Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 08 October 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Section 124A of IPC.
  2. Cabinet approves ‘National Gas Marketing Reforms’.

1. Section 124A of IPC

News Summary

It is a piece of political news not relevant to the exam.

Prelims GS – Governance

Section 124A of Indian Penal Code:
  • Section 124A deals with Sedition.
  • Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India,  shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.
  • Explanation 1.—The expression “disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.
  • Explanation 2.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtaining their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offense under this section.
  • Explanation 3.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offense under this section.

For a complete overview of IPC, click here to visit the official document.

2. Cabinet approves Natural Gas Marketing Reforms

News Summary

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved ‘Natural Gas Marketing Reforms’, taking another significant step to move towards a gas-based economy.

Prelims GS – Economic Development

Natural Gas:
  • Natural gas is the cleanest of fossil fuel among the available fossil fuels.
  • It is used as a feedstock in the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics, and other commercially important organic chemicals as well as used as a fuel for electricity generation, heating purpose in industrial and commercial units.
  • Natural gas is also used for cooking in domestic households and a transportation fuel for vehicles.
Gas supply sources in India:
    • Domestic Gas Sources: The domestic gas in the country is being supplied from the oil & gas fields located in western and southeastern areas viz. Hazira basin, Mumbai offshore & KG basin as well as the North East Region (Assam & Tripura).
    • It is being supplied and distributed in terms of the guidelines related to pricing and utilization policies issued by the Government from time to time.
    • In FY 2018-19, total domestic gas production was about 90.05 MMSCMD.
Import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG):
  • In order to meet the gas demand, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is imported through Open General License (OGL) in the country and it is imported by the gas marketer under various Long Term, Medium Term, and Spot contracts.
  • The price and utilization of imported LNG are mutually decided by buyers and sellers.
  • At present, the country is having six (6) operational LNG regasification terminals operational with a capacity of about 38.8 MMTPA (~ 140 MMSCMD).

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development

Natural Gas Marketing Reforms:
  • The objective of the policy is to prescribe the standard procedure to discover the market price of gas to be sold in the market by gas producers, through a transparent and competitive process, permit Affiliates to participate in the bidding process for the sale of gas, and allow marketing freedom to certain Field Development Plans (FDPs) where Production Sharing Contracts already provide pricing freedom.
  • The policy aims to provide a standard procedure for the sale of natural gas in a transparent and competitive manner to discover market prices by issuing guidelines for sale by the contractor through e-bidding. This will bring uniformity in the bidding process across the various contractual regimes and policies to avoid ambiguity and contribute towards ease of doing business.
  • The policy has also permitted Affiliate companies to participate in the bidding process in view of the open, transparent, and electronic bidding. This will facilitate and promote more competition in the marketing of gas. However, rebidding will have to be done in case only affiliates participate, and there are no other bidders.
  • The policy will also grant marketing freedom to the Field Development Plans (FDPs) of those Blocks in which Production Sharing Contracts already provide pricing freedom.
  • These reforms will build on a series of transformative reforms rolled out by the Government in the last several years.
Benefits of Natural Gas Marketing Reforms:
  • These reforms in the gas sector will further deepen and spur economic activities in the following areas:
  • Transparency:
    • The whole eco-system of policies relating to production, infrastructure, and marketing of natural gas has been made more transparent with a focus on ease of doing business.
  • Reduction in import dependence:
    • These reforms will prove very significant for Atmanirbhar Bharat by encouraging investments in the domestic production of natural gas and reducing import dependence.
  • Encouragement of investments:
    • These reforms will prove to be another milestone in moving towards a gas-based economy by encouraging investments.
  • Environmental benefit:
    • The increased gas production-consumption will help in the improvement of the environment.
  • Employment opportunities:
    • These reforms will also help in creating employment opportunities in the gas-consuming sectors including MSMEs.
  • Increased investments in Downstream industries:
    • The domestic production will further help in increasing investment in the downstream industries such as City Gas Distribution and related industries.

(Note: The above points best depict the flow of an answer in Mains Examination)

Click here to view more information about Natural Gas in the official website.



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