In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched China’s most ambitious project One Belt One Road (OBOR) which involves the building of two projects namely – Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR). OBOR later came to be known as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BRI is arguably the most ambitious global infrastructure project ever envisaged by one country. However, is this merely an economic project? or a geopolitical one of China? Will India get any benefit by joining this project or not? Let us discuss those issues in detail.
The government has set the target of achieving 100% Electric vehicles by 2030. Manufacturing and putting the electric cars on road is the vision to make India pollution free along with saving billions of dollars in fuel cost and creating new job opportunities. However, there are also criticisms that India is not yet ready for electric vehicles which we will discuss in this article with a suitable way forward.
Recently the Prime Minister has launched the indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC).Dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would enable the holders to pay for their travel expenses (bus, metro, railways), toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money across the country.This type of system already exists in various developed countries like UK, Singapore, etc. and now it will be used in India too.
The ambitious Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, better known as “Saubhagya” scheme, for universal household electrification is all set to achieve its goal soon with only about 28,000 households left to be electrified all over the country. On the other hand, criticisms have been pouring across the country regarding the scheme’s inability to solve some of the grey areas in the power sector.
National Bio-fuel Policy – 2018 seems to be chasing ambitious targets based on unclear plans and questionable technologies. Moreover, the pollution levels and fuel prices are only rising and our biofuels programme is becoming irrelevant because of the lack of effective implementation.
Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) is the financial turnaround and revival package for the electricity distribution companies of India (DISCOMS). It was launched with an aim to find a permanent solution to the financial struggle of the power distribution companies. However, even after 3 years of its implementation, the discoms continue to perform poorly. Therefore, urgent reforms are needed to address this issue and strengthen the power sector in India.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received India’s 1st container vessel at Varanasi which had started sailing from Kolkata through inland waterways. This was the first commercial container movement in India after independence. While the aim is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more eco-friendly mode of transport, the work is still going on without any environmental clearance.
In August 2018, Union Cabinet approved a policy framework that permits both private and government players to explore and exploit unconventional hydrocarbons including shale gas.