The United States of America becomes the 101st member country of the International Solar Alliance

In a big boost to accelerate global adoption of solar energy, John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate announced at the UNFCCC COP26 today that the United States of America (USA) has joined the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a member country. U.S becomes the 101st country to sign the framework agreement of the ISA to catalyze global energy transition through a solar-led approach. 

Welcoming the United States of America as the 101st member of the ISA,Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav said, that this move will strengthen the ISA and propel future action on providing a clean source of energy to the world.” 

Happy that now USA is formally a part of International Solar Alliance, a visionary initiative launched by PM Shri @narendramodi Ji in 2015 at Paris COP. The number of countries who are now part of @isolaralliance is now 101.

— Bhupender Yadav (@byadavbjp) November 10, 2021

Signing the framework agreement, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, said, “It has long been coming, and we are happy to join the International Solar Alliance, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the lead in making. We worked out the details and this is a process we are pleased to be a part of. This will be an important contribution to more rapid deployment of solar globally. It will be particularly important for developing countries.”

Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, the ISA said, “The US’ endorsement of ISA’s framework and approach is an heartening development, especially as our 101st member nation, which is a significant milestone in itself, demonstrating that nations across the world are recognizing the economic and climate mitigating value of solar, as well as this energy source’s potential as a catalyst for global energy transition.”

The launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was announced by H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and H.E. Mr. Francois Hollande, former Hon’ble President of France on 30th November 2015, at the 21st session of United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the launch, alongside the Heads of about 120 nations who affirmed their participation in the Alliance to dedicate efforts for promotion of solar energy.

The framework was first circulated for countries’ support in 2016. The framework emphasizes delivering global relevance and local benefit to all countries through collaborations, with ISA’s key interventions focusing on readiness & enabling activities, risk mitigation & innovative financing instruments to facilitate the promotion and deployment of solar technologies in target markets.

The approach and methods detailed in the framework have already delivered results, with ISA building a solar project pipeline of nearly 5 GW installed capacity. The approach detailed in this framework will culminate in a vision for interconnected global grids, which was formalized and jointly launched as  the ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid’ (GGI-OSOWOG), during the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 in Glasgow on 2nd November 2021 by the UK Presidency of COP26 and India Presidency of International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Earlier at COP26, the United States also joined the Steering Committee of the GGI-OSOWOG comprising of 5 members – USA, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and India — and endorsed the One Sun Declaration along with 80 countries. United States of America’s Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm had said that “the Grid-Sun combination will save the planet. The GGI-OSOWOG is focusing on the two most important pieces of the puzzle. We at the US Department of Energy are happy to be a partner with GGI-OSOWOG.”

U.S.’ endorsement of the ISA framework follows remarks by U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry at the Fourth General Assembly of ISA in October 2021, where he had said that ISA is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has an opportunity to accelerate Solar’s growth with member countries blessed with the world’s strongest sunlight. Stating that, “Solar energy is at the heart of the urgent climate action,” Mr. Kerry urged nations to take dramatic action to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius temperature rise and mid-century net zero emissions targets within reach.

About The International Solar Alliance

The ISA is an inter-governmental treaty-based international organization with a global mandate to catalyze global solar growth by helping to reduce the cost of financing and technology for solar. In fulfilling this mandate, the ISA is committed to establishing solar as a shared solution that simultaneously addresses climate, energy, and economic priorities across geographies, facilitating Energy Transition at a global level, Energy Security at national levels, while also ensuring Energy Access at the local level. The ISA is helping large nations scale global commitments, thereby serving the planet’s needs for reduced carbon emissions, while also helping economically more vulnerable nations establish a self-sustaining energy alternative that reduces trade dependency and drives job creation. Universal, affordable, and reliable last- mile electricity connectivity across socio-economic strata is a crucial pillar and targeted, tangible outcome of these combined efforts towards facilitating economic development and environmental impact.



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22 States/UTs have so far undertaken commensurate reduction of VAT on Petrol and diesel;

Following the decision of the Government of India to significantly reduce Central Excise Duty on Petrol and Dieselby Rs. 5 & Rs. 10 respectively, 22 states/UTs have also undertaken commensurate reduction of  VAT on Petrol and Diesel to give relief to consumers. 

However, there are 14 States/UTs which have not undertaken any reduction in VAT in Petrol and Diesel. These are: Maharashtra, NCT of Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Andaman & Nicobar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

The most reduction in the Petrol prices has been in UT of Ladakh, followed by Karnataka and Puducherry. The prices of Petrol in theseUTs/state have come down by Rs 13.43, Rs 13.35 and Rs 12.85 respectively.

 For Diesel, the most reduction has been undertaken by UT of Ladakh, leading to price coming down by Rs 19.61 per litre there, followed by Karnataka and Puducherry.



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Centre asks States to take disclosures of stock of edible oilseeds and oils with the millers and stockist

In a move to check the unfair practices of any and bring transparency in the availability of edible oils, Centre has asked States to take disclosures of stock of edible oilseeds and oils with the millers and stockist.

This move is being made to ensure that there is no unfair practice and consequent rise of edible oils due to hoarding of any kind.

This is not a stock limitation order of any kind.

The Secretary, Food and Public Distribution is expected to take a meeting with State officials tomorrow to take the matter further and ensure that compliance is done appropriately.



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States should take advantage of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund so that benefits can reach small and marginal farmers, says Shri Narendra Singh Tomar

On the 2nd day of the Chief Ministers’ conference on initiatives and schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Union Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar emphasized that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is set up to drive infra investments and will facilitate and drive speedy sanctions through a user friendly online portal. He urged the states to take advantage of the fund so that the benefits can percolate to the small and marginal farmers who lack warehousing and cold storage facilities at the farm gate. Speaking about digital agriculture mission the Minister stated that farmers’ database is our wealth and will usher in focused programme delivery, reducing seepages, better policy formulation and smart farming in the country. Database with 5.5 crore farmers is ready and work is progressing for verifying others with land records.

Shri Tomar informed that the Union Cabinet recently approved National Edible Oil Mission (NMEO-OP) for palm oilwith focus on the North-East regions and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Through this, the production of edible oils will be accelerated in the country thereby reducing the import of edible oils. This mission will immensely benefit the palm oil farmers, increase capital investment, generate employment, reduce dependence on imports and increase the income of farmers.During the meeting, the states of Northeast appreciated the National Edible Oil-Palm Oil Mission started by the Central Government and assured their cooperation in its implementation at their level.

Shri Piyush Goyal while addressing the conference on the second day said that the central government is working in close alignment with the State governments to transform the future of farmers. He said that food security is synonymous with farmers’ security and reforms for farmers have put India on the path of AtmaNirbhar Bharat. On Agriculture exports the Minister said that exports have an important role to play in doubling farmers’ income and India should aim to become the top 5 agri exporting nations. Talking about ‘One District, One Product’, the Minister said that 106 products have been identified from 103 districts and districts should be promoted as export hubs to ensure that local goes global. He informed that red rice is now being exported to USA and Jackfruit from Tripura is being sent to UK. Free Trade Agreements are being worked out for better markets.

A presentation on themes of the conference was made by Additional Secretary Shri Vivek Agarwal. He outlined the vision AtmaNirbhar Agriculture that will transform farmers into entrepreneurs with higher income and better quality of life, make India the food basket of the world and make agriculture the go to investment opportunity. To achieve AtmaNirbhar Agriculture, 10,000 FPOs are planned to be set up, export oriented clusters, organic oriented clusters and digital agriculture would be set up. To bring about transformative change in agriculture discussions with the states centered around the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, export of Agriculture products, self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds (Natural Mission on oilseeds and oil palm). PM Kisan and KCC data matching with focus on saturation of KCCs for small and marginal farmers and national farmers database with connectivity to state land records database.

Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ms. Shobha Karandlaje and Shri Kailash Choudhary were present at meeting. The Chief Ministers and Agriculture Ministers appreciated the efforts made by the Central Government for the progress of the agriculture sector and gave their suggestions regarding various schemes and some regional problems. The state governments of the North-East have praised the new National Edible Oil Mission– ​​Palm Oil, saying that it will definitely bring a paradigm shift in the economy of their states. They thanked the Prime Minister Shri Modi and the Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar. The Government of Karnataka gave a presentation on the Crop Survey Project and APEDA gave a presentationon agricultural exports.



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NCPCR Asks States/UTS to Upload Data of Children Who Have Lost Both or Either of The Parent To Covid-19 On Online Tracking Portal “Bal Swaraj (Covid-Care)”

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in furtherance to its function as a monitoring authority under section 109 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and in view of the growing problem related to children affected by COVID-19, has devised an online tracking portal “Bal Swaraj (COVID-Care link)” for child in need of care and protection. This portal of the Commission has been created with a purpose for online tracking and digital real time monitoring mechanism of children who are in need of care and protection. The Commission has extended the use of this portal for tracking children who have lost both its parents or either of the parent during COVID-19 and provided a link under the name of “COVID-Care” for uploading of data of such children by the concerned officer/department on the portal.


 The children who have lost family support or are without any ostensible means of subsistence are children in need of care and protection under Section 2(14) of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and all procedures given under the Act for such children must be followed to ensure the well-being and best interest of children.

“Bal Swaraj-COVID-Care”portal is aimed at tracking the children affected by COVID-19 right from the production of children before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to the restoration of the children to their parent/guardian/relative and its subsequent follow-up. Through the data filled in the portal by the District officers and State officers for each child, the Commission will be able to get information about whether the child is being able to get his/her entitlements, benefits and monetary gains for which the child is entitled to. It will also come to know whether the child has been produced before the CWC and the orders are being passed for him/her. The Commission can also identify if the State is needing financial assistance in getting more funds for giving benefit under implemented schemes to the children.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in SMWP No. 4 of 2020 “In Re. Contagion of Covid-19 virus in Children Homes”, vide order dated 28.05.2021 has directed all district officers across theStates/UTs to fill data on the Commission’s portal, related to children who have become orphan before Saturday evening (29.05.2021 evening) on Bal Swaraj portal under the COVID-Care link. The Commission has informed about the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to all States/UTs through letters to Principal Secretaries of Department of Women and Child Development/Social Welfare on 28.05.2021 and letter to Chief Secretaries on 29.05.2021. The username and passwords of each user/district child protection officer and State Government has been shared with all States/UTs as well.

NCPCR is a statutory body and works under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child  Development, Govt. of India.



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