MoU Current Affairs - 2020

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

NTPC, PGCIL sign MoU to enter Power Distribution Business

The Indian Public Sector Undertaking’s (PSUs) National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC Ltd) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) have signed an agreement to set up National Electricity Distribution Company Limited (NEDCL).

Key Highlights

The forming of a joint venture to set up National Electricity Distribution Company by NTPC, a leading power generator, and Power Grid, which owns India’s largest power transmission network, paves way for two to get into consumer electricity supply business. As per the agreement NEDCL will be a joint venture of NTPC and PGCIL on 50:50 equity basis.

Objective: To undertake business for distribution of electricity in distribution circles in various states and Union Territories (UTs) and other related activities.

Significance: As the announcement about Joint venture comes at a time when existing reform scheme UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) has been declared as a failure by several agencies, thus this move could also hint at another round of power distribution reforms.

Reform Includes: Separation of content and carriage businesses in power distribution which means that the infrastructure builder for power supply and supplier to consumers would be two separate companies. This would make power distribution sector more competitive as separating content and carriage will bring more competition with more than one power supplier.

These measures have been suggested in latest amendments to Electricity Act, 2003, which is yet to be tabled in Parliament.

About UDAY

Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana was launched by government of India in 2015 with aim of turning around the state-owned discoms financially and operationally as well as finding a permanent solution to financial mess that power distribution is in. Although the financial part was concluded with states’ taking over losses of distribution companies and issuing bonds but operational front is still facing challenges.

Current Status: At the end of Financial Year 2019, Losses of state-owned discoms grew by more than 40% (Rs.21,658 crore) but at the same time, the dues of discoms to power Generation company (gencos) stood at Rs.38,023 crore.

Get these updates on Current Affairs Today Android App

DD India channel to be available in Bangladesh, South Korea

In bid to boost India’s relations with its neighbours, the government has entered into agreements with Bangladesh and South Korea to broadcast DD (Doordarshan) India channel in two countries and their state channels will be shown on DD Free Dish in India.

Key Highlights

Bangladesh Agreement: As per the agreement inked with Bangladesh, Indian government has decided to show BTV World, a channel owned by Bangladesh TV, on DD Free Dish which will be available for viewers of Doordarshan (around 35 million households) in India. Also, DD India would be made available in Bangladesh for being viewed by Bangladesh’s citizen.

In this regard a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh TV (BTV) on 7 May 2019.

South Korea Agreement: Indian government has also approved Prasar Bharati (India’s Broadcasting agency) proposal for making available KBS World, a 24×7 South Korean channel (English) for Indian viewers and simultaneously South Korean people would be able to view DD India in their country.

Significance: This move is part of a robust cultural exchange in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East policy and also marks an important watershed moment with respect to strengthening of ties between two countries. The step is also in line with importance of building mutual cooperation with neighbouring countries.

Get these updates on Current Affairs Today Android App