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India sets up High-Level Group headed by Ram Vinay Shahi for South Asia Energy Security

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India sets up high-level group headed by Ram Vinay Shahi for South Asia energy securityOn January 5, 2021, the Central Government of India has set up high-level group named “South Asia Group for Energy (SAGE)” headed by Ram Vinay Shahi for the development of South Asia energy security architecture.

  • It has been set up under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)-run think tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS).
  • The development of South Asia-focused energy security architecture is on the lines of India’s neighbourhood-first policy under which Cross-border energy trade is a key part.
  • The energy architect by India includes cross-border electricity trade, supplying petroleum products and setting up liquefied natural gas terminals.

Objective of SAGE:

To achieve a balanced and optimal development of energy infrastructure through mutual understanding and cooperation.

Role of SAGE:

Promoting, initiating and facilitating effective policy dialogue and capacity building on bilateral, sub-regional and regional basis for energy and related issues, among South Asian countries

Other Members of SAGE:

Amar Sinha, former economic relations secretary in the MEA and India’s former ambassador to Afghanistan;

Preeti Saran, former secretary east in MEA;

Chandan Kumar Mondol, director commercial at NTPC Ltd

Rakesh Nath, former chairman of Central Electricity Authority, the apex power sector planning body;

Anil Sardana, managing director, Adani Power;

Deepak Amitabh, chairman and managing director, PTC India Ltd, the country’s largest electricity trader.

Key Points:

–India is trying to create a common pool for neighbouring countries and has an installed power generation capacity of 373.43 gigawatts.

  • The proposed market, which will include Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, could aid regional peace and improve utilization of generation assets—including the stranded assets in India—and efficient price discovery

–India has been procuring hydropower from Bhutan while it is supplying electricity to Bangladesh and Nepal. The plan now is to include the option of building an overhead electricity link with Sri Lanka.

–India is already moving ahead with its ambitious global electricity grid plans to roll out a “One Sun, One World, One Grid” (OSOWOG).

Recent Related News:

i.On August 20-21, 2020, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand organized the two-day long 6th Round Table of ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks (AINTT).

ii.On October 13, 2020, the 6th session of India-Norway Joint Commission was held virtually where Indian delegation was led by Union Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Norwegian delegation was led by Ms. Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide, Foreign Minister of Norway.

About Ministry of External Affairs:
Union Minister– Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
Minister of State (MoS)– Vellamvelly Muraleedharan