1 . Government invites tenders for 3,000-MW solar projects

In what turns out to be a surge in solar tenders, the central government has invited bids for 3,000 MW of solar power projects connected to the inter-state transmission system. With this, the capacity of solar tenders invited by the central government in the first two months of 2018 stands at more than 5,000 MW (275 MW in Uttar Pradesh, 200 MW in Karnataka and 2,000 MW inter-state in January).

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) would sign 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the winning bidders and sell the power to electricity distribution utilities (discoms). The ceiling tariff for the latest tender has been set at Rs 2.93 per unit. The reverse auctions would be conducted for 12 projects of 250 MW each. The capacity additions would help the country achieve the target of 100 gigawatt (GW) of installed solar energy capacity by 2022.

Electricity production capacities added annually in the solar segment surpassed coal for the first time in 2017. In fact, solar capacity added in the year (8,040 MW) was more than twice the net addition of coal power units (4,004 MW).


2 . India climbs back to third spot in billionaires list

The number of billionaires in the world grew by more than one a day in the last one year, while China produced four new billionaires every week, says a new study by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report, which has been ranking the rich in the world for the last seven years.

Hurun Report has recently released the Hurun Global Rich List 2018, a ranking of the US-dollar-billionaires in the world. Interestingly, India climbed back into the third spot, replacing Germany, with 131 billionaires.

The Hurun Global Rich List 2018 ranked 2,694 billionaires from 68 countries and from 2,157 companies.

‘Billionaire Capital of the World’

The Chinese are adding more billionaires than any other country and has managed to put the US behind for the third year running. China has 819 billionaires compared with 571 in US. . Beijing is the ‘Billionaire Capital of the World’ for the third year running, ahead of New York.

The List 

Jeff Bezos is at the top of the list with a wealth of $123 billion, a year-on-year growth of 71%. He is followed by 87-year-old Warren Buffett, with a 31% year-on-year increase in his wealth, and becoming the second person ever to break through the $100 billion barrier. Bill Gates dropped down to third place this year. Mark Zuckerberg is at the fourth position and saw his wealth grow 36% to $79 billion, on the back of a hike in Facebook’s share price.

India’s Position

India stands third in the list of countries with the most number of billionaires, with 131 individuals who have wealth of more than $1 billion. The number would be 170 if Indian-origin billionaires were also considered.

Combined wealth of the Indian Billionaires increased by 49% year-on-year to $454 billion. Mumbai is the preferred hub for most Indian billionaires, followed by New Delhi. Thirty one billionaires migrated from India, with the UAE, the UK and the US as preferred destinations.

3 . ISSF World Cup: Debutant Shahzar Rizvi wins gold with world record

India shooter Shahzar Rizvi has made his maiden ISSF World Cup appearance a memorable one by winning the gold medal in the 10m air pistol event at Guadalajara in Mexico . Rizvi shot a world record score of 242.3 points in the final to beat Christian Reitz of Germany, 239.7 points, to win the top honour.

Ace India shooter Jitu Rai won the bronze in the event with a score of 219 points.


4 . India again fastest growing economy

India regained its status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the third quarter, surpassing China’s growth after a gap of one year. The Chinese economy grew 6.8% in the October-December quarter. The pick-up in gross domestic product (GDP) growth to the fastest pace in five quarters — which suggested the economy has completely recovered from the pains of demonetisation — was despite a significant slowing of private consumption, the economy’s principal engine.

A dramatic rebound in investments — a growth of 12% in gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) on a (revised) strong base of 8.7%  helped the Indian economy to grow at a better-than-expected pace of 7.2% in the third quarter of this fiscal. Strong shows by manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors and services that largely held ground have boosted growth.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) also revised the Q2FY18 GDP expansion to 6.5% from 6.3% earlier, and upped its advance estimate of the rate of GDP expansion for 2017-18 to 6.6% from 6.5% seen earlier.