Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 9, 2017

Sports

HS Prannoy, Saina Nehwal win 82nd Senior National Championship titles

  • HS Prannoy (World no 11) won the 82nd Senior National Championship title of Badminton in men’s single category by defeating Kidambi Srikanth (World No 2) by 21-15, 16-21, 21-7 score.
  • The women’s single title was won by Saina Nehwal (World No 11). She defeated PV Sindhu (World No 2) by 21-17, 27-25 score.
  • The mixed doubles title was won by Satwik Sai Raj R and Ashwini Ponnappa by defeating Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy pair by 21-9, 20-22, 21-17 score.

Enlighten about Senior National Badminton Championships

  • It is annual tournament organized to crown the best badminton players in India.
  • It was established in 1934 and until 1960s foreign players were also allowed to participate in it.
  • The 2016 edition of title was won by Sourabh Verma (men’s single title), Rituparna Das (women’s single title).

Environment

Climate target of 2030 under Paris deal : New report

Encouraging achievement for India

  • India is among a small group of countries that are on track to achieve their self-declared climate targets under the Paris Agreement with their current policies in place
  • It is revealed by a new report released at the climate change conference
  • The new report is prepared jointly by the NewClimate Institute, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • The report says that only nine of the 25 top emitting countries it surveyed were in line with achieving their targets mentioned in their respective ‘nationally-determined contributions (NDCs)’

India’s NDC

  • In its NDC, India had promised to reduce its emissions intensity — greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP — by 33 to 35 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2030
  • It had also promised to ensure that at least 40 per cent of its energy in 2030 would be generated from non-fossil fuel sources, like solar, wind or bio-fuels
  • In addition, it had said it would rapidly increase its forest cover so that an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent is created by the year 2030

Labour Sector

Key trends in labour market post demonetization-

  • About 2 million jobs were lost between January and August 2017
  • The average labour participation rate during the 10 months preceding demonetisation was 47% which decreased to 44% during the 10 months following demonetisation
  • The immediate impact of GST has been less severe compared to demonetisation.
  • Labour participation was at its lowest in July 2017 but increased in the following months.
  • Demonetisation had a wealth distribution element which cushioned the impact of demonetisation on job losses
  • Monthly overall unemployment rate has been increasing steadily since August 2017 from 4.11% to 5.68% in October 2017
  • Overall employment rate showed a decline from September 2016 to April 2017. However it picked up from May 2017
  • Urban unemployment rate was 8.2% which was the highest recorded employment rate in the past 11 months
  • The rise in labour participation and unemployment rates indicate that although labour is entering the market, they are unable to find jobs.
  • The volatility of unemployment rate measured through the coefficient of variation increased from 8.8% in Jan-Oct 2016 to 23.5% in Nov 2016-August 2017
  • The volatility of unemployment in India was 8.3 times higher than in OECD countries in the overall 20-month period

Enlighten about

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD)

  • It is an intergovernmental economic organisation to stimulate economic progress and world trade
  • Its headquarters are located in Paris, France
  • India is not a member

Some more facts –

  • Demonetisation: It is the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender
  • Labour Participation Rate: It refers to the number of people who are either employed or actively looking for employment
  • Unemployment Rate: It is the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labour force

Power Sector

Committee to look into Open access in electricity

Government advise to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA)

  • FDDThe government has advised the CEA to set up a committee to look into issues related to open access and brought out a consultation paper based on the committee’s findings

Why is open access necessary?

  • Open access is one of the key measures to bring about competition in electricity, whereby large consumers have access to the transmission and distribution (T&D) network to obtain electricity from suppliers other than the local distribution company (discom)
  • Open access was expected to encourage investment by private players in electricity supply

Why was the success of open access very limited?

  • The open access has become a way to allow such consumers to move back and forth between the discom and the market as and when they want
  • Not only is this phenomenon unfair to discoms, it also does not allow competitive suppliers to develop a stable customer base, defeating the purpose of open access

How can open access help to counter the burden of cross-subsidization?

  • The current approach to open access may relieve, to some extent, the burden of cross-subsidization that falls on large consumers, by allowing them access to the market to get lower prices when they can

Why should open access requests only come from suppliers, not consumers?

  • Open access to the T&D network is required by generators and suppliers, but not by consumers
  • Consumers need only to shop around for the best deal from competitive suppliers, and it should be the responsibility of the suppliers to obtain access so that the power can be transferred to consumers

How to re-conceptualize the open access?

  • Large consumers should not be able to treat the discom as a mothership to which they can return whenever market prices rise
  • In addition, consumers exercising choice should be required to get all their electricity from the supplier of their choice, not just part of it

Other concerns related to the open access

  • If a very large consumer is able to cherry-pick the periods when it can get supply from the market, it would result in higher and higher costs for the discom
  • These additional costs would have to be borne by non-open-access consumers, many of whom are small consumers

What is open access– simple- open to access electricity from any seller i.e. consumers being able to purchase directly from power producers rather than distribution companies.

Advantage– As it allows generators to sell power to the highest bidders while consumers can source their needs from the most economic seller, it promotes competition and efficiency Open Access (OA) policy introduced under Electricity Act 2003, allows consumers with electricity load above 1 MW to procure electricity directly from electricity markets

International Agencies

Second meeting of Island Development Agency held in New Delhi

  • The second meeting of Island Development Agency (IDA) was held in New Delhi. It was chaired by Rajnath Singh.

Enlighten about IDA

  • In the meeting, it was decided that Naval air station at Shibpur near Diglipur in northern Andaman & Nicobar Islands will be co-used as Joint User Airport.
  • It was also decided to develop PPP package including airport (Joint User Airport) at Minicoy Island, to unlock the tourism potential.
  • It was agreed to promote tuna fishing industry for improving livelihoods in Lakshadweep.
  • The IDA was set up on June 1 this year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s review meeting for the development of islands
  • The meetings of the agency are chaired by the Union Home Minister. Members of IDA include cabinet secretary, home secretary, secretary (environment, forests and climate change), secretary (tourism) and secretary (tribal welfare).

International Energy Agency (IEA)

  • The 2017 IEA Ministerial Meeting was recently held in Paris.
  • The focus of the meeting was on global energy challenges and how they can be overcome.
  • Participants included representatives from the 29 IEA member countries; accession countries Chile and Mexico; association countries China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore and Thailand; and partner countries Brazil and South Africa.
  • CEOs from 30 top global energy companies also attended the meeting.

Enlighten about about IEA

  • Founded in 1974, the IEA was initially designed to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil, such as the crisis of 1973/4.
  • While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded significantly.

The four main areas of IEA focus are:

  • Energy Security: Promoting diversity, efficiency, flexibility and reliability for all fuels and energy sources;
  • Economic Development: Supporting free markets to foster economic growth and eliminate energy poverty
  • Environmental Awareness: Analysing policy options to offset the impact of energy production and use on the environment, especially for tackling climate change and air pollution; and
  • Engagement Worldwide: Working closely with partner countries, especially major emerging economies, to find solutions to shared energy and environmental concerns.

Functions

  • The IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues including oil, gas and coal supply and demand, renewable energy technologies, electricity markets, energy efficiency, access to energy, demand side management and much more.
  • Through its work, the IEA advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its member countries and beyond.