• 30 November 2022
  • By GyanOk

Daily Current Affairs Notes for 30 November 2022

NITI Aayog Releases Study Report on ‘Carbon Capture to Achieve Net Zero Emission Target by 2070

NITI Aayog Releases Study Report on 'Carbon Capture to Achieve Net Zero Emission Target by 2070_40.1

A study report, titled ‘Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage Policy Framework and its Deployment Mechanism in India’, was released. The report explores the importance of Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage as an emission reduction strategy to achieve deep decarbonization from the hard-to-abate sectors. The report outlines broad level policy interventions needed across various sectors for its application.

Need Of The Study:

India has updated its NDC targets for achieving 50% of its total installed capacity from non-fossil-based energy sources, 45% reduction in emission intensity by 2030 and taking steps towards achieving Net Zero by 2070, the role of Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) becomes important as reduction strategy to achieve decarbonization from the hard-to abate sectors.

What The NITI Aayog Said:

“CCUS can enable the production of clean products while still utilizing our rich endowments of coal, reducing imports and thus leading to an Atmanirbhar Indian economy.” said Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog. Implementation of CCUS technology certainly be an important step to decarbonise the hard-to-abate sector.

CCUS projects will also lead to a significant employment generation. It estimates that about 750 mtpa of carbon capture by 2050 can create employment opportunities of about 8-10 million on full time equivalent (FTE) basis in a phased manner.

“India’s dependency on the fossil-based Energy Resources is likely to continue in future, hence CCUS policy in Indian Context is needed” said Dr. V.K Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog.

What The Report Pointed:

The report indicates that CCUS can provide a wide variety of opportunities to convert the captured CO2 to different value-added products like green urea, food and beverage form application, building materials (concrete and aggregates), chemicals (methanol and ethanol), polymers (including bio-plastics) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) with wide market opportunities in India, thus contributing substantially to a circular economy.

SEBI Forms a Panel Headed by Justice Vazifadar to Review the Corporate Takeover Rules

SEBI Forms a Panel Headed by Justice Vazifadar to Review the Corporate Takeover Rules_40.1

Capital markets regulator Sebi has set up a high-level panel to review the takeover norms in a move to simplify and strengthen the current rules by adopting appropriate global practices. Also, the regulator will assess the current rules in the light of past judicial pronouncements and various informal guidelines issued by the capital markets regulator.

About The Panel:

The 20-member committee will be chaired by former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Shiavax Jal Vazifdar. Apart from Vazifdar, other members of the panel include Sundareswaran S Managing Director (MD) at Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors; Rajendra Kanoongo, Joint MD of Mark Corporate Advisors; K Srinivas MD of Saffron Capital Advisors, Ankur Verma, Senior Vice President at Tata Sons and Dolphy Dsouza Partner at E&Y.

In addition, Sudhir Kumar Jha, head of legal at HDFC Ltd and Sunil Sanghai, founder and CEO, NovaaOne Capital are part of the committee. Jha and Sanghai are also representatives of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) respectively.

Need Of The Panel:

The panel, which has representatives of Sebi, stock exchanges BSE and NSE as well as law firms, will advise the regulator on matters related to substantial acquisition of shares and takeovers including measures to facilitate ease of doing business.

About Corporate takeover code in India: 

With the opening of the Indian economy to the private sector and foreign investors, a need was felt to make a rule which will promote transparency in the case of Merger and Acquisition (M&A) of companies.

SEBI made the first comprehensive code for M&A in 1994 called  Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations.

The code has amended significantly twice. It was amended in 1997 on the recommendation of Justice P N Bhagwati committee. The code was again amended in 2011 by SEBI on the recommendation of the 2009 Achutan committee on corporate takeover.

RBI to Launch a Pilot Project on Retail Digital Rupee on 1 December 2022

RBI to Launch a Pilot Project on Retail Digital Rupee on 1 December 2022_40.1

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a trial for retail digital rupee (e -R) beginning 1 December, with four banks in as many cities participating in the pilot programme, a month after testing the wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC).

What The RBI Said:

RBI said the pilot would cover select locations in a closed user group (CUG) comprising participating customers and merchants. While it has identified eight banks for gradual participation in the pilot, the first phase will begin with four: State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and IDFC First Bank.

The remaining four—Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank—will subsequently join the trial, it said.

From Where It Will Begin:

While the retail CBDC would initially cover Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar, the trials will be later extended to Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna and Shimla.

What Will Be The Form Of This:

The e -R would be in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender. It would be issued in the same denominations that paper currency and coins are currently issued.

What Are The Expectations:

The advantage of CBDC over existing digital payment systems is that payments through digital currency would be final, without requiring interbank settlement.

Users can transact with -R through a digital wallet offered by participating banks and stored on mobile phones. According to RBI, digital rupee transactions can be both person-to-person and person-to-merchant. It said that payments to merchants could be made using quick response (QR) codes displayed at merchant locations.

The e -R would offer features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality. As in the case of cash, it will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.

What The Experts Are Saying:

According to V. Vaidyanathan, chief executive, IDFC First Bank, the central bank digital currency would give greater anonymity than exiting digital transactions and this is one of the major benefits for users. “In due course, it could even get better. India is a growing economy and while it already has several digital payment channels, this would add to the options available before users. At present, it is being done on a pilot basis, but in future, it will be the next big thing in the payments space once it gathers some critical mass,” said Vaidyanathan.

Vistara to Merge With Air India by 2024

Vistara to Merge With Air India by 2024_40.1

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Tata Sons announced that they have agreed to merge Air India and Vistara, with SIA getting a 25.1 per cent stake in the merged entity at an investment of Rs 2,058.5 crore ($250 million) in Air India as part of the transaction.

More About This Development:

The 25.1 per cent stake will be in an enlarged Air India group – it will have Air India, Vistara, AirAsia India and Air India Express – and the merger of all airlines is targeted for completion by March 2024, subject to regulatory approvals. The group is already in the process of merging Air India Express and AirAsia India into one entity that will provide low-cost flight options.

What Has Been Said:

SIA intends to fully fund this investment with its internal cash resources, which stood at S$17.5 billion as of 30 September 2022. SIA and Tata have also agreed to participate in additional capital injections, if required, to fund the growth and operations of the enlarged Air India in FY2022/23 and FY2023/24. Based on SIA’s 25.1 per cent stake post-completion, its share of any additional capital injection could be up to Rs 5,020 crore ($615 million), payable only after the completion of the merger,” SIA said in a statement.

“Through this transaction, SIA will reinforce its partnership with Tata and immediately acquire a strategic stake in an entity that is four to five times larger in scale compared to Vistara. The merger would bolster SIA’s presence in India, strengthen its multi-hub strategy, and allow it to continue participating directly in a large and fast-growing aviation market,” the airline further added.

What It Means For Air India:

The merger of Vistara and Air India is an important milestone in our journey to make Air India a truly world-class airline. We are transforming Air India, with the aim of providing great customer experience, every time, for every customer. As part of the transformation, Air India is focusing on growing both its network and fleet, revamping its customer proposition, enhancing safety, reliability, and on-time performance. We are excited with the opportunity of creating a strong Air India which would offer both full-service and low-cost services across domestic and international routes. We would like to thank Singapore Airlines for their continued partnership,” Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, was quoted in the statement.

This will take the fleet size to 218, putting togetaher Air India’s 113 with AirAsia India’s 28, Vistara’s 53, and Air India Express’s 24. It will then be India’s largest international carrier and second largest domestic carrier, Tata Sons said.