Column: Hydel power: promises and pitfalls

India has had a long and notable history in hydel power. Its first hydroelectric power plant was commissioned in Karnataka way back in 1902. It has produced a number of distinguished hydro engineers, the foremost of whom must surely be M. Visvesvaraya who was bestowed the Bharat Ratna only a year after it was first awarded in 1954 to C. Rajagopalachari, S. Radhakrishnan and C.V. Raman. Engineer’s Day is celebrated every year on 15 September, the day Visvesvaraya was born. Another star in this galaxy was K.L. Rao, who was responsible for the Nagarjunasagar project in the Krishna basin in Andhra Pradesh and a Union minister in the 1960s.

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Industry/9H3lHcUxfmkJosGGbhvXtJ/Hydel-power-promises-and-pitfalls.html

This column was first published on December 01, 2014 at:

livemint_logo_new

Speech: On the reported move to bring certain changes in the MGNREGS

Nov 27, 2014: Calling attention regarding the reported move of the Government to introduce changes in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) by reducing the wage component of the fund allocation and restricting the areas of work.

Column: India’s coal concerns

Coal is India’s main energy source but we have to be very careful. After the historic Sino-US accord on climate change signed in Beijing between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping 12 days ago, China has unveiled further details on what it plans to do in regard to coal consumption, the primary source of carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. The accord commits China to peak its carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 or so. Now it appears that China will cap its coal use at about 4 billion tonnes by 2020 itself. Currently, its coal consumption is in the region of 3.5 billion tonnes. In addition, the energy mix envisages no more than 60-62% of electricity generation from coal by 2020, down from the present level of approximately two-thirds.

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/Vn7GdIKn5yctpzlLNrJ1FL/Indias-coal-concerns.html

This column was first published on November 24, 2014 at:

livemint_logo_new

Column: अब भारत की बारी

अमेरिका के राष्ट्रपति बराक ओबामा और चीन के राष्ट्रपति शी चिनफिंग ने बीजिंग में जलवायु परिवर्तन पर ऐतिहासिक समझौते पर हस्ताक्षर कर दिए। इस समझौते का दिसंबर 2015 में होने वाले पेरिस सम्मेलन पर असर पडऩा लाजिमी है, जहां दुनिया भर के नेता ग्लोबल वार्मिंग से निपटने के लिए नए समझौते पर विचार को एकत्र होंगे। चीन-अमेरिका समझौते पर काम तो चल रहा था, किंतु निश्चित तौर पर इसके इतनी जल्दी होने की उम्मीद नहीं थी। दोनों देशों के बीच व्यापार में प्रौद्योगिकी के इस्तेमाल पर भी एक समझौता हुआ है, जिसकी विश्व व्यापार संगठन में बड़ी प्रासंगिकता होगी। इन दो समझौतों के माध्यम से अमेरिका और चीन ने स्पष्ट संकेत दे दिया है कि ये द्विपक्षीय समझौते बहुपक्षीय समझौतों पर व्यापक असर डालेंगे।

Read more: http://www.jagran.com/editorial/apnibaat-now-indias-turn-11775685.html

This column was first published on November 15, 2014 at:

jagran-logonew

Column: Bilateral bugle from Beijing

It was in the works for almost a year and it was expected to happen. But not this soon, perhaps sometime in March-April 2015. Last week, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a truly historic climate change accord that will undoubtedly have an impact on the ongoing climate change negotiations. These talks are expected to culminate in a new global agreement to combat global warming in Paris in December 2015. Both China and the US had already announced targets for 2020. But what this accord does is commit the US to emission reduction cuts of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 on the way to an 80% cut by 2050. For the very first time, China has officially announced that its emissions of carbon dioxide will peak by 2030 and that it would try and reach this peak earlier. It has also pledged a 20% share of non-fossil sources in its energy mix by 2030, presumably involving nuclear, solar and wind.

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/Rxb1ywTRuuB9eEzss4uFyO/Bilateral-bugle-from-Beijing.html

This column was first published on November 17, 2014 at:

livemint_logo_new

Individuals can reduce India’s carbon footprint

158152914_THC_2197013g

Individuals can help in lowering India’s carbon footprint through lifestyle choices and contribute significantly to the country’s response to the climate change challenge, said Jairam Ramesh, MP, Rajya Sabha, and Senior Visiting Fellow, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, at a public lecture on “Climate Change and India’s Energy Policy” in Bengaluru on November 10, 2014. The event was organised jointly by The Hindu Centre and the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) on November 10, 2014, and focused on the policy options before India both domestically and internationally.

 

Read the full article at: http://www.thehinducentre.com/events/article6586776.ece

 

 

 

Column: Big breakthrough in Beijing

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have just signed a historic bilateral accord on climate change and clean energy cooperation in Beijing. This accord will have impacts in the run-up to the Paris Conference in December 2015 when the world community is expected to clinch a new agreement to combat global warming. The agreement was in the works no doubt, but it certainly came sooner than expected. Another agreement on trade in technology-intensive industries has been signed and this has great relevance for the World Trade Organization (WTO). With these two accords, the U.S. and China have signalled that they will influence multilateral outcomes through their bilateral agreements.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-on-global-warming-climate-change-and-accord-signed-between-us-and-beijing/article6591698.ece

 

This column was first published on November 13, 2014 at:

hindu

 

Column: Rapid, inclusive and sustainable

There has been a persistent demand to make the environment business-friendly. But very few have talked about the need to make business environment-friendly. The two must go hand-in-hand.

This is the only way to make rapid economic growth inclusive and sustainable as well. It is somewhat ironic that Indian companies will accept tough environmental conditions for their projects in countries like Australia but get very agitated when similar conditions are imposed on their projects at home.

Most public hearings mandated under the law are a sham: where there are hearings, there is no public and where there is public, there are no hearings. The environmental impact assessments also mandated by law are done very casually and are seen as a mere formality to be complied with. This is why, barring a few exceptions, the environmental track record of Indian enterprise—both in the public and private sector—has been very poor. Laws have been flouted with impunity and the culprits—like those companies discharging untreated effluents into water bodies and rivers —have got away with it.

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/dhaohSeTHIhTM68uQDy3bK/Rapid-inclusive-and-sustainable.html

 

This column was first published on November 10, 2014 at:

livemint_logo_new

Column: समावेशी विकास की कुंजी

विदेशों में रह रहे लोगों से भारत को भारी मात्रा में विदेशी मुद्रा हासिल होती है। वर्ष 2013-14 में इस तरह से भारत को कुल 70 अरब डॉलर की राशि प्राप्त हुई जो हमारी जीडीपी का करीब 3.5 फीसद है। इस तरह देश में आई कुल राशि में से 30 फीसद पश्चिम एशिया के देशों से तथा 30 फीसद उत्तारी अमेरिका से आई। उत्तारी अमेरिका से आने वाली राशि में हाल के वषरें में सर्वाधिक वृद्धि देखी गई है। यदि हम चीन की तुलना में देखें तो भारत में विदेशों से भेजी जाने वाली राशि एफडीआइ अथवा प्रत्यक्ष विदेशी निवेश की तुलना में सतत रूप से ऊंची बनी हुई है और भुगतान संतुलन की स्थिति को नियंत्रित रखने में इसकी महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका है। वास्तविकता यही है कि दुनिया के किसी भी…

Read more: http://www.jagran.com/editorial/apnibaat-11752916.html

This column was first published on November 6, 2014 at:

jagran-logonew

 

Column: Unclear about nuclear?

India’s vast atomic energy infrastructure is the creation of Homi Bhabha with the full backing and participation of Jawaharlal Nehru. The Bhabha approach had its critics even in the 1950s with Meghnad Saha and D.D. Kosambi publicly voicing their differences. But there can be no doubt that this infrastructure has played a pioneering role in developing India’s scientific, engineering and technological capabilities across a wide spectrum.

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/BZXjexMeDYYDaPPmvn7n4O/Unclear-about-nuclear.html

This column was first published on November 03, 2014 at:

livemint_logo_new

All rights reserved. Copyright © 2014. Jairam Ramesh.