• Union coal ministry has floated a discussion paper that proposes to do away with the requirement of prior experience for prospective bidders for coal blocks. Also, the paper says that the revenue which developers need to share with the states will not be linked to coal prices quoted by state-run Coal India (CIL). Private players had earlier raised objections to these two conditions and cited them as reasons for their showing little interest in the sector.
  • The coal ministry also said that it is developing a ‘National Coal Index’ to fix the price of coal for commercial mining, which would include a weighted combination of monthly prices of coal in various channels of transaction.
  • In an effort to counter plastic pollution, the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B) has developed plastic-like films for the packaging industry that can degrade into harmless components.
  • The institute has developed a product that is a combination of non-toxic, edible sugar-based or fat-based biopolymers approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India that can degrade in about a week or a month.
  • According to a UN report, India was among the top 10 recipients of Foreign Direct Investment in 2019, attracting $49 billion in inflows, a 16% increase from the previous year, driving the FDI growth in South Asia,
  • Koushik Chatterjee, executive director (ED) and chief financial officer (CFO) of Tata Steel tells that the prospects for 2020-21 are better. The company has chalked out a master blueprint for growth in India over the next decade.
  • Coal production from captive mines in the first nine months of the ongoing financial year was up 24% year-on-year (y-o-y) at 40.93 million tonne. However, about 53% of the output came from coal blocks, which were not cancelled by the Supreme Court in its September 2014 order.
  • Production by CIL declined 5.8% annually to 388.4 million tonnes in the first nine months of FY20, mainly due to excessive rainfall hampering mining operations during the monsoons.