Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 9, 2018


Connect to NALSA

  • National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA) was formed on 5 December 1995 under the authority of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987.
  • Its purpose is to provide free legal services to eligible candidates (defined in Sec. 12 of the Act), and to organize Lok Adalats for speedy resolution of cases.
  • The Chief Justice of India is patron-in-chief of NALSA while second senior most judge of Supreme Court of India is the Executive-Chairman.
  • There is a provision for similar mechanism at state and district level also headed by Chief Justice of High Courts and Chief Judges of District courts respectively.
  • The prime objective of NALSA is speedy disposal of cases and reducing the burden of judiciary.
  • Public awareness, equal opportunity and deliverable justice are the cornerstones on which the edifice of NALSA is based.

Connect to the working of NALSA

  • The principal objective of NALSA is to provide free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society and to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes. Apart from the abovementioned, functions of NALSA include spreading legal literacy and awareness, undertaking social justice litigations etc.
  • With the aim of reaching out to the diverse milieu of people belonging to different socio-economic, cultural and political backgrounds, NALSA identifies specific categories of the marginalized and excluded groups from the diverse populace of the country and formulates various schemes for the implementation of preventive and strategic legal service programmes to be undertaken and implemented by the Legal Services Authorities at the various levels.
  • In carrying out all these responsibilities, NALSA works in close coordination with the various State Legal Services Authorities, District Legal Services Authorities and other agencies for a regular exchange of relevant information, monitoring and updating on the implementation and progress of the various schemes in vogue and fostering a strategic and coordinated approach to ensure smooth and streamlined functioning of the various agencies and stakeholders.

Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Approves strategic disinvestment of 100% Govt. of India’s equity in the Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. (DCIL)


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given ‘in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 100% Government of India's shares in DCIL to consortium of four ports namely, Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust.
  • Presently the Government of India holds 73.44% shares in Dredging Corporation of India Limited.

Connect to the disinvestment approval

  • The approval will further facilitate the linkage of dredging activities with the ports, keeping in view the role of the DCIL in expansion of dredging activity in the country as well as potential scope for diversification of ports into third party dredging.
  • The co-sharing of facilities between the company as well as ports shall lead to savings for ports.
  • This would further provide opportunities for larger investment in DCIL as integration with ports shall help ineffective vertical linkage in the value chain.
  • In Strategic disinvestment, significant proportion of a Public Sector Unit’s (PSU) share and the management control goes to a private sector which is as strategic partner.
  • It is different from the ordinary disinvestment in which management of PSU is retained with Government

Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet approves leasing out six airports - through PPP

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following:
  • "In-principle" approval for leasing out six airports of AAI viz. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management and development under Public Private Partnership (PPP) through Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).
  • Constitution of an Empowered Group of Secretaries headed by CEO, NITI Aayog with Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Secretary, Department of Expenditure to decide on any issue falling beyond the scope of PPPAC.

Connect to the benefits

  • PPP in infrastructure projects brings efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector.
  • The PPP in airport infrastructure projects has brought World class infrastructure at airports, delivery of efficient and timely services to the airport passengers, augmenting revenue stream to the Airports Authority of India without making any investment, etc. of these, for development of Greenfield Airports at Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Presently, the airports being managed under the PPP model include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin.
  • The PPP airports in India have been ranked among the top 5 in their respective categories by the Airports Council International (ACI) in terms of Airport Service Quality (ASQ).

Energy Security

India joined as Member of Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme under International Energy Agency

  • India joining as Member of Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP)under International Energy Agency (IEA)
  • AMF TCP works under the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA) to which India has "Association" status since 30thMarch, 2017.

Connect to the objectives

  • The primary goal of joining AMF TCP by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) is to facilitate the market introduction of Advanced motor fuels/ Alternate fuels with an aim to bring down emissions and achieve higher fuel efficiency in transport sector.
  • AMF TCP also provides an opportunity for fuel analysis, identifying new/ alternate fuels for deployment in transport sector and allied R&D activities for reduction in emissions in fuel intensive sectors.
  • The R&D work in AMF TCP is carried out within individual projects called "Annex".
  • Over the years, more than 50 Annexes have been initiated in AMF TCP and a number of fuels have been covered in previous Annexes such as reformulated fuels (gasoline & diesel), biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel etc.), synthetic fuels (methanol, Fischer- Tropsch, DME etc.)

Steps taken by India

  • Prime Minister at UrjaSangam, 2015 had directed to reduce the import in energy sector by at least 10% by 2022.
  • Subsequently, MoP&NG has come up with a detailed action plan wherein Biofuels, Advanced/ alternate fuels and fuel efficiency play a major role.
  • Association with AMF TCP will help MoP&NG in furthering its efforts in identification & deployment of suitable fuels for transport sector in respect of higher efficiency and lesser emissions.
  • Government of India has recently notified National Policy on Biofuels-2018 which focusses on giving impetus to R&D in field of advanced biofuels such as 2G Ethanol, Bio-CNG, biomethanol, Drop-in fuels, DME etc.

Advance fuels

  • These advanced fuels can be produced from various kind of wastes such as crop residues, Municipal solid waste, Industrial waste, waste gases, Food waste, plastic etc.
  • Association with AMF will help MoP&NG in identifying advanced biofuels suitable for deployment in transport sector in near future.

Connect to advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme

  • AMF TCP is an international platform for co-operation among countries to promote cleaner and more energy efficient fuels & vehicle technologies.
  • The activities of AMF TCP relate to R&D, deployment and dissemination of Advanced Motor Fuels and looks upon the transport fuel issues in a systemic way taking into account the production, distribution and end use related aspects.
  • Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India has joined AMF TCP as its 16th member
  • The other member Countries of AMF TCP are USA, China, Japan, Canada, Chile, Israel, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Thailand.

Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserves


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the filling of Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserves(SPR) at Padur, Karnataka by overseas National Oil Companies (NOCs).
  • The SPR facility at Padur is an underground rock cavern with a total capacity of 2.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) having four compartments of 0.625 MMT each. The filling of the SPR under PPP model is being undertaken to reduce budgetary support of Government of India.

Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL)

  • The Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) has constructed and commissioned underground rock caverns for storage of total 5.33 MMT of crude oil at three locations namely Vishakhapatnam (1.33 MMT), Mangalore (1.5 MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT).
  • The total 5.33 MMT capacity under Phase-I of the SPR programme is currently estimated to supply approximately 95 days of India’s crude requirement according to the consumption data for FY 2017-18.
  • Government has given ‘in principle’ approval in June 2018 for establishing additional 6.5 MMT SPR facilities at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka, which is expected to augment India’s energy security by 11.5 days according the consumption data for FY 2017-18.


Multi Modal Terminal on River Ganga at Varanasi


  • Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the newly constructed Multi Modal Terminal on River Ganga at Varanasi on Monday, the 12th of November, 2018.
  • This is the first of the three Multi Modal Terminals and two Inter Modal Terminals being constructed on the river.

Jal Marg Vikas project

  • The MMTs are being built as part of the Government’s Jal Marg Vikas project that aims to develop the stretch of River Ganga between Varanasi to Haldi for navigation of large vessels upto1500-2000 tonnes weight, by maintaining a drought of 2-3 metres in this stretch of the river and setting up other systems required for safe navigation.
  • The objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project Implementing Agency
  • The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank, at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,369.18 crores (USD 800 million, of which USD 375 is IBRD loan) on a 50:50 sharing basis between Government of India and the World Bank.
  • The project entails construction of 3 multimodal terminals (Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia); 2 intermodal terminals; 5 Roll On – Roll Off (Ro-Ro) terminal pairs; new navigation lock at Farakka; assured depth dredging; integrated vessel repair & maintenance facility, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), River Information System (RIS), river training & river conservancy works.

Connect to MMT

  • Operation, management and further development of the Multi Modal Terminal is proposed to be entrusted to an Operator on PPP model.
  • Selection of the PPP Operator through an International Competitive Bidding is at advanced stage and expected to be completed by December 2018.
  • The project of multi-modal terminal and proposed Freight Village at Varanasi are expected to generate 500 direct employment and more than 2000 indirect employment opportunities.

India’s first container vessel

  • Prime Minister will also receive India’s first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on 30th October 2018, carrying cargo belonging to PEPSICO (India) from Kolkata to Varanasi.
  • Container movement on an inland waterway in India is being done for the first time post-independence.
  • The IWAI vessel, MV RABINDRANATH TAGORE is transporting 16 containers equivalent to 16 truckloads of food and snacks and is expected to reach Varanasi on 11th November 2018.
  • It will make its return journey with fertilizers from IFFCO.

Sources – PIB, The Hindu, Vikaspedia