News Bulletin : April 2021 – Issue 2

1. The silent rise of India’s private ports

In August 2020, Karan Adani, chief executive officer of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) and scion to the Adani group, informed stock analysts on an earnings call that his flagship port—Mundra, in the gulf of Kutch—had become the busiest port in the country. After nipping at the heels of its closest competitor for container traffic, JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust) at Navi Mumbai, for the last few years, Mundra finally pulled ahead in the first quarter of FY21, staging a faster recovery from the covid slump than the central government controlled JNPT could. Since then, Mundra has repeated this feat every subsequent month, consistently widening the gap in container volumes between itself and JNPT. At the end of FY21, 7.22 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units, a measure of container cargo capacity) had passed through Mundra, 16% higher than the previous year. In contrast, JNPT handled 4.68 million TEUs, a 7% year-on-year decline. Source: LiveMint

2. Reconciling India’s climate and industrial targets:  A Policy Roadmap

Industry in India has never grown to the levels the government has desired – either in contribution to GDP or to employment. Numerous targets have been set, particularly for the manufacturing sector, following the growth models of China and other countries in East Asia. However, India has come up short, largely due to lack of infrastructure, arbitrary regulations in land, labour and tax systems, and a poor business climate. Since 2014, despite the government’s strong focus on manufacturing and ease of doing business, the sector remains at less than 15 percent of GDP, and unemployment is at its highest level in decades. At the same time, India has performed remarkably well in terms of its climate trajectory over the past decade. As compared to 2005 levels, the country’s GHG emission intensity declined by 21 percent in 2014.1 According to Climate Transparency, India is the only country among the G20 nations that is on track to achieve the targets set under the Paris Agreement. One of the key, albeit unfortunate, reasons behind India’s climate success is the underperformance of its manufacturing sector. Since industries comprise approximately one-fourth of the economy’s total GHG emissions, sluggish growth in the industrial sector has led to moderate increase in industrial power demand and emission-intensity of GDP. The Indian government has set robust growth targets for its manufacturing sector. This includes the goal to ensure that manufacturing’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25 percent by 2025 from the current 16 percent. As growth in the manufacturing sector ramps up, it is likely to come into conflict with India’s climate ambitions. A comparison can be made of China: While manufacturing has powered the country’s economy over the last two decades, the sector also accounts for 68 percent of nation-wide energy consumption and 84 percent of CO2 emissions, as well as 24.1 percent of global emissions. The challenge for India is to achieve industrial growth on a low-carbon path. Source: ORF Online

3. Mumbai Metro-5 gets CRZ clearance

The Maharashtra State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has granted coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) Metro-5 line, which will connect Thane to Kalyan. The decision to grant CRZ clearance was taken during the 217th meeting of the SEIAA on March 18, the minutes of which were accessed by Hindustan Times. Source: Hindustan Times

4. IR: Freight transportation records highest loading

Indian Railways has recorded the highest loading in freight transportation. The Ministry of Railways in a release informed that in the financial year 2020-21, the Indian Railways transported the loading of 1,232.64 Million Tonnes (MT). With this, the freight revenue of Indian Railways also increased to ₹ 1,17,386 crore (approx.) for the financial year ending March 31, 2021 as against the freight revenue recorded to ₹ 1,13,897 crore during fiscal 2019-20. To be sure, these trains are running at double the speed of 44 kmph, up from 24 kmph speed in the last fiscal. Source: Financial Express

5. Factors thriving the augmentation in the infrastructure sector

Shashank Agarwal, MD, Salazar Techno Engineering, shares his views: Infrastructure is an important sector for the overall development of any country. In India, it is considered as the backbone of the country’s economy. It integrates projects on a wider scale and reinforces its competitiveness on a global level. The infrastructural facilities such as roads, railways, metro rails, etc are required to potentially increase the productivity and smooth functioning of other business sectors in India. According to the estimates of a recent report – India will require ₹ 50 trillion ($777.73 billion) in infrastructure by 2022 for sustainable development in the country. It is also marking a myriad of opportunities for foreign investors to invest in the country’s infrastructure development. Furthermore, the estimates shared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) suggest – FDIs in the construction development and infrastructure activities stood at $17.22 billion in September 2020. Source: Construction Week Online

6. A simulation model for hybrid-electric inland waterway passenger vessels: Paper

The increasing focus on air pollution reduction for transportation systems requires to adopt new technologies and innovative solutions to limit vehicles emissions. In case of inland waterway transportation (IWT), once vessels have to operate close to urban areas or in natural reserves, the necessity to provide a ’green navigation’ is of primary importance. With this specific aim, especially for small crafts, the adoption of an hybrid-electric power system grant a significant pollution reduction, leading also to a possible Zero Emission Mode (ZEM) navigation. However, the particular configuration of inland waterways makes the estimation of vessels’ hydrodynamic performances harder compared to a seagoing ship, because of restricted waters effects, affecting both resistance and manoeuvring characteristics. For this purpose, time domain simulation program has been developed to estimate the effective power demand of an inland vessel during a specific route. The program has been tested on the specific case of a passenger vessel designed for the Grado lagoon, where all the reference route bathymetric data were available. By means of the simulations it has been possible to state whether the vessel is suitable to operate in ZEM mode during the service. Source: Indico

7. IoT-powered Digital Ecosystem Transforming the Global Logistics Industry

The traditional approach to global freight management in the logistics industry faces challenges at every step due to process delays, product theft, and spoilage, lack of supply chain visibility, and resource limitations. announces the release of the report \”IoT-powered Digital Ecosystem Transforming the Global Logistics Industry\” – Missteps and uninformed decisions in supply chain and logistics operation create havoc and translate into damaged customer relationships. Despite the challenges, the logistics industry continues to develop, as the industry has become truly global with a growing demand for eCommerce and increased customer expectations. The global logistics industry is fragmented in nature and operates at low margins with staff shortages in the commercial trucking and labour-intensive industry segments. The Internet of Things (IoT) is making waves in the supply chain and logistics sectors with the advent of digital technologies, and it holds the answer to several challenges because it can enable the logistics industry stakeholders to have agile and streamlined operations. IoT solution has evolved a long way, and today, logistics is not just about freight movement and IoT-powered tracking solutions with sensor tags to understand the physical location of freight. Source: Report Linker

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