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25th January 2024 (7 Topics)

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Polity and Governance

Incentive Scheme for Coal/Lignite Gasification Projects

Context: Cabinet approves ?8,500 crore incentive scheme for coal gasification projects

The adoption of gasification technology can reduce India’s reliance on imports of natural gas, methanol, ammonia and other essential products

The Government is targeting to gasify 100 million tonnes (MT) of coal by 2030. 

About:

  • In gasification process, coal is partially oxidised by air, oxygen, steam, or carbon dioxide under controlled conditions to produce a liquid fuel known as syngas.
  • Syngas or synthesis gas can be used for power generation and to make methanol as well.
  • Total outlay of Rs.8,500 crore will be provided as financial assistance for coal gasification projects under three categories.
  • In category I, Rs.4,050 crore provisioned for Government PSUs in which upto 3 projects will be supported by providing lump-sum grant of Rs.1,350 crore or 15% of capex, whichever is lower.
  • In category II, Rs.3,850 crore provisioned for private sector as well as Government PSUs in which lump-sum grant of Rs.1,000 crore or 15% of capex, whichever is lower provided for each project.
  • At least one project will be bid out on tariff-based bidding process and its criteria will be designed in consultation with NITI Aayog.
  • In category III, Rs.600 crore provisioned for demonstration Projects (indigenous technology) and/or small-scale product-based Gasification Plants under which lump-sum grant of Rs.100 crore or 15% of capex, whichever is lower, will be given to the selected entity who will have a minimum Capex of Rs. 100 Crore and minimum production of 1500 Nm3/hr Syn gas.
  • The selection of entities under category II and III shall be carried out through a competitive and transparent bidding process.
  • The grant will be paid to the selected entity in two equal instalments.
  • EGoS chaired by Secretary Coal shall be fully empowered to make any changes required in the modalities of the scheme subject to the condition that overall financial outlay remain within Rs.8,500 crore.

Miscellaneous- Defence

Ex. Desert Knight

About:

  • Countries: India, France, UAE
  • Air forces exercise over Arabian Sea, against the backdrop of the rising global concerns over Houthi militants targeting several commercial vessels in the strategic waterways in the region.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) component at the drills consisted of Su-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar fighter jets besides AWACS (airborne early warning and control aircraft, C-130-J transport plane and air-to-air refuelling aircraft.
  • "The main focus of exercise 'Desert Knight' was on enhancing synergy and interoperability between the three air forces," the Indian Air Force said.
  • The exercise took place in the Indian FIR (Flight Information Regions) and with IAF aircraft operated from several bases in India.
  • The French participation included the Rafale fighter aircraft and a multi role tanker transport, the UAE Air Force fielded the F-16.
  • The aircraft of the French and the UAE air forces operated from the Al Dhafra air base in the UAE.
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