Undercover Nov1

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  • Energy consumption in India and the efficient


    2002, First action by Govt. towards energy

    conservation: Energy Conservation Act in

    2002. The Act sought efficiency measures and

    a legal framework to implement them

    throughout the country.

    2006 : In 2006, BEE introduced star rating of

    appliances to influence consumer choice and

    push the market towards improving the

    energy efficiency of products ; Established a 5

    star ratings of various products , bandwidth

    decided for different ratings (revised every 2nd

    year); putting the rating on the product made

    mandatory, hence products with below

    minimum rating banned from production.

    Issues with rating system: a) 5 star products

    for many products are very expensive.

    b) Rating system still not put in place for many


    c) The energy consumption thresholds for

    labelled products have not been raised at a

    desired pace. Experts say one reason for this

    is the resistance from manufacturers,

    particularly in the unorganised sector, who

    may find it difficult to improve manufacturing


    d) Indian rating system still not on par with

    global standards.


    towards super efficiency(LEDs and other

    efficient products.)

    a) Incentivesing super-efficient products.

    b) Upgrading the baseline for 5 star

    rating system.

    c) Cross subsidizing , or charging more

    for low-efficiency products and

    passing on the subsidy to super-

    efficient products.

    d) For the manufacturers, making excise

    duty inversely proportional to the star

    rating of the product.

    e) Majority of fan production is in the

    organized sector, still the 5 star rating

    fans havent picked up in the market;

    In January 2014, the Union Cabinet

    cleared a programme(Super-Efficient

    Equipment Programme (SEEP)) to

    provide incentives for the production

  • of 35 W ceiling fans, which are twice

    as efficient as the conventional fan.

    There is a two-way process: the star

    rating of fans would be made

    mandatory to push up the floor of

    performance, while SEEP will provide

    financial incentives to companies so

    that they can pull up the ceiling level.

    The reason for the low acceptability

    of high efficiency fans being low cubic

    meters of air available has also been

    addressed in the SEEP.

    f) Lighting provides the biggest scope

    for saving energy as it accounts for

    nearly a third of the electricity

    consumed by appliances in Indian

    houses ; 2009, Bachat Lamp Yojana :

    Re[placement of incandescent lamps

    with CFLs & subsidizing the price of

    CFL (Rs 80-100), bringing it on a par

    with an incandescent bulb (Rs 15) in

    project areas.

    g) As per BEE the barriers to LED in India

    are limited product availability in the

    country; high initial cost; absence of

    national technical standards for LEDs,

    leading to the import of substandard

    devices; lack of testing protocols and

    laboratories; and lack of incentives for

    major LED firms to make them in


    h) Lumen/Watt should be the

    parameter for measuring the

    efficiency of a lighting fixture.

    i) BEE has worked out a model for

    promoting LED bulbs together with

    the Energy Efficiency Services Limited

    (EESL)-a joint venture of four Central

    power sectorPSUs-and electricity

    distribution companies. Under this

    model, EESL procures LED bulbs in

    bulk and sells them to families at Rs

    10 instead of the market price of Rs

    400. The electricity distribution

    companies then repay EESL over a

    period of five to eight years from the

    savings that accrue due to the use of

    energy-efficient lights. Bulk purchase

    of LEDs by EESL also brings down their

    cost of LEDs.

    j) However, there have been design

    issues with LEDs, when they are

    designed to retrofit the incandescent

    lamps or CFLs.(Tube-Lights are also

    inefficiently designed with half of

    their light falling on the wall)

    k) Also, LED, like CFL, requires careful

    handling. While CFL contains mercury,

    researchers at the University of

    California have found the presence of

    heavy metals like lead, arsenic and

    nickel in LEDs. And very few

    municipalities in India are equipped to

    deal with this dangerous waste.

    l) ACs : The AC market globally is

    shifting to super-efficient inverter

    technology. All the ACs sold in Japan

    and half in China are inverter ACs,

    while in India the share of this

    technology is just 5 per cent.

    What is an inverter AC? The standard

    fixed-speed AC has a single-speed

    compressor motor that switches off

    when the desired temperature is

    reached and on again when the

    temperature rises to a set level.

    Inverter technology uses a variable-

    speed compressor motor that slows

    down and speeds up as needed. This

    provides a more precise room

    temperature and is, therefore, about

    30 per cent more energy efficient

    than fixed-speed ACs.

    The inverter AC technology costs

    more but the Indian star rating

    system does not recognise the extra

    edge it provides. No differentiation

    has been made in the Indian rating

    system for inverter ACs.

  • m) Indian rating system needs to be

    tweaked, rating is done in laboratory

    conditions, and hence actual

    performance of the product is not as

    good. Rating system needs to factor in

    climatic and other factors(as done in

    the US and EU).

    SC rules famers have the first right over the


    Sugar farmers suicide in large nos. Why?

    Sugar mill owners take sugarcane from famers

    > produce sugar> mortgage the sugar to

    Banks for loans in the name of working

    capital> sell the leftover sugar to others, and

    divert the proceeds for other purposes >

    leaving very little sugar for repaying the dues

    of farmers > Hence, little and late payment of

    dues to famers> famers taking to suicide in

    large numbers.

    Till now, Courts had recognized the

    rights of Banks over the Sugar.

    It is alleged that there is a nexus of

    Govt.,banks and mill owners. e.g. Mill

    owners dont pay farmers their due>

    Govt. doles out money to the mill

    owners for the repayment of dues

    (like the UP govt. did few months

    back) > Mill owners again divert the

    money leaving little for the farmers>

    this whole cycle burns a big hole in

    govt. treasuries, while doing very little

    to alleviate the perennial plight of

    sugarcane growers.

    However, such decisions will hurt the

    business sentiments, hence a solution

    acceptable to all the parties should be

    worked out.

    Experts think that there should be a

    proper system in place and farmers

    should think about having their own

    cooperative. It is a failure of the

    present system that it is unable to

    check the arbitrary nature of mill

    owners who fail to pay arrears within

    15 days. Cane growers cannot be left

    at the mercy of private mills. They

    should think about their own

    cooperative to come out of this mess


    Silent killer: HEPATITISCVIRUS (HCV)

    The HEPATITISCVIRUS (HCV) causes acute

    and chronic infections. The hepatitis C virus

    (HCV) spreads in the same manner as

    HIV/AIDSthrough sexual transmission and

    blood. Acute HCV infection is usually

    asymptomatic, and very rarely associated

    with life-threatening diseases. About 15-45

    per cent of infected people spontaneously

    clear the virus within six months of infection

    without any treatment.

    Rest 55-85 per cent develop chronic HCV

    infection. People with chronic HCV infection

    have a 15-30 per cent risk of developing liver

    cirrhosis within 20 years. If not treated, liver

    cirrhosis can cause liver failure or liver

    cancer. According to WHO, three per cent of

    world has been infected with HCV and

    350,000 to 500,000 people die each year from

    HCV-related liver diseases.

    Costly cure

    Hepatitis C TREATMENT is extremely costly.

    In the absence of government policy, costs

    vary depending on the type of medication,

    duration, drug rates and local taxes. In

    general, the treatment requires

    administration of interferon injections once a

    week for six months to two years. The cost of

    the injection is between Rs 5,000 and Rs

    7,000. But interferon has side effects such has

    high fever, vomiting and anxiety.

    Govt. doesnt have any programme now for

    Hepatitis C

  • Coal Mines (Special Provisions)

    Ordinance,2014 Issued

    On August 25, the Supreme Court cancelled

    all coal blocks allocations made by the central

    government from 1993 -2011 except four coal


    The Ordinance provides for the procedure for

    auction of these coal blocks.

    Main Features of Ordinance

    Categorization of Coal Mines

    The coal mines are categorized as

    Schedule I It consists of all 214 coal blocks