Sept. 30, 2022

Mains Article
30 Sep 2022

The Challenges Ahead For General Chauhan


  • The Government has recently appointed former Eastern Army Commander Lt. General Anil Chauhan as the next Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) ending a nine-month-long vacancy
  • The CDS post has been vacant since the death of the country’s first CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in December 2021.

About new CDS Anil Chauhan

  • Regiment: Lt Gen Chauhan (retd) is from the 11 Gorkha Rifles, the same regiment of Gen Rawat.
    • He is the first retired three-star officer to return to service in four-star rank
  • Military advisor: He has been serving as the military adviser in the National Security Council Secretariat, after his retirement as the Eastern Army Commander in 2021.

About Chief of Defense Staff (CDS)

  • Eligibility: Recently, the Government amended Service Rules of the Army, Navy and Air Force allowing retired Service Chiefs and three star rank officers eligible for consideration to the country’s top military post.
    • However, the condition was imposed on age limit that the retired officer should not have attained 62 years on the date of appointment.
    • He is not eligible to hold any government office after demitting (resigning) as the CDS.
  • Recommendation: Creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was recommended by the Kargil Review Committee after the end of the Kargil War.
    • The Naresh Chandra task force (2012) and the Lieutenant General B. Shekatkar Committee (2016) had also recommended the post of CDS
  • Designations: The CDS is a four-star General/Officer who acts as the Principal Military Advisor to the Defence Minister on all tri-services (Army, Navy and Indian Air Force) matters.
    • CDS acts as the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CSC) which will also have three service chiefs as members.
    • He also heads the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Ministry of Defense.
    • The CDS is also bestowed the rank of Secretary within the DoD (Department of Defense)
  • Mandate: The broad mandate of the CDS includes bringing about “jointness” in “operations, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three Services.
    • He is also mandated to foster better cooperation between the Ministry of Defense bureaucracy and the Armed services.
  • Functions: The CDS is vested with critical functions as follows:
    • Fostering greater operational synergy between the three service branches of the Indian military
    • Keeping inter-service frictions to a minimum
    • The CDS is also vested with the authority to provide directives to the three chiefs
    • He will also perform an advisory role in the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA)
    • Maintain synergy between Armed forces and Government to accelerate the process of decision-making.

Major task ahead

  • Actualising theatre commands: An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single commander, for geographical theatres (areas) that are of strategic and security concern.
    • Earlier CDS General Rawat was pushing forward this ambitious plan to reorganize armed forces and bring in synergy and efficiency.
    • This task now falls on the new CDS to build consensus, act as link between the three services and take the reorganisation process forward.
  • Bold decision making: The three services have expressed concerns about how theaterisation might dilute the role of the service chiefs and the integration has thus been stuck due to differences between them.
    • However, In case of disagreement and hesitance amid smooth transition management in the structural changes, new CDS should not shy away from taking strong decisions.
  • Indigenization push: The war in Ukraine has added urgency on the need to indigenise critical military technologies and systems and reduce dependence on imports.
    • It remains to be seen how Russia’s war in Ukraine affects India’s procurement, what diversification India might bring in its hardware purchases, and role of new CDS in all this.
    • Also new CDS would experience this year’s defence expo, to be held in Gandhinagar, for the first time as an India-only affair.
  • Rationalize defense expenditure: A crucial function of CDS will be “prioritising” the capital acquisition proposals of individual services and ensure that the “defence rupee” is spent judiciously on warfare-capabilities considered vital for national military power.
  • Readying for NextGen warfare: Cyber warfare coupled with information warfare is going to be an omnipresent disruptor amongst adversaries. The new CDS will thus face critical challenge to synergise the efforts of three services and coordinate with agencies at apex level dealing with cyber security management.
  • Manpower reform : The new CDS role as Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, will also demand attention for issues of manpower reform.
    • For instance, earlier CDS had proposed to increase retirement age of officers and jawans from technical branches to retain highly skilled manpower in technical branches.
  • Dealing with multi-domain warfare: The multi-domain warfare entails countering an adversary capable in all domains [air, land, maritime, space, and cyberspace] in both competition and armed conflict.
    • The future wars will also have applicability of many elements like diplomacy, economy, intelligence, cyberspace, energy, environment, water etc., thus synergizing the military power through CDS with other instruments of power is crucial.
  • New world order strategy: Owing to reconfiguration of groupings and alliances consequent to Ukraine war, single point military advice will be critical in deciding India’s stand in each case.

Way forward

  • To become a regional power, it is imperative to reduce import dependence for security needs. It can be furthered by attaining Aatmanirbharta in Suraksha (Self-reliance in Security) by following steps:
  • Incentivising the entry of private sector in defense industry: For instance, priority to procurement of capital items from domestic sources under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020.
    • In order to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment ‘Buy Indian i.e. IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment.
  • Hand-holding the defense industry by respective services to develop indigenous weapons and equipment: For example, Launch of an indigenization portal namely SRIJAN to facilitate indigenisation by Indian Industry including MSMEs.
  • Boosting infrastructure: Like establishment of two Defence Industrial Corridors (one each in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu), Opening up of Defence R&D for industry etc.
Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
30 Sep 2022

Decriminalising adultery – Centre seeks clarification

In News:

  • A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court is hearing a plea filed by the Central government which seeks clarification of the Court’s earlier judgement on adultery.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court, in the case titled ‘Joseph Shine v/s Union of India’ had declared provisions penalising adultery as unconstitutional.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Background (Adultery, IPC Section 497)
  • Joseph Shine v/s Union of India (Verdict, Violation of Fundamental Rights)
  • Central government’s plea (Arguments, Court’s observation) 


  • Adultery is defined as a voluntary sexual intercourse by a married person with a partner other than his/her spouse.
  • Under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), adultery was a criminal offence in India.
  • IPC Section 497 says it is a punishable offense for a man to have sexual intercourse with a married woman without the consent of her husband.
    • The man committing such an offense can be imprisoned for five years or more and can also be asked to pay a fine.
  • One big concern regarding this provision was that it does not appear to be gender-neutral. In case of any act of adultery committed, the law calls for punishing the man but not the woman involved.
  • Also, Section 497 does not enable a woman to file a complaint against her husband when he has had sexual intercourse with another woman.

Joseph Shine v/s Union of India case:

  • In 2017, a writ petition was filed under Article 32 by Joseph Shine challenging the constitutionality of Section 497 of IPC.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down Section 497 of the IPC as unconstitutional, being violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21.
  • The Court held that Section 497 was archaic and constitutionally invalid as it stripped a woman of her autonomy, dignity and privacy.
  • Violation of Article 14 of the Constitution –
    • Article 14 provides for equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
    • The court held that Section 497 disregarded substantive equality as it reaffirmed the idea that women were not equal participants in a marriage.
    • Therefore, this Section was held to be in violation of Article 14.
  • Violation of Article 15 of the Constitution –
    • Article 15 prohibited discrimination only on the grounds of: religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
    • The court held that Section 497 was based on gender stereotypes and in doing so, contravened the non-discrimination provision of Article 15.
  • Violation of Article 21 of the Constitution –
    • Article 21 states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty.
    • The court held Section 497 to be violative of Article 21 as it denied women of the constitutional guarantees of dignity, liberty, privacy and sexual autonomy.

Central Government’s plea seeking clarification:

  • In 2019, a plea was filed by the Central government seeking a clarification on whether disciplinary action can be initiated against army personnel under the Army Act, 1950 for adulterous acts, despite the Joseph Shine case verdict.
  • Central Government’s argument –
    • Disciplinary actions were taken against certain army personnel for adultery.
    • But, the Armed Forces Tribunal quashed such proceedings in many case, citing the Joseph Shine judgment.
    • The government argued that action against adultery is necessary to ensure that the officers who are serving in far flung areas away from their families do not feel insecure or dispirited.
    • The government added that actions taken in Army are gender neutral and female officers are also subjected to disciplinary action.

Supreme Court’s Observation:

  • The Supreme Court said the military should have a mechanism to act against officers found to have engaged in adultery.
  • The Supreme Court highlighted that adultery would inflict pain and could shake the life of the officers.
  • Further saying that "discipline is paramount" for the military, the court said adultery in the military cannot be treated lightly.
  • The court said that the Joseph Shine verdict cannot be referred to halt disciplinary proceedings against those guilty of adultery in the military.
  • The Supreme Court has posted the matter for further hearing on December 6, 2022.
Polity & Governance

Mains Article
30 Sep 2022

Current Account Deficit widens to 2.8% in Q1, worst in 4 years

In News:

  • India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD) for the April-June quarter (Q1 FY22) widened to 2.8% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the highest in four years, but lower than 3-3.5% forecast by many economists.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Exchange rate of Rupee (Imports, Exports)
  • Balance of Payments (Capital account, Current account)
  • Current Account Balance (Trade account, Invisibles account, Deficit, Surplus, etc.)
  • News Summary (Reasons for high CAD)

Exchange rate of Rupee:

  • Every day, Indians and Indian entities — such as firms and governments — import foreign goods and services, export domestic goods and services, receive investments from abroad, and make investments in other countries.
  • Each of these transactions involves either a demand for foreign currency — for example, you need dollars to import something from the US or to invest in one of the US stock exchanges — or a demand for Indian currency (by the same logic).
  • The interplay of these transactions decides the exchange rate of the Indian rupee vis-a-vis the foreign currency (say the US dollar).

Recording of Transactions:

  • A notebook, or slate or ledger that records all of the above mentioned transactions is called the Balance of Payment (BoP).
  • The BoP has two parts –
    • Capital Account:
      • This includes all types of trading in capital.
      • In other words, all investments and loans inside and outside the country are recorded here — for example, if an Indian firm invests money in the US to build a new company there, or if an Indian buys stocks on an American exchange.
      • This account comprises foreign direct investments, portfolio investments, etc. It gives a summary of the net flow of both private and public investment into an economy.
    • Current Account:
      • Here, all the trade in goods and services is noted down.
      • For example, if an Indian imports an American gadget or software made by an American company or if an American entity imports Indian steel or engages an Indian IT company to create a software.
    • The Current Account has two specific sub-parts:
      • Import and Export of goods — this is the “trade account”.
      • Import and export of services — this is called the “invisibles account”.

About Current Account Balance:

  • It is possible that a country — say India — imports more goods (everything from cars to phones to machinery to food grains etc.) than it exports.
  • In such a case, it would have a “deficit” on its trade account.
    • In other words, more money is going out of the country than coming in via the trade of physical goods.
  • However, India could be enjoying a “surplus” on the invisibles account.
    • This may happen because its software industry is very capable, efficient and competitive, and exports lots of software solutions.
  • The net effect of this surplus (or deficit) on the invisibles account and the deficit (or surplus) on the trade account is called the current account balance.

India’s Current Account Deficit:

  • In case of India, there is a huge trade deficit and a smaller surplus on the invisibles hence what we have is an overall deficit on the current account — or Current Account Deficit.
  • In essence, having a CAD or a deficit on the current account implies that, in monetary terms, India imports more goods and services than it exports.
  • This, in turn, implies that the demand for the foreign currency (say the US dollar) is more than the demand for the Indian rupee.

News Summary:

  • India’s current account deficit (CAD) for April-June quarter (Q1) widened to 2.8% of the GDP – the highest in four years.
  • In absolute terms, the CAD for the Q1 was USD 23.9 billion, up from USD 13.4 billion in preceding quarter.

Reasons for increased CAD:

  • While India’s trade deficit has widened, a lot of support has come from Invisibles account.
  • With both IT industry and foreign remittances witnessing higher net inflows of USD 30 billion and USD 23 billion, respectively.
    • Foreign remittance is a transfer of money from a foreign worker to their family or other individuals in their home countries.
  • India’s export earnings have also started falling.

Capital Account

  • Capital flows from foreign investors, which helped to ensure the Balance of Payments, have also declined after global funds turned risk-averse after the US Federal Reserve System increased the interest rate.
    • Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the US.
  • Net foreign portfolio investment saw outflows of USD 14.6 billion, versus inflows of USD 0.4 billion in Q1 FY22.



Mains Article
30 Sep 2022

Supreme Court axes 51-year-old curb, single women get equal abortion rights

In News:

  • In a landmark decision, which coincided with the International Safe Abortion Day, the Supreme Court of India (SC) granted unmarried and single women with pregnancies ranging from 20 to 24 weeks access to safe and legal abortion care on par with married women.
  • The SC loosened the stranglehold of a 51-year-old abortion law - the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971 and its Rules of 2003, which prohibit unmarried women between 20 and 24 weeks pregnant from aborting with the assistance of registered medical practitioners.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act
  • The case of unmarried women
  • News Summary

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act:

  • The MTP Act, 1971:
    • It was introduced to liberalise access to abortion since the restrictive criminal provision (in the IPC) was leading to women using unsafe and dangerous methods for termination of pregnancy.
    • The Act allowed termination of pregnancy by a medical practitioner in two stages.
      • For termination of pregnancy up to 12 weeks from conception, the opinion of one doctor was required.
      • For pregnancies between 12 and 20 weeks old, the opinion of two doctors was required.
      • In the second case, the doctors must determine if the continuation of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the pregnant woman's life or the child would suffer physical or mental abnormalities.
  • The MTP (Amendment) Act, 2021:
    • The law allowed for a termination under the opinion of one doctor for pregnancies up to 20 weeks.
    • For pregnancies between 20 and 24 weeks, the amended law requires the opinion of two doctors.
      • The government has issued the new Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, 2021, which define the situations that define eligibility criteria for termination of pregnancy up to twenty-four weeks, as opposed to the previous upper limit of 20 weeks.
    • For the second category(I.e. 20- 24 weeks), the amended act and the MTP (Amendment) Rules, 2021, specified seven categories (Survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest; Minors; etc) of women who would be eligible for seeking termination of pregnancy, for a period of up to 24 weeks.
      • While the law recognizes changes in a pregnant woman's relationship status with her spouse (in the case of divorce and widowhood), it does not address the situation for unmarried women between 20 - 24 weeks pregnant.

The case of unmarried women:

  • Why is the above law not applicable to unmarried women?
    • The MTP is not a law focused on women and their reproductive rights, but rather a law that draws red lines that medical practitioners cannot cross while performing abortions.
    • When the MTP Act was passed in 1971, it was framed primarily through a moralistic lens that emphasised married women.
    • The 2021 amendment has not changed that opinion, as the majority of these mothers are married women who have no reason to conceal their pregnancy.
    • Even though, Indian law is widely regarded as progressive, especially in comparison to many other countries (like US), where abortion restrictions are severe - both historically and currently.
  • The case of an unmarried woman:
    • Previously, a 25-year-old unmarried woman moved SC against the Delhi HC judgement, seeking to abort or terminate a pregnancy of more than 23 weeks.
      • The woman has also challenged Rule 3B of the MTP Rules, which allows only some categories of women to seek termination of pregnancy between 20 and 24 weeks.
    • The case has raised serious concerns about India's reproductive rights framework and the recognition of female autonomy and agency.
  • The SC’s judgement in the above case:
    • The SC went beyond the law by allowing the woman to terminate her pregnancy.
    • According to the SC, denying an unmarried woman the right to a safe abortion violates her personal autonomy and freedom.
    • A woman's right to reproductive choice is an inseparable part of her personal liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
    • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act of 2021 has addressed the “continuing crisis” of unsafe abortions.
      • By replacing the word "husband" with "partner" in Section 3(2) of the MTP (Amendment) Act, 2021, the Parliament of India intended to include unmarried women and single women within the Act's scope.
    • Thus, excluding unmarried and single women from the statute's scope contradicts the legislation's intent.
    • The SC also stated later that it may loosen the restrictive grip of a 51-year-old abortion law that prohibits unmarried women from terminating pregnancies up to 24 weeks old. This is because -
      • Every day, approximately 8 women die in India as a result of unsafe abortions.
      • Studies found that 67% of abortions performed in the country between 2007 and 2011 were unsafe.
      • One of the reasons was that women who were not married and came from poor families had no choice but to abort unwanted pregnancies in unsafe or illegal ways.

News Summary - The SC’s recent landmark judgement:

  • By linking reproductive rights of women to their bodily autonomy, the judgement expanded the ambit of the term “reproductive rights”.
  • Reproductive rights of women included a constellation of rights, entitlements and freedoms for women. It was not restricted to having or not having children.
  • Reproductive rights include the right to -
    • Access education and information about contraception and sexual health.
    • Decide whether or what type of contraceptives to use.
    • Choose whether or when to have children, the number of children.
    • The right to choose safe and legal abortion.
  • Women must have the autonomy to make decisions on these rights, free from coercion or violence.
  • The rights of reproductive autonomy, dignity and privacy under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution gives an unmarried woman the right of choice as to whether or not to bear a child on a similar footing as that of a married woman.
  • The court ruled that prohibiting single or unmarried pregnant women with pregnancies between 20 and 24 weeks from accessing abortion care while allowing the same to married women was a violation of the right to equality before the law and equal protection (Article 14).
  • According to the court, a single pregnant woman may have experienced the same "change in material circumstances" as a married pregnant woman.
    • She could have been abandoned, unemployed, or a victim of violence during her pregnancy.
    • Her life could be in danger due to foetal abnormalities.
    • She may have been a victim of sexual exploitation leading to the pregnancy.
    • There would be cases in which she could have got pregnant due to contraceptive failure, leaving her in a state of mental anguish.
  • The beneficiaries of a statute should not be determined by the law based on narrow patriarchal principles about what constitutes permissible sex.
    • This would result in unfair classifications and therefore a forward-looking interpretation of the law is required.
  • The POCSO Act requires a registered medical practitioner to notify the police when a minor approach him or her for an abortion, prompting many minors and their guardians to have abortions performed by unqualified doctors.
    • The court stated that the provisions of the MTP and POCSO laws must be harmonised in order for minors to approach registered doctors for abortion without fear of being exposed.
    • The SC ruled that registered medical doctors are exempt from disclosing to police the identities of minors who have come in for abortions.
    • It would protect the minor's right to privacy and reproductive autonomy under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.


Polity & Governance

Mains Article
30 Sep 2022

Petition on process to activate ‘living will’ to be heard on November 23

In News:

  • Recently, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India (SC) asked if a single committee of doctors, judicial officers and government officers, as well as the next of kin of a terminally ill person, can sit together and decide the "genuineness and authenticity" of a Living Will.
  • The Bench is considering a plea to modify a 2018 ruling that upheld passive euthanasia and "Living Wills," but delegated the task of determining the authenticity of the documents to multiple committees, effectively rendering the ruling obsolete and unworkable.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About active, passive euthanasia and Living Will
  • News Summary

About active, passive euthanasia and Living Will:

  • What is active and passive euthanasia?
    • In the Aruna Shanbaug case (2011) and while legalising passive euthanasia in 2018, the SC stated that active euthanasia entails the use of lethal substances or forces to kill a person, such as a lethal injection.
    • This means that a terminally ill patient is intentionally given a lethal drug or substance in order for them to die peacefully, in the event of terminal illness.
    • The apex court, on the other hand, defined passive or negative or non-aggressive euthanasia as the withholding of medical treatment for the continuation of life, such as the withholding of antibiotics where the patient is likely to die if it is not given.
    • This means that if a patient has been kept alive by the use of life-saving medical equipment, such as a ventilator or drugs or food administered through a pipe or medicines, these will be discontinued and the patient will be allowed to die naturally.
  • The ‘Living Will’:
    • About:
      • The SC accepted the concept of a living will in its landmark 2018 decision, ruling that the right to die with dignity is a fundamental right under the contours of the Indian constitution.
      • Every adult human with the mental capacity to make an informed decision has the right to refuse medical treatment, including the withdrawal of life-sustaining devices.
      • Thus, living will is a person's right to make an advance directive on the course of his or her treatment, including the withdrawal of life support, if such a situation arises.
      • A living will provision, on the other hand, cannot be made foolproof, requiring no intervention from the doctor or immediate decision makers around a person.
    • Procedure for execution of the Living Will:
      • Such a Will should be signed by the person making the Will in the presence of two witnesses and the concerned Judicial Magistrate of First Class (JMFC).
      • The JMFC should also countersign this Living Will.
      • Further, the JMFC shall ensure that the Living Will is enforced once the writer of the instrument becomes incapacitated.
      • The treating physician shall confirm the authenticity of the Living Will with the JMFC before acting upon it.
  • Background:
    • The central government informed the SC that it is assessing the draft of a bill that would allow passive euthanasia.
    • The Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill, based on the Law Commission of India's Report, was released by the Union Health Ministry in 2016.
      • However, the government has stated that it does not support granting people the right to make "Living Wills"
    • In 2018, the SC, in a landmark judgment (in Common Cause vs Union of India case) decided that passive euthanasia will be legally allowed henceforth in India.
    • The apex court also laid down guidelines for “living will” made by terminally ill patients who are aware of their chances of going into a permanent vegetative state.
      • These guidelines specify who will have the authority to decide whether or not to administer passive euthanasia to a patient, as well as how the respective medical board will make this decision.
      • These guidelines will be in force till legislation is passed by the Parliament of India to deal with the issue.
    • The SC clarified inS. Puttaswamy vs Union of India (2017), popularly known as the Right to Privacy case, that -
      • Article 21 includes the concept of individual dignity and allowing a terminally ill person to wait for death while not knowing whether or not they are still alive corrodes the essence of dignity.
      • Hence, Article 21 allows passive euthanasia so that the rules for its regulation can be established.
    • The 2018 ruling also draws from the Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug vs Union of India (2011) case.
      • In this case, the petitioner requested that former nurse Aruna Shanbaug, who had been brutally sexually assaulted in Mumbai's KEM hospital in 1973 and had slipped into a permanent vegetative state as a result, be allowed to die peacefully.
      • This case would typically fall under the passive euthanasia category.
      • The SC allowed passive euthanasia for the nurse lying in vegetative state (for 36 years) at a hospital in Mumbai.

News Summary:

  • The Constitution Bench is considering a plea to modify the 2018 ruling that upheld passive euthanasia and "Living Wills."
  • According to the petitioner, the 2018 judgement had laid down a cumbersome procedure validating a Living Will.
    • The 2018 ruling delegated the task of determining the authenticity of the documents to multiple committees of doctors, Magistrates and the District Collector, effectively rendering the ruling obsolete and unworkable.
    • The court had placed a huge onus on the treating hospital and physicians to take the initiative to form a committee and activate the Living Will or advance directive.
  • According to the SC Bench, one committee can be formed to take a decision and suppose the patient is not able to take a decision at the time, his or her next of kin can do so.
  • The court agreed to hear the case and held that care should be taken to avoid any “forced departures” of persons.
  • Representing the central government in the court, the Solicitor General Tushar was sceptical about trusting the next of kin of a dying person. There have been cases where relatives refuse to put a patient on a ventilator, but the person survives after it is done.


Polity & Governance

Sept. 29, 2022

Mains Article
29 Sep 2022

Can Politicians decouple from freebies?


  • Freebies seem to have come to a tipping point as polling for crucial state elections, a prelude to the 2024 Lok Sabha election, are set into motion.
  • The Supreme Court also recently drew attention to the substantial fiscal cost of freebies, while hearing a petition demanding the de-recognition of political parties that promise “irrational freebies” to voters.
  • The article discusses the economic causes and consequences of freebies, and its separation from essential welfare activities.

Freebies and entitlement difference

  • Freebies are public welfare measures , goods or services, offered free of cost by the government. These diminish the crucial distinction between those who can afford to pay and who can’t.
  • Entitlement on the other hand, is a bona fide benefit for those who lack affordability.
  • For instance, free electricity for everyone is a freebie while free food grain for 80cr population during pandemic is an entitlement.

Consequences of freebie culture

  • No fresh revenue generation: If governments spend the loan money on populist giveaways that generate no additional revenue, the growing debt burden will eventually implode and lead to increased fiscal deficit and enhanced interest payments.
  • No new assets creation: The more States spend on transfer payments, the less they have for spending on physical infrastructure such as power and roads, and on social infrastructure such as education and health, which can potentially improve growth and generate jobs.
  • Unsustainable practices: The electoral calculations tempt political parties to place short-term gains ahead of long-term sustainability.
  • Never ending trail: The continuity of freebies is another major disadvantage as parties keep on coming up with lucrative offers to lure more number of votes to minimize the risk of losing in the elections.
  • Inflationary pressure: Such distribution of freebie commodity largely disrupts demand-supply dynamics.
  • Freebies for One, Disaster for Other: As a result of reducing prices for consumers beneficiaries, the government overcharge industrial and commercial contracts in order to maintain the internal fiscal balance. This reduces competitiveness of growing industries which results in slower industrial growth and commercial price hike.

Damaging effects of freebies in Power / Farm sector

  • Freebies have evidently caused biggest damage to power sector. For instance, by promising free power, waiving past accumulated bills, etc mindless loan waivers etc.
    • The sovereign guarantees by various governments that are mostly unfunded are also a part of freebie culture.
    • For example, Centre’s Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, allowed the state governments that own power distribution companies to take over 75 percent of these companies’ debt till September 2015 and pay back the lenders by selling bonds. This also burdened the state exchequer.
  • Past picture: Even a decade ago, power sector had the biggest stake in India’s messy bad loans pile up, with distorted capacity to pay being the underlying cause in a sector already hit by missing fuel linkages, absence of power purchase agreements (PPAs), insufficient equity from promoters and spike in input/coal prices.

Flawed argument to support freebies

  • Comparison with haircut: A recent argument to support freebies draws a parallel with the ‘haircut’ taken by banks through Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) mechanism or loan write-offs, but such comparison is a flawed argument owing to the following reasons:
    • Loan write-offs are purely technical in nature and are added back to bank books if they are recovered.
    • Also, IBC laws are adopted internationally to promote entrepreneurship, while ensuring availability of credit and balancing interest of stakeholders.
  • Definitions: Haircuts are losses that banks incur on the resolution of stressed assets. It is the percentage difference between what an asset is worth relative to how much a lender will recognize of that value as collateral.
  • Loan write off: It is an action taken by the lender when the chances of loan recovery are almost zero and the bank wishes to maintain a clear record of the unrecovered loan amount in their balance sheets.

The minefields ahead

  • Pension sector overview: Recent electoral promises made by parties e.g. in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, H.P., Jharkhand etc. include bringing back the old pension scheme namely PAYG (pay as you go) pension scheme.
  • About PAYG pension scheme: India had this pension scheme for government employees prior to 2004. The scheme provided 50% of the last drawn salary as the pension. Under this scheme, the contributions of the current generation of workers were explicitly used to pay the pensions of current pensioners.
    • Hence PAYG scheme involved a direct transfer of resources from the current generation of taxpayers to fund the pensioners, which is fiscally disastrous and divisive in today’s scenario.
  • The Shift: In 1998, Vajpayee made the transition towards the new pension scheme by announcing an increase in retirement age from 58 to 60 and constituting a committee.
    • Its substitute, the national pension scheme (NPS) took effect from April 1, 2004, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's second regime in December 2003.
  • About NPS: The NPS allows subscribers (government employees) to decide where they want to invest their money by contributing regularly in a pension account throughout their career.
    • After retirement they can withdraw a part of the pension amount in a lumpsum and use the rest to buy an annuity for a regular income.

Way ahead

  • It’s time for the country to decide if it continues to follow tactics of the past that have limited shelf life for a limited set of users, or to embrace the new world order wholeheartedly where changing geopolitical events are inscribing down the contours of development.
  • Sticking with welfare and empowering measures for the deserving classes rather than freebies and that too only after due deliberation is the way forward.


Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
29 Sep 2022

Saved card details online? New rules from Oct 1

In News:

  • RBI is implementing Card Tokenisation norms which will come into effect from 1st October, 2022.
  • These new rules will change the way debit and credit card details are stored by online merchants.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Card Tokenisation (Meaning, Working, Benefits, etc.)

 What is Card Tokenisation?

  • The RBI describes tokenisation as "the replacement of actual card details with an alternate code called the 'token', which will be unique for a combination of card, token requestor and device.”
  • The 'requestor' accepts a request from the customer to tokenise their card and pass it on to the card network to issue a corresponding token.
  • This token will carry the details of your cards such as 16-digit number, names, expiry dates which you used to save earlier for the future payments.
  • So, instead of all the above mentioned details, a unique token will be used by the merchant’s website for the transaction.


  • Once the new norms are implemented, the cardholder has to go through a one-time registration process for every card, at every online merchant's website they intend to use the card by entering its details and providing consent to create a token during checkout.
  • A token will be generated for a particular card at a single website.


  • Currently, the bank card details are saved by a merchant during a transaction.
  • If, the merchant's website is hacked, the details of the customers will be exposed.
    • Some merchants even force their customers to store card details before using their services and apps which ultimately increases the risk of users' sensitive information being stolen.
  • A tokenised card transaction is considered safer as the actual card details are not shared with the merchant during transaction processing.
  • Post implementation of card tokenisation norms, all the customers’ data will be with the bank only.
  • Customers need not have to pay any charges for availing this service.

Is it a mandatory feature?

  • According to RBI, credit/debit card users don't need to use the token system mandatorily.
  • However, if the card user opts not to use the tokenisation system, they will be required to manually enter credit/debit card details every time while conducting a transaction on an e-commerce or merchant website.

News Summary:

  • Payment aggregators are finally prepared for the October 1 rollout of RBI’s card-tokenisation norms.
  • The deadline for implementation of tokenisation, which aims to upgrade data security, was extended for the third time in June, 2022 as the payments industry had asked for more time to avoid disruptions.
  • The extension from the RBI has also allowed for more awareness among customers.
  • For tokenisation, companies have to tie up with payment service providers and set up systems to charge customers’ cards without having to store the information on their servers.
    • Razorpay, PhonePe, Worldline provide the bridge for these services between banks and merchants.
  • From October 1, spends on platforms like e-commerce, food delivery and streaming services will be processed through tokenisation as against the ‘card on-file’ system, where merchants stored details like card number and expiry date on their servers.



Mains Article
29 Sep 2022

Eastern Command’s ex-chief Anil Chauhan is Chief of Defence Staff

In News:

  • The Union Government has appointed former Eastern Army Commander Lt. General Anil Chauhan as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  • The post has been vacant since the death of the country’s first CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in December 2021.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About CDS (Establishment, Need for a CDS, Role, Power, etc.)
  • News Summary

About Chief of Defence Staff (CDS):

  • The Chief of Defence Staff is the highest-ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military.
  • The first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, took office on 1 January 2020.
  • The position was created with the aim of –
    • Improving coordination,
    • Tri-service effectiveness and
    • Overall integration of the combat capabilities of the Indian armed forces.
      • Integration refers to the process by which the army, air force and the navy discard their single service approach and embrace a joint vision.
  • Age limit –  The retired officer should not have attained 62 years on the date of appointment.

Need for a CDS:

  • The need for a Chief of Defence Staff was felt as early as 1960s following wars with Pakistan and China. Over the years the creation of such as post was raised, repeatedly.
  • However, officially, it was only following the Kargil Review Committee's recommendation in 1999 that the Group of Ministers (GoM) officially proposed the creation of the post of CDS in 2001.
  • Following committees, including the Naresh Chandra task force (2012) and the Lieutenant General D. B. Shekatkar committee (2016), also proposed their own versions of a CDS.
  • In 2017, the Cabinet Committee on Security started the process of making the final decision related to the creation of a post for the CDS.

Roles & Powers of the CDS:

  • The CDS is a four-star General/Officer who acts as the Principal Military Advisor to the Defence Minister on all tri-services (Army, Navy and Indian Air Force) matters.
    • Earlier, the Government of India has notified new rules to appoint the CDS who could be anyone from the three serving chiefs, any serving three-star officer, any retired chief who is below 62 or any retired three-star officer also below the same age
  • He also acts as the military advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority.
  • The CDS is the –
    • Permanent Chairman of the existing Chiefs of Staff Committee,
    • Member of the Defence Acquisition Council and
    • Member of the Defence Planning Committee.
  • The CDS has a responsibility for coordination among the three services in equipment and arms procurement, training and staffing.
  • The CDS assigns inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
  • The CDS is also charged with bringing about reforms in the functioning of the three services with the aim to augment combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.

Department of Military Affairs (DoMA):

  • The CDS heads the Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence and acts as its secretary.
  • The mandate of the Department of Military Affairs includes, among other things, facilitation of restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.

News Summary:

  • The Union Government has appointed Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  • He will also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs.

About Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (Retired):  

  • He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
  • In 1981, he was commissioned into 11 Gorkha Rifles, a Gorkha regiment of the Indian Army.
  • When he was in the rank of Major General, then he oversaw an Infantry Division in Northern Command's critical Baramulla area.
  • From September 2019 until his retirement from the service in May 2021, he served as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command.


Defence & Security

Mains Article
29 Sep 2022

Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince is named country’s Prime Minister

 In News:

  • By royal decree, Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was recently appointed as the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • The 37-year-old Crown Prince, abbreviated MBS, has taken the lead of Vision2030, the kingdom's comprehensive plan to transform its economy and end its reliance on oil.
  • In this context, we will attempt to examine the India-Saudi Arabia bilateral relationship.

 What’s in today’s article:

  • About the India-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Relations

 India-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Relations:

  • Background:
    • India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations reflecting the centuries old economic and socio-cultural ties.
    • The establishment of diplomatic relations in 1947 was followed by high-level visits from both sides, which further consolidated bilateral relations.
    • The historic visit of King Abdullah to India in 2006 was a watershed moment that resulted in the signing of the ‘Delhi Declaration’, imparting a fresh momentum to the bilateral relationship.
    • The reciprocal visit by then Prime Minister of India (Dr. Manmohan Singh) to Saudi Arabia in 2010 and the signing of the ‘Riyadh Declaration’ elevated the bilateral relationship to a ‘Strategic Partnership’.
  • Relations gaining momentum in recent years:
    • The visit of the then Crown Prince (now King) Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to India in 2014 further deepened the relations between the two countries, particularly in the area of defence cooperation.
    • The visit of Prime Minister of India to Riyadh in 2016 captured the spirit of enhanced cooperation in the political, economic, security and defence realms.
    • The visit of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (now Prime Minister) to India in 2019 (February) further took forward this momentum.
      • During the visit, it was announced that the Kingdom would invest approximately US$100 billion in India in the fields of investment, tourism, housing, exchange of audio-visual programmes, etc.
      • An agreement was also signed to pave the way for Saudi Arabia to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
    • The Prime Minister of India visited Riyadh again in 2019 (October), during which the Strategic Partnership Council (SPC) Agreement was signed, which established a high-level council to steer the Indo-Saudi relationship.
  • Analysing current status of bilateral relations:
    • Economic cooperation:
      • Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth largest trading partner. More than 18% of India’s crude oil imports are sourced from Saudi Arabia.
      • During FY22 (Apr-Dec), bilateral trade was valued at US$29.28 billion. During this period, India’s imports from Saudi Arabia were valued at US$22.65 billion and exports to Saudi Arabia were worth US$6.63 billion.
    • Cultural relations:
      • Yoga has become a very popular activity in Saudi Arabia, particularly after it was recognized as a ‘sports activity’ in 2017.
        • On International Yoga Day 2021, an MoU on Yoga Cooperation was signed between the Saudi Ministry of Sports and India’s Ministry of AYUSH, which paved the way for the establishment of formal Yoga standards and courses in the Kingdom.
      • The annual Hajj pilgrimage is another important component of Indo-Saudi bilateral relations.
        • During the Crown Prince’s visit to New Delhi in 2019, it was announced that India’s Hajj quota would be increased, enabling 2,00,000 Indians to perform Hajj in August 2019.
      • The year 2021-22 commemorates 75 years of India’s independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
        • This celebration also coincides with 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Saudi Arabia.
        • As part of this celebration, from May 2021 to August 2023, the Embassy will host a variety of events, including cultural events, exhibitions, international film festivals and sports events.
      • Indian community in Saudi Arabia:
        • The approximately 2 million strong Indian community is the largest expatriate community in the Kingdom.
        • The contributions made by the Indian community to the development of Saudi Arabia are well acknowledged.
        • In 2019, the two sides announced that India’s e-Migrate system would be integrated with the Kingdom’s e-Thawtheeq system to streamline the migration process for workers.
      • Collaboration during COVID-19:
        • In order to deal with the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, the Prime Minister of India and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman planned to convene an extraordinary G20 Virtual Summit, which was held in March,
        • Throughout the pandemic, both nations have been sharing national experiences and supporting each other to ensure continued flow of food, medicines and other essential items.
        • For example, in 2021, India provided 4.5 million COVISHIELD vaccines to the Kingdom, whereas, during the second wave, the latter provided India with COVID-relief material, particularly liquid oxygen.
        • With the support of the Kingdom, a large-scale repatriation exercise of the Indian community, which has led to more than 8,00,000 Indians being repatriated through Vande Bharat Mission.
International Relations

Mains Article
29 Sep 2022

Centre bans PFI, affiliates for 5 years under UAPA

In News:

  • Recently, the Central government banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates for five years, just days after law enforcement agencies (NIA, ED) launched a nationwide crackdown on the PFI.
  • Invoking the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 to impose the ban, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that the PFI and its affiliates are linked to terror groups like the ISIS, radicalise a specific section of society and pose a major threat to the country's internal security.

What’s in today’s article:

  • What exactly does this "ban" imply?
  • About a UAPA tribunal

What exactly does this "ban" imply?

  • Ban on PFI:
    • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) imposed a five-year ban on the PFI and its associate organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 - India’s main law against terrorism and terrorist activities.
    • The notification stated a number of reasons for the central government's decision to declare the PFI and its various fronts as "unlawful association" with immediate effect.
  • The process to declare an association unlawful:
    • The UAPA (Section 3) allows the Central government (MHA) to declare an organization an "unlawful association" or a "terrorist organization," which is often referred informally as a "ban."
    • The UAPA defines an "unlawful association" as any organisation that promotes enmity between different groups and makes assertions that are detrimental to national integration, as defined in (Sections 153A or 153B) the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
      • An unlawful association is also one that encourages or assists people to engage in illegal activity or whose members engage in such activity.
    • The government is required by (Section 4) of the UAPA to send the notification to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal within 30 days of issuing the notification in order for the ban to be ratified.
      • For example, in the given case, the MHA will have to refer the matter to the Tribunal, along with details of cases filed by the NIA, ED and state police forces across the country against PFI and its cadres.
    • The Tribunal will then issue a show-cause notice to the organisation, asking it to respond in writing as to why it should not be banned.
    • Following arguments from both sides, the Tribunal may hold an inquiry to determine (within 6 months) whether there is sufficient evidence to declare the organisation an "unlawful association".
      • For example, in 2019, the then sitting judge of the Delhi High Court held public hearings in Aurangabad, Pune, etc., to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to ban the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
    • Once approved by the Tribunal, the ban will be in effect for five years.
  • What follows when an association is declared unlawful?
    • Declaring an organisation unlawful has serious legal consequences, including criminalisation of its members and forfeiture of the organisation's assets.
    • The government has the authority under the UAPA (Section 7) to prohibit the use of an unlawful association's funds and (Section 8) to notify and seize all places used by the unlawful association.
    • Also, a person who continues to be a member of such (unlawful) association or takes part in its meetings or in any way assists the operations of such association, etc., is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and shall also be liable to fine.
    • Any person who is aggrieved by a prohibitory order may file an application with the Court of the District Judge within 15 days from the issue of such order.

The UAPA tribunal:

  • About:
    • The UAPA empowers the Central Government to establish a tribunal in order to ensure its bans have long-term legal sanctity.
    • The Centre issues orders declaring an organisation "unlawful" under the UAPA, and no such notification takes effect until the tribunal confirms it.
    • However, in exceptional circumstances, the notification can take effect immediately if the reasons for it are documented in writing. It can be approved or rejected by the tribunal.
  • Constitution of the tribunal:
    • The tribunal has only one member, to be appointed by the Central Government: Provided that no person shall be so appointed unless he is a Judge of a High Court.
    • If there is a vacancy (other than a temporary absence) in the Tribunal, the Centre appoints another judge, and the proceedings resume from the point at which the vacancy is filled.
    • The Centre is to provide the tribunal with the personnel it requires to carry out its functions.
    • The Consolidated Fund of India bears all expenses incurred for a tribunal.
  • Its powers:
    • The tribunal has the power to regulate its own procedure, including the location of its sittings.
    • As a result, it can hold hearings in various states for allegations originating in those states.
    • The tribunal has the same powers to conduct investigations as a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
    • These can be used to summon a witness, produce any document or other material object producible as evidence, obtain any public record from any court or office, and so on.
    • All proceedings before the Tribunal are considered judicial proceedings.
  • Analysing its functioning:
    • The tribunals have largely confirmed government notifications, with a few exceptions. In the case of SIMI, for example, a tribunal temporarily lifted the ban in 2008.
    • The tribunal's proceedings have been criticised for being somewhat opaque.
    • Given the sensitivity involved, the UAPA allows for public non-disclosure of information on bans.
    • It has been claimed that the government frequently provides evidence under sealed cover, leaving no opportunity for an organisation to defend itself.
Polity & Governance

Sept. 28, 2022

Mains Article
28 Sep 2022

Energising India-Nepal ties, the hydro-power way


  • The National Hydro Electric Power Corporation of India (NHPC) recently signed an MoU with Investment Board Nepal (IBN) to develop 750 MW West Seti and 450 MW Seti River (SR6) Hydroelectric Projects in western Nepal (a total of 1,200 MW).
  • The projects have been awarded to India nearly 4 years after China withdrew from these.
  • The article discusses the offerings to India with regards to the India- Nepal cooperation, shared concerns, common interests and options and alternatives available for collaboration.


  • Announcement: The development comes after Nepal and India in early 2022 issued a Joint Vision Statement on Energy, which talks about expanding mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in the power sector including joint development of power generation projects in Nepal.
    • It also entails development of cross-border transmission infrastructure
    • Bi-directional power trade with access to electricity markets in both countries
    • Coordinated operation of national grids
    • Institutional cooperation in sharing latest operational information, technology and know-how.
  • About latest MoU: The total cost of these projects is expected to be around $2.4 billion. The NHPC has initiated a preliminary engagement of the site with an investment of over ₹18,000 crore and has also signed an MoU with the Power Trading Corporation Limited, India for sale of power.
  • Significance: The signing of the MoU will pave the way for the NHPC to carry out the project study, hydrological study in two rivers, geo-technical survey, and drilling work among other things before starting the construction work.
  • Earlier projects: India is already involved in the Mahakali Treaty (6,480 MW), the Upper Karnali Project (900 MW) and the Arun Three projects (900 MW) in western and eastern Nepal, respectively.
  • Concerns: While awarding the West Seti and SR-2 projects to the NHPC Limited, some leaders in Nepal had raised concerns that the government did not opt for a competitive bidding process.
    • But the government remarked that since West Seti is a national priority project, it needs to be expedited and the contract can also be awarded through negotiations.

Many hurdles

  • Conception: Historically, the 750MW West Seti Hydroelectric Project was thought of in the early 1980s as a 37 MW run-of-the-river
  • Early License: Nepal issued the developing license to French company, which prepared a pre-feasibility study in 1987 proposing the scheme without building a dam.
  • Project transfer: With the project failing to see the light of the day, an Australian Corporation acquired a majority stake in the early 1990s but attempts to make progress were affected due to investment and environmental concerns.
  • In Chinese hands: Consequently, the China stepped in 2009, with Australian Corporation holding a majority stake. However, Chinese Corporation withdrew citing a poor investment environment.
    • In 2011, Nepal revoked the licence of the West Seti Hydropower Company Limited in which Australian Corporation had a majority stake, and handed it over to China, but Chinese corporation again withdrew in 2018, citing issues of resettlement and rehabilitation.
    • Nepal was thus left in a fix after two Chinese companies withdrew from the projects, after signing the MoUs with the government.
  • Rallying domestic supplies: Subsequently, Nepal tried to develop the project by mobilising internal resources. However, increased costs resulted in further delays.
    • Meanwhile, the project was remodelled as the West Seti and Seti River (SR6) joint storage project (1,200 MW).

Reinvigorating ties

  • Renewed optimism: The decision to involve India is a sign that Nepal is reposing its faith in India to complete the project. If completed, it is expected to provide India the much-needed leverage in future hydropower cooperation.
  • Critical relevance: These hydropower projects will help India minimise the geopolitical influence of China and firm its presence in Nepal, considering that the West Seti Hydroelectric Project was a major Chinese venture under the Belt and Road Initiative.
    • The project has the potential to enhance cross-border power exchanges between the two countries.
  • Address Nepal crises: Despite its huge hydropower potential, Nepal experiences power shortages during peak time, increasing its dependence on India to bridge the shortfall.
    • With an estimated potential of 83,000 MW, Nepal’s electricity exports to India are expected to increase foreign exchange and address the power shortage.
    • It is estimated that if the hydropower potential is fully harnessed, Nepal can generate revenue to the tune of ₹310 billion in 2030 and ₹1,069 billion per year in 2045 by exporting electricity to India.
  • Address India’s growing energy demand: Similarly, India’s severe deficit in coal-based thermal power plants in recent years, which meet 70% of India’s electricity demand, has compelled the Government to arrange supplies through coal imports, accelerating the search for better alternatives.
    • Given the growing energy demand, the West Seti Hydroelectric Project can provide an added alternative and viable way to address power deficits.

Way forward

  • For the project to be successfully completed, options and alternatives need to be explored as follows:
  • Expedite project: Since investment-related constraints have already delayed the project, there needs a careful study of investment scenarios, particularly a conducive investment environment, distribution and transmission network and cost of resettlement and rehabilitation, at the preliminary stage.
  • Revamped distribution share: To address Nepal concerns that electricity rates and supply from India may be inadequate to meet the rising demands, the new MoU has already revised the percentage share from 10% to 21.9%  of energy that Nepal will receive free of cost from the generation projects
    • Address domestic demand: The MoU allows Nepal to request the NHPC to sell the power generated from the projects to the domestic market before selling whole or part to the export market.
  • Augmenting ties: The project can also be extended to other regional partners under the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) framework for cross-border energy cooperation.
    • For example, if the combined estimated hydropower potential in Nepal and Bhutan, along with the potential of Northeast India, is effectively harnessed, a cross-border energy market can be created and optimally operationalised. It will be a win-win at the bilateral and regional levels.
Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
28 Sep 2022

Arrival of foreign tourists took big hit in 2021, data show

In News:

  • Recently, Vice-President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankar, released the Indian Tourism Statistics 2022 report.
  • The Vice-President also gave away the National Tourism Awards for 2018-19 with Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Telangana getting the top three places, respectively.
  • The awards were given after a gap of two years due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Major Highlights of the Indian Tourism Statistic Report (2022):

  • Foreign Tourists –
    • In 2020, 2.74 million foreign tourists had visited India. In 2021, the number came down to 1.52 million.
    • In 2021, the top 15 countries from which foreign tourists arrived in India included – the U.S., the U.K., Bangladesh, Canada, Nepal, Afghanistan and Australia.
    • However, the arrival of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) has increased by 52.6% in 2021 as compared to 2020.
  • Contribution to foreign exchange earnings –
    • The statistics further show that tourism continues to be an important foreign exchange earner for the country.
    • In 2021, foreign exchange earnings from tourism amounted to $8.797 billion as compared to $6.959 billion in 2020.
  • Domestic Tourists –
    • While in 2020, the number of domestic tourists was 610 million, in 2021 it was 677 million.
  • Indians departing from India –
    • Interestingly, the number of Indian nationals departing the country saw a rise in 2021 as compared to 2020.
    • In 2021, 8.55 million Indian nationals departed the country as compared to 7.29 million in 2020.
    • The UAE was the top destination for Indians in 2021, followed by the U.S., Qatar, Oman and the U.K.

National Tourism Awards:

  • The Ministry of Tourism organised the National Tourism awards.
  • A total of 81 awards were given away this year highlighting the achievements of the tourism industry in 2018-19.
  • The awards are presented to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, including State Governments in recognition of their performance in their respective fields.

Major Schemes for Tourism promotion in India:

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme –
    • Launched in 2014-15, the scheme aims to promote theme-based tourist circuits to harness the potential of tourism in India.
    • 15 thematic circuits have been identified under the Swadesh Darshan for development.
      • Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, North East Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Wildlife Circuit
    • Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance to State Governments, Union Territory Administrations for the infrastructure development of circuits.
    • This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc. with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation.
  • Prashad Scheme –
    • Prashad is an acronym for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spirituality Augmentation Drive.
    • The scheme was launched in 2015 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.

Mains Article
28 Sep 2022

At state funeral in Tokyo, Modi recalls Abe’s vision for a free, open Indo-Pacific

In News:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the state funeral for the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

What’s in today’s article:

  • India-Japan relationship (Historical, Modern, Economic, Security, etc.)
  • New Summary

India – Japan bilateral relationship:

  • Historical ties –
    • The friendship between India and Japan has a long history rooted in spiritual affinity and strong cultural and civilization ties dating back to the visit of Indian monk Bodhisena in 752 AD.
    • In contemporary times, prominent Indians associated with Japan were Swami Vivekananda, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, entrepreneur JRD Tata, freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • Modern ties –
    • Post-World War II, India established diplomatic ties with Japan in 1952, marking a defining moment in the bilateral relations and setting the tone for the future.
    • A test of the reliability of Japan as a friend was witnessed in 1991, when Japan was among the few countries that bailed India out of the balance of payment (BOP) crisis.
    • In 2006, both the countries decided to have Annual Summits between the Prime Ministers.
    • PM Shinzo Abe paid an official visit to India in January 2014 during which he was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations (first ever Japanese PM to be honoured so).
  • Economic ties –
    • India was the 18th largest trading partner for Japan, and Japan was the 12th largest trading partner for India in 2020.
      • Japan’s bilateral trade with India totalled US$ 16.95 billion in FY 2019-20. Exports from Japan to India during this period were US$ 12.43 billion and imports were US$ 4.52 billion.
    • Also, direct investment from Japan to India has been increased, and Japan was the 4th largest investor for India in FY2020.
      • From 2000 until September 2020, the Japanese investments in India cumulatively stand at around US$ 34.152 billion.
      • Japanese private-sector's interest in India is rising, and, currently, about 1,455 Japanese companies have branches in India.
    • India and Japan also has a Bilateral Swap Agreement (BSA) worth USD 75 Billion.
      • BSA is a two-way arrangement where both authorities can swap their local currencies in exchange for dollars.
  • Defence ties –
    • India and Japan conducts a bilateral military exercise named “EX DHARMA GUARDIAN”.
    • In September 2020, India and Japan signed a key agreement for reciprocal provision of supplies and services between their defence forces. The agreement, called Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), will drive closer military cooperation and contribute to regional security.
  • Indian diaspora in Japan –
    • Approximately 38,000 Indians live in Japan.

Issues in India-Japan Relations

  • While India can emerge as a large market for Japanese infrastructure system exports (one of the core components of Abenomics), there have been incredible delays in the commencement of the projects. While there is the shining example of the Delhi Metro Rail, the delays with Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) are disappointing.
  • Japanese companies face considerable logistics challenges and non-availability of uninterrupted power supply constraints their plans for establishing manufacturing plants in India.
  • There is growing anxiety in Tokyo due to soaring costs brought about by haphazard policies of the Indian government, leading both the Japanese government and Japanese firms to start getting bogged down.
  • Tokyo is keen that its military exchanges with India also include Army and Air Force exchanges. An Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement - on the lines of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S., to which India has been reluctant so far.
  • The two-country seems to have different opinion on the current Ukraine crisis. While Japan openly criticised Russia for invading Ukraine, India has not done so publicly.

 News Summary:

  • Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the state funeral for the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.
  • Prime Minister [Modi] noted the contributions of late Prime Minister Abe in strengthening India-Japan partnership as well in conceptualising the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
    • It was former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who had coined the term ‘Indo-Pacific’ in a speech he gave in the Indian Parliament in 2007.
  • The former Prime Minister of Japan was assassinated in July, 2022.
International Relations

Mains Article
28 Sep 2022

Survey shows increase in employment in fourth quarter of last fiscal, manufacturing largest contributor

In News:

  • According to the 4th round (January-March 2022) of the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), which is a part of the All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES), manufacturing remains the largest institutional employer in the country, employing about 38.5% of the workforce.
  • According to the survey, which was recently released by the Union Labour Minister, there was an increase of approximately 4 lakh workers compared to the third round of QES, which was conducted for the last three months of 2021.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About the AQEES
  • News Summary

About the All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES):

  • In order to generate high quality data on the labour market, the Labour Bureau, Ministry of Labour and Employment, has been entrusted with the task of conducting the AQEES.
  • AQEES has two components namely:
    • Quarterly Employment Survey (QES): conducted in respect of establishments employing 10 or more workers (mostly the ‘organised’ segment).
    • Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES): conducted in respect of establishments employing 9 or less workers (mostly the ‘unorganised’ segment).
  • The scope and coverage of QES is further limited to employment in the non-farm economy covering 9 sectors - Manufacturing, Construction, Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation & Restaurants, IT/BPO and Financial Services.
  • The report on QES being a demand side survey along with supply side survey - Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS is conducted by the National Statistical Organization (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation) will -
    • Bridge data gaps on employment in the country.
    • Give insights into the change of employment over the previous quarters and many other related parameters.
    • Serve as useful data for policy-makers, Central or State Governments officials, researchers and other stakeholders for the welfare of labour.

 News Summary - Findings of the 4th round of QES:

  • Employment was on the rise, with estimates ranging from 3.14 crore in the third quarter (September-December 2021) to 3.18 crore workers in the fourth quarter (January-March 2022), an increase of approximately 4 lakh workers.
    • It is worth noting that the total employment in these 9 selected sectors was reported as 2.37 crore in the sixth economic census (2013-14).
  • According to the 4th round of QES survey, 4% of the workers were regular employees, 8.7% were contractual employees, 2.3% were casual employees and 2% were self-employed.
    • The proportion of fixed-term employees in the establishments was discovered to be the lowest (0.7%) overall.
  • Education, manufacturing, trade and financial services together accounted for 84% of the total estimated units.
  • Manufacturing sector accounts for the largest percentage (38.5%) of the total number of workers, followed by the education sector (21.7%), IT/BPO sector (12%) and Health sector (10.6%).
  • Almost 80% of the businesses employed 10 to 99 people. Approximately 12% of the businesses had fewer than 10 employees.
  • Only 1.4% of the establishments surveyed reported at least 500 employees. Such large establishments were mostly in the IT/BPO and health sectors.
  • Women's labour-force participation increased marginally from 31.6% in the third quarter to 31.8% in the fourth quarter.
    • Women workers made up approximately 52% of the workforce in the health sector, while the corresponding percentages in education, financial services and IT/BPO were 44%, 41% and 36% respectively.
    • It is worth noting that women outnumber men among self-employed people in financial services.



Mains Article
28 Sep 2022

The NASA spacecraft-asteroid collision

In News:

  • A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraft recently rammed an asteroid at lightning speed in an unprecedented trial run for the day when a killer rock threatens Earth.
  • The DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft collided with the space rock Dimorphos.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About the NASA’s mission
  • Significance of this mission

About the NASA’s mission:

  • Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is a NASA space mission aimed at testing a method of planetary defence against near-Earth objects (NEOs).
  • It is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact.
    • An asteroid is a minor planet of the inner Solar System.
    • Asteroids range in size and shape from 1-metre rocks to a dwarf planet nearly 1000 km in diameter.
    • They are metallic or rocky bodies with no atmosphere.
  • The auto-rickshaw sized 600 kgs probe - DART, was launched from Earth in 2021, and it recently collided with football stadium-sized Dimorphos (about five billion kgs in mass), orbiting around the 780 metres wide primary asteroid Didymos (which poses no actual threat to Earth).
    • NASA has confirmed that the collision deflected the pair of space rocks' trajectory.
    • This method of kinetic impact is also known as the 'kick'
  • DART is a joint project between NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Maryland, US.
  • International partners include the European Space Agency (ESA), the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), contributing to related or subsequent projects.

Significance of this mission:

  • It may one day save humanity from a potentially catastrophic collision by safely deflecting a deadly asteroid on its way to Earth.
    • For example, following NASA's lead, China plans to deflect 2020 PN1 in 2026 - a 40m diameter earth-crossing asteroid.
  • It could also fuel space mining technologies and kickstart the space economy in the coming decades.
    • The ‘kick’ technique that deflects asteroids can then be used to move a small asteroid into a convenient position for space mining.
    • Rare earth elements such as yttrium, niobium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and scandium are critical for developing green energy technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines, etc., ushering a low carbon economy in the future.
    • Mining for rare earth elements has a high environmental cost and they are in short supply.
    • Penalties for pollution may make space mining economically viable in the coming years.
    • NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which has been axed, aimed at bringing a 20-tonne space rock close to Earth for study and mining.
    • In some ways, the DART mission is also included in this frame.


Science & Tech

Sept. 27, 2022

Mains Article
27 Sep 2022

Pitching India as a signature destination


  • Recently, State Tourism Ministers gathered at Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) in a first-of-its-kind meeting to discuss, debate and deliberate on modes and mechanisms to develop tourism in India
  • The three-day National Conference of State Tourism Ministers concluded with co-developing ‘The Dharamshala Declaration’.

About Dharamshala Declaration

  • Description: The document titled “Dharamshala Declaration-2020: Sustainable and Responsible Tourism” asserts that India will play a pivotal role in contributing toward global tourism recovery driven mainly through domestic tourism.
    • It announces to bring in necessary interventions including visa reforms, ease of travel, travel-friendly immigration facilities at airports and openness to international travel.
  • Background: The Dharamshala Declaration’ draws inspiration from Indian PM Modi’s ‘Whole of Government’ approach, which enables the breaking down of silos and encouraging synergies across various government corridors.
    • Also, in his Independence Day speech in 2019, PM Modi urged every Indian who could afford to travel, to visit at least 15 locations in India by 2022 and discover the country.
  • Position India as global leader: The document talks about the short-term and long-term goals in the tourism sector as follows:
    • Short term goals: The Indian tourism industry will strive towards recovery of tourism to the pre-pandemic level by 2024, achieve $150 billion GDP contribution, USD 30 billion foreign exchange earnings and 15 million foreign tourist arrivals by that period.
    • Medium term: $250 billion contribution to the GDP by 2030, 137 million jobs, more than 25 million foreign tourist arrivals and USD 56 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
    • Long-term: Ensuring the positioning of India as one of the leaders in the world in the tourism sector and revenue goal of $1 trillion by 2047.
  • Action Plan: In the declaration, the Tourism Ministry has come up with a strategy to encourage more Indians to travel domestically and explore India’s natural, cultural, and spiritual beauty while simultaneously reaching the goal of an ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ (interaction and mutual understanding).
  • Tourism Clubs: The Union Tourism and Culture Minister called on states to start work on “a war footing” by establishing tourism clubs.
    • The proposal is to work on making Yuva Tourism clubs at district and mandal levels.
  • Boost international tourism: In parallel, the Tourism Ministry has also been working with the Ministry of External Affairs to identify 20 Indian missions abroad with the highest tourist footfalls to India and build country-specific strategies to attract foreign tourists.
  • Significance: The Conference holds significance in the current context of India’s G20 presidency (in 2023). G-20 will be used as a platform to showcase India’s age-old dictum of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ and tourism potential to the world.

Pandemic and reimagining tourism

  • Rethinking approach: The tourism sector has been severely affected by COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of India’s Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme was recently enhanced by ₹50,000 crore, from ₹4.5 lakh crore to ₹5 lakh crore.
    • It seeks to benefit enterprises in hospitality and related sectors such as hotels and restaurants, marriage halls, travel agents, tour operators, adventure and heritage facilities affected by pandemic.
    • Owing to these steps, all the major tourism indices such as domestic air passenger traffic, hotel occupancy and tourist footfalls have shown signs of recovery over the past few months.
  • Draft framework: The Ministry of Tourism, after wide-ranging consultations, has prepared a draft National Tourism Policy 2022.
    • It aims at improving the framework conditions for tourism development in the country, supporting tourism industries, strengthening tourism support functions and developing tourism sub-sectors.
    • The policy also gives a special impetus to private sector participation through public-private-partnerships (PPP).
  • Guiding principles: These include promoting sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism in line with our civilisational ethos. The National Green Tourism Mission aims at institutionalising this approach.
  • Sub-missions: The National Tourism policy also aims to give impetus to digitalisation, innovation and technology through the National Digital Tourism Mission and skilling through the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Mission.
  • Significance: Once the new policy is ratified, the Ministry would have a new set of tools and frameworks that are required to execute on the vision and goals we have set for ourselves.
  • Other initiatives: The Ministry of Tourism has also launched a number of initiatives and implemented a four-pronged development strategy that focuses on:
    • Improving the connectivity - air, rail, and roads
    • Enhancing the tourism infrastructure and dependent services
    • Streamlining branding and promotion
    • Showcasing the culture and heritage

Tourism Sector in India: Role & importance

  • The tourism sector is an integral pillar of the “Make in India” programme and encourages the development of multiple-use infrastructure, eg hotels, resorts & restaurants, transport infrastructure (aviation, roads, shipping & railways) and healthcare facilities.
  • In India, the travel and tourism sector is one of the largest employers, with nearly 12.75% (including both direct and indirect employment) of employment share in 2018-19.

Government initiatives to boost tourism sector in India

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme: It is a Central Sector Scheme launced in 2014-15 for Integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
  • PRASHAD Scheme : National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme: It focuses on identifying and developing pilgrim sites across the country to promote religious tourism.
  • ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’:It seeks to enhance the bonding between the states and showcases the rich heritage, culture, customs and traditions of the paired states.
    • Through student exchange programs, it enables people to have a better understanding and appreciate the diversity of the nation.
  • Dekho Apna Desh initiative: It seeks to organise webinars, quiz, pledge, discussions to keep people connected with the stakeholders and to encourage citizens to travel within the country.
  • Adopt Heritage Project: It was launched in 2017 as a collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), State/UTs Governments.
    • It aims to involve public sector companies, private sector companies, and corporate citizens/individuals to take up the responsibility for making our heritage and tourism more sustainable.
    • It envisages the development and maintenance of tourist amenities at heritage sites and making them tourist-friendly.
  • Destination North East-2020: It is an annual event of the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region highlighting various potentials like eco-tourism, culture, heritage and business of the North East Region.
  • Gati Shakti Master Plan: It seeks to develop ‘holistic infrastructure’ by incorporating the infrastructure schemes of various Ministries and State Governments like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN etc.
    • Economic Zones like textile clusters, pharmaceutical clusters, defence corridors, electronic parks, industrial corridors, fishing clusters, agri zones will be covered to improve connectivity & make Indian businesses more competitive.
  • Bharat Gaurav Scheme: Launched in November 2021, the scheme aims to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and historical places by Bharat Gaurav trains (Theme- based Tourist Circuit trains).
Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
27 Sep 2022

Centre’s push for NavIC system lands smartphone giants on unknown road

In News:

  • India is pushing tech giants to make smartphones compatible with the indigenous navigation system within months.

What’s in today’s article:

  • News Summary
  • About NavIC (Background, Components, Benefits, Comparison, etc.)

News Summary:

  • Government of India wants to reduce dependence on foreign systems, including the widely used U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • Hence, it has asked the smartphone manufacturing firms to make smartphones compatible with the NavIC.
  • However, companies like Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple fear elevated costs and disruptions as the move will require hardware changes.
  • The Government says NavIC provides more accurate domestic navigation and that its use would benefit India’s economy.

About NavIC:

  • NavIC, or Navigation with Indian Constellation, is also called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
    • With the last launch of the constellation's satellite (IRNSS-1G), IRNSS was renamed NaVIC by India’s Prime Minister
  • It is an independent stand-alone navigation satellite system which Presently comprises of 8 satellites.
    • Presently, IRNSS consists of eight satellites, three satellites in geostationary orbit and five satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
    • IRNSS-1I to replace IRNSS-1A, which was rendered ineffective after its three rubidium atomic clocks failed.
  • It is developed by the ISRO. NavIC was approved in 2006.
  • It was expected to be completed by late 2011, but it only became operational in 2018.
  • NavIC covers the whole of India’s landmass and up to 1,500 km from its boundaries.
  • It was recognised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region in 2020.


  • Currently, NavIC is being used in –
    • Public vehicle tracking in India,
    • For providing emergency warning alerts to fishermen venturing into the deep sea where there is no terrestrial network connectivity, and
    • For tracking and providing information related to natural disasters.
  • Enabling it in smartphones is the next step India is pushing for.

Other Navigation Systems:

  • The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Space Force.
  • The main difference between GPS and NavIC is the serviceable area covered by these systems.
    • GPS caters to users across the globe and its satellites circle the earth twice a day, while NavIC is currently for use in India and adjacent areas.
  • Like GPS, there are four more navigation systems that have global coverage –
    • Galileo from the European Union,
    • QZSS(Quasi-Zenith Satellite System) by Japan,
    • Russia-owned GLONASS and
    • Beidou from China.

Why is India promoting NavIC?

  • India says NavIC is conceived with the aim of removing dependence on foreign satellite systems for navigation service requirements, particularly for “strategic sectors.”
  • Relying on systems like GPS and GLONASS may not always be reliable as those are operated by the defence agencies of respective nations and it is possible that civilian services can be degraded or denied.
  • India also wants to encourage its ministries to use NavIC applications to promote local industry engaged in developing indigenous NavIC-based solutions.



Science & Tech

Mains Article
27 Sep 2022

Far-right leader to be Italy’s 1st woman PM

In News:

  • Giorgia Meloni won a clear majority in Italy’s general election, setting herself up to become the country’s first female Prime Minister at the head of the most right-wing government since World War II.

What’s in today’s article:

  • Italy’s Political System (Type of democracy, Lower & Upper House, etc.)
  • Electoral Process (System followed, Who can vote, etc.)
  • News Summary

Italy’s Political System:

  • Italy is a parliamentary republic with a head of government - the Prime Minister - appointed by the President who is the head of state.
  • The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on 22nd December 1947.
  • The Parliament is composed of 2 houses –
    • Chamber of Deputies (400 seats) is the Lower House,
    • Senate of the Republic (200 seats) is the Upper House.
  • The country is subdivided into 20 regions. 5 of these have a special autonomous status, enabling them to pass legislation on some local matters.

Electoral System:

  • For almost half a century after World War II, Italy’s electoral system was based on proportional representation.
    • In Proportional Representation, seats are awarded to political parties according to the proportion of the total vote that they receive.
  • Between 1993 and 1995, several changes were made by national legislation and popular referenda.
  • In the current electoral system, 63% of the seats will be allocated based on proportional representation system. The rest (37%) are allocated by the first-past-the-post-principle.
  • Also, a number of bonus seats are allocated to the winning coalition – in the Chamber of Deputies – to guarantee a majority for the victors.
  • Candidates can compete in parties or coalitions and voters need to give one vote each for the Chamber and the Senate.

Who is eligible to vote?

  • All citizens 18 years and older may vote.
  • The turnout for elections in Italy is high, often reaching well over 80 percent of the electorate for parliamentary elections.
  • The Constitution of Italy also provides that 50,000 members of the electorate may jointly present a draft bill to parliament.

What is First Past the Post System?

  • In first past the post system, the candidate with the highest number of votes is the winner of the congressional seat. The losing party or parties win no representation at all.
  • In India, elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies are carried out through first past the post system

News Summary:

  • Giorgia Meloni won a clear majority in Italy’s general election, setting herself up to become the country’s first female Prime Minister at the head of the most right-wing government since World War II.
  • Her alliance claimed about 43% of the vote, according to the projections.
  • That would give the coalition at least 114 seats in the Senate, where 104 votes are required for a majority.
  • Once the final results are in, the next step in the constitutional process will see President Sergio Mattarella consulting with party leaders before, almost certainly, nominating Meloni to form the next government.
  • The new parliament will meet for the first time on October 13.



International Relations

Mains Article
27 Sep 2022

Centre sets stiffer 40% air pollution reduction target for cities by 2026

In News:

  • The Central government has revised the target for reducing air pollution (particulate matter (PM) concentrations) in cities from 20-30% by 2024 to 40% by 2025-26.
  • The revised target may prompt the respective states to increase their ambition through city-based action plans under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

What’s in today’s article:

  • About NCAP
  • News Summary

About National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):

  • NCAP was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India.
  • It is India's flagship program that outlines a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
  • It aims to achieve a 20% to 30% reduction in PM (PM10 - coarse PM of diameter 10 micrometres or less and PM2.5 -fine particulate matter of diameter 2.5 micrometres or less) concentrations by 2024, using 2017 as the baseline year for comparison.
    • The country’s current annual safe limits for PM2.5 and PM10 are 40 ug/m3 (micrograms/per cubic metre) and 60 ug/m3.
  • In accordance with the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will execute this nationwide program.
  • Under NCAP, 131 non-attainment cities (earlier 102, to which more added later) have been identified across the country, as they did not meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for the 2011-15 under the National Air Quality Monitoring Program(NAQMP)
    • Delhi, Varanasi, Bhopal, Kolkata, Noida, Muzaffarpur, Mumbai, etc., are among them.
  • City-specific action plans have been developed, which include measures to strengthen the monitoring network, reduce vehicular or industrial emissions, raise public awareness, etc.
  • The implementation of city-specific action plans is regularly monitored by Central and State Committees, namely the Steering Committee, Monitoring Committee and Implementation Committee.
  • State Pollution Control Boards monitor city air quality and publish their findings on a regular basis.
  • For effective monitoring, some Smart Cities have established Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) that are also linked to Air Quality Monitors (AQMs).
  • As part of the program, the Centre intends to expand India's air quality monitoring network.
    • According to an estimate, at least 4,000 monitors are required across the country, in addition to the existing 101 real-time AQMs.


News Summary:

  • Based on the performance of 95 cities that showed improvement in air quality in 2021-22 compared to 2017 levels, the central government has revised the targets recently.
    • According to a recent MoEFCC analysis of cities under NCAP, 20 cities (including Chennai, Madurai, Nashik, and Chittur) have even met the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which set an acceptable annual average limit of PM10 at 60 ug/m3.
    • The analysis, however, was silent on the more dangerous PM2.5 because it is not monitored in all NCAP cities. The annual average prescribed standard for PM2.5 under NAAQS is 40 ug/m3.
  • The new target was conveyed to states during the recently held national conference of Environment Ministers in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat.
    • During the national conference, the MoEFCC decided to rank these 131 cities annually based on different actions taken for improving air quality, like solid waste management, road dust management, management of construction and demolition waste, control of vehicular emissions and industrial pollution.
  • The idea behind the revised target is to ultimately achieve acceptable limits of both PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations.
  • A 40% reduction in PM concentrations over 2017 levels would still result in unacceptable air quality in Delhi and other NCR cities, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Kanpur.
  • However, many cities are expected to achieve much higher reductions, such as Varanasi, which recorded the highest 53% reduction in PM10 levels in 2021-22 (over 2017 levels).


Environment & Ecology

Mains Article
27 Sep 2022

Govt to phase out 100 awards, several fellowships in science

In News:

  • Every scientist's calendar includes September 26 as the date of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awards, India's highest recognition for scientific achievement.
  • This year, no announcement was made on the day, and the Government of India instead issued a notification announcing the discontinuation of approximately 100 awards and several fellowships in the field of science.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology
  • News Summary

About Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology:

  • It is a science award in India given annually by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • It is the most coveted award in multidisciplinary science in India, recognizing outstanding Indian work (according to the view of the CSIR awarding committee) in science and technology.
  • It is given for notable and outstanding research in applied or fundamental science, biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and physics.
  • The award is named after the founder Director of the CSIR - Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.
  • It was awarded first in 1958 and the names of the recipients are traditionally declared by the Director General on every 26 September, which is the CSIR Foundation Day. The prize is distributed by the Prime Minister of India.
  • Any citizen of India engaged in research in any field of science and technology up to the age of 45 years is eligible for the prize.
  • The prize is awarded on the basis of contributions made through work done in India only during the 5 years preceding the year of the prize.
  • The prize comprises a citation, a plaque, and a cash award of ₹5 lakh. In addition, recipients also receive Rs. 15,000 per month up to the age of 65 years.

News Summary:

  • Currently, government departments like earth sciences, biotechnology, space, atomic energy, etc., have separate prizes to recognise talent.
  • In all, there are 207 such awards, of which 4 are national awards, 97 private endowments awards, 54 are lecture or scholarship or fellowship-based awards and 56 are internal awards.
  • As per the notification,
    • All private endowments awards may be discontinued.
    • All lecture or scholarship or fellowship-based awards may be discontinued.
    • The internal awards may be discontinued and wherever required, these awards may be merged in the proposed schemes for scholarship or fellowship.
    • Most departments will now have only one award of a "high stature" instituted.
  • Despite the changes, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award that recognizes excellence in scientific research will be retained, though some say it is being diluted.
  • The notification says,
    • Concerning the monthly remuneration provided under the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award, a proposal to provide a lump sum amount in lieu of monthly remuneration was considered, but no final decision was made.
    • It was also agreed that the monthly remuneration should be limited to 15 years.
Science & Tech

Sept. 26, 2022

Mains Article
26 Sep 2022

A ground plan for India’s reformed multilateralism


  • Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s recent visit to the United States has set the stage for an expansive range of bilateral and multilateral diplomacy by India.
  • The visit is unique as it seeks to achieve a vast list of objectives led by the Indian delegation’s participation in the High-Level Week at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), held recently.


  • India also hosted the 10th Ministerial Commission of Foreign Ministers of the India-Brazil-South Africa Trilateral Cooperative Forum (IBSA), and G-4 meeting of foreign ministers on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
    • About IBSA: The IBSA is a trilateral, developmental initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa to promote South-South cooperation and exchange.
    • About G-4: The G-4 comprising India, Germany, Brazil and Japan is primarily focused on U.N. Security Council (UNSC) reform, and permanent membership of the body for G4 members. It also stands support for African countries being represented in a permanent and non-permanent capacity on a reformed Council.
  • India’s External Affairs Minister also met with members of the L.69 group on the sidelines of the UNGA summit.
    • About L.69: The grouping, which counts numerous African, Latin American and Asian countries among its members, was formed in 2007.
    • Its goal is to “achieve comprehensive reform of the Security Council and, ultimately, strengthen multilateralism and achieve more inclusive, responsive and participatory international governance architecture.
  • The U.S. visit coming just after the recently concluded Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in Samarkand, and varied multilateral engagements showcase a road map for India’s renewed multilateral diplomacy.

Foraging new frameworks

  • Beyond the UN, India’s participation in plurilateral meetings of the Quad (Australia, India, Japan, the U.S.), IBSA ,BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Presidency Pro Tempore CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), India-CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and other trilateral formats, such as India-France-Australia, India-France-United Arab Emirates and India-Indonesia-Australia underlines India’s search for new frameworks of global governance, amidst growing frustration with the extant multilateral order.

Developments at UNGA meet

  • UNGA keynote: The theme of the 77th General Assembly, was “A watershed moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges” places India right in the midst as a strong partner of the UN.
  • UNSC overhaul: For a global organisation such as the UN, growing stakes of developing countries in the Security Council could foster trust and leadership across the world.
  • India’s standpoint: At the heart of India’s participation in the 77th General Assembly is the call for a ‘reformed multilateralism’ through which the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should reform itself into a more inclusive organisation representing the contemporary realities of today.
    • India’s call for this structural overhaul of global multilateral institutions incorporates institutional accountability and a wider representation of the developing countries.

Convincing reasons

  • Covid-19 crises: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the UN’s institutional limitations when countries closed their borders, supply chains were interrupted and almost every country was in need of vaccines.
  • Relief efforts and Vaccine upshot: Countries of the global South, including India, which stepped up through relief efforts, drug distribution and vaccine manufacturing, have highlighted for a more inclusive UN, particularly through UNSC reform.
  • India bridge: As per EAM , S. Jaishankar at UN, India is a bridge, a voice, a viewpoint and a channel, at a time when normal diplomacy isn’t working that well.
    • This is owing to the fact that India has an ability to communicate, to find touch points with different countries that India mattered more in this polarised world.

UN faultlines

  • Inability to prevent wars: The UN-led multilateralism has failed to provide strong mechanisms to prevent wars. For instance, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has loomed over several deadlocks in UNSC resolutions.
  • Redundant veto: With the West boycotting Russia, the veto provision of the UNSC is expected become inessential. Hence only a reformed multilateralism with greater representation could generate deeper regional stakes to prevent wars.
  • Troubling China: China’s rise, belligerence and aggression in the South China Sea, the Indo-Pacific region, and now increasingly globally, have also underscored the limitations of the UN-style multilateralism.
    • Rising influence: Also China’s control of multilateral organisations, including the UN is increasing as evidenced in the unofficial pressure China exerted on the former UN’s human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, to stop the release of a report by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the condition of Uyghurs in China.
  • Rival ground: China’s unabashed use of veto power against India continues at the UN.
    • In the most recent case, it blocked a joint India-U.S. proposal at the UN to enlist Sajid Mir, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative involved in directing the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as a ‘global terrorist’.
  • Risk of disparate institution: China’s growing dominance could lead it to carve its own multilateral matrix circumventing the West, economically and strategically.
    • The international isolation of Russia and Iran could hasten these changes more rapidly than expected.

Way forward

  • With starker divisions between countries as result of the Russia-Ukraine war and lingering pandemic-induced restrictions, the need for the UN’s reform is being felt more palpably than ever before.
  • India’s emphasis on reinvigorated (give new energy) multilateralism coincides with a critical juncture in the UN-led multilateralism and UN could integrate burden-sharing within its institutional ambit.
Editorial Analysis

Mains Article
26 Sep 2022

At 844, sex ratio at birth worst in Uttarakhand; best in Kerala with 974

In News:

  • According to the Registrar General of India's (RGI) Sample Registration System Statistical Report 2020, Uttarakhand has the worst (844) sex ratio (number of females per 1,000 males) at birth in the country and Kerala has the best (974).
  • According to the recently released report, India has achieved a significant milestone in further lowering child mortality rates. 

What’s in today’s article:

  • About the Sample Registration System (SRS)
  • About the Sample Registration System Statistical Report 2020 

About the Sample Registration System (SRS):

  • SRS in India is one of the largest demographic surveys in the world covering about 8.2 million sample population.
  • It is carried out by the Office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India.
    • Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India is a permanent department under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
    • The office was founded in 1961 for arranging, conducting and analysing the results of the demographic surveys of India including Census of India and Linguistic Survey of India.
    • The position of Registrar is usually held by a civil servant holding the rank of Joint Secretary.
  • It is conducted with an objective of providing reliable annual estimates of birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate and various other fertility and mortality indicators through an SRS Statistical Report.
  • SRS (a joint effort of the Central and State Governments) has been serving as the main source of information on fertility and mortality both at the State and National levels, from 1971 onwards.
  • The SRS Statistical Report includes data on population composition by broad age groups, sex and marital status.
  • The indicators in this report are brought out for India and bigger States or UTs (with population 10 million and above) separately for rural and urban areas.

The Sample Registration System Statistical Report 2020:

  • About:
    • The present Report contains data on fertility and mortality indicators for the year 2020 for India and bigger States or UTs.
    • The estimates are segregated by residence and also by gender, wherever required.
  • Key highlights of the report:
    • Sex ratio at birth:
      • The overall sex ratio at birth in the country increased to 907 in 2018-20 (907 in the rural and 910 in the urban areas) from 904 in 2017-19.
      • The ratio may reflect the number of pre-natal sex determinations and female foeticide cases.
      • Meanwhile, Uttarakhand's sex ratio fell four as it had stood at 848 in the last RGI report for the 2017-2019 period.
      • Kerala (973) and Uttarakhand (853), respectively, had the highest and lowest sex ratios at birth in rural areas.
      • In urban areas, the sex ratio at birth ranged from 975 in Kerala to 821 in Uttarakhand.
      • Five generations have passed since the skewed sex ratio at birth in Uttarakhand, but 70% of women still lack access to family wealth, higher education and health resources.
      • Within their own families, women are still passively conditioned to accept themselves as "second-class citizens."
      • The ability to make decisions, speak out without fear and develop as a responsible, productive global citizen has waned.
    • Child mortality rates:
      • In a significant milestone, India has achieved landmark achievement in further reduction of child mortality rates.
      • As per the report, the country has been witnessing a progressive reduction in IMR, U5MR and NMR since 2014 towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets by 2030.
      • Six States/UT have already attained SDG target of NMR (<=12 by 2030): Kerala (4), Delhi (9), Tamil Nadu (9), Maharashtra (11), Jammu & Kashmir (12) and Punjab (12).
      • Eleven States/UT have already attained SDGs target of U5MR (<=25 by 2030): Kerala (8), Tamil Nadu (13), Delhi (14), Maharashtra (18), J&K (17), Karnataka (21), Punjab (22), West Bengal (22), Telangana (23), Gujarat (24), and Himachal Pradesh (24).


Social Issues

Mains Article
26 Sep 2022

ISRO eyeing 200th successful launch of RH-200 sounding rocket in a row

In News:

  • Soon, the ISRO hopes to accomplish a remarkable feat - the 200th consecutive successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket.
  • According to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC, Thumba, near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala), the 3.5-meter-tall RH-200, a trusted member of the Rohini sounding rocket family used by the ISRO for atmospheric studies, has completed 198 consecutive successful flights.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Sounding Rockets
  • News Summary

Sounding Rockets:

  • Sounding rockets are one or two stage solid propellant rockets used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research.
    • Sounding in the rocket context is equivalent to "taking a measurement".
  • They also serve as easily affordable platforms to test or prove prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.
  • With the establishment of the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1963 at Thumba (a location close to the magnetic equator), there was a quantum jump in the scope for aeronomy and atmospheric sciences in India.
  • The launch of the first sounding rocket (American Nike-Apache) from Thumba in 1963, marked the beginning of the Indian Space Programme.
  • After that, two-stage rockets imported from Russia (M-100) and France (Centaure) were flown.

Indian Sounding Rocket Programme:

  • ISRO started launching indigenously made sounding rockets from 1965 and experience gained was of immense value in the mastering of solid propellant technology.
  • In 1975, all sounding rocket activities were consolidated under the Rohini Sounding Rocket (RSR) Programme.
    • Rohini is a series of sounding rockets developed by the ISRO for meteorological and atmospheric study.
    • These sounding rockets are capable of carrying payloads of 2 to 200 kgs between altitudes of 100 to 500 kms.
    • RH-75 (with a diameter of 75mm) was the first truly Indian sounding rocket, which was followed by RH-100 and RH-125 rockets.
    • The ISRO currently uses RH-200, RH-300 Mk-II and RH-560 Mk-II rockets, which are launched from the TERLS and the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The sounding rocket program served as the foundation for ISRO's launch vehicle technology.

News Summary:

  • RH-200 (the '200' in the name refers to the rocket's diameter in mm) is a two-stage rocket capable of reaching a height of 70 kms while carrying scientific payloads.
    • The first and second stages of RH-200 are powered by solid motors.
    • So far, the ISRO has launched over 1,600 RH-200 rockets. On July 15, 2015, the rocket completed its 100th consecutive successful mission.
    • The rocket has served as a versatile platform for experiments and the testing of new technologies over the years.
    • For many years, the RH-200 rocket used a propellant made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
    • In September 2020, the first RH-200 with a new propellant based on hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) flew successfully from the TERLS.
    • The 199th launch (from Thumba) will happen on October 7 during the World Space Week celebrations.
    • The 200th will take place either towards the end of October or the beginning of November.
  • Sounding rockets play a significant role in the ISRO story. ISRO was taking baby steps in rocketry when the RH-200 was first introduced.
  • In addition to atmospheric studies, there was a focus on aspects such as spin stabilisation and solid motors.
  • Since then, sounding rockets have been used in a variety of experiments, including those investigating eclipse phenomena.


Science & Tech

Mains Article
26 Sep 2022

Carry out social audit of mid-day meal scheme by Nov 30: Centre to states, UTs

In News:

  • The Central Government has directed the States and Union Territories to carry out the social audit of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in every district by November 30th.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Mid-Day Meal Scheme (Objectives, Features, Implementation, Funding)
  • News Summary

About Mid-Day Meal Scheme:

  • The Mid-Day Meal Scheme was started in India on 15th August 1995 as ‘National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE)’.
  • It was renamed as ‘National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools’ in October 2007, also known as the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme.
  • The current version of the programme, renamed PM Poshan Shakti Nirman or PM Poshan in 2021.
  • Under the scheme, hot cooked meal per day is provided to all children (studying in Class I to VIII) enrolled in government schools, local body schools, government-aided schools, special training centres (STC), maktabs and madrasas supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Objectives of Mid-Day Meal Scheme:

  • To increase the enrolment in the schools of the children who belong to disadvantaged sections of the society.
  • To increase the attendance of the children in government and government-aided schools.
  • To retain the children studying in class I to VIII.
  • To give nutritional support to the children studying in the elementary stage, especially in the drought-affected areas.
  • To address hunger and malnutrition and improve socialisation among castes.


  • Every school should have a hygienic cooking infrastructure for hygienically cooked mid-day meals.
  • The mid-day meals are to be served only on the school premises on all working days of the school.
  • The headmaster or headmistress is entitled to utilise the school funds on account of mid-day meal fund exhaustion.
  • Quality items with AGMARK are procured for cooking the mid-day meals in the schools.
    • AGMARK is a certification mark employed on agricultural products in India, assuring that they conform to a set of standards approved by the Ministry of Agricultural & Farmers Welfare.
  • Two or three adult members from the school management committee taste the cooked meals.
  • The Food and Drugs Administration Department of the State can collect samples for ensuring the quality and nutritional value of the meals.
  • Food allowance is provided to the children when the cooked meals cannot be provided because of unforeseen circumstances in the following manner:
    • Quantity of the food grains according to the entitlement of a child, and
    • Cooking cost prevailing in the respective state.

Calorie intake:

  • The calories intake prescribed per child per school day is as follows:

Implementation and Funding:

  • Each State/UT has to set up State Steering-cum Monitoring Committees (SSMCs) at the State, District and Block level to oversee the implementation of this scheme, including establishing a mechanism to maintain the quality and nutritional standards of the meals.
  • This is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
    • Hence, the cost is shared between the Centre (60%) and States (40%).
    • Sharing is 90:10 for the Northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while the Centre bears 100% of the costs in UTs without legislature.
  • Concerned Ministry: Ministry of Education

News Summary:

  • The Central Government has directed the states and Union Territories to carry out the social audit of the mid-day meal scheme in every district by November 30th.
  • Local authorities across the country, running behind schedule in completing the task, which is mandatory under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
    • Under the provisions of Section 28 of National Food Security Act, 2013 social audit of the Mid-Day Meal scheme is mandatory.
  • States which have not carried out social audits in 2021-22 include Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Punjab, Odisha, Haryana, Chhattisgarh.
  • Many have cited school closure on account of the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason for not doing it.

Benefits of Social auditing:

  • It creates awareness among beneficiaries about the scheme,
  • It empowers public/beneficiaries to hold the government accountable,
  • It addresses problems and identify bottlenecks at the grassroots level so that strategic approach may be adopted for effective implementation of the scheme and
  • It also helps in popularizing and strengthening the scheme at the grassroots level.


Polity & Governance

Mains Article
26 Sep 2022

When are the new ICC rules coming into play?

In News:

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has come up with a host of changes in the rules on playing conditions of cricket.
  • The changes will come into effect on October 1.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About MCC (History, Code of Laws, etc.)
  • News Summary (New Laws)

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC):

  • It was founded in London in 1787.
  • In 1788, the MCC had laid down a Code of Laws, requiring the wickets to be pitched 22 yards apart and detailing how players could be given out.
  • Its Laws were adopted throughout the game – and the Club today remains the custodian and arbiter of Laws relating to cricket around the world.
  • Headquarters: Lord’s Cricket Ground, London

The Laws of Cricket:

  • The game of Cricket has been governed by a series of Codes of Laws for over 275 years.
  • These Codes have been subject to additions and alterations recommended by the governing authorities of the time.
  • Since its formation in 1787, MCC has been recognised as the sole authority for drawing up the Code and for all subsequent amendments.
  • Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) is the global Governing Body for cricket, it still relies on MCC to write and interpret the Laws of Cricket, which are applicable to all formats of international cricket.
  • MCC's Laws sub-committee are responsible for the debating, decision making and drafting of the Laws, which are - in turn - passed by MCC's Main Committee, retaining a robust and measured decision-making process.

News Summary:

  • MCC has announced that its new code of laws, will be effective from October 1, 2022.
  • The last time changes were made to the code of laws was in 2017.

Major Changes:

  • Replacement players:
    • The introduction of a new clause, Law 1.3, explains that replacements are to be treated as if they were the player they replaced, inheriting any sanctions or dismissals that player has done in that match.
  • Batters when Caught out:
    • Law 18.11 has now been changed so that, when a batter is out Caught, the new batter shall come in at the end the striker was at, i.e. to face the next ball (unless it is the end of an over).
  • Moving the running out of the non-striker:
    • Named after legendary Indian bowler Vinoo Mankad, ‘Mankading’ is a method of run out where a bowler dismisses a non-striker by hitting the bails before bowling when the latter is outside the crease.
    • The Laws of Cricket was amended several times after this incident, but it was decided to retain this form of run out to disallow batsmen from stealing runs.
    • Though this is a legally permissible dismissal, it has been considered against the spirit of the game.
    • The new Law has moved ‘running out the non-striker’ from Law 41 (Unfair play) to Law 38 (Run out).
    • Simply put, this is now just another mode of run-out.
  • No Saliva:
    • The new Laws will not permit the use of saliva on the ball, which also removes any grey areas of fielders eating sugary sweets to alter their saliva to apply to the ball.
    • Using saliva will be treated the same way as any other unfair methods of changing the condition of the ball.
  • Hybrid Pitches:
    • The hybrid pitches are made of natural grass (predominantly) and artificial fibre.
    • At present it is used only in women’s matches.
    • The hybrid pitches could now be used for ODIs and T20Is, for men and women if both the rival teams agree.
  • Poor Over-rate:
    • If a team fails to bowl its overs in the given time, an additional fielder will have to be placed inside the 30-yard circle, for the remaining overs.
    • That could make saving runs tougher for the fielding side.
Polity & Governance
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