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Amidst agitation in Gujarat, Centre bypasses Patidars, updates OBC list

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The government has officially amended the list of Other Backward Castes (OBCs) by bringing two communities from Gujarat under its ambit.

indianexpress2
credits: Indian Express

The people belonging to the Sipai and Patni Jamat (Turk Jamat, consisting of mostly Muslims) communities from the state of Gujarat are now eligible for seeking reservation under OBC quota.

Communities from the state of Uttarakhand, namely, Kahar and Tanwar Singhariya have also found a place in the Central List of Other Backward Castes.

The communities have been added to the list on recommendations of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

Post the amendment, people belonging to these castes/ communities have now become eligible to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services and posts as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per the existing policies.

Various social welfare schemes, scholarships etc., which are currently being administered by the Central Government, and are available to persons belonging to the OBCs will be extended to these communities as well.

As per the press release, a total of 2404 “entries” (as “entry” means a caste, including its synonyms, sub-castes etc.) have been notified in the Central list of OBCs for 24 States and 6 Union Territories so far. The NCBC keeps advising the government for additions to the backward caste lists from time to time.

This amendment has come at a time when Gujarat is witnessing an uproar from the Patidar community demanding inclusion into the list of Backward Castes. The latest updated list of backward castes has failed to provide any respite to the agitating community.

 

Next Story

Does India’s Giant Step in the Direction of Green Energy Signal an End to Coal?

Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years

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FILE - Smoke billows from chimneys of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Dadong, Shanxi province, China. VOA

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced its target to increase India’s renewable energy capacity to an equivalent of 40% of the nation’s total green energy output, it raised eyebrows. Could this mean an end to India’s coking coal industry?

Is there investment for green energy?

For any alternative to coal to be a serious consideration, there must be investment sources. Already India’s renewable target has attracted investors like Japan’s SoftBank, which agreed to a deal to sell power generated from a Northern Indian solar bank at 2.4 rupees per unit – below that of coal power, which currently costs over 3 rupees per unit.

Contrary to the enormous investment in the production of solar panels being manufactured by China, which has made them cheap enough to encourage this Indian growth in solar renewable energy, there has been relatively little investment in Indian coal.

Asia-Pacific
Workers operate machines at a coal mine at Palaran district in Samarinda, Indonesia (VOA)

For instance, state-run NTPC has cancelled several large coal mining projects, including a huge plant in Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, the private sector has continued investing in renewables. Adani Power has over $600 million invested in solar panels in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

That Modi has made an investment of $42 billion in the renewable energy sector over the past four years and his renewables plan is likely to generate a further $80 billion in the green energy sector in the next four years is good news for the Rupee. External investment in India is likely a sign of increased currency transaction in forex trading signalling the Rupee gaining strength against other pairs. Like the Indian economy, millions of dollars are traded on currencies every day, and increased interest in the Rupee helps cement India’s economic and investment potential.

How reliant is India on coal power?

Not so long ago the Indian government had a target to connect 40 million households to the national grid by the end of 2018. It even tasked CIL, the state coal monopoly, to produce over a billion tonnes of coal per year by 2020, an increase of almost 100% from 2016. It’s an ambitious goal, notwithstanding the environmental impacts of mining for such an unprecedented amount of coal. This is the same coal that already generates 70% of India’s primary commercial energy requirement; compare that figure to the UK’s 11%, Germany’s 38%, and China’s 68%, while France has practically shut all of its coal power stations. This means that India’s shift from coal could have important implications for the global climate, and any investors looking towards coal would be making a very brave and risky decision.

Coal
Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas.

The increasing problem with relying on coal

Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas. Clean-up costs could make coal an out-of-date power source sooner rather than later. A report by Oxford University estimated that investors in coal power may lose upwards of half a trillion dollars because assets cannot be profitably run or retired early due to global temperature rises and agreed carbon emission reductions.

Also Read- Oral Antifungal Drug Linked to Risk of Miscarriage

Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years – although it’s difficult not to see coal remaining an important power source considering India’s significantly large coal reserves still available in Eastern India.