• The output of eight core industries grew 2.2% in January compared with the same month last year. The higher output came on the back of more coal, refinery output and electricity production during the period under review, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce.
  • According to CARE Ratings, electricity production witnessed a trend reversal and grew by 2.8% against the sustained contraction seen in the previous five months. It was also higher than the 0.8% growth in January 2019.
  • The Varanasi Smart City project having recently been ranked among the top 20 smart cities, Varanasi has been paired up with Amritsar to pull up the level of development in the latter. The progress of all the 100 cities participating in the mission so far, was ranked by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
  • Here are some of the key initiatives which are being undertaken under the Varanasi Smart City project: Suramya Kashi (Picturesque Kashi); Nirmal Kashi (Pure Kashi); Surakshit Kashi (Secure Kashi); Samunnat Kashi (Progressive Kashi); Ekikrit Kashi (Integrated Kashi); Sanyojit Kashi (Organised Kashi).
  • The objectives of the mission are to provide basic infrastructure, improve and enhance the quality of life, ensure and strive for clean and sustainable environment. Set examples which can be replicated within as well as outside the smart city, so as to enhance the creation of more smart cities.
  • The pace of project award for highways is the slowest in six years due to delays in land acquisition. This will slacken the pace of construction in the next two years. Both the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) are struggling to award more highway projects.
  • Road project award is the lowest in the last six years and is expected to remain muted in FY21,” said Rajeshwar Burla, vice-president, associate head-corporate ratings, ICRA.

  • NTPC Ltd has invited Expression of Interest from interested fly ash users and ash traders. The fly ash will be procured from NTPC’s Vindhyachal, Rihand, Korba and Sipat Super thermal power stations. The ash is proposed to be issued from the Shakurbasti Depot of Central Railside Warehousing Corporation (CRWC) in New Delhi and will be supplied in 40kg bags to interested parties, an official statement said.
  • The company is looking at new avenues of fly ash management. It has also signed 25 MoUs for supply of about 260 lakh m3 of fly ash for road projects. The supply of another 160 lakh m3 ash is under process, the statement said.
  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) will soon launch the world’s second-largest Operation Control Centre at Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. The state-of-the-art Operation Control Centre will act as the command centre for the entire route length of 1,856 km of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC).
  • The latest reverse auction for 1,200 MW of solar capacity, conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), will see the tariff drop to Rs 2.5 per unit. Though this is higher than the all-time low rate of Rs 2.44/unit, it is much lower than Rs 2.71/unit in the last auction during October, 2019.
  • According to sources, SoftBank Group’s SB Energy, Canadian energy firm AMP Energy’s India unit and New York-based Eden Renewables’ Indian arm have been awarded 600 MW, 100 MW and 250 MW, respectively, all at Rs 2.50/unit. ReNew Power, the country’s largest renewable energy generator, was awarded 200 MW at Rs 2.51/unit.