Monday, 22 June 2015

Daily News Mail - News of 20/06/2015

Brightest early galaxy named after Ronaldo
  • Scientists have discovered the brightest galaxy in the early universe that contains the first generation of stars.
  • They have nicknamed it after popular Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Scientists say that these massive, brilliant, and previously purely theoretical objects were the creators of the first heavy elements in history — the elements necessary to forge the stars around us today, the planets that orbit them, and life.
  • The newly found galaxy is labelled CR7.
  • The newly found galaxy is three times brighter than the brightest distant galaxy known till now. The name was inspired by 30-year-old Ronaldo, who is known as CR7.
  • These first generation stars are also known as Population III stars — that were born out of the primordial material from the Big Bang.
Solar effect
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved plans to generate 2,000 MW of grid-connected PV solar power on a Build-Own-Operate basis by solar power developers under the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Total cost & funding by the government:
  • Generation of additional 2,000 MW of solar PV power will involve an investment of Rs.12,000 crore, of which viability gap funding will be to the tune of Rs.2,100 crore at the rate of Rs.1 crore per MW in the open category and Rs.1.31 crore per MW in the domestic content requirement category.
  • The investment of the government will be spread over the coming financial years. A sum of Rs.1,000 crore will come during 2016-17; Rs.260 crore during 2017-18; and Rs.210 crore each during the following three financial years.
Implementation of the scheme:
  • The scheme will be implemented by the Solar Energy Corporation of India as per the guidelines of the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy. Viability gap funding will be made available by the Ministry from the National Clean Energy Fund operated by the Finance Ministry.
  • The solar mission project will reduce about 3.41 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission a year and generate jobs for 12,000 people in rural and urban areas.
  • While the State-specific utilities stand to benefit from the scheme, it will also create employment and infrastructure in States and Union Territories (UT). The State and UT utilities will be paid a specific rate for the grid-connected PV solar power.
  • Installation of 2,000 MW of solar power generation facility will generate a total of 3,320 million units of power a year, which can light up nearly a million households.
  • According to the project plans, price of the solar power will be Rs.5.43 per unit for the first year with an increase of five paise per unit per year till the tariff reaches the level of Rs.6.43 per unit. This will take place over a period of 21 years from which period, the price of power would remain at the same level.
Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched in January, 2010.
  • The Mission has set the ambitious target of deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 and aims at reducing the cost of solar power generation in the country.
  • The mission also aims to create an enabling policy framework to achieve this objective and make India a global leader in solar energy.
  • One of the important objectives of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its large scale diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
  • The Mission has adopted a 3-phase approach: the 11th Plan and first year of the 12th Plan (up to 2012-13) has been considered as Phase 1, the remaining 4 years of the 12th Plan (2013-17) are included as Phase 2, and the 13th Plan period (2017-22) is envisaged as Phase 3.
  • At the end of each plan, and mid-term during the 12th and 13th Plans, there will be an evaluation of progress, review of capacity and targets for subsequent phases, based on emerging cost and technology trends, both domestic and global.
Review of solar power target by Modi government

  • Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval for stepping up of India’s solar power capacity target under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) by five times, reaching 1,00,000 MW by 2022.
  • The target will principally comprise of 40 GW (solar) rooftop and 60 GW through large and medium scale grid connected solar power projects.
  • The total investment in setting up 100 GW will be around Rs. 6,00,000 crore. In the first phase, the Government of India is providing Rs. 15,050 crore as capital subsidy to promote solar capacity addition in the country,” it said.
  • This capital subsidy will be provided for Rooftop Solar projects in various cities and towns, for Viability Gap Funding (VGF) based projects to be developed through the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and for decentralised generation through small solar projects.
Solar Plant in India
  • Currently, the solar park at Charanka, Gujarat, is India’s largest solar power project (with over 210 MW capacity).
  • Chief Minister of India’s Madhya Pradesh, Mr Shivraj Singh, has approved the proposal for commissioning the world’s largest solar power plant in the Rewa District.
  • As per projects announced until now, once commissioned the proposed Solar Park would be the world’s largest solar PV power plant, with a total solar installed capacity of 750 MW. Acquisition of 1,500 hectares of land for the Rs45 billion ($750 million) project is said to be close to completion.112.000 Solarmodule auf 800 Metern Höhe / 112,000 solar modules at an elevation of 800 meters
  • Slowly but steadily, Madhya Pradesh has been upping its game by creating a solar friendly investment climate, currently placed third after Gujarat and Rajasthan in terms of solar power installed capacity.
  • The state government has floated a joint venture with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), to develop the power plant as a solar park. The entire capacity will be completed in three tranches of 250 MW each. In fact, SECI has plans to inaugurate the plant just in time for the 2016 Independence Day celebrations in India.
India's largest Solar Park at Charanka District: Patan, Gujarat, India

The Union government recently launched a free SMS service called ‘Nowcast‘.

  • To provide alerts on extreme weather conditions like hailstorm every three hours to over one crore registered farmers on their mobile phones.
  • The SMS warnings on extreme weather conditions like thunderstorm, hail, and squall will help farmers take precautionary measures as needed and feasible.
  • The free SMS alerts, to be sent in English, Hindi and regional languages as per farmers’ request, will be issued to over one crore farmers whose mobile phones are already registered on the government’s mKisan portal.
  • The data for SMS service would be taken from the 146 weather stations of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • IMD’s has 17 doppler radars that feed information on extreme weather to these stations.
  • Under this initiative, the extreme weather data originated from IMD is being moved to mKisan portal using a web service. From mKisan portal, warnings regarding extreme weather conditions are automatically transmitted by SMS to farmers located at district and block level.
Forex reserves hit all-time high of $354 bn
  • Recently released data show that the country’s foreign exchange reserves rose to yet another all-time high of $354.29 billion for the week ended June 12, recording a week-on-week rise of $1.57 billion.
  • The foreign exchange reserves have been rising this year, as the Reserve Bank of India has been mopping up dollar flows through public sector banks.
Forex reserves
  • Foreign exchange reserves are an important component of the balance of payments and an essential element in the analysis of an economy’s external position.
  • The components of India’s foreign exchange reserves are foreign currency assets (FCA), gold, SDRs and reserve tranche position (RTP) in the IMF.
  • Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) is the biggest component of the forex reserves.

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