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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 11 October 2016



Insights Daily Current Affairs, 11 October 2016


Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


CERC panel suggests overhaul in transmission planning


A committee appointed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has suggested an overhaul in transmission planning to facilitate transfer of power on economic principles. The committee was headed by power system expert Mata Prasad.


Important suggestions made by the committee:

  • Transmission planning should be aligned to meet customer aspirations as opposed to the existing system where transmission is associated with long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).
  • According to the committee, transmission planning can be done on the basis of projected load of the states and anticipated generation scenario based on economic principles of merit order operation.
  • In case of renewable energy sources, the transmission system may be planned by the central transmission utility (CTU) based on estimated capacity additions in perspective plan and renewable purchase obligations of each state.
  • To promote the power market, the transmission corridor allocation should be suitably made. 5% of each flow gate may be reserved for day-ahead collective transactions, which may be released for the contingency market in case of non-utilisation of the corridor by power exchanges. The percentage of reservation may be reviewed after one year of operation.
  • The committee has suggested system studies be carried out for various generation and load scenarios during peak and off-peak hours, considering renewable capacity addition and scheduling of various generating stations that don’t have any PPAs.
  • The committee has emphasised the need for the creation of a central repository of generators in the Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA), where any generation project developer proposing to set up a new generation plant must register itself. This will not only provide vital data for the transmission planning process but will alleviate problems due to uncoordinated generation additions.
  • The committee has also made a strong case for hand-holding of states by CEA and CTU for accurate demand forecasting. It is also suggested that states procure software for short-term, medium-term and long-term demand forecasting.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.


Nobel Prize in Economics


Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom have been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for their insights into how best to write contracts, the deals that bind together employers and their workers, or companies and their customers.


What they won for?

Both the awardees have sought to determine how contracts can encourage mutually beneficial behaviour. Among the contracts they have studied is Holmstrom’s research on employment contracts, including between CEOs and shareholders.

  • Hart’s research has looked at whether providers of public services, such as schools, hospitals, or prisons, should be publicly or privately owned. The research showed that “incentives for cost reduction are typically too strong”. Privatizing those types of services can lead to a reduction in quality greater than the advantages of cost savings.
  • Hart and his co-authors were particularly concerned about private prisons. Federal authorities in the United States are in fact ending the use of private prisons, partly because — according to a recently released U.S. Department of Justice report — conditions in privately-run prisons are worse than those in publicly-run prisons.”

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.




It is India’s Remote and High-Altitude research Station opened recently in Himalaya.


Key facts:

  • It is Indian government’s initiatives to better study and quantify the Himalayan glacier responses towards the climate change.
    Spiti Himachal Pradesh
    Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
  • It is located at a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.
  • It has been established by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • The station houses many instruments to quantify the glacier melting and its relation to changing climate. Some of the instruments that are available at this research facility include, Automatic Weather Stations for weather monitoring, water level recorder for quantifying the glacier melt and ground penetrating radar to know the thickness of glaciers.
  • The researchers would be using this as a base for undertaking surveys using Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) that would digitize the glacier motion and snow cover variations with exceptional precision.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.


NCBC to consider proposal for Maratha quota if it comes


The National Commission for Backward Classes has said that it will consider giving reservation to Marathas if such a proposal comes to it.



Marathas, the politically-dominant community in Maharashtra, have been agitating for last few weeks raising various demands including quota in government jobs and education institutes.

Meanwhile, the state government is facing a legal challenge in defending the Act notified in March 2015 for a 16 quota in jobs and education entry to the Maratha community.



  • National Commission for Backward Classes is statutory body established in August 1993, under the provisions of National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
  • The commission was the outcome of the direction of the Supreme Court in the Mandal case judgement.
  • The commission has five members: a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India. Their term is of Three years.
  • The commission considers inclusions in and exclusions from the lists of communities notified as backward for the purpose of job reservations and tenders the needful advice to the Central Government.

Sources: bs.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Nasa’s ‘electric bandage’ to speed up wound healing


Nasa has developed a new high-tech material that uses electricity to significantly promote healing of injured wounds.

  • The material, called polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) has numerous possible applications, including wound healing.

electric bandage

How it operates?

It is proven that wounds tend to heal much more quickly if small amounts of electricity are applied to the surrounding tissue. The new material generates a small amount of electricity when interacting with another surface, including human skin.

  • If the PVDF fibres are aligned correctly, cells on a wound use it as a scaffold, helping the wound to heal faster. The easiest way to align the fibres is to make gauze which also creates an additional layer of protection against infection.
  • The device can also be used by military personnel wounded in the field, patients who have undergone surgery and even those who have suffered a serious wound.

Sources: toi.