India Current Affairs 2017

Latest India Current Affairs and Current Affairs related to Government policy, polity and administration in India. India’s National Current Affairs updates for 2017

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POSOCO-IMD Weather Portal & Web Portal ‘MERIT’ launched

Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal has launched Weather Portal for Power Sector & Web Portal ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency).

POSOCO-IMD Weather Portal

The weather portal has been developed in association with POSOCO and IMD. The portal will have information regarding weather forecast to the state Discoms. The weather variations have an impact on load demand, energy production, transport and distribution management, as well as on energy prices. Extreme events associated with weather like heat waves or cold waves, windstorms or floods can have adverse impacts on the production and can inflict physical damage to the infrastructure. Hence, the portal aims to provide weather related information and help states to take pro-active steps regarding management and plan for infrastructure availability as well as to ensure cost effective and reliable supply.

MERIT

MERIT (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency) has been developed by Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority. The Web portal provides information regarding the merit order of Electricity procured by States. The information includes daily state-wise marginal variable costs of all generators, daily source-wise power purchases of respective states/UTs with, energy volumes and purchase prices.

The Portal will help state Discoms in optimising their power procurement more efficiently and will help in lowering the cost of power to consumers.

The main advantages of the portal: Empowerment of consumers and facilitates participative governance; Disseminates information pertaining to marginal variable cost and source wise purchase of electricity transparently; Promotes economy and efficiency in operations; Optimization of the power procurement costs; Demystifies the utility portfolio and its complexity;  Facilitates renewable integration and handling of the variability and uncertainty of renewables; and Indication of supply side reliability, adequacy, and cost of power procurement.

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NITI Aayog Selects CCMB as Incubation Centre for Biotech Start-ups

NITI-Aayog has chosen the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad for hosting the ₹10-crore Atal Incubation Centre for biotechnology start-ups.

Salient Facts

The centre will identify promising start-ups and create facilities for them to succeed in the field of biotechnology. The CCMB is one of the 10 organisations that have been identified to host the ‘Atal Incubation Centre’.

The government will release a Grant-in-aid of Rs 10 crore for a maximum of 5 years. After that, it is expected that the Centre would become self-sustainable.

The CCMB is a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is the only one in the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to be chosen as an incubation centre under Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).

Background

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) under NITI Aayog is aimed at promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. It aims to create high-class incubation facilities with necessary infrastructure in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities, coupled with the availability of sectoral experts for mentoring the start-ups. The scheme is known as Atal Incubation Centre scheme. 

The incubation centres would support and encourage start-ups in the sectors like manufacturing, transport, energy, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation etc. The scheme focuses on the establishment of incubation centres in underserved and unserved areas to support inclusive growth.

Under the scheme, Atal Incubation Centre can be established either in Publicly funded institutions or Private sector funded institutions or in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

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Government launches VAJRA Scheme

Department of Science and Technology has launched  VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme that enables NRIs and overseas scientific community to participate and contribute to research and development in India.

on 8th January 2017, during the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, Prime Minister had announced that a new scheme called VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme would be launched by the Department of Science and Technology.

Salient Highlights

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology will implement the Scheme.

Under this scheme, foreign researchers abroad of Indian origin or otherwise can collaborate with faculties in public funded Indian institutions. The researchers would receive endowments at par with those in their own countries. They would be given USD 15,000 in the first month of residency and USD 10,000, for the remaining months.

The scheme would promote broad areas of research like energy, health, advance material among others.

Public funded academic institutions and national laboratories will be eligible for hosting the VAJRA Faculty.

The VAJRA faculty can reside in India for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months a year.

The applications received from the interested foreign researchers would be evaluated by a Selection Committee of eminent scientists. The Committee will meet twice a year in January and July and make recommendations.

DST

Department of Science & Technology (DST) was established in May 1971 and functions under the ambit of Ministry of Science and Technology. The department functions with an objective of promoting new areas of Science & Technology. It acts as a nodal department for organising, coordinating and promoting S&T related activities in the country. The DST funds scientific projects in India and supports researchers in the country to attend conferences abroad and to conduct experimental works.

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