It was in 1942 when the world was going through the havoc caused by World War II. India too was facing the heat and after the Cripps Mission had failed, and on 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi made a Do or Die call through the Quit India movement.
Large protests and demonstrations were held all over the country. However, as the movement didn’t get too much support from the outside, it was crushed and the British refused to grant immediate Independence, saying that it could happen only after the war had ended.
Who started Quit India Movement? The Quit India movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 but drew protests from the All-India Congress Committee demanding what Gandhi called was “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India. This forced the British to act immediately and soon all the senior INC leaders were imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.
Where was the Quit India Speech given? On 14th July 1942, the Congress Working Committee at Wardha had passed a resolution demanding complete independence from the British government. On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi made a Do or Die call in his Quit India speech which was delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan. Even though the speech caused some turmoil within the party and even leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad were apprehensive and critical of the call, but backed it and stuck with Gandhi’s leadership until the end.
Other key facts: Several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were arrested.
The Congress was declared an unlawful association, leaders were arrested and its offices all over the country were raided and their funds were frozen. The first half of the movement was peaceful with demonstrations and processions. The peaceful protest was carried till Mahatma Gandhi’s release.
The second half of the movement was violent with raids and setting fire at post offices, government buildings and railway stations. Lord Linlithgow adopted the policy of violence.
The Viceroy’s Council of Muslims, Communist Party and Americans supported Britishers.
ODOP is aimed at giving a major push to traditional industries synonymous with the respective districts of the state.
The objective of the ODOP is to optimise production, productivity and income, preservation and development of local crafts, promotion of art, improvement in product quality and skill development.
Under this, one product indigenous to every district would be showcased at the three-day UP Diwas event. This will boost economic development of the state, and also help in generation of five lakh new jobs annually.
Every year 10th August is observed as World Bio-Fuel Day in a bid to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels). On this day in 1893, Sir Rudolph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil.
His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines. Thus to mark this extraordinary achievement, World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August.
Government initiatives to promote the use of Biofuels: Since 2014, the Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to increase blending of biofuels. The major interventions include administrative price mechanism for ethanol, simplifying the procurement procedures of OMCs, amending the provisions of Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and enabling lignocellulosic route for ethanol procurement.
The Government approved the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 in June 2018. The policy has the objective of reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by the year 2030. Among other things, the policy expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels.
Recently, the Government has increased the price of C-heavy molasses-based ethanol to Rs. 43.70 from Rs. 40.85 to give a boost to EBP Programme. Price of B-heavy molasses-based ethanol and sugarcane juice-based ethanol has been fixed for the first time at Rs. 47.40. The Government has reduced GST on ethanol for blending in fuel from 18% to 5%.
The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is making all efforts to increase ethanol supply for petrol and has taken several steps in this direction.
Outcomes: These interventions of the Government of India have shown positive results. Ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 38 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2013-14 to an estimated 141 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2017-18.
Bio-diesel blending in the country started from 10th August, 2015 and in the year 2018-19, Oil Marketing Companies have allocated 7.6 crore litres of biodiesel.
Oil PSUs are also planning to set up 12 Second Generation (2G) Bio-refineries to augment ethanol supply and address environmental issues arising out of burning of agricultural biomass.
The draft expects to kick-start grid-connected energy storage in India, set up a regulatory framework, and encourage indigenous manufacture of batteries.
The draft sets a “realistic target” of 15-20 gigawatt hours (GWh) of grid-connected storage within the next five years. Power grids do not currently use storage options that would help in smoothly integrating renewable energy sources.
The mission will focus on seven verticals: indigenous manufacturing; an assessment of technology and cost trends; a policy and regulatory framework; financing, business models and market creation; research and development; standards and testing; and grid planning for energy storage.
Significance and the need for energy storage: Energy Storage is one of the most crucial & critical components of India’s energy infrastructure strategy and also for supporting India’s sustained thrust to renewables.
Renewable energy sources now make up almost one-fifth of India’s total installed power capacity. However, as power grids increase their share of solar and wind energy, the problem remains that the peak supply of renewable sources does not always meet peak demand.
For instance, solar energy generation may be at its peak at noon, but unless stored, it will not be available when needed to light up homes at night. Moreover, renewable sources are inherently intermittent: there are days when the wind doesn’t blow or the sky is cloudy
National Pension System (NPS) has been designed giving utmost importance to the welfare of the subscribers. Government has made a conscious move to shift from the defined benefit Pension Scheme to defined contribution pension scheme i.e. NPS, due to rising and unsustainable pension bill. There are a number of benefits available to the employees under NPS. Some of the benefits are enlisted below:
NPS is a well designed pension system managed through an unbundled architecture involving intermediaries appointed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) viz. pension funds, custodian, central record keeping and accounting agency, National Pension System Trust, trustee bank, points of presence and Annuity service providers. It is prudently regulated by PFRDA which is a statutory regulatory body established to promote old age income security and to protect the interest of subscribers of NPS.
The pension wealth which accumulates over a period of time till retirement grows with a compounding effect. The all-in-costs of the institutional architecture of NPS are among the lowest in the world.
Contribution made to the NPS Tier-I account is eligible for tax deduction under the Income Tax Act, 1961. An additional tax rebate of Rs.50000 is also allowed for contributions made to NPS Tier-I under Section 80CCD (1B) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Subscribers can withdraw up to 25% of their own contributions before attaining age of superannuation, subject to certain conditions. Further, PFRDA vide “PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawals under the NPS) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2017” dated 10.08.2017 has liberalized norms for partial withdrawals which also include reduction of requirement of minimum years of being enrolled under NPS from 10 years to 3 years from the date of joining.
PFRDA has increased the maximum age limit from 60 years to 65 years for joining NPS-All Citizen Model and Corporate Sector Model, vide “PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawals under the NPS) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2017” dated 06.10.2017.
PFRDA vide “PFRDA (Exits and Withdrawals under the NPS) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2018” dated 02.02.2018 has facilitated easy exit & withdrawal in case of disability and incapacitation of the subscriber covered under NPS.
Transparency and Portability is ensured through online access of the pension account by the NPS subscribers, across all geographical locations and portability of employments.