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1 May 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC

1. Combined Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) increases by 5.2 per cent (provisional) in March, 2024 as compared to March, 2023.

Topic: GS3 – Indian Economy

Understanding the performance of core industries is crucial for assessing India’s economic growth and industrial development for UPSC.

Context:
●   The news reports on the performance of India’s eight core industries in March 2024, showing a 5.2% increase in the Index of Eight Core Industries compared to March 2023.

 Analysis of the news:

  • The Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) rose by 5.2% in March 2024 compared to March 2023.
  • Positive growth was recorded in Cement, Coal, Electricity, Natural Gas, Steel, and Crude Oil production.
  • The ICI measures the combined performance of eight core industries: Cement, Coal, Crude Oil, Electricity, Fertilizers, Natural Gas, Refinery Products, and Steel.
  • These industries account for 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  • December 2023’s final growth rate for the ICI was revised to 5.0%.
  • The cumulative growth rate for 2023-24 was reported at 7.5%.
Index of Industrial Production (IIP)
●  The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is a key economic indicator that measures the performance of various industrial sectors in a country.

It reflects changes in the production levels of the industrial sector over a specific period, providing insights into the overall economic activity.

● IIP is calculated based on the volume of production in sectors manufacturing, mining, and electricity.

Eight core industries of IIP:

1.    Crude Oil: Weight: 8.98%

2.    Coal: Weight: 10.33%

3.    Natural Gas: Weight: 6.88%

4.    Petroleum Refinery Products: Weight: 28.04%

5.    Fertilizers: Weight: 2.63%

6.    Steel: Weight: 17.92%

7.    Cement: Weight: 5.37%

8.    Electricity: Weight: 19.85%

●      The base year for the IIP is typically chosen to serve as a reference point for comparing production changes over time – the current base year for IIP is 2011-12

● The index helps in assessing the growth or contraction of industrial output, aiding policymakers and investors in making informed decisions.

●  It plays a crucial role in economic planning, policy formulation, and monitoring of industrial performance.

● A higher IIP indicates industrial growth, while a lower IIP suggests a decline in production.

● The IIP is often used by the government, researchers, and analysts to analyze trends and formulate strategies for economic development.

PYQ:  Industrial growth rate has lagged behind in the overall growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the post-reform period” Give reasons. How far the recent changes in Industrial Policy are capable of increasing the industrial growth rate? (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2017)
Practice Question:  How does the Index of Eight Core Industries contribute to assessing India’s industrial growth and economic performance? Discuss with examples. (150 Words /10 marks)

2. NHPC Limited to collaborate with Norwegian company for implementation of Floating Solar Energy Technology in India

Topic:  GS3 – Science and Technology – Developing new technology

GS3 – Indian Economy – Infrastructure – Energy

Important for UPSC due to NHPC’s role in renewable energy development, showcasing collaboration for floating solar technology.

Context:
●  NHPC Limited collaborates with Norwegian company Ocean Sun for floating solar energy technology demonstration, enhancing renewable energy capacity.

 Analysis of the news:

  • NHPC Limited, India’s largest hydropower development organization, signed an MoU with Norwegian company Ocean Sun.
  • The MoU aims to explore cooperation in demonstrating Ocean Sun’s floating solar energy technology.
  • The technology involves mounting photovoltaic panels on hydro-elastic membranes at sites identified by NHPC.
  • NHPC’s initiative aligns with its focus on sustainable development and expanding renewable energy capacity.
  • The agreement was signed on April 29, 2024, by NHPC’s Executive Director and Ocean Sun’s CEO, with participation from ambassadors and directors.
Floating Solar Energy Technology
Floating solar energy technology involves installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on  hydro-elastic membranes and bodies of water such as lakes, reservoirs, ponds, or dams.

●  These panels are mounted on buoyant structures that keep them afloat, usually anchored to the bottom of the water body.

●  The technology utilises the same principles as ground-mounted solar panels, converting sunlight into electricity through PV cells.

●  Floating solar has several advantages, including higher efficiency due to the cooling effect of water, reduced land use conflicts, and potential for dual land use, such as combining solar energy generation with water conservation or aquaculture.

●  It can also help to mitigate water evaporation in reservoirs, improve water quality by reducing algae growth, and minimise environmental impacts by utilising non-arable water surfaces.

●  Floating solar projects have been implemented globally, with increasing interest due to their potential to expand renewable energy capacity and address land constraints for solar power generation.

PYQ:

Q.1 India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its development. Elaborate. (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2020)

Q.2 To what factors can the recent dramatic fall in equipment costs and tariff of solar energy be attributed? What implications does the trend have for the thermal power producers and the related industry? (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2015)

Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of floating solar energy technology in India’s renewable energy landscape, citing NHPC’s collaboration with Ocean Sun as a case study. (150 Words /10 marks)

 

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