Exam Code: 090-600 Practice exam 2023 by Killexams.com team
SCO OpenServer Release 6 System Administration
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Killexams : SCO Administration questions - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/090-600 Search results Killexams : SCO Administration questions - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/090-600 https://killexams.com/exam_list/SCO Killexams : SCO Presidency: Highlight India's civilisational distinctiveness

India joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional multilateral organisation, as a permanent member in 2017. India’s primary goal in joining the SCO was to develop ties with the Central Asian nations. Four of the five Central Asian countries are founder- members of the SCO. Even though it is obvious that China dominates the SCO, India’s participation in this organisation serves as a counterbalance. A challenge to New Delhi comes from the China-Pakistan axis since Pakistan joined the SCO alongside India as a permanent member. As a result, India must use the SCO platform as a critical component of its Eurasian strategy.

In a rotational presidency, New Delhi will preside over the SCO from 2022 to 2023. Since India has flagged many important ideas pertaining to food security, connectivity and economic development in the SCO, its civilisational glory and historical ties to Central Asia must be the main focus of its SCO presidency. India must seize this opportunity to demonstrate its cultural and historical linkages to the SCO members, particularly the Central Asian republics. Buddhism is a great testimony to India and Central Asia’s historical and cultural connection. Apart from that, both regions were linked and traded commodities and ideas even before the Silk Road, which is merely a Chinese narrative. The Mahabharata period’s links with this region are widely chronicled in the Indian epics.

Varanasi, one of the world’s most ancient and continuously inhabited cities, is known as Banaras or Kashi. With India’s presidency of SCO, Varanasi has also obtained the rotating title of ‘Cultural and Tourism Capital’ for the SCO region. In addition to being a centre of learning, Varanasi is known as the cultural capital of India and is associated with spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, and yoga. The English novelist and writer Mark Twain were fascinated by the charisma and sanctity of Benaras, and he reportedly said, “Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and seems twice as ancient as all of them together.”

It is also known as the land of the Buddha since Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon in Sarnath, about 10 kilometres from Varanasi. Varanasi, also a Jains’ pilgrimage site, is considered the birthplace of Parsvanath, the 23rd Tirthankar. Hindus and Buddhists have a significant role in the city, although other religions coexist harmoniously. There are also several prominent Islamic sites of worship in Varanasi. Varanasi, the SCO’s cultural and tourism capital, will have a great influence on the member-nations and offer an excellent opportunity to explore the shared cultural and historical heritage.

In the direction of cultural-humanitarian cooperation, India organised the first-ever SCO virtual 3D Digital Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage in 2020. It showcased magnificent and rare treasures. The exhibition also revealed various Buddhist art forms that transcend national boundaries, rendering similar subjects that encourage comparisons among regional aesthetics while distinguishing aspects unique to each area. The Bronze Age linkage between India and Central Asia has been demonstrated clearly by archaeological discoveries in both places; so, an exhibition of the shared Bronze Age heritage (Indus Valley and Oxus Civilisation) as represented at various SCO museums might be organised along these lines.

Enhanced cooperation between the museums of the SCO member-States can open multiple avenues of cooperation in art, culture, and history. The First SCO Museum Forum was held in Tula, Russia in October 7, 2021. On April 26-27, 2022, members of an expert group held their second meeting via videoconference to discuss a draft memorandum between authorised agencies of SCO member-States on cooperation between museums. The SCO members should approach this as a priority for enhancing cultural cooperation. India can offer to establish a museum of SCO having the antiquities of the common cultural heritage of SCO member-countries.

Joint efforts should also be made to preserve and study the art and artefacts of mutual historical importance. Scholar exchanges between think tanks and other institutions should be encouraged, focusing on studying common history and culture. The provision of providing SCO scholarships can be advertised in the same way.

India, the land of ayurveda has been promoting its AYUSH systems of medicine globally. Since the past few years, the Indian government has signed MoU on cooperation in traditional medicine with many countries in South and South East Asia. Through this scheme, AYUSH Fellowships (The 104 scholarships offered yearly)/the setting up of AYUSH academic chairs in foreign universities / institutes, and the opening of an AYUSH information cell in the premises of the India Missions / ICCR Cultural Centre to disseminate authentic information about AYUSH is being undertaken.

The World Health Organization (WHO) opened its Global Centre for Traditional Medicines in Gujarat in April 2022. This was the first and only WHO global centre for conventional medicine. Following that, a SCO traditional medicine centre might be established. In Samarkand Summit of SCO, Prime Minister Modi presented the idea for establishing a new SCO Joint Working Group (JWG) on traditional medicine. This JWG can promote joint research on Traditional medicine (ayurveda, unani, homeopathy and naturopathy). Similarly, conferences and seminars can also be organized and AYUSH fellowships can also be extended to the SCO countries.

India’s SCO presidency must reflect on its civilisation’s splendour and seek to communicate with SCO members through common historical experiences. Even though China dominates the SCO, India must play an active role in this regional organisation.

The article has been authored by Pravesh Kumar Gupta, associate fellow (Central Asia) Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi.

Thu, 16 Feb 2023 05:50:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.hindustantimes.com/ht-insight/international-affairs/indias-sco-presidency-must-focus-on-highlighting-its-civilisational-distinctive-101676533241480.html
Killexams : India's G20, SCO presidency will result in good outcomes: Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister

By Ayushi Agarwal | Updated: Feb 14, 2023 23:08 IST

New Delhi [India], February 14 (ANI): Expressing optimism over India's Presidency of G20 and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) this year, Kazakhstan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kanat Tumysh said that India's presidency will result in good outcomes, especially at a time when the world is facing a volatile and turbulent situation.
"We as a country are inspired by the leadership of India in G20 and SCO. We are also proceeding by the understanding that the motto of the Indian G20 Presidency is very important in each and every country on our planet especially in this volatile and turbulent situation," Kanat Tumysh said.
In an interview with ANI, he said, "We congratulate India on its SCO presidency, and its very important to underline that it is conducted at a time of great changes to world economy, especially like the conflicts in our planet, trade war and sanction war. But I do believe that it will result in very good outcome."
Hailing India's innovation and Startup initiatives, Kanat Tumysh stated that such initiatives will create additional momentum and favourable conditions if India's ideas for startup and innovation are utilized.
"Initiative of India to create working group on innovation and startup is also very important idea. We fully support this idea. Because it is very important to create opportunities for our youth. We do believe the need to utilise this idea in the sectors such as Energy cooperation, environment cooperation which will be the priorities of Kazakhstan in its SCO presidency," Tumysh said.
"Both initiative of India and Kazakhstan will create additional momentum and will create favourable conditions if we utilise India's ideas for startup and innovation," he added.
On the bilateral trade relationship between India and Kazakhstan, the minister stressed on the positive dynamics of bilateral trade turnover, which by the end of 2022 amounted to USD 2.4 billion, which is 16.67 per cent higher than in the previous year.
On February 13, India and Kazakhstan held the 8th Foreign Office Consultations and reiterated their commitment to strengthen relations. The Indian side was led by Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs and the Kazakh side was led by Kazakhstan Deputy Foreign Minister Kanat Tumysh. Both sides agreed to hold the next round of Foreign Office Consultations on a mutually convenient date in Astana. (ANI)

Tue, 14 Feb 2023 09:08:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/indias-g20-sco-presidency-will-result-in-good-outcomes-kazakh-deputy-foreign-minister20230214230844/
Killexams : Should Pakistan Attend the SCO Summit in India?

India has extended an invitation to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan’s foreign minister, to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit scheduled for May this year. If Pakistan accepts this invitation, it would be the first time in 12 years that a Pakistani delegation has entered India.

In the backdrop of this invitation, we’ve seen Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister, making comments on reinvigorating dialogue with India, and even a hard exchange between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and India at the United Nations General Assembly.

There seem to be two schools of thought regarding the invitation, with some analysts are in favor of accepting and others are against. While the key decision makers may already be busy coming up with a response to the invite, here are the possible pros and cons of Pakistan attending the SCO summit taking place in India.

The overarching logic dictates that Pakistan must attend the SCO summit, thus keeping bilateral issues away from multilateral ones. For Islamabad, going to this summit offers opportunities. While India will continue to portray Pakistan negatively, this invitation is an opportunity for Islamabad to at least control the optics and to test the waters for larger gains.

First, the summit should be viewed from a larger perspective, one that reflects the macro lens of Pakistan’s regional and global diplomacy. The SCO is a fantastic setting for Pakistan: the agenda is naturally dictated by China and Russia, and any unilateral attempts by India to paint Pakistan with the letter “T” (terrorism) may become pointless.

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Herein lies the difference between India’s G-20 presidency and the SCO presidency. India may be able to use the G-20 platform to push false narratives about Pakistan. However, even that could work to Pakistan’s benefit. Global priorities have long since shifted to other global issues like great power competition between the United States and China, the international financial crunch, the environment and sustainable development, and far-right politics. For now, these issues are outweighing the concern about terrorism in the global arena.

Second, this SCO offers a starting point for Pakistan to show its maturity as a cooperative state on the global and regional stage. Whether or not this visit culminates in a sideline bilateral meeting between Pakistan and India is hard to say, but the Pakistani government can only find out by attending the summit. Despite tense relations between China and India, they are interacting; thus there is no excuse for Pakistan to sit out this meeting. This is a starting point for breaking the ice between the two countries, of course keeping the sensitivities in check.

Moreover, such bold diplomatic moves are currently needed for Pakistan to maneuver in these uncertain times. Pakistan’s internal sociopolitical and economic turmoil has created a sense of despair, but despite the worrisome state of affairs, Pakistan has displayed some successful diplomacy on the front of climate justice and even its exit from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray list. Now Pakistan must pursue its agenda of regional connectivity through the SCO platform.

Pakistan’s National Security Policy (NSP) envisions peace internally and with its neighbors through economic relations and regional integration. Attending the SCO summit will fall in line with Pakistan’s NSP, and perhaps in the larger picture of events, become a step toward loosening the gridlock that plagues the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which has not held a summit since 2014 due to India-Pakistan tensions.

For Pakistan, the mere response to India’s invitation will bring certain implications; such is the fraught nature of their relationship. Regardless, Pakistan and India must not sabotage the SCO, lest it follow SAARC into a standstill. The SCO is led by two Eurasian heavyweights, Russia and China, both crucial to the foreign policy of Pakistan. Pakistani decision makers will have to put hawkishness to one side and plan a strong diplomatic case to present at the SCO, without the expectation of a thaw from the other side.

Yet there is also the chance that Pakistan’s attendance may not necessarily pay dividends in terms of its bilateral relationship with India. Whether India will respond to Pakistan’s gestures is hard to say, given the rigid stand the current Modi government has taken. The sporadic engagement of Pakistan with India does not imbue much confidence either. Some have argued that with Pakistan losing its socioeconomic and political vitality, it does not have much to offer externally.

Moreover, the bigger question looms for Pakistan’s long-term policy in dealing with India. Kashmir remains a bone of contention between the two sides. While the military establishment in Pakistan insists that India reverts control of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government has long refused to agree to this. The deadlock is likely to persist indefinitely, given the mistrust between India and Pakistan. So even if Pakistan sends a delegation to the SCO meeting, without a long-term policy adjustment on one or both sides, this ad hoc diplomatic venture may not gain much beyond a momentary headline.

Additionally, attending the summit could cause backlash at home from political opponents, who may exploit the country’s geopolitical decisions for their own benefit. Pakistan’s current coalition government is facing off against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf under former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has previously been seen at SCO summits in proximity with the Russian and Chinese presidents. If Pakistan’s presence this year does not match the glitzy optics of previous summits, the coalition government could face much whataboutism at home.

Apart from that, the inward focus seems to be more on the election cycles in both Pakistan and India, leaving no room for creative thinking to resolve the bilateral gridlock. Perhaps the level of appetite to escalate or diffuse tensions will become clearer as the summit nears.

Pakistan is also suffering from a resurgent Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and in recent weeks high security alerts have been issued across the country. This is an unfortunate reality that the country faces, which has significantly lowered the world’s confidence in Pakistan’s security and business ecosystems. The state of fragility may not allow Pakistani officials to match actions with words at the SCO.

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Despite these concerns and scenarios, this situation offers us insight into what plans the current government has for the country. Whether or not Pakistan accepts this invitation will offer some indication as to the direction chosen by the new establishment. It is also imperative to understand that the country is run by a coalition government, meaning it speaks with different voices on multiple subjects. Perhaps in this case, Prime Minister Sharif and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz may want to take a backseat, and the Pakistan People’s Party – led by Foreign Minister Bhutto – would want to take the lead on bold diplomatic gestures, and possibly grab the attention of the establishment.

However, the military establishment may not necessarily be appreciative of this endeavor as the new chief of army staff, like his predecessor, has shown no will to put the Kashmir dispute on the back burner. This would also shed light on the civil-military relations in Pakistan’s foreign policy moving forward, which has traditionally come from a hawkish place when it comes to India.

Pakistan’s choice to attend or not to attend the SCO summit in India will therefore send signals to internal and external audiences on multiple levels.

Thu, 09 Feb 2023 15:03:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://thediplomat.com/2023/02/should-pakistan-attend-the-sco-summit-in-india/
Killexams : Iran's trade with SCO tops $33 billion

According to the latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration show, Iran’s trade with Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s member states, excluding crude oil exports from the country, stood at 42.91 million tons worth $33.84 billion during the first 10 months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2022-Jan. 20, 2023), registering a 4.9% and a 23.07% year-on-year rise in terms of weight and value respectively.

China with 29.17 million tons (up 10.19%) worth $12.69 billion (down 39.5%) was Iran’s main trade partner among SCO member states during the period. It was followed by India with 5.91 million tons (down 9.07%) worth $2.4 billion (down 9.88%) and Russia with 3.11 million tons (down 20.23%) worth $1.19 billion (down 34.09%), Finacial Tribune reported.

Iranian exports hit 34.72 million tons worth $16.58 billion during the period, registering a 3.42% and a 10.05% growth in weight and value YOY, respectively. 


Sat, 11 Feb 2023 22:30:00 -0600 en text/html https://en.mehrnews.com/news/197290/Iran-s-trade-with-SCO-tops-33-billion
Killexams : Betty Lin-Fisher: Shopping for natural gas or electricity rates in Dominion, FirstEnergy area? Start here

Updated 2-19-2023

Note: This Utility Guide is a primer covering a lot of information about natural gas and some on electricity. The information is all accurate and the SCO pricing is updated monthly. To bookmark this URL to see monthly updates, use https://www.tinyurl.com/UtilityGuide 

This column should supply you all of the information you need to know (and maybe more than you care to know!) about how to save money on natural gas and electricity. 

If you've found your way here, chances are you are either a long-time follower of my natural gas picks or you are looking for the latest update on prices. If you're new to choosing natural gas and electricity rates, I've also got a lot of good information below.

For the last several years before the fall of 2021, many of my readers and I chose Dominion Energy Ohio's Standard Choice Offer or SCO. That rate is based on a state-approved formula and changes monthly, but had been at near record-low wholesale prices, so we saved a lot of money.

But then in the fall of 2021, the SCO prices began to skyrocket, with industry experts saying the price could stay high for about year. In October 2021, I suggested to readers that it was time to find a good fixed rate or evaluate their community aggregation (most did not have good rates at the time).

More: Oct. 4, 2021: Let's put the recent increase in natural gas prices into perspective

Prices went all over the place. We were getting used to prices in the $3 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) range. The SCO went as high as $9.53/mcf in September 2022 and as low as $4.17/mcf in January 2022 and mostly everything in between.  

What's happening now with prices?

The latest Short-Term Energy Outlook on Feb. 9 from the U.S. Energy Information Administration anticipates the average wholesale price to be $3.40, down almost 50% from last year and about 30% from its January forecast. 

After September’s high of $9.53, the price went to $7.05 in October, $5.37 in November and $6.89 in December. In January, the SCO was $4.89 and the February SCO is $3.29. 

I wrote my last update for the newspaper on Feb. 19.

More:Natural gas prices have dropped: Here's what you should do to save money (Feb. 19, 2023)

The run-up in prices were a combination of things: low national natural gas inventories, increased global demand and exporting of liquified natural gas, which drives prices up, and global market volatility with the war in Ukraine. 

Last fall, there were worries about a particularly cold winter in the U.S. and Europe and natural gas inventory was lower than the normal five-year average, said Dave Jankowski, NOPEC chief marketing and communications officer, who watches the utility markets closely. NOPEC is a large aggregator or bulk buyer, with more than 450,000 gas customers in Summit County as well as some communities in Medina and Portage counties. 

There were also worries about a Russian embargo, which would partially cut off natural gas exports in Europe so conservation efforts began in Europe and prices began to spike, he said. The U.S. has had an unusually warm winter and conservation efforts in Europe worked, where temperatures have also been warmer, said Jankowski. 

Drillers, who had stopped or slowed drilling when prices were so low, started drilling when prices rose. 

“Now we have more supply than demand and the market has flattened back down,” said Jankowski. Though we’ve been lucky with a mild winter, even if there was a bitter cold stretch or severe winter storms, Jankowski said there is enough in storage and we are close enough to spring that he does not anticipate it would affect pricing. 

There’s also good news for pricing of the SCO. Each year, there is a new auction to set the “adder” price for the state-approved formula. The Feb. 8 auction price was 31 cents, effective April 1, up from 21 cents. That’s still really good, especially with wholesale prices coming down.  

That adder is still low compared to other Ohio gas utilities, said Ella Hochstetler, director of regulatory and pricing for Dominion Energy Ohio. 

Market conditions can change, but the futures price this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the next four months ranged from $2.50 to $3, she said. 

Market conditions can change, but the futures price this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the next four months ranged from $2.50 to $3. 

”Ohio is fortunate to be in the heart of the Appalachian production region and in the crossroads of many major interstate pipelines. This means Ohio will not be exposed to the extreme range of volatility and price that the western half of the U.S. is experiencing this winter,” she said.

So what's the latest advice?

All of the reasons above are enough for me to move back to the SCO. My community’s aggregation price was not appealing and I had locked into a $6.29/mcf fixed rate for 32 months with no cancellation fee with Direct Energy last fall after coming off a great $2.39/mcf rate the previous year. 

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer because it depends on your situation. For instance, what's your current rate, contract length and are there any cancellation fees?    

Here’s a few scenarios: 

  • If you have a higher fixed rate with no cancellation fee and you will save by going on the SCO, make the move. It will take one to two billing cycles to switch. I made two phone calls. The first to Direct Energy to ask for their current fixed offer with no cancellation fee that was lower than what I had. I'd like to get some savings until my switch is complete. They listed $4.89 on the PUCO Apples to Apples chart. That was for new customers, so I got $5.09/mcf. Then I called Dominion to return to the SCO. I was told that may take effect with the March bill, which would be great. Timing depends on when you call and if your order gets in before your next billing cycle. For the first two months after a switch, the price will say Standard Service Offer (SSO). It is the same price as the SCO, but includes delivery charges, which are normally a separate line item. The SCO price will be listed in small print. If you don't see the SCO by the third month, call to confirm.
  • Check your city’s aggregation plan. Some communities locked in to what turned out to be a low price before the price spikes. If you live or have a small business in Akron, the Constellation Energy aggregation is $4.06 fixed through November 2024. That’s still a very good price, so you could stay where you are and see if the SCO prices continue to go lower, or you can switch to the SCO. Call Constellation at 833-500-2738. Here's a few others: Stow $2.84/mcf fixed through 2024; Hudson $4.05/mcf fixed through October 2023 and Fairlawn $3.59/mcf through October 2025.
  • If you live in a NOPEC gas community, which is a large portion of the Akron region, NOPEC's default or "program rate" is too high at $7.29/mcf through at least the end of March. NOPEC had to buy ahead with high prices, said Jankowski. Similarly, I think NOPEC's fixed contract prices are too high. Move to NOPEC's variable program, which is 2 cents below the SCO. You specifically have to request that.  Take note that NOPEC will be sending its re-enrollment letters by the end of March, which typically require customers not to do anything to be included in the aggregation. However, that automatically puts everyone on NOPEC’s program rate, so customers have to re-request the variable rate.
  • If you are stuck on a high-fixed price contract with a high cancellation fee, you’ll have to weigh whether that cancellation fee is worth it. Take the difference between prices and multiply by 100 (the average annual mcf usage) to see the savings. 

Pull out your Dominion bill; do a checkup

A lot of people don't know who their supplier is or what rate you are paying. Or I've often heard from readers who made a choice years ago and then didn't do a check-up and were paying a much higher rate since most offers from marketers for even fixed rates will auto renew to a different rate unless you stay on top of things.

Often I get people thanking me after they finally got around to pulling that bill out, only to be shocked by the prices they really were paying because they let life get in the way. 

a woman smiling for the camera: Betty Lin-Fisher © File Betty Lin-Fisher

How is the SCO determined?

The SCO, a monthly rate determined by a state-approved formula, is determined by using the closing price on the third to last day of the previous month on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) plus an "adder," which is determined every February in a supplier auction. For 2020 and 2021, it was 15 cents/mcf, so near wholesale prices. It was 18 cents/mcf and for 2023, effective April 1, the new adder price will be 39 cents/mcf, which is still good.

Also, because it's based on a state-approved formula, the SCO is transparent, unlike marketers' variable prices.

That new formula goes into effect each year with April/May bills, depending on your billing cycle.

Customers who are already on the SCO don't have to do a thing. You continue to get the SCO unless you choose your own provider for a fixed rate or a variable rate from another marketer or through an aggregation, which is a government bulk-buying group.

Every year in April, Dominion randomly re-assigns the winning bidders in the auction to customers, so you may see a new name on your bill next to the SCO, but it should make no difference to you. 

Here's the latest Standard Choice Offer or SCO price:

The Standard Choice Offer, or SCO, and the price for Dominion customers who have not chosen their own provider or who are not in a community aggregation is $3.29/mcf when rounded up to the nearest penny, beginning Feb. 13, 2023. It was $4.89/mcf in January 2023, $6.89/mcf in December 2022, $5.37/mcf in November, $7.05 in October and $9.53/mcf in September.

All customers pay a fixed basic monthly charge, regardless of your usage volume. That cost is currently $40.51. The biggest portion of that increase is due to something called the Pipeline Replacement Rider, to reimburse Dominion for a 25-year-long pipeline replacement program. Here's an article I wrote that explains the latest increase in the fee, effective May 12, 2021.

More: Natural gas prices continue to seesaw; here's the latest advice|Betty Lin-Fisher

The monthly charge is broken down into these charges:

  • A Basic Service Charge of $17.58, which covers the fixed costs of delivering gas to their homes. 
  • A Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement (PIR) Cost Recovery Charge of $16.81.
  • A Capital Expenditure Program (CEP) Rider of $6.07. The PUCO approved this rider December 30, 2020, which enables the company to recover costs associated with certain non-PIR and non-AMR capital investment.  
  • An Infrastructure Development Rider of 6 cents.
  • A credit of 1 cent for AMR Cost Recovery charge. 

The usage-based charge, or cost to deliver the gas to your home, regardless of your provider, is $1.05/mcf.

For reference, if you like knowing all the details of each month's Dominion bills and watching the SCO price, watch for monthly updates at this website, generally early each month: www.dominionenergy.com/ohio/rates-and-tariffs/rate-schedules and choose "Residential GSS-R" on the first box under "General Sales Service." The SCO is also listed on the top of the PUCO's Apples to Apples chart at www.energychoice.ohio.gov

What about other charges on my bill?

All customers have a "Tax Savings Credit Rider," which began in April 2020. The credit was the result of a 2017 federal law that changed tax rates for utilities, which needed to return those savings to customers. Dominion was allowed to spread those returns over a 38-year period. It started as a $5.41 per month credit, which then went down to $2.61 per month with last April's bills. It is recalculated each year and this month, the credit will change to $2.47 per month with the April 2022 bill. See more information in the section below and in this story.

The Standard Choice Offer is the default rate for eligible residential customers and nonresidential customers with annual usage of 200 Mcf or less, who have not selected an Energy Choice supplier and who do not participate in a governmental aggregation program.

You can also sign up for price alerts via text or email from the PUCO when the Dominion SCO price changes monthly. You can sign up via a link on the Apples to Apples chart for the Dominion territory or here.

Here's some historical Dominion Energy Ohio SCO prices for the last several years:

Below, I have been keeping track of the SCO price for several years, but you can also see more historical prices at this Dominion link: https://www.dominiongaschoice.com/historical-rates


January $4.89/mcf; February $3.29/mcf


December $6.89/mcf; November, $5.37/mcf; October, $7.05/mcf; September, $9.53/mcf; August, $8.87/mcf; July $6.73/mcf; June $9.08/mcf; May $7.45/mcf; April $5.52/mcf; March $4.72/mcf; Feb. $6.42/mcf; Jan. $4.17/mcf


Dec. 2021 $5.60/mcf; Nov. 2021 $6.35/mcf; Oct. 2021 $5.99, Sept. 2021 $4.52, August 2021 $4.19, July 2021 $3.77/mcf, June 2021: $3.13/mcf, May 2021: $3.08/mcf; April 2021: $2.74/mcf; March 2021: $3.00/mcf; Feb. 2021, $2.91/mcf; Jan 2021: $2.62/mcf


Dec. 2020: $3.05/mcf, Nov. 2020: $3.1, 5Oct. 2020: $2.25/mcf; Sept. 2020: $2.72/mcf; August 2020: $2.00/mcf; July 2020: $1.65/mcf; June 2020: $1.87/mcf; May 2020: $1.94/mcf; April 2020: $1.78/mcf; March 2020: $2.04/mcf; Feb 2020: $2.10/mcf; January 2020: $2.38/mcf;


December 2019: $2.69/mcf; November 2019: $2.82/mcf; October 2019: $2.65/mcf; September 2019: $2.47/mcf; August 2019: $2.36/mcf; July 2019: $2.51/mcf; June 2019: $2.85/mcf; May 2019: $2.79/mcf; April 2019: $2.93/mcf; March 2019: $2.93/mcf; February 2019: $3.02/mcf; January 2019: $3.71/mcf;


December 2018: $4.79/mcf; November 2018: $3.26/mcf; October 2018: $3.09/mcf; September 2018: $2.97/mcf; August 2018: $2.89/mcf; July 2018: $3.07/mcf; June 2018: $2.95/mcf; May 2018: $2.89/mcf; April 2018: $2.76/mcf; March 2018: $2.64/mcf; February 2018: $3.64/mcf; January 2018: $2.74/mcf;


December 2017: $3.07/mcf; November 2017: $2.75/mcf; October 2017: $2.97/mcf; September 2017: $2.96/mcf; August 2017: $2.97/mcf; July 2017: $3.07/mcf; June 2017: $3.24/mcf; May 2017: $3.14/mcf; April 2017: $3.18/mcf; March 2017: $2.58/mcf; February 2017: $3.34/mcf; January 2017: $3.88/mcf,


December 2016: $3.18/mcf, November: $2.71/mcf, October $2.90/mcf, September $2.80/mcf, August $2.62/mcf, July $2.87/mcf, June $1.91/mcf, May $1.95/mcf, April $1.85/mcf, March $1.73/mcf, February $2.21/mcf, January $2.39/mcf,


December 2015 $2.23, November 2015 $2.05/mcf

(If you live in the Columbia Gas territory, your pricing structures are different, but the principles are the same, so you can still follow my advice in making your choice.) 

How do I know if I'm on the SCO?

Pull out your Dominion bill.

You are looking for the price you pay, which is close to the MCF usage on your bill. Bills vary, but look on the left-hand column above "total current charges" for the correct section.

If your bill has the letters "SCO" next to a supplier, you are good to go and you don't have to do anything. As long as the bill says SCO, the supplier itself doesn't matter. Every year in April, Dominion randomly re-assigns the winning bidders in the auction to customers, so you may see a new name on your bill next to the SCO, but it should make no difference to you.

You will continue to get the SCO unless you choose your own provider for a fixed rate or a variable rate from another marketer or through an aggregation, which is a government bulk-buying group (make sure you read the aggregation section below).

You can also use an educational website Dominion has set up with pictures of demo bills, to help you find where your supplier costs are.

How do I get the SCO?

As you spot-check your bill, if you are still on a fixed rate, or higher than the SCO, find out how much time is left on your contract and if there is a cancellation fee. Some fees can be hefty — but you likely will save — if your rate is high.

The average household uses about 100 mcf of gas a year. Take the difference between prices and multiply by 100 to see the savings.

To switch to the SCO, call Dominion at 800-362-7557 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Mondays tend to be the among the busiest days, so perhaps pick a different day to call.

Tell Dominion you want to cancel your current provider and switch.

It will take up to two billing cycles to switch to what is called an "SSO" (the same price as the SCO). If by the third month, you don't see "SCO," call Dominion.

During the time you have the SSO, don't worry that the price looks higher.

Despite my advocating for Dominion to change their bill, it does not supply you a separate line item for delivery charges, so that SSO price includes both the SCO and delivery charges, which everyone pays. In small print, it will list the SCO price.

One note: a PUCO change a few years ago means nonresidential customers are no longer eligible for the SCO and must choose their own provider or pay what's called the MRR or "monthly retail rate." You can read here for your choices if you're a small nonresidential customer -- and read a section below for more information

What if I just want a fixed rate?

You can research fixed and variable rates on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio's Apples to Apples chart, www.energychoice.ohio.gov or 800-686-7826. Make sure you choose "Dominion East Ohio" for your territory. 

To easily find "fixed" rates, use the filter on the left and choose "fixed" rate under "rate type" and "filter results." Then you can click on the arrow at the top of the chart under the column for MCF/$ prices and it will filter it from lowest to highest or vice versa.

Make sure you do not agree to a rate with a monthly fee attached or if you choose one with a high cancellation rate, you need to be willing to stick with the rate for the term.

Some of the offers were "special web offers" or only only for new customers or only if you bundled both your electricity and natural gas with the same company. Read the terms and conditions.

Some of the monthly variable prices sometimes look competitive to the SCO, but keep in mind most of the marketers don't have a formula they will share, so their prices could swing or they could offer a cheap price one month and high the next. They also may have a lag and are reporting last month's rate. Read this column I wrote about some people who thought they were getting a good variable price, but it turns out they weren't. (Followup: This marketer, PALMCO, doing business as Indran Energy, was banned from the state of Ohio for five years after a PUCO investigation. 10-11-2021 update: This company settled a second case with the PUCO and will be offering refunds.) I also tell readers who call me about a "great" fixed rate for say, six months to a year, that they just need to be careful if they take it, that they keep track of when the contract ends and what the rate will be after. Too often, I talk to readers who have gotten a great rate and then life happens and when they check their rate a year or so later, they find out they have been overpaying because after their original contract ended, they got moved to an unregulated variable rate.

It's important to remember that the Nymex is just an indicator of what the market believes prices will be. Variables like weather, storage inventories, use of natural gas for power generation and the like will inevitably cause real prices to differ from those Nymex projections.

How do I switch from my current contract?

Make sure you know who your provider is by pulling your bill out. If you know the terms and conditions and whether there are any cancellation fees, then you don't need to contact your current provider. You can just sign up with your new provider and they will notify Dominion to notify your former provider. If you are the SCO, there are no fees to change. If you are unsure if the marketer you are with has a cancellation fee, call to ask. To figure out if the cancellation fee is worth it, the average residential customer uses 100 mcf a year, so take the difference between the two prices and multiply it by 100 to see if your potential savings would be worth any cancellation fee. This is also why I usually suggest only locking into a contract with a cancellation fee you are willing to pay. 

It takes up to two billing cycles to make any switch, so keep that in mind.

No crystal ball

Since none of us have that crystal ball to know exactly what will happen with prices, I can't supply you the slam-dunk answer. Whatever you choose, if it is a competitive rate at the time, you are probably going to do fine and don't lose too much sleep over it. But stay on top of it and make sure you don't lose track and let your contract auto-renew to a really high rate. That's where you could get stung.

I heard something about a big credit on Dominion bills for some tax settlement?

I wrote a story on Dec. 5, 2019 about a tax settlement that Dominion reached with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and Ohio Consumers' Counsel. This was part of a federal law that reduced taxes for companies nationwide. By law, PUCO-regulated utilities in the state must return that money. Here's the information about how Dominion customers will receive their credits, beginning with April 2020 bills. Also, I received some follow-up questions from readers: If you've moved away from Dominion territory, you do not retroactively or separately get your refund. All PUCO-regulated utilities were required to reach a settlement regarding how they'd return the credits, so if you move to another utility in Ohio, you would get the credits through that utility, even if you are a new customer. Same with someone moving into Dominion territory. Also, municipally-owned utilities, like Cuyahoga Falls, don't pay the federal corporate tax or collect it from customers, so would not have any credits to return.

Dominion is allowed to return the money over a 38 year period. The first year had a larger credit of $5.41 a month, followed by $2.61 per month in 2021. Beginning with April 2022 bils, the credit is $2.47 per month.

More: Dominion East Ohio tax savings credit goes from $5.41 to a month to $2.61

What is an aggregation?

I've written a lot about aggregations, or bulk-buying via communities, but there still seems to be confusion about them. Community officials created aggregation groups in the early 2000s, after voters passed ballot measures allowing the groups to be formed to shop for gas and electricity. Officials have told me over the years that they do their best to get the best price, but there's no guarantee that the price is the best or will beat what you can get on your own, or lately with the SCO. Aggregations automatically include community members who haven't actively chosen their own fixed rate or variable rate supplier.

For those who have "chosen" the SCO, for aggregation purposes, you're still included in the aggregations, unless you opt-out, so make sure you don't ignore those notices.

If you inadvertently get switched to an aggregation, call Dominion and say you want to switch back to the SCO. Aggregation contracts typically don't have cancellation fees or if they do, a low one.

Aggregations are on different cycles, but many renew in the fall. They also have different rules based on the local legislation. Some will let you in at any time, called an opt-in. But some will only allow you in during the open-enrollment period, which is when you must opt-out or automatically be included. Check with your local aggregation or community.

Several communities' aggregation prices, which were locked in for several years when prices were low and before the 2021 and 2022 run-up in prices are competitive or worth looking at. But some don't have competitive rates, so check.

I was not an initial fan of the city of Akron's aggregation, which in October 2021 was going to mirror the soaring SCO through the winter months before coming down to a $4.06/mcf fixed rate in May 2022 bills through November 2024. However, after prices soared, Akron's $4.06/mcf is good and may still be competitive with late winter/spring 2023 SCO prices. Details on how to get that can be found above.

April 24, 2022: Natural gas prices continue to seesaw; here's the latest advice|Betty Lin-Fisher

A large aggregation group in our area is NOPEC, or the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council. The consortium includes parts of Summit County, much of Portage County, parts of Medina county and Stark county.

Summit County townships and the city of New Franklin joined NOPEC beginning in October 2017. The existing community to join NOPEC is Cuyahoga Falls in early 2018.

NOPEC has some communities that are both natural gas and electric - many Portage County communities and a few Medina and Summit— but a large majority in Summit are gas-only communities.

Summit County's gas aggregation contract is NOT for ALL communities in the county; most have their own aggregations. Here's a map to check on your community.

NOPEC has traditionally offered two programs to its natural gas customers: what it calls its "Program Price," which is typically competitive with the market and can change anywhere from monthly to every 60 days or so.

Click here for the latest NOPEC prices and read my advice above about the latest.

NOPEC also has separate electric rates for participating communities (not all natural gas NOPEC communities are electric).

For the latest advice about NOPEC, look above in the column.

If you are not currently a NOPEC customer or live in a NOPEC community and you want to join, it takes some extra steps. You must first cancel any separate contract you have and return to Dominion’s SCO (once you cancel you’ll go back to Dominion automatically) and then NOPEC will send you an opt-out notice in its next mailing, which is usually every other month.  (You can check www.nopec.org for a full list of gas and electric communities or call 855-667-3201.) 

Permanently opting out

Customers on the SCO or those who don't have their own contract with a natural gas provider are automatically included on lists Dominion is required to share with retail marketers and aggregation groups. If you don't want on those lists, opt out through Dominion. Go online here to choose to opt out of the "Eligible Customer List" or call 800-362-7557 or write Dominion at Box 5759, Cleveland, OH 44101-0759.

Tell them you want to get off the "Eligible Customer List."

I've done this so that I don't accidentally get grouped into my community's aggregation contract, if I happen to miss the opt-out notice in the mail.

This doesn't mean all gas offers by mail will end. I still get some offers, likely because I'm still on some mailing lists as a former customer.

But it also proved a disadvantage to me in October 2021 when I was considering whether to rejoin the aggregation for my NOPEC community at the next enrollment date when pricing was rising. Because I had opted out of communication, by the time I get off the Dominion list and maybe back onto a list with NOPEC, it could take four months. So I'm likely going to get off the Do Not Market list to supply me the option later, should I want it. This is a slight quirk with NOPEC communities since not all have legislation that allow people to opt-in when they want. NOPEC officials are working with communities to propose changing legislation, but have to do it in each community.

If you are not currently a NOPEC customer or live in a NOPEC community and you want to join, it takes some extra steps. You must first cancel any separate contract you have and return to Dominion’s SCO (once you cancel you’ll go back to Dominion automatically) and then NOPEC will send you an opt-out notice in its next mailing, which is usually every other month.  (You can check www.nopec.org for a full list of gas and electric communities or call 855-667-3201.) 

Budget billing explained

Budget billing is an option offered to supply customers a way to have consistent payments by estimating usage based on normal weather, historical consumption and the customer's rate at the time of enrollment or during the annual review in May. A review is also conducted in November to make any necessary adjustments to minimize large over-or underpayments for the annual true-up in May.

It's a way for customers to spread out the costs of their heating bill over the course of a year where they will be paying the same amount year-round instead of paying the high real costs during the winter. It also means that during the summer months when very little natural gas is being used, you're paying a higher amount.

I have been using budget billing for years and find it very helpful so I don't get huge swings in my bills during the winter heating months. 

What about nonresidential, nonprofit, church or small-business accounts?

If you are a small business or nonresidential account, such as a church, the state eliminated the SCO choice for you in 2013.

The PUCO allowed Dominion to eliminate the SCO for commercial or nonresidential customers. Consumer advocates at the time said removing the benchmark was unfair, and the system wasn't broken. Dominion officials said the market could become more competitive if the SCO wasn't available to commercial customers.

Those customers had to take either the Monthly Variable Rate or MVR, which was that non-regulated monthly variable that was super high, or find their own rate.

As of Feb. 2020, there's good news. Again, read my full column on this, but I will try to summarize below as well.

But for small non-residential customers who use 200 mcf a year annually, you can get the SCO as your default and will automatically be switched if you are currently on the MVR.

A second set of customers affected in this proposed settlement are non-residential accounts that use a total of 200 to 500 mcf a year.

For these customers, if they return to Dominion from a supplier, they will not automatically get the SCO, but a new rate that replaces the MVR called the MRR or Monthly Retail Rate. That rate has been set up with some "guardrails."

Marketers who want to have customers on the MRR rate each month will put in their rate. The MRR rate for that month will be the median or the middle price of all those that are turned in.

So, for instance, if there are an odd number of marketers, like 9, the price in the middle, or the number 5 price will be the MRR price for the month. If there are an even number of marketers, like 10, the MRR price will be the average of the two in the middle, or prices 5 and 6. What should encourage the marketers to put in a competitive price is they all must charge the median MRR price and the marketers whose bids were above that price that month will also not get any new customers.

Until we see how the marketers are going to be bidding with the MRR pricing, we really won't know how competitive it will be. The PUCO will be sharing those numbers likely on its Apples to Apples chart.

As part of the settlement, customers in this second set will get the MRR automatically if they return to Dominion — but they are allowed to ask for the SCO, which is good; non-residential customers have not been eligible for the SCO since 2013.

Unfortunately, nonresidential customers who use 500 mcf or more a year are the losers in the settlement. These users (your larger businesses and in many cases churches, depending on size) are not allowed to ask for the SCO, so their only choices are the MRR or choosing their own provider with a marketer or perhaps an aggregation. For instance, my church is going through an aggregation of other churches.

One new thing I found out was there's a provision in state law for nonprofits that use more than 500 mcf (and are usually not allowed into government aggregations because of their size) that would allow the nonprofit to request an exemption to be added to the government aggregation. To do that, contact the PUCO at 800-686-7826 or your community aggregation and ask for the "nonprofit declaration form." That may be a choice to get you a better rate.

Another option is to check with an association, such as your church denomination, regional conference, or other small group, to see if they have created an aggregation group or bulk buying group to save on utilities. Some church denominations participate in aggregations. If you do choose a variable, since wholesale rates are cheap now, know that most companies don't share how they determine their variable rates, so you'll have to keep an eye on them.

a group of people on a wire: Inside a bucket above the the street, a lineman for Ohio Edison gets ready to reconnect a wire that came down in 2018 in front of Hoover Price Campus Center at Mount Union in Alliance. © Gayle Blair/Alliance Review file photo Inside a bucket above the the street, a lineman for Ohio Edison gets ready to reconnect a wire that came down in 2018 in front of Hoover Price Campus Center at Mount Union in Alliance.

What about FirstEnergy or Ohio Edison or electric suppliers?

People often ask about my advice for electricity offers. It's not as simple as the SCO and natural gas. You can shop around at www.energychoice.ohio.gov and look for a fixed rate, comparing it to your "price to compare" on your bill, which is the utility's default rate. If you switch, watch contract lengths, price and cancellation fees.

More: How to read your Ohio Edison electric bill

I wrote an updated column on on Aug. 28, 2022, which gave the latest information of electricity and natural gas and explained a move by NOPEC, the area's largest aggregator to return it's 550,000 electricity customers on its Standard Program Price back to the FirstEnergy utility. (Market prices are very high right now and the utility price will save people money).

The advice for the fall of 2022 for electricity is opposite natural gas, which is to likely go back to the utility default (but first check with your community aggregation since some besides NOPEC may have locked in cheaper rates before the run-up in pricing). FirstEnergy's utilities, including Ohio Edison in our area, use an auction system to buy electricity ahead of time and its current default rate is better since those auctions were before the price run-up.

The advice as of Feb. 19. 2023 is the same: stick with your aggregation if it has a good price, stick with your fixed rate if it is good or go back to the uitlity, which has a good price now. The Ohio Edison default price is 5.38 cents/kWh and is cheaper than any fixed-rate offer on the Apples to Apples chart at www.energychoice.ohio.gov. Unless you are on a fixed rate or aggregation that is cheaper, you should return to Ohio Edison for now.

Many communities in our area are also under an aggregation with Energy Harbor, the newly formed company after former Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions emerged from bankruptcy and kept its contracts.

Here's som eof those rates: Akron and Barberton both are on a fixed rate of 4.97 cents/kWh through May 2025; Green is 4.91 cents/kWh through May 2024; and Tallmadge is 4.96 cents/kWh through May 2024. Summit County townships (with the exception of Sagamore Hills, which is in the NOPEC aggregation) are in an Energy Harbor contract for 4.67 cents/kWh through May 2024. 

You can call Energy Harbor to find out more: 888-254-6359. If your community is not with Energy Harbor, call your local community or search online. 

Isn't Energy Harbor in the news a lot?

On Aug. 8, 2020, I wrote this column in response to readers asking whether they should look for a new electricity provider in light of the July 21 arrest by federal agents of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four other men, including lobbyists for FirstEnergy Corp. and its former subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions, known as FES.

On Feb. 14, 2021, I wrote another column that addressed the scandal and was a primer on FirstEnergy and electricity. It also addressed Energy Harbor.

More: Betty Lin-Fisher: Here's a primer in electricity. Lights will stay on despite utility scandal

the price to compare, stay where you are.

There are often calls or offers that marketers send to your house offering a free month of electricity or saying they're cheaper than the utility. Make sure you're doing your proper research. Often, their prices are not cheaper, even with one month free.

Also, remember that only about 55 percent of an electric bill, called the generation portion, is "shoppable" for customers looking for the best rate. The other 45 percent is set by regulators and cannot change.

What do you think about "green" or "clean" energy offers?

Green energy is definitely more expensive and that's a choice you need to make since that is likely double the cost you are paying now. The way green energy has been explained to me is it is like water being put into a bathtub. If you pay for green energy, you are paying for cleaner water to be put into the bathtub.

You won't specifically get green energy to your home, but the water that comes out of the other end of the bathtub will be slightly cleaner with some green energy. You will have to make the decision whether you are willing to pay a premium for the green energy.

There is also a marketer offering a "fixed monthly rate" of $49.99 for electricity (I have also seen it offer $59.99 a month and $39.99 a month). The average residential household uses 750 kw per month, so if you do the math of $49.99 divided by 750, that's 6.66 cents. Use that figure to do your research. You'll likely find a cheaper price by looking at other marketers and if you are in a government aggregation, you may already have a cheaper price.

What do you think of the "protection" programs offered by utilities for various things like your water line?

My short answer is that it depends on the age of your home and what repairs you think it may need. This is not like typical home insurance or auto insurance, where it is necessary to have it. This is optional insurance and you need to read the fine print closely to see what it covers and doesn't cover.

If you have the discipline to put that $5 or so a month away in an emergency savings account, if you ever need it, you'll have it and it will have saved you a lot of money versus that monthly premium.

I once wrote a column about a reader who inadvertently paid for water line protection and sewer protection for years and he has no water lines. The company gave him a refund after I contacted them.

Beacon Journal staff reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ To see her most recent stories and columns, go to www.tinyurl.com/bettylinfisher

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Betty Lin-Fisher: Shopping for natural gas or electricity rates in Dominion, FirstEnergy area? Start here

Sun, 19 Feb 2023 04:27:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/betty-lin-fisher-shopping-for-natural-gas-or-electricity-rates-in-dominion-firstenergy-area-start-here/ar-BB19ZmFx
Killexams : Financial support policies for SCO Demonstration Area released

By Mariam Raheem

QINGDAO, Feb.10, (China Economic Net) - The financial support policies for SCO's new area were released on Thursday together with the launching ceremony of the SCO Demonstration Area (SCODA) cross-border service center.

The policy document issued at the time defines the objectives and tasks as well as the related measures and roadmap for the next three years of financial support for SCODA construction. The document's implementation will be critical in hastening the development of the demonstration area, strengthening connectivity between China and the SCO countries, and expanding local currency cooperation among member states.

In his speech, Zhang Xinzhu, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Qingdao Committee, Secretary of the Party Working Committee, and Director of the Administrative Committee of SCODA, highlighted that the SCODA has been deeply committed to opening up and cooperating in the financial sector.

According to Zhang, SCODA has introduced 29 bonus and subsidy policies, launched a series of financial service products such as the "SCO E-Loan," piloted the integration of local and foreign currency accounts, etc., providing high-quality financial resources to serve the economic and trade cooperation between the SCO countries and local governments. "We hope that more financial investment institutions and enterprises will choose to join us to share development opportunities," he added.

On the site, the Administrative Committee of SCODA signed cooperation agreements with the Institute of Finance and Banking of the People’s Bank of China, the Qingdao Central Branch of the People’s Bank of China, and the CIPS Co., Ltd., respectively, and signed memoranda of cooperation with five financial institutions to strengthen its international financial construction.

"In light of the needs of economic and trade cooperation among SCO countries, we will continue to strengthen financial policy support, build a high-quality financial system, Excellerate the financial ecosystem, enhance financial strength, and add impetus to the building of a new platform for international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative," Lin Changhua, Deputy Director of the SCODA Administrative Committee, mentioned.

Wang Zihai, Pakistan’s Honorable Investment Counsellor in China, comments that these financial policies and measures provide all-round and whole-process support for various business links, such as international logistics, cross-border transactions, and credit insurance, and to a large extent reduce the cost of capital and time, providing a strong guarantee to connect more Pakistani institutions and enterprises.

As an important member of SCO and China’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner, Pakistan is one of the major countries using RMB for international trade settlement. Wang said that "the SCODA cross-border service center will provide more options and convenience for trade cooperation between China and Pakistan." "It will help enterprises from Pakistan and other countries explore the international market and attract Chinese investment." 

Fri, 10 Feb 2023 02:19:00 -0600 text/html http://en.ce.cn/Insight/202302/10/t20230210_38386966.shtml
Killexams : Strengthen ties among SCO nations to combat infectious diseases: India
Strengthen ties among SCO nations to combat infectious diseases: India
Bengaluru: Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh on Monday appealed to the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to strengthen cooperation to combat infectious diseases and prevent epidemics.

In the light of COVID-19 disrupting world order, the Minister also appealed to scientists to find affordable healthcare solutions. Addressing the inaugural session of the second SCO Young Scientists' Conclave (SCO YSC) organised by the Department of Science and Technology at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) here virtually, Singh also stressed upon finding solutions for common societal challenges.

"You're all aware that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative influence on people's lives, health and well being in all the countries across the world. The SCO members must strengthen cooperation in preventing and countering the threat of infectious disease to the threat of epidemics in the SEO space," Singh said.

The role of innovators, young scientists and young scientists is critical in finding an affordable solution to combat epidemics, the Minister said. "I have a special request particularly to the young scientists associated with the SCO that for the benefit of the world and for the welfare of the human being, you have to come forward and join hands for developing solutions for our common societal challenges," he said.

The SCO is an inter-governmental organisation, with Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and India as the member states.

This conclave aims to bring together innovative young minds from these member states onto a common platform to discuss various scientific ideas under five umbrella themes, namely, Agriculture and food processing; Environmental protection and natural resource management; Artificial Intelligence and big data research and application; Sustainable energy and energy storage; and Disease Biology and Healthcare, officials said.

The conclave hopes to establish a network of young talents via facilitating their interaction and fostering research collaboration during this five-day hybrid meeting, they said. Stating that India maintained a close cultural and historical ties with SCO nations, Singh emphasised on further strengthening people-to-people contacts and cultural cooperation amongst them..

"Therefore, the networking of young scientists is going to play an important role to further deepen our relationships and to carry forward to the next generation," the Minister said.

According to him, food security is another major area of concern for the SCO countries which comprise over three billion population. In this regard, he said technology will play a critical role in enhancing the quality as well as quantity of agricultural produce, which will ultimately benefit increasing the income of farmers.

Dwelling upon environmental degradation, he said preservation of the natural environment, ecosystems and bio-diversity in the context of the sustainable goals of SDGs is extremely important.

Providing every person with accessible, reliable and sustainable modern energy sources is the only major goal in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda until the year 2030, the minister said, adding the scientific community must boost science and technology cooperation on energy innovations. "We encourage use of various clean and low carbon technologies in the energy sector," the minister noted.

Thu, 16 Feb 2023 08:12:00 -0600 en text/html https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/policy/strengthen-ties-among-sco-nations-to-combat-infectious-diseases-india/97649011
Killexams : Raeisi forwards Iran’s membership in SCO bill to FM

In accordance with Article 123 of the Constitution, President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi submitted the "Law on the Accession of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization" which was approved in an open session of the Parliament on January 24, 2023 and later on February 4 by the Guardian Council for implementation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a statement.

The Islamic Republic of Iran was an observer member of the SCO since 2005. Its official request for full membership in the organization was approved by the state members in the Samarkand meeting of the organization last year.

The SCO had eight members before and now with Iran, it is a nine-member organization for regional cooperation. 


Tue, 07 Feb 2023 06:50:00 -0600 en text/html https://en.mehrnews.com/news/197166/Raeisi-forwards-Iran-s-membership-in-SCO-bill-to-FM
Killexams : India to host several tourism-related activities from Feb-April under country’s SCO presidency


New Delhi, February 9

A number of tourism-related activities will be held in India in the next few months under the country’s presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), officials said on Thursday.

Uzbekistan, in September last year, had handed over the rotating presidency of the eight-member SCO to India in the historic city of Samarkand.

As part of the tourism track activities under India’s chairship, the Ministry of Tourism has planned various activities such as SCO Tourism Mart during SATTE (South Asia’s Travel and Tourism Exchange) from February 9-11, they said.

An SCO Expert Level Tourism Working Group Meeting and SCO Tourism Minister’s Meeting in Varanasi will be held from March 13-17 and SCO Food Festival in Mumbai from April 13-19, they said.

India has conceptualised an SCO Tourism Mart along with SATTE to promote the SCO brand of tourism. This will provide an opportunity to the member countries, observer countries and dialogue partners of SCO Fraternity to showcase their varied tourism products and cultural aspects.

SCO Tourism Mart conceptualises to bring SCO countries to common place for joint awareness of tourism and create adequate tourism movements within the SCO fraternity, officials said.

Ministry of Tourism has fabricated 390 sqm of space in the SATTE.

During SCO summit held in September 2022 in Uzbekistan, Varanasi was selected as the first “Tourism and Cultural Capital” of the SCO region 2022-23 and the SCO Tourism Ministers’ meeting will be culminating at Varanasi.

Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.

Thu, 09 Feb 2023 08:37:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/india-to-host-several-tourism-related-activities-from-feb-april-under-countrys-sco-presidency-478205
Killexams : SCO chief comments on US act of shooting down unmanned Chinese airship

Zhang Ming, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), said Wednesday that the United States violated the spirit of international law and international practice when it shot down an unmanned Chinese airship.

Zhang made the remarks when answering a query concerning the unmanned civilian airship, which the U.S. Department of Defense shot down with missiles.

Zhang said the Chinese government has explained several times that it was a civilian unmanned airship used for meteorological and other research purposes. Affected by climate factors, the airship deviated far from its planned course, a situation caused by force majeure.

The U.S. Department of Defense said the airship would not pose a military or personal threat to ground personnel, yet the U.S. side insisted on using force to shoot down the airship -- a clear overreaction that violated the spirit of international law and international practice, Zhang said.

He said the SCO has always maintained that all countries should abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, refrain from the use of force and the threat of using force, and resolve international disputes through peaceful means such as negotiation and consultation.

Tue, 14 Feb 2023 22:52:00 -0600 text/html http://www.china.org.cn/world/2023-02/15/content_85108485.htm
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