Daily News Analysis 10 June 2023

Table of Contents

GS-1

  1. How does a cyclone affect the monsoon’s onset?

Facts for Prelims

  1. Kakhovka Dam
  2. Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)
  3. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

How does a cyclone affect the monsoon’s onset?

Context:

The Electricity Act 2003 introduced significant changes in India\’s power sector, aiming to enhance competition, protect consumer interests, and ensure electricity supply to all. The act led to the restructuring of State Electricity Boards and the separation of power generation, transmission, and distribution into distinct entities.

I. Evolution of Competitive Generation Structure

  1. Private investment in power generation increased rapidly.
  2. Long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) through competitive procurement became prevalent.
  3. Market-driven prices were lower than anticipated, benefiting consumers.
  4. The growth of renewable power was primarily driven by private investment.
  5. India achieved one of the world\’s lowest solar power supply rates.

II. Comparison with the U.K. Model

  1. Advocates of the act considered adopting the U.K. model with full deregulation and competition.
  2. The U.K. model featured a power pool where generators submitted bids for the next day\’s supply.
  3. Retail competition allowed consumers to choose from multiple suppliers.
  4. The Indian context made this model unsuitable due to potential steep price shocks.

III. Role of Distribution Licensees (Discoms)

  1. Discoms are responsible for supplying electricity to all consumers in their licensed areas.
  2. Discoms project demand growth and secure long-term power purchase contracts.
  3. Discoms played a pivotal role in achieving rural and household electrification milestones.

IV. Open Access and Cross-Subsidy

  1. Consumers with a load of 1 MW and above have the right to open access.
  2. Open access enables consumers to choose their electricity supplier, paying only for distribution network use.
  3. Cross-subsidy surcharge helps subsidize tariffs for lower-end households.
  4. State Electricity Regulatory Commissions were mandated to progressively reduce cross-subsidies, but this remains unimplemented.

V. Challenges with Discoms and Reform Ideas

  1. Discoms face political and economic challenges, such as setting cost reflective tariffs and timely subsidies.
  2. Privatization may be a viable solution for addressing misgovernance and rent-seeking in some states.
  3. Investment in generating capacity relies on long-term PPAs with Discoms.
  4. Discoms are crucial for the energy transition to renewables and maintaining power supply reliability.

VI. Lessons from the U.K. and Considerations for India

  1. The U.K. model did not experience significant demand growth, unlike India.
  2. To drive energy transition, the U.K. used \”contract for differences\” to ensure renewable energy bids.
  3. The consequences of removing Discoms should be carefully examined, considering lessons from the U.K.
  4. The recent experience in the U.K., including the consequences of deregulated markets, should be analyzed.
  5. Quick-fix solutions are unlikely, and comprehensive approaches are necessary.

Conclusion:

The Electricity Act 2003 brought significant changes to India\’s power sector, leading to private investment in generation, competitive procurement, and the growth of renewable power. While challenges persist, such as the role of Discoms and cross-subsidies, a thoughtful analysis of the U.K. experience and careful consideration of long-term solutions will be crucial in shaping India\’s power sector.

Kakhovka Dam

Context

Recently, a huge Soviet-era Kakhovka dam that separates Russian and Ukrainian forces was breached and unleashed floodwaters across the war zone.

About Kakhovka Dam:

Location:

  1. The Kakhovka Dam is situated on the Dnieper or Dnipro River in southern Ukraine.
  2. It was constructed as part of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.

Water Supply and Usage:

  1. The dam\’s reservoir provides water to the Crimean Peninsula and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
  2. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe\’s largest, relies on the reservoir for cooling water.
  3. Unfortunately, the southern side of the reservoir is currently under Russian control.

Reservoir Capacity:

  1. The Kakhovka Dam\’s reservoir can hold a volume of water that is approximately equal to the Great Salt Lake in the United States.

Key Facts about the Dnieper River:

Length and Location:

  1. The Dnieper River is the fourth longest river in Europe.
  2. It stretches for a total length of 1,368 miles, originating from the uplands of Russia\’s Valdai Hills.

The river flows in a southerly direction, passing through western Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, before ultimately emptying into the Black Sea.

Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)

Context

Astronomers from Pune have found two new Millisecond Pulsars (MSP), which are rapidly spinning neutron stars. They made this discovery by using a unique technique developed locally and applied during a sky survey conducted by the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT).

About Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT):

Overview:

  1. The GMRT is a radio telescope used to study different radio astrophysical phenomena.
  2. It helps us investigate objects from nearby solar systems to the farthest parts of the universe we can observe.

Location and Ownership:

  1. The GMRT is situated in Khodad, 80 km north of Pune, Maharashtra.
  2. It is a project managed by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and operated under the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
  3. The National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), which is part of TIFR in Mumbai, oversees the telescope\’s operations.

Features:

  1. The GMRT consists of 30 dish-type antennas, each with a diameter of 45 meters.
  2. These antennas are spread over a 25-km area and can be pointed in different directions to observe various parts of the sky.
  3. Currently, it holds the title of the world\’s largest radio telescope operating at meter wavelength.
  4. Recently, the GMRT underwent an upgrade and is now referred to as the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT).

About Pulsars:

Definition and Characteristics:

  1. Pulsars are spinning neutron stars that emit regular bursts of radiation.
  2. These bursts have precise intervals, usually ranging from milliseconds to seconds.
  3. Pulsars possess very strong magnetic fields that generate streams of particles along their magnetic poles.

Emission of Light:

  1. The accelerated particles in the pulsar\’s magnetic field generate intense beams of light.
  2. Because of the misalignment between the magnetic field and the star\’s rotational axis, these beams of particles and light sweep around as the star spins.

Pulsars are fascinating celestial objects that emit circularly polarized light, making them unique in nature.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

Context

Misuse of Aadhaar cards to create fake beneficiaries under the Per Drop More Crop Scheme in Jharkhand state has been exposed under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.

About Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana:

Overview:

The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) was launched in 2015 to enhance farm productivity and optimize resource utilization in India.

Objectives:

  1. Convergence of investment in irrigation at the field level.
  2. Expansion of cultivable land under irrigation.
  3. Improvement of on-farm water use efficiency to minimize water wastage.
  4. Promotion of precision irrigation and other water-saving technologies for increased crop yield.

Major Components:

  1. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP): Focuses on investment in irrigation infrastructure.

Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP): Consists of four sub-components:

  1. Command Area Development & Water Management (CAD&WM)
  2. Surface Minor Irrigation (SMI)
  3. Repair, Renovation, and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies
  4. Groundwater (GW) Development

Additional Components:

  1. Per Drop More Crop (PDMC): Implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, aims to improve water-use efficiency and encourage precision irrigation techniques.

Watershed Development (WDC): Implemented by the Department of Land Resources, focuses on the development and management of watersheds

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