December 16, 2022
Good morning. Today’s newsletter will be a short one with no feature story. However, we do have the other sections. We look at the possibility of setting up floating solar projects in Kerala, among other news.
🕵️ BEYOND ECHO CHAMBERS
For the Right:
Colour is communal in poll-bound Karnataka
For the Left:
Lessons From Delhi, Gujarat & Himachal: Congress Needs Strong Organisation, Not Gandhis And Their Sycophants
🇮🇳 STATE OF THE STATES
Warning to Kashmiri pandits (Jammu & Kashmir) – A terror group called Kashmir Fight has issued a new warning to Kashmiri Pandit government employees of more targeted attacks. The threat came hours after Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the under-construction site of the transit colonies of the employees. The threat, in the form of a letter, also warned contractors involved in building the colonies.
Why it matters: Earlier this month, the group threatened 57 pandit employees working in the valley as teachers under the PM’s Rehabilitation Package. Since the beginning of last year, Kashmiri pandits and non-Kashmiri migrants have been targeted by terrorists in the valley. Several of them and their families have fled and asked the government for help fearing for their lives.
Floating solar projects (Kerala) – The state government has set up a committee to study the possibility of installing floating solar plants in waterbodies and reservoirs that aren’t suitable for agriculture or fishing. This also includes parcels of land with higher salinity. Committee members will be from the power, fisheries, revenue, and finance departments.
Why it matters: The state does have solar power projects installed, like the one in Kayamkulam by Tata Power, with a capacity of 101.6 MW. Earlier this year, the state government stated its intentions to set up 200 MW renewable power projects, including a reservoir-based solar floating facility at the Banasurasagar Dam in Wayanad.
Credit potential (Odisha) – NABARD has stated Odisha’s credit potential for 2023-24 at ₹1.6 lakh crores. It’s a 19% increase from the current fiscal. Overall farm credit is projected to be more than ₹53,000 crores, which includes production, marketing, and maintenance. Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari urged bankers to step up and finance value chains and new-age projects to develop agriculture, a top priority sector.
Why it matters: Agriculture infrastructure and allied activities account for more than ₹58,000 crores. For MSMEs, it’s more than ₹72,000 crores. These account for 37% and 45% of the total lending potential, respectively. NABARD chief general manager C Udayabhaskar said credit flow to agriculture should be prioritised, with the areas under irrigation and cultivation of rabi crops needing to be advanced.
Committee to study atrocities against women (Maharashtra) – The state government has formed a committee to study cases of fraud and other atrocities against women over the past year. Named the Women Development Advisory Committee, it’s headed by Commissioner of Women and Child Development, R Vimala. It’ll study crimes against women across all of the state’s districts, how they’re reported, and try to find solutions. A report will be submitted in two months.
Why it matters: Some activists are unsure about the efficacy of the committee. Many Covid widows have been facing abuse and rejection by their in-laws. The state Women and Child Development (WCD) department doesn’t yet have a plan on how to investigate issues, including interviewing survivors and examining how government agencies provide help and the gaps in them.
Orunodoi 2.0 scheme (Assam) – Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the second version of the Orunodoi scheme to provide financial security to those struggling with money. He said it’s the largest social sector scheme in the state’s history and can transform the lives of millions. The 2.0 version will see more than 10 lakh additional beneficiaries to take the total to 27 lakh. It involves a guaranteed minimum cash flow of ₹1,250 to the families.
Why it matters: So far, the scheme has targeted 17 lakh women who have received the amount on the 10th of every month through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system. The 2.0 version of the scheme will also include families who have members who are disabled, have cerebral palsy, thalassemia, haemophilia, etc.
🔢 KEY NUMBER
363 – The number of journalists deprived of their freedoms according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). It’s a record high, with the nonprofit stating seven journalists are behind bars in India.