The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved Measures to promote Hydro Power Sector. These include Declaring Large Hydropower Projects (HPO) as part of non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO)



  1. Large Hydropower Projects to be declared as  Renewable  Energy source (as per existing practice, only hydropower projects less than 25MW are categorized as Renewable Energy).
  2. HPO as a separate entity within non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation to cover LHPs commissioned after notification of these measures (SHPs are already covered under Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation). The trajectory of annual HPO targets will be notified by Ministry of Power based on the projected capacity addition plans in hydropower sector. Necessary amendments will   be introduced in the Tariff Policy and Tariff Regulations to operationalize HPO.
  3. Tariff rationalization measures including providing flexibility to the developers to determine tariff  by  back loading of tariff after increasing project life to 40 years,  increasing debt repayment period to 18 years and introducing escalating tariff of 2%;
  4. Budgetary support for funding flood moderation component of hydropower projects on case to case basis; and
  5. Budgetary support for funding cost of enabling infrastructure i.e. roads and bridges on case to case basis as per actual, limited to Rs. 1.5 crore per MW for upto 200 MW projects and Rs. 1.0 crore per MW for above 200 MW projects.


Major Impact including employment generation potential:

As most of the hydro power potential is located in the higher reaches of Himalayas and North- East Region, it will result in overall socio-economic development of the region by providing direct employment in the power sector. It will also provide indirect employment/ entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of transportation, tourism and other small scale businesses. Another benefit would be of having a stable grid considering 160 GW capacity addition by 2022 from infirm sources of power like solar and wind.



India is endowed with large hydropower potential of 1,45,320 MW of which only about 45,400 MW has been utilized so far. Only about 10,000 MW of hydropower has been added in the last 10 years. The hydropower sector is currently going through a challenging phase and the share of hydropower in the total capacity has declined from 50.36% in the 1960s to around 13% in 2018-19.


Besides being environment friendly, hydropower has several other unique features like ability for quick ramping, black start, reactive absorption etc. which make it ideal for peaking power, spinning reserve and grid balancing/ stability. Further, hydropower also provides water security, irrigation and flood moderation benefits, apart from socio-economic development of the entire region by providing employment opportunities and boosting tourism etc. The importance of hydropower is increasing even more as the country has targeted to add 160 GW of intermittent Solar and Wind power by 2022 and 40% of the total capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 to honour its Nationally Determined Contribution for Climate Change. However, DISOMS are reluctant sign Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) Hydro Power due to higher tariff, particularly, in the initial years. One of the reasons for high tariff of hydropower is the loading of cost of flood moderation and enabling infrastructure in the project cost. In this backdrop, the decision has been taken to adopt measures to promote hydropower sector including providing budgetary support for flood moderation cost and enabling infrastructure cost and tariff rationalization measures to reduce tariff and thus the burden on the consumer.



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Mobility Solutions get a boost

National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage approved by Cabinet Mission to promote Clean, Connected, Shared and Holistic Mobility Initiatives Phased Manufacturing Programmes to be launched for batteries and electric vehicle components

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved:

  1. Setting up of a National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage, to drive clean, connected, shared, sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives;
  2. Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) valid for 5 years till 2024 to support setting up of a few large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing Giga plants in India.
  3. Creation of a PMP valid for 5 years till 2024 to localize production across the entire Electric Vehicles value chain.

Both PMP schemes will be finalised by the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.


National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Storage:


  • The multi-disciplinary “National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage” with an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee will be chaired by CEO NITI Aayog.


  • The Steering Committee will be comprised of Secretaries from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Heavy Industry, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, and Director General, Bureau of Industrial Standards.


  • The Mission will recommend and drive the strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes for EVs, EV Components and Batteries.
  • A Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP) will be launched to localize production across the entire EV value chain. The National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage will determine the contours of PMP, and will finalise the details of such a program.
  • The details of the value addition that can be achieved with each phase of localisation will be finalised by the Mission with a clear Make in India strategy for the electric vehicle components as well as battery.
  • The Mission will coordinate with key stakeholders in Ministries/ Departments and the states to integrate various initiatives to transform mobility in India.



  • A phased roadmap to implement battery manufacturing at Giga-scale will be considered with initial focus on large-scale module and pack assembly plants by 2019-20, followed by integrated cell manufacturing by 2021-22.
  • Details of the PMP for Batteries shall be formulated by the Mission. The Mission will ensure holistic and comprehensive growth of the battery manufacturing industry in India.
  • The Mission will prepare the necessary roadmap that will enable India to leverage upon its size and scale to produce innovative, competitive multi-modal mobility solutions that can be deployed globally in diverse contexts.
  • The Mission will define the roadmap for transformative mobility in “New India” by introducing a sustainable mobility ecosystem and fostering Make-in-India to boost domestic manufacturing and employment generation in the country.


  • The Mission will drive mobility solutions that will bring in significant benefits to the industry, economy and country.
  • These solutions will help improve air quality in cities along with reducing India’s oil import dependence and enhance the uptake of renewable energy and storage solutions.
  • The Mission will lay down the strategy and roadmap which will enable India to leverage upon its size and scale to develop a competitive domestic manufacturing ecosystem for electric mobility.
  • The actions in this regard will benefit all citizens as the aim is to promote ‘Ease of Living’ and enhance the quality of life of our citizens and also provide employment opportunities through ‘Make-in-India’ across a range of skillsets.



During the Global Mobility Summit held in September 2018, Prime Minister had outlined the vision for the future of mobility in India based on 7 C’s    which are Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean   and Cutting-edge mobility. Mobility has the potential to drive the economy forward and positively impact the lives of citizens both in urban and rural areas.


Affordable, accessible, inclusive and safe mobility solutions are primary strategic levers for rapid economic development and improving ‘Ease of Living’. Shared, connected and clean mobility solutions are increasingly becoming the key principles of effective mobility solutions across the world. Given its commitment to climate goals, India needs to adopt effective strategies to place itself as a key driver of the mobility revolution in the world.


Hence, there was a need felt to establish a dedicated multi-disciplinary Mission that will facilitate cooperative federalism, extensive stakeholder and inter-ministerial consultations and implement end-to-end policy framework for transforming the mobility landscape with particular focus on:

1.         Manufacturing

2.         Specification & standards

3.         Fiscal incentives

4.         Overall demand creation and projections

5.         Regulatory framework

6.         Research & Development


These initiatives will pay significant dividends to a rapidly urbanising India in the decades to come.




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The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has held high level talks with the leadership of Paraguay, in Asuncion today, in a bid to extend India’s outreach in the Latin American region and strengthen bilateral ties.

The Vice President who is on a two-day visit to the Latin American Country, is the highest-level representative of the Republic of India to visit Paraguay in the last 58 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on 13 September 1961.

Shri Naidu is accompanied by a high-level delegation consisting of the Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Shri Alphons Kannanthanam, the Member of Parliament, Shri Ram Kumar Kashyap and senior officials from the Government of India.

The Vice President called on the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Mr. Mario Abdo Benítez, the Vice President, Mr. Hugo Velázquez, and the President of the National Congress (Senate), Mr. Silvio Ovelar.

Both sides agreed that terrorism posed a grave threat to global peace and stability, stressing that there could be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. Outlining a common desire to take an uncompromising stand against terror, India and Paraguay have agreed to cooperate to deal with the menace of terror.

During the Delegation Level Talks, the Paraguayan leadership decried the brutal terrorist attack that took place in Pulwama. The leadership of Paraguay said that they were on the same page as India as far as the issue of terrorism is concerned and extended heartfelt condolences to those who had lost their loved ones in the Pulwama terror attack. They stated that India could always count on Paraguay´s support in the fight against terrorism and in voicing India’s concerns on terrorism in the international fora.

Shri Naidu, during his interactions, particularly emphasized the scourge of cross border terrorism in India and stressed upon the need to take strong measures against terrorists, terror organizations, their networks and all those who encourage, support, finance and provide safe haven to terrorists and terror groups.

Paraguay’s leadership affirmed its support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism proposed by India. Furthermore, Paraguay assured that they would support India’s candidature to various UN and other multilateral bodies including the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

The Vice President emphasized that Paraguay was an important partner of India in the Latin American and Caribbean region and said that the bilateral relations between the two nations have been showing an upward trend. He opined that India and Paraguay shared common values, interests, aspirations and promising futures.

Observing that there was a feeling of mutual admiration and appreciation among the people of the two nations for each other, Shri Naidu underscored the deep faith in democracy that both nations held.

Talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere when the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

The Indian and Paraguayan dignitaries noted with satisfaction the strengthening of the bilateral relations over the years and the bilateral trade has increased almost ten-fold over the last ten years. They agreed that there is an ever-greater scope to increase trade volume and diversify the trade basket.

Shri Naidu applauded Paraguay’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance soon, an initiative by India and France, aimed at combating the threats of climate change and global warming.

The Vice President urged the Paraguayan leadership to explore new areas of collaboration including agriculture, hydroelectric and solar energy, health, pharmaceuticals, traditional medicine, Information and Communication Technology, agriculture machinery and biotechnology. Both sides agreed to facilitate promotion of exchanges between academics and universities and also between travel professionals and stakeholders in tourism.

Shri Naidu urged Paraguay to facilitate the convening of the next round of expert level discussions between MERCOSUR and India to take forward the shared agenda of the expansion of the Preferential Trade Agreement.

Narrating the fascinating story of growth and development that India was witnessing, the Vice President said that India was seeing a steady GDP growth rate of 7.5%, which made it the sixth largest economy in the world. India today has emerged as a major global business destination’, he added.

The Vice President also applauded Paraguay’s sustained growth rate in times of economic difficulties around the world.

Shri Naidu underlined the tremendous opportunities that India had, ranging from its huge market with a middle class of 300-350 million people to dynamic and investigative press and media to independent judiciary, and evolved corporate laws and business practices.

Paraguay joined India in remembering the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Mahatma. Shri Naidu along with the Vice President of Paraguay, Mr. Hugo Velazquez jointly unveiled a special commemorative postage stamp on Mahatma Gandhi. Shri Naidu requested the leadership of Paraguay to collaborate to install a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at a prominent location in Asuncion.

The Vice President also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic and Consular Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay and the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India. Decision was made to task experts from both nations to finalize pending agreements including Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, Bilateral Investment Treaty and for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance.

Shri Naidu also attended a reception hosted by the members of the Indian Community in Paraguay. He said that the continued interest in India in Paraguay is due to the Indian diaspora. ‘Each member of the Indian Diaspora is a cultural Ambassador’, he observed.

The Vice President opined that there is a new dynamism in India’s diaspora policy & outreach and added that there is a much greater connect today between India & the Indian diaspora than ever before. Shri Naidu said that the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in Delhi and our Embassies are available round the clock to our people in need. He also spoke about the zeal with which India celebrated the recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Varanasi.

Shri Naidu complemented the achievements of the Indian diaspora in Paraguay and expressed hope that, through the diaspora, the ties between the two countries would be further strengthened. He expressed hope that the endeavors of Indian diaspora would be a constant source of satisfaction and pride for the country.

The Vice President thanked the people and the Government of Paraguay for their hospitality and warmth during his visit.

The Vice President underscored the importance of strengthening Parliamentary linkages and invited President of Paraguay, Mr. Abdo Benítez to visit India at a mutually convenient time.




Read more: Paraguay is an important partner of India in the...

Govt issues model guidelines for Development & Regulation of Retirement Homes

Elderly Friendly Design, Gas Leak Detection Systems, Power Back Up facilities in Corridors, Lobby, Lifts & Apartments. Compliance with Green Building Principles & Use of Non-Polluting & Renewable Energy 24x7 Water & Electricity Supply, Hygiene, Indoor & Outdoor Recreation Facilities, Security & Housekeeping, Single Window Facilities & Helpdesk, Transportation Assistance, Yoga & Fitness Facilities, Care Giving Facilities, etc. 24x7 On-site Ambulance Service, Mandatory Tie up with nearest Hospitals & Pharmacy, Medical Emergency Room, Regular Medical Check-Up of Residents Customised Services over & above Basic Common Services also prescribed Retirement homes to be Friendly for differently Abledprovision of Lifts, Signage & Signalling systems mandatory

Sh Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs has informed that the model guidelines for development and Regulation of Retirement Homes which have been prepared by his Ministry prescribe an elderly friendly built environment, physical standards and specifications. Providing details of the guidelines he informed that the Model Guidelines address the special needs and protect the rights of senior citizens and retirees living in Retirement Homes who aspire to spend their retired life independently in a safe, secure and dignified environment.  The Guidelines provide option to senior citizens and family members, who are willing and can afford to purchase a living space for their parents. The guidelines states that:


  • Retirement Homes should be aligned with the Principles, Guidelines, Norms etc. as prescribed in ‘National Building Code’ (NBC), ‘Model Building Bye Laws’ and ‘Harmonized Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for persons with Disability and Elderly Persons’.

  • Elderly friendly built environment like lifts with audio and visual signage and signalling systems, wheel chair accessibility, mandatory ramps, design of spaces to enable barrier free movement, anti-skid tiles in bathrooms and stairs, elderly friendly design of door-knobs, hand rails, furniture, etc., kitchens with gas leak detection systems, power back up facilities in corridors, lobby, lifts and apartments.

  • Compliance with Green Building Principles as provided in Model Building Bye Laws and use of non-polluting and renewable energy.

  • Provision of common basic services like 24X7 water and electricity supply, maintenance of proper hygiene, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, security and housekeeping, single window facilities and helpdesk, transportation assistance, yoga and fitness facilities, care giving facilities, etc.

  • Provision of basic medical, safety and security services like 24x7 on-site ambulance service, mandatory tie up with emergency facilities with the nearest hospitals and pharmacy, medical emergency room, regular medical check-up of residents, emergency alarm systems, trained and skilled security personnel, CCTV cameras in common areas, prior police verification of all the personnel deployed in the Retirement Homes.

  • Customised services over and above the basic common services like internal and external housekeeping, managing dining services, assistance with legal services, etc., if required by the residents has also been prescribed.


From approximately 7.6 crore in 2001, the number of senior citizens in India, has increased to 10.4 crore in 2011.  This number is expected to grow to 17.3 crore by 2025 and about 24 crores by 2050.  By the end of the century, senior citizens will constitute nearly 34 percent of the total population of the country.The salient features of these Model Guidelines are:


  • Keeping in view the requirement of independent lifestyle choice, these Guidelines provides that any person can buy such apartments but has to be solely used by a senior citizen.

  • Resident of Retirement Homes will be any person who is 60 years of age or above.

  • Promoter/ Developer can build and manage the Retirement Homes or engage a ‘Service Provider’ or ‘Retirement Home Operator’ for management of Retirement Homes.  Such Service Providers will be required to be registered with appropriate State Authorities.

  • building category under ‘Residential’ land use in respective Master/Zonal/Local Area Plans, determination of requirement of land as per demand survey, indicative size of dwelling unit ranging from 30 to 60, Group Housing norms in hilly and plain areas with minimum plot sizes of 1,500 and 3,000 respectively, open space up to 65% of the site area, minimum 15 per 25 Dwelling Units (DUs) space standards for medical emergency room. Flexibility is given to States/UTs to modify the planning norms as per the local geographical and other related parameter.

  • To encourage participation of promoter/ developer and financial institutions to develop such projects enhanced Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is proposed.


Transparency in fund utilisation


  • Provision of a twofold mechanism in the form of refundable Interest Free Maintenance Security Deposit (IFMS) and Maintenance Charges. IFMS to be paid by the Allottee which is refundable within a maximum period of three months from the date of refund application. Maintenance Charges to be paid by the resident on lump-sum or monthly/ quarterly/ yearly instalments on mutually agreed terms.


Regulation of Retirement Homes


  • Retirement Home apartments can only be sold after registration under the respective Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) of the States/Union Territories. To protect the rights of the residents a list of ‘Basic Rights of the Allottee/Resident of a Retirement Home’ has been stipulated.

  • The Model Guidelines provides for disclosure of technical skill of the Service Provider at the time of executing the ‘Agreement to Sale’ in the form of a ‘Tri-Partite Agreement’ to be executed among the Developer, Service Provider /Retirement Home Operators and Allottee.

  • To ensure implementation of the Guidelines, a Task Force for constant dialogue with States/UTs and other stakeholders will be set by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

  • Setting up of appropriate Monitoring Committees by the State/UT Authorities for timely implementation of all applicable laws, regulations, rules and guidelines governing the Retirement Homes, under the supervision of MoHUA.

  • The Model Guidelines will encourage inclusive growth wherein States/UTs are required to review and align their policies and regulations and institutionalise appropriate mechanisms on Retirement Homes.

  • The Model Guidelines will enable all States/UTs to align their policies and regulations in line with these Model Guidelines to ensure the protection of rights of the senior citizens and promote a dignified life after retirement.  The implementation of these Guidelines will boost investment in the Retirement Home segment, contribute in employment generation in service sector industries associated with Retirement Homes.  



Read more: Govt issues model guidelines for Development &...

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