ACC Battery Storage

With the intent of putting India on the map as a lead battery storage producer, the Department of Heavy Industries (“DHI”) had notified the Production-Linked Incentive, ‘National Program on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage’ (“PLI-ACC Scheme”) in June, 2021.[1] The PLI-ACC Scheme has been developed to boost the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and is one of the thirteen schemes approved by the Union Government.[2] It aims to encourage domestic and foreign investors to invest in setting up giga-scale ACC manufacturing facilities in India.


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Zooming into Sustainable Growth – An Analysis of the PLI Scheme for Automobiles and Auto Component Industry

Background

Ministry of Heavy Industries (“MHI”) notified the Product Linked Incentive (“PLI”) Scheme for Automobile and Auto Component Industry (“PLI Auto Scheme”) in September 23, 2021[1] with the intent of enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities for advanced automotive products. The applicant company qualifying the eligibility criteria (inter alia, revenue and investment) provided in the PLI Auto Scheme can receive the benefits under the same. The scheme provides for financial incentives to boost domestic manufacturing and attract investments in automotive manufacturing value chain and its primary objectives include, inter alia, overcoming cost disabilities and building robust supply chain in areas of advanced automotive technology products.


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USHERING A NEW WAVE OF REFORMS IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION

Cost and time overruns have long since plagued India’s infrastructure sector and given a bad name to public projects being executed in the country. According to a report[1] published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, as on November 1, 2021, 438 out of 1,681 central sector infrastructure projects have been affected by cost overruns, aggregating to Rs 4.34 lakh crore, and 539 projects are running behind their respective schedules. Such delays take a toll on the viability of projects. To mitigate this problem, the Central Vigilance Commission (“CVC”), Comptroller and Auditor General of India and NITI Aayog have long-advocated the need to revamp the procurement and project management procedures in India. The efforts of these premier institutions have culminated in the Ministry of Finance issuing the General Instructions on Procurement and Project Management on October 29, 2021 (“General Instructions”). By introducing provisions pertaining to additional methods of procurement, timely payment to contractors and reforms in the dispute resolution process, the General Instructions attempt to overhaul the manner in which projects are awarded and implemented by public authorities and project executing agencies (“PEA”).
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NeSL - THE NEW WAY OF ELECTRONIC EXECUTION

 INTRODUCTION

Execution of a document means the placement of signatures by all persons who are required by the character of the instrument to sign the same in order to give it a binding effect under law. It is based on the classic principle of consensus ad idem i.e. two parties entering a contract should agree upon the same thing in the same sense. One amongst the many problems for closure of transactions posed by COVID-19 is the mechanism of execution of documents. The traditional way of executing agreements involved the parties to be physically present at a place and affix the signatures, stamps, common seals, etc., along with paying the necessary stamp duty as prescribed under the relevant stamp laws. However, with the imposition of a nationwide lockdown, travel restrictions and norms of social distancing in place, the manner of execution of documents has had to be reimagined.
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After more than three months of lockdown, there is no denying that the Indian economy has been impacted. This is also evidenced by the stimulus packages announced by the Government of India, in an attempt to protect and revive the economy. With most people staying indoors 24*7, electricity consumption in the commercial sector was also impacted initially, although the levels have been restored in a phased manner. This coupled with different lockdown strategies in different states, is also continuing to impact business at large. Taking into account the impact of COVID-19 across the globe, and the lockdown in the country, the government of India and certain central agencies have been providing clarification and issuing memorandums/notifications to guide the infrastructure industry, specifically the renewable energy (RE) sector, and RE projects in terms of COVID-19 being declared as a force majeure (FM).


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Covid-19 – Navigating choppy waters for Port Projects

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedent crisis throughout the world and has caused widespread disruptions in normal operations across industries and life in general. In India, the National Disaster Management Authority determined that India was threatened by the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and took steps to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the country under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. On March 24, 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs declared a 21-day lockdown under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with effect from March 25, 2020. Such lockdown has been subsequently extended three times by the Ministry of Home Affairs and now remains in force till May 31, 2020.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has been issuing guidelines to determine the operation of essential and non-essential services during the period of lockdown and has attempted to restrict movement of persons throughout the country. The guidelines have caused States to close their borders and even movement within a State has been prohibited, unless it is in relation to an essential service. At the time of the first order of lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs excluded the ‘operation of seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation and their related operational organisations’ from the ambit of the lockdown. However, due to the disruptions in the supply chain, the inter-state and intra-state movement restrictions and the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an impact on operational as well as under construction port projects.
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Covid-19 - Flight Plan for Indian Aviation Industry

Covid-19 crisis has severely impacted almost all industries but disruptions in the airline industry is so profound that it is assumed to be greater than the combined crises of 9/11 and the 2008 global financial put together. The Government of India (acting through DGCA) (“GoI”) has vide its (i) order dated March 23, 2020 passed under Section 88(1) of the Aircraft Act, 1934; and (ii) orders dated March 26, 2020 and April 14, 2020 directed inter alia all aircraft operators to suspend the operations of all the domestic flights and all scheduled international commercial passenger services until May 3, 2020. The forward air travel bookings are far outweighed by the cancellations. Air travel demand is drying up in ways that are unprecedented with no semblance of normalcy on the horizon. For an industry which is already stressed, Covid-19 has only accelerated the process of bankruptcy filing by several companies (like Virgin Australia and Air Mauritius). Those airline companies which are still in business have also suffered misfortunes as coronavirus-forced lockdowns have kept their fleets grounded. Per the market sources, apart from the pay cut, several airline companies (Indigo, Go Airlines) have also taken other cost cutting measures including furloughs.
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Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in India - Policy and Challenges

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for the success of deploying electric vehicle (“EV”) scheme in India is the lack of adequate charging infrastructure (“Charging Infrastructure”). The revised guidelines for Charging Infrastructure for EV, issued on October 01, 2019 (“CI Guidelines”),[1] aim to simplify the process for setting up Charging Infrastructure. Below is a brief analysis of the CI Guidelines:
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Race to Space - Space Activities Bill, 2017 - commercialization of space

Spearheaded by the Department of Space and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India has developed low cost indigenous space capabilities for peaceful purposes over five decades. The proposed Space Activities Bill, 2017 (Bill), seeks to dismantle the Government monopoly on space and encourage private sector involvement. Will it lead to advancement of the space programme?

Globally, the space sector is no longer the preserve of Governments, as entry barriers to private players are being lifted[1]. The need for technological advancement, cost reduction and emerging opportunities such as mineral exploration of planets, are some of the reasons for encouraging the private sector. ISRO began commercialising certain space activities by opting for a public-private partnership model[2]. It has since seen many start-ups, but has yet to translate into a wider role for the private sector.  
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Part I - Electric Vehicles: Disrupting the Automotive Ecosystem

The Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with an increasing demand for energy. Given that historically India has relied on pollutant hydrocarbons to run its power plants and vehicles, there has been an increasing focus on setting ambitious ‘green’ targets, especially in light of the alarming levels of pollution in India. The Government of India (GoI) has actively encouraged the adoption of electric vehicles with the idea of shifting the production of new automotive vehicles from internal combustion engine models to electric vehicles by 2030.
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