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Current Affairs for 23 February 2016
February 23, 2016

The average Indian was exposed to more particulate matter than the average Chinese citizen in 2015 — the first time that has happened in the 21{+s}{+t}century — according to a report released here on Monday.

The levels in India have increased over the years, with north India being the most polluted part of the country. The biggest jump was seen in West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Region. With a population-weighted analysis, the report found that the average citizen in India was exposed to more pollution in 2015 than his or her Chinese counterpart.

The report said that the AOD levels in Indian cities — Patna, Kolkata, New Delhi, Gorakhpur, Kanpur and Varanasi — all went up from 2005 to 2015. But not all of the highly-polluted big cities are covered by the air pollution monitoring network. There are 89 cities with a population of more than five lakhs, but only 17 have continuous air quality monitoring systems. The National Air Quality Index covers 23 cities with 39 stations, as opposed to 1,500 monitoring stations in China. Among the most polluted cities that lack continuous monitoring data are Durgapur, Gorakhpur, Asansol, Shiliguri, Bareilly and Ludhiana.



The government announced it will be divesting five per cent of its stake in NTPC through the offer-for-sale route on Tuesday.

The sale is expected to garner Rs.5,029 crore at a floor price of Rs.122 per share.

The stake sale is to be spread over two days, with institutional bidders getting to buy shares on Tuesday and retail investors on Wednesday.The retail investors have 20 per cent of the shares reserved for them.

“The floor price for the offer shall be Rs.122 per equity share,” NTPC said in a regulatory filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. The company’s stock closed at Rs.126.85 on Monday.


The Government of India, the State of Bihar and the DISCOMs of Bihar (North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited, and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Scheme UDAY — “Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana” here on Monday for operational and financial turnaround of DISCOMs. Bihar is the sixth State to have accepted UDAY for bringing about a positive change in the power sector scenario of States. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have already signed the MoU under UDAY for operational and financial turnaround of DISCOMs.

The signing ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal. The MoUs was signed on behalf of Ministry of Power by Dr. A K Verma, Pratyaya Amrit , Bihar’s Secretary for Energy, R Lakshmanan , MD, North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited and Sandeep Kumar MD ,South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited .



In a bid to augment the city’s transmission network, the Delhi Transco Limited (DTL) has commissioned as many as six projects in one go. Completed at a cost of Rs.136 crore, the projects have increased Delhi’s transformation capacity by 740 Mega Volt Ampere (MVA).

The move comes at a time when the entire transmission network across the Capital is undergoing an overhaul. Upgrading the ageing systems, the DTL has completed installing new transformers and bays at five locations while cables have been laid in another.

The projects are set to benefit six Assembly constituencies and their adjoining areas. These assemblies include Palam, Bawana, Shakur Basti, Mundka, Matiala and Okhla.

Speaking about the DTL’s network, an official said, “Delhi’s transformation capacity for 220 KV is 11,420 MVA, which is enough to take electricity load of as much as 9000 MW. Apart from this, 5,410 MVA is the capacity of our 400 KV transmission network.” The DTL pointed out that despite the high capacity, faults in power supply occur due to a lack of synergy on the part of the private distribution companies. “The discoms need to ensure their distribution lines are upgraded and are laid in adequate numbers,” he added.