ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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What Has the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Achieved So Far?

The central government’s flagship programme to provide free liquefied petroleum gas connections has been in operation for two years, providing more than 3.5 crore free LPG connections to poor women. This much-needed scheme is a major step to reduce indoor air pollution, drudgery faced by women, and one that promises to extend LPG access. However, little is known about the progress of the scheme. Has it led to sustained use of clean fuels among poor households? There is need for more information about the scheme in the public domain for a comprehensive evaluation and mid-course correction.

From LPG Connections to Use

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, to provide concessional LPG connections, is a step in the right direction but much more needs to be done by 2019 and beyond to ensure homes in India cook using modern fuels. This article explores the issues of providing connections, subsidy provisioning and ensuring sustained use of LPG and other modern fuels, so as to displace solid fuels from Indian kitchens. It also highlights the need for planning for increased demand and addressing institutional gaps to ensure that the benefits of modern fuel adoption, especially health benefits, are realised.

Towards Methodologies for Multiple Objective-Based Energy and Climate Policy

Planning for India's energy future requires addressing multiple and simultaneous economic, social and environmental challenges. While there has been conceptual progress towards harnessing their synergies, there are limited methodologies available for operationalising a multiple objective framework for development and climate policy. This paper proposes a "multi-criteria decision analysis" approach to this problem, using illustrative examples from the cooking and buildings sectors. An MCDA approach enables policy processes that are analytically rigorous, participative and transparent, which are required to address India's complex energy and climate challenges.

A 'Dashboard' for the Indian Energy Sector

A first approximation of a multidimensional index assessing the energy sector in India would be a dashboard that would measure trends through five summary dimensions. Such a dashboard provides revealing insights, even in their condensed form.

Nuclear Energy

The Power of Promise: Examining Nuclear Energy in India by M V Ramana, enguin Viking, 2012; pp 366, Rs 699.

Indian Climate Change Policy

There is a growing body of climate-related policy in India; at the same time, there is no clear and consistent approach or framework that directs and guides these efforts. In this paper, we propose and develop a methodology for operationalising a co-benefits approach to climate policy formulation. We use the technique of multi-criteria analysis, which requires making choices between and examining trade-offs across multiple objectives of policy, such as growth, inclusion and environment. In addition, we develop a framework for consideration of implementation issues. We focus on policies related to energy; but we believe the approach can also be modified to address adaptation concerns. The structured tool of the sort proposed here would hopefully contribute to more informed and deliberative decision-making on climate-related issues.

Are We Serious about Our Energy Security?

There is an insuffi cient understanding of the seriousness of India's energy security problem and the impact this is having on the country's development. This has led to various crises in the energy sector, which, in turn, have prompted ad hoc emergency responses that do not address the underlying fundamentals.

Urban Transport Planning: Lessons from the Proposed Pune Metro Rail

This article critically analyses the decision-making systems behind the proposed Pune metro rail system and its detailed project report, exposing several weaknesses in both. The decision-making system is seen to be ad hoc, and not sufficiently transparent or participative. The DPR suffers from serious methodological and analytical errors, and has exaggerated the benefits from the proposed project. This analysis, along with the experience from other cities, suggests that cities are increasingly seeking single large, big-budget solutions to their urban transport problems without exploring the many simpler, cheaper and more effective options available.

A Response

 Unsubstantiated Criticism of Natural Gas Regulator Ratan P Watal A point by point rebuttal of the article

Shortcomings in Governance of the Natural Gas Sector

There has been a consistent lack of transparency and several governance lapses in the natural gas sector which have led to various kinds of concerns in important areas such as investment levels in blocks, availability of information regarding gas finds, content and process of arriving at pricing and utilisation policy, regulatory weaknesses and emerging market concentration. The objective of this article is to look behind the media glare and highlight the governance shortcomings that need urgent attention. Interestingly, a number of these issues were highlighted about two years ago on these very pages.

Climate Change: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

This article compares the future trajectory of carbon emissions of the Annex I countries under the Kyoto Protocol with the emission reduction targets being discussed in the US and the European Union. If the Annex I countries follow these trajectories, they would meet the Kyoto Protocol commitment in terms of the stock of emissions since 2008, only in 2021 or 2024. The financial support from these countries for the developing world is a tiny fraction of what is needed. The Annex I countries need to adopt a much more aggressive target for emission reduction by 2020 and offer much stronger support for mitigation and adaptation if they are serious about climate protection.

Unravelling Myths about Subsidies in Urban Transport

Is urban public transport subsidised more than its private counterpart? Through a case study of urban transport in Pune, this article demonstrates that car and two-wheeler users receive larger subsidies than bus users when all costs imposed by transport modes are considered.

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