Indian Space Policy 2023: Union govt approves Indian Space Policy 2023 to enhance role of Department of Space
The Union Government of India has recently approved the Indian Space Policy 2023, which aims to enhance the role of the Department of Space and boost the activities of the ISRO.
The Union Government of India has recently approved the Indian Space Policy 2023, which aims to enhance the role of the Department of Space and boost the activities of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This policy is a significant step towards strengthening India’s space sector and achieving self-reliance in space technology.
Indian Space Policy 2023: Aim
The Indian Space Policy 2023 aims to establish a conducive environment for the private sector to participate in space activities, thereby boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in the space sector. It also aims to promote international cooperation in space research and exploration.
The policy recognizes the importance of space technology in various sectors such as communication, navigation, disaster management, weather forecasting, agriculture, and defense. The policy also emphasizes the development of indigenous technologies and capacity-building in the space sector.
Indian Space Policy 2023: Significance:
The Indian Space Policy 2023 is expected to boost the activities of ISRO and enable it to achieve its goals in a more effective and efficient manner. The policy will also provide a framework for the development of a robust space industry in India, which will generate employment opportunities and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
In conclusion, the Indian Space Policy 2023 is a significant step towards enhancing India’s capabilities in the space sector and achieving self-reliance in space technology. The policy will provide a conducive environment for the private sector to participate in space activities, boost innovation and entrepreneurship, and promote international cooperation in space research and exploration.
President of India Inaugurates GAJ UTSAV-2023
On April 7, 2023, The Gaj Utsav-2023 was inaugurated at the Kaziranga National Park by the President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu.
On April 7, 2023, The Gaj Utsav-2023 was inaugurated at the Kaziranga National Park by the President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu. During her speech, she highlighted the significant bond between nature and humanity, which is regarded as sacred. India has always identified itself with a culture of respecting nature. Our country has a unique connection between nature and culture, where both have been intertwined and nourishing each other. Elephants have been held in high esteem in our tradition, and are considered a symbol of prosperity. As the National Heritage Animal of India, safeguarding elephants is an essential element of our national duty to conserve our national heritage.
More about GAJ UTSAV 2023:
The Gaj Utsav 2023 is a significant event in India that commemorates the 30th anniversary of Project Elephant, a flagship conservation initiative launched by the Indian government in 1992.
The event aims to promote awareness about the conservation of elephants and their habitats, reduce human-elephant conflicts, and ensure the welfare of captive elephants.
The event is being celebrated at the Kaziranga National Park, which is known for its high population of Asian elephants.
The two-day event includes various activities such as cultural programs, elephant processions, exhibitions, and seminars.
These activities are designed to engage the public and raise awareness about the importance of elephant conservation.
The event also highlights the challenges faced by elephants in India due to habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching, and human-elephant conflicts.
Through the Gaj Utsav 2023, the Indian government aims to work towards mitigating these challenges and ensuring a better future for elephants in India.
About Kaziranga National Park:
Kaziranga National Park was established in 1905 and is one of the oldest national parks in India.
The park covers an area of approximately 430 square kilometers and is home to the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses.
Kaziranga is also home to other rare and endangered species such as the Bengal tiger, Asiatic elephant, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
The park is situated in the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River and has a unique ecosystem that includes grasslands, swamps, and forests.
Kaziranga is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also a Tiger Reserve and an Important Bird Area.
The park is a popular tourist destination and offers activities such as wildlife safaris, elephant rides, and birdwatching.
Kaziranga National Park faces various challenges such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-elephant conflicts, which require constant attention and conservation efforts.
Govt approves Kirit Parikh panel recommendations on natural gas pricing
The government implemented changes to the pricing model of domestic natural gas in accordance with the Kirit Parikh committee's recommendations on gas pricing.
The government implemented changes to the pricing model of domestic natural gas in accordance with the Kirit Parikh committee’s recommendations on gas pricing. The new pricing system will announce prices monthly and link them to 10% of the international price of the Indian crude basket. As a result, prices for piped natural gas (PNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) used by households, auto fuel, and various industries are expected to decrease by 10%.
Key recommendations of Kirit Parikh panel on natural gas pricing:
The government has accepted all the significant recommendations of the Parikh panel and has established a floor price of $4 per MMBtu for the next two years to cover the cost of gas production by state-run companies ONGC and Oil India Ltd. Additionally, a ceiling price of $6.5 per MMBtu has been set.
The Union Cabinet approved significant changes in the pricing regime for domestic natural gas under the ambit of the Administered price mechanism (APM).
Under the APM, the Indian government sets the price of natural gas produced by oil and gas companies.
The price of APM gas, which accounts for about two-thirds of India’s natural gas production, has been determined as per the ‘modified’ Rangarajan formula since November 1, 2014.
These changes will mainly apply to gas produced by legacy fields, or nomination fields, of national oil companies Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd and Oil India Ltd (OIL).
Nomination fields are acreages that the government awarded to ONGC and OIL before 1999, after which auctions became the basis of awarding oil and gas blocks.
Significance of this development:
APM gas price prices linked to crude oil prices
The new regime will have the APM gas price prices linked to crude oil prices.
This has now become the prevalent practice in most natural gas contracts internationally.
It is more relevant to India’s consumption basket, and has deeper liquidity in global trading markets on a real-time basis.
Addressed the issue of time lag
With the changes in the pricing formula, data of the Indian crude basket price from the previous month would form the basis for APM gas price determination.
Attempt to balance demands of consumers as well as producers
Over the past few years, ONGC and OIL had been petitioning the government for a floor price as they were forced to sell gas at a loss for a prolonged period when prices sustained below their cost of production.
On the other hand, gas consuming industries had been urging the government to ensure affordability of domestic natural gas.
Hence, by bringing ceiling and floor price, it attempts to bring a balance.
Significant decrease in prices of PNG and CNG
The reforms will lead to a significant decrease in prices of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for households and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for transport.
The reduced prices shall also lower the fertilizer subsidy burden and help the domestic power sector.
Tripura becomes best performer in northeast in e-procurement, receives award
Tripura's recent award as the best-performing state in the North Eastern region for e-Procurement is a significant achievement for the state.
Tripura’s recent award as the best-performing state in the North Eastern region for e-Procurement is a significant achievement for the state. The award was presented at a National Workshop on e-Procurement organized by the Union Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology in March 2023, held at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi.
Significance of this Award:
The award is a recognition of the state’s continuous efforts to promote e-Procurement, which has led to a significant transformation in the way procurement activities are conducted. E-Procurement has brought greater efficiency, transparency, and cost-effectiveness in the procurement process.
The use of technology has simplified the procurement process, making it easier for vendors to participate and for government agencies to manage the procurement process. The implementation of e-Procurement has also reduced the potential for fraudulent activities and provided a level playing field for all vendors to participate in the procurement process.
The award received by Tripura is a testament to the state’s commitment to promoting transparency and efficiency in governance. The state’s efforts in this area have not only improved the procurement process but have also helped to build trust between the government and the private sector.
The award is also a significant achievement for the North Eastern region, as it highlights the region’s potential for growth and development. Other states in the region can learn from Tripura’s success and adopt similar practices to improve governance and promote economic growth.
Tripura’s e-Procurement practices:
Tripura’s success in e-Procurement has been possible due to the state’s proactive approach in adopting and implementing e-Procurement practices. The state has implemented an e-Procurement portal, which provides real-time information on procurement activities, and allows vendors to submit bids electronically.
The portal has been recognized for its user-friendly interface and its ability to reduce the time and cost involved in the procurement process. The portal has also been credited with improving transparency in the procurement process, as all procurement activities are recorded and can be accessed by interested parties.
Chinese Company Space Pioneer Successfully Launches Tianlong-2 Rocket into Orbit
Chinese company Space Pioneer makes history with a successful rocket launch, paving the way for further space exploration.
Space Pioneer Makes History with Tianlong-2 Rocket Launch
Chinese company Space Pioneer has achieved a historic milestone in space exploration, launching its Tianlong-2 rocket into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia on April 2. This marks the first time a liquid-fueled rocket has been launched into orbit by a Chinese aerospace firm, and the first time a startup has successfully reached orbit on its initial attempt. The Tianlong-2 rocket, also known as “Sky Dragon-2,” has enabled Beijing Tianbing Technology to launch a small satellite named “Love Space Science” to a polar orbit around Earth. The satellite will test its remote sensing capabilities from this sun-synchronous orbit.
Tianlong-2 Rocket: Capable of Carrying 2 Tons to Low Earth Orbit
The three-stage Tianlong-2 rocket is capable of carrying 2,000 kilograms (2 tons) to low Earth orbit or 1,500 kg (1,5 tons) to a 500-kilometer-altitude sun-synchronous orbit. The rocket is fueled by coal-based kerosene, making use of three YF-102 gas generator engines that deliver a thrust of 193 tons at take-off. The Beijing Tianbing Technology Co. has stated that the rocket adopts a “three flat and one vertical” test and launch mode, enabling liquid rocket launch from a simple cement field. This innovation provides a solid foundation for large-scale launches.
China’s Commercial Space Sector: Over 20 Private Rockets to Launch This Year
In 2014, President Xi instructed China’s air force to accelerate the integration of air and space capabilities, marking the country’s commitment to the space race. This led to the birth of China’s commercial space sector, with over 20 private and commercial rockets expected to be launched from China this year. Beijing Tianbing Technology Co. plans to improve its reusable large liquid carrier rockets, heavy liquid carrier rockets, and manned space shuttles. The company aims to use advanced aerospace propulsion technology and service solutions to enable orbital transportation and intercontinental transportation, and to help China’s commercial rockets enter the era of big payloads and green aerospace. This will allow aerospace technology to benefit people’s livelihoods and the lives of ordinary people.
RBI to launch centralised portal PRAVAAH for licencing, approval applications
RBI is set to introduce a new secured web-based portal called "PRAVAAH", aimed at simplifying and streamlining the application processes.
RBI is set to introduce a new secured web-based portal called “PRAVAAH” (Platform for Regulatory Application, Validation And AutHorisation) aimed at simplifying and streamlining the application processes. The portal will display the timeframes for deciding on applications and approvals, leading to greater effectiveness in regulatory processes and making it easier for regulated entities to do business with RBI.
Key Features of PRAVAAH portal:
It will provide transparent timelines for the decision-making process on the applications/approvals sought by the applicants.
This will enable the applicants to know the expected timeframes for the decision on their applications, and they can plan their business activities accordingly.
Additionally, PRAVAAH will offer a single interface for applicants to submit and track the status of their applications, making it easier to monitor the application’s progress.
Moreover, it will enable RBI to standardize the application forms, making the application process more uniform and simpler.
Indian Govt Forms Committee to Enhance Pension Benefits
Indian government forms committee to explore enhanced pension benefits for government employees.
Four-Member Committee to Improve NPS Pension Benefits
The Indian government has formed a committee to explore ways of enhancing the pension benefits of government employees under the National Pension System (NPS). The committee will be headed by the finance secretary and consists of three other members: the secretaries of the Department of Personnel and Training, the special secretary in the Department of Expenditure, and the Chairman of the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA). The committee will examine whether any changes are necessary to NPS for government employees and suggest measures to enhance the pension benefits of NPS-covered government employees while maintaining fiscal prudence.
States’ Move to Old Pension Scheme Raises Concerns
Several state governments have announced their intention to return to the old pension scheme, which offers an assured pension based on the last drawn salary. While this is seen as a populist move, it has raised concerns about the financial burden it may place on state exchequers. The Centre’s decision to revisit the pension issue suggests that it may become an important public policy issue ahead of the national polls early next year.
Committee to Consider Fiscal Implications and Budgetary Space
The finance ministry issued an order outlining the committee’s responsibilities. The committee will examine the NPS for government employees and suggest measures to enhance pension benefits for those covered under the scheme. It will also consider the fiscal implications and the impact on the overall budgetary space to ensure that fiscal prudence is maintained to protect the interests of the common citizens.
In her announcement last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Lok Sabha of the government’s decision to set up a committee to examine pensions and develop an approach that addresses the needs of government employees while maintaining fiscal prudence. The order issued by the finance ministry is in line with this announcement and demonstrates the government’s commitment to exploring ways of enhancing pension benefits for government employees under the NPS.