Petroleum Sector Current Affairs

Parliament passes Indian Institute of Petroleum & Energy Bill, 2017

The Parliament has passed The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) Bill, 2017 after it was adopted by Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha already had passed the bill in August 2017. The Bill establishes the IIPE at Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh as an institution of national importance.

Key Facts

The IIPE aims to provide high quality education and research focussing on all aspects and themes of petroleum, hydrocarbons and energy. It will actively pursue research and development in the fields such as liquefied natural gas, biofuels and renewables.

The bill set ups key authorities for governance and management of IIPE. They are General Council, Board of Governors, Senate; and any other authorities declared by statutes.

The Institute funding includes funds that it receives from central government, fees and money received from any other sources (grants and gifts). Its accounts will be audited by Comptroller and Auditor- General (CAG) of India.

Background

The IIPE is being set up at Visakhapatnam as part of a package promised by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh after Telangana was carved out of it. The institute’s development was envisaged by The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 (Telangana), which had divided Andhra Pradesh into two states. Andhra Pradesh Government has provided 200 acre land at Vishakhapatnam and Central government has made a provision of Rs 650 crore for the institute, which was being mentored by IIT, Kharagpur.

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Dinesh K Sarraf appointed as Chairman of PNGRB

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed former CMD of ONGC Dinesh K Sarraf (60) as new Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). He replaces S Krishnan, who had demitted office in August 2015.

Besides, ACC also appointed S Rath, former director (exploration) of Oil India Ltd (OIL) as member of PNGRB. S S Chahar, former member of Cyber Appellate Tribunal was also appointed Member (Legal), PNGRB. They will have 5-year term or till the age of 65, whichever is earlier.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB)

PNGRB was established in 2006 under Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006. Its mandate is to regulate refining, transport and marketing of petroleum products. It also ensures enough supply across country, foster fair trade, protect consumer interest and authorise companies that will build and operate fuel pipelines.

The PNGRB consists of Chairperson, a Member (Legal) and three other members.  It also has power of civil court and bench comprising member (legal) and one or more members nominated by chairperson which decides on disputes arising among downstream companies or with outsiders.

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