electric vehicles, government panel recommendation for electric vehicle, battery use in electric vehicles At present, lithium-ion battery is not manufactured in India on commercial basis and the country has to depend on imports from Japan or China. (Reuters)

A panel headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha has recommended commercial use of ISRO’s lithium-ion battery technology under the ‘Make In India’ initiative for electric vehicles, official sources said. The Committee of Secretaries also recommended that the power ministry should initiate “requisite power tariff and access policies” for enabling development of charging infrastructure, in consultation with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and others concerned. Official sources told PTI that the panel has firmed up the strategy for increasing use of zero emission vehicles to lower India’s dependence on oil imports and improve the ambient air quality. The panel, they said, has advised that “ISRO may consider transferring” its lithium-ion battery technology used in electric vehicles to interested parties on a “non-discriminatory basis for commercialisation with Make in India condition”, after obtaining approval of the Space Commission and other authorities. In October last year, Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat had said that India has to set up large lithium-ion batteries manufacturing plants to become a global player in electric vehicles (EVs) technology market.

At present, lithium-ion battery is not manufactured in India on commercial basis and the country has to depend on imports from Japan or China. To curb vehicular pollution and bring down the Rs 7 lakh crore annual crude oil import bill, the government is emphasising the need for vehicles run on alternative fuel, including electric vehicles.

Government’s think-tank Niti Aayog has also come out with a vision document on electric vehicles. The meeting of the Committee held on January 8 to discuss the “strategy to scale up transformative mobility for uptake of zero emission vehicles and ancillary technologies” was attended by secretaries from nine departments, Niti Aayog CEO, representatives from the Department of Space and Cabinet Secretariat, sources said. The panel also made a case for an empowered mission under Niti Aayog for overall policy formulation and for driving the programme to boost uptake of zero emission vehicles, the sources said.

However, individual initiatives may continue to be driven by ministries/departments concerned. In its wide ranging recommendations, the panel has also said the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas may examine the possibility of leveraging the existing retail network of oil marketing companies for scaling up public charging infrastructure. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways may consider issuing an advisory to states for ensuring that registration of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) is facilitated, recommended the panel.

The Committee suggested that steps may be taken in regard to the monitoring structure proposed by Niti Aayog for “providing leadership and inter-ministerial coordination”. Further, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy may pursue the development and promotion of energy storage technologies with focus on grid scale operations, recommended the panel.

Read more: Commercialise use of ISRO’s Li-ion battery for...

gst implemenation, jain irrigation gst implementation, gst benefits to farmers, farmers gst benefit Jain Irrigation, with more than 10,000 associates worldwide and revenue of over Rs 60 billion, is an Indian multinational company with manufacturing plants in 28 locations across the globe.

Jain Irrigation today said it will pass on to consumers and farmers the benefit of reduced GST rate on drip irrigation systems. The GST Council in a meeting yesterday reduced the GST rate on drip irrigation systems including laterals, sprinkler products to 12 per cent from 18 per cent. “The new GST rate shall be effective January, 25 2018,” the company said in a BSE filing adding that it has decided to pass on this benefit of 6 per cent directly to customers/farmers. Jain Irrigation hailed the government’s decision to encourage farmers to invest in efficient irrigation systems which save water and improve productivity. “We estimate that this action will have positive impact in the upcoming busy season for our drip irrigation division,” the company said.

Jain Irrigation, with more than 10,000 associates worldwide and revenue of over Rs 60 billion, is an Indian multinational company with manufacturing plants in 28 locations across the globe. It is engaged in manufacturing of micro irrigation systems, PVC pipes, HDPE pipes, plastic sheets, agro processed products, renewable energy solutions, tissue culture plants, financial services and other agricultural inputs since last 34 years.

Read more: Jain Irrigation to pass on benefit of GST rate cut

Apple and HDFC have come out with a lucrative offer in which customers can get put Rs 10,000 . (Reuters)

Thinking of getting an Apple iPhone X or MacBook Pro, well here is your chance to get one. Apple and HDFC have come out with a lucrative offer in which customers can get put Rs 10,000 on Apple products through EasyEMI on HDFC Bank Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Consumer Durable Loan. The offer is currently going on and is valid upto March 11, 2018. However, the offer for Apple Watch will be available for ‘Non-EMI transactions on HDFC Bank Credit Cards. The customers need to visit the ‘iStore’ which are the official retail stores of Apple to avail the offers. Purchasers should check with the store about products covered under ‘ No Extra Cost EMI’ at the time of purchase. Moreover, the offer will not be applicable to Select Business and Corporate Cards. Interestingly, a customer can avail the offer twice per card during the offer period. Cashback shall be credited on or before 90 business days from the date of transaction on the best effort basis to all open and active card members accounts only.

Here is full list of products and cashback offer:- 

1- iPhone X: Rs. 10,000

2- iPhone 8/8+: Rs. 7,000

3- iPhone 7/7+: Rs. 3,000

4- iPhone 6s/6s+: Rs. 2,000

5- iPhone 6/SE/ 5s: Rs. 1,000

6- iPad: Rs. 5,000

7- Mac : Up to Rs 10,000

8- Apple Watch: Rs. 5,000

Meanwhile, in what seems to be a good news techies, tech-giant Apple may soon bring 4,000 new jobs to India. Apple is developing features for Indian customers, including maps and other products, creating over 4,000 jobs, an official at the US tech giant has said. Last year, Apple launched a first-of-its-kind App Accelerator in Bengaluru and it has already trained thousands of iOS developers. iOS is the operating system that powers Apple’s suite of mobile devices. If someone is looking to build mobile applications for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, an iOS developer can help you get started. Indian app developers have created almost 100,000 apps for the App Store, an increase of 57 percent in 2016.

Today in India, there are 740,000 app economy jobs attributable to iOS and Apple believes that this can increase substantially.  “We began initial production of iPhone SE in May 2017 and couldnÂ’t be happier with the progress our teams are making. Within the next six months, we plan to run our business in India on 100 per cent renewable energy,” the official familiar with Apple’s footprint in India said.

 “We are expanding and developing features for Indian customers including support for Hindi dictation and new language keyboards on iOS11, support for local traffic in maps and up-to-date cricket scores and stats by simply asking Siri,” said the company official In Hyderabad, our expanding team in Hyderabad is focused on developing maps for Apple products, creating over 4,000 jobs, the official added.

Read more: Massive discounts on Apple iPhone X, MacBook Pro...

Thermal power generation , coal,  thermal power plants, renewable energy, coal power assets, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir The plant load factor (PLF) at thermal power plants in the first three quarters was 63.8%, more than four percentage points higher than the corresponding period in FY17. (Reuters)

Coal-based thermal power plants generated 87.8 billion units (BU) of electricity in December 2017 · about 2 BU less than the production in the corresponding month in 2016. However, for the nine-month period in FY18, the overall thermal generation went up by 4% to 768 BU. The plant load factor (PLF) at thermal power plants in the first three quarters was 63.8%, more than four percentage points higher than the corresponding period in FY17.There was a power supply shortage of 2.8% during the hours when electricity demand was highest in December 2017. Uttar Pradesh recorded a massive peak shortage of 335 MW, second only to Jammu and Kashmir (552 MW). The peak deficit was only 0.5% in December 2016.Since electricity cannot be stored, generation is the most robust indicator of demand. However, as renewable electricity production data is not available yet, it is difficult to attribute the lower thermal generation in December solely to fall in power demand as the rise in share of renewables can also play a role. Usually, renewable sources produce 6-12% of the overall electricity in the country, while coal-based power generate 85-90%.

Nevertheless, thermal power generators, mired in a scenario where demand growth is muted and installed production capacity is twice the levels of peak demand, may draw some respite from the fact that generation capacity addition in April-December was only 4,300 MW, 39% down annually. This is the second instance in the ongoing fiscal where monthly thermal generation slipped on a year-on-year basis, invoking apprehensions about transition to renewable energy posing risks to thermal power. A report on renewable energy integration, co-authored by national grid operator
Power System Operation Corporation, had pointed that adding 175 GW of renewable energy would lead to PLF of coal-based power plants dropping to around 50%, with 65,000 MW plants running at PLFs below 30%.

The Economic Survey published by the finance ministry in August 2017 had also noted that the social cost of renewables was around Rs 11 per unit in FY17, accounting for the sub-optimal utilisation of coal-based power assets as a result of shift to renewables. Research agencies such as Icra estimate the size of financially stressed assets to be around 60GW due to lack of power purchase agreements (PPA), shortage of gas and under-recovery caused by pricing issues of imported coal. About Rs 4 lakh crore of debt is likely to become NPA if prevailing issues are not resolved.

Read more: Thermal power generation slips year-on-year in...

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