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14th January Current Affairs

‘Green’ steel, cement for clean energy?

In News:

In order to achieve net zero emission target, battery manufacturing capacity for electronic vehicles has to multiply by six times the present capacity by 2030.

Details:

Green Steel:

Green Steel is the manufacturing of steel using renewable or low-carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, coal gasification, or electricity instead of the traditional carbon-intensive manufacturing route of coal-fired plants.

Key Details:

Key technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage for cement and steel industries and hydrogen-based steel manufacturing are still in prototype and demonstration stages.

Experience shows that the innovation process usually takes 20 to 70 years from prototype to commercialization

Solar and wind energy units require more steel, aluminium and in some cases, cement per unit of capacity than fossil fuel-based generating technologies.

Energy resources being concentrated in one geographical area pose a threat to the world’s energy security

Currently, China is the dominant producer of solar panels, wind, Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries, electrolysers and heat pumps.

Lithium, a key metal for producing electronic vehicles, is mostly concentrated in Australia, Chile and China. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of the world’s cobalt is produced in the Republic of Congo.

Centre vs Delhi Govt on control over services: timeline of a dispute

(GS-II: Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges Pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers)

In News:

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is hearing a dispute between the Delhi government and the Centre over the control of services. Almost five years ago, another Constitution Bench had ruled in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party-led state government in a similar tussle.

Details:

The present case:

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud, and also comprising Justices M R Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and P S Narasimha, is hearing the dispute between the Centre and the Delhi government over matters pertaining to control over the transfers and the overall functioning of administrative services in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.

The Centre argued that because Delhi is the national capital and the “face of the nation,” it needed the authority to order transfers and postings of personnel there.

The court agreed that the scope of the legislative and executive powers of the Centre and NCT of Delhi would need an authoritative pronouncement under Article 145(3) of the Constitution.

The court noted that the primary contention is related to the interpretation of Article 239 AA(3)(a) of the Constitution, which deals with special provisions for the NCT of Delhi.

Hence a three-judge Bench had referred this case (last year) to a larger Bench on the Centre’s plea for “further examination”.

Timeline of the dispute:

The 2017 Delhi HC verdict:

For administration purposes of the NCT, the Lieutenant Governor (LG) is not bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers in every matter.

On appeal, the SC referred the matter to decide the interpretation of Article 239AA of the Constitution.

The 2018 SC verdict:

A five-judge Bench laid down broad parameters for the governance of Delhi.

The court limited the LG’s jurisdiction to matters involving land, police, and public order, stating that for all other matters, he must act with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

The SC’s 2019 split verdict:

The verdict was essentially delivered to decide the contentious issues based on the law settled by the five-judge Constitution Bench in 2018.

A two-judge Bench settled several issues relating to the powers of the LG, however, on the issue of control over services, the two judges ruled differently.

In the case of a split verdict, the case is heard afresh by a larger Bench assigned by the CJI.

India’s first online gaming Centre of Excellence to come in Shillong

In News:

India’s first Centre of Excellence for online gaming will be set up in Shillong, said the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Details:

The Centre of Excellence in Shillong is expected to catalyse startups and entrepreneurs from the entire North East Region to build the Next Gen Online Gaming Ecosystem.

The Minister announced another initiative of MeitY to set up a state-of-the-art facility under the National Institute of Electronics and IT (NIELIT) to provide training on cutting-edge Digital Skills at Shillong. A 10-acre campus shall soon be ready for this purpose which shall cater to the skilling requirement of youth in the North East Region.

MAARG Portal

In News:

Commerce and industry minister will launch the MAARG platform (Mentorship, Advisory, Assistance, Resilience, and Growth) to facilitate mentorship between startups and entrepreneurs across sectors, stages, and functions.

Details:

MAARG portal is the National Mentorship Platform by Startup India.

It is a one-stop platform to facilitate mentorship for startups across diverse sectors, functions, stages, geographies, and backgrounds.

Key Features:

  • Mentorship programs for ecosystem enablers
  • Mobile-friendly user interface
  • Recognition for contributing mentors
  • Video and audio call options

Phases: The MAARG Portal is being operationalized in three phases:

Phase I: Mentor Onboarding

Successfully launched and executed, 400+ expert mentors are onboarded across sectors.

Phase II: Startup Onboarding

DPIIT is launching the onboarding of startups on the MAARG Portal with effect from 14th November 2022.

Phase III: MAARG Portal Launch and Mentor Matchmaking

Final launch where the mentors will be matched to the startups DPIIT has initiated onboarding process of startups under Phase II.

Significance:

Startups can now effectively connect with academicians, industry experts, successful founders, seasoned investors, and other experts from across the globe, through Artificial Intelligence (AI) based matchmaking, to get personalized guidance on growth and strategy.