy schemes with National Agriculture Infra Fund
- Government has decided to connect capital subsidy schemes of different ministries with the National Agriculture Infra Fund announced by the Finance Minister in May 2020.
- The capital subsidy schemes of different ministries would be converged with ₹1-lakh crore National Agriculture Infra Fund.
- As a result, it would be possible to avail (get) funding from the National Agriculture Infra Fund and avail of capital subsidies provided under Central and State government schemes. Examples of some schemes are given next.
- PM-KUSUM scheme of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
- Gobar-Dhan scheme of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation
- Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation by Agriculture Ministry
- Under the National Agriculture Infra Fund, banks and financial institutions would give ₹1 lakh crore during four years as loans having interest subvention of 3 % per annum up to a limit of ₹2 crore.
- Government will provide a guarantee for eligible borrowers under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme.
- Under the fund, NABARD has already sanctioned loans worth ₹1,566 crore to 3,055 primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) and loan proposals worth ₹3,500 crore have been received and are being processed currently.
- Maximum project applications have been received from Andhra Pradesh.
3. Ministry of Power notifies all licensed DISCOMs as DCs and brings them under Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001
- Ministry of Power has notified all licensed Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) as Designated Consumers (DCs) and brought them under Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001.
- In September 2020, the notification was issued and all entities with distribution licence by State/Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission under Electricity Act, 2003 were notified as DCs.
- The notification was prepared in consultation with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under Ministry of Power.
- Now, provisions of Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001 will apply to them. Some provisions are given below.
- Appointment of Energy Manager
- Energy Accounting and Auditing
- Identification of Energy Losses Category-wise
- Implementation of energy conservation and efficiency measures
- Earlier, only DISCOMs having annual energy loss of 1,000 million units were considered as Designated Consumers (DCs).
- Now, number of DISCOMs under the Energy Conservation (EC) Act, 2001, has increased from 44 to 102. Energy Accounting and Auditing will be mandatory for all of them.
4. Karnataka government to sign seven MoUs with GIA partners
- Karnataka government will sign seven MoUs with Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) partners.
- GIA partner countries will host technology sessions during Bengaluru Tech Summit, which will be virtually organized from 19 November to 21 November.
- Minister-level delegations of the main Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) partner countries will also take part in the Bengaluru Tech Summit.
- Australia, France, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and UK are some countries that will take part in Bengaluru Tech Summit.
- Governments of different countries collaborate under Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) for the development of collaborative R&D and Tech projects.
- Government of Karnataka’s Department of Electronics, IT, Bt and S&T has established Global Innovation Alliances with most important technology and innovation hubs spread all over the world.
- During Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020, a digital soft-landing programme will be launched by Netherlands’ Hague Business Agency for Indian start-ups.
- Centre for Excellence of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Karnataka, and Business Finland will sign MoU.
- An MoU will be signed between the Centre of Excellence for Agri Innovation at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) with World Startup Factory in Netherlands.
- Another MoU will be signed between Indiana Economic Development and Department of electronics IT, BT and S&T and the Department of commerce and industry.
5. SAIL introduces scheme allowing its employees to choose shorter working periods
- Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has introduced a scheme in which its employees will be able to choose shorter working periods.
- The scheme is introduced to cut the employees’ cost and it will come into effect from November 1, 2000.
- The scheme will be available to all regular employees up to E-7 (general manager) grade.
- In January 2020, SAIL launched a scheme to provide sabbatical leaves to its employees working for 10 years in the company.
- Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL):
- It is the largest steel producing company in India.
- It is a Maharatna Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Steel.
- Its current Chairman is Anil Kumar Chaudhary.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
6. TCS Netherlands BV to acquire 100% shares of Postbank Systems AG (PBS)
- TCS Netherlands BV, a subsidiary of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will acquire 100% shares of Postbank Systems AG (PBS) from Deutsche Bank AG in Germany.
- Postbank Systems AG (PBS) has been providing IT services to Postbank AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.
- The agreement for acquisition is likely to be finalized by end-2020.
- TCS is the fastest growing IT service provider in Germany. The acquisition will further strengthen its work in Germany.
- Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) is headquartered in Mumbai. Its MD & CEO is Rajesh Gopinathan.