April 30, 2022

Mains Article
30 Apr 2022

12-13 years to overcome Covid losses: RBI

In News:

  • According to a recent report - Scars of the pandemic - published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian economy is expected to overcome losses arising out of the pandemic (that hit the country in March 2020) only by 2034-35.

  • It is RBI’s first detailed analysis of the impact of the pandemic, included in its annual publication on currency and finance.


What’s in today’s article: Highlights of the Report


Highlights of the Report:

  • Output losses during pandemic: The output losses for individual years have been calculated to be Rs 19.1 lakh crore, Rs 17.1 lakh crore and Rs 16.4 lakh crore for 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23, respectively (adding up to Rs 52.6 lakh crore).

  • Reasons for the loss:
    • Stringency of the lockdown as the most cited reason.

    • As per the WHO data, India, with 8.5% of the total cumulative Covid cases, ranked second after the US with 15.8% of cases.

  • Time needed to recover: Taking the actual growth rate of (-) 6.6% for 2020-21, 8.9% for 2021-22 and assuming growth rate of 7.2% for 2022-23 and 7.5% beyond that, India is likely to take another 13 years (by 2034-35) to overcome the losses incurred due to the Covid pandemic.

  • The blueprint of reforms:
    • Revive and reconstruct: It revolves around seven wheels of economic progress -
      • Aggregate demand,

      • Aggregate supply,

      • Institutions, intermediaries and markets,

      • Macroeconomic stability and policy coordination

      • Productivity and technological progress

      • Structural change

      • Sustainability

    • Suggested structural reforms: It includes
      • Enhancing access to litigation free low-cost land.

      • Raising the quality of labour through public expenditure on education and health and the Skill India Mission.

      • Scaling up R&D activities with an emphasis on innovation and technology.

      • Creating an enabling environment for start-ups and unicorns.

      • Rationalisation of subsidies that promote inefficiencies.

      • Encouraging urban agglomerations by improving the housing and physical infrastructure.

      • A policy ecosystem for Industrial revolution 4.0 and committed transition to a net-zero emission target.

    • Reforming banking system:
      • Capital infusion should not become a substitute for better governance and risk controls.

      • The Public Sector Banks (PSBs) should not be dependent on the government for recapitalisation.

      • This will be an important precondition to achieve greater privatisation of the sector.

      • To increase the competition in the banking sector and to introduce innovation, the RBI’s ‘on tap’ licensing policy for universal and small finance banks may be used effectively.

    • Preconditions for these reforms:
      • A feasible range of GDP growth in India (6.5 - 8.5%). Reducing general government debt to below 66% of GDP over the next five years is important to secure India’s medium-term growth prospects.

      • Timely rebalancing of monetary and fiscal policies.

      • Price stability.

    • How are other countries handling the situation?
      • No-Covid policy in China, Hong Kong and Bhutan.

      • Relatively open borders and removal of internal restrictions in Denmark and the UK.

    • Challenges ahead:
      • The pandemic is not yet over: A fresh wave of Covid has hit China, South Korea and several parts of Europe.

      • Ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict: Exacerbated dangers to global and domestic growth as a result of rise in commodity prices and global supply chain disruptions.

    • Way ahead for India:
      • The capital expenditure push in the next Budget can help achieve sustainable high growth.

      • This will also enhance productive capacity, crowding in private investment and strengthening aggregate demand.



Mains Article
30 Apr 2022

Bank consolidation bad for financial inclusion

In News:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised concerns about bank consolidation, stating that it increases the market power of merged institutions and adversely affects financial inclusion.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Bank Consolidation (Meaning, Advantages, Disadvantages, etc.)

  • News Summary (RBI on bank consolidation)


What is Bank Consolidation?

  • Bank consolidation is the process by which one banking company takes over or merges with another.

  • This convergence leads to a potential expansion for the consolidating banking institution.

Who Recommended Bank Consolidation in India?

  • M Narasimham, the 13th Governor of RBI, in his report, known as Narasimham Committee Report, in 1991 first recommended a three-tier banking structure in India:
    • Three or four large banks (including State Bank of India) could become international in character.

    • Eight to ten national banks with a network of branches throughout the country, engaged in Universal banking.

    • Local banks should concentrate on region specific banking.
      • For example, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) should focus on agriculture and rural financing.

Potential Advantages of Bank Consolidation:

  • Become Globally Competitive:
    • As the banking system goes to following global guidelines of Basel III Norms, such mergers will enable banks to be able to face competition.

    • As of now, no Indian bank counts in the list of G-SIBs (Globally Systemically Important Banks).

    • Consolidation of banks will consequently form a few strong banks to form a pillar of the economy.

  • Addressing the challenge of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs):
    • With increasing stress in the banking sector from NPAs, small banks and NBFCs are not in the potential to lend more loans.

    • Post-merger, big banks can better deal with non-performing assets and may not have to stop giving more loans.

  • Improved Efficiency:
    • With multiple banks opening in some regions, there is some inefficiency in the economy in terms of the duplicity of work and physical capital.

    • It can be combated with mergers, thereby, creating economies of scale in operations.

  • Boosts Investor Confidence:
    • In terms of investment flows, investor confidence for strong banks is likely to be higher than that of weak ones.

    • The paucity of investments is a current issue faced by medium and weak banks.

    • Strong banks have the bandwidth to attract investments.

Potential Disadvantages of Consolidation:

  • HR related issues:
    • Smooth integration of operations always poses a risk, especially with the prospect of resistance from staff and unions in the entities being merged.

    • There are issues like cultural fit, redeployment of staff, and fewer career opportunities for many in a merged entity.

  • Fewer options for customers:
    • It could also reflect in fewer options for customers; an easing of the personal touch which many of the midsize and smaller banks have.

    • Another concern could be deterioration of services and disruption in the near term as the merger process gets under way.

  • Too big to fail:
    • Yet another worry is the possible creation of what is known as systematically important institutions, or those too big to fail, leading to the prospect of bailouts in the future, which could hurt the government and financial stability.

  • The swelling of combined bad loans with some of these mergers is also an issue.

Can Consolidation alone make a difference to the state of Indian banks?

  • Governance of these banks has been an major issue, which has dragged down many.

  • Former RBI Governor Y V Reddy, in his D T Lakdawala memorial lecture, had said that the idea of consolidation of banks will solve the problem of public sector banks is not correct.

  • According to him, if the problem is structural and of governance, it does not matter whether the banks are large or small.


News Summary:

  • Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a report titled ‘Currency and Finance’ (RCF) for the year 2021-22.

  • In the report, the RBI has raised concerns about bank consolidation, stating that it increases the market power of merged institutions and adversely affects financial inclusion.

What did the report say?

  • According to the report, consolidation could result in less competition by giving fewer choices to the customer and may also result in the non-competitive pricing of products.

  • Mergers helped strengthen the capital buffers of banks, but it is difficult to isolate the impact of mergers from other forces acting concomitantly.

  • Referring to the mega consolidation among public sector banks (PSBs) where 10 merged into four, the RBI said that factors like government ownership, similar pay structure for staff and common core banking solutions made the merger process simpler.
    • In April 2020, 10 Public Sector Banks were amalgamated into 4 banks.

  • Noting that the government has infused in Rs 2.9 lakh crore in the last five years into public sector banks, the RBI said this has helped the PSBs improve their capital adequacy ratio to 14.3% in December 2021 from 11.8% in March 2016.

  • However, the RBI has cautioned that the capital infusion should not become a substitute for better governance and risk controls.


Mains Article
30 Apr 2022

Coal shortage, heatwave and dry spell spark power crisis

In News:

  • An energy crisis is emerging across India, as low coal supplies across the majority of thermal power plants have triggered blackouts in several urban and rural areas.

  • The situation has become worse by the fact that domestic demand for power has increased manifold as a result of an abnormally early and record-breaking heatwave and dry weather.


What’s in today’s article:

  • Distribution of coal reserves across India (Classification of coal, coal reserves in India)

  • The statistics related to power in India

  • The phenomenon of heatwave

  • News Summary


Distribution of Coal reserves across India:

  • Classification of Coal (on the basis of carbon content and time period):
    • On the basis of carbon content:
      • Anthracite (80 - 95% carbon content, found in small quantities in J&K).

      • Bituminous (60 - 80% of carbon content and is found in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh).

      • Lignite (40-55% carbon content, high moisture content and is found in Rajasthan, Lakhimpur (Assam) and Tamil Nadu).

      • Peat (less than 40% carbon content and it is in the first stage of transformation from organic matter (wood) to coal).

    • On the basis of a time period:
      • Gondwana coal (around 98% of India's total coal reserves). This coal was formed about 250 million years ago.

      • Tertiary coal- is of younger age. It was formed from 15 to 60 million years ago.

  • Coal reserves in India (State-wise):


  • Jharkhand:
    • With estimated 83.15 billion tonnes of reserves which is more than 26% of India’s total reserves, Jharkhand ranks first.

    • The state’s main coal-mining centres are Jharia (India’s oldest and richest coalfield), Bokaro, Auranga, Giridh, Dhanbad, Ramgarh, Karanpur and Hutar.

  • Odisha: Second on the list for coal reserves is the state of Odisha (over 24% of the country’s total reserves and about 15% of India’s total coal production). Talchar is Odisha's biggest coalfield.

  • Chattisgarh: Chhattisgarh has the third largest coal reserve in India and carries about 17% of the total coal reserves. However, the state has the first rank in the production of coal. Coalfields of the state include Korba, Hasdo-Arand, Chirmiri, Jhimli, and Johilla.

  • Others are West Bengal (about 11% of the total coal reserves of India), Madhya Pradesh (about 8%), Andhra Pradesh (7%), Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir.

The statistics related to power in India:


Heat wave:

  • About the phenomenon:
    • Qualitatively, a heat wave is a condition of air temperature which becomes fatal to the human body when exposed.

    • Quantitatively, it is defined based on the temperature thresholds over a region in terms of actual temperature or its departure from normal.

  • Criteria for declaring heat waves:
    • Heat wave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius or more for Plains and at least 30 degree Celsius or more for Hilly regions.
      • Based on Departure from Normal:
        • Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.5 - 6.4 degree Celsius.

        • Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is > 6.4 degree Celsius.

      • Based on Actual Maximum Temperature:
        • Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45 degree Celsius.

        • Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 47 degree Celsius.

      • Criteria for coastal stations: When maximum temperature departure is 4.5 degree Celsius or more from normal, Heat Wave may be described provided actual maximum temperature is 37 degree Celsius or more.

      • How does the India Meteorological Department (IMD) monitor the Heat wave?
        • IMD has a big network of surface observatories to measure various meteorological parameters like Temperature, Relative humidity, pressure, wind speed and direction

        • Based on daily maximum temperature station data, IMD declares a heat wave over the region as per its definition.

News Summary

  • According to the Ministry of Power, the peak power demand in the country touched an all-time high of 207,111 MW recently, amid a severe heatwave spell across India, the hottest since 1901 (when records first started being kept).

  • However, electricity production has declined as coal supplies have become critically low in many states that rely largely on coal-fired plants for power generation, including Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, etc.

  • The dry weather exacerbated the problems by depleting river water levels, reducing hydropower production.

  • As the shortages fuelled fears of major blackouts, many governments implemented methods such as selective power cuts in rural areas to meet demand in urban and industrial areas.




Mains Article
30 Apr 2022

Shah Faesal will return to IAS

In News:

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shah Faesal, who resigned from the service in 2019, has recently been reinstated.

  • Shah Faesal’s resignation, in January 2019, had not been accepted by the Central government pending investigation into some of his posts on social media.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Rules for IAS Officer’s Resignation (Resignation v/s VRS, Concerned authority, Accept/Reject the resignation, Withdrawal of resignation, etc.)

  • News Summary


What rules apply when an IAS officer chooses to resign?

  • A resignation is a formal intimation in writing by an officer of his/her intention or a proposal to leave the IAS, either immediately or at a specified date in the future.

  • Guidelines of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) say that a resignation has to be clear and unconditional.
    • DoPT is the cadre controlling department for the IAS.

  • The resignation of an officer of any of the three All-India Services — IAS, the Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service — is governed by the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958.

Difference between Resignation & VRS:

  • Resignation from service is entirely different from accepting the government’s Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).

  • Those who take VRS are entitled to pension and other benefits, whereas those who resign are not.

  • Rule 5 of the DCRB Rules says, “No retirement benefits may be granted to a person who has been dismissed or removed from the Service or who has resigned from the Service.”

To whom must the resignation of an IAS officer be submitted?

  • An officer serving in a cadre (state) must submit his/her resignation to the chief secretary of the state.

  • An officer who is on central deputation is required to submit his/her resignation to the secretary of the concerned Ministry or Department.

  • The Ministry/Department then forwards the officer’s resignation to the concerned state cadre, along with its comments or recommendations.

What happens after the resignation is submitted?

  • The state checks to see if any dues are outstanding against the officer, as well as the vigilance status of the officer or whether any cases of corruption etc. are pending against him/her.
    • In case there is such a case, the resignation is normally rejected.

  • Before forwarding the resignation to the central government, the concerned state is supposed to send information on the issues of dues and vigilance status, along with its recommendation.

  • The resignation of the officer is considered by the competent authority, i.e., the central government, only after the recommendation of the concerned cadre has been received.

  • The competent authorities are:
    • For IAS - Minister of State at the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT),

    • For IPS - Minister for Home Affairs, and

    • For IFoS - the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change in respect of the Forest Service.

On what grounds a resignation is accepted or rejected?

  • The general rule is that the resignation of an officer should be accepted — except in certain circumstances.

  • In some cases, resignations have been rejected because disciplinary cases were pending against officers. In such cases, concurrence of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is obtained.

  • The government also checks whether the concerned officer had executed any bond to serve the government for a specified number of years on account of having received specialised training, a fellowship, or scholarship for studies.

Can an Officer withdraw a resignation that has already been submitted?

  • Rule 5(1A)(i) of the amended DCRB Rules says the central government may permit an officer to withdraw his/her resignation “in the public interest”.

  • The guidelines say that if an officer who has submitted his/her resignation sends an intimation in writing withdrawing it before its acceptance by the competent authority, the resignation will be deemed to have been automatically withdrawn.


News Summary:

  • IAS officer Shah Faesal, who hails from Jammu & Kashmir, resigned on January 9, 2019, but his resignation was not processed.

  • However, he had applied for withdrawal of his resignation later on.

  • The Home Ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority for the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, had asked for an opinion of the Jammu and Kashmir administration about his plea for withdrawal of resignation.

  • After getting reports from all quarters besides the DoPT, it was decided to accept his plea and was subsequently reinstated earlier this month.

  • Since his resignation itself was not accepted, his request for the withdrawal of resignation was accepted.


Polity & Governance

April 29, 2022

Mains Article
29 Apr 2022

Wrong to infer that half of working age population dropped out of labour force: Government

In News:

  • Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that India’s labour force participation rate (LFPR) has fallen to just 40% from an already low 47% in 2016.

  • This suggests not only that more than half of India’s population in the working-age group (15 years and older) is deciding to sit out of the job market, but also that this proportion of people is increasing.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About LFPR (Meaning, Formula, Significance, Under-reporting, Why is it low, etc.)

  • Reasons for low female LFPR in India

  • Central government’s response to CMIE report


What is LFPR?

  • According to the CMIE, the labour force consists of persons who are of age 15 years or older, and belong to either of the following two categories:
    • Employed

    • Unemployed and are willing to work and are actively looking for a job

  • There is a crucial commonality between the two categories — they both have people “demanding” jobs. This demand is what Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) refers to.

  • While those in category 1 succeed in getting a job, those in category 2 fail to do so.

  • Essentially, LFPR is the number of people ages 15 and older who are employed or actively seeking employment, divided by the total non-institutionalized, civilian working-age population.
    • LFPR represents the demand for jobs in an economy.

  • On the other hand, Unemployment Rate (UER), which is routinely quoted in the news, is nothing but the number of unemployed (category 2) as a proportion of the labour force.

Significance of LFPR in India:

  • Typically, it is expected that the LFPR will remain largely stable.

  • As such, any analysis of unemployment in an economy can be done just by looking at the UER. But, in India, the LFPR is not only lower than in the rest of the world but also falling.

  • This, in turn, affects the UER because LFPR is the base (the denominator) on which UER is calculated.

  • The world over, LFPR is around 60%. In India, it has been sliding over the last 10 years and has shrunk from 47% in 2016 to just 40% as of December 2021.

  • This shrinkage implies that merely looking at UER will under-report the stress of unemployment in India.

How is it under-reported?

  • Imagine that there are just 100 people in the working-age group but only 60 ask for jobs — that is, the LFPR is 60% — and of these 60 people, 6 did not get a job.
    • This would imply a UER of 10%.

  • Now imagine a scenario when the LFPR has fallen to 40% and, as such, only 40 people are demanding work. And of these 40, only 2 people fail to get a job.
    • The UER would have fallen to 5% and it might appear that the economy is doing better on the jobs front but the truth is starkly different.

  • The truth is that beyond the 2 who are unemployed, a total of 20 people have stopped demanding work. Typically, this happens when people in the working-age get disheartened from not finding work.

  • In India’s case, every time the LFPR falls, the UER also falls — because fewer people are now demanding jobs — giving the incorrect impression to policymakers that the situation has improved.

What is the correct way to assess India’s Unemployment Stress?

  • When LFPR is falling as steadily and as sharply as it has done in India’s case, it is better to track another variable: the Employment Rate (ER).
    • The ER refers to the total number of employed people as a percentage of the working-age population.

  • By using the working-age population as the base and looking at the number of people with jobs (instead of those without them), the ER captures the fall in LFPR to better represent the stress in the labour market.

  • In December 2021, India had 107.9 crore people in the working age group and of these, only 40.4 crore had a job (an ER of 37.4%).
    • Compare this with December 2016 when India had 95.9 crore in the working-age group and 41.2 crore with jobs (ER 43%).

  • In five years, while the total working-age population has gone up by 12 crore, the number of people with jobs has gone down by 80 lakh.

Why is India’s LFPR Low?

  • The main reason for India’s LFPR being low is the abysmally low level of female LFPR.

  • According to CMIE data, as of December 2021, while the male LFPR was 67.4%, the female LFPR was as low as 9.4%.

Reasons for the fall in women’s LFPR in India:

  • Occupational Segregation:
    • Between 1977 and 2017, India’s economy witnessed a surge in the contribution of services (39 percent to 53 percent) and industry (33 percent to 27 percent) to GDP.

    • The proportion of rural men employed in agriculture fell from 80.6 percent to 53.2 percent, but rural women only decreased from 88.1 percent to 71.7 percent.

    • Between 1994-2010, women received less than 19 percent of new employment opportunities generated in India’s 10 fastest-growing occupations.

  • Increased Mechanisation:
    • In agriculture, as the use of seed drillers, harvesters, threshers and husking equipment increased, men displaced women.

    • In textiles, power looms, button stitching machines and textile machinery phased out women’s labour.

    • Nearly 12 million Indian women could lose their jobs by 2030 owing to automation, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report.

  • Income Effect:
    • With increasing household incomes, especially over the last three decades, the need for a “second income” reduced.

    • Consequently, families withdrew women from labour as a signal of prosperity.

    • This “income effect” can explain approximately 9 percent of the total decline in the female labour force participation rate between 2005 to 2010.

  • Gender gaps in Higher Education & Skill Training:
    • Tertiary-level female enrolment rose from 2 percent in 1971 to only 30 percent in 2019 (World Bank data).

    • As of 2018-19, only 2 percent of working-age women received formal vocational training, of which 47 percent did not join the labour force (NSSO, 2018-19).

    • Consequently, women holds only 17 percent of cloud computing, 20 percent of engineering, and 24 percent of data/artificial intelligence jobs (WEF, 2020).

  • Social Norms:
    • Unpaid care work continues to be a women’s responsibility, with women spending on average five hours per day on domestic work, vs. 30 minutes for men (NSSO, 2019).

    • Women face inordinate mobility restrictions such that only 54 percent can go to a nearby market alone (NFHS, 2015-16).

    • Women regularly sacrifice wages, career progression, and education opportunities to meet family responsibilities, safety considerations, and other restrictions.

Way Forward:

  • To chart a gender-sensitive socio-economic recovery post-COVID-19, the government, the private sector, media, and the social sector need to work together to:
    • Improve working conditions,

    • Reduce wage gaps,

    • Increase opportunities for women across sectors, and change mindsets.

  • State governments may establish gender-based employment targets for urban public works.

  • Central or state governments can consider introducing wage subsidies to incentivise hiring women in micro, small and medium enterprises.


Government’s Response to CMIE’s Findings:

  • Responding to the report, the Union Labour and Employment Ministry said it was “factually incorrect” to infer that half the working age population had dropped out of the labour force as a large proportion was pursuing education or engaged in unpaid activities such as caregiving.

  • According to the Education Ministry, more than 10 crore people were enrolled in secondary, higher secondary, higher or technical education in 2019-2020 and 49% of that was women.

  • Fall in Unemployment Rate:
    • It added that the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s Periodic Labour Force Survey had shown an increase in the labour force participation rate.

    • The LFPR increased from 49.8% in 2017-2018 to 53.5% in 2019-2020 and a decrease of unemployment rate from 6% to 4.8%.

    • It said the Economic Survey 2021-2022 had indicated an increase of 4.75 crore in employment in 2019-2020 from 2018-2019.



Mains Article
29 Apr 2022

5G service roll-out likely in Aug.-Sept.

In News:

  • Union Minister of Communications, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, recently said that the commercial rollout of 5G services could be expected from August-September 2022 onwards.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Evolution of Wireless Tech (Journey from 1G to 5G Network)

  • Advantages of 5G Technology (Low latency, high speed, etc.)

  • Challenges of 5G rollout in India (Major Telecom reforms introduced in 2021)

  • News Summary


Evolution of Wireless Technology:

  • 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology.
    • To understand 5G, it is important to understand what came before it.

  • Broadly, the first generation of mobile technology, 1G, was about voice – the ability to use a phone in a car.

  • The advent of 2G introduced a short-messaging service.

  • 3G technology provided the core network speeds needed to launch smartphones.

  • 4G, with its high data-transfer rates, gave videos with minimal buffering and gave rise to many of the connected devices and services.

Advantages of 5G Technology:

  • Greater Speed in Transmissions:
    • Speed in transmissions can approach 15 or 20 GBPS (Gigabytes Per Second).

    • In comparison, 4G offers maximum real-world download speeds up to around 100 MBPS.

  • Lower Latency:
    • Latency is the time that elapses since we give an order on our device until the action occurs.

    • In 5G the latency will be ten times less than in 4G, being able to perform remote actions in real time.

  • Greater Number of Connected Devices:
    • All connected devices will have access to instant connections to the internet, which in real time will exchange information with each other. This will favour the IOT (Internet of Things).
      • The Internet of Things describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.

      • It is anticipated that a common home will have a hundred connected devices sending and receiving information in real time.

Challenges for 5G Roll-out in India:

  • Procedural Delays:
    • India’s telecom sector is greatly affected by the procedural delays and their multiple issues.

    • Companies who faced loss in 2G spectrum scam have clearly left a lesson for other telecom companies sceptical about investing in India in any future telecom projects.

    • 5G implementation in India will not be a reality until there is a dedicated regulatory body which will develop the roadmap for 5G in India.

  • Affordability of Spectrum:
    • Many countries around the world may already roll out 5G connectivity to its users but, in India, the 5G spectrum is yet to be allocated.

    • The country’s 5G ecosystem is underdeveloped and has yet to be matured.

    • The cost of the spectrum is exorbitant and inappropriate for telecom companies, that is why India’s debt-ridden operators are still reeling under the pressure to keep existing 4G network costs low.

  • Last-mile Connectivity:
    • Catering to last-mile broadband connectivity in Tier-II, Tier-III cities and rural homes are challenging since India lacks optical fiber infrastructure and Greenfield deployment which has immensely affected last-mile connectivity.

    • Under BharatNet Project of the Union government, the plan is to connect all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country to broadband internet.

    • However, as of February 2022, only about 1.72 lakh of the initially targeted 2.5 lakh gram panchayats had been connected to the central grid under the project.

  • Affordable 5G Devices:
    • On the consumer front, affordable 5G devices are yet to take their place in the market.

    • The biggest roadblock in India’s 5G electronics manufacturing industry is that it lacks the world-class ‘semiconductor fabricating unit’ which is the notable denominator for device affordability.

  • Network & Security Privacy:
    • Even in the early 80s era, 1G networks saw wireless channels for illegal cloning and masquerading.

    • As networks and applications evolve further, threats such as semantic information (info which is in some sense meaningful to the user’s system) attacks often target the location data of users.

    • On the other hand, data collection is another major concern for 5G users as practically all mobile applications demand user’s personal information during or before installation.


Recent Telecom Reforms:

  • In September 2021, the Union Cabinet approved a set of structural and procedural reforms to address the short-term liquidity needs as well as long-term issues of telecom companies. Major reforms that have been announced are:
    • AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue):
      • AGR definition rationalised and, unlike earlier, non-telecom revenue will be excluded.

    • Moratorium on Dues:
      • A much needed moratorium has been announced on statutory dues of the telecom sector for four years.

      • This will improve the cash flow which can be used in more productive areas.

    • Spectrum Usage Charges:
      • Spectrum usage charges will be rationalized and there will be now an annual compounding of rates rather than a monthly one.

      • Penalty on payment of licence fees, spectrum user charges and all kinds of charges have been completely scrapped.

    • Foreign Direct Investment:
      • In a major boost for the sector, the government has increased the FDI in the sector under automatic route from 49% to 100%.

    • Licence Raj scrapped:
      • Customs notification of 1953 has been done away with. It will allow telecom operators to easily import equipment.

    • Spectrum sharing:
      • Spectrum sharing has been allowed; telecom operator can share where they deem beneficial.


  • The telecom reforms announced by the government are the beginning of a new era for the sector as well as for boosting investment in the industry that is reeling under debt burden.

  • These reforms will help bring alive the digital aspirations of 1.3 billion people and accelerate India's journey to be a digitally powered economy.


News Summary:

  • The government is confident of resolving issues related to high spectrum pricing with the industry, Telecom Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw said recently.

  • He added that everything was “more or less” on track for auction of spectrum, including 5G airwaves, by June 2022.

  • He said the main issue was the industry’s demand for a further reduction in spectrum prices, which would be “deliberated in a logical and systematic manner.”

  • In all, more than 1,00,000 MHz of airwaves have been recommended to be put up for auction.

  • The total spectrum on offer at reserve price is valued at around Rs. 5 lakh crore for 20 years.


Science & Tech

Mains Article
29 Apr 2022

Xi’s ‘Global Security Initiative’ looks to counter Quad grouping

In News:

  • A new Global Security Initiative has been put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

  • This initiative will look to counter the S. Indo-Pacific strategy and the Quad – the India, U.S., Australia, Japan grouping.

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • QUAD – About, Objective, evolution, naval exercise, first summit, advantages, challenges, QUAD is not anti-China

  • News Summary

IN Focus: Quad


  • The grouping of four democracies –India, Australia, US and Japan– is known as the quadrilateral security dialogue or quad.

  • The aim of this grouping is to ensure a free and open international order based on the rule of law in the Indo- Pacific.

Objectives of the Quad

  • The group’s primary objectives include
    • maritime security,

    • combating the Covid-19 crisis, especially vis-à-vis vaccine diplomacy,

    • addressing the risks of climate change,

    • creating an ecosystem for investment in the region and

    • boosting technological innovation.


  • Following the Indian Ocean tsunami, India, Japan, Australia, and the US created an informal alliance to collaborate on disaster relief efforts.

  • Quad as a formal group was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in However, due to Chinese resistance and reluctance shown by India, it could not move ahead.

  • Later, during the 2017 ASEAN Summits, all four former members re-joined negotiations to revive the quadrilateral alliance.

  • The Quad was upgraded to the ministerial level in September 2019.

Naval Exercise

  • In November 2020, the navies of Australia, India, Japan and the United States held their biggest naval drills, known as Malabar exercise.

  • It was the first time since 2007 that all members of Quad participated in a joint military drill.

First-ever summit of QUAD leaders

  • In March 2021, the first-ever summit of QUAD leaders took place
    • 1st in-person Quad Summit took place in September 2021 in US.

  • It was participated by the PMs/Presidents of all the member countries. The summit was hosted by US.


  • Greater cooperation among democratic nations in changed scenario
    • Since the tsunami, climate change has grown more perilous, new technologies have revolutionized our daily lives, geopolitics have become ever more complex, and a pandemic has devastated the world.

  • Free, open, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific
    • Quad countries are striving to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is accessible and dynamic, governed by international law.

    • It wants to create an environment in which all countries are able to make their own political choices, free from coercion.


  • Assertiveness of China
    • Chinese officials have likened the group to a “mini-NATO” and said its activities are aimed at targeting third parties.

    • Beijing sees Quad as part of a strategy to encircle China and has pressured countries like Bangladesh to avoid cooperating with the group.

  • China as a Trading partner
    • Beijing has emerged as the most important trading partner of the Indian Ocean region.

  • Approach of Member Countries
    • While USA is quite vocal in naming the aggressive China, other members show restraint and avoid naming China directly.

    • There is difference in the approach as well. E.g., USA looks the Indo-Pacific region militarily. On the other hand, India views this region diplomatically.

  • Different Areas of Prioritisation
    • The way that the four different Quad members view their interests in the Indo-Pacific leads them to prioritise different areas.

    • For instance, for the US, South China Sea and East China Sea are vital. Same goes for Japan. And for Australia, it also includes the Western Pacific.

    • But for India, the Quad is about the Indian Ocean and South China Sea is a secondary theatre.

    • As of now there are no signs that the ASEAN is willing to take a united stand on many issues so far raised by Quad.

    • It would be difficult for the Quad to execute any effective policy minus the cooperation from the ASEAN countries.

  • RCEP
    • Japan and Australia joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

    • This is an indication of their desire to do business with China even as they seek to deter its growing clout in the region.

Quad is not anti-China

  • There was no direct reference to China or military security in the joint statement released after first virtual ministerial meeting.

  • Experts believe that the Quad will refrain from addressing the military threat posed by China and instead focus on its economic and technological influence.

  • The Quad had decided to establish working groups on vaccine development and critical technologies.

  • This can be viewed as an attempt to create a democratic, inclusive blueprint that will encourage other states to work with the Quad.

News Summary

  • While speaking at the Boao Forum in China, President Xi Jinping has proposed a Global Security Initiative.

Aim of this initiative

  • As per the Chinese President, Global Security Initiative will stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

  • It would oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation.

  • This initiative would oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction.

Key Principles

  • Build an Asian security model
    • This initiative would build an Asian security model of mutual respect, openness and integration.

    • It would oppose the destruction of the international order under the banner of so-called rules.

    • It will also oppose the dragging of the world under the cloud of the new cold war.

  • Oppose Indo-Pacific strategy of US
    • This initiative will oppose the use of the Indo-Pacific strategy to divide the region and create a new Cold War, and the use of military alliances to put together an Asian version of NATO.


International Relations

Mains Article
29 Apr 2022

Keen on lifting AFSPA from northeast: Modi

In News:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the centre is keen on completely lifting the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 from the northeast.

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • AFSPA – About, states where AFSPA is in effect, disturbed area, controversial provisions, various judgements, way forward

  • News Summary

In Focus: Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 [AFSPA]

About AFSPA:

  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was enacted in 1958 to bring under control what the government of India considered disturbed areas.
    • AFSPA can be implemented in an area after it has been declared as disturbed.

  • Under its provisions, the armed forces have been empowered to:
    • Open fire; enter and search without warrant, and arrest any person who has committed a cognisable offence.

  • Prosecution of the officer on duty needs prior permission of the Central Government.

States where AFSPA is in effect

  • States under AFSPA includes:
    • Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur (excluding seven assembly constituencies of Imphal),

    • Arunachal Pradesh (only the Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts plus a 20-km belt bordering Assam)

    • It was completely lifted from Meghalaya in April 2018. It was repealed in Tripura in 2015.

  • From April 1, 2022, AFSPA has partially been withdrawn from parts of three Northeast states— Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

Disturbed Area:

  • The state or central government considers those areas as ‘disturbed’
    • By reason of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.

  • Once declared ‘disturbed’, the region has to maintain status quo for a minimum of three months, according to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976.

  • The state governments can suggest whether the Act is required to be enforced or not.

  • But under Section (3) of the Act, their opinion can still be overruled by the governor or the centre.

Controversial provisions

  • Section 3 – It empowers the Centre to declare any area as Disturb Area without taking consent of the concerned state.

  • Section 4 – Accords certain power to an authorised officer which also includes power to open fire at any individual even if it results in death.
    • Under this section, the officer has also been given the power to (a) arrest without a warrant; and (b) seize and search any premise without any warrant

  • Section 7 – It mandates prior executive permission from central or state authorities for prosecution of a member of the security forces.

Various Judgements and Committee reports on AFSPA:

  • In the Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights v. Union of India case, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law.
    • However, the judgment made some notable conclusions such as:
      • Although Central Government is empowered to declare an area disturbed on its own, it is desirable that it consults the state before making such declaration.

      • The act is not conferring any arbitrary powers to declare an area as a ‘disturbed area’

      • The declaration should be for a limited duration and there should be periodic review at 6 months.

      • The officers should use minimal force necessary for effective action.

    • In 1997, the Apex Court also laid down a number of dos and don’ts for AFSPA. These are:
      • Any person arrested and taken into custody should be handed over to the nearest police station with the least possible delay.

      • The property seized during the course of a search conducted must also be handed over to the officer-in-charge of the nearest police station.

      • The provisions of the CrPC governing search and seizure have to be followed during the course of search and seizure conducted under AFSPA.

      • A complaint containing an allegation about misuse or abuse of the powers conferred under this Act shall be thoroughly inquired into.

  • Santosh Hegde Committee

    • The Committee, constituted by SC, reported the use of disproportionate force and intrusion of security forces in areas which are not notified as disturbed areas.

    • The Commission even went to the extent of saying that AFSPA was an impediment to achieving peace in regions such as Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

  • B P Jeevan Reddy Committee
    • Justice B P Jeevan Reddy committee was appointed in 2004 to review the provisions of the act in the north eastern states.

    • This committee recommended that the AFSPA should be repealed and its appropriate provisions should be included in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

    • Further, the powers of the army / paramilitary officers should be clearly demarcated.

    • Moreover, the committee recommended that grievance cells should be created in each district where such law is in force.

    • The report was endorsed by the 2nd ARC report

Why is the law controversial?

  • AFSPA has often been criticised as a draconian Act for
    • The unbridled power it gives to the armed forces and

    • The impunity that security personnel enjoy for their actions taken under the law.

  • Under AFSPA, the armed forces may shoot to kill or destroy a building on mere suspicion.

  • Irom Sharmila, known as the Iron lady of Manipur, has been a towering figure who is well-known for her 16-year-long hunger strike against AFSPA.

Way Forward:

  • Frequent misuse of AFSPA by security forces has led to the widespread resentment against this act.
    • However, the annulment of the law would seriously affect the governance in the insurgency-affected states.

  • Hence, the need of the hour is to provide certain safeguards so as to prevent its misuse. This can include steps like:
    • Establishing grievance cells in each district where such law is in force,

    • Ensuring accountability of the officer in charge,

    • Investigations by independent and impartial authorities are few steps in this regard.

News Summary

  • PM Modi said efforts were on to improve the law-and-order situation for the controversial AFSPA to be completely lifted from the northeast.

  • He said this while addressing a Peace, Unity and Development rally in Assam.

Key Highlights of the speech

  • Peace a necessary condition for removal of AFSPA
    • He said, from April 1, 2022, the AFSPA could be withdrawn partially from Assam, Manipur and Nagaland due to peaceful conditions since 2014.
      • The Bodo Accord opened the doors for permanent peace

    • The central government removed AFSPA from many areas due to better administration and the return of peace.
      • The incidents of violence dropped by 75% in the last eight years.

    • This is the reason that AFSPA was removed from Tripura and then Meghalaya.

  • The 400th anniversary of Lachit Borphukan
    • He noted the coincidence of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and the 400th anniversary of Lachit Borphukan.

    • Lachit Borphukan was the 17th century Ahom general who stopped the Mughals from capturing Assam.

  • Cancer care hub
    • PM inaugurated seven advanced cancer hospitals under the Assam Cancer Care Foundation.

    • There will be 17 such centres across Assam to serve patients from the other north-eastern States and neighbouring countries such as Bhutan.

    • According to a government study in 2021, the northeast is the “cancer capital” of India.
      • Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district and Mizoram’s Aizawl district recording the highest incidence of new cases among females and males respectively.


Defence & Security

April 28, 2022

Mains Article
28 Apr 2022

States vs Centre on selection of Vice-Chancellors: rules, friction

In News:

  • The Tamil Nadu Assembly recently passed two Bills that seek to transfer the Governor’s power in appointing Vice-Chancellors (VC) of 13 state universities to the state government.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About VC (Role, Appointment)

  • About Bills passed by TN Assembly (Provisions, Similar examples, Supreme Court’s Observations, UGC’s Role)


About Vice-Chancellor:

  • Vice chancellors lead the university's academic and administrative departments.

  • They may serve on several university councils, assist with policy development and academic planning, prepare budgets, and maintain the institution's positive image.

  • As per the University Grants Commission (UGC) Guidelines, the Visitor/Chancellor shall appoint the Vice Chancellor out of the panel of names recommended by the search-cum-selection committee.
    • The Governor of the state is the honorary chancellor of all State owned universities.

About the Bills passed by Tamil Nadu Assembly:  

  • The Tamil Nadu Universities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2022, substitutes the expression “chancellor” in the original Act with “government” with regards to both appointment and removal of VCs.

  • A separate bill to amend the Chennai University Act, 1923 [Chennai University (Amendment) Act, 2022], with similar intent, was passed by the House.
    • Currently, the Governor, in his capacity as the Chancellor of state universities, has the power to pick a VC from the shortlisted names.

  • The Bills also seek to empower the state government to have the final word on the removal of VCs, if needed.

  • Removal will be carried out based on inquiries by a retired High Court judge or a bureaucrat who has served at least as a Chief Secretary

Such Bills by other States in recent times:

  • Maharashtra:
    • In December 2021, the Maharashtra Assembly passed a Bill amending the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016.

    • Under the original Act, the Maharashtra government had no say in appointment of VCs. If the changes take effect, the Governor will be given two names to choose from by the state government.

  • West Bengal:
    • In 2019, the West Bengal government took away the Governor’s authority in appointing VCs to state universities.

    • It has also hinted at removing the Governor as the Chancellor of the universities.

  • Gujarat:
    • In Gujarat, only the chief minister has the power to appoint a VC since 1949.

    • The Gujarat University Act, 1949 states that “the vice-chancellor shall be appointed by the state government from amongst three persons recommended by a (search-cum-selection) committee”.

    • However, last month the Supreme Court set aside the VC appointment of Gujarat’s SP University by the state government.

  • Telangana:
    • The Telangana Universities Act, 1991 states that the search committee shall “submit a panel of three persons to the Government in alphabetical order and the Government shall appoint the Vice-Chancellor from out of the said panel”.

Supreme Court’s Observation:

  • In March 2022, while setting aside the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat’s SP University by the state government, the Supreme Court made some key observations.
    • The court said “any appointment as a Vice Chancellor contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations can be said to be in violation of the statutory provisions, warranting a writ of quo warranto”.

    • It said every subordinate legislation of the UGC, in this case the one on minimum standards on appointments, flows from the parent UGC Act, 1956.

    • In case of any conflict between state legislation and central legislation, central legislation shall prevail by applying the rule/principle of repugnancy as enunciated in Article 254 of the Constitution as the subject ‘education’ is in the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
      • Under Article 254, If any legislation enacted by the state legislature is repugnant to the legislation enacted by the Parliament, then the state legislation will be declared void, and the legislation enacted by the Parliament will prevail over the former.

Role of University Grants Commission:

  • Although Education comes under the Concurrent List, but entry 66 of the Union List — “coordination and determination of standards in institutions for higher education or research and scientific and technical institutions” — gives the Centre substantial authority over higher education.

  • According to the UGC Regulations, 2018, the “Visitor/Chancellor” — mostly the Governor in states — shall appoint the VC out of the panel of names recommended by search-cum-selection committees.

  • Higher educational institutions, particularly those that get UGC funds, are mandated to follow its regulations.

  • These are usually followed without friction in the case of central universities, but are sometimes resisted by the states in the case of state universities.



Polity & Governance

Mains Article
28 Apr 2022

Centre enhances subsidy for non-urea fertilizers

In News:

  • With prices sky-rocketing due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Union Cabinet has recently approved a subsidy of more than Rs 60,000 crore for non-urea fertilisers for the first six months of this financial year.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Fertilizers (Meaning, Use, Types)

  • How Subsidy Works (Mechanism, Government Schemes, Beneficiaries, Way Forward)

  • News Summary


About Fertilizers:

  • A fertilizer is a chemical product either mined or manufactured material containing one or more essential plant nutrients that are immediately or potentially available in sufficiently good amounts.

  • Fertilizers have played an essential role in agricultural production, providing vital nutrients for crops, thereby increasing their demands over the years.

  • As an agrarian country, India is home to numerous small and marginal farmers and is often plagued by low productivity and low quality.

  • Crops are mainly rain-fed and cultivated on a single piece of land over time, decreasing soil fertility in many regions.

  • Thereby, increasing quantities of nitrogen fertilizers have been used in the country.

Macro & Micro Elements in Fertilizers:

  • Macro Nutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potash (K), Calcium, Sulfur (S), and Magnesium are known as macro-nutrients (required in comparatively larger amounts).

  • Micro Nutrients: Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Copper, Boron, Manganese Molybdenum, Chloride, and others are the micro-nutrients (required in a smaller quantity) for the growth and development of crop plants.

  • Among the various types, NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) fertilizers are the most common ones, and Urea stands as the most highly consumed fertilizer in India.

  • India is the second-largest consumer of fertilizers globally, with an annual consumption of more than 55.0 million metric ton.

About Fertilizer Subsidy:

  • Farmers buy fertilisers at MRPs (maximum retail price) below their normal supply-and-demand-based market rates or what it costs to produce/import them.

  • The MRP of neem-coated urea, for instance, is fixed by the government at Rs 5,922.22 per tonne, whereas its average cost-plus price payable to domestic manufacturers and importers comes to around Rs 17,000 -Rs 23,000 per tonne, respectively.

  • The difference, which varies according to plant-wise production cost and import price, is footed by the Centre as subsidy.

  • The MRPs of non-urea fertilisers are decontrolled or fixed by the companies. However, the Centre pays a flat per-tonne subsidy on these nutrients to ensure reasonable prices.

How is the Subsidy Paid & Who gets it?

  • The subsidy goes to fertiliser companies, although its ultimate beneficiary is the farmer who pays MRPs less than the market-determined rates.

  • Under the Direct-Benefit Transfer (DBT) system, subsidy payment to the companies would happen only after actual sales to farmers by retailers.

  • Each retailer now has a point-of-sale (PoS) machine linked to the Department of Fertilisers’ e-Urvarak DBT portal.

  • Anybody buying subsidised fertilisers is required to furnish his/her Aadhaar unique identity or Kisan Credit Card number.

  • Only upon the sale getting registered on the e-Urvarak platform can a company claim subsidy.

Government Schemes/Initiatives:

  • Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme, 2010:
    • Under the scheme, a fixed rate of subsidy based on the weight (Rs per kg basis) is announced for nutrients namely Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), Potash (K) and Sulphur (S) by the government on an annual basis.

    • It aims at ensuring the balanced use of fertilizers, improving agricultural productivity, promoting the growth of the indigenous fertilizers industry and also reducing the burden of Subsidy.

    • Urea is not covered under the scheme and due to delay in NBS subsidy payments, Fertilizer companies focus more on Urea than other fertilizers. Hence, the ideal ratio of NPK is disrupted

  • New Investment Policy 2012:
    • The Government had notified New Investment Policy – 2012 in January, 2013 with the main objective to facilitate fresh investment, make India self-reliant and reduce import dependency in urea sector.

  • Neem-coated Urea 2015:
    • Urea that is coated with neem tree seed oil is called neem-coated urea.

    • The Department of Fertilizers has made it mandatory for all the domestic producers to produce 100% urea as Neem Coated Urea (NCU).

    • Benefits of NCU include:
      • Slow down the process of nitrification of urea

      • Enhance the yield

      • Decrease urea requirement, hence save money

  • New Urea Policy 2015:
    • The New Urea Policy was released in May 2015.

    • The Policy seeks to:
      • Increase indigenous urea production,

      • Promote energy efficiency in urea production, and

      • Reduce subsidy burden on the Central government.

  • Gas Pooling in Fertilizers:
    • Currently, there are 30 urea producing units in the country, out of which 27 units are gas based and 3 units are Naphtha based.

    • Gas Pooling mechanism was introduced by the Government in 2015.

    • It is intended to supply gas at uniform delivered price to all fertilizer plants on the gas grid for production of urea through a pooling mechanism.

Way Forward:

  • The Central government should consider paying farmers a flat per-acre cash subsidy that they can use to purchase any fertiliser.

  • The amount could vary, depending on the number of crops grown and whether the land is irrigated or not.

  • This is a sustainable solution to prevent diversion and also encourage judicious application of fertilisers, with the right nutrient (macro and micro) combination based on proper soil testing and crop-specific requirements.


News Summary:

  • With prices sky-rocketing due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Union Cabinet has recently approved a subsidy of more than Rs 60,000 crore for non-urea fertilisers for the first six months of this financial year.
    • This is almost 45.23% more than the Budget Estimates for non-urea fertilisers for the entire FY-23.

  • This will enable companies to continue selling the vital soil nutrients at affordable rates to farmers.


Mains Article
28 Apr 2022

Birth, death reporting to be automated

In News:

  • The Central government is planning to revamp the Civil Registration System (CRS) to enable the registration of birth and death in real-time.

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • Civil Registration System – About, Recent initiatives to strengthen CRS, Proposed amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969

  • News Summary

In Focus: Civil Registration System (CRS) in India


  • With the enactment of the Registration of Births and Death Act (RBD Act) in 1969, the registration of births, deaths and still births have become mandatory in India.

  • The Registrar General, India (RGI) at the Central Government level coordinates and unifies the activities of registration throughout the country.
    • The Chief Registrar is mandated to publish a statistical report on the registered births and deaths during the year.

  • However, implementation of the statute is vested with the State Governments.
    • The registration of births and deaths in the country is done by the functionaries appointed by the State Governments.

Recent initiatives to strengthen CRS

  • Uniform Software Application for Registration of Births and Deaths
    • A software application for online and offline registration of birth and death has been developed.

    • The application that is presently available in English is being customized in 13 Indian languages.

  • Database of Institutions
    • A nationwide database of medical Institutions has been prepared.

    • The plan is to electronically monitor the registration of events occurring in these institutions through an ICT enabled platform.

  • Application to Monitor Institutional Events
    • An SMS based application called "Event Monitoring System for Registration" has been developed and is currently under pilot testing.

  • Data digitization
    • Project to keep old records in easy to retrieve digital form has been started.

    • This will help in storage of registers in electronic format and allow easy access to the records.

  • National Population Register
    • The Civil Registration System has been linked to the NPR.

Proposed amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969

  • The RGI that functions under the MHA has proposed amendment to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.

  • This amendment will enable it to maintain the database of registered birth and deaths at the national level.

  • According to the proposed amendment, the database may be used to update the Population Register, Electoral Register, Aadhar, Ration Card, Passport and Driving License databases.

News Summary

  • According to the 2020-21 annual report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the government is planning to automate the Civil Registration System (CRS).

  • This will enable the registration of birth and death in real-time with minimum human interface.

Key Highlights of the report

  • Challenges faced by CRS in current form
    • The CRS system is facing challenges in terms of timelines, efficiency and uniformity, leading to delayed and under-coverage of birth and death.

  • Need to introduce transformational changes in CRS
    • For providing prompt service delivery to the public, the Government of India has decided to introduce transformational changes in the CRS.

    • This will be done through an IT enabled backbone which will enable registration of birth and death in real-time basis with minimum human interface.

  • Changes will be related to the automation of the processes
    • The report said the changes would be in terms of automating the process delivery points so that the service delivery was time-bound, uniform and free from discretion.

    • The changes would be sustainable, scalable and independent of the location.

  • Need to update the NPR again
    • The CRS is linked to the National Population Register (NPR), which already has a database of 119 crore residents.

    • The report said there was a need to update the NPR again to incorporate the changes due to birth, death and migration.
      • NPR was first collated in 2010 and updated in 2015 with Aadhaar, mobile and ration card numbers.

      • The NPR was to be updated with the decennial Census exercise that has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Registered births and deaths had witnessed a steady increase
    • The report noted that the proportion of total registered births and deaths had witnessed a steady increase over the years.
      • The registration level of births has increased to 89.3% in 2018 from 81.3% in 2009.

      • On the other hand, the registration level of deaths has increased from 66.9% in 2009 to 86.0% in 2018.

    • It pointed out, adding that the level of total registration of deaths was lower than that of births in most of the States.
      • This may partly be attributed to non-reporting of domiciliary deaths and deaths of females and infants.


Polity & Governance

Mains Article
28 Apr 2022

Centre says Delhi should be under its control

In News:

  • The Central government told the Supreme Court that Delhi, the nation’s capital and a sprawling metropolis, should be under its control.
  • The Centre was justifying the intent behind the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act or GNCTD Act of 2021.


  • The Delhi government contends that the amended GNCTD Act diminish the constitutionally guaranteed powers and functions of the elected legislative assembly.
  • Hence, it filed an appeal in the Supreme Court to quash
    • the amended sections of the GNCTD Act and
    • several Rules of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993.
  • A three-judge Bench led by CJI N.V. Ramana is hearing a plea by the Delhi government

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act – About, key provisions, 1991 Act
  • News Summary

In Focus: Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act - GNCTD Act of 2021


  • GNCTD Act 2021 was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2021. It amends the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991. 
  • The 1991 Act provides a framework for the functioning of the Legislative Assembly and the government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.
  • GNCTD Act 2021 amends certain powers and responsibilities of the Legislative Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor.

Key Provisions

  • Restriction on laws passed by the Assembly
    • GNCTD Act 2021 provides that the term “government” referred to in any law made by the Legislative Assembly will imply Lieutenant Governor (LG).
  • Rules of Procedure of the Assembly
    • The 1991 Act allows the Legislative Assembly to make Rules to regulate the procedure and conduct of business in the Assembly.
    • GNCTD Act 2021 provides that such Rules must be consistent with the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha.
  • Inquiry by the Assembly into administrative decisions
    • GNCTD Act 2021 prohibits the Legislative Assembly from making any rule to enable itself or its Committees to:
      • Consider the matters of day-to-day administration of the NCT of Delhi
      • Conduct any inquiry in relation to administrative decisions.
  • Assent to Bills
    • GNCTD Act 2021 requires the LG to reserve certain Bills passed by the Legislative Assembly for the consideration of the President. These include bills:
      • which may diminish the powers of the High Court of Delhi,
      • which the President may direct to be reserved,
      • dealing with the salaries and allowances of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and members of the Assembly and the Ministers,
      • relating to official languages of the Assembly or the NCT of Delhi,
      • which incidentally cover any of the matters outside the purview of the powers of the Legislative Assembly.
  • LG’s opinion for executive actions
    • The 1991 Act specifies that all executive action by the government, whether taken on the advice of the Ministers or otherwise, must be taken in the name of the LG.
    • GNCTD Act 2021 adds that on certain matters, as specified by the LG, his opinion must be obtained before taking any executive action on the decisions of the Minister/ Council of Ministers.

GNCTD Act 1991

  • It was enacted to supplement provisions of the Constitution relating to the Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers for the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
  • Together with 69th Amendment act, the GNCTD act ensured the process of an elected government in Delhi.
    • 69th Amendment Act, 1992 added two new Articles 239AA and 239AB.
    • Article 239AA deals with creation of a legislative assembly for Delhi which can make laws on subjects under the State List and Concurrent List except on these matters: public order, land, and police.
      • It also provides for a Council of Ministers for Delhi consisting of not more than 10% of the total number of members in the assembly.
    • Article 239AB provides that the President may by order suspend the operation of any provision of Article 239AA.

News Summary

  • The Centre told the Supreme Court it needs to have control over administrative services in Delhi as it is the national capital and the face of the country.

Stand taken by the Centre in SC

  • The national capital should be under Centre’s control
    • Delhi cannot be left to the small mercies and smaller resources of a State legislature.
    • The model of governance of the NCT of Delhi would invariably requires the Union government to play a central role.
    • Delhi is the face of the nation. The world views India through Delhi.
    • Hence, it is necessary that the Centre has special powers over its administration and has control over important issues.
  • The models of governance for other UTs were not appropriate for NCT of Delhi
    • Centre said that a committee called the Balakrishnan Committee was set up.
    • The committee was set up to suggest an appropriate governance model, which could balance the need of the Union’s role and at the same time provide platform for democratic aspirations of the people.
    • The committee recommended that Delhi should continue to be a UT. But there must be a Legislative Assembly and Council of Ministers responsible to the said Assembly with appropriate powers.
      • Based on this report, the Constitution (69th) Amendment Act and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCT) Act, 1991 were passed.
    • Matter should be referred to Constitutional bench
      • The government said that the issue of who should control administrative services in Delhi be referred to a Constitution Bench for a holistic interpretation.

Contention of Delhi Government

  • The Delhi government has contended that the amendments in 2021 violate the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.
  • The Centre, through its amendments, has given more power to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) than the elected government of the people of Delhi.
    • As per the Delhi govt, the amendments by the Centre were an attempt to treat the LG as the default administering authority over the NCT of Delhi.
      • It has done so by equating the position of the LG with that of the elected government.
    • It also contends that the amendment authorised the LG to withhold consent from bills that, in his judgment, may be incidentally outside the scope of the Assembly’s legislative powers.
    • The amendments, as per the Delhi govt, empowered the LG to interfere in the day-to-day administration of the Delhi government.
      • The amendment has introduced the requirement of obtaining the LG’s views before executing a decision of the Council of Ministers.
  • The Delhi government has also opposed the Rules of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993.
    • As per the Delhi govt, this encroaches on the scope of the Assembly’s core legislative functions by interfering with the power of the House to frame its own rules of business.


Polity & Governance

April 27, 2022

Mains Article
27 Apr 2022


South Asia, which accounts for over a quarter of the world's population, is bolstering its transmission and distribution infrastructure to meet growing energy demand, not only by expanding power grids but also by improving renewable energy sources such as solar and hydropower.

The electricity policies of South Asian countries aim at providing electricity to every household.

  • Objective: The objective is to supply reliable and quality electricity in an efficient manner, at reasonable rates and to protect consumer interests.


The expansion of electricity coverage across industries and households benefits South Asian countries significantly.

  • Enhances GDP: Electrification boosts GDP because a 0.46 percent increase in energy consumption translates to a 1% rise in GDP per capita. It not only improves people's lives, but it also stimulates the economy by increasing the country's GDP.

  • For Middle-Income Countries More energy leads to more investment and economic activity both inside and outside the country, making it more feasible than other types of investments like foreign direct investment.

  • Sustainable Development Goals(SDG):

  • South Asian countries' efforts to adopt renewable energy sources are geared toward:

  • increasing employment (SDG1)

  • abling to access tech-based health solutions (SDG 3)

  • helping online education through affordable internet with energy access (SDG 4)

  • engaging more female solar entrepreneurs. (SDG 5)

  • ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy (SDG 7)

  • improving infrastructure with access to electricity (SDG 9)

  • For examples:

  • Solar power-driven electrification in rural Bangladesh

  • India’s pledge to move 40% of total energy produced to renewable energy

  • For instance:

  • Bangladesh’s enhanced GDP: The industrial and agricultural sectors, which cannot function effectively without electricity, account for 50.3 percent of Bangladesh's GDP.

  • Nepal’s rapid urbanisation: Since the earthquake in 2015, GDP growth has averaged 7.3 percent, thanks to rapid urbanisation supported by higher energy consumption.

  • India’s rising power demand: India is leading South Asia in the use of renewable energy, with its yearly power consumption increasing by 6%.

Steps taken towards green growth, green energy:

  • Abundant Energy resources:

Because South Asia has abundant renewable energy resources (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass), leaders are increasingly focusing on efficient, creative, and advanced energy production technologies in order to achieve 100% electrification.

  • Net Zero Pledge: In his 'net zero by 2070' statement at COP 26 in Ghasgow, Indian Prime Minister stated India's goal of increasing renewable energy capacity from 450GW to 500GW by 2030.

  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): The clean development mechanism was created with two goals in mind: to assist developed countries in meeting their carbon reduction obligations, and to aid developing countries in attaining sustainable development.

  • Benefits such as poverty reduction, energy efficiency and improved quality of life were realised when there was India-Bhutan hydro trade in 2010.

  • International Solar Alliance:

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an international treaty-based organisation with a global purpose to catalyse solar growth by lowering funding and technological costs.

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is the nodal agency for the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative, which aims to transmit solar energy generated in one region to meet the needs of another.

  • It is an Indian initiative that was launched on the sidelines of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP-21) on November 30, 2015 in Paris, France, by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, with 121 solar resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as prospective members.

  • Rooftop solar panel programme: In Bangladesh, rural places that are unreachable with traditional grid based electricity have 45% of their power needs met through a rooftop solar panel programme.


  • Cross-border power sharing projects:

The current participation in cross border power-sharing projects has been restricted among three nations, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

  • India-Bhutan: Bhutan exports 70% of its own hydropowered electricity to India worth almost U.S. $ 100 million.

  • India-Nepal: Nepal not only sells surplus hydroelectricity to India but also exports fossil fuel to India worth U.S. $1.2 billion.

  • India-Bangladesh: India exports 1200 MW of electricity to Bangladesh, sufficient for almost 25% of the daily energy demand, with a significant amount from the Kokraajhar power plant in Assam.


  • Regional Energy Trade agreements:

  • India-Nepal petroleum pipeline deal

  • Agreements for Energy Cooperation under The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

  • India-Bhutan hydroelectric joint venture

  • Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline (BBIN)

  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI)



South Asia's electricity production has increased exponentially, from 340 terawatt hours (TWh) in 1990 to 1500 TWh in 2015.

  • Electrification:

  • Bhutan, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka were the first nations in the world to attain 100% power in 2019, and Bangladesh was just added to the list.

  • The percentages for India and Afghanistan are 94.4 % and 97.7 %, respectively, while Pakistan has a record of 73.91 %.

  • Price:

  • Bhutan has the cheapest electricity price in South Asia (U.S. $0.036 per kWh), while India has the highest (U.S. $ 0.08 per kWh).

  • Power dema006Eds:

  • The Bangladesh’s government has significantly revamped power production resulting in power demands from 4942 kWh in 2009 to 25,514 MW as of 2022.

  • Transition :

  • India is attempting to move to renewable energy for 40% of total consumption, while Pakistan continues to struggle to alleviate power shortages that are wreaking havoc on its economy.


  • Challenges: Generation, transmission, distribution, rural electrification, research and development, environmental issues, energy conservation and human resource training.

  • Requires geographically different approach: Geographical differences between countries call for a different approach depending on resources.

  • While India relies heavily on coal, according for nearly 55% of its electricity population, 99% of Nepal’s energy comes from hydropower, 75% of Bangladesh’s power production relies on natural gas, and Sri Lanka leans on oil, spending as much as 6% of its GDP on importing oil.

  • Social and Ideational issues:

  • South Asia’s regional geopolitics is determined by the conflation of identity, politics and international border.

  • Transnational and energy projects would thus engage with multiple social and ideational issues which is a major limitation for peaceful energy.





Way ahead:

  • Resilient Energy Frameworks: Building-design techniques, climate-proof infrastructure, a flexible monitoring framework, and an integrated resource plan that encourages renewable energy innovation are the elements of resilient energy frameworks that are needed.

  • Public- Private Partnership: Because the government cannot be the sole source of reliable and secure energy frameworks, public-private partnerships may be a precursor in tackling the energy transition issues for the world's most populated area.

  • In 2022, private financing accounted for 44% of household power in Bangladesh, 48.5% in India and 53% in Pakistan.

  • Regional Security Approach: Conflict resolution and peace building should be connected and viewed through the perspective of energy trade. It would aid in the smoothing of the energy process between nations by involving a larger number of stakeholders.

Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
27 Apr 2022

Act against communal hate, SC tells two States

In News:

  • Recently, the Supreme Court in its judgement told the States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand that they are “bound” to stop hate crimes and follow the preventive and punitive measures against hate crimes laid down by the Supreme Court in its judgements.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Hate Speech (Meaning, Article 19, Legal Provisions, Suggestions, etc.)

  • News Summary


About Hate Speech:

  • Hate speech covers many forms of expressions which advocate, incite, promote or justify hatred, violence and discrimination against a person or group of persons based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.

  • It poses grave dangers for the cohesion of a democratic society, the protection of human rights and the rule of law.

  • If left unaddressed, it can lead to acts of violence and conflict on a wider scale.

  • In this sense hate speech is an extreme form of intolerance which contributes to hate crime.

Article 19 and Hate Speech:

  • Article 19(2) of the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression to all citizens of India is subjected to certain restrictions, namely, sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

  • Provisions in clauses (2) to (6) of Article 19 authorizes the State to restrict the exercise of the freedom guaranteed under the article.

Legal Provisions of Hate Speech:

  • Hate speech has not been defined in any law in India.

  • However, legal provisions in certain legislations prohibit select forms of speech as an exception to freedom of speech.

  • Indian Penal Code (IPC) Provisions:
    • Under Section 153A of IPC, ‘promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony’, is an offence punishable with three years’ imprisonment.

    • Sections 505(1) and 505(2): Make the publication and circulation of content which may cause ill-will or hatred between different groups an offence.

  • Representation of the People Act, 1951:
    • Section 8 disqualifies a person from contesting election if he is convicted for indulging in acts amounting to illegitimate use of freedom of speech and expression.

  • Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955:
    • Section 7 penalizes incitement to, and encouragement of untouchability through words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise.

  • Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988:
    • Section 3(g) prohibits religious institution or its manager to allow the use of any premises belonging to, or under the control of, the institution for promoting or attempting to promote disharmony, feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.

Important Judgements:

  • In Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that the implementation of existing laws would solve the problem of hate speech to a great extent.

  • In Jafar Imam Naqvi v. Election Commission of India, the petitioners filed a writ petition challenging the vitriolic speeches made by the candidates in the election and prayed for issue of writ of mandamus to the Election Commission for taking appropriate steps against such speeches.
    • However, the Court dismissed the petition on the ground that the petition under Article 32 of the Constitution regarding speeches delivered during election campaign does not qualify as public interest litigation and that the Court cannot legislate on matters where the legislative intent is visible.

  • In Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, issues were raised about Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 relating to the fundamental right of free speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, where the Court differentiated between discussion, advocacy, and incitement and held that the first two were the essence of Article 19(1).


  • The Law Commission has proposed that separate offences be added to the IPC to criminalize hate speech quite specifically instead of being subsumed in the existing sections concerning inflammatory acts and speeches.

  • Similar proposals to add sections to the IPC to punish acts and statements that promote racial discrimination or amount to hate speech have been made by the P. Bezbaruah Committee (2014) and the T.K. Viswanathan Committee (2019).

  • At present, the Committee for Reforms in Criminal Laws, which is considering more comprehensive changes to criminal law, is examining the issue of having specific provisions to tackle hate speech.


News Summary:

  • The Supreme Court recently asked the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh to take “corrective measures” against hate speeches peddling communal hate.

  • The Court held that any failure in the part of the authorities would be viewed as an “act of deliberate negligence and/or misconduct”.



Polity & Governance

Mains Article
27 Apr 2022

China, India add coal plants as global capacity addition dips 13%

In News:

  • China led global coal power expansion in 2021, with about 25,000 MW of new plants, followed by India with about 6,100 MW

  • However, Global coal-plant capacity under development declined in 2021, according to a report by the Global Energy Monitor.

  • After rising in 2020 for the first time since 2015, total coal power capacity under development declined 13% last year, from 525 gigawatts (GW) to 457 GW.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Coal distribution across the world (75% reserves are controlled by 5 countries)

  • India’s coal reserves (India’s dependency on coal, does India need new coal plants, etc.)

  • News Summary (Major findings of the report by Global Energy Monitor)


Distribution of Coal across the world:

  • Coal is a widespread resource for energy and chemicals.

  • The quantities of proven coal reserves in the world are typically shown in Millions of Tons of Coal Equivalent (MTCE).

  • Nearly 75% of the world’s recoverable coal resources are controlled by five countries:


India’s Coal Reserves:

  • India holds fifth-largest coal reserves in the world

  • Commercial coal-mining industry has been in operation since 1774, launched by the East India Company along the Damodar River in West Bengal.

  • 70% of India’s coal supply comes from the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

  • State-owned Coal India Limited has a virtual monopoly on coal mines in India, which produce roughly 75% of the coal burned in India’s coal-fired power stations.

India’s Dependence on Coal for Energy Supply: 

  • Coal is expected to account for at least 21% of India’s electricity requirements even by 2050.

  • Easily available source of power:

    • Coal can help the country meet its energy needs without depending on imports as it is abundantly available domestically.

    • Alternatives like nuclear energy have been hampered by high costs and safety concerns.

  • India’s Developmental needs:

    • To lift millions of people out of poverty, India needs energy.

    • The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that between 2020 and 2040, India will have the largest growth in energy demand of any country in the world.

    • To meet this demand, India will need to rely on a variety of energy sources—both conventional and renewable.

  • Source of Employment:

    • Coal is also a vital source of jobs and economic growth and a driver of industrialization, just as it was in developed countries.

    • Around 4 million people in India are employed either directly or indirectly in the coal sector. Other than active workers, another 500,000 Indians rely on the coal sector for their pensions.

  • Source of Revenue for the Government:

    • Coal India Limited is the largest coal mining company in the world.

    • The coal sector is a major source of revenue for States and the Central Government.


Does India Need New Coal Plants?

  • According to a report prepared by EMBER in September 2021, an independent British energy think-tank, in collaboration with Bangalore-based Climate Risk Horizons, India does not require additional new coal capacity to meet expected demand growth by financial year 2030.

  • India’s peak demand would reach 301 GW by 2030, if it grows at an annual growth rate of 5%, which is also in lines with projections made by the Central Electricity Authority. India’s planned solar capacity can cover much of it.
    • In other words, more coal capacity beyond what’s already under construction isn’t needed to meet the aggregate demand growth by FY 2030.

  • The report also finds that India can free up Rs. 2,47,421 crore by “killing” the zombie coal projects

  • Once incurred, these wasted investments will lock DISCOMs (power distribution companies) and consumers into expensive contracts and jeopardise India’s Renewable Energy goals by adding to the system’s overcapacity.

News Summary:

  • Global coal-plant capacity under development declined in 2021, according to a report by the Global Energy Monitor.

  • Global Energy Monitor conducts an annual survey of coal power capacity under development or deployment.

Major Findings of the Report:

  • 34 countries have new coal plants under consideration, down from 41 countries in January 2021.

  • China, South Korea, and Japan have pledged to stop funding new coal plants in other countries, but China continued to lead all countries in domestic development of new coal plants, commissioning more coal capacity than the rest of the world combined.

  • In all, 45,000 MW of global coal power capacity — a little over half of which was from China — was commissioned in 2021 while 26,8000 MW was retired, causing a net increase in the global coal fleet of 18,200 MW.

  • 2021 was a significant year in the continued global shift away from new coal power, as 65 countries made commitments not to build new plants.

  • There has been a 77% fall in coal plant capacity in pre-construction since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.

Environment & Ecology

Mains Article
27 Apr 2022

UN approves measure requiring states to justify veto

In News:

  • The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution requiring the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the veto.
    • United States, China, Russia, France and the UK are the five members with veto power.

  • The measure is intended to make veto-holders more accountable while exercising their power.

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • News Summary

News Summary

  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that would require the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the veto in future.

Key highlights of the resolution

  • The resolution was titled - ‘Standing mandate for a General Assembly debate when a veto is cast in the Security Council’.

  • The measure provides for the General Assembly to be convened within 10 working days after a veto “to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast”.

  • The assembly is not required to take or consider any action, but the discussion could put veto-wielders on the spot and let other countries be heard.


  • The application of this resolution will shed light on the use of the veto and on the blockages within the Security Council.

  • The measure is intended to make veto-holders pay a higher political price, when they use the veto to strike down a Security Council resolution


  • Possible misuse
    • It is highly likely that countries could propose controversial texts they know their rivals will veto only to force them to justify their stance publicly.

    • If this happens, the move will divide the UN even further.

  • Directed against Russia
    • Many analysts feel that it is directed against Russia.

    • This is due to the fact that the proposal’s revival came as the Security Council has proven incapable of condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because of Moscow’s veto power.

  • Non-binding nature
    • The text is non-binding and nothing prevents a country that has used its veto from declining to explain its actions to the General Assembly.

  • Piecemeal reform
    • Critics have termed this as a piecemeal reform. UNSC at present requires a reform to address the concerns for developing countries like India and Brazil.

    • There is widespread support for revamping the UN’s most powerful organ to reflect current global realities.


International Relations

Mains Article
27 Apr 2022

U.S. hosts weapons summit for Ukraine as Moscow warns of world war

In News:

  • U.S. officials hosted emergency talks with allies in Germany on supplying Kyiv with more weapons to fend off Russia's assault.

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) – About, key finding of SIPRI Report 2022

  • News Summary

In Focus: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Report


  • SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

  • Established in 1966, SIPRI is based in Stockholm, Sweden. It is regularly ranked among the most respected think tanks worldwide.

  • Its mission is to:


Key finding of SIPRI report published in 2022

  • Global military expenditure
    • The global military expenditure has reached an all-time high of $2.1 trillion.
      • This was the seventh consecutive year that spending increased.

    • United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia were the top five defence spenders, together accounting for 62% of the global expenditure.

  • Military expenditure of US
    • US military spending amounted to $801 billion in 2021, a drop of 1.4% from 2020.

    • US military burden decreased slightly from 3.7% of GDP in 2020 to 5% in 2021.

    • United States focuses more on military research and development.
      • US funding for military R&D rose by 24% between 2012 and 2021.

  • Defence spending of Russia & Ukraine

    • Defence spending accounted for 1% of Russia’s GDP.

    • It is much higher than world's average, and made Moscow the fifth largest spender in the world.

    • On the other side, Ukraine’s military spending has risen by 72% since the annexation of Crimea. While spending declined by more than 8% in 2021 to $5.9bn, it still accounted for 2% of Ukraine’s GDP.

  • European countries step up spending
    • As tensions have increased in Europe, more NATO countries have stepped up spending.

    • Total military spending in Europe amounted to $418 billion and has been rising sharply since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

    • Military budgets rose 3.0% from 2020 and stood 19% higher than in 2012.

  • India’s military spending
    • India’s military spending of $76.6 billion ranked third highest in the world.

    • This was up by 0.9% from 2020 and by 33% from 2012.

    • In a push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, 64% of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 were earmarked for acquisitions of domestically produced arms.

News Summary

  • In a weapons summit, the US has pressed allies to further ramp up military support for Ukraine.
    • The meeting of 40 countries took place at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany after Russia warned of the real danger of World War III.

Key Highlights

  • Commitment made by US – US officials promised $700 million in new aid to Ukraine.

  • Commitment made by Germany - Germany said it would begin supplying anti-aircraft tanks.
    • This is a clear shift after refusing for weeks to provide more advanced equipment. It is also a sign that Berlin was abandoning its cautious approach towards Moscow.

Support Provided to Ukraine by the Western Powers

  • Moscow's invasion of its neighbour, now in its eighth week, has triggered widespread outrage among Western nations.

  • These nations have provided weapons and other assistance to Ukraine's embattled President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    • Attack drones, anti-aircraft missiles and sophisticated intelligence from Western agencies could prove vital for slowing the advance of Russia's military might.

  • However, the Western powers have been reluctant to deepen their direct involvement.
    • They are wary of drawing Moscow's ire and sparking military confrontations beyond Ukraine's borders.


Defence & Security

April 26, 2022

Mains Article
26 Apr 2022

Indian entities filed 1.38 lakh patents from 2015 to 2021

In News:

  • According to the India Patents report launched by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Technology Innovation is gaining pace in India with Indian companies having filed 1,38,000 tech patents in India from 2015 to 2021.

  • The report is one among a series of NASSCOM’s Emerging Technology-focused reports that aims to understand how Indian technology companies are creating IP assets in their largest market.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Patent & IP Rights (Meaning, about Patents Act 1970, Patents Amendment Rules 2021)

  • National IPR Policy (Objectives of the Policy)

  • News Summary (Major Highlights of NASSCOM’s report)


What are Patents and IP rights?

  • A patent represents a powerful intellectual property right, and is an exclusive monopoly granted by a Government to an inventor for a limited, pre-specified time.

  • It provides an enforceable legal right to prevent others from copying the invention.

  • Patents can be of two types:

    • A product patent ensures that the rights to the final product is protected, and anyone other than the patent holder can be restrained from manufacturing it during a specified period.

    • A process patent enables any person other than the patent holder to manufacture the patented product by modifying certain processes in the manufacturing exercise.

  • Initially, India adopted process patenting in 1970s which enabled India to become a significant producer of generic drugs at global scale.

  • However, due to the obligations under the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement, product patenting is also allowed in India.

    • TRIPS is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization.

About Patents Act, 1970:

  • The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force in April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911.

  • The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar.

  • Later, India became signatory of the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1998 and thereafter signed the Budapest Treaty in 2001.
    • The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, was one of the first intellectual property treaties.
      • It applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition.

    • The Budapest Treaty eliminates the need to deposit microorganisms in each country where patent protection is sought.

  • The Act was amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005, wherein product patent was extended to all fields of technology including food, drugs, chemicals and microorganisms.

  • After the amendment, the provisions relating to Exclusive Marketing Rights (EMRs) have been repealed, and a provision for enabling grant of compulsory license has been introduced.

  • The provisions relating to pre-grant and post-grant opposition have also been introduced.

Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021:

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade notified the Patents (Amendments) Rules 2021 which have come into force in September 2021.

  • Major Changes Include:
    • Broadening the category of Applicants:
      • The definition of educational institutions has been introduced under the Patent Amendment.

      • The Patent Amendment includes educational institution along with natural person, start-up and small entity in the category of applicants.

    • Rebate on Patent Filing Fees:
      • It has extended the 80% rebate on patent filing fees to educational institutions.

      • This should encourage educational institutions to file for more patents to foster innovation and facilitate the commercialisation of new technologies.

    • Extension of Expedited Examination System:
      • The fastest granted patent is the one which was granted in 41 daysafter filing of such request. This facility of Expedited Examination system was initially provided for patent applications filed by

      • It has been now extended to 8 more categories of Patent Applicants


National Intellectual Property Rights Policy (2016):

  • The Union Cabinet had approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy in 2016 that shall lay the future roadmap for IPRs in India.

  • The Policy recognises the abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelize these energies towards a better and brighter future for all.

  • It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review.

  • It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario.

  • It's theme is "Creative India; Innovative India".

7 Objectives of National IPR Policy:

  • IPR, awareness, outreach, and promotion - awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among the society.

  • Create an atmosphere of invertibility and innovation - stimulate the generation of IPRs.

  • Replace existing outdated laws - have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of Rights owners with larger public interest.

  • Human Capital Development for teaching, research and skill building in Intellectual Property Rights - strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities.

  • Administration and management of innovation - modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration.

  • Commercialization of IPRs - Get value for IPRs through commercialization.

  • Combating IPR infringements by reinforcing the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms.


News Summary:

  • According to the India Patents report launched by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Technology Innovation is gaining pace in India with Indian companies having filed 1,38,000 tech patents in India from 2015 to 2021.

  • The report is one among a series of NASSCOM’s Emerging Technology-focused reports that aims to understand how Indian technology companies are creating IP assets in their largest market.

Major Highlights of the Report:

  • As per the report, the US remains a key export market for India.
    • Over 9,500 patents were filed by India domiciled companies in the US between 2015-2021.

    • US accounted for ~62 per cent of India’s tech exports in FY2022, and would continue to drive share of tech patents.

  • Role of Start-Ups:
    • Start-ups have been key contributors in terms of technology innovation.

    • Over 60 per cent of the technology patents were filed by Indian companies and start-ups while 16.7 per cent of the tech patents were filed by Individual inventors/Academia-Research.

    • Overall, more than 400 technology patents were filed by Indian start-ups during 2015-2021, an increase of ~45 per cent from 280 patents in the 2015-2019 period.

  • Emerging Technologies:
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to lead in terms of total patents filed under various emerging technology domains
      • Machine Learning patents grew by over 2X maintaining its lead in AI.

    • Cloud Computing remained another key emerging area accounting for a growth of 33.6 per cent while cybersecurity accounted for the majority share of granted patents in 2015-2020/21 at 27.4 per cent.



Mains Article
26 Apr 2022

Govt. must cut duty on fuel if oil price stays above $100

In News:

  • Recently, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President T.V. Narendran said in an interview that the Government should consider offering some relief to Indian consumers by paring (reduce) excise duties on petroleum products, if global crude oil prices remain above USD 100 per barrel.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Fuel Pricing Mechanism (Working, TPP, Taxes, Dealer’s commission, etc.)
  • Oil Bonds (Purpose, How it works, Benefits/Disadvantages, etc.)
  • Limitations on Reducing Taxes on Fuel


Fuel Pricing Mechanism in India:

  • Petrol prices were deregulated in 2010 and Diesel prices were deregulated in 2014 i.e. now Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) determine the prices of these products.
  • These prices are not determined by the actual costs incurred by the OMCs such as Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL on crude oil sourcing, refining and marketing.
  • Rather, a formula — Trade Parity Price (TPP) — is used to price these products.
  • TPP Formula:
    • TPP is based on the calculation that 80 per cent of petrol and diesel is imported into India and 20 per cent is exported.
    • So, petrol and diesel prices in India are determined based on prices of these fuels in the international market — and not on the basis of crude oil prices.
    • While international petrol and diesel prices generally move in line with crude oil prices, it need not always be the case, given that demand and supply dynamics could be different.
  • From June 2017, the pricing of petrol and diesel is done through a daily pricing mechanism, based on a 15-day rolling average international rate.

Why are Fuel Prices Different in Each State:

  • Apart from TPP, there are three other factors that determine the price of petrol and diesel in India:
    • Excise duty charged by the Central Government
    • Value-Added Tax (VAT) charged by the State Governments
    • Dealer commission to the gas stations
  • While excise duty rates are uniform across the country, states levy sales tax/Value Added Tax (VAT) which varies across states.

Excise Duty Component:

  • The excise duty levied on petrol and diesel consists of two broad components:
    • Tax component (i.e., basic excise duty), and
    • Cess and surcharge component.
  • Of this, only the revenue generated from the tax component is devolved to states.
  • Revenue generated by the centre from any cess or surcharge is not devolved to states.
  • Currently, the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess, and the Road and Infrastructure Cess are levied on the sale of petrol and diesel in addition to the surcharge.

Why are Fuel Prices so High?

  • Recently, the Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, pointed out two factors due to which the fuel prices are high in India:
    • The ongoing Ukraine-Russia Conflict
    • Oil Bonds offered by the earlier Government

What are Oil Bonds?

  • Oil bonds are issued by the government to compensate OMCs to offset losses that they suffer to shield consumers from rising crude prices.
  • These bonds do not qualify as statutory liquidity ratio securities, making them less liquid when compared to other government securities.
  • An oil bond says the government will pay the oil marketing company the sum of, say, Rs 1,000 crore in 10 years.
  • And to compensate the OMC for not having this money straightaway, the government will pay it, say, 8% (or Rs 80 crore) as interest each year until the bond matures.
  • Thus, by issuing such oil bonds, the government of the day is able to protect/subsidise the consumers without either ruining the profitability of the OMC or running a huge budget deficit itself.

How much Oil Bonds Issued by the Previous Government have been paid off?

  • As discussed earlier, there are two components of oil bonds that need to be paid off:
    • Annual interest payment, and
    • Final payment at the end of the bond’s tenure.
  • Table 1 shows that between 2015 and 2021, the Union government has fully paid off four sets of oil bonds — a total of Rs 13,500 crore.
  • Between 2014 and 2022, the government has spent a total of Rs 93,686 crore towards interest as well as the principal.

Limitations on tax reduction on fuel

  • There are three ways to check whether the payout on oil bonds is large enough to restrict a reduction in taxes.
    • The first is to observe that total payout was just 7% of the total revenues in 2014-15. As the years progressed, this percentage has come down because taxes generated from this sector have increased significantly.
    • Moreover, the total revenue earned by the government (both Centre and states) between 2014 and 2022 from taxing petroleum products is more than Rs 43 lakh crore.
    • That means the total payout by the current government till date on account of oil bonds is just 2.2% of the total revenues earned during this period.
    • Furthermore, the total amount of revenue earned by the Centre from just one kind of tax— excise tax — in just 2014-15 — was more than Rs 99, 000 crore.
  • In other words, the payout is not big compared to revenues earned in this sector.

Evaluation of bond issuance

  • Former PM Manmohan Singh was correct in noting that issuing bonds just pushed the liability to a future generation.
  • But to a great extent, most of the government’s borrowing is in the form of bonds. This is why each year the fiscal deficit (which is essentially the level of government’s borrowing from the market) is so keenly tracked.
  • Further, in a relatively poor country like India, all governments are forced to use bonds of some kind.
  • The current government itself, has issued bonds worth Rs 2.79 lakh crore (twice the amount of oil bonds) to recapitalize public sector banks. These bonds will be paid by governments till 2036.
  • Thus, the main idea while issuing bonds is for a government to employ this tool towards increasing the productive capacity of the economy.



Mains Article
26 Apr 2022

CJI mulls listing of pleas on removal of J&K special status

In News:

  • CJI N.V. Ramana said that the SC could consider listing, after summer vacations, the petitions challenging the abrogation of special status of J&K under Article 370.

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • Abrogation of Article 370 – About, steps taken to abrogate Article 370

  • Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission – About, Recommendations, criticism

  • News Summary

Abrogation of Article 370

  • On August 5, 2019, the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and the state was split into two union territories.
    • Article 370 grants autonomous status to J&K.

    • Article 35A, incorporated into the Constitution in 1954, provides special rights and privileges to the citizens of the state.

Steps taken to revoke the special status

  • On August 5, 2019, the President of India issued the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, pursuant to article 370(1) of the Constitution.

  • The order supersedes the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954, which defined the constitutional position of J&K vis-à-vis the Indian Union.
    • The 1954 order added Article 35A, which allowed special privileges to the state’s ‘permanent residents’, as defined by the J&K legislature.

    • The new Presidential order, therefore, essentially scraps Article 35A.

  • Clause 3 of Article 370 — which allows the President to revoke Article 370 in consultation with the “constituent assembly of the state” — was also amended by the 2019 order.
    • The amendment substituted the expression constituent assembly of the state” with legislative assembly of the state.

  • In nut shell, the government did not directly rely on article 370(3) to abrogate other articles.

  • It sought to use its powers under article 370(1) to amend article 367, the interpretation clause of the Constitution, so that
    • References to “Government of the State [Jammu and Kashmir]” in article 370 would be construed as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir, and

    • Expression “Constituent Assembly of the State” in article 370(3) will be read as referring to the current legislative assembly of Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission

  • In March 2020, the government of India set up a Delimitation Commission, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai.
    • Delimitation is redrawing of boundaries of an assembly or Lok Sabha constituency.

    • It is done to reflect the demographic changes in a state, Union Territory or at the national level.

    • The Delimitation Commission is a panel set up with legislative back up and is independent of the government and political parties in its functioning.
      • According to Article 82 of the Constitution, Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after Census that is held every 10 years.

Recommendations of J&K Delimitation Commission

  • The report maintains the number of Lok Sabha constituencies at five.

  • However, it increased the assembly seats from the present 83 to 90 (adding six in Jammu and one in Kashmir). 24 seats will be kept aside (and vacant) for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Criticism of the draft proposal

  • The draft proposals evoked a strong reaction, especially from the opposition parties whose dissent note pertained to different assembly constituencies.
    • As per them, the criteria for allocation of Assembly constituencies or delimiting the constituencies and drawing boundaries is arbitrarily fixed and selectively applied.

  • They have also challenged the very constitution of the panel, pending the Supreme Court verdict on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act.

  • It is being claimed that the present delimitation exercise is neither in tune with the Constitution nor in consonance with the law.


  • In 2019, several petitions were filed in SC challenging the Centre's decision to abrogate provisions of the Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.
    • The Reorganisation Act splits J-K into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

  • These petitions were referred to a Constitution Bench headed by Justice N V Ramana in 2019 by the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

  • The case has not come up after a five-judge Bench led by Justice Ramana, in an order in March 2020, refused to refer the petitions to a larger Bench.

News Summary

  • The Supreme Court may hear a batch of petitions - challenging the law used to scrap Article 370 - after the summer holidays.

  • The Article 370 case had been pending in the SC for more than two years.
    • A separate challenge has also been filed against the Centre’s decision to appoint a Delimitation Commission to redraw Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies of the UT of J&K.


Polity & Governance

Mains Article
26 Apr 2022

FCRA nod for human rights NGO declined

In News:

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cancelled the FCRA registration of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI).
    • CHRI is an international NGO that works for human rights in Commonwealth countries.

  • Nearly 6,000 NGOs had ceased to operate from January 1 as MHA refused to renew their application or the NGOs did not apply for one.
    • There are 16,888 FCRA registered NGOs as on 25 April 2022, down from over 22,000 on December 31.

What’s in Today’s Article:

  • The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 (About, background, key highlights of 2010 act and 2020 amendments)

  • November 2020 Rules, January 2021 guidelines

In Focus: The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010


  • The FCRA regulates foreign contributions/donations and ensures that such contributions do not adversely affect internal security.

  • The FCRA is applicable to all associations, groups and NGOs which intend to receive foreign donations.
    • It is mandatory for all such NGOs to register themselves under the FCRA.

  • Registered associations can receive foreign contribution for following purposes:
    • Social; Educational; Religious; Economic, and Cultural.


  • In 2015, the MHA notified new rules under the act. These new rules required:
    • NGOs to give an undertaking that the acceptance of foreign funds is not likely to prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India or impact friendly relations with any foreign state and does not disrupt communal harmony.

  • Again, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha on September 20, 2020.
    • The bill received Presidential assent on 28 September 2020 & thus became an Act.

Key Highlights of the 2010 act & amendment made in 2020

  • Prohibition to accept foreign contribution
    • Under the Act, certain persons are prohibited to accept any foreign contribution.

    • These include: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others.

    • In 2017 the MHA, through the Finance Bill route, paved the way for political parties to receive funds from the Indian subsidiary of a foreign company or a foreign company in which an Indian holds 50% or more shares.

    • The 2020 amendment added public servants (as defined under the Indian Penal Code) to this list.

  • Transfer of foreign contribution
    • Under the Act, foreign contribution cannot be transferred to any other person unless such person is also registered to accept foreign contribution, or has obtained prior permission under the Act to obtain foreign contribution.

    • The 2020 amendment prohibited the transfer of foreign contribution to any other person.

  • Aadhaar for registration
    • 2020 amendment mandated that any person seeking prior permission, registration or renewal of registration must provide the Aadhaar number.

    • In case of a foreigner, they must provide a copy of the passport or the Overseas Citizen of India card for identification.

    • However, in April 2022, Supreme Court read down this section and held that producing Indian Passport for the purpose of their identification would be enough.

    • Now it is not mandatory for all office-bearers of NGOs to provide Aadhaar number.

  • FCRA account
    • Under the Act, a registered person must accept foreign contribution only in a single branch of a scheduled bank specified by them.

    • However, they may open more accounts in other banks for utilisation of the contribution.

    • 2020 amendment stipulated that foreign contribution must be received only in an account designated by the bank as “FCRA account” in such branch of the State Bank of India, New Delhi, as notified by the central government.

    • No funds other than the foreign contribution should be received or deposited in this account.

  • Renewal of license:
    • Under the Act, every person who has been given a certificate of registration must renew the certificate within six months of expiration.

    • The 2020 amendment provides that the government may conduct an inquiry before renewing the certificate.

  • Use of foreign contribution for administrative purposes
    • Under the Act, a person who receives foreign contribution must use it only for the purpose for which the contribution is received.

    • Further, they must not use more than 50% of the contribution for meeting administrative expenses. 2020 amendment reduced this limit to 20%.

  • Suspension of registration
    • Under the Act, the government may suspend the registration of a person for a period not exceeding 180 days.

    • 2020 amendment added that such suspension may be extended up to an additional 180 days.

Government has come up with new rules in Nov’ 2020

  • The new rules made new FCRA registrations more stringent. Any organisation that wants to register itself under FCRA shall be in existence for three years.

  • Further, it should have spent a minimum amount of ₹15 lakh on its core activities for the benefit of society during the last three financial years.

  • However, the rules for declaring an organisation as a “political organisation” have been relaxed, with student, farmer, worker and youth organisations being exempted unless they participate in “active politics or party politics”. Political organisations can’t receive foreign funds.

  • Any organisation seeking prior permission for receiving a specific amount from a specific donor for carrying out specific activities or projects will have to submit a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution & the purpose for which it is proposed to be given.

  • If the value of foreign contribution is over Rs 1 crore, it may be given in installments. However, the second and subsequent installment shall be released after submission of proof of utilisation of 75% of the foreign contribution received in the previous installment and after field inquiry of the utilisation of foreign contribution.


MHA in January 2021 again laid out a series of guidelines and charter to make NGOs and banks comply with new provisions of the amended FCRA

  • The charter for banks says that “donations received in Indian rupees” by NGOs from “any foreign source even if that source is located in India at the time of such donation” should be treated as “foreign contribution”.

  • Also, it stated foreign contribution has to be received only through banking channels and any violation by the NGO or by the bank may invite penal provisions of FCRA.


Polity & Governance
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