Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 12, 2018

Energy Sector



  • EESL and ADB sign agreement for a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of USD 13 million to establish an Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund (EERF)
  • EESL and GAIL sign MoU to develop natural gas based cogeneration and trigeneration projects in Commercial & Industrial Sectors


  • The ministry of Power inaugurated the International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2018)
  • This is the second edition of INSPIRE and is being organised by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and World Bank.
  • The three-day symposium will focus on enhancing grid management, e-Mobility, financial instruments and technologies for energy efficiency in India.
  • Innovations in the field of energy efficiency are critical to meet our GHG (green house gases) emission targets

Connect to the challenge

  • The #InnovateToINSPIRE challenge was organized by EESL and World resources Institute (WRI) between 21 August, 2018 and 12 October, 2018 in the run-up to INSPIRE 2018.
  • The challenge invited participants to submit sustainable and scalable solutions to seven specific challenges spanning grid management, e-Mobility, energy efficient technologies and financial instruments.
  • From 94 entries, four winners were selected by an eminent jury comprised of Indian and international experts in the field of energy.
  • The winning entries received an award of Rs. 5 lakhs, each, along with mentoring and guidance from EESL to help them bring their solutions to market.

Connect to the agreement

  • To support investments in new, innovative and scalable business models, EESL and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement for a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of USD 13 million to establish an Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund (EERF).
  • EERF aims to expand and sustain investments in the energy efficiency market in India, build market diversification, and scale up existing technologies.
  • During INSPIRE 2018, EESL and GAIL, a wholly owned subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited signed a MoU to develop natural gas based cogeneration and trigeneration projects in Commercial & Industrial Sectors in India.

Connect to INSPIRE 2018

  • INSPIRE 2018 has been organised in collaboration with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI).
  • The event is bringing together policy-makers, influencers, innovators, thought leaders, researchers, leading energy-efficient companies, government agencies, business leaders and other stakeholders to deliberate on key energy policies

Connect to EESL

  • Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India, is working towards mainstreaming energy efficiency and is implementing the world’s largest energy efficiency portfolio in the country.
  • Driven by the mission of Enabling More – more transparency, more transformation, and more innovation, EESL aims to create market access for efficient and future-ready transformative solutions that create a win-win situation for every stakeholder. By 2020, EESL seeks to be a US$ 1.5 billion (INR 10,000 crore) company.

Science and Technology

ISRO’s GSAT-29 GSLV-MkIII set to lift off from Sriharikota

Connect to GSAT – 29

  • GSAT-29 is configured around ISRO’s Enhanced I-3K Bus and will be the payload for second developmental flight of GSLV-MkIII.
  • It carries Ka x Ku multi-beam and optical communication payloads for the first time. The mission targets for Village Resource Centres (VRC) in rural areas to bridge the digital divide.
  • ISRO is readying itself to put communication satellite GSAT-29 on its heavy-lift vehicle, the GSLV-MkIII
  • The spacecraft as well as the vehicle are important to the space agency and its road map.
  • ISRO is also preparing for a PSLV mission on November 26 to launch HySIS, a new variant of Earth observation satellites, along with 20-30 small commercial satellites.
  • One significance of the GSAT-29 mission is that an Indian spacecraft will be flown after about seven months: the last one was the IRNSS-1I launched on April 12.
  • It would be ISRO’s second communication satellite mission of 2018.
  • It had launched another communication satellite, GSAT-6A, on March 29 but lost it in space a day later.
  • The subsequent post-mortems of the 6A mission and the recall of the 5,400-kg GSAT-11 satellite from Guiana before its launch have also pushed back ISRO’s ambitious plan to have a mission a month.
  • The GSAT-29 satellite itself is one of the planned Indian HTS quartet.
  • The HTSs or high throughput satellites are being sent out to provide a vastly improved and faster Internet connectivity. GSAT-19, the first of the series, was sent up in June 2017 from Sriharikota.

GSAT- 11

  • The third and ISRO’s heaviest to date, GSAT-11, awaits a scheduled launch on December 4 on a European space vehicle, Ariane-5, from French Guiana.
  • GSAT-11 was brought back from French Guiana to Bengaluru in April this year for additional tests and was re-transported last month for a confirmed launch.
  • ISRO had later said it did not want to take risks with such an advanced and costly satellite as GSAT-11 — put at 1,200 crore, including the launch fee of Arianespace.


Ease of Doing Business – In depth analysis


  • India has been one of the biggest ‘improvers’ in the 2019 study, with its rank shooting up from 100 to 77, among 190 countries.
  • This is quite a big jump, given that its rank crept up from 142 to 100 in the four years from 2015 to 2018.
  • The World Bank now deems India an easier place to do business in than BRICs peers such as Brazil (109) and South Africa (82) and West Asian economies such as Qatar (83) and Saudi Arabia (92).

Connect to the improvement

  • India’s climb in the 2019 rankings seems to have come mainly from sharply higher scores on two ‘doing business’ indicators — securing construction permits and trading across the borders.
  • It also made smaller improvements in starting a business and getting credit.
  • The World Bank found that India’s top cities managed to drastically shrink the number of days they took to give out construction permits, from 144 days last year to 95 days, while slashing their costs from 23% of the building value to just 5%.
  • Single-window clearance for securing building permits in Delhi and a new online system in Mumbai, brought about this quantum change.
  • From 146 on cross-border trade, its rank climbed to 80. In 2017-18, importers spent 264 hours at the border complying with formalities, but only spent 97 hours this year. For exporters, the timeline shrank from 106 to 66 hours, delivering big savings.
  • Upgrades in port infrastructure, a move to online documentation and facilities for exporters to seal their containers on their own, helped.
  • On starting up a business, its rank improved from 156 to 137, as the time taken to start a new company was crunched from 30 days to 17 days, thanks to quicker GST registration and the abolition of site inspections in Mumbai.

Connect to the areas that are lag behind

  • Its score remains dismal on registering property, where it ranks 166. While it takes 69 days to register a piece of property and costs about 8% of its value in India, the norm for OECD countries is just 20 days at half that cost. New Zealand gets this done in a single day.
  • The other vexatious aspect that most business folk will readily identify with, is paying taxes.
  • Despite the advent of GST, India has remained a back-bencher on this at a rank of 121.
  • India also fares poorly, at rank 163, on enforcing contracts. While enforcing a claim through the courts in Mumbai takes 1,445 days and costs 31% of claim value, OECD nations manage this feat in 582 days at a cost of 21%.

Connect to the measurements

  • The EODB study tries to capture the experience of small and mid-sized companies in a country with their regulators, by measuring the time, costs and red tape they deal with.
  • To collect data, it empanels experts from the largest business cities in each country, with Mumbai and Delhi surveyed in India.
  • Over 13,800 experts participated in the 2019 study, from June 2, 2017 to May 1, 2018.
  • Each country is assigned a rank out of 190 based on the total score it earns on 10 key aspects of doing business.
  • The indicators considered now are: starting a business, getting construction permits, securing electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, cross-border trade, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.