India can lead other countries of the world in renewable energy manufacturing, Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (IC) said Piyush Goyal today.
The Government is encouraging participation from other countries by allowing 100% Foreign Direct Investment in Renewable Energy said Goyal, The Minister further stated that the an estimated potential of 897 GW has been identified from various renewable energy sources in the country which includes 749 GW from solar, 103 GW from wind, 25 GW from bio-energy and 20 GW from small hydro power.
The cost of generation of electricity from geothermal energy is presently very high, hence, the promotion of geothermal energy production of power will not be possible in short and medium terms, the Minister added.
To make India a hub for renewable energy manufacturing, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been promoting private investment in renewable energy through an attractive mix of fiscal and financial incentives. This includes capital subsidy through Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) and excise and custom duty exemption. The geothermal program of the Ministry is presently in research and development stage.
Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.
These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.
“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.
“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.
The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.
Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.
“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”
An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.
“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.
Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)