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Centre bets on shift to supercritical technology to add thermal capacity
The Centre is betting on a complete shift to the more efficient supercritical technology over the next two Plan periods.
This is a welcome announcement as according to the CEA; over 60 percent of new capacity in the Twelfth Plan period and 90 percent in the Thirteenth Plan will be based on supercritical or the “clean” coal technology. Hopefully, this does not stay as an announcement as the previous commitments of the 10th plan have not been met. India cannot show brinkmanship when it comes to its climate change mitigation responsibilities and since power sector is one of the biggest polluters, policy should translate into action. The attitude of the government and a large part of the civil society in this regard is that it is “their” i.e. the developed world’s problem not ours. This attitude has lead to a slow adoption of this technology with no firm strategy to promote Rand D in clean coal technologies. The coal sector itself will require a major shape up to meet these challenges.
Competition Commission will scan Ambani gas dispute, if asked
Competition watchdog CCI has said it will look into the high-voltage gas dispute between the Ambani brothers provided someone forwarded a request.
The CCI may wait for a request on this. But in our view one of the major actors in this dispute is the government and its policy on gas pricing. The 28th-Aug-09 gas allocation and pricing policy throws up many issues of competition. The Standing Committee on Finance of the 14th Lok Sabha in its 44th report had observed that the CCI would make sincere efforts to pinpoint such policies of the Government which are inconsistent with the principles of competition. The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, has a provision allowing the CCI to give its opinion suo moto to the Government on any economic policy substantially impacting competition within India. Hopefully, they will not wait for requests!
FinMin asks DoT to hold allocation of 3G spectrum
Further allocation of spectrum has been stalled until a final view on the Spectrum Review Committee’s report is taken
The delays have just reached delirious proportions given that TRAI made its recommendations on 3G allocation and pricing way back in September 2006. Delays in releasing 3G frequencies have already caused harm to India’s participation in the Internet Economy. From a development perspective, access to broadband in both forms, mobile and fixed, must be improved if the emerging Internet Economy is to be inclusive. As pointed out earlier through these columns, India must expedite spectrum refarming and release spectrum by transparent means to enable operators to offer 3G technologies to make mobile, nomadic and fixed broadband a reality for the millions who will depend on a wireless access network as the gateway to the Internet Economy. Moreover, any further delay would mean that India will not have a level playing field; public sector telecom companies are already looking at the possibility of franchising 3G service delivery, as they have already been allocated the spectrum.
“THE IDEA OF JUSTICE”
Amartya Sen’s new book on the Idea of Justice
Amartya Sen—whose new book The Idea of Justice has recently been published—is a voice that is being heard.
I have not read the book but have heard and read some promos and interviews given by Professor Sen in India. In these interactions Professor Sen congratulates the Left parties in India for their sensitivity to the idea of justice. The Left parties in our view have been self-serving and served their narrow constituencies which include the trade unions of the public sector employees, unions of school teachers, etc. In Sen’s own paradigm, Indian leftists pursue purist, ideologically correct “Niti”. They have no concern for “Nyaya” or just consequences. Their record in West Ben