IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


26th August, 2019


How trailblazer India is losing its renewable energy momentum

Solar capacity additions in the June quarter fell 14% from the March quarter, and 9% from a year ago.  Average quarterly capacity addition had fallen to 1,662 megawatts (MW) in FY19, far below the average quarterly addition of nearly 2,500MW in FY18. 

Reasons behind it:

-        Reverse auction in Solar projects had reduced average project cost. It has prompted several states to relook in the existing Purchasing Power Agreements (PPA).

-        Projects costs have increased.

-        Delay in payments due to fragile health of distribution companies is also affecting financial viability of solar firms.

-        Cost of Capital in India is high.

-        Land for solar projects have also become expensive.

-        Capacity additions are largely driven by central government-controlled entities and a few state governments. Small-scale capacity additions that support the local industry are few and are yet to see traction.

-        Inconsistent policy actions such as the imposition of import duty on solar modules also affecting financial viability.

Government Steps:

-        Central government has advised states against renegotiating the PPA.

-        Central government has issued guidelines to secure the payment from distribution companies.

-        Schemes like UDAY has been initiated for improving the health conditions of distribution companies.

-        There needs to a better coordination between the central and state governments on resolving land acquisition and other related issues.

-        The government needs to facilitate lending to solar projects immediately and move away from tariff caps.

National Solar Mission:

The objective of mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.

-        It aims to commission 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

-        40 GW of rooftop solar installation is another goal.

Other Action:

-        India imposed safeguard duty on solar modules manufactured in Malaysia and China to protect and encourage Indian solar manufacturing industry.

-        Rooftop installation is lagging and may not reach up to 8GW. To counter it, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has proposed the ‘Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India (SRISTI)’ scheme.

Reference: https://www.livemint.com/market/mark-to-market/how-trailblazer-india-is-losing-its-renewable-energy-momentum-1566753430776.html


Population stabilization will take at least two more decades: Shailaja Chandra

India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country around 2027, according to a United Nations (UN) report.

Prime Minister spoke about population explosion in India.

-        It is denying Health and education facility for children.

-        It is becoming a burden on society.

Fertility rate of densely populated states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh are still high. Nine states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh the fertility rate has plummeted to European levels.

New law :

-        Will increase the harassment of poor.

-        It will invite chastisement from the International community for reneging on our commitment at the International Conference on Population and Development 1994, which espoused free and full choice in marriage-related decisions and reproductive health.

-        States laws of 2 Child policy has led to very little impact.

How effective have the Indian government’s family planning programmes been in bringing down fertility rates?

Reasons for Failure:

-        More focus on the sterilization than promoting the use of contraceptives.

-        Relying on ASHA worker for delivering the Condoms to families with no guarantee of its usage.

-        Population control is a state subject and states have adopted different policies.


-        Himachal Pradesh encouraged Girls education up to 12th class effectively delaying the age of marriage.

-        Ensured adherence to legal age of marriage. Himachal Pradesh is a shining example of population control.

Would you suggest any specific strategy followed elsewhere in the world, such as China, to combat population explosion?

To Control the Population explosion in Iran

-        The health ministry launched a nationwide campaign and introduced contraceptives—pills, condoms, IUDs, implants, tubal ligations, and vasectomies.

-        Birth control classes were required before a couple could get married.

-        Mobile teams were sent to remote parts of the country to offer free vasectomies and tubal ligations.

-         In our country ASHAs should be allotted a cluster of households with growing adolescents in the family.

To what extent did the existing staunch social, gender, and religious biases in India contribute to population explosion? What is the solution?

-        Schemes encouraging the girl child to stay longer in schools should be linked to marriage.

-        Any couple from a high fertility district who has the first child after 22 may be given a post office savings certificate encashable in seven years.

-        Registration of births, deaths, and marriages should be moved out of the hands of so-called village headmen, sarpanches and BDOs and entrusted at Tehsil level.

-        Non-registration of a marriage or a birth should make the couple ineligible for receiving any Aadhaar-linked benefit.

Is India short of finance and manpower for effectively implementing family planning programmes?

-        One does not need billions of rupees as no high-tech equipment is needed.

-        One needs an effective agency to get after the states and to use the census data, Survey of India maps, National Informatics Centre’s knowledge of spatial mapping and local data to identify families and reach out to them. 

-        The states need technical handholding, not more laws.

-        Aadhaar can be of immense help.

Can empowerment and strengthened reproductive rights of women help stabilize population?

Once educated, essentials such as contraception, immunization, nourishment, and the ability to negotiate sexual matters and timing of births will happen automatically. 

What are current challenges before India in controlling population and what is the way forward?

Stabilization by all calculations will take another 25 to 30 years and we cannot bring it any faster because of the past legacy of a broad-based young population all of whom will have kids.

Pushing up the age of marriage, the timing of births, making all birth control measures easy to access, enlarging the use of injectables and IUD, will pay richer dividends than coercion or draconian laws.

Reference : https://www.livemint.com/companies/people/population-stabilization-will-take-at-least-two-more-decades-shailaja-chandra-1566754863566.html



How govts set climate targets

In their recent joint declaration, India and France have committed to making long-term plans to contain emissions. Both countries focussed on:

-        Sustainable use of marine resources.

-        Acknowledging the link between environment and security.

-        Work towards “Ocean Governance”.

-        Strategies for containing their greenhouse gases in the long-term period, possibly for the next 30 or 50 years.’

Countries & climate targets:

-        Under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, Every country declares the Nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

-        Most countries have declared targets for 2025 and 2030.

-        India has declared of reducing emission per unit of GDP by 33-35% by 2030 of 2005 levels, generation of 40% of energy from renewable sources, and create an additional carbon source of 2.503 billion tonnes.

-        NDCs are to be updated in every 5 years.

-        The Paris Agreement asks all signatories to ensure that successive NDCs represent a progression from their current targets. 

Longer-term vision:

-        Countries need to commit to longer-term climate targets, over 30-year or 50-year time horizons. 

-        It will bring more predictability into climate actions.

-        It will make it easy to monitor whether the world was progressing adequately to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

-        Short-term targets lack the urgency of the task.

-        Short-term targets can delay ambitious action.

-        Short-term targets can make the ladder so steep to climb in future.

-        There is a growing clamour to put pressure on the big emitters – China, the United States, European Union, India, Russia, Brazil, Australia – to come up with long-term action plans.

-        European Union has long term targets  to become climate-neutral, or attain the goal of net-zero emissions, by 2050.

-        The United Kingdom became the first major economy to legislate a law to make itself climate-neutral by 2050. 

Long-term action in India:

-        India, being a developing country, is treated differently from developed country parties like the US, European Union or Australia in the Paris Agreement. 

-        India has resisted the pressure to come out with long term targets.

-        India has said that committing to anything more than intended targetswere likely to hamper its development imperatives.

-        Developed countries are far from delivering on their climate promises, especially on their obligation to provide money and technology to help developing and poor countries in fighting climate change.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-govts-set-climate-targets-pm-modi-paris-visit-5936297/