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Note: Reference Notes for some Major Issues will be available at

Reference Hall. Aspirants can take photos using their mobile phone


1. Goods and Services Tax.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) One Nation, One Tax

• On July 1, 2017, Indian economy breathed a new and rejuvenated life after the roll
out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) structure. It is regarded as the biggest
indirect tax reform in India after Independence. Many economists and Institutions
have praised this new tax reform. They are. hopeful that this new tax structure
can boost overall economic growth status of India. It is expected that GST can
increase GDP growth rate in India by 0.5 to 1% in the near future.

Historical Background

• France was the first country to introduce GST system in 1954. More than 140
countries have implemented the GST. Genesis of GST occurred during the
previous NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee government when it set-
up the Asim Dasgupta committee to design a model for GST.

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• The UPA government took the matter further and" announced in 2006 that this
tax would be introduced from April 1, 2010., All the GST bills including
Constitution (101st Amendment) Act have been passed and GST came into force
on July 1, 2017.

What is GST?
• Goods & Services Tax is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax that
will be levied on every value addition. It is a comprehensive tax levied on
manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and service at a national level under
which no distinction is made between goods and services for levying of tax. It will
mostly substitute all indirect taxes levied.-on goods and services by the Central
and State governments in India.
• GST is a dual levy where the Central government will levy and collect Central
GST (CGST) and the State-will levy and collect State GST (SGST). On intra-state
supply of goods or services. The Centre will also levy and collect Integrated GST
(IGST) on inter-state supply of goods or services. Thus GST is a unifier that is
going to integrate various taxes being levied by the Centre and the State at
present and provide a platform for forging an economic union of the country.
• This tax reform will lead to creation of a single national market, ' common tax
base and common tax laws for the Centre and
• States. Another very significant feature of GST will be that input tax credit will be
available at every stage of supply for the tax paid at the earlier stage of supply.
• This feature would mitigate cascading or double taxation in a major way. This tax
reform will be supported by extensive use of Information Technology through
Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), which will lead to greater transparency
in tax burden, accountability of the tax administrations of the Centre and the
States and also improve compliance levels at reduced -cost of compliance for

Why GST?
• Presently, the Central government levies tax on manufacture (Central Excise
duty), provision of services (Service Tax), interstate sale of goods (CST levied by
the Centre but collected and appropriated by the States) and the State
governments levy tax on retail sales (VAT), entry of goods in the State (Entry
Tax), Luxury Tax, Purchase Tax, etc.
• It is clearly visible that there are multiplicities of taxes which are being levied on
the same supply chain.

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• There is cascading of taxes, as taxes levied by the Central Government are not
available as setoff against the taxes being levied by the State governments. Even
certain taxes levied by State Governments are not allowed as set off for payment
of other taxes being levied by them. Further, a variety of VAT laws in the country
with disparate tax rates and dissimilar tax practices, divides the country into
separate economic spheres. Creation of tariff and non-tariff barriers such as
Octroi, entry Tax, Check posts etc. hinder the free flow of trade throughout the
country. Besides that, the large number of taxes creates high compliance cost for
the taxpayers in the form of number of returns, payments "etc.

For the Government
• Will help to create a unified common national market for India, giving a boost to
foreign investment and "Make in India" campaign;
• Will mitigate cascading of taxes as Input Tax Credit will be available across
goods and services at every stage of supply;
• Harmonization of laws, procedures and rates of tax between Centre and States
and across States;
• Improved environment for compliance as all returns are to be filed online, input
credits to be verified online, encouraging more paper trail of transactions at each
level of supply chain;
• Similar uniform SGST and IGST rates will reduce the incentive for evasion by
eliminating rate arbitrage between neighbouring States and that between intra
and inter-state sales;
• Common procedures for registration of taxpayers, refund of taxes, uniform
formats of tax return, common tax base, common system of classification of goods
and services will lend greater certainty to taxation system;
• Greater use of IT will reduce human interface between the taxpayer and the tax
administration, which will go a long way in reducing corruption;
• It will boost export and manufacturing activity, generate more employment and
thus increase GDP with gainful employment leading to substantive economic
• Ultimately, it will help in poverty eradication by generating more employment
and more financial resources.

For Trade and Industry

• Simpler tax regime with fewer exemptions;
• Increased ease of doing business;
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• Reduction in multiplicity of taxes that are at present governing our indirect tax
system leading to simplification and uniformity;
• Elimination of double taxation on certain sectors like works contract, software,
hospitality sector;
• Will mitigate cascading of taxes as Input Tax Credit will be available across goods
and services at every stage of supply;
• Reduction in compliance costs -No multiple record keeping for a variety of taxes -
so lesser investment of resources 'and manpower in maintaining records;
• More efficient neutralization of taxes especially for exports thereby making our
products more competitive in the international market 'and give boost to Indian
• Simplified and automated procedures for various processes such as registration,
returns, refunds, tax payments, etc;
• Average tax burden on supply of goods or services is expected to come down
which, would lead to more consumption, which in turn means more production
thereby helping in the growth of the industries manufacturing in India.

For Consumers
• Final price of goods is expected to be transparent due to seamless flow of input
tax credit between the manufacturer, retailer and service supplier;
• Reduction in prices of commodities and goods in long run due to reduction in
cascading impact of taxation;
• Relatively large segment of
• Small retailers will be either exempted from tax or will suffer very low tax rates
under a compounding scheme -purchases from such entities will cost less for the
• Poverty eradication by-generating more employment and more financial

For States
• Expansion of the tax base as they will be able to tax the entire supply chain from
manufacturing to retail;
• Power to tax services, which was hitherto with the Central Government only, will
boost revenue and give States access to the fastest growing sector of the economy;
• GST being destination based consumption tax will favour consuming States;
• Improve the overall investment climate in the country which will naturally
benefit the development in the States;

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101 st Constitution Amendment Act, 2016

• This is the enabler act for GST and it amends several important articles and
schedules' of the constitution of India so that necessary constitutional set up is
• Article-246 A: Both Union and States in India now have "concurrent powers" to
make law with respect to goods & services. The intra-state trade now comes
under the jurisdiction of both centre and state; while inter-state trade and
commerce is "exclusively" under central government jurisdiction.
• Article-269 A: In case of the inter-state trade, the tax will be levied and collected
by the government of India and shared between the Union and States as per,
recommendation of the GST Council.

• Article-279 A: There will be a GST council constituted by President, headed by

finance minister as its chairman and one nominated member from each state who
is in charge of finance or taxation. GST Council has been discussed in detail here.

Other Changes

• The residuary power of legislation of Parliament under article-248 is now subject

to article-246A.
• Article-249 has been changed so that if 2/3rd majority resolution is passed by
Rajya Sabha, the Parliament will have powers to make necessary laws ■ with
respect to GST in national interest.
• Article-250 has been amended so that parliament will have powers to make laws
related to GST during emergency period.
• Article-268 has been amended so that excise duty on medicinal and toilet
preparation will be omitted from the state list and will be subsumed in GST.
• Article-268 A has been repealed so now service tax is-subsumed in GST.

Taxes Replaced by GST

• GST would replace almost all vital indirect taxes and cesses on Goods & services
in the country.

Among the taxes levied by centre, GST will subsume the following:
• Central Excise duty & Service Tax

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• Duties of Excise (Medicinal and Toilet Preparations)
• Additional Duties of Customs (commonly known as CVD)
• Special Additional Duty of ' Customs (SAD)
• Central Surcharges and Cesses so far as they relate to supply of goods and

Among the State Taxes that would be Replaced by GST Include

• State VAT, Central Sales Tax Luxury Tax, Entry Tax

• Entertainment and Amusement Tax (except when levied by the local bodies),
Taxes on advertisements, Purchase Tax, Taxes ,on lotteries, betting and gambling

Items exempted from GST

• Potable alcohol, Electricity, Health and Education, Non AC rail travel

• Five petroleum products viz. petroleum crude, motor spirit (petrol), high speed
diesel, natural gas and aviation turbine fuel

Tax-Slab Structure
• The GST Council headed by finance Minister Arun Jaitley has finalised a 4-slab
service tax structure at the rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent as against the single
rate of 15% levied on all taxable services. GST regime is scheduled to be
implemented from July 1. In the next GST Council meeting, tax rates on gold and
other precious metals will be taken up for discussion.

Salient Features
• Luxury hotels, gambling, race club betting and cinema services will attract a tax
rate of 28%.
• Education, healthcare and non-AC rail travel will remain exempted from the GST
tax regime.
• Telecom and financial services will be taxed at a rate of 18%.
• Transport services will be taxed at the rate of 5%. Cab aggregators like Ola and
Uber will have to pay 5% under GST in place of 6%. AC rail travel will attract 5%
tax. Economy class air travel will attract 5 % GST while business class will attract

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GST Council
• The Goods & Services Tax Council (GST Council) has been created in September
2016 under Article-279 A of the Constitution of India. It has its Secretariat office in
New Delhi:

Composition of GST

• Council GST Council is a federal forum with both centre and states in India on
board. It is made of
 The Union Finance Minister (as Chairman),
 The Union Minister of State in' charge of Revenue or Finance.
 The Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister, nominated
by each State government
• The decisions of the GST Council are made by three-fourth majority of the votes
cast. The centre has one-third of the votes cast, and the states together have two-
third of the votes cast. Each state has one vote, irrespective of its size or
• GST Council as per Article-279A (4), will make recommendations to the Union
and the States on important issues related to GST, like Taxes, cesses, and
surcharges to be subsumed under the GST; Goods and services which may be
subject to, or exempt from GST; The threshold limit of turnover for application of
GST; Rates of GST; Model GST laws, principles of levy, apportionment of IGST
and principles related to place of supply.
• Travelling on metro, local train and religious travel such as Haj Yatra would be
exempted from GST.
• Non-AC restaurants and AC restaurants will attract a GST of 12% and 18%
respectively. Advertisements published in newspapers will attract 5% GST. At
present it is exempt from service tax.

• It is true that the present GST structure in not what it was envisaged to be, but it
should be realised that it is just the start of the reform process. GST council in the
future can make required changes according to the changing circumstances and
needs. It was not at all an easy thing to take the states on the board with
consensus. India is a federal state with clear division of powers among the units,
so it is important to be flexible and accommodative.

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2. Skill Development and Empowering Youth
Government Initiatives:- educational schemes

GIAN- aimed at tapping the pool of scientists and entrepreneurs internationally to

encourage their engagement with institutions of higher education to augment
existing academic resources.

IMPRINT India scheme is launched with an aim to direct research in the premier
institutions into areas of social relevance.

Uchchtar Axvishkar Yojana was launched to promote industry specific need based
research so as to keep up competitiveness of Indian industry in the global market.

NIRF for ranking higher education institutions annually based on an objective and
verifiable criteria for promoting quality.

Establishment of Higher education Financing Agency for creating capital assets in

order to give a big push for building up robust higher education institutions.
NAD for maintaining academic awards in digital depository enabling online access
and retrieval, eliminate fraudulent practices such as forging of certificates and mark
sheets and facilitate validation.

Swayam Prabha - a project for telecasting high quality educational programmes

through 32 DTH channels on 24 x 7 basis.

Swayam - an indigenous IT platform for hosting the massive online open courses for
providing best quality education covering all subjects and courses to the students
even in the remotest corner of the country.

RUSA - though education is state's responsibility but to promote the quality

standards of state's education system, federal funding under RUSA is given to the
states to promote performance based education. It works on the carrot and stick

Choice based credit system - an excellent approach to redesign curriculum which is

going to be student centric, giving them ample opportunity for inter disciplinary
academics with multi directional movement within state, nation and world's
education system.

India needs 10 million jobs a year and global data shows that it is start-ups, not large
enterprises that create the net new jobs in any country.

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Start-ups are essentially of two kinds. One that starts something ground up,
something that no one has thought about and is often ground breaking. Second ones
are who does not want to reinvent the wheel. They are akin to adding old wine in a
new bottle to create something new and innovative.

Funding options for Start-ups:

Pradhan Mantri micro Units Development and Refinance Limited (MUDRA)-
started with an initial corpus of 20000 crore rupees to extend benefits to around 10
lakh MSMEs.

Bootstrapping or self funding is an effective way of start-up financing as first time

entrepreneurs have a trouble in getting funds without showing any business

Crowd Funding is like taking a loan, pre order, contribution or investments from
more than one person at the same time.

Angel Investors are individuals with surplus cash and keen interest to invest in
upcoming start-ups.

Venture capitalists are professionally manages funds who invest in companies that
have a huge potential.

Microfinance Institutions and the NBFCs also provide funds to these young start-

Government initiatives:
The start-ups will adopt self certification to reduce the regulatory liabilities including
payment of gratuity, water and air pollution acts.

An All India Hub will be created as a single point contact for start-up foundations in
India, which will help the entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge and financial aid.

A fast track system for patent examination at lower costs is being conceptualised by
central government.

A corpus fund of about 10,000 crore rupees have be visualised to support the
upcoming start-ups in India.

A National Credit Guarantee Trust Company is being conceptualised with a

budget of 500 crore per year to support the flow of funds to the start-ups. 1

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Capital gains tax is exempted for the primary level investment in these start-ups.

Start-ups would not pay income tax for the three years. This policy would
revolutionise the pace with which the start-ups would grow in the future.

Innovation related study plans for students in over 5 lakh schools to promote the
budding entrepreneurs.

The Atal Innovation mission will be launched to boost innovation and encourage
talented youths.

A public Private Partnership model is being considered for new incubators and
innovation centres as national institutes.

The government plan to setup new research parks with an investment of 100 crores
A panel of facilitators will provide legal support and assistance in submitting patent
applications and other official documents.

A rebate of about 80 percent of the total value will be provided to the entrepreneurs
on filing patent applications.

Norms of Public procurement and rules of trading have been simplified for the start-

If a start-up fails, the government will also assist the entrepreneurs to find suitable
solutions for their problems. Thus facilitating an easy way out.

3. India’s Trade Reforms

4. Demonetization and unearthing black money.

The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017

Presented by: Finance minister Arun Jaitley in Lok Sabha on February 3, 2017.

Aim: To prohibit the holding, transferring or receiving of scrapped old Rs. 500 and
Rs. 1000 currency notes from 31 December, 2016

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Key Features:

 Ends the liability of the RBI and the government on the demonetised Rs.500
and Rs. 1000 currency notes.

 Prohibits the holding, transferring or receiving of demonitised notes from 31

December, 2016 and confers power on the court of a first class magistrate to
impose the penalty.
 Possessing more than 10 pieces of old notes by individuals and more than 25
pieces for study, research or numismatics purposes will attract a fine of Rs.
10,000 or five times the value of cash held, whichever is higher.
 Fine of a minimum of Rs, 50,000 will be imposed for a false declaration by
persons for being abroad during the demonetisation period (9 November-30
December, 2016).


The bill mentions that the demonetisation decision of the union government was
based on the recommendations of the RBI‘s central board as an effective measure to
eliminate unaccounted money and fake currency notes from the financial system.


1. 1946 - RBI demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000 notes.

2. Later, higher denomination bank notes (Rs 1000, Rs 5000 and Rs 10000) were
re-introduced in 1954. However, Morarji Desai government demonetised these
notes in 1978.
3. Rs 10,000 note was printed in 1938 and 1954 and was subsequently
demonetised in 1946 and 1978 respectively.

Why the government has banned Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes?

 Unaccounted money used in corruption or any deals takes place in the form of
high-value notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bills.
 Often found to be used for funding terrorism and corruption.
 Often used in money laundering schemes, racketeering, and drug and people
 Constitute a huge percentage of money spent during general elections by
political parties, candidates in India.

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Why Rs. 2000 note has been issued if the objective is to combat black money and
corruption by removing large value notes?

It is felt that the small businesses and India still needs to use cash and in such cases
Rs 2,000 denomination notes would come handy. The government has added that
the central bank would cautiously monitor and regulate the issuance of Rs 2,000
notes in the system. So, it is expected that the Rs 2,000 notes will not be issued in
large numbers.

How the government has planned to track evaders?

Although it is not completely clear how the government is planning to check and
track tax evaders, the following steps have been taken to achieve the same:

 Basic identification is made mandatory for any exchange or deposit of cash.

Moreover, all the deposits made over Rs. 2.5 lakh will be directly reported to
the IT department by the bank concerned.
 In order to check the conversion of black money into gold or jewellery,
government has asked all the jewellers to verify the permanent account
number (PAN) of their customers.

The system is expected to prove positive for the economy in the long run:

 It will boost the formal economy in the long run as black money hoarders will
not able to make their money white.
 Middle class citizens may get benefitted from the short term fall in real estate
 This move along with the implementation of GST is likely to make the system
more efficient, accountable and transparent.

5. Reforms in Banking Sector (Including Merger of

Associated Banks with SBI)

Indian banking system is considered as the backbone of the Economic system. It is

considered as very strong fundamentally, that is why it could able to save India from the global
financial recession crisis of 2007-08. In the recent years it has grappled with various issues
related to bad asset quality, increasing NPAs (Non- Performing Assets) etc. In the aftermath of
these issues, government and RBI has proactively started various reform measures for improving
the health of Indian banking.

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Banking reforms are not new to Indian economy. They have basically started in
the year of 1969 when 14 privatized banks have been nationalized by the Indra Gandhi
government. Various committees have been formed for devising framework of banking
reforms in India, some of them are Narsimhan Committee I and II (1991-97), PJ Nayak
Committee (2015), Nachiket Mor Committee (2014) etc. These committees have
provided broader guidelines for reforming different facets of Indian banking system.
The recent reforms started by the RBI and NDA government in the banking space are in
line with the recommendations given by these committees.

In Indian banking 70% of the market space has been occupied by the Public Sector
Banks (PSBs) and majority of the problem also lies with this sector. There are various
reasons for the accumulation of problems in the Banking system.

Problems Faced by-Indian Banking Increasing NPAs

The biggest risk to India's banks is the rise in bad loans. The slowdown in the
economy in the last few years led to a rise in bad loans or Non-Performing Assets

These are loans which are not repaid back by the borrower. They are, thus, a loss
for the bank.

Net NPAs along with stressed assets amount to 10.9% of the total loans in the
system. This is a major concern for the Indian banking sector.

Twin Balance Sheet Problem (TBS)

It deals with two balance sheet problems. One with Indian companies and the
other with Indian Banks. Thus, TBS is a two-fold problem for Indian economy which
deals with.

Overleveraged Companies

Debt accumulation on companies is very high and thus they are unable to pay
interest payments on loans. Note 40% of corporate debt is owed by companies who are
not earning enough to pay back their interest payments. In technical terms, this means
that they have an interest coverage ratio of less than 1.


As companies fail to pay back principal or interest, banks get also in trouble.

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Double Financial Repression

Indian Banking System is faced by many ideas and challenges stemming from
both policy and structure. The experts have suggested that the system is affected by
Double Financial Repression.

Later, as pointed out by Economic Survey 2014—15, it occurs when the banks are
faced with financial repression both on the asset and liability side. Financial repression
on asset side is a byproduct of the SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) and Priority Sector

SLR Requirement

SLR or the requirement of banks to hold certain part of assets in liquid forms is
essential to efficient banking and is instrumental in meeting any unexpected demand
from depositors. The rate which was hitherto 38% before 1991 reforms has been revised
to 21.5% in February 2015. In recent times, SLR has come to fund government's fiscal

Priority Sector Lending (PSL) It is a requirement of Indian banks to keep 40%

target on priority sector lending. The law mandates that all domestic commercial banks
both private and public, should lend 40% of their Adjusted Net Bank Credit (ANBC) or
a credit equivalent off their balance sheets whichever is higher to the priority sectors.
These two obligations along with inflation are creating conditions in which banks are
not able to work in a profitable manner.

Populist Measures like Farm loan waivers impact public sector banks the most
due to their high exposure to agriculture and farmer loans. Though ' the government
reimburses farm loan waiver, such schemes create second order impact in terms of
impaired credit discipline and low loan availability. Frequent occurrence of such
populist actions leads to risks of impaired credit discipline and weak risk —reward for
banks and reduced credit availability for borrowers.

Government Interference It has been seen that government has been interfering
in the selection of big posts of PSBs like CEO and CMD. The issue of crony capitalism
prevails in this matter vecause government appointees provide loans to corporates with
collusion. The case of big corporates willfully defaulting is a good example of such kind
of practices.

Responsibility of PSBs In India a big population specially of the weaker section,

like small farmers, MSMEs, wage labourers etc. is heavily dependent on the Public

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Sector Banks (PSBs)for credit supply. Private Banks are reluctant to supply credit to
these sections of the society because of less profitability. So, PSBs have to fill the void.
This creates huge liability on the PSBs.

Unnecessary Competition among PSBs If we look at the Indian public sector

banking structure that it can be said that there is huge competition among PSBs.

We can find the branch of every Public Sector Bank on the same street of the city.
It means that they are competing for the same set of customers. So, consolidation in the
banking system is the need of the hour.

Report of Different Committees

PJ Nayat? Committee Report

He said that there are well — managed Public Sector Banks across the world and
even in India today. So privatization is not necessary to improve the competitiveness of
the public sector. But a change in governance, management, and operational and
compensation flexibility are almost surely needed in India to improve the functioning of
most PSBs.

Key Recommendations

Creating a holding company to hold government PSB shares and government

should reduce its holdings to less than 51% and transfer it to the banking holding
company. This will reduce the government's intervention in the affairs of PSBs.

Increasing the length of PSB CEO Tenures, breaking up the position of Chairman
and CEO, bringing more independent professionals on bank boards and empowering
boards with the task of selecting the CEO.

Nachiket Mor Committee Report

The "Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and

Low Income Households" was set —up by the RBI in September, 2013 under the "
chairmanship of Nachiket Mor, an the RBI board member.

Key Recommendations

He recommended that every adult Indian (18 years and above) resident should be
given a Universal Electronic Bank Account (UEBA) by January 1, 2016.

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Payment Banks According to Nachiket Mor, RBI should give licenses for a new
type of banks known as 'payment banks', which will be similar to the Pre —Paid
Instrument (PPI) providers operating currently. These payment banks will provide
payment services and deposit products to its target customers which will be small
businesses and low income households.

Abolish Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) gradually and replace it with the
Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) that has to be maintained by banks under BASEL —III

Reduce Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by requiring banks to maintain CRR only on
Demand Liabilities (Savings

Account, Current Account, Demand Draft) and not on Time Liabilities (Fixed Deposit).

 Increase Priority Sector Lending (PSL) targets from 40-50%, but with regionally
differentiated targets.
 Stop giving loan waiver and interest subvention to farmers:
 This practice has led to increase in NPA in the banking system. Hence, the committee
wants government to stop giving debt waiver to farmers.

Narasimham Committee (1991)

 Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) to be brought down in a phased manner to 25%

over a period of about five years to give banks more funds to carry business and to
curtail easy and captive finance.
 The RBI should reduce Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from its present high level.
 Priority sector should be scaled down from present high level of 40% of aggregate
credit to 10%.-Also the priority sector should be redefined.
 Interest rates to be deregulated to reflect emerging market conditions.
 Banks whose operations have been profitable is given permission to raise fresh
capital from the public through the capital market.
 Set —up special tribunals to help banks recover their debt speedily.
 Changes be introduced in the banking structure to create 3 to 4 large banks with
international character.

Bank Consolidation

Government is planning to create some large banks for reducing the unnecessary
competition in the banking space, the first step in this direction is the merger of SBI with
its associate banks.

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This will create large banks of international standards having high risk appetite
with huge capital.

The Parliament has passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill, 2016. The code seeks
to ensure time-bound settlement of insolvency, faster turnaround of businesses and create a
unified data base of serial defaulters. The Code will consolidate and amend existing laws related
to insolvency resolution and reorganization of corporate persons, partnership firms and
individuals in a time bound manner.

Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR)

With mounting NPAs, Reserve Bank of India had introduced SDR scheme in
June, 2015 to let banks recover their loans from the ailing companies.

It lets the Joint Lenders Forum (JLF) or simply the consortium of lenders to
convert a part of their loan in an ailing company into eguity. The SDR scheme will ,
provide more power to the banks in managing the loan defaulted company so that they
can recover their dues.

Under this scheme, banks are made as majority owners and they will replace the
existing management of the ailing company. It gives banks the power to turnaround the
ailing company into a financially viable one and recover their dues by selling the
company to a new promoter.

4D Approach

RBI has devised this 4D approach to reform the banking sector. The four Ds
include: De — regulation [addressing the Statutory Liguidity Ratio (SLR) and Priority
Sector Lending (PSL)], differentiation (within the public sector banks in relation to
recapitalization, shrinking balance sheets and ownership), diversification (of source of
funding within and outside banking), and disinterring (by improving exit mechanisms).

SARFAESI Act, 2002

The full form of SARFAESI Act as we know is Securitization & Reconstruction of

Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest

Act, 2002. Banks utilise this act as an effective tool for bad loans (NPA) recovery. It is
possible where non — performing assets are backed by securities charged to the Bank
by way of hypothecation or mortgage or assignment. Upon loan default, banks can seize
the securities (except agricultural land) without intervention of the court.

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SARFAESI is effective only for secured loans where bank can enforce the
underlying security, eg, hypothecation, pledge and mortgages. In such cases, court
intervention is not necessary, unless the security is invalid or fraudulent.

4R Solutions

Economic Survey 2016 Required 4Rs to Address The Stressed Assets Problem Reform

Here, the least amount of progress has occurred. Recurrence of NPA problem
highlights the need for structural reforms. Serious consideration must also be given to
issue of government majority ownership in the Public Sector Banks (PSBs).

Recognition It is the area where there has been the most progress, banks have
recognised a growing number of loans as non — performing.

Recapitalization with rising NPAS banks will need to be recapitalized, most of

which will need to be funded by government for PSBs. However, it is not the need of
the hour.

Resolution For speeding up resolution, India can follow the approach of East
Asian Countries by adopting a centralised strategy (post 1990s economic crisis) instead
of decentralised approach currently adopted.

Project Indradhanush

Mission Indradhanush is a 7 —pronged plan to address the challenges faced by

Public Sector Banks (PSBs). Many of the measures taken were suggested by PJ Nayak
Committee on Banking sector reforms as indicated. The 7 parts include Appointments,
Banks Board Bureau, Capitalization, De — stressing, Empowerment, Framework of
Accountability and Governance Reforms (ABCDEFG)

Bank Board Bureau

It will advise the banks on how to raise funds and how to go ahead with mergers
and acquisitions. It will also hold bad assets of Public Sector Banks.

It will be a step into eventual transition of the bureau into a bank holding
company. It will separate the functioning of the banks from the government by acting as
a middle link. The bureau will have three ex — officio members and three expert
members, in addition to the Chairman.

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Cyan Sangam

Cyan Sangam conferences are held between government officials and bankers for
resolving issues in banking sector and chalking out future policy.


Capitalization of the banks by inducing ` 70000 crore into the banks in the next 4
years. Banks are in need of capitalization due to high NPAs and due to need to meet the
new BASEL-III norms


Solve issues in the infrastructure sector to check the problem of stressed assets in


Greater autonomy for banks; more flexibility for hiring manpower.

Framework of Accountability

The banks will be assessed on the basis of new key performance indicators. These
quantitative parameters, such as NPA management, return on capital, growth and
diversification of business and financial inclusion as well as qualitative parameters, such
as human resource initiatives and strategic steps to improve assets quality.

The banking sector is on the cusp of revolutionary change. In the next few years,
we will see a much more varied set of banking institutions using information and
technology to their fullest, a healthy public sector banking system, distant from
government influence but not from the public purpose, and a deep and liquid financial
markets that will not only compete with, but also support, the banks.

Such a vision is not just a possibility, it is -a necessity if we are to finance the

enormous needs of the real economy. As India resumes its path to strong and
sustainable growth, it is the RBI's firm conviction that the Indian banking sector will be
a supportive partner every inch of the way.

SBI Merger
Is bigger always better?
• Five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) have officially merged with
country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI). With this merger, SBI joins the
league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets. The five associate banks are: State

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Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State
Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.
• With this merger, SBI's market share has increased to 22.5%-23% from 17% with total
business of over Rs.37 lakh crore.
• Mergers are not new to Public Sector Banks as the first big merger after the phase of
liberalisation took place in 1993 when Punjab National Bank (PNB) got merged with
New Bank Of India. But this is a bigger merger in which 6 banks have been at the
same time. This has never happened in the country earlier.
• What has strengthened the case for such mergers at this stage is the need to infuse
capital in state-owned banks that are burdened by a large pile of Non-Performing
Assets(NPAs).This has also been recommended by various committee reports on
Bank Consolidation. Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) was an Indian financial services
banking company based in Mumbai established on November 19, 2013 on the
occasion of the 96th birth anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister lndira
Gandhi. Although initially reported as a bank exclusively for women, the bank
allowed deposits to flow from everyone, but lending will be predominantly for

Banking in India
• In the modern sense, it originated in the last decades of the 18th century. Among the
first banks were the Bank of Hindustan, which was established in 1770 and
liquidated in 1829-32; and the General Bank of India, established in 1786 but failed in
1791. The largest bank, and the oldest still in existence, is the State Bank of India
(SBI). It originated as the Bank of Calcutta in June 1806. In 1809, it was renamed as
the Bank of Bengal.

• This was one of the three banks funded by a presidency of government; the other
two were the Bank of Bombay and the Bank of Madras.
• The three banks were merged in 1921 to form the Imperial Bank of India, which upon
India's independence, became the State Bank of India in 1955. For many years, the
presidency banks had acted as quasi-central banks, as did their successors, until the
Reserve Bank of India was established in 1935, under the Reserve Bank of India Act,

Why We Need Merger?

• Indian banking system has a large number of public sector banks. This type of
banking structure is creating an unnecessary and irrational competitive atmosphere
where a large number of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are competing with each other

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on the same street of the same area for the same set of customers. This increases the
cost of banking operations for the government.

• It is true that competition in Banking is required but it should take place between
public and private sector banks not excessively among all PSBs.

• This unnecessary competition is also preventing PSBs from expanding in terms of

market size and geographical reach. India is an emerging economy that requires big
banks which can disburse loans of large amounts with low risk profile. For this
purpose it is pertinent for us to make big banks so that India can become a world
super power at an early date.

Benefits of Bank Mergers

For Banks
 A bank merger helps the institution scale up quickly and gains a large number of
new customers instantly.
 Not only does an acquisition give a bank more capital to work with when it
comes to lending and investments, but it also provides a broader geographic
footprint in which to operate. That way, we can achieve our growth goals quicker.
 A better and optimum size of the organisation would help PSBs offer more and
more products and services and help in integrated growth of the sector.
 Consolidation also helps in improving the professional standards. This will also
end the unhealthy and intense competition going on even among public sector
banks as of now. In the global market,- the Indian banks will gain greater
recognition and higher rating.
 The volume of inter-bank transactions will come down, resulting in saving of
considerable time in clearing and reconciliation of accounts.
 This will also reduce unnecessary interference by board members in day to day
affairs of the banks.
 After mergers, bargaining strength of bank staff will become more and visible.
Bank staff may look forward to better wages and service conditions in future. The
wide disparities between the staff of various banks in their service conditions and
monetary benefits will narrow down.

For Economy
 The merger benefits include getting economies of scale and reduction in the cost
of doing business.

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 Technical inefficiency is one of the main factors responsible for banking crisis. The
scale of inefficiency is more in case of small banks. Hence, merger would be good.
 The size of each business entity after merger is expected to add strength-to the
Indian Banking System in general and Public Sector Banks in particular.
 After Merger, Indian Banks can manage their liquidity - short term as well as
long term - position comfortably. Thus, they will not be compelled to resort to
overnight borrowings in call money market and from RBI under Liguidity
Adjustment Facility (LAF) and Marginal Standing Facility (MSF).
 Synergy of operations and scale of economy in the new entity will result in
savings and higher profits. A great number of posts of CMD, ED, GM and
Zonal Managers will be abolished, resulting in savings of crores of Rupee.
 The customers will have access to fewer banks offering them wider range of
products at a lower cost. It can-also diversify risk management.

For government
 The burden on the Central government to recapitalize the public sector banks
again and again will come down substantially.
 This will also help in meeting more stringent norms under Basel III, especially
capital adequacy ratio.
 From regulatory perspective, monitoring and control of less number of banks will
be easier after mergers. This is at the macro level.

Narasimham Committee (1998) on Banking Reforms

 It stressed on the use of merger of banks, to enhance size as well as operational
strength for each of the banks.
 It made a recommendation for the merger of the large banks in India, with an
attempt to make them stronger, so they stand mighty fine in international trade.
 It recommended speeding up of computerisation in the Public Sector Banks.
 It suggested that there be 2 to 3 banks in India that be oriented internationally, 8-
10 national banks and a vast network of local banks to help the system reach the
remote corners of India.-
 It lay stressed that bank mergers must take place among entities of similar size.
This implies that weak banks merge with the weak ones while large banks with
the larger and competitive ones.-
 It also suggested the confinement of local banking network to the boundaries of
States or a few districts.

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 It stated that the enhancement in banking risk can be directed and equated to
increase in capital adequacy. It stressed on' professionalization of banking boards.

PJ Nayak Committee Recommendations

• It recommended that the government has two options: either to privatise banks
showing poor performance and allow their future solvency to be subject to market
competition, including through mergers; or to design a radically new governance
structure for these banks which would better ensure their ability to compete
successfully, in order that repeated claims for capital support from the government,
unconnected with market returns, are avoided.

• Scrapping of Bank Nationalisation Acts, 56/ Act and SBI (Subsidiary Banks) Act,
Converting all PSBs into Companies under the Companies Act. Formation of a 'Bank
Investment Company' (BIC) under the Companies Act and transfer of all Shares held
by the Central government in PSBs to the newly formed BIC.

• RBI governor Urjit Patel has also voiced in favour of the bank merger.

Arguments against Merger

Poor Culture Fit
• The merger will affect regional flavour and. end regional focus. Plenty of prospective
bank' mergers and acquisitions only look at the two banks on paper - without taking
their people or culture into account. Failure to assess cultural fit (not just financial fit)
is one reason why many bank mergers ultimately fail.

Legacy of Sub-Prime Crisis

• The argument that size is going to determine the future of the bank in a globalised
scenario is facile. The fate of large global banks, which collapsed during the global
financial crisis (sub-prime crisis-2008), can be remembered here and at that time
Indian banks acted as a shock absorber.

• When a big bank books huge loss or crumbles, there will be a big jolt in the entire
banking industry. Its repercussions will be felt everywhere. Also, India right now
needs more banking competition rather than more banking consolidation.

• Administrative Bottlenecks

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• Immediate negative impact of merger would be from pension liability provisions
(due to different employee benefit structures) and harmonisation of accounting
policies for bad loans recognition.

• The mergers will result in immediate job losses on account of large number of people
taking VRS on one side and slow down or stoppage of further recruitment on the

• This will worsen the unemployment situation further and may create law and order
problems and social disturbances. Also, there are many problems to adjust top
leadership in institutions' and the unions.

• Merger is a good idea. However, this should be carried put with right banks for the
right reasons. Merger is also tricky given the huge challenges banks face, including
the bad loan problem that has plunged many public sector banks in an
unprecedented crisis. Since mergers are also about people, what is required is an
integrated approach from all stakeholders including the government.

6. 15 year Vision Plan of NITI Aayog

India's Ambitious 15-Year Vision Plan

NITI Aayog has come forward with a draft 15-year vision plan to catapult the country's
economy to more than three times as compared to the present day. The new plan is set
to replace the centralised five-year plans the country has been following for decades.

The new plan is accompanied by shorter sub-plans—a seven-year strategy for 2017-24,
and a three-year 'Action Agenda' from 2017-18 to 2019-20. No less than 300 specific
action points covering a wide range of sectors have been drawn up as part of the 15-year

The salient features of 15-year vision plan are:

 India aims to more than triple the size of its economy in 15 years with gross
domestic product (GDP) expected to rise to Rs.469 lakh crores from Rs.137 lakh
crore in 2015-16. Per capita GDP is expected to rise by three times to Rs.3,14, 667
in 2015-2016.

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 NITI Aayog plans to work closely with states to boost infrastructure and services,
including regions that require special attention. The government made a big push
for Goods and Services Tax (GST), urging the state governments to speed up the
legislation of state GST bills.

 The 15-year vision document has a seven-year strategy document for 2017-24 as
the 'National Development Agenda'. Separately, a three-year 'Action Agenda'
from 2017-18 to 2019-20 is also under works to assess funding requirements. The
three-year agenda is further divided into seven parts, with a number of specific
action points for each part to boost economic growth.

 India's urban population is expected to increase by 22 crores by 2031. The plan is

likely to lay emphasis on urban development, taking a note from China's elabo-
rate long-term development agenda.

 The plan includes the development of an NGO-focused portal NGO-Darpan

portal. No grants to

NGO will be allowed without a unique ID from the portal.

 The plan envisages a central body for overseeing the implementation of

sustainable development goals. Specific goals will cover clean water, removing
hunger, climate efforts, responsible consumption, clean energy, quality education,
reduced inequality, and gender equality, among others.

 The Niti Aayog will work as a "collaborative federal body whose strength is in its
ideas, rather than in administrative or financial control."

 States have been asked to switch the current financial year to January-December
to better align it with the agriculture income reporting.

 For improving larger economic management in the country, a thought has been
forwarded to the states to further discuss and debate the possibility of holding
simultaneous elections in the country.

7. Three Years Action Agenda of NITI Aayog

An Analysis of Three Year Action Agenda of NITI Aayog

NDA government at the Centre abolished the six decade old Planning Commission
on December 2014 and a new institution—namely National Institution for
Transforming India (NITI Aayog) -came into existence on January 2015. Basically the

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NITI Aayog is a think tank which provides expert input to the government on
various aspects of the growth and development.

Neither it allots the funds nor approves any scheme of the government as was the
practice of erstwhile Planning Commission which emerged as the most powerful
institution, next only to Prime Minister's Office, acquired the power to intervene in
every aspect of development. With the elimination of the Planning Commission and
completion of Twelfth Five Year Plan, it was felt necessary to frame a new road-map
for the next three years (2017-18,2018-19 and 2019-20) which matches with the
remaining three years of Fourteenth Finance Commission.

Accordingly, on the instructions from the PMO the NITI Aayog cleverly drafted the
"Three Year Action Plan". It will be followed by a "Seven year Strategy" and "Fifteen
Year Vision".

The Three year Action Plan Agenda offers ambitious proposals for policy changes
within a relatively short period. It is understood that while some maybe fully
implemented within these three years, implementation of others will continue in
subsequent years. As per the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the three year
action plan has cooperative federalism in its core as the efforts of the Central
Government will be supplemented by the state governments.

Vision and Challenges

The objective of eliminating poverty in all its dimensions such that every citizen has
access to a minimum standard of food, education, health, clothing, shelter,
transportation and energy has been at the heart of India's development efforts since
Independence. The extremely low level of per-capita income and widespread
poverty made it impossible for the policy planners to achieve this objective without
growing the economy.

Tax revenues were so meager and the economy's needs so vast that no serious dent
into poverty could be made through redistribution of income alone. While India
substantially improved economic performance during the first four decades of
independence over that during the preceding fifty years, growth remained below
4%(Prof Raj Krishna termed it as 'Hindu Growth Rate'), which was woefully inad-
equate for a meaningful decline in poverty.

But the signs of change began to emerge during the second half of the 1980s, with
1991 proving to be a turning point. The reforms that followed first under Prime
Minister Narasimha Rao and then under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee placed
India first on a 6% growth trajectory (Secular Growth) and then, beginning in 2003-
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04, on an 8% plus trajectory. Rising wages accompanied faster growth and pulled
many out of abject poverty.

Growth also yielded handsome gains in tax revenues, which helped expand social
spending manifold, reinforcing the direct effect of growth on poverty reduction.

Although a combination of global economic developments and domestic policy

choices led to a dip in the growth rate to 5-6% in 2012-13, quick corrective action in
2014, followed by sustained policy reforms, has helped the economy sustain 7% plus
growth during the three years ending on March 31, 2017. Indeed, Indian economy
has every potential to attain a 8% plus growth trajectory in another two to three
years if not sooner.

Therefore, the chances of a massive cut in the poverty rate in the upcoming decade
are excellent. India's 125 crore citizens, the majority of whom consists of the youth,
increasingly aspire for greater empowerment and a better quality of life. It is in
recognition of these joint aspirations that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has
called for the transformation of India with the "Participation of All and Development
of AH" or "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas."

In this backdrop, the present document charts an ambitious, transformational yet

achievable Action Agenda for the government during 2017-18 to 2019-20, that
constitute the last three years of the Fourteenth Finance Commission. The Agenda is
a part of a longer-term Fifteen-year Vision and Seven-year Strategy outlined in a
separate document. The Action Agenda proposes a path to achieve all-round devel-
opment of India and its people.

Medium-term Revenue and Expenditure Framework

During the past three years (2014-15 to 2016-17), the government of India has made
significant progress towards implementing a sound and stable fiscal strategy. The
fiscal deficit has been brought down from 4-5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
in 2013-14 to 3-5% in 2016-17(RE) and further to 3-2% in 2017-18(BE) while the
revenue deficit has been reduced from 3-2% to 1-9% of the GDP over the same

Action Plan proposed that the government should capitalize on this progress by
maintaining its course during the next three years. Under the proposed fiscal framework,
the fiscal deficit is to be reduced to its eventual target of 3% of the GDP under the Fiscal
Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) framework by 2018-19, while the revenue
deficit is expected to fall to 0-9% of the GDP by 2019-20.

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1. The Action Agenda proposes linking Central government expenditures to future
priorities. Under the proposed agenda, the share of non-developmental revenue
expenditure in total revenue expenditure would decline from 47% in 2015-16 to
41% in 2019-20. At the same time, the share of capital expenditure, which is more
likely to promote development, would rise significantly. The proposals imply
substantial expansion in expenditures by 2019-20 on education, health,
agriculture, rural development, defence, railways, roads and other categories of
capital expenditure.

2. Long term strategy to address the expenditure imbalance should include

measures to increase Tax-GDP ratio including phasing out myriad exemptions
that lead to narrowing the tax base, increase in revenue so achieved may be
predominantly used to boost capital expenditure.

3. Gradual withdrawal from activities and enterprises that serve no purpose.

Revenue expenditure from this way can be used finance capita] expenditure.

4. The social subsidies should be reoriented in such a manner that beneficiaries

become economically independent instead of remaining perpetually dependent
on them..

5. Efficiency of social expenditure must be improved through better targeting and

the use of direct benefit transfer (DBT).

6. Open-ended schemes that can absorb ever rising expenditure and lack clearly
identified beneficiaries must be avoided.

7. A functional classification that identifies clearly expenditure on agriculture,

education, health, skill development, energy, infrastructure and other heads
rather than on that emphasizes items such as scheme Vs non-scheme expenditure
will be analytical more useful.

8. The present system of preparation, presentation and passing of annual budget is

in contrast to most of the modern economics, which employ a multi-year horizon.
Such an approach is essential for better realignment of expenditure to priorities
since the room for realignment in one year is limited and the temptation in a one-
year-horizon budget is to expand all expenditure more or less radially.

9. Time is ripe for the government to adopt a credible medium-term expenditure

framework (MTEF) for allocating expenditure.

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Three Year Revenue and Expenditure Framework:

 A tentative medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) for the Centre is

proposed. Based on forecasts of revenue, it proposes sector wise expenditure
allocation for three years.

 Proposes reduction of the fiscal deficit to 3% of the GDP by 2018-19, and the revenue
deficit to 0.9% of the GDP by 2019-20.

 The roadmap consisting of shifting additional revenues towards high priority

sectors: health, education, agriculture, rural development, defence, railways, roads
and other categories of capital expenditure.

Agriculture: Doubling Farmers' Incomes by 2022

 Reform the Agricultural Produce Marketing to ensure that farmers receive

remunerative prices.

 Raise productivity through enhanced irrigation, faster seed replacement and

precision agriculture.

 Shift to high value commodities: horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries.

Industry and Services: Job Creation Overarching Action Points

 Create Coastal Employment Zones to boost exports and generate high-productivity


 Enhance labour-market flexibility through reforming key laws.

 Address the high and rising share of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in India's banks
through supporting the auction of larger assets to private asset reconstruction
companies (ARCs), and strengthening the State Bank of India-led ARC

Action Points for Specific Sectors

 Apparel

 Leather and footwear

 Electronics
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 Food processing

 Gems and jewelry

 Tourism

 Finance

 Real estate

Urban Development

 Need to bring down land prices to make housing affordable through increased
supply of urban land
(i) More flexible conversion rules from one use to another, (ii) Release of land held
by sick units, (iii) Release of other urban land potentially available, (iv) More
generous Floor Space Index, (v) Reform the Rent Control Act along the lines of
Model Tenancy Act; (vi) Initiate titles of urban property, (vii) Promote dormitory
housing, (viii) Address issues related to city transportation infra-structure and
waste management.

Regional Strategies

 Actions targeted aimed at improving development outcomes in the (i) North Eastern
Region, (ii) Coastal Areas & Islands, (iii) North Himalayan states and (iv) Desert and
Drought prone states.

Transport and Digital Connectivity

 Strengthen infrastructure in roadways, railways, shipping & ports, inland waterways

and civil aviation.

 Ensure last-mile digital connectivity, particularly for e-governance and financial

inclusion, through developing infrastructure, simplifying the payments structure and
improving literacy.

 Facilitate Public-Private Partnerships by reorienting the role of the India Infrastructure

Finance Company Ltd. (IIFCL), introducing low cost debt instruments and
operationalizing the National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

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 Adopt consumer friendly measures such as provision of electricity to all households

by 2022, LPG connection to all BPL households, elimination of black carbon by 2022,
and extension of the city gas distribution programme to 100 smart cities.

 Reduce the cross-subsidy in the power sector to ensure competitive supply of

electricity to industry.

 Reform the coal sector by setting up a regulator, encouraging commercial mining

and improving labour productivity.

Science & Technology

 Create comprehensive database of all government schemes and evaluate them for
desirable charges

 Develop guidelines for PPPs in S&T to improve education and industry-academia

linkages for demand-driven research.

 Channel S&T to address development challenges such as access to education, improving

agricultural productivity and wastewater management.

 Create a National Science, Technology & Innovation Foundation to identify and

deliberate national issues, recommend priority interventions in S&T and prepare
frameworks for their implementation.

 Streamline the administration of the patent regime


 Re-calibrate the role of the government by shrinking its involvement in activities that do
not serve a public purpose and expanding its role in areas that necessarily require
public provision

 Implement the roadmap on closing select loss-making PSEs and strategic disinvestment
of 20 identified CPSEs. ;' Expand the government's role in public health and quality

 Strengthen the civil services through better human resource management, e-

governance, addressing anomalies in tenures of secretaries and increasing specialization
and lateral entry.

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Taxation and Regulation

 Tackle tax evasion, expand the tax base and simplify the tax system through reforms.

 Create an institutional mechanism for promoting competition through comprehensive

review and reform of government regulations across all sectors.

 Strengthen public procurement.

The Rule of Law

 Undertake significant judicial system reforms including increased ICT use, structured
performance evaluation.

 Legislative, administrative and operational reforms of police are suggested to the states.

Education and Skill Development

 Shift the emphasis on the quality of school education paying particular attention to
foundational learning

 Move away from input-based to outcome-based assessments.

 Rank outcomes across jurisdictions.

Use ICT Judiciously to Align Teaching to the Student's Level and Pace

 Revisit the policy of automatic promotion up to eighth grade.

 Create a tiered regulation of universities and colleges to provide greater autonomy to

top universities.

 Focus on creating and funding public universities under the World Class Universities


 Focus on public health through significantly increasing government expenditure on it,.

 Generate and disseminate periodic, district-level data as per uniform protocols.

 Formulate a model policy on human resources for health, implement a bridge course for
nurses/AYUSH practitioners in primary care.
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 Reform IMC Act and the acts governing homeopathy and Indian systems of medicine.

 Launch the National Nutrition Mission; develop a comprehensive Nutrition Information


Building an Inclusive Society

 Enhance the welfare of women, children, youth, minorities, SCs, STs, OBCs,
differently—abled persons and senior citizens.

 Develop a composite gender-based index to reflect the status of women in the country.

 Introduce skill-based education and extra-curricular activities as a mandatory part of

school curricula; design innovative conditional cash transfer schemes to encourage girls'

Environment and Water Resources

 Adopt sustainable practices and streamline regulatory structures to support high

economic growth.

 Adopt measures to tackle city air pollution.

 Revisit the policy towards felling of trees on private land and transport of trees.

Promote sustainable use of water resources by improving groundwater management,.


8. Quit India Movement – 75th Year


The Rowlatt Satyagraha (1919), the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22), the Civil
Disobedience Movement (1930-34) and the Individual Satyagraha (1940) are all
memorable landmarks in the history of freedom movement in India. The Congress
under the leadership of Gandhi launched the last great mass movement, known as
the Quit India Movement.

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Failure of the Cripps Mission

The Quit India Movement was born out of the deep frustration caused by the failure
of the Cripps Mission. The Cripps Mission failed because it was intended to fail.
Churchill was interested more in satisfying America than in solving Indian problem.

Obstinacy of British Government

The British Government was obstinately adamant in its stand that India was not one
and so it did not know whom to transfer power! Congress leaders were exasperated
at this stand.

Racial Discrimination

The British Government displayed worst racial discrimination inspite of the Indian
soldiers participating in the war. This added fuel to fire of Indian indignation. The
Congress strongly condemned the poor arrangements made for the evacuees from
Malaya and Burma to India and accused the Government to racial discrimination
between the refugees.

Threat of Japanese Invasion

After the Capture of Penang, Singapore, Malaya and Burma, the threat of Japanese
invasion of India was real. The ports of Calcutta, Madras and Vishakhapatnam
became the target of Japanese bombing. Cocanada and Vishakhapatnam were
bombed by the Japanese.

Pro-Japanese Sentiment

Bose‘s fiery speeches helped to increase pro Japanese sentiment among Indians. The
public rejoiced over Japanese victories. These developments caused consternation
among the Congress leaders. They felt that continued inactivity and lack of direction
would play havoc to Indian freedom struggle. It was not the time to sit and stare but
dare and act.

Congress Reaction

The Congress had to take a determined decision and cross the Rubicon. The Japanese
evoked different reactions in Congressmen. A misguided minority expected Japan to
free India from the British yoke. Many found no gain in the change of masters.
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Gandhi's Proposal

1) that the British in India would have the same fate as they had in Singapore,
Malaya and Burma, i.e. surrender without much resistance,
2) that the Japanese militarism would be worse than the British imperialism;
3) that the withdrawal of the British from India would remove the bait and the
Japanese might not attack India: and
4) if the Britishers left India to herself, the Japanese would leave her alone.


On 14th July 1942 the Congress Working Committee met at Wardha to consider the
new strategy of Gandhi.

The Quit India movement was the most popular and powerful mass movement in
the series of agitations led by Gandhiji in the course of freedom struggle. In the
month of May 1942, Mahatma Gandhi called on Britain to 'Leave India to God. If this
is too much then leave her to anarchy'.

It was a bigger paradigm shift from Gandhi's methodology from 'Satyagraha' to 'Do
or Die'. It was a civil disobedience movement launched at the Bombay session of the
All India Congress Committee (AICC) by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942,
demanding an end to British rule in India.


Gandhi and other members of the CWC and AICC were arrested in Bombay.
Within a week all conspicuous Congressmen all over the country were clapped
behind prison bars.

Mass Upsurge

Without any plan of action or central direction a mass upsurge enveloped the entire
country throughout the months of August and September 1942. "The undirected
and leaderless movement developed into a truly national uprising".

Mass Struggle

Closely following the arrest of the national leaders, there were meetings, processions
and demonstrations throughout the country. In the coastal areas salt laws were
violated by manufacture of salt. In most areas liquor shops were picketed. Courts
were boycotted. Students in large numbers participated in the movement. Schools,
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Colleges and Universities were closed. Workers of mills and factories went on strike.
Wherever the Congress had strong network of organization in towns and villages,
the movement spread faster and wider.

Mass Violence

When the Government employed brute force to suppress the uprising the Quit India
Movement degenerated into violence. Throughout India at several places
communication system was disrupted. Railway lines were uprooted. Post and
telegraph connections were cut off. Police stations were attacked.

In Tamilnadu

Tamilnadu was no exception. The Buckingham and Carnatic Mills in Madras, which
produced khaki drill for the army, was closed due to strike. The Madras Port Trust,
the Madras Corporation and the Electric Tramway were immobilized. The public
buildings were attacked. In North Arcot, the agitators cut off the telephone and
telegraph lines, damaged public property and derailed a goods train. In Chengalpatu
and South Arcot there were similar out breaks of violence in which the students
played a leading role. Coimbatore was the centre of sabotage. The sheds in the Sulur
aerodrome were destroyed. Trains were derailed. The village offices and toddy
shops were set on fire. In the Southern districts the disturbances took a more serious
turn. Public offices as well as public servants were attacked. Many patriots were
killed in police firing at Rajapalayam, Karaikudi, Devakottai, Tiruvadanai and

Government's Suppression and Role of Women

The government reacted with counter measures. It enacted 'the Penalties

Enhancement Ordinance', 'Collective Fine Ordinance',' the Special Court Ordinance',
'the whipping Ordinance' etc.

These ordinances legalized certain forms of plunder, loot, flogging and even killing
of political offenders. Congress offices and its funds became the property of the
government, Thousands of leaders were arrested in the first round up and in their
absence women carried on the movement and bore the impact of the British

The women not only took out processions and held demonstrations but also
organised camps in which they were given training in civic duties, and first aid,
educated on democracy and Indian Constitution. Training in Lathi and drill was also
imparted in these camps. The women organised Political Prisoner's Relief Fund and

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collected large amounts. Some women went underground and directed the
movement from there.

Parallel Governments

An unusual feature of the movement was the parallel governments which came up
in some parts of the country. The most famous was in Ballia in East Uttar Pradesh
where Chittu Pandey asked the Collector to hand over power to him.

However, it lasted only for a week. Another parallel government came up in Tamluk
in Midnapore district of Bengal. Known as the Jatiya Sarkar, this lasted almost two
years from December, 1942 to September, 1944.

Satara in Maharashtra saw a parallel government known as the Prati Sarkar with
Nana Patil as its leader. Here, peoples' courts were set-up, prohibition was enforced,
and village libraries set-up. The Prati Sarkar continued till 1945. The Jatiya Sarkar,
meanwhile, launched in Bengal with the hope of helping 'Quit India' movement.

Role of Political Parties and Princely States

Muslim League The Muslim League firmly opposed the 'Quit India' movement and stated
the view that if the British left India in its current state, Muslims as a minority would be
oppressed by the Hindu majority-groups.

Communist Party of India The Party was banned at that time by the British government. In
order to get the relief, as well as to assist the Soviet Union in its war against Nazi Germany,
it supported the British war effort, despite support for 'Quit India' by many industrial

Hindu Mahasabha The Hindu Mahasabha openly opposed the call for the 'Quit
India'movement and boycotted it Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the President of the Hindu
Mahasabha at that time, even wrote a letter titled 'Stick to your Posts', in which he
instructed members of municipalities, local bodies, legislatures or those serving in the
army...to stick to their posts' across the country.

Princely States The onset of the 'Quit India' movement in British India also had an impact
on the people of the Princely States. During the 'Quit India' movement, Congress formally
extended the call for launching a struggle to the people of the States as well. The
constitutional changes, likely to take place in the near future also underlined the necessity of
having an organic relationship between the Princely States and the government of India.

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In the post-World War II period, when the withdrawal of the British from India became
increasingly clear, the Princely States looked to occupy the attention of national leaders both
in the Congress and in the Muslim League.

The Sarkar was also involved in cyclone relief work and was actually rather
successful in famine relief, targeting hoarders and distributing surplus paddy to the
poor. The parallel government was so organised that it even ran its own justice
system, helping to dispose of 1681 cases.

The important leaders of this movement were Achyut Patwardhan, Aruna Asaf Ali,
Ram Manohar Lohia, Sucheta Kripalani, Jayaprakash Narayanand others. They were
active in different parts of Bombay Presidency, Kerala, Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar
and Delhi.


The Quit India Movement completely collapsed. What were the causes of its failure?


There was no leader even to launch the movement, Gandhi was arrested in the early
hours of 9th August 1942 itself. All other frontline leaders were also put behind the
prison bars.

No Plan or Programme

The leaders singularly failed to give the people a well-conceived plan or well-
thought out programme of action No instructions were issued for compliance by
the Congress.

Lack of Co-ordination

As there was no central control, each Province understood and organized the
movement in its own way. There was, deplorable lack of coordination between the
organizers of the movement in different areas.

Lack of Communication

The agitators had no well-knit communication net-work to transmit messages to

towns and villages under cover of secrecy. The 'National Congress Radio' gave
expression to the militant point of view of the Congress. Similarly, the 'Azad Muslim
Radio' was started when new tensions developed between Hindus and Muslims,

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towards the end of 1942. But they were in no way helped the agitators to share
instructions and information.

Lack of Support from other Parties

The Quit India Movement was considered to be a Congress sponsored movement

and not national struggle. Jinnah, for instance, considered the announcement of the
1942 movement as a challenge to the British Government, Muslim India and the
Pakistan Scheme. He said that the whole policy of the Congress had been that power
must be transferred from the British Raj to Hind Raj. The Muslim League, therefore,
directed the Muslims to dissociate themselves from the movement. The Hindu Maha
Sabha remained lackwarm. Ever since Russia joined the Allies the Indian
communists supported the British Government and opposed the Quit India
Movement. The main reason for the apathy of other parties was that the mass
struggle was started without Hindu -Muslim unity and without national consensus.

Gandhi's Miscalculations

Gandhi had made some serious miscalculations. First, he sincerely believed that
because of the worsening of the war situation on the Indian border, the British would
come to terms with the Congress as soon as the mass struggle started. No such thing
happened. Secondly, Gandhi hoped that the Government would not take any drastic
action and would not precipitate a crisis. ".. that will never arrest me" he said. That
was not to be. Thirdly, he hoped to get time and opportunity to organize the
movement as he thought proper. But no time was given to Gandhi and his colleagues
even to plan the movement. Fourthly, Gandhi persuaded himself that the British
Government would tolerate an organized movement on non-violent lines. But the
Government was intolerant of any movement when it was knee-deep in the Second
World War. Fifthly, strangely for reasons best known to him Gandhi was prepared
to launch the Quit India Movement without Hindu Muslim unity. He was confident
that such unity could be realized after independence had been achieved. Gandhi
wanted to be wise but Jinnah thought otherwise. Sixthly, Gandhi fervently hoped
that the Chinese Marshall Chiang Kai Shek and the American President Roosevelt
would persuade Churchill to concede the Congress demands. But his hope was
belied. Thus, Gandhi's calculations turned to be wrong.

Loyalty of the Services

By and large the civil servants remained loyal to the Government throughout the
Quit India Movement. Not only the Government servants but also the police and the
army displayed their unswerving loyalty to the Government. Despite mass uprising
and attacks on Government offices the administration was not paralysed.

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Superior Strength of Government

The Government was fully prepared to meet the challenge of a mass movement. It
alerted its administrative machinery and kept its police and army ready to repress
the rebellion mercilessly.


The Quit India Movement marked the climax of the freedom struggle, It was the last
and the most important mass movement for complete emancipation of India. The
earlier Congress Movements were restricted to activities like hartal, processions,
demonstrations, public meetings, picketing, boycotts and the refusal to pay taxes.
But the 1942 movement was the open rebellion. S.C.Bose described the Quit India
Movement as a non-violent guerilla war fare."

9. Champaran Satyagraha – 100 years

1. The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917 was Mahatma Gandhi‘s first Satyagraha in
2. He was approached by several leaders at the first meeting of the Congress in
Lucknow in 1916 with a request to start a movement against the atrocities on
farmers in Champaran.
3. Gandhiji arrived in Champaran but was later ordered by the District magistrate
W B Heycock to leave.
4. Gandhiji refused and persisted. He decided to commit Satyagraha.

Reason for satyagraha

1. The peasants of Champaran and other areas of North Bihar were growing the
Indigo crop under tinakathia system. Under the system peasants were bound to
plant 3 out of 20 parts of his land with indigo.
2. Farmers were also oppressed by the khurki system. Under Khurki system, the
British planters used to pay money to the farmers (Raiyyat) by mortgaging their
lands and houses and compelling them to sow indigo.

Centenary year celebrations

1. Gandhi Smriti Yatra will be set off from Motihari to mark Gandhi‘s first visit to
2. A ‗Gandhian circuit‘ will be developed for tourists visiting the State. Prominent
places to be developed include Bhitiharwa Ashram, Brindaba, Shri Rampur,
Koeldih, Amolwa, Murli Bharhawa, Sariswa and Hardiya
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3. Kothi, which used to be the house of G.P. Edward, a British Indigo planter.
4. The Gandhi Peace Foundation will be a partner in the yearlong celebrations

10. Saint Ramanuja – 1000 years

Life and Times

 Born in 1017, Sri Ramanuja was one of the most important proponents of Sri
Vaishnavism, which is a denomination within the tradition of Vaishnavism. He was
a theologian, a philosopher and a seer. The year 2017 marks the 1000* birth anni-
versary of Ramanuja.

 Ramanuja was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in the state of Tamil Nadu. He grew
up in a stable society during the rule of the Chola dynasty, a period marked by the
coexistence of different belief systems like Shaiva, Smarta, Buddhism, Jainism and

 His guru was Yadava Prakasa with whom he had disagreed over the philosophy of
"non-dualistic Advaita Vedanta" and instead followed the path laid down by the
Alvars. The Alvars (meaning 'those immersed in god') were Tamil poet-saints who
had lived between the 5th and the 10th century AD. Alvars espoused bhakti
(devotion) to Vishnu or his avatar Krishna, singing songs of longing, ecstasy and
service in his name.


 Ramanuja was the main proponent of the Vishishtadvaita sub-school of Vedanta.

Vishishtadvaita literally means "advaita with uniqueness; qualifications" and it is one
of the most popular schools of the Vedanta school of philosophy. This school
believes in "all diversity subsuming to an underlying unity".

 In Vishishtadvaita philosophy, Ramanuja contends that the Prasthanatrayi (meaning

'the three courses' i.e the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras) is
to be interpreted in such a way as to show unity in diversity because any other way
of showing it would violate its consistency.

 His fame grew because he was one of the first thinkers to re-assess Adi Shankara's
Advaita Vedanta and offer an alternative interpretation of Upanishadic thoughts.

 Ramanuja died in 1137 AD at Sri Rangam, Tamil Nadu. It is said that his body is
preserved in a shrine in the Sri Ranganathar Swamy Temple, Srirangam.

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 Today, Ramanuja is perhaps even more relevant to society than ever. The way he
had 'championed the cause of the downtrodden' and had opened the doors of
various temples for the 'untouchables' makes him by today's standards more than a
religious seer and philosopher. A thousand years ago he was a social reformer, a
preacher who 'universalised access to God for all through simple love and bhakti'.

 He was a beacon of hope and equality for the coming generations, paving the way
for them to achieve a 'modern and inclusive spiritual awakening'. This is why he is
being heralded today as a 'revolutionary saint' and we must 'gain inspiration from
Ramanuja in our endeavour to foster social unity'.

Works of Ramanuja – Nava Granthams

1. Vedartha Sangraha
2. Sri Bhashyam
3. Gita Bhashyam
4. Vedanta Deepam
5. Vedanta Saram
6. Sharanagathi Gadyam
7. Sri Ranga Gadyam
8. Vaikuntha Gadyam
9. Nitya Grantham

11. Justice Party – 100 years

Justice Party

The Justice Party was started with two clear-cut objectives: 1) to prevent a Brahmin
takeover of political power in the Madras Presidency; and 2) to protect and preserve the
interests of the non-Brahmins. It welcomed the Montford Reforms in 1919 and found in
them an opportunity to cooperate with the British and capture power to promote its
objectives. The Justice party established its base in the Madras city and started its branches
in almost all the district headquarters. The founders and the leading lights of the party
were well-endowed and well-connected people. The Justice Party contested the 1920
elections and won 63 out of 98 elected seats. Wellington, the Governor of Madras, invited
A. Subbarayalu, leader of the party, to form the ministry. The second Justice Ministry was
formed in 1923 by P. Ramarayaningar, the Raja of Panagal. Raja of
Bobbti headed the third Justice Ministry in 1932 and continued till 1 Aug 1937. Thus, it will
be seen that during the entire Dyarchy period (1920 -1937) the Justice Party provided stable
non-Brahmin government in the Presidency.

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Achievements of the Justice Party

The Justice Party remained in power for a period of thirteen years. Its administration was
noted for social justice and social reform. Justice rule gave adequate representation to non-
Brahman communities in the public services. It improved the status of depressed classes
through education reforms. Justice Party introduced following reforms in the field of
Education :

1. Free and compulsory education was introduced for the first time in Madras.
2. Nearly 3000 fisher boys and fisher girls were offered free special instruction by the
Department of Fisheries.
3. Midday Meals was given at selected corporation schools in Madras.
4. The Madras Elementary Education Act was amended in 1934 and in 1935 to improve
elementary education.
5. The Education of girls received encouragement during the Justice rule in Madras.
6. Education of the Depressed Classes was entrusted with Labour Department.
7. Encouragement was given to Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medical education.

The government took over the power of appointing district munsiffs out of the control of
the High Court. The Communal G. O.s (Government Orders) of 1921 and 1922 provided for
the reservation of appointments in local bodies and educational institutions for non-
Brahmin communities in increased proportion.

The Staff Selection Board, created by the Panagal Ministry in 1924, was made the Pubic
Service Commission in 1929. It was the first of its kind in India. The women were granted
the right to vote on the same basis as was given to men. The Hindu Religious Endowment
Act of 1921, enacted by the Panagal Ministry, tried to eliminate corruption in the
management of temples. Justice Party Government introduced economic reforms.

To assist the growth of industries State Aid to Industries Act, 1922 was passed. This led to
the establishment of new industries such as : sugar factories, engineering works, tanneries,
aluminium factories, cement factories and oil milling so on. This act provided credits to
industries, allotted land and water. This proved favourable for industrial progress.)
Similarly, Justice Party Government introduced schemes for rural development to help
agrarian population, public health schemes to prevent diseases. To improve village
economy village road scheme was introduced. In the city of Madras the Town

Committee of the Madras Corporation introduced Slum Clearance and Housing Schemes.
As a social welfare measures the Justice Party Government gave waste lands in village to
Depressed Classes.

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The devadasi system, a disgrace to women, was abolished. The Justice administration
reorganized the working of the University of Madras. During the administration of Justice
Party, the Andhra University was established in 1926 and Annamalai University in 1929.

End of Justice Party Rule

The Government of India Act of 1935 provided for provincial autonomy and the electoral
victory meant the assumption of a major responsibility in the administration of the
province. K. V. Reddi Naidu led the Justice Party, while C. Rajagopalachari led the
Congress in the South. In the election of 1937, the Congress captured 152 out of 215 seats in
the Legislative Assembly and 26 out of 46 in the Legislative Council. In July 1937 the
Congress formed its ministry under C. Rajagopalachari. Thus, the rule of Justice Party
which introduced important social legislations came to an end. In 1944 the Justice party
conference was held in Salem. There Peraringar Anna passed a resolution thereby the
name of justice party was changed as Dravidiar Kalagam.

12. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay – 100 years

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay (Centenary Year)

1. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay (25 September 1916 – 11 February 1968) was an Indian

2. He was one of the most important leaders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the
forerunner of the present day Bharatiya Janata Party.

3. Upadhyaya conceived the political philosophy Integral Humanism.

4. The philosophy of Integral Humanism advocates the simultaneous and integrated

program of the body, mind and intellect and soul of each human being.

5. His philosophy of Integral Humanism, which is a synthesis of the material and the
spiritual, the individual and the collective, bears eloquent testimony to this.

6. He visualised for India a decentralised polity and self-reliant economy with the
village as the base.

7. Deendayal Upadhyaya was convinced that India as an independent nation could not
rely upon Western concepts like individualism, democracy, socialism, communism
or capitalism and was of the view that the Indian polity after Independence has been
raised upon these superficial Western foundations and not rooted in the traditions of
India's ancient culture.

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8. He was of the view that the Indian intellect was getting suffocated by Western
theories, which left a "roadblock" to the growth and expansion of original Bharatiya
(Sanskrit: "of Bharat" [India]) thought. Upadhyay was compelled to answer what he
felt was the urgent need in India for a "fresh breeze".

9. He died on 11 February 1968 at Mughalsarai in UP, while travelling in a train under

mysterious circumstances.

10. Many educational institutions in India have been named after him.

11. Currently some central schemes are also named after him, like,
a. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana
b. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
c. Deen Dayal Antyoday Upchar Yojna

13. Lucknow Pact 100 years

Lucknow Congress

The Congress session which met at Lucknow in December 1916 was yet another important
milestone in the history of the Indian freedom struggle. It was presided over by Babu
Ambika Charan Mazumdar. 230 delegates, besides a large number of visitors, attended the
session. It witnessed consolidation of all the main forces of nationalism. The Lucknow
Congress was unique in three respects, viz., 1). the reunion of the two wings of the
Congress; 2) the formation of the scheme of self-government; and 3) the fraternization of
the Hindus and Muslims.
Rare Reunion

B.GTilak and a vest majority of his supporters flooded the Congress at Lucknow. The two
wings of the Congress reunited after the Surat Split in 1907. "It was truly an enlivening
spectacle to see Tilak and Khaparde sitting side by side with Dr.Rash Behari Ghosh and
Surendranath Banerjee. Mrs.Besant was there with her two-co-adjutors Arundale and
Wadia with the banner of Home Rule in their hands. Amongst the Muslims were men
like Raja of Muhamadabad, Mazar-ul-Hag, A.Rasul and Jinnah. Gandhi and Polak were
there too. It was a rare spectacle of reunion not only of the Moderates and Extremists but
also of the fraternization of the Hindus and Muslims.

Scheme of Self-Government

The Lucknow Congress session was notable for the formulation of a scheme of Self-
Government. The resolution exhorted the Emperor to issue a proclamation announcing the

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British policy to confer Self Government of India at an early date. It also claimed that in
reconstruction of the Empire, India should be lifted from the position of a dependency to
that of an equal partner in the Empire with the Self-Governing Dominions.

Congress-League Scheme: The Lucknow Pact, 1916

The solid achievement of the Lucknow Congress was the completion of the Congress-
League Scheme of Reforms or the Lucknow Pact. The preliminaries of the Pact were gone
through at joint conferences of the Muslim League and the Congress at Allahabad in April
1916 and in Calcutta in the following November. The main features of the Congress-League
Scheme were as follows:

India should be raised to the status of a self-governing state of the Empire; the number of
members elected on the basis of a broad franchise should be raised to four fifths of the total
strength; the minorities should be given adequate separate representation in the elected
bodies; no bill was to be introduced by a non-official member if it affected the interests of
any other community; every Bill passed by the Provincial legislature should be given effect
to unless vetoed by the Govenor-in-Council; the legislature should be invested with
extensive powers of control over money matters; the Governor and the Viceroy should
have the veto power; atleast half of the Executive Council of the Viceroy were to be Indians
returned by the elected members of the Central Legislature; the provinces should be given
large measure of autonomy in their own sphere; the membership of the Central Legislature
should be raised to 150; one third of the elected elements was to be from Muslim
Community, elected by Muslim electorate; the Indian Council of the Secretary of State for
India should be treated equally with other subjects within the Empire; India should be
given equal representation in bodies dealing with affair relating to the Empire Indians
should be declared eligible for all the military and naval services; and judicial powers
should be taken away from the executive officers.


The Lucknow Pact was an exemplary exercise in Hindu-Muslim approach to national

problem. By accepting the goal of Self-Government for India, the Muslims signified their
readiness to co-operate with the Hindus to realize the common aim. They also jettisoned
narrow communal consideration for wider national interests. The Congress readily
reciprocated to this Muslim gesture by conceding the principle of separate representation
and weightage for minorities in the legislative councils. The Muslims were satisfied that
their claim for power sharing had been acknowledged. They were also elated that Muslim
League was accepted as the representative organ of Muslim interests in the country and
was accorded equal status in discussing the political future of India. Thus, the Pact created
the frame-work for Hindu-Muslim collaboration in the nationalist struggle.

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The Congress gesture drew wider sections of the Muslim Community into the freedom
struggle. It was worthy of praise as testimony to the growing force of the national unity. It
embodied the claims of the leading Indian Political organizations. The Congress-League
Scheme was "the great achievement of Lucknow". The credit goes to Tilak who electrified
India by concluding the Lucknow Pact with the Muslims, 'Tilak had lost none of his tactical
skill and now showed that he could think on an all-India scale. It is also claimed that the
Congress-League scheme was sponsored by the Congress under the influence of Annie
Besant, C.P.Ramasway Iyer and other Home Rulers."


The Lucknow Pact was a masterpiece in compromise. It compromised nationalism with

communalism. It marked the beginning of the policy of appeasement by the Congress
towards the Muslim Community. The Congress abandoned its much cherished contention
that Hindus and Muslims jointly Comprised the Indian nation. The system of communal
representation was a diplomatic blunder of high magnitude. "The Congress actions in 1916
were truly laid the foundations of Pakistan thirty years later".25 Though the educated
Muslims, the Pan-Islamic intellectuals and the traditionalist Ulema pledged their support
to the Lucknow Pact, "the basic impulse that guided their action was in fact their hostility
towards the British Raj rather than acceptance of the creed of Indian Nationalism as such".
Muslim support to the pact was more momentary and ephemeral than permanent and real.
The Pact failed to articulate its demand for self-government. It started with a bang but
ended with a whimper in Madras the loyalist Muslims who centered round the Prince of
Arcot had opposed the Lucknow Pact and formed a rival organization to the Muslim
League in November, 1917." In the Punjab the rejection of the claim of the Sikhs for
communal franchise and weitage by the Lucknow Congress had far-reaching repercussions
and consequences. "Once communalism was discovered as an instrument of power it
increased in dimensions rapidly".

14. M.G.R – 100 Years

Achievements as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

Once he became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, he placed great emphasis on social
development, especially education. One of his most successful policies was the conversion
of the "Midday Meal Scheme" introduced by the popular Congress Chief Minister and
kingmaker K Kamaraj, which already was encouraging underprivileged children to attend
school, into "MGR's Nutritious Meal Scheme" in the government-run and -aided schools in
Tamil Nadu by adding saththurundai – a nutritious sugary flour dumpling. This scheme
was at a cost of Rs. 1 billion and was imposed in 1982. A little more than 120,000 children of
the state were benefited. He also introduced Women's Special buses. He introduced a

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liquor ban in the state and preservation of old temples and historical monuments,
ultimately increasing the state's tourist income. He set up a free school for the cinema
technicians children in Kodambakkam called MGR Primary & Higher Secondary School
which provided free mid-day meals in the 1950s. He led the ADMK to victory in the 1984
assembly elections despite not taking part in the campaigning. At that time he was
undergoing medical treatment in America and his images were broadcast in Tamil Nadu
through cinema halls. This was an effective campaign tactic and ADMK won the elections
claiming around 56% of assembly seats, indicating the depth of his popular support. He
won his seat in a double landslide victory in 1984. He still holds the record of being the
chief minister with the highest consistent longevity of more than a decade.

Fifth world Tamil conference in Madurai in 1981
Krishna Water Project
Mid-day Meal Scheme
Thanjavur Tamil University
Mother Teresa Women‘s University


The Tamil Nadu State Environment Policy 2017 prepared by the Department of
Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu follows the Vision Tamil Nadu 2023 launched
by the late Hon‘ble Chief Minister Dr. J Jayalalithaa, Government of Tamil Nadu in March
2012, which identifies preservation of ecology and heritage as a key theme underlying the
Vision Tamil Nadu 2023.


The objectives of Tamil Nadu State Environment Policy 2017 are to

1. Conserve, Nurture and Renew Environmental Resources essential for habitat and
life-support, livelihoods, economic growth, quality of life and human wellbeing
while enabling judicious and equitable access of these resources to meet the needs
and aspirations of all sections of society in the present and future.

2. Integrate environmental well-being into developmental programmes by weaving

environmental considerations into policy formulation, planning and implementation
of developmental programmes and projects in an environmentally sustainable
manner, while achieving other positive developmental outcomes including poverty
alleviation, inclusive economic growth and social well-being.
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3. Enhance preparedness to deal with climate change impacts through a systematic
approach to identify climate change impacts, develop and implement relevant
adaptation/mitigation mechanisms taking into account priorities identified under
the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and State-specific risks and

4. Improve Environment Governance and institutional capacity involving articulation

of a comprehensive policy framework and building capable, effective, independent
and accountable institutions geared to (i) set, monitor and enforce environmental
legislation, policy, standards and safeguards, (ii) implement clear, transparent,
participative, efficient mechanisms for environment planning, management and
regulation and (iii) create a healthy investment climate to facilitate time-bound
implementation of environmentally sustainable projects, programmes and
investments to aid positive developmental impact.
The TN State Environment Policy 2017 is being formulated keeping in mind the fourteen
principles set out in the National Environment Policy 2006 (NEP 2006) namely, (i) putting
human beings at the centre of concerns for sustainable development, (ii) the right to
development while ensuring inter and intra-generational equity, (iii) ensuring that
environmental protection is an integral part of development processes, (iv) the need to take
a precautionary approach while dealing with credible threats to environment, (v) realising
economic efficiency while recognising polluter pays and cost minimisation principles, (vi)
priority towards entities with incomparable values, (vii) equity in entitlements to, and
participation of, the relevant public, in decision-making on use of environmental resources,
(viii) legal liability and supplementing criminal liability with civil liability approaches,(ix)
public trust doctrine with the State as a trustee and not absolute owner of resources, subject
to reasonable conditions including protection of legitimate interests and matters of strategic
national interest, (x) decentralisation of powers and responsibilities, (xi) integration of
environmental considerations in sectoral policy making, (xii) relevant environment
standards setting, (xiii) preference to preventive action and (xiv) environment offsetting
under exceptional reasons of overriding public interest.

Strategies and actions

This section details strategies and actions to realise the objectives of Tamil Nadu State
Environment Policy 2017 namely,

• Conserve, Nurture and Renew Environmental Resources

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• Integrate environmental well-being into developmental programmes

• Enhance preparedness to deal with climate change impacts

• Improve Environment Governance and institutional capacity

Key Focus Areas:

1. Water resources
2. Land
3. Air
4. Coastal areas
5. Forest, Biodiversity
Water resources

Key challenges to water security include:

With four percent of India‘s land area and seven percent of population, Tamil Nadu has
only three percent of water resources of the Country. Both per capita water availability (at
800 cubic metres vis-à-vis National average of 1545 cubic metres) and annual rainfall (at
970 millimetres vis-à-vis National average of 2300 millimetres) are significantly lower than
National average. Large parts of the State are in the rain shadow of Western Ghats and get
limited rainfall from south-west monsoon.

1. Increase in water demand across segments (agriculture, residential and industry)

while the limited sources of water could further shrink due to climate change

2. Excessive ground water extraction beyond recharge capacity.

3. Excessive and in-efficient use of surface water particularly for irrigation.

4. Neglect of lakes, tanks, canals, water courses and other water bodies.

5. Water pollution on account of various sources including industrial effluent, domestic

sewage, municipal solid waste and eutrophication due to excessive fertiliser use etc.,
leading to negative environmental and public health impacts.
Strategies and Actions

The strategies and actions on water resources management shall be geared to achieve water
security through preservation and renewal of water resources, sustainable and equitable

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water allocation and promoting efficient and universal access to meet all consumptive
needs while maintaining minimum ecological flows into rivers, water bodies and for
groundwater recharge.

1. Strengthen information repository on water through a comprehensive mapping and

inventorisation of information on water sources. GoTN would build a
comprehensive information inventory of potential and actual water resources
covering both surface and ground water sources using modern technologies
including GIS and remote sensing.

2. Promote integrated approaches to management of water resources taking into

account inflows and withdrawals by season, pollution loads and natural
regeneration capacities, required ecological flows and adherence to water quality
standards, while promoting conjunctive use of surface and ground water in a
sustainable manner.

3. Systematically augment, renew and maintain water resources while improving and
strengthening infrastructure for efficient water access and service delivery
4. Strengthen mechanisms to monitor and augment groundwater potential
5. Implement an independent and comprehensive quality monitoring and
dissemination protocol covering river basins, canals, water reservoirs, lakes and local
sources including water distribution systems, tanks and wells across the State.

6. Identify and tackle sources of water pollution taking along with stringent
enforcement of standards covering

7. Promote demand management and increased efficiency of water use across all
sectors including agriculture, industry and domestic use. Given the limited
availability of water, GoTN would initiate water efficiency improvement
programmes across all sectors:

Strategies and Actions

GoTN would undertake the following actions in this regard:

1. Strengthen systems for monitoring air quality. Continuous Emission Monitoring

Systems (CEMS) shall be implemented in all industry clusters, thermal power plants
and urban areas.

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2. Urban air quality monitoring:

a. The TNPCB monitors ambient air quality at 28 stations in major cities and towns
under National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAAQMP) Tamil
Nadu. These cities include Chennai (Eight stations), Coimbatore (Three stations),
Thoothukudi (Three stations), Madurai (Three stations), Salem (One station),
Trichy (Five stations), Cuddalore (Three stations) and Mettur (Two stations). This
network shall be expanded to monitor air quality in all large urban
agglomerations with population greater than 5,00,000.

b. Continuous air quality monitoring for industry areas and thermal power plants:
3. Enforce legislation, policies and rules to establish and meet air quality standards
with focus on reducing industrial air pollution
4. Promote use of public transportation in urban areas. GoTN would initiate projects
and programmes to increase the share of public transport in urban commuting. The
Integration of Multi modal transport system including metro, mono-rail, bus rapid
transit with cycle tracks and walk ways shall be implemented wherever necessary in
the State. GoTN had made necessary amendments in the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicle
Rules, 1989 to get Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate for goods vehicles in
Chennai from authorised private testing centres. This initiative will be launched in
other large urban centres (with population greater than 5,00,000).
5. Minimize Vehicular Pollution

1. Alternative low polluting fuels such as CNG will be expanded.

2. Strengthen standard and enforcement of vehicular pollution, monitoring and


6. Maintain leadership in Clean Energy. Tamil Nadu is committed to maintain its

leadership position in clean energy production, given its strengths in wind energy
and its thrust through TN Solar Policy 2012. GoTN is cognisant of the need to
increase the share of thermal power generation and would put in place mechanisms
to effectively implement air quality standards for this capacity addition.

Strategies and Actions

Forty four percent of Tamil Nadu‘s land area of 13 million hectares is net sown area and
used for agriculture. Degradation of productive land occurs on account of soil erosion,

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alkali and salinization, water logging, pollution and reduction in organic matter content
etc. Disposal of domestic and industrial wastes (both solid and liquid) on productive land,
river systems and water bodies also lead to degradation..

With increase in economic growth and given the trends towards greater industrialisation
and urbanisation, there is likely to be a greater demand of land for non-agricultural

Formulate and implement a comprehensive Land-use policy: GoTN will formulate and
implement a land-use policy that enables

a. Environmental sustainability and protection of vulnerable ecosystems: The

land-use policy would accord priority to protection and preservation of
vulnerable ecosystems including forests, bio-reserves, wetlands, coastal
ecosystems and other such habitats critical to the environmental health of the

b. Agriculture and food security: The Government has resolved to usher in a

Second Green Revolution in Tamil Nadu to improve the economic status of the
farmers and has initiated steps to increase net cultivable area (apart from
increases in productivity) by bringing in fallow lands suitable for agriculture
under cultivation.

c. Planned expansion of urban areas: As the most urbanised State in the Country,
it is expected that over sixty percent of Tamil Nadu‘s population will live in
urban areas within the next ten to fifteen years. GoTN has already initiated
preparation of Master plans for large urban areas to facilitate efficient land-use,
appropriate zoning and plan creation of basic infrastructure towards guiding
urban development in a more systematic manner. Sound environment
management principles shall be integrated into preparation and
implementation of these master plans.

d. Creation of environmentally sustainable industrial nodes and corridors:

Coastal Zones:

Tamil Nadu has a long coastline of about 1076 km, covering thirteen coastal districts which
are home to several productive ecosystems including coral reefs, sea grasses, mangroves,
estuaries, tidal flats, islands, lagoons, rocky shores and sandy beaches. Human influences
like population growth, dependence on coastal wealth, over exploitation of resources and
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unscientific developmental activities and natural impacts such as cyclones, tsunamis and
climate change have placed the coastal areas and resources in a highly vulnerable state.

Given Tamil Nadu‘s long coastline, the large population living in these areas and presence
of vulnerable biosphere reserves / habitats, GoTN would accord high priority to coastal
zone management.

1. Prepare and implement an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan(ICZMP):

2. Create and update benchmark information on coastal environment and biological
3. Develop a practicable monitoring protocol covering (a) endangered species and
respective habitats, (b) industrial and other developmental zones, (c) underwater
resources like coral reefs, sea grass beds and associated bio-diversity.

4. Initiate coastal ecosystem rehabilitation initiatives covering coral reefs, sea grass,
mangroves, artificial reefs, endangered species and commercially important species
while providing specific guidelines for introduction of exotic species.

5. Promote indigenous traditional knowledge regarding resource use in coastal areas

and eco-friendly fishing practices.

6. Develop specific guidelines for introduction of exotic species, covering

comprehensive EIA, analysis of history and impact in other parts of the world.
Forest, Wildlife and Biodiversity

Tamil Nadu has nearly 22,877 sq.km of Recorded Forest Area which translates to about
17.59 percent and nearly 2.99 percent of the total Recorded Forest Area in the Country.
Tamil Nadu has about nine of the 16 major forest types occurring in the Country. It has
approximately 15,000 of the Country‘s 45,000 plant species and about 30,000 animal species
out of 81,000 in the Country. With 5,640 species of flowering plants, Tamil Nadu tops the
Country in terms of angiosperm diversity.

The Western Ghats, the longest hill range in the State is one of the 25 global hotspots of bio-
diversity and one of the three mega centres of endemism in India.

Policy priorities in all its forest management efforts.

1. Conserve Bio-diversity and Forest Genetic Resources: Tamil Nadu has been in the
forefront in protecting its wildlife. The State added about 1,608 sq.km. of forest area
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to the Protected Area (PA) network by declaring Nellai Wildlife Sanctuary and
Oussudu lake Bird Sanctuary during 2014-15.This has led to an increase of Protected
Areas (PAs) in the State from 5,465 sq.km. to 7,073 sq.km.
The State, at present, has fifteen Wildlife Sanctuaries, five National Parks, fifteen Bird
Sanctuaries and two Conservation Reserves, declared under Wildlife (Protection)
Act, 1972. GoTN is committed to further increase the extent of Protected Areas in the
State with an object of conserving wild biodiversity and genetic resources.

2. Increase tree cover outside forests: To increase the green cover outside forests,
programmes like tree cultivation in private lands, raising teak plantation in Padugai
lands and free distribution of seedlings to institutions and individual households are
being implemented. The ongoing Tamil Nadu Bio-diversity Conservation and
Greening Project helps in green cover private lands.

3. Facilitate socio-economic development in fringes of forests: Considering the

importance of equity issues in efficient implementation and universal coverage of
Joint Forest Management in the forest fringe villages, social, economic, political,
gender and inter-generational equity, including in decision-making with regard to
resource use, in sharing of benefits, in access to and protection of knowledge and
information relevant to biodiversity will be emphasized.

4. Other actions: GoTN would also undertake actions to promote watershed

management, to enhance climatic resilience in moderately dense and open forests, to
enable tribal development and to promote eco-tourism for sustainable livelihoods,
taking into account, the carrying capacity of existing and potential tourist
destinations. Preservation of natural resources, nature education and awareness and
livelihood options for native people would be the cornerstones of GoTN‘s eco-
tourism policy. Further, a judicious review of existing land use patterns (like tea and
coffee plantations, hydel projects, etc.) will be undertaken to evolve means and ways
to reduce increasing human-animal conflict in the State.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Provides financial assistance to develop urban healthcare services, infrastructure,

Afforestation, Tourism in Tamil Nadu as well as throughout Asia.

15. Recent educational reforms in Tamil Nadu.


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16. Recent Tamil Nadu Government Schemes
‘kudimaramathu’ scheme,

‗kudimaramathu‘ scheme, with the participation of farmers, for increasing the storage
capacity of lakes. In the first phase, works have been taken up in 1,519 lakes at a cost of
Rs.100 crore and they are about to be completed. Acceding to the request of farmers, it has
now been planned to restore 2,065 lakes at a cost of Rs.300 crore.

To improve the water bodies in 23 Districts in the State, 220 works have been taken up at a
cost of Rs.787 crore through the IAMWARM II project (Integrated Agriculture
Modernisation and Water Bodies Restoration and Management). To re-charge ground
water and to convey water from rivers to lakes, it has been planned to construct new check
dams, underground retaining walls and anaicuts at a cost of Rs.1,000 crore, spread over a
period of 3 years. In the current year, check dams, underground retaining walls will be
constructed at 75 places and anaicuts at 10 places at a cost of Rs.350 crore



A slum free State by implementing enough housing schemes.

The Tamil Nadu Government will frame a new Housing and Residential policy. The
salient features of this policy will include reducing the cost of construction, house for all
including the economically backward and low income group, allotment of environmentally
suitable land that will suit the purse of the purchaser, ensuring availability of houses to all
with the basic amenities of power, drinking water and road, improving construction
facilities in urban areas in tune with the changing economic status of urban citizens,
ensuring a long and stable environment- depended life style in urban areas, encouraging
stable urbanization, implementing appropriate changes in the law and order institutions,
amending Master Plan and Development Control Rules, adopting single window method,
fixing time limit for granting of approval to building plan and sanctioning of construction,
construction of houses keeping in mind the safety of senior citizens and working women
and creating the needed infrastructure for that and formulating a hassle free tenancy
procedure for letting out houses on rent.

AMMA e-Village

In every District in the State, a village will be selected as `Amma e-village‘ and services like
WiFi Hotspot, smart street lighting, teleeducation and tele-medicine will be made available.
™This scheme will be implemented through the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency with
funds from the Corporate Social Responsibility Fund and the respective Department‘s
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scheme allocations. Through this, modern technology based services, not available till now
at the panchayat level, can be taken to villages.

Through e-class rooms, lessons taken by a talented teacher in a place can be made to reach
the village schools through video conferencing and internet. Likewise, in the medical field,
the advice of a specialist doctor can be obtained, remaining in the village, through tele

Optical Fibre Network Scheme – Tamil Net.

The State Government has decided to implement the above Optical Fibre Network scheme
to benefit the urban areas also by establishing connectivity among municipal corporations,
municipalities and town panchayats so that all people in Tamil Nadu can enjoy the benefits
of the digital revolution and get the various services of the Government near their houses
through internet. This scheme will be named Tamil Net. Funds for this scheme will be
raised from the Tamil Nadu Government Cable TV and from companies like Electronic
Corporation of Tamil Nadu. It will be implemented through public-private participation.

Rural Women Education Incentive Scheme

Annual income ceiling of parents of girl students belonging to most backward and de-
notified communities for eligibility to receive benefits under the Rural Women Education
Incentive Scheme, will be increased from Rs.25,000/- to Rs.72,000/-.

102 Mother- Child care Service

The ‗102‘ mother-child care service, to safely commute pregnant women who have
delivered in Government Hospitals back to their homes, sick children below one
year of age back to their homes with their mothers after treatment/ immunisation and
those who undergo vasectomy and tubectomy in Government Hospitals.


Neera is a drink tapped from inflorescence of coconut tree and it is a natural

nutritional drink. Neera contains vitamins A, B, C and also has minerals for body
growth. Coconut Development Board has forumulated anti-fermentation liquid
(AFL) which can keep Neera in its natural form for a long period by preventing
fermentation. From a coconut tree a farmer normally gets Rs. 1,000/- per annum by
harvesting coconuts. But through the production and sale of Neera and its by-products the
farmer can earn up to Rs. 15,000/- per tree

Due to the efforts of the Tamil Nadu Government, people will get a
natural nutritional drink, Neera, which will upgrade the lives of 1.50 lakh coconut
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farmers. Using Neera it is possible to produce Neera Sugar, Neera Jaggery, Neera
Honey, Neera Laddu, and Neera Cake. These products are sugar-free and are useful for
diabetic patients. It is hoped that through Neera production about 2.40 lakh job
opportunities could be created.

Bharat Net

Bharat Net under which all Village Panchayats in the country would be linked
through internet to enable people learn about Government schemes and utilize them.

Poverty Reduction

The Government has launched the Mission for Poverty Reduction under the aegis of
the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (TNCDW). With a long term
objective of eradicating poverty from rural and urban areas, the Mission aims to
promote socio-economic development of the poor, focusing on education, health and
economic security. The Mission promotes micro-enterprises through women Self-Help
Groups (SHGs) with appropriate skill training and credit and market linkages.
Through this, the micro enterprises are being networked to reap the benefits of
economy of scale.

The Government has been implementing the ‗Pudhu Vaazhvu Project‘ in 120 blocks
covering 9.80 lakh poor households in 4,174 Village Panchayats. This project is coming
to a close in June 2017. In the next phase, the World Bank assisted Tamil Nadu Rural
Transformation Project (TNRTP) will be launched in 2017-2018 to cover an additional
120 blocks with an outlay of Rs.1,000 crore.

The National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM)

In order to tackle urban poverty comprehensively, the State Government is

implementing the Tamil Nadu Urban Livelihood Mission (TNULM) with the State‘s own
funds to supplement the NULM. In the Budget Estimates 2017-2018, Rs.272.12 crore
has been allocated for these urban poverty alleviation programmes.

Tamil development

‗Tamil Cultural Heritage Museum‘ at World Tamil Sangam, Madurai to showcase the
rich cultural heritage of the Tamil people.

17. CMDA and its City Expansion Plan


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18. Tamilnadu Vision 2023


19. Hydrocarbon and other environment Issues

 Farmers in Neduvasal village of Tamil Nadu are protesting against an onshore
hydrocarbon project block allotted under the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) bidding.

Neduvasal Issue :

 Neduvasal is a village in Pudukottai District with 45 sq km area, 5000 odd population.

Primary occupation seems to be agriculture. Petroleum Ministry has discovered a
Hydrocarbon field (Oil + Gas) in this village spanning an are of 10 sq km (roughly one
fourth area).

Farmer’s protest reasons :

 Problem of relocating the village population

 Shale extraction through fracking (HYDRAULIC FRACKING) involves creating fractures
through drilling and creating fissures. This process utilizes lot of water and sand
 Environmental pollution due to extraction

Challenges to the new domestic projects:

 Due to scarcity of land, there are protests at many places by farmer community against
onshore oil projects.
 Hydrocarbon Pricing.

Oil Sector

 The new Hydrocarbon exploration licensing policy promotes revenue sharing contracts
rather than production sharing model.
 This might discourage large investment in this sector because of higher risks in revenue
sharing contract.

Gas sector

 Unlike crude oil, domestic gas prices are not market-linked but are formulae-based.
 It is determined every 6 months as a weighted average of four international benchmarks —
US-based Henry Hub, Canada-based Alberta gas, UK based NBP and Russian gas

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 PSU companies are also seen to make sub-optimal investments.

 Eg. ONGC acquired GSPC‘s 80 per cent stake in the not-so-successful Deen Dayal asset for
$1.2 billion.
 Sub-optimal capital allocation impedes the ability of the PSU companies to invest in the
future prospects.

Poor Infrastructure

 Due to lack of poor evacuation infrastructure in gas sector like poor pipeline connectivity,
the sector has not achieved its full potential in India.

Government steps to promote hydrocarbon sector

 Pricing reforms: Fuel prices like petrol and diesel have been deregulated especially after
the slump of global oil prices. This has improved the profit margins of oil companies too.

The Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy has the following provisions

 Indian oil companies have also signed contracts to explore shale gas in the United States.
 Renegotiation of long term projects with major gas suppliers to boost foreign investment.
 Planning of strategic reserves in places like Vishakhapatnam, Padur, Bikaner etc. in times
of low oil prices.
 In the recent Budget, the government has proposed to create an integrated public sector ‗oil
major‘. This would enhance finances to bid for big-ticket foreign assets that see intense
competition from major international players.


Food Security Bill

State-wise coverage : Corresponding to the all India coverage of 75% and 50% in the rural
and urban areas, State-wise coverage will be determined by the Central Government.
Planning Commission has determined the State-wise coverage by using the NSS
Household Consumption Survey data for 2011-12.

Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision : Foodgrains under TPDS will be made
available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains for a
period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act. Thereafter prices will be
suitably linked to Minimum Support Price (MSP).

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In case, any State‘s allocation under the Act is lower than their current allocation, it will be
protected upto the level of average offtake under normal TPDS during last three years, at
prices to be determined by the Central Government. Existing prices for APL households i.e.
Rs. 6.10 per kg for wheat and Rs 8.30 per kg for rice has been determined as issue prices for
the additional allocation to protect the average offtake during last three years.

Identification of Households : Within the coverage under TPDS determined for each State,
the work of identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs.

Nutritional Support to women and children : Pregnant women and lactating mothers and
children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to meals as per prescribed
nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal
(MDM) schemes. Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished
children upto 6 years of age.

Maternity Benefit : Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive
maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.

Women Empowerment : Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the
head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism : Grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State
levels. States will have the flexibility to use the existing machinery or set up separate

Cost of intra-State transportation & handling of foodgrains and FPS Dealers' margin:
Central Government will provide assistance to States in meeting the expenditure incurred
by them on transportation of foodgrains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers‘
margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose.

Transparency and Accountability : Provisions have been made for disclosure of records
relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees in order to ensure
transparency and accountability.

Food Security Allowance: Provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries in
case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals.

Penalty : Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State
Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District
Grievance Redressal Officer.

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20. National Waterways Act 2016
National Waterways Act, 2016

Under Entry 24 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the Central
Government can make laws on shipping and navigation on inland waterways which are
classified as National Waterways by Parliament by law.

The Act merges five existing Acts which have declared the 5 National Waterways.
It has declared 106 Waterways as NWs through a single piece of legislation, in addition
to the existing five NWs.
The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)which is mandated to develop,
maintain and regulate these for navigation would be the nodal agency.


Water transport is not only environment-friendly but also cheaper than other modes of
It takes lesser time to transport cargo by waterways and the chances of congestion and
accidents on highways are eliminated.
There is a huge potential for domestic cargo transportation as well as for cruise, tourism
and passenger traffic.
There is huge potential for public private partnership (PPP) led investments in dredging,
construction, operation and maintenance of barges, terminals, storage facilities, and
navigation, as well as tourism.
It will help in the generation of millions of job opportunities.
It will boost the maritime trade of the states and augment their economies.

The need of amendment to the Central Road Fund Act, 2000

These waterways can be developed as environment-friendly modes of transport. This will

decrease the huge logistics cost in India significantly. But the Government will have to
figure out innovative ways of financing as they would be requiring about Rs. 70,000 crore
to develop these river stretches into navigable transport ways. Government will explore
multiple sources of finance, including market borrowings and tapping the National Clean
Energy Fund (NCEF) and the Central Roads Fund (CRF).

With the enactment of the National Waterways Act, 2016, the total number of national
waterways is now 111. But providing infrastructure such as jetties, terminals, and
navigational channels continues to pose a challenge.

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Central Road Fund Act, 2000 Act regulates the Central Road Fund (CRF) that is credited
with the cess collected on high speed diesel oil and petrol. This collected amount is then
released to National Highways Authority of India, and to the state/union territory
governments for the development of national and state highways. The Bill seeks to allocate
a share of this cess towards the development of inland waterways.

Once enacted, Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017 will give a big boost to our
waterways as cargo transportation through water is a much cheaper and cleaner way of
transportation. It will bring down logistics cost that is very high.

Utilisation of fund: Under the 2000 Act, the fund can be utilised for various road projects
including: (i) national highways, (ii) state roads including roads of inter-state and economic
importance, and (iii) rural roads. The Bill provides that in addition to these the fund will
also be used for the development and maintenance of national waterways.

Powers of central government: Under the Act, the central government has the power to
administer the fund. The central government will make decisions on the: (i) investments
on national highways and expressways projects, (ii) raising funds for the development and
maintenance of national highways, and rural roads, and (iii) disbursement of funds for
national highways, state roads and rural roads. The Bill provides that central government
will make all the above decisions for national waterways as well.

Allocation of cess: Under the Act, the cess on high speed diesel oil and petrol is allocated
towards different types of roads. The Bill seeks to decrease the allocation of cess towards
the development and maintenance of national highways from 41.5% to 39%. It allocates
2.5% of the cess towards the development and maintenance of national waterways.

As per the financial memorandum of the Bill, at the current rate of levy of this cess, the
share allocated towards waterways will amount to around Rs 2,000 crore per annum. The
remaining cess amount will continue to be used for the development of other roads such as
national highways, state highways, etc.

This move will also offer incentives and certainty for the private sector to invest in the
inland waterways transport sector. This would accelerate the development of national
waterways by utilising the funds generated by way of cess.

Some of the other steps needed for the development of Inland Water Transportation

Inland navigation is considered to be an energy saving mode of transport. It requires the

maintenance of a specified water depth and width depending upon the size of vessels
expected to use that waterway. This necessitates the release of adequate discharges.

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The detention of water in upstream storages may put some of the existing navigable
waterways out of use unless ade-quate provision is made to release sufficient water
downstream. Therefore, the discharge required to be made for maintaining the required
water depth in the reaches of river planned for inland navigation should be made.

Sometimes water released for some other purpose may simultaneously serve the
requirements of navi-gation. Efforts should be made plan such complimentary uses as far
as possible.

Prevention of run off and preservation of water should be planned in all rivers to retain
the present discharge level and to augment the lean season discharge which would not
only facili-tate improved navigability but also result in availability of water for other

In all multi-purpose projects in water resource management, the navigational component

should be identi-fied at the inspection stage and provisions made to derive the maximum
navigational potential.

This is applicable in case of dams‘ canalisation and also in planning of diversions as part
of flood season.

Preservation of existing canals, lakes etc. is an essential ingredient of environmental


In case of taking up multipurpose projects on any river the navigational requirement

should be kept in view for which a list of navigable waterways in the country is enclosed.

21. National Health Policy 2017

Health care in India

The National Health Policy, 2017, was recently approved by the Union Cabinet. After
considering suggestions from the public, state governments and others, the new policy will
replace the previous one, which was framed 15 years ago in 2002. The policy, which aims at
providing healthcare in an ―assured manner‖ to all, will address current and emerging
challenges arising from the ever changing socio-economic, technological and
epidemiological scenarios.

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Key highlights:

The government aims in shifting focus from ―sick-care‖ to ―wellness‖, by promoting

prevention and well-being.

It intends on gradually increasing public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP.

It aims to strengthen health systems by ensuring everyone has access to quality services
and technology despite financial barriers. The policy proposes increasing access, improving
quality and reducing costs. It proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency and
essential healthcare services in public hospitals.

It also focusses on primary health care: The policy advocates allocating two-thirds (or
more) of resources to primary care. It proposes two beds per 1,000 of the population to
enable access within the golden hour (the first 60 minutes after a traumatic injury).

It aims to reduce morbidity and preventable mortality of non-communicable diseases

(NCDs) by advocating pre-screening.

It highlights AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy)
as a tool for effective prevention and therapy that is safe and cost-effective. It proposes
introducing Yoga in more schools and offices to promote good health.

The policy also lists quantitative targets regarding life expectancy, mortality and
reduction of disease prevalence in line with the objectives of the policy.
Key targets:

Increase Life Expectancy at birth from 67.5 to 70 by 2025.

Reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019.

Reduce Under Five Mortality to 23 by 2025.

Achieve the global 2020 HIV target (also termed 90:90:90; 90 per cent of all people living
with HIV know their HIV status, 90 per cent of all people diagnosed with HIV infection
receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of all people receiving
antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression).

To reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or chronic

respiratory diseases by 25% by 2025.

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Positive Aspects of the Policy

The World Health Organization (WHO) was established in 1948 with the promise of
realising ‗Health for all‘. Almost seven decades later, both WHO and India are still striving
towards achieving the vision of universal health coverage. Universal health coverage is
fundamental to achieving the health objective under the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs). Yet, about 400-million people – one out of every 17 of the world‘s citizens – lack
access to essential health services. With a population of 1.2 billion, India has a remarkable
opportunity to take on a leadership role in addressing this major gap and providing
assured health services to all its citizens.

Considering this, the Indian government‘s newly-approved National Health Policy is a

laudable step in this direction. The policy seeks to promote universal access to good quality
healthcare services while ensuring that no one faces financial hardship, and to ensure that
public hospitals provide universal access to a wide array of free drugs and diagnostics.
This policy can help realise the vision of achieving universal health coverage and ‗health
for all‘ in India.

If carefully implemented, the policy‘s proposed steps such as a health card for every
family, which will enable access to primary care facilities and a defined package of services
nationwide, will certainly help improve health outcomes in India. The recommended
grading of clinical establishments and active promotion and adoption of standard
treatment guidelines can also help improve the quality of healthcare delivery in India.


The policy presents a clear vision of how India‘s sluggish health system can be galvanised
to deliver health and well-being to all by 2030, to meet the Sustainable Development Goal
on health. The real challenge lies in its operational amplification and effective
implementation which call for cementing consensus, catalysing commitment and
channelling close coordination for steering Centre and the States together to deliver on this

22. National Mental Healthcare Act 2017


The Act has been brought to harmonise the country‘s mental health laws to the UN
Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which the country is a signatory.

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Important provisions

 Rights of person with mental Illness- every person shall have a right to access mental
health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the
appropriate government at an affordable price, free for homeless and BPL.

 Advance Directives: given by mentally ill person regarding her treatment and who
shall be her nominated representative

 Central and State Mental Health Authority: These bodies are required to
i. register, supervise and maintain a register of all mental health establishments,
ii. develop quality and service provision norms for such establishments,
iii. maintain a register of mental health professionals o train law enforcement
officials and mental health professionals on the provisions of the Act,
iv. receive complaints about deficiencies in provision of services, and
v. Advise the government on matters relating to mental health.

 Suicide is decriminalized: person attempting suicide will be treated as mentally ill

and will not be treated under IPC
 Mental Health Review Commission: will be a quasi-judicial body that will
periodically review the use of and the procedure for making advance directives and
advice the government on protection of the rights of mentally ill persons.
 Mental Health Review Board to protect the rights of persons with mental illness and
manage advance directives.
 The Bill also specifies the process and procedure to be followed for admission,
treatment and discharge of mentally-ill individuals.
 A person with mental illness shall not be subjected to electro-convulsive therapy
without the use of muscle relaxants and anesthesia.

23. Rights of Persons with disability bill

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – Rights Issue

By passing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, the Parliament has adopted a
radically transformative piece of legislation that addresses the concerns of arguably the
most marginalised section of Indian society.


The World Bank estimates that 15% of the world‘s population is affected by one disability
or another. Exclusion of disabled persons from the labour market leads to an annual loss of

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approximately 3-7% of the GDP. According to Census 2011, India is home to 26.8 million
people with disabilities and that is a huge underestimation.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

About the new Bill:

The new law, when enacted, will repeal the old Disability Act, 1995, and usher the Indian
disability movement into a new age, where disability itself will be defined based on an
evolving and dynamic concept.
It increases the number of recognised disabilities from 7 to 21. With this, the official count
will obviously also rise and as per conservative estimates, that figure could be as high as
70-100 million.

It lays down provisions to allow the central government to notify any other condition as
a disability. Now individuals with at least 40% of a disability are also entitled to benefits
such as reservations in education and employment, preference in government schemes and

The bill sets the government a two-year deadline to ensure persons with disability get
barrier-free access in all kinds of physical infrastructure and transport systems.

It recognises the need for reservation for them in promotion and makes special mention
of the rights of disabled women and children. It defines many terms vague in previous
versions, including what constitutes discrimination.

A penalty will also be slapped for violating the rules of the Act. The 1995 Act did not
have any such penal provision. However, 2014 Bill had made violation of any provision of
the Act punishable with a jail term of up to 6 months, and/or a fine of Rs 10,000.

24. AIDS Prevention and Control Act 2017

25. National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination

2017 – 2025

 The action plan aims to achieve active case finding of TB to 100% by 2020 and
complete elimination of TB by 2025.

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 The aim of this Action Plan is to do away with the earlier strategy of self-reporting
where few patients get themselves tested; and rather, focus on detecting more cases,
both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant, by government itself reaching out to patients.

 The requirements for moving towards TB elimination have been integrated into the
four strategic pillars of ―Detect – Treat – Prevent – Build‖ (DTPB).

 It is a vision document designed to address co-morbidity of TB with HIV by

strengthening care such as joint management of TB/HIV co-infected patients,
TB/DM management etc.

 Implementation will be a combined effort of all stakeholders such as NGOs, local -

governments, state welfare schemes and machinery working towards the same goals.

 For the first time, the TB control programme talks about having in place patient-
friendly systems to provide treatment and social support, which would encompass
the reducing out of pocket expenditure such as; cost of treatment, cost of travels, cost
of diagnosis and wage loss.

 The plan conceives a shift from regulatory approach to partnership approach

(Synergy) with the largely unorganized and unregulated private sector.

 Moreover, new anti-TB drug Bedaquiline has been introduced under Conditional
Access Programme (CAP).

 IT based E-Nikshay platform has been made user friendly so that Private Doctors
find it easy to notify.

 Swasth E-Gurukul TB and myriad TB Awareness Media Campaigns would not only
focus on awareness but also on fighting stigma and discrimination prevalent against
the TB patients.

 The strategic plan envisions a TB Corpus Fund maintained by Bharat Kshay

Niyantran Pratishtan‘ (India TB Control Foundation).

26. Government policy for eradication of leprosy

What is Leprosy?

 Leprosy, also known as Hansen‘s disease, is a chronic infectious disease

caused by Mycobacterium leprae.

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 The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of
the upper respiratory tract and the eyes.

 Leprosy is known to occur at all ages ranging from early infancy to very old
age. Leprosy is curable and early treatment averts most disabilities.


 The exact mechanism of transmission of leprosy is not known. At least until

recently, the most widely held belief was that the disease was transmitted by
contact between cases of leprosy and healthy persons.

 More recently the possibility of transmission by the respiratory route is

gaining ground. There are also other possibilities such as transmission through
insects which cannot be completely ruled out.

Leprosy and India

 India was officially declared to have eliminated leprosy in 2005 when new
cases fell to less than 1 per 10,000, yet India still accounts for the largest
number of leprosy affected people in the world (58 per cent).

 The adversities suffered by leprosy patients are multi-faceted, ranging from

medical, social and psychological to economic and legal.

 Therefore, lack of awareness, myths, socio-cultural beliefs, and the stigma

attached to leprosy are perhaps the most pressing problems before public
health activists today.

Milestones in NLEP

 1955 - National Leprosy Control Programme (NLCP) launched

 1983 - National Leprosy Eradication Programme launched
 1983 - Introduction of Multidrug therapy (MDT) in Phases
 2005 - Elimination of Leprosy at National Level

Recent initiatives

Leprosy Case Detection Campaign –

 The campaign, spearheaded by the National Leprosy Elimination Programme,

covered 149 districts across 19 states and mobilized almost 300 000 health workers.
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 A record 320 million Indians have been screened in a doorto-door leprosy detection
campaign, revealing thousands of ―hidden‖ cases.
 It involved volunteers from the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) project.

Introduction of Made-in-India Leprosy Vaccine

 A novel vaccine, developed in India, is to be launched on a pilot basis in five districts

in Bihar and Gujarat.
 If it yields positive results, the leprosy vaccine programme will be extended to other
high-prevalence districts.

WHO’s global strategy to end leprosy

 The strategy aims to, by 2020, reduce to zero the number of children diagnosed with
leprosy and related physical deformities; reduce the rate of newly-diagnosed leprosy
patients with visible deformities to less than one per million; and ensure that all
legislation that allows for discrimination on the basis of leprosy is overturned.
 The new global strategy is guided by the principles of initiating action, ensuring
accountability and promoting inclusivity.

27. National Framework for Malaria Elimination

Refer July Current Affairs (Appolo)– Page 34

28. Real Estate Regulation Act

Real Estate Regulation Act

Real estate, widely considered to be a major asset class, has been traditionally
plagued with opaque practices, information asymmetry, and a muddled regulatory
framework in India. One of the frequently cited reasons for the current slowdown in
residential sector is the trust deficit between customers and developers. For the past
many years, developers have not been able to deliver on their commitments,
seriously denting the confidence of potential buyers.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, aimed at bringing in
transparency and redefining the engagement between various stakeholders, can be a
potential game-changing event. The Act‘s preamble details the legislative intention
which is to primarily protect the interests of consumers and bring in efficiency and
transparency in the sale/purchase of real estate.
Key provisions:

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A requirement for developers to now register projects with RERA prior to any
advertisement and sale. Developers are also expected to have all sanction plans
approved and regulatory clearances in place prior to commencement of sale.
Subsequent changes have to be approved by a majority of buyers and the regulator.

The Act ambitiously stipulates an electronic system, maintained on the website of

RERA, where developers are expected to update on a quarterly basis the status of
their projects, and submit regular audits and architectural reports. Notably, non-
registration of projects is a serious matter. If there is non-compliance, RERA has the
power to order up to three years imprisonment of the promoters of a project.

It requires developers to maintain separate escrow accounts in relation to each

project and deposit 70% of the collections in such an account to ensure that funds
collected are utilised only for the specific project. The Act also requires real estate
brokers and agents to register themselves with the regulator.

The Act also attempts to establish an adjudicatory mechanism for the speedy
redress of disputes. RERA and the Appellate Tribunal are expected to decide on
complaints within an ambitious period of 60 days. But no legislation can protect the
interest of only one class. As one of the largest job creators, the real estate sector
contributes almost 6% towards the GDP. Mindful of this, the Act seeks to assist
developers by giving the regulator powers to make recommendations to State
governments to create a single window clearance for approvals in a time-bound

The new legislation is a welcome enactment. It will go a long way in assisting
upstanding developers. More importantly, it will ease the burden on innocent home
buyers who put their life‘s savings into a real estate investment in the hope of having
a roof over their head but often find their dreams come tumbling down.

29. LARR Act

LARR - Some Highlights

 The Land Acquisition bill has been renamed as the Right to Fair Compensation and
Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2013. The
new act replaces a nearly 120-year-old law enacted during British rule in 1894. It lays
emphasis on Rehabilitation & Resettlement
 The new act concerns only such cases where the land will be acquired by Central or
State Authorities for any public purpose.

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 It calls for taking the consent of 80 per cent of land owners for acquiring land for
private projects and of 70 per cent land owners for public-private projects.
 It also tries to lay down a transparent process for land acquisition for
industrialization, development of essential infrastructural facilities and urbanization
by giving adequate financial compensation to the affected people.
 It gives priority to the interests of the farmers, landless labourers, dalits and tribals.
 Multi-crop irrigated land will not be acquired except as a demonstrably last resort
measure. Wherever multi-crop irrigated land is acquired an equivalent area of
culturable wasteland shall be developed for agricultural purposes. States are also
required to set a limit on the area of agricultural land that can be acquired in any
given district.
 It also provides for leasing of land to developers, instead of sale, so that the
ownership will remain with the original land holders and they can also have a
regular income by way of lease rent; the terms of lease to be laid down by the State
Government according to type of land, location, market rates etc.
 The Act clearly enunciates the issues relating to acquisition, award, compensation
and rehabilitation and also curtails the discretionary powers of the District
 13 Central Acts which are outside the purview of the new Act have to conform to the
provisions of compensation and Rehabilitation and Resettlement package within one
year of the coming into force of the legislation.
 Where land is acquired for urbanisation, 20 per cent of the developed land will be
reserved and offered to land owning project affected families, in proportion to their
land acquired and at a price equal to cost of acquisition and the cost of development.

The Consent of Gram Sabha is mandatory for acquisitions in Scheduled Areas under the
Fifth Schedule referred to in the Constitution.

30. Forest Rights Act

Forest Rights Act

The Forest Rights Act (FRA)

Ten years after the historic Forest Rights Act (FRA) was passed by the Indian
lawmakers, only 3% of villages or communities could secure their rights over forest
resources which include land and the produce from the forests and water, states the
Citizens‘ Report prepared by Community Forest Rights – Learning and Advocacy, a
network of organisations working on securing rights for the forest dwellers in the

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The report reveals that some of the states with a significant percentage of forest-
dwelling tribes and communities have performed poorly in implementing these

Forest Rights Act (FRA)

About Forest Rights Act (FRA):

The act was passed in December 2006. It deals with the rights of forest-dwelling
communities over land and other resources. The Act grants legal recognition to the
rights of traditional forest dwelling communities, partially correcting the injustice
caused by the forest laws.

Rights under the Act:

Title rights – Ownership to land that is being farmed by tribals or forest dwellers
subject to a maximum of 4 hectares; ownership is only for land that is actually being
cultivated by the concerned family, meaning that no new lands are granted.
Use rights – to minor forest produce (also including ownership), to grazing areas, to
pastoralist routes, etc.

Relief and development rights – to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced

displacement; and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection.

Forest management rights – to protect forests and wildlife.


Eligibility to get rights under the Act is confined to those who ―primarily reside in
forests‖ and who depend on forests and forest land for a livelihood. Further, either
the claimant must be a member of the Scheduled Tribes scheduled in that area or
must have been residing in the forest for 75 years.

Process of recognition of rights:

The Act provides that the gram sabha, or village assembly, will initially pass a
resolution recommending whose rights to which resources should be recognised.

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31. Hydrocarbon Policy
Hydrocarbon policy

Know about Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP):

The OALP, a part of the government‘s Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing

Policy (HELP), gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration
blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the
Government. The company then submits an application to the government, which
puts that block up for bid. The new policy will open up 2.8 million square kilometres
of sedimentary basins for exploration and eventual production.

About HELP:

The Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) opens up India‘ entire
sedimentary basin for investment from domestic and foreign players under a
simplified, transparent and investor -friendly fiscal and administrative regime.

The new policy aims to provide Investors a ready access to huge amount of
seismic data available in National Data Repository (NDR), flexibility to carve out
exploration acreages through an open acreage licensing process and increased
operational autonomy through a new revenue sharing model.

The National Data Repository (NDR) manifested through an open acreage

licensing (OAL) process will be a key facilitator by providing seamless access to
India‘s entire E&P data process through a digital medium to all investors with the
objective of harnessing the potential of India‘s large basinal area.

The key features of HELP are:

Single, uniform license for extraction and exploration for all types of hydrocarbon

Open acreage licensing (OAL) which will permit investors to carve out interested
blocks and submit Expression of Interest (EoI), which will be subsequently given
through bi-annual bid rounds.

1. Simple and easy to administer Revenue Sharing Model.

2. Full marketing freedom and free pricing for crude oil and natural gas.
3. Exploration allowed during entire contract period.
4. Zero royalty rates for deep water & ultra-deep water blocks for first 7 years.
5. Equal weightage to work program and fiscal share.
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6. No oil cess.
7. Custom duty exemption.

32. No Detention Policy

What is no detention policy?

The no-detention policy was introduced as a part of the Continuous and

Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) under the Right to Education Act (RTE) in 2010.
Under this policy, students up to class 8 are automatically promoted to the next class
without being held back even if they do not get a passing grade. The no-detention
policy under the RTE Act was to ensure that no child admitted in a school shall be
held back in any class or expelled from school until the completion of elementary

The policy was path-breaking but, unfortunately, it ended up being completely

opposite to its original objective. There have been plenty of arguments on both sides
of this policy.

33. Women and Child Labour Related Legislations

Refer Social Welfare Schemes Test I

34. Interlinking of rivers

A Solution to Water Scarcity in India

The National River Linking Project (NRLP) envisages the transfer of water from water
'surplus' basins where there is flooding to water deficit basins.

In the wake of this crisis, few experts have asked the government to expedite The
National River Linking Project (NRLP) project that was proposed three decades ago.
Months of severe drought in parts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra,
followed by devastating floods in Assam, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh'and Karnataka have
brought the National River Linking Project back on the table.

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This highly ambitious and massively costly project is touted to solve India's water
problems (addressing both flood and drought) by linking rivers by a network of reservoirs
and canals. The idea is to divert the waters from areas that get excess to those that are

The initial plan to interlink India's rivers came in 1858 from a British irrigation
engineer, Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton. It has made little progress since then. Only since late
last year, the scheme has been implemented by the Central government in several
segments, such as the Godavari-Krishna interlink in Andhra Pradesh, and the Ken-Betwa
interlink in Madhya Pradesh.

History of the Proposals

The idea of Inter-Linking of Rivers (ILR) in the Indian subcontinent is at least 150
years old. During the British Raj in India, Sir Arthur Cotton, a British General and
Irrigation Engineer, first suggested linking the Ganga and Cauvery for navigational

Dr. KL Rao's Proposal (1972), which had 2640 km long Ganga-Cauvery link as its
main component involved large scale pumping over a head of 550 m. The scheme was
also not having any flood control benefit. Dr. Rao had estimated this proposal to cost
about Rs. 12500 crore, which at 2002 price level comes to about Rs. 150000 crore.

The Central Water Commission, which examined the proposal, found it to be grossly
under estimated and economically prohibitive. Dastur Proposal (1977) envisaged
construction of two canals-the first 4200 km. Himalayan Canal at the foot of Himalayan
slopes running from the Ravi in the West to the Brahmaputra and beyond in the East; and
the second 9300 km Garland Canal covering the central and southern parts,' with both the
canals integrated with numerous lakes and interconnected with pipelines at two points,
Delhi and Patna.

Evolution of an Idea

Late 19th century Arthur Cotton, Madras Presidency engineer, draws up plan to
improve inland navigation in peninsular India. 1972 National Water Grid by KL Rao,
Union Minister for water resources, proposes Ganga-Cauvery Link to transfer 20 mn acre ft
by pumping water from Ganga to irrigate 4 million hec. This would require 5-7 million
kilowatt of power

1977 Garland Canal proposal by airline pilot Dinshaw Dastur envisages Himalayan
Canal at 1100-1500 ft, and the Garland Canal at 800-1000 ft. Estimated costs were 120 lakh

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crore rupees. 1980 National. Perspective Plan by Ministry of Irrigation (now Ministry of
Water Resources) for development of Himalayan and Peninsular rivers.

1982 National Water Development Agency set-up during Indira Gandhi's tenure
under Water Resources Ministry to study feasibility of linking rivers. The idea to link rivers
got a shot in the arm with the establishment of the National Water Development Agency in
1982 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The First National Democratic Alliance
government (1999-2004) was keen to implement the Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) project,
and the Supreme Court, following a Public Interest Litigation, in 2003, asked for it to be
implemented by 2016.

Components of Interlinking River (ILR)

To understand it has been split into three parts

 Northern Himalayan rivers interlink component.

 A Southern peninsular component.
 An intra-State rives linking component.

Himalayan Rivers Development Component under which 14 links have been identified.
This component aims to construct storage reservoirs on the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers,
as well as their tributaries in India and Nepal.

The aim is to conserve monsoon flows for irrigation and hydropower generation, along
with flood control. The linkage will transfer surplus flows of the Kosi, Gandak and Ghagra
to the West. ' A link between the Ganga and Yamuna is also proposed to transfer the
surplus water to drought-prone areas of Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Peninsular Rivers Development Component or the Southern Water Grid, which

includes 16 links propose to connect the rivers of South India. It envisages linking the
Mahanadi and Godavari to feed the Krishna, Pennar, Cauvery, and Vaigai rivers. This
linkage will reguire several large dams and major canals to be constructed. Besides this, the
Ken river will also be linked to the Betwa, Parbati, Kalisindh, and Chambal rivers.

About the Project

The National Water Development agency (NWDA) has estimated that the project
would cost Rs. 560000 crore at 2002 prices. The project aims to deliver 173 billion cubic
meter of water through a 12500 km maze of canals which would irrigate 34 million hectares
of land and would supply drinking water to 101 districts and five metro cities, The NWDA
has divided the project into following parts:
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 The Himalayan part with 14 river links which is estimated to cost Rs. 375000 crore.
 The peninsular component with 16 river links to cost Rs. 185000 crore.

Pros and Cons of Interlinking Rivers (ILR)

It will lead to massive displacement of people. Since the Ganga basin's topography is
flat, building dams would not substantially add to river flows and these dams could
threaten the forests of the Himalayas and impact the functioning of the monsoon system.

The transfer of such enormous amounts of water will inundate forests and land for
reservoirs, and the weight of billions of litres of water may even have seismic implications
in the Himalayan

Arguments Tor ILR

 Northern and eastern India frequently experience floods while western and southern
India have droughts and ILR could rectify that to an extent.
 Around 35% of the country, which receives annual rainfall of 750-1125 mm is drought-
prone, and about 33%, which gets annual rainfall of less than 750 mm, is chronically
 Interlinking of rivers is nothing new' and hass been attempted with success both in
India abroad. Past examples in India include the Beas-Sutlej link and the Periyar-Vaigai
 ILR will increase India's utilisable surface water by 25%. Currently only a quarter of the
Brahmaputra's renewable water resources is utilizable within the basin.
 Over 70% of India's water is available to only 36% of its land area
 By 2030 India's water supply is expected to meet only half its demand.

Arguments against ILR

 The feasibility of the project has not been studied in detail, nor have its economic, social
and ecological implications.
 Loss of biodiversity and forests downstream of a donor river.
 The government may have to divert money from other areas like education and
healthcare to fund this project.
 The water from a river flowing into the sea is not wasted as many have claimed since it
performs a key ecological function.
 About 84% of the addition to the net irrigated area in the last two decades has come
from groundwater and only 16% from canals.
 Canals running along 10500 km could displace 5.5 million tribals and farmers.
 ILR is unwieldy given the inter-State disputes on inter-State rivers like Krishna,
Godavari and Narmada
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 The Himalayan component called for the building of dams in Bhutan

River Interlinking in Other Countries

Following projects the example of river inter-linking in various countries.

South-North Water Transfer Project (China)

An ambitious plan to link the Yangtze river basin in the South with the yellow river
basin in the North , construction of the South-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP)
began in 2002 and is now partially complete.

Tagus-Segura Transfer, Spain

Completed in 1978. This project connects four river basins-Tagus, Jucar, Segura and
Gaudiana, to irrigate 1.7 lakh hectares and provide water to 76 municipalities in South-
Eastern Spain.

Lesotho Highlands Water Projects, South Africa

Mooted in 1950 and formalised in 1986 by South Africa and its neighbours Lesotho.

The project involves transferring water from the upper reaches of the Orange river in
Lesotho to the Vaal river in South Africa, phase-I, completed- in 2004 at a cost of $ 2

Way Ahead

 It is true that prospects of river linking looks bright but 30 projects is a very big number
which is not easily implementable, despite this government should focus only on
projects which are very necessary and urgent.
 Alternatives like curbing demand by efficient utilisation of existing water resources
should be implemented before making such big plans.
 States which have conflicts between them in relation to water distribution of rivers like
Punjab-Haryana(on Sutlej), Karnataka-Tamil Nadu (on Kaveri) etc should resolve their
disputes in an amicable manner, so that people will not suffer in political propagandas.
 Judicious use of canal water, efficient irrigation mechanism like drip irrigation
infrastructure, and reviving traditional systems such as use of tanks.
 The cropping pattern should be rational such that water deficient regions will not grow
water intensive crops like sugarcane and rice,

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The River Linking (RL) project is a great challenge and an opportunity to address the water
issues arising out. The long-term solution to water scarcity lies in making the RL project
work by building a network of dams and canals across the length and breadth of the
country. However, interlinking has to take place after a detailed study so that does not
cause any problem to the environment or aquatic life.

35. Disaster Management Problems and Challenges


What is Disaster?

A disaster is a sudden natural or man-made hazard resulting in an event of

substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, wealth
and environment as well.

The United Nations defines disaster as the occurrence of sudden or major misfortune
which disrupts the basic fabric and normal functioning of society or community.

Classification of Disaster

Disasters are mainly classified into two categories Natural and Man-made disasters.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are caused because of natural phenomena, such as meteorological,

geological or biological. Example includes earthquake, cyclones, tsunami and volcanic
eruption which are exclusively of natural origin. Landslides, floods, drought, fires are
socio-natural disasters since their causes are both natural and man-made.

Man-made Disasters

Man-made disasters are disasters which are caused due to human negligence. Man-
made hazards are associated with industries or energy generation facilities and include
explosions, leakage of toxic waste , pollution, dam failure, wars or civil strife etc.

Indian Landmass Risk Prone to Disasters

India is vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of disasters. More than

58.6% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes. of moderate to very high intensity; over 40
million hectares (12%) of its land is prone to floods and river erosion; close to 5700 km, out

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of the 7516 km long coastline is prone to cyclones and tsunamis; 68% of its cultivable area is
vulnerable to droughts; and, its hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches.

Moreover, India is also vulnerable to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear

(CBRN) emergencies and other man-made disaster.

Some Major Disasters in India

 Jammu and Kashmir Floods (2014)

 Cyclone Hud Hud in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (2014)
 Uttarakhand and Himachal. Pradesh Flash Floods (2013)
 Maharashtra Droughts (2013)
 Bihar Floods (2007)
 Maharashtra Floods (2005)
 The Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004)
 Gujarat Earthquake (2001)
 Latur Earthquake (1993)
 Odisha SuperCyclone (1999)
 Cyclone in Andhra Pradesh (1990)

Evolution of Disaster Management in India

India has made long strides in several areas towards strengthening the institutional
mechanisms, response capacities and financial arrangement for different activities relating
to disaster management. After the devastating Gujarat earthquake of 2001, the government
of India took important policy steps for revamping the disaster management system in the
country. The disaster management was moved from the purview of Ministry of Agriculture
to Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Ministry of Agriculture retains responsibility for droughts, pests attacks and
hailstorms. The government has been focusing on developing the capacities in the country
for preparedness prevention and mitigation along with developing capacities for response.
The Disaster Management Act 2005 provides for the effective management of disasters and
for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It provides for legal and institutional
framework for disaster management in India at the National, State and District levels.

In the federal polity of India the primary responsibility of disaster management vests
with the State governments. The Central government lays down policies and guidelines
and provides technical, financial and logistic support while the district administration
carries out most of the operations in collaboration with Central and State level agencies.

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Institutional Framework

The Disaster Management Act, 2005 has created new institutions at the National,
State, District and Local levels. The new institutional framework for disaster management in
India is as follows

Disaster Management Structure

NDMA Apex Body with Prime Minister as Chairperson. National Executive

Committee-Secretaries of 14 Ministers and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.

Centre Level

Central Ministries; National Disaster Management Authority, National Institute of

Disaster Management National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

State Level

SDMA headed by Chief Minister. State Executive Committee (SEC).

District Level

DDMA headed by District Magistrate. Interface between Govt, and Public.

Some other institutes and forces are also created under Disaster Management act 2005 which
are as follow

National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) It is created by disaster

management Act 2005 to develop training modules, organise training programmes,
undertake research and documentation and study courses.

National Disaster Response Forcen The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is
a specialised force constituted for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening
disaster situation or disaster under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Policy and Programmes

National Policy on Disaster Management (2009) It is prepared in tune with and in

pursuance of the -Disaster Management Act. The Policy covers all aspects of Disaster
Management, such as covering institutional, legal and financial arrangements, disaster
prevention, mitigation and preparedness, techno-legal regime, response and capacity
development It addresses the concerns of all the sections of the society including
differently abled persons, women, children and other disadvantaged groups.

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National Disaster Management Plan 2016 National Disaster Management Plan aims
to make India disaster resilient and significantly reduce the loss of lives and assets. It
covers all phases of Disaster Management: prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.
It is based on the four priority themes of the Sendai Framework, namely, understanding
disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction
(through structural and non-structural measures) and disaster preparedness, early warning
and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.

It spells out roles and responsibilities of all levels of government right, up to

Panchayat and Urban Local Body level in a matrix format. The plan has a regional
approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for
development planning. It also identifies major activities, such as early warning,
information of dissemination, medical care, fuel, transportation, search and rescue,
evacuation, etc. to serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster. It also provides
a generalised framework for recovery and offers flexibility to assess a situation and build
back better.

Retrofitting of Buildings Parameters for earthquake-resistant construction have

been laid down in Indian Standards Code, 2002, which has been periodically updated. It
entails studying a building's design and assessing its construction material by non-
destructive radiological tests. The key idea of making a building earthquake-resistant is to
make it ductile i.e., to give it a certain flexibility to shake horizontally.

It helps soften the impact of the earthquake and lets the building absorb its energy
Earthquake Early Warning System in Uttarakhand For the first time in India, a system to
detect earthquakes and disseminate warnings has been installed in Uttarakhand. It will
issue warnings 1-40 seconds before earthquakes of magnitude 5 occur.The first system has
been installed in Dehradun, and the second will be established at Pithoragarh in the
Kumaon region.

Disasters Management

The disasters for a long time were viewed as a consequence of natural forces and humans saw
themselves as helpless victims. But natural forces are not the only causes of disasters. Hazards are
accentuated to disasters by human activities.

Human made disasters have increased both in numbers and magnitude over the years and
concerted efforts are on at various levels to prevent and minimize their occurrences. However, very
little is possible to prevent natural disasters, therefore the best way out is- to emphasise on natural

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disaster mitigation and management. Disaster management in fndia has evolved from an activity
based reactive set-up to a proactive institutionalised structure.

International Conference in Disaster Risk Reduction

World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is a series of United Nations

conferences on preparing for, responding to and mitigating the risk of natural disasters.
The World Conference has been convened three times, with each edition to date having
been hosted by Japan: in Yokohama (1994], in Kobe (2005) and in Sendai (2015), The Sendai
Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30 was adopted during the Third UN World
Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai (Japan) in March, 2015

Challenges in Disaster Management

According to the World Bank, during the period 1996 to 2000, India lost
approximately 2.25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12.15% of the revenue
annually due to natural and man-made disasters- Further, the deployment of scarce
resources for post-disaster relief, reconstruction and recovery are making a dent on
resources which are required by sectors like health, education, social welfare, etc. Some of
the issues and challenges in disaster management in India are :

Weaker Institutions

The institutions are not active and operational except a few exceptions. Even though
the Disaster Management Act 2005 stipulated the setting up of the Disaster Response
Fund'and the Disaster. Mitigation Fund at National, State and District levels, only the
National and State Disaster response are operational.

Non-Compliance of Policies

The recommendations of the National Disaster Management Guidelines on the

management of various disasters and cross cutting themes have to be reviewed by all
stakeholder groups to ensure that the paradigm shift envisaged in the National Policy for
Disaster Management.

Lack of Proper Technical Assistance

Lack of proper technical assistance and other backup measures, severely denting the
effectiveness of disasters. Disaster management authorities are yet to turn fully functionals
while the State admits to lacking a proper framework for the implementation of the
National Disaster Management Act, National Disaster Management Policy and the State
Disaster Management Policy,

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Inefficient Influencing Processes

The continuing increase in the damage and destruction of property, assets and public
infrastructure makes it necessary to carry out random audits of such proposals in areas
affected by disasters and to fix accountabihty for the financial loss on erring officials. Most
of the mitigation projects proposed in the Eleventh Five Year- Plan have remained non-
starters. It is extremely important that these proposed initiatives are incorporated in the
Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17) as these have been conceptualized to address some of the
critical gaps in the effective management of disasters in India.

Need to Adopt Innovative Systems and Technologies

A judicious mix of indigenous traditional knowledge and modern technology is

required to reach various stakeholder groups for greater public awareness on disaster risk
and vulnerability Stakeholders. In India, the Department of Information Technology's
satellite- linked Common Service Centres (CSCs) can be used to disseminate critical
lifesaving messages in local languages and dialects to disaster-prone communities.

Initiatives in Disaster Management

In the last decade, there has been a paradigm shift in Disaster Managemen t in India, a
distinct move from the earlier approach of post-disaster relief to pre-disaster preparedness,
mitigation and risk reduction.

Some of the major initiatives in disaster management in India are Flood Risk Mitigation
Scheme (FRMS) The scheme covers activities like Pilot Projects for development of model Multi-
Purpose Flood Shelters and Development of River Basin, specific Flood Early Warning System and
Digital Elevation Maps for preparation of Inundation Models for giving early warning to the
villagers for evacuation in case of flood.

Aapda Mitra It is a centrally sponsored scheme focussed on training 6000 community

volunteers in disaster response in 30 most flood, prone districts (200 volunteers ner district) of 25
States of India.

Capacity Building and Training It includes training in subjects like Sensitization

Programmers, Workshops, Seminars, Conferences Symposiums

organised through Centre, State governments, PSUs, Premier Training Academic Institutions,
Societies , Reputed NGOs or National Level Federation.

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NCRMP National Cyclone Risk Mitigating Project is launched with a view to. address
cyclone risks in the country. The overall objective of the Project, is to undertake suitable structural
and nonstructural measures to mitigate the effects of cyclones in the coastal States and UTs of India.

36. Genetically Modified Crops


Future of Indian Market

GM Crops were first introduced in the USA for insect resistance or herbicide tolerance in mid
1990s. To produce GM Crops new DNA is transferred into plant cells.

The massive challenge what India faces today is to feed its growing population,
particularly in the absence of sustainable agriculture solutions. The situation may only
worsen as the United Nations estimates that the country's population will reach 1.8 billion
by 2050.

For this Scientists already have a solution : Genetically Modified (GM) crops that can
withstand pests and droughts and it mean a huge boost to productivity and overall food
supply. But it has some negative implications as well, which can be discussed. The debate
on safety and need for GM crops, particularly GM food has been constant since 1990s.

The Biotech firms as well as scientists have spent a lot of time and money to convince
the people that there is really nothing to worry about it. Non-food Bt Crops were
introduced with relatively lesser resistance but food crops have faced stiff resistance
around the world. Thus, globally the countries are divided in the use of GM Crops.

What is Genetic Modification of Crops?

Genetically Modified Foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are those whose genetic material (DNA) has been
altered through techniques of 'recombinant DNA technology' or 'genetic engineering' to
develop certain desired traits like pest resistance, higher nutritional value, longer shelf life

Genetically Modified Plant Cell

In the process selected individual genes which have been identified to be responsible
for a certain desired trait may be transferred from one organism into another, even between
non-related species. Alternatively, there can also be deletion of identified genes from the

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genetic material of an organism. The sensational news came into limelight when USA
approved GM variant of tomato FlavrSavr produced by the Californian Company Calgene
for sale in 1994.

It had a longer shelf life, because it took longer to soften after ripening. Some food
varieties whose genetically modified versions have been developed in the world include
tobacco,tomato, soyabean, corn, cotton, brinjal, rice, canola, sugar beet etc.

Urgency of Genetic Modification

With conventional plant breeding, however, there is little or no guarantee of

obtaining any particular gene combination from the millions of crosses generated.

Conventional Breeding

 Limited to exchanges between the same or very closely related species.

 Little or no guarantee of any particular gene combination from the millions of crosses
 Undesirable genes can be transferred along with desirable genes.
 Takes a long time to achieve desired results.
Genetic Engineering

 Allows the direct transfer of one or just a few genes, between either closely or distantly
related organisms.
 Crop improvement can be achieved in a shorter time compared to conventional
 Allows plants to be modified by removing or switching off particular genes.
Different Types of Genetically Modified Crops

There are three different types of GM crops which are


A transgenic GM crop is defined to be a crop that contains a gene or multiple genes

that artificially inserted using recombinant DNA (DNA) technology. The genes that were
inserted into the host plant are now called transgenes and can come from different species.
An example of a transgenic crop is Bt Corn.


Cisgenic crops are made using using the same technique, recombinant DNA
technology but instead of inserting genes that are from different species, genes that are
found within the same or in close nature of the species is insterted into the host crop. The
cisgenic modification is used on plants that have trouble crossbreeding.
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Unlike transgenic and cisgenic modifications, subgenic modifications use splicing

methods to cut the host gene and remove the unnecessary genes instead of inserting genes
into the host plant. According to the USDA, even though this is a modification, subgenic
crops are not considered to be genetically modified organisms.

Benefits of CM Crops

 One of the benefits for developing plants based on GM organisms is to improve

resistance against plant diseases caused by insects or viruses or through increased
tolerance towards herbicides.
 Cotton and corn have been modified to incorporate Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes,
producing proteins that are toxic only to larval pests. In developing countries, the
technology appears to often generate employment, because of significantly higher
 The study shows that 'Golden Rice' could reduce health problems associated with
vitamin A deficiency by upto 60% in rice-eating populations.
 A gene from a plant which can survive prolonged water stress in desert conditions has
been introduced into rice. This allows rice to produce a sugar that protects the plant
during dehydration, allowing
it to survive periods of drought.
 Plants could be genetically modified to produce vaccines or other medicines. Potatoes
have been modified to produce edible vaccines against E. coli bacteria which cause
diarrhoea. This would allow cheap and easy distribution of the vaccine

What are the Main Concerns for Human Health?

 In terms of genetically modified crops, there is a potential risk of allergies. This is

caused through the possibility of allergenic genes being inserted into food substances
that do not originally induce the genes' respective allergic reactions.
 Crops are genetically engineered to contain a substance that is toxic to the targeted
organism. Through cross pollination there is a potential danger that the toxic substance
tended for a specific crop's pest will be transferred to a different crop.
 The transfer of genes between species is often thought to be particularly unacceptable
because it violates boundaries between natural species.

GM Crop Variants

 The first genetically modified crop plant was produced in 1982, an antibiotic-resistant
tobacco plant. In 1995, Bt Potato was approved by the US Environmental Protection
Agency, making it the country's first pesticide producing crop.
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 In 2002, Monsanto introduced Bt Cotton to India. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis] produce over
200 different Bt Toxins, each harmful to different insects.
 The GM mustard, developed by a Delhi University institution, is only the second food
crop which got its clearance from the Central regulator Genetic Engineering Appraisal
Committee (GEAC).

Global Trend

For the past two decades, developing countries have planted more biotech crops
than the industrial countries. In 2016, nineteen developing countries planted 54% (99.6
million hectares) of the global biotech hectares, while 7 industrial countries took the 46%
(85.5 million hectares) share. This trend is expected to continue in the upcoming years due
to the increasing number of countries in the world adopting biotech crops and the
commercialisation of new biotech crops, such as rice, which is mostly grown in developing

Is There a Future in India for Genetically Modified Crops?

Bt Cotton is so far the only GM crop grown commercially in India. With the ban on
Bt Brinjal, there are so far no GM foods grown. However the clearance of GM Mustard
variant will open up possibilities for research and adoption of new technologies in future.
Since GM crops have the potential to increase farm yields, reduce farm costs and thereby
increase farm incomes, the government has been very supportive of the efforts to develop
transgenic crops. India in the year 2016 covered 10.8 million hectare of land under GM
cultivation. But some of the issues related to GM crops in India are

 GM crop seeds are expensive thus increasing, the cost of production.

 Bt Cotton seeds can't be used directly from farm and thus necessitates purchase of seeds
from market, thus reducing self-sufficiency of farmer.
Regulatory Mechanisms in India

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)

 Established as the apex body to accord and approval of activities involving large scale
use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial
 The GEAC is also responsible for approval of proposals relating to release of genetically
engineered seeds and products into the environment including experimental field trials.

Anti-GM groups have been opposing the recent decision of GEAC which allowed for the
commercial production of GM Mustard in the country. The row over the introduction of
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GM crops in the country for commercial production is not new. It has been here for years

GM crops in India:

The Indian GM crops saga is a convoluted one. Currently, it has the world‘s fourth largest
GM crop acreage on the strength of Bt cotton, the only genetically modified crop allowed in
the country. But the introduction of Bt cotton has been both highly successful and
controversial. Cotton yield more than doubled in the first decade since its introduction in
2002, according to the Economic Survey 2011-12—by which point it accounted for 90% of
cotton acreage. But it was also shadowed by controversy, with a tangle of pricing and
intellectual property rights (IPR) issues followed by government price interventions and

GM food crops have fared worse. An agreement to develop Bt brinjal was signed in 2005
between Mahyco—American agricultural biotech giant Monsanto‘s Indian Bt cotton
partner—and two Indian agricultural universities. Following the study of biosafety data
and field trials by two expert committees, Bt brinjal was cleared for commercialization by
India‘s top biotech regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, in 2009. But
nothing came of it, with moratoriums imposed by then Union environment minister Jairam
Ramesh and his successor Jayanthi Natarajan following opposition from civil society
groups and brinjal-growing states.

Science behind GM crops

Ever since the discovery of the DNA double-helix model by Watson and Crick, scientists
realised it was possible to manipulate the DNA features of an organism to create new traits
in them by borrowing genes from other organisms and mixing it with theirs. In the case of
GM food, scientists insert into a plant‘s genome one or several gene from another species of
plant or even from a bacterium, virus or animal. This is to inject desired traits such as pest-
resistance or Vitamin A (as in the case of golden rice).

GM food crops are mainly being opposed for the following reasons:

Opponents believe GM crops have the potential for serious, irreversible damage to
human health and the environment. This is especially relevant in the context of crops such
as Bt brinjal which involve direct consumption by humans, unlike Bt cotton. The
widespread havoc that chemical pesticides and fertilizers have caused since the Green
Revolution only adds credence to these concerns.

Lack of proper assessment has further reduced the trust. GM opponents cite the need for
longer term assessment of adverse impacts and more concrete evidence of no adverse
effects. Implicitly, GM opponents are invoking the precautionary principle, which is a
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widely incorporated one in several international agreements and treaties on the

The lack of transparency in the regulatory process further amplifies apprehensions

stemming from a precautionary approach. All the safety tests for regulatory approvals are
typically conducted by the same party that applies for commercialisation of GM crops. This
conflict of interest was made worse by the refusal of GEAC to publicly release the safety
testing data submitted for regulatory approval until GM opponents filed a Right to
Information petition.

There are also concerns regarding loss of food biodiversity if corporate food varieties
begin to flood the markets.


There is the need for the GEAC ―to draw up a fresh protocol for the specific tests that will
have to be conducted in order to generate public confidence‖. Given agricultural distress
and the need for broad reforms in the sector—and the potential of GM crops to supplement
those reforms with increased drought resistance and reduced pesticide dependence, among
other benefits—opposition must be managed, not allowed to hold sway.

37. Carbon Tax

Why climate change is a cause of concern?

There is compelling evidence that climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market
failure ever seen, and there is a large chance of a global average temperature rise exceeding
2ºC by the end of this century.

It has also been established in various scientific studies that any such warming of the
planet will lead to increased natural calamities such as floods and cyclones, declined crop
yields and ecological degradation.

A large increase in global temperatures correlates with an average 5% loss in global GDP,
with poor countries suffering costs in excess of 10% of GDP.

What is carbon tax?

Carbon tax is a form of pollution tax. It levies a fee on the production, distribution or use of
fossil fuels based on how much carbon their combustion emits. The government sets a price
per ton on carbon, then translates it into a tax on electricity, natural gas or oil. Because the
tax makes using dirty fuels more- expensive, it encourages utilities, businesses and
individuals to reduce consumption and increase energy efficiency. Carbon tax also makes
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alternative energy more cost-competitive with cheaper, polluting fuels like coal, natural gas
and oil.

Carbon tax is based on the economic principle of negative externalities. Externalities are
costs or benefits generated by the production of goods and services. Negative externalities
are costs that are not paid for. When utilities, businesses or homeowners consume fossil
fuels, they create pollution that has a societal cost; everyone suffers from the effects of
pollution. Proponents of a carbon tax believe that the price of fossil fuels should account for
these societal costs. More simply put — if you‘re polluting to everyone else‘s detriment,
you should have to pay for it.

Why a Carbon Tax?

Carbon is currently not accounted for as a cost in production. This means that industry
actors do not need to actively monitor and limit their CO2 output. Governments,
businesses and consumers all emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by burning
fossil fuels. When greenhouse gases are burned they release CO2 that remains resident in
the Earth‘s atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the globe. The build up of these
emissions can have devastating environmental consequences for the climate and

Advantages of harmonised carbon taxes:

A carbon tax regime avoids the problems related to choosing a baseline. In a price
approach, the natural baseline is a zero carbon tax.
A carbon tax policy will be better able to adapt to the element of uncertainty which
pervades the science of climate change.
A carbon tax policy is likely to cause less volatility in the prices of carbon emissions.
Quantity limiting policies are often accompanied by administrative arbitrariness and
corruption through rent-seeking. This sends off negative signals to investors. In a price-
based carbon tax, the investor has an assured long-term regulation to adapt to and can
weigh in the costs involved.
The price-based approach in the form of carbon taxes makes it easier to implement
equity-based international adjustments than the quantity-based approach.
The carbon tax will essentially be a Pigovian Tax which balances the marginal social
costs and benefits of additional emissions, thereby internalising the costs of environmental
damage. It can act as an incentive for consumers and producers to shift to more energy-
efficient sources and products.

India and Carbon Tax

Actually, India has a carbon tax of sorts. It is not called as such but the United Progressive
Alliance government‘s budget of 2010-11 introduced a cess of Rs. 50 per tonne of both
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domestically produced and imported coal. Last year, this was doubled. However, the idea
of this cess, it must be admitted, was less to curb carbon emissions but more to raise
revenues for the National Clean Energy Fund.

But the important point is that India already has an important half-step, even though its
version of a carbon tax is not economy-wide and it is far below the levels that are generally
accepted as being desirable (around $20-25 per tonne of carbon).


A global and immediate policy response is urgently required to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change. A carbon tax policy might not seem a
magic wand, but it is also less likely to face political opposition and compromise while
creating new sectors for businesses and growth.

38. Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda

for sustainable development.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development is the organising principle for meeting human development

goals while at the same time sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural
resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depends. The
desirable end result is a state of society where living conditions and resource use continue
to meet human needs "without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural

Concept of Sustainable Development

Modern concept of sustainable development is derived mostly from Brundtland Report in

which it was stated "Sustainable development meets the needs of present without
compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs."

It is also rooted in earlier ideas about sustainable forest management and twentieth century
environmental concern. With the development of the concept, the sustainable development
has shifted its focus more on economic development, social development and
environmental protection for future generations. It has been suggested that the "term
sustainability should be viewed as humanity's target goal for human ecosystem
equilibrium (homeostasis) while sustainable development refers to holistic approach and
temporal processes that lead us to the end point of sustainability.

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It has been argued that there is no such thing as a sustainable use of a non renewable
resource, since any positive rate of exploitation will eventually lead to the exhaustion of
Earth's finite stock, this perspective renders the industrial Revolution as a whole
unsustainable. It has been argued that the meaning of the concept has opportunistically
been stretched from conservation management to economic development. The Brundtland
Report promoted nothing but a business as usual strategy for world development with
an ambiguous and insubstantial concept attached as a public relation slogan.

The Sustainable Development Goals

In Sept 2015, the UN General Assembly formally adopted the "universal integrated and
transformative" 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development, a set of 17 Sustainable deve-
lopment Goals (SDGs) The goals are to be implemented and achieved in every country
from 2016 to 2030. These S.DGs are as follows—

1. No poverty
2. Zero hunger
3. Good health or well being
4. Quality education
5. Gender equality
6. Clean water or sanitation
7. Affordable or clean energy
8. Promote sustained inclusive sustainable, economic growth, full and productive
9. Industry innovation and infrastructure
10. Reduced inequality
11. Sustainable city and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climatic action
14. Life below water (below sea)
15. Life on land (Bio-diversity)
16. Peace, justice and strong institution
17. Partnership for the goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The EU (European Union) made a positive and constructive contribution to the

development of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

The millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which expired at
the end of 2015, have made an enormous contribution in raising public awareness,
increasing political will and moblising resources for the fight to end poverty.

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Indeed some of the greatest progress in recent years has been in precisely those areas
where the MDGs have helped to focus attention e.g., (1) Global poverty has been halved
five years ahead of the 2015 time frame work (2) 90% of children in developing countries
now enjoy primary education, and disparities between boys and girls in enrolment have

The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development builds on this experience. At the core of the
Agenda are the Sustainable Development Goals but there are also important elements on
the means of implementation, follow up and review. The concerns of the MDG's are part of
the new frame work, but it also goes further. The 2030 Agenda incorporates follow up from
the Rio + 20 conference. Sustainable development addresses both poverty eradication and
the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in a
balanced and integrated manner.

The 2030 Agenda also addresses issues reflected in Millennium Declaration but not the
M.D. Goals including effective institutions, good governance, the role of less and peaceful

The Agenda applies to all countries at all levels of development. Taking into account their
different capacities and circumstances, implementation will be driven by a new Global
partnership characterised by shared responsibility, mutual accountability and engagement
by all. The means of implementation for the new Agenda are outlined in SDGs as well as
Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The Agenda includes a stronger follow-up as well as review frame work than existed for
the MDGs to help ensure the Agenda is implemented for all, leaving no one behind.

EU has played an important role in shaping the 2030 Agenda through public consultation,
dialogue with partners and in-depth research. The EU will continue to play a leading role
as we move into the implementation of this ambitious, transformative and universal
Agenda that delivers poverty eradication and sustainable development for all.

For the run-up to this Agenda the EU has set out the following policy papers.

1. A Global partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable development after

2015 (5th Feb., 2015 communication).

2. A New Global partnership for poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development

after 2015 (conclusion of 26th May, 2015).

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39. Swachh Bharat Mission

1. National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP)(2009)-Ministry of Drinking

Waterand Sanitation (MoDWS): The goal of this mission is to provide every rural
person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic
needs on a sustainable basis.
2. National Rural Health Mission (NRHM): The mission to set up a fully functional
community owned, decentralized health care delivery system in the country with its
focus to ensure simultaneous action on an extensive range of determinants of health
such as water, sanitation, education, nutrition and so on.
3. National Rural Drinking Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance Programme
(MRDWQM&S) (2005) : MoDWS, which is now under NRDWP is a community
based programme to ensure good quality of public water supply to rural people
through decentralised water quality monitoring systems.
4. Jalmani(2008)-MoDWS: This mission aims to supplement the on-going NRDWP
mission to ensure good quality safe drinking water by installing simple Stand Alone
Purification systems, especially in schools.
5. Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) (2014) - MoDWS: This mission aims to improve the
general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and
eliminating open defecation.
6. Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) (2003): Ministry of Rural
Development (MoRD):Underthisscheme, amenities like water and sewerage and
drainage were proposed to be made available to rural areas.
7. National Rurban Mission (NRuM) (2015) -MoRD: This scheme aims to provide basic
amenities like piped water supply, solid and liquid waste management and drains in
'rurban clusters'.

40. Transforming India

41. and New India
India is rewriting its growth story in the global geopolitical economic landscape, charting
new courses in its governance paradigm and striving to demolish the old images and
impressions as viewed through coloured lenses in the comity of nations to evolve into a
‗New India‘.

Resurgent India: A move to purge the economy of the toxic black cash not only induces
more efficiency and reduces corruption, but also gives room for the government and the

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central bank to cut tax rates and interest rates respectively, spurring up investments while
being on track to attain the fiscal deficit and growth targets.

Digital India: The government is committed to establishing Bharat broadband, connecting

2.5 lakh panchayats to the Internet. As on January 29, 2017, Optical Fibre Cable has been
laid to 76,089 gram panchayats with a total length of 1,72,257 kilometres. As many as 16,355
gram panchayats have been provided with broadband connectivity.

It is heartening to note that about 1.5 crore people have adopted the BHIM app so far in just
over 2 months time of its launch. Around 12.5 lakh people have won under the Lucky
Grahak Yojana and 70,000 traders bagged prizes under the Digidhan Vyapar Yojana.

Demonetization gives us a unique opportunity to harness this digital revolution to deal a

mortal blow to corruption and black money. Payment through online channels significantly
reduces the need for cash and brings about transparency in financial dealings.

Inclusive India: The opening of accounts under PMJDY, in turn, facilitated the
channelizing of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) subsidy to targeted beneficiaries under the
Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme or PAHAL. It is a reform initiative that has great
potential to emerge as global best practice in benefit transfers to poor households.
Demonetisation and other decisions taken in the economic sphere have gone hand in hand
with the aggressive drive towards achieving universal financial inclusion and bringing
every citizen into the formal banking net.

Incorruptible India: On the flip side of the PAHAL scheme is the „Give it Up‟ campaign.
This scheme encouraged customers who earn more than Rs. 10 lakh per annum, to
voluntarily give up the LPG subsidy. Over 1 crore users voluntarily gave up the subsidy
benefit and saved the government exchequer to the tune of nearly Rs. 5000 cr.

Investor-friendly India: The Make in India' Campaign is one of the flagship schemes of the
government that aims at making India a global manufacturing hub and reaping the
economic spin offs thereon in terms of better infrastructure, better employment
opportunities and leveraging on India‟s massive demographic dividend.

Transformational India: The passage of the historic GST legislation is set to simplify the
tax regime, create a nationwide market for goods and services and broaden the tax base
giving a fillip to economic growth. Government revenues are set to rise, Logistics,
Inventory costs, tax evasion will fall and manufactured goods would be cheaper. The
dream of One nation, One tax is now a reality.

Clean India: One initiative which is synonymous with the government is the Swachh
Bharat Abhiyan which can be hailed as a transformational move that sets the lofty goal of

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achieving an open defecation free India by 2019. The infrastructure in terms of the number
of toilets constructed has been augmented manifold under this scheme.

Skill India: On the skill development front, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
(PMKVY) is the flagship scheme of the government launched with the objective of enabling
a large number of Indian youth to take up industry relevant skill training that will help
them in securing a better livelihood.

Transparent India: The government believes in the maxim of „Minimum government,

Maximum governance‟ and this can be witnessed in the changed work ethic of the
government. The current leadership has a professional work style and has „corporatized‟
the governance by invigorating a new work culture in the government. The biggest
achievement of the government has been to curb widespread corruption in the system and
eliminate delays and administrative bottlenecks as seen in decisions such as coal block
Transforming India: The schemes in the agriculture sector such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal
Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Soil Health Card scheme, Neem
coated urea, augmenting the minimum support prices among other initiatives have served
the „Kisans‟ of our nation in good stead even in the face of vagaries of the monsoon.

On the infrastructure front, initiatives such as the Smart Cities project, AMRUT Mission,
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Sansad
Adarsh Gram Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, passage of RERA among others
have enhanced the performance of the sector.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Atal Pension Yojana, Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Krishi
Sinchai Yojana, MUDRA Bank Yojana, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Nayi Manzil Yojana
among others try to ensure a well balanced development of all sections of the society, be it
the girl child, senior citizens, farmers, minorities, urban house dwellers or rural villagers.

Emerging India: In her multilateral engagements, India‟s bid to become a permanent

member of the United Nations Security Council found many backers and significant
progress has also been made for entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. India‟s
engagement in regional groupings such as BRICS, SAARC, BIMSTEC has been fruitful.

Apart from engaging with traditional allies, this government‟s focus has been on building
strategic ties with the newly emerging countries in Central Asia and Africa; countries plush
with natural resources and significant strategic importance. India has taken the step in the
direction to emerge as a natural leader.

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42. Digital India

"In this digital age, we have an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was
hard to imagine a couple of decade ago," said by Narendra Modi, addressing the Heads of Tech
giants at Silicon Valley in San Jose.

Technology and Digitalization in particular are helping in shaping the modern

world. It is acting as a catalyst in the development process of modern society. It provides
better ease, accessibility, agility, global research and competitive advantage. Digital
transformation is not only a development stage but a journey having various connected
objectives. India is swiftly embarking towards its journey of digital transformation.

In order to transform the entire ecosystem of public services through the use of
information, technology, the government of India has launched the Digital India
programme with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and
knowledge economy.

Various government initiatives related to e — governance took broader dimension

particularly, National e — governance plan (NeGP) having 31 mission mode projects. But
they were not successful in creating the desired impact. Digital India is an ambitious
umbrella programme launched in July 2015 to transform India into a digitally empowered
society and knowledge economy.


The vision of Digital India programme is to transform India into a digitally

empowered society and knowledge economy.

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Government Initiatives in Digital India Mission

In an order to create participative, transparent and responsive government various

initiatives has been launched to attain the objectives of Digital India mission. These
measures, schemes and programmes are related to the sectors of governance, finance, social
development, infrastructure and service.


State Wide Area Network (SWAN) Under this scheme, technical and financial
assistance is being provided to the States/UTs for establishing SWANs to connect all
State/UT Headquarters up to the Block level via District/sub — Divisional Headquarters,
in a vertical hierarchical structure.

Single Window Project As part of the Ease of Doing Business initiatives, the Central
Board of Excise & Customs, government of India has taken up implementation of the
Single Window Project to facilitate the Trading Aross Borders in India. The 'India Customs
Single Window' would allow importers and exporters, the facility to lodge their clearance
documents online at a single point only.

Bharat Broadband Network It is a special purpose vehicle set — up under

Companies Act by government of India with an authorized capital of ? 1000 Crore. It has
been mandated to create the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) in India.

Rapid Assessment System It has been launched by National e — governance

Division, a division of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, to develop
continuous feedback for e — services delivered by government of India and State
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Open Data Open Government Data (OGD)-is a platform for supporting Open Data
initiative of government of India. The portal is intended to be used by government of India
ministries/ departments, their organisations to publish datasets, documents, services, tools
and applications collected by them for public use. It intends to increase transparency in the
functioning of government and also open avenues for many more innovative uses of
government data to give different perspective.


Aadhaar It is one of the key pillars of 'Digital India', wherein every resident of the
country is provided with a unigue identity or Aadhaar number. The largest biometrics —
based identification system in the world.

Aadhaar is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion, public sector
delivery reforms, managing fiscal budgets, increase convenience and promote hassle —
free people — centric governance.

MyGov App It has been implemented as a digital platform for citizen engagement in
governance, through a 3D —'Discuss', 'Do' and 'Disseminate' approach.

Digital Locker System It aims to minimise the usage of physical documents and
enable sharing of e —documents across agencies.

eSign Framework It would allow citizens to digitally sign a document online using
Aadhaar authentication.

Digitize India Platform (DIP) For large scale digitization of records in the country
that would facilitate efficient delivery of services to the citizens. UMANG (Unified Mobile
Application for New Age Governance) is one of the key initiatives under the Digital India
programme to develop a common, unified platform and mobile app to facilitate a single
point of access to all government services.

e-District The e — District Mission Mode Project (MMP) is envisaged to strengthen

the district administration of the State by providing ICT support to the participating
departments and district administration.


Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)

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It is an app that makes payment transactions simple, easy and quick using Unified
Payments Interface (UPI). It enables direct bank to bank payments instantly and collects
money using a Mobile number or Payment address.

DigiDhan Abhiyaan The initiative plans to enable citizens and merchants to

undertake real time digital transactions through the Digi Dhan Bazaar. Through organising
DigiDhan Mela's across the country, it aims to handhold users in downloading, installing
and using various digital payment systems for carrying out digital transactions.

NAM Portal The NAM Portal provides a single window service for all APMC
related information and services. This includes commodity arrivals and prices, buy and sell
trade offers and provision to respond to trade offers, among other services.

eTRADE Its objective is to facilitate foreign trade in India by way of promoting

effective and efficient delivery of services by various regulatory / facilitating agencies
involved in foreign trade so as to enable the trade to avail services from these agencies in
online environment.

MCA21 The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), government of India, has initiated
the MCA21 project, ,which enables easy and secure access to MCA services in an assisted
manner for corporate entities, professionals, and general public. The MCA21project is
designed to fully automate all processes related to enforcement and compliance of the legal
requirements under the Companies Act, 1956.


JEEVAN PRAMAAN Jeevan Pramaan is a biometric enabled digital service for

pensioners of Central government, State government or any other government
organisation. The new service aims to streamline the process of issuing life certificate and
make it a hassle —free experience for the pensioners.

DigitalSaksharta Abhiyan It has been formulated to impart IT training to 52.5 lakh

persons, including Anganwadis, ASHA workers and authorized ration dealers in all the
States/UTs across the country.

The initiative aims at training non —IT literate citizens to become IT literate to enable
their active and effective participation in the democratic, developmental process, and
enhance their livelihood too.

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e-Hospital It is an open source Health Information Management System (HMIS)
which is configurable and easily customizable with multi —tenancy support. It is designed
to deploy in cloud infrastructure to manage multiple hospitals seamlessly.

National Scholarships Portal It is a one stop solution for end to end scholarship
process right from submission of student application, verification, sanction and disbursal to
end beneficiary for all the scholarships provided by the government of India.

Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) It is an initiative of Ministry of Health

& Family Welfare to leverage information technology for ensuring delivery of full
spectrum of healthcare and immunisation services to pregnant women and children up to 5
years of age.


Some of the challenges related to digital India mission are as follows

Slow Implementation of Projects the National Optical Fibre Network project to

connect more than 2 lakh gram panchayats was sluggish from the start, and lagged five
years behind schedule by 2013. Today, only 9 % of those who live in rural areas have access
to the internet, compared to 64 % of those who live in cities.

Lack of a Legal Framework and Concerns over Privacy and Data Protection India
lacks a privacy law, without which initiatives like Digital Locker and e — Hospital are
open to flagrant misuse by the State.

Digital Literacy The level of knowledge and awareness about digital technologies is
minimal. It is an obstacle for inclusion of people in various government programmes and

Cyber Security Without the strong cyber security infrastructure in the country there
is a threat to important information and data of citizens.

43. Smart City

In the approach of the Smart Cities Mission, the objective is to promote cities that
provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and
sustainable environment and application of ‗Smart‘ Solutions. The focus is on
sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a
replicable model which will act like a lighthouse to other aspiring cities. The Smart
Cities Mission is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside
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the Smart City, catalyzing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and
parts of the country. The core infrastructure elements in a smart city would include:

i. Adequate water supply

ii. Assured electricity supply
iii. Sanitation, including solid waste management
iv. Efficient urban mobility and public transport
v. Affordable housing, especially for the poor
vi. Robust IT connectivity and digitalization
vii. Good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation
viii. Sustainable environment
ix. Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly and
x. Health and education

Accordingly, the purpose of the Smart Cities Mission is to drive economic growth and
improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and
harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to Smart outcomes. Area based
development will transform existing areas (retrofit and redevelop), including slums,
into better planned ones, thereby improving liveability of the whole City. New areas
(greenfield) will be developed around cities in order to accommodate the expanding
population in urban areas. Application of Smart Solutions will enable cities to use
technology, information and data to improve infrastructure and services.
Comprehensive development in this way will improve quality of life, create
employment and enhance incomes for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged,
leading to inclusive Cities.

44. Social Security Schemes


45. Recent Central and State Government Schemes


Presently, various policies and schemes are initiated by the Union government and this can
be categorised as

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Schemes for Elementary Education

Schemes for Secondary Education

Schemes for Higher Education

Schemes for Elementary Education

It has four components

1. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

2. Mid-Day Meal Scheme

3. Mahila Samakhya Programme

4. Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrassas (SPQEM)

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)

SSA has been operational since 2000-01 to provide for a variety of interventions for.
Universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in elementary
education and improving the quality of learning. With the passage of the Right to
Education (RTE) Act 2009, changes have been incorporated into the SSA approach,
strategies and norms.

Holistic view of education, as interpreted in the National Curriculum Framework

2005, with implications for a systemic revamp of the entire content and process of

Bring Equality to mean not only equal opportunity, but also creation of conditions in
which the disadvantaged sections of the society can avail of the opportunity.

An effort to enable girls to keep pace with boys and to bring about a basic change in
the status of women as well.

Centrality of teacher, to motivate them to innovate and create a culture in the

classroom, and beyond the classroom.

Moral compulsion is imposed through the RTE Act on parents, teachers, educational
administrators and other stakeholders.

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Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS)

With a view to enhancing enrolment, retention and attendance and simultaneously

improving nutritional levels among children the cooked Mid-Day Meal scheme was started
in 2001 in every government and government-aided primary school.

Every student to be served a prepared Mid-Day Meal with a minimum content of 300
calories of energy and 8-12 gram protein per day for a minimum of 200 days. It was further
extended in 2002 to children studying in Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and
Alternative and Innovative Education (AIE) centres. In October 2007, the Scheme was
extended to cover children of upper primary classes (i.e. class VI to VIII) and the name of
the Scheme was changed to 'National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools'.

Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Rules, 2015 under the Food Security Act, 2013

Salient features are as follows

 Temporary utilisation of other funds available with the school for MDM, in case school
exhausts funds meant for meal for any reason.
 To check meal quality provided in the rules, it will be tested on randomly on monthly
basis by accredited Labs.
 Every child between the age group of 6 to 14 years old studying in classes from I to VIII
standard will be provided hot cooked meal having nutritional standards.

Mahila Samahhya Programme (MSP)

Mahila Samakhya, meaning education for women's equality, was launched in 1989
by the government of India in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka.

 Mahila Samakhya has been particularly successful in targeting out of school girls by
working with the community to create learning opportunities in alternative centres,
residential camps and early childhood development centres.
 The guiding principle of the programme is the centrality of education in empowering
women to achieve basic equality.

Scheme to Provide Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM)

It was started on February 26, 2009. It seeks to bring about qualitative improvement
in madrasas to enable Muslim children attain standards of the national education system in
formal education subjects.

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To strengthen capacities in Madrasas for teaching with subjects like Science,
Mathematics, Language, Social Studies etc. through enhanced payment of teachers.

Providing Science labs, Computer labs with annual maintenance costs in the
secondary and higher secondary stage madrasas.

Schemes for Secondary Education

It has four components

1. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan

2. Girls Hostel Scheme

3. National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education

4. National Meritcum Means Scholarship Scheme

Rashtriya Madhyamir? Shiksha Abhiyan

This scheme was launched in March, 2009 with the objective to make all secondary
schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability

Important physical facilities provided under the scheme are :

 Additional class rooms,

 Laboratories and libraries,
 More toilet blocks and
 Residential hostels for teachers in remote areas.

Girls Hostel Scheme

This is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2008-09 to setup a 100-bedded

Girls' Hostel in each of 3479 Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs) in the country. The
main objective ot the Scheme is to retain the girl child in secondary school so that girl
students are not denied the opportunity to continue their study due to distance to school
find other connected societal factors. The girl students in the age group of 14-18 years,
studying ' in classes IX and XII belonging to SC/ST/ O.BC minority communities and BPL
families will form the target group of the Scheme.

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National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education

The centrally sponsored scheme was launched in May, 2008 to promote enrolment of
girl child in the age group of 14-18 at secondary stage, especially those who passed Class
VIII and to encourage the secondary education of such girls.

 All SC/ST girls who pass class VIII and

 All Girls, who pass class VIII examination from Kastrurba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas
and enroll for clas.3 IX in State/UT government, government-aided or local body
 Girls should be below 16 years of age (as on March 31) on joining class IX.

National Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme National Means-cum Merit Scholarship Scheme

(NMMSSJ was launched in May, 2008.

 The objective of the scheme is to award scholarships to meritorious students of

economically weaker sections to arrest their drop out at class VIII and encourage them
to continue the study at secondary stace
 Scholarship of ? 500 per month per student is awarded to selected students every year
for study in classes from IX to XII in State government, government aided and local
body schools.

Schemes for Higher Education

It has three components

1. Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan

2. Uclaan Scheme . ;

3. Swarni Vivekananda Single Girl Child Scholarship for Research in Social Sciences

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)

RCSS, launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to' eligible State higher
educational institutions.

 Improve the overall quality of State institutions by ensuring conformity to prescribed

norms and standards.
 Create an enabling atmosphere in the .higher educational institutions to devote
themselves to research and innovations.

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Udaan Scheme

Udaan is a project launched by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) under

guidance of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in November 2014. Free
of cost support to Girl students of Classes XI and XII to prepare for engineering entrance

Swarni Vivekananda Single Girl Child Scholarship for Research in Social Sciences

UGC has introduced Swarni Vivekananda Fellowship for Single Girl Child for
research in Social Sciences with an aim to compensate direct costs of higher education
especially for such girls who happen to be the only girl child in their family.

 To recognised the value of observance of small family norm.

 To recognised the norm of single girl child in society.

Aduit Education Schemes

Scheme of Support to NGOs for Adult Education and Skill Development To

promote Adult Education, particularly in 15 — 35 age groups, through voluntary sector,
Ministry of Human Resource Development, government of India, has been providing
support to Voluntary Agencies (VA) through two separate schemes, namely objectives are as

 Achieving self-reliance in literacy and numeracy.

 Becoming aware of the causes of their deprivation and moving towards the process of

National Literacy Mission

The government of India initiated the National Literacy Mission (NLM) in 1988. The
mission aims at imparting functional literacy to millions of Indians, especially those in the
age bracket of 15-35 years. The goals of the National Literacy Mission are to attain full
literacy, i.e., a sustainable threshold level of 75% by 2007. The most important aspect was
Self-reliance in 3 R's (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic)

Saahshar Bharat

Saakshar Bharat Programme goes beyond '3' as it also seeks to create 'awareness' of
social disparities and a person's deprivation and general well being due to illiteracy. This
programme was formulated in 2009 with the objective of achieving 80% literacy level at

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national level, by focusing on adult women literacy seeking-to reduce the gap between
male and female literacy.

Shala Darpan Scheme

The Shaala Darpan initiative launched in the Ke.ndriya Vidyalayas (KVs) with effect
from June 5, 2015 is intended to serve as a single integrated, platform to address various
stake holders such as students, teachers, school management and parents.

Teacher Education in India Teacher Education Scheme

The Teacher Education Policy in India has evolved over time and The Right of
Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which became operational
from April 1, 2010, has important implications for teacher education in the country.

1. The Central government shall develop and enforce standards for training of teachers;

2. Persons possessing minimum - qualifications, as prescribed by an academic authority

authorize by the Central government, shall be eligible to be employed as teachers.

National Curriculum Framework on Teacher Education (NCFTE)

It was circulated in March 2009 with the vision of high level of teacher education.
Some important dimensions are as follows

 Reflective practice to be the central aim of teacher education;

 Student-teachers should be provided opportunities for self-learning, reflection and
articulation of new ideas.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching


Government of India launches the Scheme in 2015 with an outlay of ` 900 crores
during Twelfth Five Year Plan. The Mission will provide an integrated platform for
building synergies among all the existing initiatives, providing oversight to the existing
activities aimed at gap filling so that a comprehensive vehicle for Teacher/Faculty related

Scheme of Restructuring and Re-organisation of Teachers Education

This scheme was started in 1987. The aim of this scheme was to create a sound
institutional infrastructure for pre —service and in —service training of elementary and

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secondary school teachers and for provision of academic resource support to elementary
and secondary schools. The scheme had the following components

 Setting up District Institutes of Education and Training

 Strengthening of State Councils of Educational. Research and Training.

Various New Schemes/ Initiatives by Government of India

Pragati Scholarship for Girls

To provide encouragement and support to Girl Child to pursue technical education Pragati
Scholarship has been launched by the government from the year 2014-15. One Girl per family whose
family income is less than ` 6 lakhs per annum.

Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

The scheme was launched on July 9, 2015. This programme is directed towards creating
interest among school going students from classes I to XII in Science. Model labs would be created
all over the country for this purpose.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Programme

Launched on January 20, 2015 has ushered in to encourage education among girl children.
The programme is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of
Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of HRD.

Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat

It is a sub-programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan launched in August, 2014 with special focus
on improving language development and to create interest in Mathematics. The two tracks of Padhe
Bharat Badhe Bharat are : Early reading and writing with comprehension (ERWC) and Early
Mathematics (EM).


The CBSE Board has launched an online facility titled 'Saransh' for affiliated and CBSE
schools on November 2, 2014. It helps the schools to look at their performance at an aggregate level
and at the level of each student. It is an online self-review tool for schools affiliated to CBSE.

Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (Swayam)

It is a Web portal where Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be available on all
kinds of subjects. SWAYAM is the Indian electronic e-education platform which proposes to offer
courses from the high school stage to Post-Graduate stage in an interactive electronic platform. The
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IT platform for SWAYAM was operationalized by March 31, 2016 with a capacity to host nearly
2,000 courses.

Right to Education

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, popularly known as the
Right to Education Act (RTE Act), is a Central legislation that ensures the aspects of the right of
children of age six to fourteen years to free and compulsory elementary education (Classes I to VIII).
This is now a Fundamental Right under India's Constitution (Article-21A).

46. New Urban Agenda
The New Urban Agenda aims to be the international community‘s foremost guide for
sustainable urban development over the next 20 years.

The New Urban Agenda represents a paradigm shift in global thinking, recognising what
professionals have perhaps understood for some time: that our future is urban. From
gender-equity to youth-empowerment, participatory planning to inclusive public space,
The New Urban Agenda sets a high benchmark for the type of urban development we
should strive for and a global accountability framework for achieving it. Its catch-cry to
―leave no one behind‖ commits to reducing urban inequality.
Key concepts highlighted in the New Urban Agenda:

The urban paradigm: By 2050 the world urban population is expected to nearly double,
making urbanisation one of the 21st century‘s most transformative trends. NUA asks us to
take advantage of this opportunity as the vehicle through which sustainable development
can be realised.

Everyone has a right to the city:. The New Urban Agenda encourages practices that work
towards just, safe, healthy and resilient. Practices that end poverty in all its forms, end
violence against women and girls (particularly in public spaces) and end all forms of
discrimination, including people with disabilities.

Participatory and people-centered cities: The New Urban Agenda calls for people-
centered planning, and to ensure that participation is integrated across all areas of practice.
Supporting local leadership: The New Urban Agenda outlines that it is everyone‘s
responsibility: individuals, communities, civil society to shape better cities.

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Age and gender-responsive planning: Across all areas of city-making, the New Urban
Agenda calls on professionals to seek to achieve gender equality. This includes women‘s
full and effective participation at all levels of decision making, as well as eliminating all
forms of discrimination, violence, and harassment against women and girls in private and
public spaces.

Environment, disaster and resilience: Under the New Urban Agenda UN member states
acknowledged the threat of climate change and committed to preserve and promote the
ecological and social function of land in cities.
Smart cities approach: Governments and partners are urged to make the most of
digitisation and a smart cities approach as an independent point. Equally governments and
partners are urged to work more closely with science and technology sector.

NUA & Smart Cities Mission

The smart city guidelines stipulate that the Indian smart city needs to adhere to 24 features
in order to be ―smart‖. The overlap between these features and the transformative
commitments of the NUA are quite significant.

With an emphasis on promoting civic engagement and strengthening participatory local

governance, the NUA mirrors the commitment of the smart city for civic participation—
where the citizens of the city have been involved in the mission at every step through polls
and calls for suggestions to redevelop their cities.

Similarly, the SCM has promoted the concept of municipal bonds in Indian cities.
Further, with regard to the empanelment of special transaction advisers for each of the
cities, the MoUD has also assigned credit ratings for most of the smart cities to facilitate the
process of issuing municipal bonds for mobilization of resources. On the other hand, the
NUA calls for sustainable financial frameworks for municipal finance and local fiscal

The NUA aspires to integrated and vulnerable section—responsive housing policies,

aspects that many of India‘s smart cities are paying close attention to—with the lead city
Bhubaneswar making these the prime focus of its redevelopment efforts. Furthermore, both
the NUA and SCM guidelines pay close attention to infrastructure and services such as
solid waste management, compact urban planning and energy resources.

Therefore, the SCM can be viewed as an extension of the strategy expressed in the NUA.

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47. New Urban Housing Mission

48. Urban Floods

Definition of Urban Flooding

Urban flooding is the inundation of land or property in a built environment,

particularly in more densely populated areas, caused by rainfall overwhelming the
capacity of drainage systems, such as storm sewers.

The problem of floods in urban areas became so acute that in 2010, the National Disaster
Management Authority (NDMA) recognised urban floods as different from riverine floods.
It said urban floods "happen in a relatively short period of time and can inundate an area
with several feet of water". It also said that urbanisation creates artificial catchments which
increase the flood intensity by six times as opposed to riverine floods. Consequently, flood-
ing occurs quickly in urban areas. The effects of unplanned urbanisation are already
visible. The mangrove cover in Mumbai reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent between
1925 and 1994.

In the same period, the city's built-up area increased from 12 to 52 per cent. Srinagar lost
almost 50 per cent of its water bodies between 1911 and 2004. This was the major reason for
the 2014 floods in the city. Bengaluru, which had 262 lakes in the 1960s, has only 10 lakes
that can be called healthy.

Factors are many—

 inadequate drainage systems,

 constructions on flood plains and river beds and
 loss of natural water storage areas.

It only shows how rapid urbanisation in and around a city makes floods inevitable.

Unplanned Urbanisation

Unplanned urbanisation has drastically altered the drainage characteristics of natural

catchments, or drainage areas, by increasing the volume and rate of surface runoff.
Drainage systems are unable to cope with the increased volume of water and are often
encountered with the blockage due to indiscriminate disposal of solid wastes.
Encroachment of wetlands, floodplains, etc. obstructs flood ways causing loss of natural
flood storage.

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What Causes Urban Flooding?

The un-even distribution of rain fall coupled with mindless urbanisation, encroaching
upon and filling up natural drainage channels and urban lakes to use the high-value urban
land for buildings are the cause of urban flooding. The illegal filling of urban water bodies
in cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad etc. is rampant. In Kolkata, for instance, Lake
Town, badly situated, has not only suffered heavy floods in 1999 but also in 1970, 1978,
1984. The No. of Ponds in Delhi accounting for about 350 in 1950, had now remained 5 and
rest vanished. Thousands of illegal colonies have emerged in city and planning has been
thrown to the winds resulting in constriction of natural drainage inviting urban floods.

Devastating floods in major Indian cities have now become a regular phenomenon. Urban
cities face multiple challenges due to increased stress on the urban ecology that increases
the risk and adverse impact of floods. These include unplanned urban development, often
on floodplains, haphazard and unscientific land reclamation, urban heat-island effect, land
subsidence due to groundwater extraction and compaction, etc. Climate change risks
include changing local rainfall patterns that can lead to more frequent and higher level of
floods from rivers, more intense flash flooding and sea level rise in coastal cities, causing
increased flood damage.

The vertical growth of inner cities in large cities is disproportionate to the sewage and
storm water drain network, much of it created during the British Raj and now poorly
maintained. Even in cities, which were newly-developed or had expanded horizontally, the
encroachment of natural water storage and drainage systems has spelt disaster.

Natural streams and watercourses, formed over thousands of years due to the forces of
flowing water in the respective watersheds, have been altered because of urbanisation. "As
a result of this, the flow of water has increased in proportion to the urbanisation of the
watersheds. Ideally, the natural drains should have been widened to accommodate the
higher flows of storm water. But on the contrary, there have been large scale
encroachments on the natural drains and the river flood plains. Consequently, the capacity
of natural drains has decreased, resulting in flooding.


Urbanisation leads to paving of surfaces which decreases ground absorption and increases
the speed and amount of surface flow. The water rushes down suddenly into the streams
from their catchment areas leading to a sudden rise in water level and flash floods.
Unplanned urbanisation is the key cause of urban flooding. Various kinds of depression
and low lying areas near or around the cities which acted as cushions and flood absorbers
are gradually filled up and built upon due to urbanisation pressure. This results in
inadequate channel capacity causing urban flooding.
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Unauthorised colonies : Unauthorised colonies have been developed by the local
colonisers on the agriculture land, earlier being used for crop has been purchased at lucra-
tive prices from farmers, without consideration to the city plans, drainage, sewerage etc.
and thus subjected to flooding during heavy rainfalls.

Poor Water and Sewerage Management : Old drainage and sewerage system has not been
overhauled nor is it adequate now. All the drainage and sewer system in many parts of
Delhi has collapsed resulting in flooding. This can be seen during rainy seasons every year.

Population pressure : Because of large amount of people, more materials are needed, like
wood, land, food, etc. This aggravates- overgrazing, over cultivation and soil erosion which
increases the risk of flooding.

Deforestation : Large areas of forests near the rivers /catchment of cities are used to make
rooms for settlements, roads and farmlands and are being cleared due to which soil is
quickly lost to drains. This raises the drain bed causing overflow and in turn urban

Trespassing on water storm drains : The areas which were essentially created by the storm
water drains to let their flood waters pass freely being tresspassed for developmental
purposes result in obstruction of water flow and thus contributed immensely to the fury of

Damages from Urban Flooding

Damages from urban flooding can be grouped into two categories :

 Direct damage—typically material damage caused by water or flowing water.

 Indirect damage—social consequences that are negative long term effects of a more
psychological character, like decrease of property values in frequently flooded
areas and delayed economic development, for e.g,. traffic disruptions,
administrative and labour costs, production losses, spreading of diseases, etc. Urban
flooding creates considerable infrastructure problems and huge economic losses in
terms of production, as well as significant damage to property and goods.
Flooding in urban areas causes large damage to buildings and other public and
private infrastructure. Besides, street flooding can limit or completely hinder the
functioning of traffic systems and has indirect consequences such as loss of
business and opportunity. The expected total damage; direct and indirect monetary
damage costs as well as possible social consequences is related to the physical
properties of the flood, i.e., the water level above ground level, the extent of flooding
in terms of water volume escaping from or not being entering the drainage system,
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and the duration of flooding. With sloped surfaces even the flow velocity on the
surface might have an impact on potential flood damage. Precipitation, intensity and
the duration of time are the key elements that decide flooding. Sometimes even 8 cm
to 10 cm of rainfall in a short span of time have resulted in flooding, and if it
occurred in a matter of one or two days, the water seeps into the soil, in the case of
mixed land use (urban, vegetation). Even a 30 mm rainfall in a matter of 30 minutes
could cause flooding, especially in the low-lying areas, due to intense urbanisation.

Recommendations and Conclusion

Pinning responsibility for faulty planning and political decisions, preparing a scientific
watershed management plan, putting in place a disaster warning system, and addressing
the immediate problems of the urban poor are the first steps forward.

According to Delhi-based nonprofit Centre for Science and Environment, urban planners
should undertake a detailed mapping of water bodies, natural drainage and flood-prone
areas in cities using remote sensing, and then integrate the drainage system of the city
including rivers, rivulets, ponds, lakes and other natural drainage systems. The non-profit
also suggests policymakers to relook the development plans approved by city authorities
and find out whether they violate the hydro-logical cycle of the city. Finally, it calls for
stronger laws to protect urban lakes and the setting up of a single authority for the
management and restoration of water bodies.

49. Urban Development Schemes



50. Waiving of Loans for Farmers – Issues and Challenges


Today more than before there is a serious agricultural crisis looming before the nation.
India is a rich state rut its farmers are poor. Being the largest employer in the country,
agriculture is currently undergoing an unprecedented crisis, not just because of the
vagaries of nature. Agriculture is no longer a remunerative occupation, especially for the
small farmer, and 78 per cent farmers want to quit agriculture if given a choice.

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Present Status of Agriculture

Half of India's population (48.4 per cent) is engaged in agriculture, yet its contribution to
GDP is only 17.4 per cent. Agriculture is said to be India's largest private-sector enterprise,
engaging nearly 119 million farmers ('cultivators') and another 144 million landless
labourers, as per the 2011 Census. Farming in India is moving from a subsistence and tradi-
tional mode to a modern capitalist mode with farmers investing in land improvement and
irrigation, adopting new seed varieties, new crops and new methods of cultivation. Many
farmers with marginal holdings are leasing their land to larger farmers so that there is a de
facto dilution of ceiling laws. Enterprising farmers are borrowing and investing in these
improvements in a business where weather and market volatility risks have not been
significantly reduced. If farmers' unrest could happen in MP, which claims to have
registered the fastest agri-GDP growth at 9.7 per cent per year during 2005-06 to 2014-15,
then no state is likely to be immune from it.

Farmers' Indebtedness

The peasant in India is born in debt, lives in debt, dies in debt and bequeaths debt. This is
what Sir Malcolm Darling, a famous British researcher and writer, wrote in 1925 after
studying the condition of undivided Punjab's peasants. Had Darling been alive today he
would have rephrased his statement; he would have said the Indian farmer is born in debt,
lives in debt, is beaten for debt and dies in debt. Mounting loans have forced farmers to
commit suicide.

One of the primary features of the agricultural scenario in India is the indebtedness of
farming households. The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) survey report of
2014 confirms the worsening of indebtedness. It underlines that more than half of all
agricultural households (52%) are reeling under debt and the average amount of debt per
household is estimated at Rs.47,000.

Concept of Loan Waiver

When there is a poor monsoon or natural calamity, or output prices may not be
remunerative, farmers may be unable to repay loans. The rural distress in such situations
often prompts States or the Centre to offer relief—reduction or complete waiver of loans.
Farm loans may be crop loans or investment loans taken to buy equipment. The concept of
loan waiver is essentially related to the Centre or States taking over the liability of farmers
and repay the banks. Waivers are usually selective —only certain loan types, categories of
farmers or loan sources may qualify. The concerns of the farmers are, however, quite
justified. Loan waivers provide some relief to farmers in such situations, but there are
debates about the long-term effectiveness of the measure.

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According to a Bank of America-Merrill Lynch research report released in June 2017, farm
loan waivers to small and marginal farmers in the run-up to the 2019 polls can total 2% of
India's GDP. India could witness farm loan waivers well in excess of 1 lakh crore. That
would add to the states' fiscal deficit and raise the combined public sector borrowing,
setting off alarm about the country's fiscal discipline. The higher borrowings to finance
loan waivers would shrink room to fund public investment, affecting growth. Many small
farmers are not covered by institutional credit and waivers tend to help those who are
already benefiting from state procurement under price support. The Centre is not consi-
dering any proposal for farm loan waiver because as per Fiscal Responsibility and Budget
Management (FRBM) Act and fiscal deficit target, it intends adhering to it.

Loan waivers are both 'bad politics' and 'bad economies'. Bad economics is not good
politics. Political parties promise freebies. The fate of poll promises is no secret in this
country. The problem is embedded in this spurious 'benevolence'. Parties dole out national
resources under the garb of democracy. Winning elections is important for politicians at
any cost. Only an informed public discourse that sees through the trade offs politicians
make can act as a restraint.

Distress in Agriculture

From 1947 till now, every government has treated farmers as a vote bank. It is possible that
some people made attempts to exploit their agony, but then farmers have always been at
the receiving end. Scholars like Chatterjee and Kapur in their study have identified the
distress and characterizing them as six 'puzzles in Indian agri-culture', namely:

1. prices,
2. procurement,
3. political economy,
4. trade,
5. productivity, and
6. exit.

Their work represents a major attempt to provide an integrated macro overview of the
failings of Indian agriculture, which continues of directly support—albeit poorly—a large
fraction of the nation's population. The specific issues, briefly, are as follows :

1. There is high and persistent variation in agricultural prices across the country.
2. There is widely varying implementation of, national price support policies across
different states and even districts within states.
3. Despite numbers of periodic protests (such as we are seeing now) farmers' incomes
have languished.
4. India seems to produce an excess and export agricultural crops that are intensive in
scarce resources such as water and land.
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5. Agricultural productivity varies dramatically across India, often being well below
the technology frontier.
6. Farmers seem to be trapped in their low-income occupation, unable to exit.

Food inflation came in at a negative 1.05% in May 2017. Negative food inflation along with
declining wages in rural areas confirms severe demand deflation. It has contributed largely
to the collapse of agricultural prices. The final nail in the coffin was the demonetization of
high-value currency notes, which affected the purchasing capacity of market traders,
forcing farmers to undertake distress sales.

There are various ways to de-stress the rural sector. They are as under:

1. Ensure crop insurance penetration across the country.

2. Extend reach of minimum support price, which has, far too long, been dedicated to
few crops and in a narrow geographical area
3. Difficult though, have a robust food processing industry. The agro-processing
industry and warehousing need to expand so that agricultural produce can be stored
when prices plunge.
4. Credit products for agriculture need to be tailor-made based on cropping and rain
cycle, specific to a particular region. The regional offices of commercial banks should
contribute in this exercise.
5. The period of crop loan should be extendable to four years, given that, on average,
every second or third year the spatial distribution of rain pattern is erratic in India.
6. As in the case of other subsidies, the government needs to start linking farm credit
and interest rate subvention with Aadhaar numbers. All farm loans should be linked
with insurance so that the bank gets covered for loan loss while the government pays
its share on insurance premium.

51. Problems of Farmers.


The Distressed Farmer

Agriculture in India is called a gamble of monsoons. Above that agriculture to

remain profitable for farmers many more things are expected to fall in place. Low produce
results into less profit and producing more than demand also leads to fall in general prices
of farm produce. The Indian farmer has always been like a walnut in a nutcracker always
under pressure from both the supply and the demand sides.

While farmers who have access to irrigation are better placed, those who are in rain
fed and drought prone areas are most vulnerable. They occupy 60% of the cultivated area,

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but contribute only 45% of the total agricultural production. A single crop failure due to
drought, flood or similar reasons can collapse them. It is highly unfortunate that in a
country like India where approximately 70% of the total population is directly or indirectly
dependent on agriculture, the cases of farmer suicides are increasing by the day. 11.2% of
the total suicides in the country are farmer suicides.

 The Centre in the month of may 2017, informed the Supreme Court that over 12000
suicides were reported in the agricultural sector every year since 2013.
 The Union government revealed that the maximum number of suicides (4291) was
reported from Maharashtra followed by Karnataka (1569), Telangana (1400), Madhya
Pradesh (1290), Chhattisgarh (954), Andhra Pradesh (916) and Tamil Nadu (606).
 Together, these seven states accounted for 87.5% of total suicides in the farming sector
in the country.

Major Challenges Faced by Farmers in India

Small Agricultural Land Holdings

Nearly 80% of the 140 million farming families hold less than 2 acres of land. Large
land holdings enable the farmer to implement modern agricultural techniques and boost
productivity. Small land holdings forced the farmer to use traditional methods of farming
and limit its productivity. The problem of small and fragmented holdings is more serious
in densely populated and intensively cultivated States like Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and
eastern part of Uttar Pradesh.

Undersupply of HYV Seeds

Distribution of assured quality seeds is as critical as the production of such seeds.

Most of the farmers, especially the poor and marginal ones, are dependent on seeds sold in.
the market. Moreover, the HYV seeds as well as the GM (Genetically Modified) seeds
which promise higher yields force the farmers to buy seeds for every crop. With artificial
seeds hitting the market, the farmers' burden has exceeded all limits.

Absence of Irrigation Facilities

Although India is the second largest irrigated country of the world after China still,
only one third of the cropped area is under irrigation. Irrigation is the most important
agricultural input in a tropical monsoon country like India where rainfall is uncertain,
unreliable and erratic. India cannot achieve sustained progress in agriculture unless and
until more than half of the cropped area is brought under assured irrigation.

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Lack of Mechanisation

In spite of the large scale Mechanisation of agriculture in / some parts of the country,
most of the agricultural operations in / larger parts are carried on by human hand using
simple and conventional tools and implements like wooden plough, sickle, etc.

Supply Channel Bottleneck and Lack of Market Understanding

A supply channel bottleneck is serious problem for a farmer who is already

burdened with a host of troubles. These are issues which need to be tackled at the regional,
State and National levels. An improper marketing and storage channel also leads to storage
problems in the years where productivity is good.

Agricultural Marketing

Agricultural marketing still continues to be in a bad shape in rural India. In the

absence of sound marketing facilities, the farmers have to depend upon local traders and
middlemen for the disposal of their farm produce which is sold at throw —away price.

MSP Crisis

The Minimum Support Prices (MSP) offered by the government is a double edged
sword. MSPs protect farmers from being exploited by middlemen, but during times of
excess crop, government runs the risk of an unnecessary fiscal deficit by buying the excess
produce. Lack of proper storage facilities and lack of a proper international market linkage
leads to lower exports and in many cases leads to huge amount of wastage.

Inadequate Storage Facilities

Storage facilities in the rural areas are either totally absent or heavily lacking. Under
such conditions the farmers are compelled to sell their produce immediately after the
harvest at the prevailing market prices which are bound to be low. Such distress sale
deprives the farmers of their legitimate income.

Shortage of Transport System

One of the main handicaps with Indian agriculture is the lack of cheap and efficient
means of transportation. Even at present there are lakhs of villages which are not well
connected with main roads or with market centres.

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Scarcity of Capital

Agriculture is an important industry and like all other industries it also requires
capital. The role of capital input is becoming more and more important with the
advancement of farm technology. The banks are reluctant to provide credit to small
farmers as the default rate is high among them. This forced them to take the help of local
moneylenders who charge them at exorbitant rate.

Problems with the Current Insurance Schemes

 There is low awareness about the current schemes. Only 19% farmers have heard of
such schemes and less than this are covered under them.
 Low penetration of Financial Institutions also adds to the cause of poor insurance
 A high premium rate along with poor settlement doesn‘t allow the farmer to opt for
insurance schemes.
 The existing insurance schemes are unable to protect the farmers against price

Loan Waiving Policy 2008 and its Negative Impact

In 2008, the UPA-I government had decided to waive off the loans of farmers,
putting a burden on exchequer close to ` 65000 crore. The outcome of this policy is as
follows Loan Performance Despite of 100% debt waiver, the default rate of loans remained
as high as before. The most probable reason for this could be either driven by continued
distress or because of strategic behaviour caused by expectations of future waivers.

Rejection of the Loan Application Due to financial burden, loan officers mostly
rejected small and marginal farmers 'applications. Financial Burden this policy forced to
create a huge financial burden since the waiving policy took toll on the banks by
increasing the non— performing assets of commercial banks.

Excludes Small Farmers A significant number of marginal and small farmers are out
of the formal credit net and are largely dependent on local money lenders who charges

Government's Push to Rejuvenate Agriculture Sector

Record Credit Target The agricultural credit target was fixed ` 10 Lakh Crore for 2017
— 18, which is highest ever so far for a particular year. Efforts would be taken to ensure
adequate flow of credit to the under serviced areas, the Eastern States and Jammu &
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Linking PACS to CBS Integration of Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS)
with the Core Banking System (CBS) of the District Central Cooperative Banks will not
only improve efficiency of delivery and recovery of credit, but will also reduce losses of
PACS, and will help improve their viability.

Expansion in Coverage of PMFBY Government will expand the coverage of

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and the coverage under the scheme will be increased
from 30% of the cropped area in 2016-17 to 40% in 2017-18 and 50% in 2018-19.

Higher Allocation for Long-Term Irrigation Fund A higher allocation towards Long
Term Irrigation Fund (LITF) was announced. Its objective is to fund and fast track the
implementation of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects in the country.

Increasing Coverage of e-NAM e-NAM (National Agriculture Market), a single—

window online service integrating mandis (agriculture markets), was launched in April
2016 to let farmers and traders view all Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC)
related information and services. The government has announced mission to link 585
Mandis to the portal by March, 2018.

52. Gorkhaland Issue

Gorkhaland consists of Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and
other hilly districts of West-Bengal. The people belonging to these areas have ethical,
cultural and language differences with the Bengali community of West-Bengal.

The demand of Darjeeling as a separate administrative region dates back to 1907. But, the
term ―Gorkhaland‖ was coined recently, in the 1980s, by Subhash Ghising, the founder of
Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).

The Gorkhaland Movement is a movement mainly focused in the Darjeeling Hills of West
Bengal, which demands the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.

The area covers Duars and Terai region of West Bengal. And is famous for its tea and
beauty, which are the main sources of its income.

Reasons for demand for separate statehood for Gorkhaland

The main reason for the separate Gorkhaland movement is due to the differences in
ethnicity, culture and language.

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The people of Nepali-Indian Gorkha ethnic origin on the Northern part of West Bengal
demands a state on basis of their cultural identity, which is very different from Bengali

In addition to an identity crisis, there is also an issue of poverty, under-development and

politicisation of the issue.
According to Rajat Ganguli (author of ‗Poverty, Malgovernance and Ethnopolitical
Mobilization: Gorkha Nationalism and the Gorkhaland Agitation in India‘). It was a failure
of governance combined with politicisation that bred the Gorkhaland issue. He cites the
historical trend, especially post-independence, where the issue erupts only when it‘s
pampered by political aspirations.
Chronology of ‗demands for autonomy‘

In 1907, The demand for a separate administrative unit in Darjeeling was raised for the first
time by the Hillmen‘s Association of Darjeeling.

In 1941, it demanded exclusion of Darjeeling from Bengal and to make it a chief

commissioner province.

The undivided Communist Party of India, in 1947 submitted a memorandum to the

Constituent Assembly demanding the formation of Gorkhasthan comprising Darjeeling
district and Sikkim.

In 1952, Akhil BharatiyaGorkha League (ABGL) meets Prime Minister and demands
separation from Bengal.

1977- 81: The West Bengal government passes a unanimous resolution supporting the
creation of an autonomous district council consisting Darjeeling and related areas.

1980: Subhash Ghising forms Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF).

GNLF launches a most violent agitation in Gorkhaland movement history in 1986.

In 1988, Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council accord is signed by GNLF, the state of Bengal and
the Centre. Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council came into action. GNLF drops the demand for
the separate state.

In 2005, the same parties signed an in–principle memorandum of settlement to include

Darjeeling in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which addresses the
administration of tribal areas.

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Calling ‗the Sixth Schedule solution‘ a betrayal to Gorkhaland, Bimal Gurung launched
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in 2007. The same year witnessed a rise in agitations for
the separate Gorkhaland demand.
In 2011 the memorandum of agreement for the formation of a Gorkhaland Territorial
Administration (GTA), a semi-autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling, passed
by West Bengal legislative assembly to calm the GJM.

53. Naxalism

• It refers to the Use of violence to destabilise the State through various communist
guerrilla groups. Naxalites are far-left radical communists, who derive their political
ideology from the teachings of Mao Zedong, a Chinese revolutionary communist leader.
Naxalites have been operating in various parts of the country since the early seventies.
At various points of time different areas of the country have been, seriously affected by
the violence resorted to by the naxalite groups active in those areas.

• In 2006, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Naxalism as the most
significant threat to internal security and it is imperative to. control Left-wing
extremism for the country's growth.

Naxalbari Uprising
• Naxalbari is a village near Siliguri North-West Bengal, which became infamous on May
25, 1967 as it revived left wing extremism in India. Charu Mazumdar was active leader
of the area and was mobilising peasants against State for an armed conflict. On the other
hand, there were repetitive incidences of Class conflicts between peasants and

• One such conflict escalated in which a tribal youth, who had a judicial order to plough
his land, was attacked by 'goons' of local landlords. Tribals retaliated and started
forcefully capturing back their lands. The CPI (M)-led United Front government cracked
down on the uprising. The incident echoed throughout India and naxalism was born. In
response revolutionary leaders fled the area and declared armed struggle against State
of India. They formed a new party Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) in 1969
and this was motivated and influenced deeply by Communist Party of China. This
incident fired the imagination of Bengali Youth and there was popular support for
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Charu. Many university students joined the organisation and became part of its
different forms of front organisations, which they use for propaganda.

• Their Strategy is based on the writings of Mao Zedong which is explained in his book
‗yu chi chan‘ (Guerrilla Warfare), it emphasises on
 Organisation consolidation and preservation of regional base areas situated in
isolated and difficult terrain
 Progressive expansion, which includes attacks on police stations, sabotage, terror
tactics, elimination of persons with alternate viewpoints.
 Destruction of the enemy through conventional battles and capture of power

• Purpose The Naxalites states their main political purpose as establishing an alternative
State structure in India by creating a ‗red corridor‘ in Naxalite affected states, stretching
from the border of Nepal to Central India to Karnataka in the South through violent

• In initial phases, they wage guerilla warfare and inflict surprise attacks. This is to make
enemy weaker and project their claim over an area. This is also used by them to make
common people under their influence believe that State is not all mighty and it is
possible to defeat the State. They keep a strict vigil on people under them and suspected
detractors or people with different views are brutally killed or tortured.

• This strategy is long one, and they believe that it will take decades to achieve their
objective. Till then they prefer to silently strengthen their network and build capacity.
Some leaked official documents of CPI (M) suggest that they plan to bring down Indian
State by 2050 or 2060. Obviously, this is outright impossible, but we'll have to agree that
they can inflict substantial damage and State's responsibility and focus is to minimise
this damage.

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Phases of Naxalism

Modus Operandi
Frontal Organisations of LWE (Left Wing Extremists)
• The Maoists use their front organisations, like students union of universities e.g., JNU,
New Delhi, revolutionary democratic front organisations etc. to generate people's
sympathy through persuasion and propaganda on human rights issues.

Guerrilla Warfare
• It refers to the use of tactics, like ambush, sabotage, raids, petty warfare; hit cum run
tactics in areas, like dense forests. These types of attack cause huge casuality on armed

Powerful Propaganda Machinery

• They have strategic propaganda machinery in all major areas of the country. They have
sympathizers in. every walk of the nation, even media many a times support them.

Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC)

• They carry out violent activities called TCOC, which runs from March to monsoon
months. These recent attacks are a part of this strategy, by this way they push our
security forced backward and in the monsoon months they carry out fresh recruitment.

Factors Responsible for Rise of Naxalism

• It is ironical that after 60 years of independence, many remote areas are otherwise rich
in mineral resources are yet to see sign of development. This situation, combined with
many other socio- economic problems has contributed to the rise of naxalism in India.
These factors can be broadly categorised as follows:

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 Evasion of land ceiling laws
 Non-regularisation of traditional land rights.
 Land acquisition without appropriate compensation and rehabilitation.
 Disruption of age old tribal-forest relationship.

Governance Deficit
 Lack of routine administration. Incompetent, ill-trained and poorly motivated public
 Mismanagement and corruption in government schemes.
 Poor implementation of laws like Panchayati Raj Extension to Scheduled Areas
(PESA,1996), Forest Rights Act (FRA,2005) etc.
 Perversion of electoral politics and unsatisfactory working of local government
Development Deficit
 Unemployment, poverty, infrastructure deficit, lack of education, poor health
facilities etc.
 Social exclusion and Alienation
 Violation of human rights
 Abuse of dignity of life
 Disconnect with mainstream society
 Discontent against government

Development and Naxalism

• From the ideology it appears that naxalites are fighting for the rights of the
downtrodden and want to establish a people's government, while the facts are quite
contrary. Social upliftment of the downtrodden is not their real aim, rather it is political
power. They study the local problems and issues and use them as fodder to foster their
end game which is clearly the seizure of power, through political means.

• They have vested interests in keeping the poverty alive because it enables them to
expand their territory- They don't allow district administration to do any development
work like building roads and improving electricity and water supply in the areas.

• The local population may very soon realises that they have been used by the naxalites
and their social and economic issues have taken a backseat while the battle for acquiring
political power has become their motto.

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(PESA) Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and Naxalism

• The PESA Act was in-acted in 1996 to enable Tribal Self Rule in these areas. The Act
extended the provisions of Panchayats to the tribal areas of nine States that have Fifth
Schedule Areas. The PESA Act gives radical governance powers to the tribal community
and recognises its traditional community rights over local natural resources and accepts
the validity of 'customary law, social and religious practices, and traditional
management practices of community resources. Accepting a clear-cut role for the
community, it gives wide-ranging powers to Gram Sabhas, which had hither to been
denied to them by the lawmakers of the country.

• Nothing would deal a bigger blow to the Maoists than participative development by, for
and of the tribal communities. Honest implementation of the PESA Act would empower
the marginalised tribals so that they can take care of their developmental needs. This
would deprive the Naxals of their ground support coming from the misguided and
helpless tribals.

How to force State governments implement the PESA Act?

 Central government should issue a notification that all other laws will be
subordinate to PESA in the fifth schedule (or PESA) areas.
 Follow the recommendation of the BD Sharma Committee. It suggested issuing
notification of a date, when all pending cases in any Court of Law in which the land
of a tribal is alleged to have been illegally transferred or occupied by any person or
body, shall stand transferred to the Gram Sabha in whose jurisdiction the land is

• PESA has the real potential to deal a fatal blow to the leftwing extremists thriving on
their backwardness, ignorance, and isolation. The "Original Indian People' of India
deserve a life free of exploitation, poverty, and fear.

Counter Operartions
Salwa Judum
• So called People's movement was named Salwa Judum, to mean, "Peace hunt' in the
local Gondi tribal dialect. The movement was launched by a few villagers angered by
Naxal interference in the local trade of tendu leaves (used for making bidis).

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• However, later on, it was alleged that maintaining law and order in Dantewada and
Bastar was outsourced to the Salwa Judum cadres, some of them as young as 15-16
years in age.
Grey Hound Police
• The Greyhounds are an elite commando force of Andhra Pradesh, India created to
combat left wing extremists. Ii is considered the best anti-Naxalite force in the country,
even above the CRPF's CoBRA. The Force is also known for its guerrilla approach and
its functioning in the field, which is near similar to that of the Maoists.

Operation Green Hunt

• It was the name used by the Indian media to describe the 'all-out offensive' by
government of India's paramilitary forces and the State's forces against the Naxalites.
The operation is believed to have begun in November, 2009 along five States in the Red
Corridor. Recent attack on CRPF battalion is said to be in retaliation against this

Peace Talks with Maoists and Ceasefires

• In 2004, Andhra Pradesh government entered into peace talks with the Maoist. Maoist
showed unwavering stand and put up strange conditions, like they should be allowed
to wield arms wherever they like. State should call back troops from their areas etc. It
was clear that Maoist Plan for ultimate overthrow of Indian State is non-negotiable.
They just wanted to buy time to strengthen themselves.

Surrender Policy
• Naxal-affected States have also announced surrender policies. The Jharkhand
government offered Rs.50000 to surrendered Naxalites plus a monthly allowance of Rs.
2000,one acre of agricultural land, and educational and health benefits to their children.

• The Chhattisgarh government offered up to Rs.3 lakh for weapon surrender. The
Odisha government announced Rs. 10000 for surrender, Rs. 20000 for arms surrender,
and Rs. 2 lakh of bank loan without interest for two years.

Development Strategy
 Decentralisation and participative democracy with affirmative action by the State for
the upliftment of the marginalised and oppressed.

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 Better infrastructure, like roads, schools, hospitals, electricity and communication
 More emphasis on socio-economic development and employment generation.
 Proper implementation of Tribal welfare schemes and laws like FRA Act. PESA Act
 Political parties must strengthen their cadre base in naxal areas, so that potential
youth can be taken away from the path of naxal ideology.

Security Strategy
Some broad points of this strategy are
 Local police infrastructure should be developed with increasing the number of
security force personnel‘s possessing modern weapons and technical equipment‘s.
 Primacy to State police at all levels with up gradation in capacity.
 Special training to police personnel with special emphasis on strengthening of local
intelligence units.
 Posting of motivated and competent police officers, inter-state police coordination
for collective counter operations.

Psychological Operations
• Use of media and civil society organisations to restore public faith and confidence in the
government machinery.

Additional Measures
 The door for peace talks should always be left open.
 Cutting financial support to naxal movement.
 Time bound conviction of arrested cadre must be ensures through vital reforms in
criminal judicial system.
 Effective surrender and rehabilitation policy ensuring proper safety and care of their

54. Cyber Security

Cyber Crime

A Threat to the Dream of e-Governance

• In the aftermath of the recent cyber-attacks like ransomware attack, hacking of Indian
universities websites, leaks of ATM pins and several others, the debate over cyber
security structure not only at the national level but also at global level has taken a front

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seat among various discussion forums like media, bureaucracy, international
institutions as well as common citizens.

Types of Cyber Security Threats

• Hacking in simple terms means an illegal intrusion into a -computer system and/or
network. There is an equivalent term to hacking i.e., cracking, but from Indian legal
perspective there is no difference between the term hacking and cracking. Every act
committed towards breaking into a computer and/or network is hacking. Hackers write
or use ready-made computer programs to attack the target computer.

Cyber Stalking
• This term is used to refer to the use of the internet, e-mail, or other electronic
communications devices to stalk another person. Cyber stalking can be defined as the
repeated acts of harassment or threatening behaviour of the cyber-criminal towards the
victim by using internet services.

Denial of Service
• This is a technology driven cyber intrusion, where by the influencer floods the
bandwidth or blocks the user's mails with spam mails depriving the user, access to the
Internet and the services provided therefrom.

Dissemination of Malicious Software (Malware)

• Malware is defined as a software designed to perform an unwanted illegal act via the
computer network. It could be also defined as software with malicious intent. Malware
can be classified based on how they get executed, how they spread, and/or what they
do. Some of them are

• Virus A virus is a program that can infect other programs by modifying them to include
a possible evolved copy of itself. A virus can spread throughout a computer or network
using the authorisation of every user using it to infect their program. Every program so
infected may also act as a virus and thus the infection grows. Viruses normally affect
program files, but in some cases they also affect data files disrupting the use of data and
destroying them completely.

• Trojans Trojan is another form of Malware, trojans do things other than what is
expected by the user. Trojan or trojan horse is a program that generally impairs the
security of a system. Trojans are used to create back-doors (a program that allows
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outside access into a secure network) on computers belonging to a secure network so
that a hacker can have access to the secure network.

• Unlike viruses, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as

• Hoax Hoax is an e-mail that warns the user of a certain system that is harming the
computer. The message thereafter instructs the user to run a procedure (most often in
the form of a download) to correct the harming system. When this program is run, it
invades the system and deletes an important file.

• Spyware Spyware invades a computer and, as its name implies, monitors a user's
activities without consent. Spywares are usually forwarded through unsuspecting e-
mails with bonafide e-mail i.ds. Spyware continues to infect millions of computers

• Phishers lure users to a phony website, usually by sending them an authentic appearing
e-mail. Once at the fake site, users are tricked into divulging a variety of private
information, such as passwords and account numbers.

• Data theft-outright stealing of most commonly classified or proprietary information

without authorisation. This could be the result of data interception. It might also be the
unlawful use or possession of copyrighted works, such as songs, pictures, movies or
other works of art.

• The recent ransomware worm attack that stopped car factories, hospitals, shops, ATMs
and schools worldwide is regarded as one of the worst cyber attack that hit the world in
recent times.

What is Ransomware?
• Ransomware is a type of malicious software that carries out the cryptoviral extortion
attack from crypt virology that blocks access to data until a ransom is paid and displays
a message requesting payment to unlock it. Simple ransomware may lock the system in
a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse.

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Tools to Protect Against Cyber Threats
• Other than the general use of antivirus, firewalls and gateways, strong passwords,
secure Wi-Fi connection, training to netizen, etc. there are few other practise which
keeps our data and network safe from cyber threats. Some of them are mentioned below

Digital Signatures
• The authenticity of many legal, financial, and other documents is determined by the
presence or absence of an authorised handwritten signature. For a computerised
message system to replace the physical transport of paper and ink documents
handwritten signatures have to be replaced by Digital Signatures.
• One of the most powerful and important methods for security in computer systems is to
encrypt sensitive records and messages in transit and in storage. Cryptography has a
long and colourful history. Historically, four groups of people have used and
contributed to the art of cryptography, the military, the diplomatic corps, diarists, and
lovers. The military has had the most sensitive role and has shaped the field.

Security Audit
• A security audit is a systematic evaluation of the security of a company's information
system by measuring how well it conforms to a set of established criteria. It is to find
out the vulnerabilities that an organisation is facing with its IT infrastructure.

• Worms: Worms are also disseminated through computer networks, unlike viruses,
computer worms are malicious programs that copy themselves from system to system,
rather than infiltrating legitimate files. For example, a mass mailing e-mail worm is a
worm that sends copies of itself via e-mail.

Threat to e-Governance
In Banking Sector
• With increasing use of mobile phones and internet for the day-to-day banking
transactions, the vulnerability of this sector to cyber attacks is very high. Cyber hacking
and other methods can cause severe harm to this sector as the recent hacking of the
three million debit cards which left the whole nation in surprise is just a small example
of the harm that cyber attacks can cause. This can make the whole economy come to a
In Government Machinery
• The government has the details of citizens at its websites like Aadhaar details. It also
provides various services, like applying for pan card, passports, RTI filling facility,
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booking complaints and railway ticketing etc. If these websites got attacked, then these
day-to-day services will get affected as well as the whole governance.

To National Security
• Cyber attacks on sensitive information like related to defence forces and its weapons
like happened in the scorpene submarine leak case, has the tendency of affecting the
national security as a whole.

Cyber Laws in India

Information Technology Act, 2000
• The Act seeks to protect this advancement in technology by defining crimes, prescribing
punishments, laying down procedures for investigation and forming regulatory
authorities. Many electronic crimes have been bought within the definition of traditional
crimes too by means of amendment to the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

• The Evidence Act, 1872 and the Banker's Book Evidence Act, 1891 too have been
suitably amended in order to facilitate collection of evidence in fighting electronic

National Cyber Security Policy, 2013

• In light of the growth of IT sector in the country, the National Cyber Security Policy of
India 2013 was announced by Indian government in 2013 yet its actual implementation
is still missing. As a result fields like e-governance and e-commerce are still risky and
may require cyber insurance in the near future. Its important features include :
 To build secure and resilient cyber space.
 Creating a secure cyber ecosystem, generate trust in IT transactions.
 Indigenous technological solutions (Chinese products and reliance on foreign
 Testing of ICT products and certifying them. Validated products.
 Creating workforce of 500,000 professionals in the field.
 Fiscal Benefits for businessman who accepts standard IT practices, etc.

Ongoing Efforts in India

• The list is long but sufficient is to talk about the projects like National Critical
Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIPC) of India, National Cyber
Coordination Centre (NCCC) of India, Tri Service Cyber Command for Armed Forces of
India, Cyber Attacks Crisis Management Plan Of India, etc. None of them are

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'Coordinating' with each other and all of them are operating in different and distinct
spheres. Recently, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) was entrusted
with the responsibility to protect the critical ICT infrastructures of India.

• India has already launched e-surveillance projects like National Intelligence Grid
(NATGRID), Central Monitoring System (CMS), Internet Spy System Network and
Traffic Analysis System (NETRA) of India, etc. National Informatics Centre (NIC) has
been formed which provides network backbone that Manages IT services, e-governance
initiatives to Central and State governments.

Global Internet Governance

• In 2005, UN sponsored World Summit on Information Society defined Internet
Governance as development and application of rules, norms, principles, practices by
government, civil society, business, each within its own respective role, to enable the
evolution and use of internet.
 Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and numbers (ICANN)
 It is a non-profit body founded in 1998 that administrates domain names and
Internet protocol (IP) addresses globally.
 ICANN has been assigned the task to manage Internet.
 ICANN's architecture renders it answerable only to US law and courts.
 The main issue that non-US actors have with the US control over ICANN is that it
can unilaterally interfere with the ICANN's policy process, and the Internet's root
server, controversial US practices, such as snooping on foreign leaders, as revealed in
Wikileaks and allegations that ICANN, though a transnational body functions under
the supervision of Department of Commerce with which it has contract.
 A broader debate on internet governance touches the topics of cyber security, trade
secrecy, freedom of expression and sovereignty.

Recent Change in Internet Governance Structure

• The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in a meeting at
Marrakesh (Morocco), decided that the ICANN will now be governed by a 'multi-
stakeholder' (multistakeholder ICANN community) model, including businesses,
individual users and members of governments across the world. Since this group elects
ICANN's board of directors in the first place, it can be said that ICANN will now be an
independent organisation, with no external oversight.

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India's Stand

 India's proposal is that the Internet should be managed through the multi-
stakeholder approach (State centred multistakeholderism and not true
multistakeholderism) and the governments should have 'supreme right and control'
on matters relating to international security.
 India has described the role of the government as 'an important stakeholder' and 'a
custodian of security' for the global internet infrastructure.
India in its submission has said that under the new transition, the body managing
the Internet should have 'accountability towards governments' in areas where,
'governments have primary responsibility, such as security and similar public policy

55. Social Audit

Social audit

The recent report of a joint task force on social audit has made unanimous
recommendations that have opened the possibilities of social audit becoming a vibrant,
independent and citizen-based monitoring system. The Supreme Court too in an ongoing
PIL has taken a note of these recommendations and is exploring strengthening social audit
as a systemic solution in law.

What are social audits?

Social audits refer to a legally mandated process where potential and existing beneficiaries
evaluate the implementation of a programme by comparing official records with ground
realities. The public hearings that social audits conclude with remain its soul. The
proceedings cannot be scripted, and the entire social audit is often a dramatic process of
redistribution of power based on evidence and fact. These audits were first made statutory
in a 2005 Rural Employment Act.

Objectives of Social Audit:

Accurate identification of requirements.

Prioritization of developmental activities as per requirements.
Proper utilization of funds.
Conformity of the developmental activity with the stated goals.
Quality of service.

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Benefits of Social Audit:

Involvement of people in developmental activities ensures that money is spent where is

it actually needed.

Reduction of wastages.
Reduction in corruption.
Awareness among people.
Promotes integrity and a sense of community among people.
Improves the standard of governance.

Need for social audits:

In the course of a social audit, individuals and communities get empowered and
politicised in a way that they experience the practical potential of participatory democracy.

Since more than 50% of the government‘s budget goes towards welfare schemes, it‘s
important to track how, and how much, money is diverted away from intended recipients.
Social audits serve as a better monitoring tool for these schemes.
The impact of continuous cycles of social audit in deterring potential corruption is
beyond quantification. They serve as an important tool to detect corruption and influence

The social audit process was recently endorsed by the public finance watchdog, the
Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The CAG said: ―All over the world, there is a
growing perception among the supreme audit institutions that it is important to partner
with civil society to ensure the latter‘s participation in service delivery and public

Why social audits are losing their relevance in recent times?

Lack of support from government machineries has side-lined social audits. The lack of
adequate administrative and political will in institutionalising social audit to deter
corruption has meant that social audits in many parts of the country are not independent
from the influence of implementing agencies. Social audit units, including village social
audit facilitators, continue to face resistance and intimidation and find it difficult to even
access primary records for verification.

Lack of any legal proceedings for not following social audit principles. Unless there is a
stringent penalty on authorities for not implementing social audit, they will not give up
control because it reduces their kickbacks and authority.

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Lack of education among the common masses. Since common people are not that
educated, they do not know their rights, let alone get them enforced.


Social audit is no longer a choice. Along with other transparency and accountability
platforms, it is a legal, moral, and democratic necessity. The government can decide to use
these interventions and harness peoples‘ energies in facing the vast challenge of
implementation and monitoring.


56. India – ASEAN 25th Year of Dialogue Partnership
Celebrating 25 years of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership

The year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership. It
was on 28 January 1992 at the 4th ASEAN Summit in Singapore that a decision to establish
a Sectoral Dialogue Partnership between ASEAN and India was made. Since then, the
relationship has progressed from strength to strength, with the two sides becoming full
dialogue partners in 1996, Summit partners in 2002 and Strategic Partners in 2012.

To mark this historic occasion, congratulatory messages were exchanged today between
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and H.E. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the
Philippines and ASEAN Chair for 2017. Congratulatory messages were also exchanged
between Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs and H.E. Le Luong Minh,
ASEAN Secretary-General.

In his message to President Duterte, the Prime Minister observed that the "Act East Policy"
is a reflection of the importance we attach to our strategic partnership with ASEAN, of
which we mark five years, alongside 15 years of our Summit-level partnership. He
reaffirmed India's desire to deepen its engagement with ASEAN, "so that it may scale new
heights and constitute a defining partnership of our times."

A series of events have been planned through the year to reflect the commemorative year's
theme of "Shared Values, Common Destiny,‖ which aptly reflects the close cultural and
civilizational links that India and South East Asia have enjoyed over two millennia.
Elucidating the same, EAM in her message stated that the celebrations would span the
political, economic, cultural and people-to-people domains and would include a special
Commemorative Summit and a Commemorative Foreign Ministers' Meeting in India. In
addition, a Youth Summit, a Business Summit, CEOs Forum, Regional Indian Diaspora

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Meet, car rally, sailing expedition, conferences, public competitions and cultural festivals
are also planned in India as well as ASEAN countries.

It may be recalled that there are today 30 dialogue mechanisms between India and ASEAN,
including a Summit and 7 Ministerial meetings in a wide range of sectors such as Foreign
Affairs, Commerce, Tourism, Agriculture, Environment, Renewable Energy and

India and ASEAN share deep economic ties. ASEAN is India's 4th largest trading partner,
accounting for 10.2% of India‘s total trade. India is ASEAN's 7th largest trading partner.
Investment flows are also robust both ways, with Singapore being the principal hub for
both inward and outward investment. PM Modi in his message urged ASEAN for its
support for reaping the full benefits of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area in Goods,
Services and Investment, which has been in place since July 2015.

ASEAN-India relations have contributed to the maintenance of peace, stability and

prosperity in the region, and that ASEAN looked forward to further invigorating trade and
investment relations with India

57. G20 Summit

G20 SUMMIT 2017

A Meet for the Future

Nineteen heads of developed and developing countries and European Union, discussed on
various issues at Hamburg (Germany).

The 2017 G20 Hamburg summit was the twelfth meeting of the Group of Twenty
(G20), which was held on July 7-8, 2017, in the city of Hamburg (Germany). The theme
chosen for this year's G20 Summit was Shaping an Interconnected World, The G20 cluster
comprises heads from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India,
Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, United
Kingdom, the USA, China and South Africa. Apart from the recurring themes relating to
global economic growth, international trade and financial market regulation, the G20
Hamburg summit was expected to focus on the 'issues of global significance' such as
migration, digitization, occupation, health, women's economic empowerment and
development aid,etc.

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Major Issues of Discussion Development of Africa

To renew efforts for sustainable economic development in Africa, the G20 launches
the G20 Africa Partnership. The Partnership intends to support related initiatives of the
G20 and facilitate investment compacts

between interested African countries, International Organisations and interested partners

to support private investment, sustainable infrastructure and employment in African


The disagreement in steel production and trade remained a major issue. The USA
accused steel producers in China and Europe of dumping and threatened them of levying
with antidumping duty. Trade was intensely discussed and participants agreed to keep
markets open to combat protectionism and unfair trade practices.

Sustainable Development

There was no consensus with the USA regarding climate protection. The other 19
participants agreed to stick with the Paris agreement, to view it as irreversible and to
swiftly put it into practice.

In spite of the United States' dissent, the German presidency wanted to make the
most of the renewed public policy interest for environmental sustainability, gender equity
and social inclusiveness, in the spirit of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
notably by promoting renewable energy and further fossil fuel divestment in all nations.

Inclusive Growth

The G20 final communiqué placed a new emphasis on the need for trade deals to be
reciprocal and non — discriminatory towards developing countries, reducing the previous
emphasis on the primacy of liberalisation and the promotion of free market econoihics
across the board.

Women's Economic Empowerment

The World Bank Group and the White House, represented by First Daughter Ivanka
Trump, confirmed that they would soon roll out a new fund that aims to help female
entrepreneurs j-cess capital, financing and manag. ;al support in the developing work
World Bank Group President Jin., Yong Kim said, the Women Entrepreneurs Finance
Initiative fund had so far raised $325 million from various governments, and that he hoped

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to leverage that into a multibillion — dollar investment framework. President Trump lent
his personal support by pledging $50 million from the United States to jump —start the

Counter-terrorism and National Security

All agreed to continue regulating financial markets and to combat financing

terrorism and tax evasion. In a joint statement, G20 leaders vowed to take steps to prevent
the internet from being used to spread propaganda. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
indirectly targeted Pakistan (which is not a member of G20) by naming terrorist
organisations that operate from its soil and saying that all the groups share the same
ideology and purpose of spreading hate and killing people.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged member states to unite to fight against
terrorism and emphasised on preventive as well as de — radicalisation programmes. The
USA and Russia reached a partial ceasefire agreement in South —West Syria. President
Trump met with key Asian allies to discuss the ongoing threat posed by North Korea and
its long range missile programme. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the situation
'increasingly severe'.

India's Agenda

India's Prime Minister presented an 11 — point action agenda for counter —

terrorism at the summit. The agenda includes:

 Deterrant action against nations supporting terrorism must be made compulsory and
such nations should be barred from G20.
 G20 nations must exchange lists of suspected terrorists and their supporters,
 Legal processes such as extradition should be simplified and expedited.
 Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism should be adopted soon.
 UNSC resolutions and other international processes should be effectively implemented.
 G20 nations should give emphasis to de — radicalisation programmes and exchange
best practices.
 Terror financing should be curtailed by means of Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
and other means.
 Weapons and Explosive Action Task Force (WEATF), should be constituted on lines of
FATF so that sources of weapons to the terrorists are stopped.
 G20 nations should cooperate in cyber security, with a focus on terrorist activities.
 National Security Advisors on Counter Terrorism mechanism should be constituted.

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India has been trying to build a consensus on terrorism and this has also been a
major issue for the present G20 summit. These global platforms should be used by India to
prove that terrorism has become a global crisis. There can be better sharing of intelligence
to check terror funding, money laundering and bank secrecy among member countries.

58. BIMSTEC and India

India hosted the heads of state and governments of a regional grouping that brings
together most countries in South Asia and some in Southeast Asia in an outreach session
with the leaders of the five leading emerging economies or Brics in Goa.

Brics stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The South Asia-Southeast Asia grouping is known by its rather unwieldy name of the Bay
of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or by the
acronym Bimstec. It comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and
Thailand, and brings together 1.5 billion people or 21% of the world population and a
combined gross domestic product (GDP) of over $2.5 trillion.

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It‘s clear that Bimstec more naturally lends itself to regional integration—physical
connectivity as well as economic cooperation—than Saarc which is dominated by India and
Pakistan and hamstrung by tensions between the two. Therefore, Bimstec seems an
attractive alternative to Saarc.

For India, making Bimstec work is important as for years, it has blamed Pakistan for
holding back Saarc. As the biggest member of Bimstec, it‘s up to India to take all members
with it and show tangible results.

In terms of connectivity, Bimstec has at last three major projects that, when finished, could
transform the movement of goods and vehicles through the countries in the grouping.

One is the Kaladan Multimodal project that seeks to link India and Myanmar. The project
envisages connecting Kolkata to Sittwe port in Myanmar, and then Mizoram by river and
road. India and Myanmar had signed a framework agreement in 2008 for the
implementation of this project. It‘s yet to be finished.

Another is the Asian Trilateral Highway connecting India and Thailand through Myanmar.
The highway will run from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar and
represents a significant step in establishing connectivity between India and Southeast
Asian countries. The project is expected to be completed this year.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) have signed a pact for the movement of
goods and vehicles among them. The pact, which was signed last year, is awaiting internal
clearances of some members. Trial runs of trucks between Bangladesh and India have

Bimstec also lends itself to sub-regional economic cooperation—something proposed by

India and other member countries of Saarc. The grouping has not progressed much in
terms of economic cooperation or physical connectivity since the mid-1980s when it was

So, under Bimstec, economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and India‘s southern states
could take off if all sides sign off on it.

Similarly, BBIN could prove itself as a regional economic sub-grouping, given the
willingness of all the countries in the grouping to cooperate.

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The 9th BRICS summit was held in Xiamen, China. The theme of the summit was ―Stronger
Partnership for brighter Future‖. It was for second time the summit was hosted in China
after 2011 summit. At the end of summit, BRICS leaders adopted Xiamen declaration

Four documents were signed in presence of BRICS Leaders. They are Strategic Framework
of BRICS Customs Cooperation

BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation(2017-2020)

BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation

MoU between BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank on Strategic

Features of Xiamen declaration

Strive towards broad partnerships: BRICS countries agreed to strive towards broad
partnerships with emerging markets and developing countries and pursue equal-footed
and flexible practices and initiatives for dialogue and cooperation with non-BRICS
countries, including through BRICS Plus cooperation (It includes Thailand, Tajikistan,
Egypt, Kenya and Mexico).

BRICS local currency bond markets: Member countries resolved to promote development
of BRICS local currency bond markets and agreed to jointly establish a BRICS local
currency bond fund and facilitate financial market integration. They will also encourage
explorations toward the establishment of the BRICS Institute of Future Networks.

R&D and innovation in ITC: They agreed to enhance joint research, development and
innovation in information and communications technology (ICT), including internet of
things (IoT), big data, data analytics, cloud computing, nanotechnology, artificial
intelligence, 5G and their innovative applications.

Cooperation on energy: They agreed to strengthen BRICS cooperation on energy and work
to foster open, flexible and transparent markets for energy commodities and technologies.

Promote effective use of fossil fuels: They also agreed to work together to promote most
effective use of fossil fuels and wider use of gas, hydro and nuclear power to move towards
low emission economy, better energy access and sustainable development.

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BRICS Agriculture Research Platform: It is proposed to be established in India which will
serve as virtual network facilitating cooperation in priority areas.

Broad counterterrorism coalition: They called upon international community to establish

genuinely broad counterterrorism coalition and support UN‘s central coordinating role in
this regard.

People-to-People exchanges: It should be promoted for development and enhancing

mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation among BRICS countries.


BRICS is acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies viz, Brazil,
Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was established in 2009. Originally it was known
as BRIC before inclusion of South Africa in 2011. The first formal summit was held in
Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009.

BRICS countries are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant
influence on regional and global affairs. They are home to 42% of the world‘s population.
Their total share in the global economy has risen from 12% to 23% in the past decade and
collectively contribute they more than half of global growth.

59. OBOR Summit

One Belt One Road

Strategic Move of China to Isolate India

• The recent boycott of One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit held in Beijing (China) by
India has openly demonstrated India's opposition to this Chinese initiative. India is
against this project from the time of its conception because one of the arm of this
corridor project named as China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is passing through
Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), which is a disputed territory and India consider it as
its own. This project has the tendency of revamping economic and political ties between
India if India's concerns on its sovereignty are met.

OBOR Initiative
• The 'One Belt One Road' initiative is the centre-piece of China's foreign policy and
domestic economic strategy. It aims to rejuvenate ancient trade routes-Silk Routes,
which will open up markets within and beyond the region. Through this initiative,
China's plan is to construct roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure across Asia
and beyond to bind its economy more tightly to the rest of the world. The OBOR project
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involves 68 countries, which together account for one-third of global GDP and 60% of
the world's population. OBOR will culminate in a global venture with the Beijing
summit. With its 'OBOR' initiative, China is now seeking to establish its identity as a
world class power.

• The One-Road-One-Belt (OROB) initiative for connectivity, with clear strategic

advantages for China, contrasts sharply with existing treaty-based integration concepts
where the geographical scope, partner countries, strategy, principles and rules are
clearly defined at the outset. 34 countries have already signed cooperation agreements
with China.

What's Good about OBOR Initiative?

• South Asia is the least integrated region in the world, and that is not in line with
global trends. The new initiative aims to integrate the region
• The Initiative, seen more as a policy indicator than a set of projects, will link three
continents - Asia, Europe and Africa.
• It is also seen as a strategic response to the military 're-balancing' of the United-States
to Asia i.e., pivot to Asia policy.
• It can be a win-win project for the region as well as China as the countries will get
benefitted from the Chinese spending on Infrastructure development and China in
turn can expand its Export reach and efficiency.

India and OBOR

• China is making strong efforts to persuade India to join the OBOR project. India is
openly opposed to the CPEC, a part of OBOR, as it passes through the Pakistan-
occupied Kashmir region that India claims as its own. If India supports OBOR, it will be
thumbs-up to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

• And it will be indirectly ratifying Pakistan's transfer of Shaksgam valley in PoK to

China and will regularise Pakistan's occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan region.

• With China now a $ 10 trillion economy, compared to India's economy of $ two trillion,
India is at a defining moment on how the Asian Century will be shaped. The strategic
question is whether Asia will have two poles,as it has had throughout history, or will
India remain at Asia's periphery as a regional power? Chinese political expansion and
economic ambitions, packaged as OBOR, are two sides of the same coin. It is being seen

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as both a threat and an opportunity. To be firm while responding to one facet, while
making use of the opportunities that become available from the other, will largely
depend on the institutional agency and strategic imagination India is able to bring to the

• India's opposition to CPEC reflects a concern over the internationalisation of the

Kashmir dispute and the growing influence of China in the Indian Ocean. There is
considerable concern within India that China, which has - been neutral on Kashmir
since 1963, can no longer be so now that its economic and security interests in these
territories are growing.

• New Delhi sees Gwadar (a deep-sea port located in Balochistan province) as part of
China's String of Pearls bases, that extends from its eastern coast to the Arabian Sea.
China is also developing ports in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh that are considered a
potential military challenge to India.

• The Gwadar port, overlooking one of the world's busiest shipping lanes in the Arabian
Sea, has been leased to Beijing for 40 years. New Delhi fears that the port might become
a Chinese naval outpost, thereby threatening India's energy and economic security, as
more than two thirds of India's petroleum imports pass through the area.
• There can be a changing geopolitical atmosphere in the region as China-Pakistan-Russia
axis is a possibility because India is coming more closer to the USA and Russia is
becoming economically weak in the light of trade sanction's imposed on her. If this axis
becomes a reality, then this will not be a good sign for India's foreign policy.

• China is keen to have India on board and both recognise that working together is
necessary for achieving the 'Asian Century'. India should seek to 'redefine' OROB to add
a strong component for a 'Digital Asia', as that is where our comparative advantage lies,
and for Asian connectivity to have two nodes, in China and in India, as has been the
case throughout history.

• India does not need to 'join CPEC anyway - in the future, it could maintain its formal
objections to the initiative but still deepen trade relations with Pakistan, and in the
process implicitly be utilising CPEC infrastructure, energy projects, industrial zones and

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India's Counter

• As India is not joining OBOR so to not getting isolated and affected by this, India has
devised its own plan to connect central Asia, Europe and Africa through initiatives like
India-Japan Freedom corridor, Project Mausam, International North-South Transport
Corridor (INSTC). These initiatives have the tendency of countering China-Pakistan axis
in both geopolitical and geo-economic arena.

India-Japan Freedom corridor

• This is an Indo-Japan connectivity initiative which strives to form a corridor stretching

from Asia-Pacific to Africa. In this project India and Japan will support massive
infrastructure projects and capacity building programmes in the region. Japan is also
expected to join India in the development and expansion of Chabahar port (Iran) and
Trincomalee port (Sri Lanka). This project is envisaged to counter China's OBOR.

• The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multi-modal
connectivity project establishes transport networks (ship, rail, and road route) for
moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia. It would enhance
accessibility to the land locked central Asian nations.

• The modern day INSTC is a multi-modal transportation route linking Indian Ocean and
Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Iran, and then onwards to northern Europe via St.
Petersburg in Russia.

• Advantages Analysts predict by having improved transport connectivity between

Russia, Central Asia, Iran and India, their respective bilateral trade volumes will

 A study conducted by the Federation of Freight Forwarders' Associations in India

found the route, is, '30% cheaper and 40% shorter than the current traditional route'.
 For India, we can have access to the lucrative markets of the Central Asia, by-passing
the transit through Pakistan.
 Indian exports could potentially get a competitive advantage due to lower cost and
less delivery time.

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 ThelNSTChas particular economic and strategic relevance to India given the
increasing regional ambitions of China through its One Belt, One Road Initiative. The
proposed INSTC trade corridor could help India secure its interests in Central Asia
and beyond.

Project Mausam

• Maritime Routes and Cultural Landscapes crossways the Indian Ocean, the project
emphasises on the natural wind phenomenon, particularly monsoon winds used by
Indian - sailors in ancient times for maritime trade, that has formed relations amongst
nations and groups linked by the Indian Ocean. Project Mausam purposes to determine
the versatile Indian Ocean 'world', expanding from East Africa, the Arabian peninsula,
the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka -to the South-East Asian archipelago.

• It is Indian government's utmost noteworthy foreign policy project for answering

China's rising impact in the Indian Ocean region. If these projects got commissioned in
their true sense then India's absence from true sense then India's absence from China's
OBOR will not affect it economically as well as strategically and It can also present India
leverage in terms of geopolitical gains.


• It is fair to say that China, in deploying the OBOR initiative, has demonstrated a level of
ambition and imagination which is mostly absent in India's national discourse. India has
so far been suspicious of the strategic implications of this initiative. If India sheds its
inhibitions and participates actively in its implementation, it stands to gain substantially
in terms of trade. Arguably, OBOR offers India another political opportunity. There
seems to be a degree of Chinese eagerness to solicit Indian partnership. OBOR could
potentially allow India a new track to its own attempt to integrate South Asia. However,
India should act strategically on issues, such as OBOR which will have a significant
impact on India's vital interests.

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60. SCO Summit
India Got Full Membership of SCO

A Milestone in Regional Cooperation

 In the 17th SCO Summit, held in Astana (Kazakhstan) on June 8-9, 2017, India and
Pakistan got full membership of this Eurasian political, economic and security
organisation. This is a significant achievement for regional cooperation. As a member of
SCO, India can connect effectively with the Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and
Tazikistan, which is a significant step from diplomatic point of view.
 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an important international organisation
under leadership of China. India and Pakistan were given full membership' in the
summit held at Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Earlier these countries enjoyed the
supervisory status. This organisation could represent 42% population, 20% GDP and
22% tract with the full membership and expansion of organisation.
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who came to participate in the summit, said that India
has a historical contact, which is not only geographically, but socially. Culturally and by
the way of trade has enriched and that is the foundation stone of our modern relations.
He also told that the boundries of this group by joining India will extend upto Europe
from Pacific region and Arctic to Indian Ocean.

India and SCO before Full Membership

 Before getting full membership Indian enjoyed the status of -supervisor country of SCO.
India participated for the first time in 2005 in the summit held at Kazakhstan's capital
Astana. Iran, Pakistan and Mongolia also participated in this summit. The process of
joining India as a full member of SCO was started with the cooperation of Russia at Ufa
(Russia) in 2015, while the name of Pakistan was forwarded by China. In this sequence,
India and Pakistan signed on Memorandum of Obligations at the summit held in
Uzbekistan-Tashkent in June, 2016, by which the formal process of joining SCO was
initiated. And in this way India and Pakistan became full member of SCO on June 9,
2017 at Astana Summit.

What is SCO?
 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was established in the year 1996 in the form of
Shanghais. It included China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tazikistan. Shanghai
Gooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurashian political, economic and military

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organisation, which was established on June 15, 2011 at Shanghai (China) by the leaders
of six countries- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tazikistan and Uzbekistan.

 Formation - June 15, 2002

 Headquarters - Beijing (China) Official.
 Language(s) - Chinese and Russian
 Current Member -8
 SCO has four supervisor countries, which includes Iran, Mongolia, Belarus, and
 It includes Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, Armenia, Sri Lanka and Azerbaizan in dialogue
 It includes ASEAN, CIA, Turkmenistan as guest appearance.

Function of SCO
 The field of work of SCO includes security in Central Asia like to deal with terrorism,
separatism and militancy; it also includes military activities, economic and cultural
cooperation. In addition to this, it also includes to provide each other with necessary
special equipment to maintain stability in this region.
 Note Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is considered as an equivalent
organisation to NATO.

India's Expected Profit from SCO

 India can enjoy the following benefit by getting a full membership of the SCO
 India's border dispute with China and Pakistan has been running for a long time. SCO
can be an appropriate stage to solve the border dispute.
 Most of the countries of SCO are rich from the energy resources (fossil fuel and
uranium) point of view, thus, India can get maximum benefit from it.
 A positive environment can be created to restart pending projects, like (Iran-Pakistan-
India Gas pipeline and Tapi Project, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan, Pakistan-India Gas
 India has always been opposing terrorism, separation and fanatism, hence, India can
also get help from member countries to deal with them.
• Beside this SCO can also prove to be a stage to improve bilateral relations with

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India's Position will be Strengthen in Central Asia

 Central Asia is an influential region in the form of natural resources and minerals
deposit. India can approach speedily in this region with the help of SCO. With this
India's dependency on Arab nations will end. This is in favour of India.

India's Foreign Policy after Full Membership of SCO

 Getting full membership of SCO is being considered as a great diplomatic achievement
of India. This will not only increase diplomatic influence of India in Eurasian region, but
also increase diplomatic participation to deal with terrorism. Beside this, India will also
get opportunity to invest in this region. It is noticeable that India imports a huge
amount of natural' resources. It is also true that India is second largest importer of these
resources in this group after China. The latter imports maximum of its resources from
Russia. From this point of view India is a good option for Central Asian countries.

Anti-Terrorism Campaign will get Support

 The SCO gives support to anti-terrorism process. China has a clear stand on terrorism
and reigious fanatism. China and India has no differences over it. Central Asian
countries ared nearer to Russia on the matter of economy and security. After getting an
influential friend like India, a new dimension can be opened for mutual relations. SCO
can play a vital role to deal with terrorist organisations like Taliban, Al-qaeda, and ISIS.

India's Concern
 India has disputes with China on many issues, like— membership of NSG, China-
Pakistan Economic Corridor, Pakistans' terrorist Masood . Azhar, Aksai-China, Tibettan
religious leader Dalai Lama, Towang region of Arunachal Pradesh etc. But, despite
these disputes economic cooperation between India and China still continues.
 From the above facts it can be concluded that India will get help from the SCO to
improve diplomatic and economic presence in Eurasian region.

61. India – Israel

As a special gesture to mark the first-ever visit of an Indian Premier to the Jewish
nation, a new fast-growing Israeli Crysanthumun flower was named "Modi" after the
name of the Indian PM. This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of their
diplomatic relations.

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•The two countries decided to elevate their relationship to a higher level to "strategic
partnership" built on the bedrock of defence and security cooperation by boosting
collaboration in high technology, agriculture, water management and trade.

Seven Agreements
During the visit of Indian Prime Minister to Israel on July 4-6, 2017, both countries signed
the following seven agreements to promote cooperation in various fields:

1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Science & Technology,

India and National Technological Innovation Authority, Israel for setting up of
India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
2. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Drinking Water and
Sanitation of the Republic of India and the Ministry of National Infrastructure,
Energy and Water Resources of the State of Israel on National Campaign for Water
Conservation in India.
3. Memorandum of Understanding between U.P. Jal Nigam, Government of Uttar
Pradesh, of the Republic of India and the Ministry of National Infrastructure,
Energy and Water Resources of the State of Israel on State Water Utility Reform in
4. Agreement on India-Israel Development Cooperation - Three Year (2018-2020) Work
Programme in Agriculture.
5. Plan of Cooperation between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and
the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in Atomic Clocks.
6. Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Space Research Organization
(ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA)regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO
Optical Link.
7. Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Space Research Organization
(ISRO) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) regarding cooperation in Electric
Propulsion for Small Satellites.


• Recognising that terrorism poses a grave threat to global peace and stability, the two
Prime Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to combat it in all its forms and
manifestations Both leaders also committed to cooperate for the early adoption of the
Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).


• . It would be pertinent to recall that Israel has been one of die few countries that have
cooperated with India's defence requirements from time to time. Earlier, India had
acquired surface-to-air missiles (Barak 1) and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) from
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Israel Subsequently, the refurbishing of MiG-21 aircraft employee Israeli avionics.
During the 1999 Kargil War, Israel assisted with laser-guidance kits mated with gravity
bombs, carried by the Mirage 2000 aircraft. Also, Israel had sold India the Phalcon
airborne early warning system and mounted on the Russian II-76, provided AWACs
capability. Subsequent acquisitions have included Spike antitank guided missiles and
the long-range surface – to - air missiles in both the naval and land versions. As a result,
Israel has emerged as the third-largest defence supplier for India and India accounts for
over 40% of Israel's defence exports.

Economic Cooperation

• An Industrial R&D and Innovation Fund has been created with a contribution of $20
million each to promote knowledge-based partnerships. Israel today boasts of nearly
4,500 start-ups and 140 incubators/ accelerators. In a recent study, NASSCOM and
Accenture estimated that cooperation with Indian start-ups has the potential to generate
$5 billion within five years. Commercial relations between the diamond traders in
Gujarat and Israel had existed before 1992 but now annual trade has grown from $200
million to nearly $5 billion with gems and jewellery accounting for nearly 40%.

Technology, Space, Agriculture, Water

• This is a new area, where bulk of the action and emphasis was quite visible, for
example, the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Innovation fund (I4F) by the Department
of Science and Technology, India and the National Authority for Technological
Innovation, Israel with a contribution of $20 million from each side. Welcoming the
ongoing cooperation between the Israel Space Agency and Indian Space Research
Organization, both leaders paved the way to deepen cooperation in space technology as
two sides signed three agreements. The first MoU was between ISRO and Israel space
agency for cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites. The second was on
cooperation in Geo-Leo optical links. And the third pact was on cooperation in atomic
clocks which provide highly precise measurement of time in a satellite.

• Both the leaders decided to have a separately designated strategic partnership on

agriculture and water. The joint statement said that the cooperation would focus on
water conservation, waste water treatment and its reuse for agriculture, desalination,
water utility reforms and cleaning of the Ganga. Similar alliance in post-harvest
technical know-how and market linkages will be seen in agriculture sector as an
agreement was signed for India-Israel development cooperation, a three-year
Programme (2018-2020) in agriculture. This partnership would feed into India's goal of

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doubling farm income. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of
National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources of Israel signed an MoU on
National Campaign for Water Conservation in India. The same Ministry of Israel signed
a pact with UP Jal Nigam of Government of Uttar Pradesh on water utility reforms in
the State.

Business MoUs Worth $4.3 Billion

 Before the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu presided over the first
meeting of the India-Israel CEOs Forum in Tel Aviv resulting in signing of 12 Strategic
Business MoUs worth over $4.3 billion. The deals included sectors like Defence,
Homeland Security, Agriculture, Irrigation & Water Treatment, Urban Infrastructure
and Transport (including high-speed railways and metro), Pharma and Life sciences,
Digital Technologies, IT & ITES, and Startups. There were 18 Indian and 14 Israeli CEOs
representing the Forum which submitted a report on what needs to be done for
developing future course of economic engagements. The India-Israel Start-up Bridge
was launched to encourage start-ups of die two countries to work together to come up
with innovative solutions to tackle challenges in the Agriculture. Water and Healthcare

62. India – Japan

Japanese Prime Minister‘s visit to India, part of annual summits between the two countries,
has set strategic ties on a fast track. This is best symbolised by the 508-km Ahmedabad-
Mumbai bullet train project that was launched by Prime Ministers of India and Japan.

This is a significant success for Japanese PM‘s signature Expanded Partnership for Quality
Infrastructure (EPQI) initiative. The EPQI, which is critical to achieving Japan‘s national
growth strategy and facilitating expansion to emerging Asian markets, intersects with
Prime Minister India‘s ‗Make in India‘ initiative and ‗Act East‘ policy.

Shared Universal Values and Vision

2017 holds special significance since it marks a decade of Japanese Prime Minister‘s
celebrated speech at the Indian Parliament— ‗Confluence of the Two Seas‘, underscoring
shared universal values and interests.

Ten years down the line,India is envisioned as a critical strategic anchor in Abe‘s latest
‗Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy‘.

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India-Japan ‗Special Strategic and Global Partnership‘, aimed at securing strategic
stability and economic prosperity of the Indo-Pacific space, culminated into the Asia-Africa
Growth Corridor (AAGC) this year.

Asia-Africa Growth Corridor

The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor or AAGC is an economic cooperation agreement

between the governments of India and Japan.

India on 25 May 2017 launched a vision document for Asia-Africa Growth Corridor or
AAGC at the African Development Bank meeting in Gujarat.

It aims for Indo-Japanese collaboration to develop quality infrastructure in Africa,

complemented by digital connectivity, which would undertake the realization of the idea
of creating free and open Indo-Pacific Region.

The AAGC will give priority to development projects in health and pharmaceuticals,
agriculture and agro-processing, disaster management and skill enhancement. The
connectivity aspects of the AAGC will be supplemented with quality infrastructure.

Unlike OBOR, now BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), which entails development of both
land corridor and ocean, AAGC will essentially be a sea corridor linking Africa with India
and other countries of South-East Asia and Oceania by rediscovering ancient sea-routes
and creating new sea corridors that will link ports in Jamnagar (Gujarat) with Djibouti in
the Gulf of Eden and similarly the ports of Mombasa and Zanzibar will be connected to
ports near Madurai; Kolkata will be linked to Sittwe port in Myanmar.

As the rationale of value-oriented foreign policy (based on universal values like

democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and so on) gained traction, Indiahas been
accorded space in Japan‘s value-based foreign-policy frameworks including ‗Arc of
Freedom and Prosperity‘, ‗Confluence of the Two Seas‘, ‗Quadrilateral Initiative‘ and
subsequently Asia‘s ‗Democratic Security Diamond‘.

As India‘s strategic thinking navigated through the policy discourse of ‗Look East‘, ‗Look
East 2.0‘ which further culminated into ‗Act East‘ policy, Japan graduated from a valuable
friend to an indispensable partner and emerged as a ‗key player in India‘s modernization‘.

Action-oriented Partnership

In keeping with ‗India-Japan Vision 2025‘, robust bilateral relations have laid the
foundation to expand the scope of cooperation in the Indo-Pacific theatre. Strong India–
strong Japan will not only enrich two nations. It will also be a stabilising factor in Asia and
the world.
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In addition, the latest US-Japan Security Consultative Committee Meeting in August 2017
identified India, along with South Korea, Australia, and Southeast Asian countries, as one
of the priorities while pressing the significance of advancing trilateral and multilateral
security and defence cooperation in the region.

Securing the Maritime Commons

As maritime democracies, both nations have argued for rules-based international order,
freedom of navigation and over flight, unrestricted lawful commerce, and peaceful
settlement of disputes.

India, US and Japan conducted the annual Malabar Exercise in the Bay of Bengal in July
2017 aimed at enhancing interoperability between the navies of the three democracies and
strengthening trilateral cooperation in the Indo-pacific region.

With the aim of augmenting cooperation, both Indiaand Japan are considering
incorporation of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training and exchanges by ASW aviation
units such as P-3C in addition to mine-counter measures (MCM) training.

The ‗shared responsibility‘ in securing the regional SLOC (Sea Lines of Communication)
as a ‗public good‘ reinforces India-Japan maritime cooperation.
At the India-Japan shipping policy forum, launched in 2010, both countries focus on
cooperation in maritime sector such as development of ship recycling facilities, ports and
inland water transport, ship building and repair, and cooperation on International
Maritime Organisation (IMO) issues.

Special Strategic and Global Partnership

There is a 2+2 dialogue framework between the Foreign and Defence Secretaries of both
countries since 2010, as mandated by the Action Plan to Advance Security Cooperation
concluded in December 2009.

Two agreements signed in December 2015 — ‗Agreement Concerning Transfer of

Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation‘ and ‗Agreement Concerning Security
Measures for the Protection of Classified Military Information‘, marked a new beginning in
bilateral defence cooperation.

The outcomes of the 12th India – Japan Annual Summit and its Significance

Prime Minister and his Japanese counterpart jointly laid the foundation stone of the
country‘s first bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. The train will cover a
distance of over 500 kilometres in around two hours. The project is expected to be
completed by 2022
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The two leaders also laid the foundation stone of a dedicated High Speed Rail Training
Institute for the bullet train to be established inside the existing campus for the National
Academy of Indian Railways at Vadodara.

Four locations have been finalized for development of Japanese Industrial Townships in
Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

India and Japan signed 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral co-operation in several key
areas including investment promotion, civil aviation and science and technology, disaster
risk management, skill development besides other Economic and Commercial agreements.

Both the leaders condemned the growing menace of terrorism and violent extremism in
the strongest terms. In a joint statement.


PM of India said the bullet train the biggest gift from Japan to India. The high speed rail
corridor will give a new momentum to the development of New India.

The bullet train will not only bring about economic transformation but will also lead to
social transformation of the country.

The project will strengthen the Make in India initiative as large number of employment
opportunities will be created in the country.

The economic aid, technology and skill transfer by Japan will not only benefit the Indian
railway sector but will be beneficial for human resource development of the country.

The growing convergence between Japan and India on strategic and economic issues has
capacity to stimulate the global economy.

Prime Minister said that the civil nuclear pact between India and Japan would open a
new chapter in cooperation in the clean energy sector between both countries.

The Japan Prime Minister called this historic moment as a confluence of the Indian ocean
with Pacific Ocean and vowed for developing a new world order based on these oceans.

Strong India is in the interest of Japan likewise a Strong Japan is in the interest of India.

Indian Human Resource coupled with Japanese skill and technology, will make India a
manufacturing hub of the world.

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Japan will share with India the expertise of safe transport which will help the entire
Indian rail network. The Bullet Train project will be a stimulus for India‘s manufacturing
and construction sector while creating new job opportunities.

63. PM Modi’s visit to major countries.

Modi Visited to 4 European Nations

Germany Visit

• In the first leg of his six-day trip, he visited Germany, where he held talks with
Chancellor Angela Merkel under the framework of India-Germany Intergovernmental
Consultations. Both the countries signed eight bilateral agreements. Apart from this
both the countries talk a lot on terrorism and climate change, as well as they delivered
united message on rising challenges at the globe level. Bilateral Agreements signed
 Cooperation in modernisation of railways
 Cooperation for project
 Clean Ganga
 Terrorism
 Cooperation in development of smart city
 Make in India
 Strengthening the democratic value
 Increase the bilateral trade

Bilateral Relations

• The relationships between both the nations are multilateral. Recent days, there is
positive vibes coming whether on climate change, global terrorism, and challenges in
front of humans both the nations ready to fight. Germany supports India's stand on
NSG and demand for permanent membership in UN Security Council and united on
these issues. As well as Germany is one of the main FDI flow country in India. Bilateral
relations between India and Germany are founded on common democratic principles
and are marked by a high degree of trust and mutual respect. In the last decade, both
economic and political interaction between India and Germany has enhanced. Today,
Germany is amongst India's most important partners both bilaterally and in the, global

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Spain Visit

• Modi's second stop in Europe was Spain where he arrived on May 30. This was the first
standalone visit to Spain by an Indian Prime Minister since Rajiv Gandhi visited in 1988.
Prime Minister was called on King Felipe VI and held talks with President Mariano
Rajoy. The bilateral talks involved common concerns including economy and counter-
terrorism and adopted zero tolerance policy on terrorism.
• Prime Minister also met top CEOs of the Spanish industry and encouraged them to
partner in the 'Make in India' initiative. Beside, both the nations signed the seven
important agreements. They are on
 Cyber security
 Renewable energy
 Cooperation in organ transplantation
 Cooperation in civil aviation technology
 Relaxation in visa rules for diplomats
 Agreements relating to extradition of prisoners
 Agreement between foreign service institutions and diplomatic, academic

Bilateral Relations
• Relations between India and Spain have been cordial since the establishment of
diplomatic relations in 1956. A Mission headed by a Cd'A opened in Madrid in"1958.
The first resident Ambassador of India was appointed in 1965. Spain is India's 7th
largest trading partner in the European Union and the 12th largest investor in India
with $2.32 billion in FDI (April 2000 to December 2016), mostly in infrastructure,
renewable energy and auto components. Today more than 200 Spanish companies work
in the fields of railways, roads, wind energy, water desalination and smart cities
whereas more than 40 Indian companies work in the field of technology, medicines,
vehicles, and energy resources in Spain. During the Prime Minister tour to Spain, the
President Mariano Rajoy appreciated the initiative of India to provide an atmosphere
for positive business to the foreign companies and international investors.

Russia Visit
• Prime Minister Modi's trip to Russia was the longest of his six nation trip with the he
spend three days in Russia. During that time, the Prime Minister along with Russian
President Vladimir Putin acknowledged the 70 year long historic friendship between
the two nations.

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• Narendra Modi headed into the 18th India-Russia Annual Summit in St Petersburg with
Vladimir Putin. It is the first time the annual summit will be held outside Moscow.

• Russia was the first country with which India instituted annual summits in the year
2000. Both the nation agreed to build a military helicopter the kamov ka-226, and beside
it, both will agree to exercise joint military exercise Indra-2017 in India.

• Agreements Signed During the Visit The agreements were signed for the following
 Kudankulam atomic power plants 5 & 6
 Defence cooperation
 Counter-terrorism
 Situation in Afghanistan
 Energy cooperation

Modi Participated at International Economic Forum

• The Prime Minister also participated in the St. Petersburg International Economic
Forum (SPIEF) on June 2, 2017 as Guest of Honour. He addressed the Plenary Session of
the SPIEF. The theme of the Plenary was - Achieving a New Balance on the Global
Stage. He interacted there on climate, on India Russia ■ • relations, and on China, on
Terrorism and on global trade. PM Modi also visited the 'Make in India' pavilion at the

Bilateral Relations
• Relations with Russia are a key pillar of India's foreign policy, and Russia has been a
longstanding time-tested partner of India, since the signing of Declaration on the India-
Russia Strategic Partnership in October 2000.
• Making economic partnership as strong a pillar as other pillars of the strategic
partnership between India and Russia is a key priority for the two governments. In
December 2014, the leaders of the two countries set a target of US$30 billion bilateral
trade by 2025.
• Russia is an important partner in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and it recognises India
as a country with advanced nuclear technology with an impeccable non-proliferation
record. Both the nation signed the Strategic Vision for strengthening ' cooperation in
peaceful uses of atomic energy.

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• Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India, Moscow (JNCC) maintains
close cooperation with leading Russian institutions and conducts classes in yoga, dance,
music and Hindi for approximately 500 students every month.

France Visit
• The fourth and last stop of Prime Minister's tour of four nations was France. Narendra
Modi arrived on June 2 and held talks with newly elected President Emmanuel Macron
on June 3. Discussions are expected to revolve around ways to further strengthen India-
France strategic ties. Narendra Modi is among the first foreign guests for the Macron
government which - took office on May 14.
• France is one of the most important strategic partners of India. France is India's 9th
largest investment partner and a key partner in its development initiatives in the area of
defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways.
However, no such bilateral agreements were taken place. But the Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and President Macron discussed reforms in the United Nations Security
Council as well as India's permanent membership in the UNSC.

Bilateral Relations
• Relations between India and France have traditionally been close and friendly.
• With the establishment of strategic partnership in 1998, there has been a significant
progress in all areas of bilateral cooperation through regular high-level exchanges at the
Head of State/Head of government levels and growing cooperation and exchanges
including in strategic areas, such as defence, counter-terrorism, nuclear energy and
• France is the first country with whom, India entered into an agreement on nuclear
energy following the waiver given by International Atomic Energy Agency and the
Nuclear Suppliers' Group enabling India to resume full civil nuclear cooperation with
the international community.
• A landmark agreement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation was signed between India and
France on September 30, 2008 on the background of the agreement NPCIL and Areva
for implementation of EPR NPP Units at Jaitapur were signed.

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64. Qatar Crisis
Qatar’s isolation

The recent diplomatic rift between Qatar and other Arab states — like Saudi Arabia,
Bahrain, UAE and Egypt — has again highlighted the geopolitical significance of the region
beyond the oil factor. It emerged as a result of an allegation that the small gas-rich country
supports and funds terror through its support of Iran and Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni
Islamist political group outlawed by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Impact on India:

As regards the impact of sanctions on India, it depends on Qatar for 90% of its natural gas
requirements and hence is likely to maintain its good relationship with the monarchy. A
few days after the crisis began, the External Affairs Ministry had made it clear that India
didn‘t foresee any issues caused to its own relations with countries in the region. However,
the Qatar Airways flights between India and Doha will be affected as following the UAE‘s
decision to not allow its air space to be used, the flights will now have to get routed
through Iran.

Why is Qatar important for India?

While the current volume of Qatari FDI in India is modest, Qatar‘s Sovereign Wealth
Fund and other state-owned entities, as well as Qatari private investors, are looking at
investment options in infrastructure in India, including in real estate, roads and highways,
airports amd airlines, ports, LNG, petrochemicals and fertilizers, and tourism/hospitality.

There is vast potential for Qatar Investment Authority to substantially increase its
investments in India, given India‘s huge needs — $ 1 trillion in the next 5 years in infra
alone — investment friendly policies, and QIA‘s keenness to diversify its global portfolio.
India has made efforts to actively engage with QIA and other state-owned and private
entities in Qatar, highlighting policies such as ‗Make in India‘ and the advantages of
investing in India.

India‘s corporate sector too is increasingly pursuing business opportunities in Qatar. A

number of reputed Indian companies, particularly in construction/infrastructure and IT,
have operations in Qatar.

While business has been the focus of the relationship, India‘s ties with Qatar have largely
been founded on energy and economic links, and the presence of the Indian community,
which in Qatar numbers over half a million and, as in other GCC countries, is the largest

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expatriate community. The interest of citizens living and working in Qatar, many of them
engaged in projects related to the FIFA World Cup in 2022, is paramount for India.

65. North Korean Crisis

The North Korean Crisis

Global Tension or Regional issue

• North Korea's recent ballistic missile programme and amid fears of sixth atomic test and
detention of few US citizens on suspicion of hostile acts', further sparked a new chapter
of furious tussle of power in the Korean peninsula. The US and its allies, particularly
South Korea and Japan collectively described this act as the most serious threat to the
non-proliferation nuclear regime and regional stability.

• North Korea's nuclear tests have grown steadily more destructive, and the country
continues to pursue its long time goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an
intercontinental missile capable of reaching targets around the globe.

• First, and most critically North Korea has nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that
when reliably combined could strike US allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan,
where US troops are stationed.

• Second, North Korea has a vast array of artillery that is, large guns usually used in land
warfare that could be used to attack South Korea. It also has a substantial chemical
weapons stockpile, as well as elite special operations forces that could prove challenging
for rest of the world.

• Finally, if North Korea does decide to use any of those weapons against its enemies, the
aftereffects would pose their own significant, worldwide problems. Many experts
believe that North Korean behaviour is only made worse by the regime's isolation from
the rest of the world, and today, in many ways, North Korea still bears an uncanny
resemblance to the ‗hermit kingdom' as Korea was known in the 19th century.

What was Sunshine Policy?

• Articulated in 1998, the Sunshine Policy was the foreign policy of South Korea towards
North Korea until 2008. This policy emphasised peaceful cooperation, seeking short-
term reconciliation as a prelude to eventual Korean reunification. The policy has three
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basic principles No armed provocation by the North will be tolerated. The South will
not attempt to absorb the North in any way. The South actively seeks cooperation.

66. Rohingya Issue

The Rohingya people are a Muslim minority group residing in the Rakhine state, formerly
known as Arakan and are considered to be a variation of the Sunni religion. The Rohingya
people are considered ―stateless entities‖, as the Myanmar government has been refusing
to recognise them as one of the ethnic groups of the country. For this reason, the Rohingya
people lack legal protection from the Government of Myanmar, are regarded as mere
refugees from Bangladesh, and face strong hostility in the country. They often described by
Amnesty International as one of the most persecuted people on earth. To escape the dire
situation in Myanmar, the Rohingya try to illegally enter Southeast Asian states like
Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, begging for humanitarian support from potential host

As per the United Nations refugee agency, in a span of last two weeks, almost 300,000
Rohingya have crossed over to Bangladesh from the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar,
putting Bangladesh under immense strain and compelling the refugees to find shelter in
filthy, unsanitary camps scattered along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border. The latest surge
follows attacks on police posts by an extremist Rohingya group, Arakan Rohingya
Salvation Army(ARSA), in late August this year and military action. While the Myanmar
authorities claim that 400 lives have been lost, advocates cite double this number.

Who are the Rohingya Muslims and how did the Rohingya Muslim crisis start?

Since the Rohingya are considered to be illegal Bengali immigrants and were denied
recognition as a religion by the government of Myanmar, the dominant group, the Rakhine,
rejects the label ―Rohingya‖ and have started to persecute the Rohingya. Nearly 90% of
Myanmar‘s population is Buddhist, and only 4.3% is Muslim. In Rakhine State, however,
Muslims comprise nearly half of the population.

The 1982 Citizenship Law denies the Rohingya Muslims citizenship despite the people
living there for generations. The Rohingya are fleeing Myanmar because of the restrictions
and policies placed by the government. The restrictions include: ―marriage, family
planning, employment, education, religious choice, and freedom of movement‖ and they
are facing discrimination because of their ethnic heritage.

The people in Myanmar are also facing wide spread poverty, with more than 78 percent of
the families living below the poverty line. With most of the families living below the
poverty line, tensions between the Rohingya and the other religious groups have exploded
into conflict. The violence and turmoil began in 2012; the first incident was when a group

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of Rohingya men were accused of raping and killing a Buddhist woman. The Buddhist
nationalists retaliated by killing and burning the Rohingya homes. People from all over the
world started calling this crisis and bloodshed ―campaign of ethnic cleansing.‖

For years the Rohingyas have faced discrimination and persecution, today they are still
facing this problem and have started to flee to other countries for safe haven.

Rohingya crisis and Implications for the Region

Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya, preferring to refer to them as Bengali, which
suggests they are from neighbouring Bangladesh. Apart from impinging upon Myanmar‘s
internal security, the Rohingya crisis is also posing a security challenge to the South and
Southeast Asia.

Although ARSA has reportedly denied any connection with the IS, suspicions persist
about linkages between the two groups. An ARSA leader mentioned that they are fighting
to stop the state-led oppression against the Rohingyas in Myanmar and get citizenship
rights to them.

The systematic deprivation and gross violations of basic human rights have forced
Rohingyas to flee their native land and seek refuge in neighbouring states including
Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and India.
They have been unable to rebuild their lives in most of these countries due to the lack of
opportunities provided by the host nations to contribute to the economy of that country
even through semi-skilled and unskilled labour work as well, due to the growing fear of
their linkages with Islamic extremism.

The economic burden emanating from the huge refugee influx, the growing fear of
linkages between the Rohingyas and the IS, coupled with the apathy of the countries of the
region towards the problem, explains the stance of the ASEAN countries in advocating a
domestic solution to the crisis.

India’s stance on Rohingya Crisis:

India called for restraint on the part of the Myanmar government to end the violence in
Rakhine state – days after New Delhi dissociated itself from a joint statement by the Bali
Declaration adopted at the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development held
at Nusa Dua in Indonesia that included a reference to human rights in Myanmar.

The Bali Declaration, which was joined by India‘s neighbours Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal,
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, had expressed concern about the violence in
Myanmar‘s Rakhine state, where the UN says at least 1,000 Rohingya Muslims have been
killed, and 300,000 have fled to Bangladesh in the past two weeks.
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During Prime Minister‘s recent visit to Myanmar, he had expressed his concern at the
casualties of security forces as well as other innocent lives.

India also offered development assistance in Rakhine in cooperation with the

Myanmar government.

The latest exodus began on August 25, after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts in
Rakhine, leading to a violent offensive by the Myanmar Army.

India also faces the problem of Rohingyas fleeing into the states bordering Myanmar.

India‘s tough stand on deporting Rohingyas back to Rakhine State in the midst of the
ongoing violence has evoked criticism from national and international human rights

67. Right to privacy

Right to Privacy in India
Supreme Court Rulings

 Two Constitution Bench judgments - Sharma (1954), an eight-judge decision, and

Kharak Singh (1962), a six-judge judgment - held that the Right to Privacy was not a
fundamental right.

 In Govind vs. State of Madhya Pradesh (1975), the Supreme Court held that ―many
of the fundamental rights of citizens can be described as contributing to the Right to
Privacy‖. After this, the approach to interpretation of fundamental rights had
undergone a fundamental change. The scope of article 21 of Constitution was
broadened through subsequent judgments.

 However, in Govind the Bench clarified that the Right to Privacy was not an absolute
right and must be subject to restriction on the basis of compelling public interest

 In Maneka Gandhi (1978), the SC held that any law and procedure authorizing
interference with personal liberty and Right of Privacy must also be right, just, and
fair, and not arbitrary, fanciful, or oppressive.‖

 In R Rajagopal vs State of Tamil Nadu (1994), Supreme Court held that the Right to
Privacy is implicit in the right to life and liberty guarantee by Article 21. A citizen has

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a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation,
motherhood, child-bearing and education among other matters.

 From these rulings, it can be inferred that though the Constitution does not specify
‗right to privacy‘ as a fundamental right, but the subject has evolved considerably in
India, and privacy is now seen as an ingredient of personal liberty.

International Conventions

 Right of Privacy is integral part of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966

 European Convention on Human Rights: Article 8 recognizes the ―right to respect for
private and family life‖

 The UN Charter (1945), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), affirm ―the natural
dignity of man‖.

 India is signatory of all major international conventions which advocates Right to

Privacy. They are The UN Charter (1945), Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

Importance of Right to Privacy

 The right to dignity which inheres in each individual as a human being is incomplete
without the right to privacy and reputation.

 The ability to make choices and decisions autonomously in society free of

surrounding social pressure, including the right to vote, freedom of religion - all of
these depend on the preservation of the ―private sphere".

 The right to personal liberty of human is unsubstantial without adequate protection

for right to privacy

 Modern Technology: The advent of modern tech tools has made the invasion of
privacy easier. Also, several national programmes and schemes are using
computerised data collected from citizens which is vulnerable to theft and misuse.

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Recommendations of Experts Group on Privacy law under Justice A P Shah

The group set out principles that legislation safeguarding privacy should abide by. It

 The legislation on privacy should ensure that safeguards are technology neutral. It
means information is protected from unauthorized use regardless of the manner in
which it is stored: digital or physical form.

 It should protect all types of privacy, such as bodily privacy (DNA and physical
privacy); privacy against surveillance (unauthorised interception, audio and video
surveillance); and data protection.

 The safeguards should apply to both government and private sector entities.

Is Aadhar Violating Right to Privacy

• Aadhaar number commonly known as digital identity of every Indian citizen is now
under scanner of both the Supreme Court and various civil society organisations, due to
recent personal data leak of former Indian Cricket Captain MS Dhoni and Kendriya
Vidyalaya students' on different web portals.

• These Data breach incidents have highlighted the vulnerability of Right to Privacy
(under Article 21). Apart from that, recently Supreme Court's remark about mandatory
Aadhaar-PAN Card Linkage initiated the prolonged debate related to Aadhaar.

• Aadhaar was designed as a digital identity platform which is inclusive, unique and can
be authenticated to participate in any digital transaction. This has transformed the
service delivery in our country, convenient for residents and reducing leakages. Direct
benefit transfer, subscription to various services and authentication at the point of
service delivery are some of the benefits which have accrued.

Corruption Curbed : Benefits of Aadhaar

1. Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer (LPG Subsidy)
1. LPG cylinder subsidy amount is directly credited in the Aadhaar linked bank
account after the LPG consumer number is linked.
2. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) Wages
under this scheme will also be credited directly to the bank account of the workers
linked with Aadhaar card number.

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3. Passport in 10 Days This benefit of Aadhaar card will relieve you the most! If you
have an Aadhaar card, you can get passport in just 10 days. Under this format, police
verification will be done at a later date as opposed to the previous rule.
4. Digital Locker Government of India has launched digital locker (DigiLocker) system
for everyone for storing all personal document on the government's server.
5. Monthly Pension All the pensioners from select States will now have to register their
Aadhaar card number to their respective department in order to receive monthly
6. Provident Fund Similar to pension, provident fund money will be given to the
account holder who've registered their Aadhaar number with Employee Provident
Fund Organization (EPFO).
7. Opening Mew Bank Account Aadhaar letter provided by UIDAI is now acceptable
by banks as a valid proof to open bank account.

Major Security Concerns Related to Aadhaar

 Aadhaar is mass surveillance technology. Unlike, targeted surveillance which is a
good thing, and essential for national security and public order, mass surveillance
undermines security.
 Also, experts argue that biometric information is necessary for targeted surveillance,
but not suitable for everyday transactions between the State and law abiding citizens.
It can easily be misused.
 Even though the UIDAI claims that this is a zero knowledge database promising
high level of security, there is a chance for misuse using the unique identifiers for the
registered devices and time stamps that are used for authentication.

Supreme Court on Right to Privacy

• The Apex Court read the right to privacy into the Constitution. Progressively, in case
after case, it realised that the rights to liberty and freedom of expression cannot survive,
if the right to privacy is compromised.

Government's Outlook
• Union government maintains that its infallible biometrics-based identification system
said that India is on track to register its entire 1.25 billion populations using its Aadhaar
digital ID and this would help the government promote the inclusion of disadvantaged
groups in its welfare schemes.
• "An identification system was necessary for an orderly society and to keep pace with

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• Aadhaar is seeing global interest with governments overseas considering adopting the
model or some form of it. Countries like Russia, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have
evinced interest in Aadhaar, under which the Unique Identification which the Unique
Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has enrolled more than one billion people. An
effort is underway to promote the Aadhaar model overseas. The World Bank is acting as
a facilitator in the process.

How Privacy is Safeguarded in Aadhaar?

1. Aadhaar followed the principle of incorporating privacy by design; a concept which
states that IT projects should be designed with privacy in mind.
2. Aadhaar collects only minimal data, just sufficient to establish identity. This
irreducible set contained only four elements: name, gender, age and communication
address of the resident.
3. Under the scheme, random numbers with no intelligence are issued. This ensures
that no profiling can be done as the number does not disclose anything about the
4. The Aadhaar Act also has clear restrictions on data sharing. No data download is
permitted, search is not allowed and the only response which UIDAI gives to an
authentication request is 'Yes' or 'No'. No personal information is divulged.
5. Besides the minimal data which UIDAI has about a person, it does not keep any data
except the logs of authentication. It does not know the purpose of authentication. The
transaction details remain with the concerned agency and not with UIDAI.
6. It has (UIDAI) also built a facility wherein one can 'lock' the Aadhaar number and
disable it from any type of authentication for a period of one's choice, guarding
against any potential misuse.

Right to Privacy
• In India, the Constitution does not expressly recognise the right to privacy. But after the
case of Kharak Singh vs State of UP the Supreme Court for the first time recognised the
right to privacy which is implicit in the Constitution under Article-21. The Court held
that the right to privacy is an integral part of the right to life, but without any clear cut
laws, it still remains in the gray area.

Need of the Hour: Prevention of Data Breach

• India is rapidly becoming a digital economy. We are a nation of billion cell phones and
yet we have antiquated laws for data protection and privacy. Problems of ID theft, fraud
and misrepresentation are real concerns. Identifying citizens for providing various

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services, maintaining security and crime-related surveillance and performing
governance functions, all involve the collection of information. In recent years, owing to
technological developments and emerging administrative challenges, several national
programmes and schemes are being implemented through information technology
platforms, using computerised data collected from citizens.

• With more and more transactions being done over the Internet, such information is
vulnerable to theft and misuse. Therefore, it is imperative that any system of data
collection should factor in privacy risks and include procedures and systems to protect
citizen information.

Section 6 of the Aadhaar (Sharing of Information) Regulations says

• The Aadhaar number of an individual shall not be published, displayed or posted

publicly by any person or entity or agency. However, at the same time, the Aadhaar Act
lacks any provision for a mandatory notice to an individual in case of a breach of his or
her information, which was a recommendation of the Justice Shah Committee on
Privacy in 2012, which was set-up to lay 'the ground for a comprehensive new privacy
law. On February 18, Hindi news daily Dainik Bhaskar reported the arrest of six
salespersons of telecommunications service provider Reliance Jio in Madhya Pradesh
for selling SIM cards by using the Aadhaar data and fingerprint scans of other
customers for between Rs.300 and Rs.1000.

• Another case of breach was noticed after one individual performed 397 biometric
transactions between 14 July 2016 and 19 February 2 017. Of these, 194 transactions were
performed through Axis Bank, 112 through eMudhra and 91 through Suvidhaa

• The main argument against the Aadhaar has been that it infringes upon the citizen's
right to privacy, which flows from Article-21 that talk about the fundamental right to

Government's Future Course of Action

 Instead of arguing that privacy is not a fundamental right, it should assure the
citizens that it has the technology and systems to protect the data collected.
 It should assure the citizens of India that it will do everything possible to prevent
unauthorised disclosure of or access to such data.

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 It should recognise all dimensions of the right to privacy and address concerns about
data safety, protection from unauthorised interception, surveillance, use of personal
identifiers and bodily privacy.
 The data controller should be made accountable for the collection, processing and
use to which data are put.

• Many experts believe that, Most people working on the ground level are not adequately
trained and not aware of what norms are to be followed.
Alternative Measurements
• Biometrics allows for identification of citizens even when they don't want to be
identified. Smart cards' which require pins on the other hand require the citizens'
conscious cooperation during the identification process. Once smart cards are disposed
nobody can use them to identify. Consent is baked into the design of the technology.

• If the UIDAI adopts smart cards, the centralized database of biometrics can be
destroyed just like the UK government did in 2010. This would completely eliminate the
risk of foreign government, criminals and terrorists using the breached biometric
database to remotely, covertly and non-consensually identify Indians.

• Smart cards based on open standards allow for decentralised authentication by multiple
entities and therefore eliminates the need for a centralized transaction database.

• Within seven years of its launch, the Aadhaar system has made a remarkable leap in
terms of its security and. privacy and it will keep improving things. Technology does
not come through Immaculate Conception.

• There is a legitimate fear that this identity technology will open us all up to
discrimination, prejudice and the risk of identity theft, Aadhaar has given us the tools to
harness data in large volumes. If used wisely, this technology can transform the nation.
Further, the UIDAI has built up a biometric profile of the entire country. This means
that courts can order UIDAI to provide law enforcement agencies the biometrics for an
entire state (as the Bombay high court did) to check if they match against the
fingerprints recovered from a crime scene. This too is surveillance, since it collects
biometrics of all residents in advance rather than just that of criminal suspects.

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• The government should recognise both the need for Aadhaar and the need for stringent
rules concerning access to and security of citizens' biometric data, in order to preserve
their privacy.

What is Aadhaar Card?

• Aadhaar is an individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification
Authority of India (UIDAI) on behalf of the government of India to individuals for the
purpose of establishing the unique identity of every single person.

• To deliver Adhaar numbers universally to residents with a well defined time and
adhering to stringent quality metrics. Ensure availability, scalability and resilience of the
technology infrastructure.

68. Triple Talaq Issue

Supreme Court Verdict on Triple Talaq
• Supreme Court has invalidated the triple talaq practise by calling it arbitrary and
unconstitutional in a 3-2 majority judgment.

What are the justifications of minority judges?

• Two of the five judges have argued that talaq as a personal law practise was an integral
part of Article 25 (Freedom of Religion).
• It has been practised for over 1,400 years hence becomes a matter of firm religious faith
and that it cannot be tested on the touchstone of Article 14.
• They held that personal laws like instant talaq were an 'exception to the Constitution's
stated aim to protect gender equality.
• They had reasoned that instant talaq cannot be invalidated just because the Koran does
not expressly provide for or approve of it.

What are the justifications of the majority judges?

• Three of the five judges have set aside instant talaq terming it as 'manifestly arbitrary'
which makes it violative of Article 14 (Right to Equality).
• Social - A mere prevalence of the practise for over 1,400 years itself cannot make it valid.
• An individual's dignity and equality is placed at the mercy of their communities by this
• Religious - It is noted that triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Koran.

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• Shariat Act had in the past put an end to unholy, oppressive and discriminatory
customs and usages in the Muslim community.
• So similarly Triple Talaq can also be invalidated.
• Legal - A section of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937 has
already recognised triple talaq as a statutory right and not a fundamental right.
• This makes triple talaq outsie the ambit of Article 25.
• Hence it was made clear that instant talaq was no longer a personal law and it comes
under the ambit of Article 13 of the Constitution.
• Article 13 mandates that any law, framed before or after the Constitution, should not be
violative of the fundamental rights.

What are the shortcomings?

• The narrow majority with which the judgement has come raises doubts on the long term
impact on the issue of community rights over individual rights.
• Only Triple Talaq (Talaq-e-biddat) is invalidated. The other forms of Talaqs like 'Talaq
Hasan' and 'Talaq Ahsan' are still available to Muslim men.
• Though it reached the right conclusion, there was no consensus on first principles.
• The majority has not ruled that our basic constitutional values override religious belief
and practice and as a result proper precedent was not set.
• A more elaborate consideration of how Article 14 might affect personal laws would
have laid down a better precedence for the future.
• Codification of personal laws - A section of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat)
Application Act of 1937 has already recognised triple talaq as a statutory right and not a
fundamental right.
• This brings it under the ambit of Article 13 of the Constitution and thereby providing
for constitutional scrutiny.
• Bombay High Court decision in 1951 is often referred by courts to hold that personal
laws doesnot come under Article 13.
• If the Supreme Court had held that personal laws are 'laws in force' under Article 13(1),
the problem of discrimination, arbitrariness and gender bias in all personal laws would
have been solved.
• However the court has missed on this.
• Court's jurisdiction - One of the majority judges held that talaq-e-biddat found no
mention in the Koran, and was no part of Muslim personal law.
• His judgement was based on the ground that talaq-e-biddat was un-Islamic, rather than

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• This raises the question as to whether secular courts have the jurisdiction to adjudicate
on such grounds.
• Individual and community rights -The basic unit of the Constitution, as BR Ambedkar
said, is the individual.
• However, the minority judgement has placed community claims above the individual
constitutional rights.
• It has advanced the view that religion could become the arbiter of individuals' civil
status and civil rights.
• Constitutional protection - There is a need for distinction between religious rituals and
beliefs as against laws relating to tenancy, succession and marriage.
• This distinction has not been properly conveyed.
• Gender Discrimination - The Muslim women who challenged triple talaq invoked the
Constitution because there was no equivalent within their personal law system.
• The minority judgement denied this opportunity to an individual oppressed and
unequally treated by her religious community.
• The value of a Supreme Court judgment lies in the possibilities and avenues that it
opens for the future, for further progressive-oriented litigation.

69. Article 35A

• Article 35A allows the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the list of permanent
residents' of the state, who -
1. are eligible to vote
2. can work for the state government
3. can own land, buy property
4. can secure public employment and college admissions, etc.
• Non-permanent residents are denied all these rights.
• This article is being challenged on the ground of gender discrimination.
• This is because a male resident will not lose the right of being a permanent resident
even after marriage to a woman from outside.
• A woman from outside the state shall became a permanent resident on marrying a male
permanent resident of the state.
• However, a daughter who is born state subject of Jammu and Kashmir will lose the right
of being a permanent resident on marrying an outsider.
• It discriminates against women who marry outside the State from applying for jobs or
buying property.

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• This is said to be against the spirit of Article 14 of the Constitution which provides for
equality before the law and the equal protection of the laws.
• significance
• Article 35A was added to the constitution through the Constitution (Application to
Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, a presidential order not yet ratified by the
• It is being challenged that the provision was "unconstitutional" and approved without
any debate in the parliament.
• The Jammu and Kashmir government sees Art 35A as offering the state a special
• On the other hand, the Centre differs on the grounds that it discriminates against
women and is calling for a larger debate.
• The issue is now getting a political tone leading to tensions between the state and the
central government.
• There are also apprehensions that any adverse order against the provision could give
the state's separatists a chance to stir up violence in the state.
• It is high time that the governments place the rights and privileges of the people of the
state above political motives and deal it accordingly.

70. Achievements of ISRO
India's Journey to Space

1962 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, along with
scientist Vikram Sarabhai established the Indian National Committee for
Space Research (INCOSPAR). First rocket launched from India took place in
November 1963.
1969 The ICONOSPAR grew to become the Indian Space Research Organisation
1975 The first Indian satellite, Aryabhatta, was launched using a Russian rocket. It
provided India with the basis of learning satellite technology and designing.
1975 ISRO along with NASA developed means of using space communications
system for TV broadcasting. This resulted in the creation of the project
Satellite Instructional Television F.xperiment (SITE). It was a one-year
program covering Indian villages and districts. The main purpose of SITE
was to experiment usage of satellite broadcasting to educate the masses.
1976-77 Satellite Telecommunication Experiments Project (STEP) was launched as a

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sequel of SITE. It used satellite technology for enhancing domestic
1980 The first indigenously created satellite vehicle was launched from Sriharikota
range in Andhra Pradesh. SLV-3 placed the Rohini satellite, RS-1, in orbit,
thereby making India the sixth member of an exclusive club of space-faring

1983 Having experimented with SITE and STEP, the Indian National Satellite
System (1NSAT) was commissioned to work on broadcasting,
telecommunication, meteorology and rescue operations. It is the largest
domestic communications system in the Asia Pacific. Over the next few
decades, a number of 1NSAT satellites were propelled into space.
1984 The first Indo-Soviet manned space mission was launched. Rakesh Sharma
became the first Indian citizen to go into space. He flew aboard the Soviet
rocket Soyuz T-l 1, as part of a three member Soviet-Indian crew.
1987 The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLY) Programme supported a
larger payload than the SLV-3 and was meant to be low-cost. From March
1987, there were four developmental flights under the programme
2008 In October 2008, the first lunar mission was launched by ISRO. The
spacecraft, Chandrayaan took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and it
operated till August 2009. The project was announced by former PM Atal
Bihari Vajpayee, as part of his independence dav speech in 2003. The greatest
achievement of this lunar project was the discovery of a large number of
water molecules in moon. ISRO plans to launch its second lunar mission,
Chandrayaan 2 by 2018
2014 Mangalvaan, India's first interplanetary mission was launched, making ISRO
the fourth space agency to reach Mars. Mangalyaan gained worldwide repute
as being the least expensive Mars mission till date
2016 On 18 June, 2016 ISRO successfully set a record with a launch of 20 satellites
in a single payload, one being a satellite from Google
2017 a) The PSLV-C37/Cartosat2 Series satellite mission included the primary
satellite (Cartosat-2) and 101 international nano satellites. It also launched
two of its own nano satellites, INS-1A and INS-IB.
1) (b) "South Asia" Staellite(GSAT-09) was launched on April 5, 2017

South Asia Satellite: A Drive Towards India’s Space Diplomacy

This is what it means for India and South Asia :

Data from GSAT-9 will be shared with Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri
Lanka. It was also offered to Pakistan, which turned it down. India is also working with
Afghanistan but a deal has still not been ironed out.

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At least one transponder of this satellite will be available to the participating countries,
which will help them connect with each other. In other words, the satellite will help
India gain a footprint that extends all over South Asia. Not just that, this 'gift' is a first
such move from any country in this region

The participating nations anticipate a Rs. 10,000 crore ($ 1.5 billion) benefit from the
satellite's 12-year lifespan.

Each country has to develop its own ground infrastructure though India is willing to
extend assistance and know-how.

The satellite also has the capability to provide secure hot lines among the
participating nations in addition. Since the region is highly prone to earthquakes,
cyclones, floods, tsunamis, it may help in providing critical communication links in
times of disasters.

The nearly 50-m-tall rocket that weighs about 412 tonnes will carry what is now dubbed
as the 'South Asia Satellite' or what the Isro still prefers to call GSAT-9.
The mission is part of PM Modi's proposal on June 30, 2014 to Isro, asking them to
develop a satellite that can be dedicated to our neighbourhood as a 'gift' from India.

71. Three years of NDA Government


1. New integrated transportation initiative for roads, railways, waterways and civil
2. Sagarmala and Bharatmala programmes for the construction of new ports and
3. UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) regional connectivity scheme with fares
starting at about Rs2,500.


1. Carried out surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, resumed
cordon and search operations in more than 20 villages in Shopian.

2. Combing operations launched against Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s ―neighbourhood diplomacy‖ falling in place as relations

with Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka look up.

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The Narendra Modi government has set an ambitious goal to double farm incomes in real
terms by 2022.

1. New crop insurance scheme and higher funding for irrigation to counter weather
2. Set an ambitious goal to double farm incomes in real terms by 2022, moving away
from the historical focus on increasing production.
3. Initiated a range of marketing reforms to create a ―one nation, one market‖ in


1. Push for electric vehicles.

2. Rs42,000 crore unlocked for afforestation with Parliament passing The
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016.
3. Clean and renewable energy generation gets a boost.


1. Got states on board to introduce the goods and services tax (GST), the biggest tax
reform since independence.
2. Crackdown on black money leads to a surge in 2016-17 tax receipts, number of return
3. Merger of railway budget with Union budget and shifting budget presentation date
to 1 February from 28 February.


1. Getting unanimity on the economic reforms agenda with high parliamentary

2. Series of electoral gains puts the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on the political
3. Expanding voter base of the BJP to Dalits and other backward classes, focus on
expansion in the North-East.


1. Graded autonomy to promote quality in education.

2. Slew of social security measures to benefit the working class.
3. Six months of paid maternity leave for working women.

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4. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched to eliminate open defecation and promote
5. Soviet-style five-year plans come to an end; 15-year vision, three-year action plan
come into play.
6. Cashless economy.


1. Improving e-infrastructure, e-participation and government e-services for addressing

2. Unified Payments Interface (UPI)—a payment system that allows mobile-enabled
money transfers between bank accounts. Promotion of the Bharat Interface for
Money (BHIM) for a less-cash economy.
3. Leveraging Aadhaar for improving service delivery to citizens.


1. Doing away with the red beacon—a symbol of so-called VIP culture—from all
government vehicles.
2. Extending support to ending the practice of triple talaq.
3. Introducing the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (save the girl child, educate the girl child)

72. Prime Minister’s Independence Day Speech

Highlights of PM's Speech

Vision for a New India

 Get off 'chalta hai' attitude and replace it with a 'we can change' outlook. Quit
India movement was 'Bharat Chodo', on its 75th anniversary, let's say 'Bharat

On Demonetisation

 Over Rs.1.75 lakh cr deposited in banks since note ban. More than Rs.2 lakh
crore black money has reached banks and now people depositing such money
are being made to answer questions. Those who have looted the nation and
looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today.

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On Triple Talaq

 1 pay my respects to those women who had to, lead miserable lives due to
triple talaq and then started a movement that created an environment in the
whole nation against the practice.

On Intolerance

 Poison of casteism and communalism can never benefit the country. Violence
cannot be allowed in the name of faith.

On Communalism

 Some people, due to lack of patience, end up destroying the social fabric.

On J&K Problem

 Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagane se... samasya suljhegi liar
Kashmiri ko gale lagane se... Govt, is committed to restore Kashmir's status as
heaven on earth.
On National Security

 It is clear that security of our country is our priority. Internal security is our
priority. Be it sea or borders, be it cyber or space, India is capable of tackling
every security challenge.

On Gorakhpur Deaths

 Many parts faced natural calamities... Children died at a hospital. The entire
nation is with them.

On Dialysis Facility

 Dialysis facilities will be available in each district medical centres.

"1 invoke Team India to run for a New India by 2022. By then the poor shall have
concrete houses, the farmer shall double his income, youths and women will get
ample opportunities, an India free of casteism, terrorism, corruption, nepotism, a
clean India."

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73. Sankalp se Sidhi
Launch details

 In the occasion of 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement, the central government
of India has launched a new scheme namely Sankalp Se Siddhi Scheme. The Prime
Minister of India Shree Narendra Modi has launched the scheme on 21st of August
2017. The scheme will be lasting for 5 years that is from 2017 to 2022. The
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry will supervise the entire program.

Key Features

 The Sankalp Se Siddhi Scheme is a 5 year plan under which new India movement
2017 will take place in New India Movement Program the government will conduct
many programs and schemes across the ration for the betterment of the citizens of
 Under this scheme events and other social activities will be organised. Through
these events the authorities will make the citizens understand and aware of many
issues in India, especially the social issues.
 Discrimination, caste, religion, poverty, education, hygiene and many more issues
will be raised in this program to eradicate all sorts of problems from the country.
With this program people will get benefitted in many folds.
 Sankap Se Siddhi Program or Scheme will focus on 6-7 major sectors or issues in the
country. These issues will be raised through various events under the scheme. The
issues are Clean India, Literate India, Poverty –free, Corruption-free, Terrorism-free,
Communalism –free and Caste-discrimination free India.
 The Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has declared about organising this program
from 19th August to 31st August 2017 578 Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKS), 53 ATMAS
and 29 ICAR institutions / SAUs will be covered to organise this program, as per the
 During the launch of the program, a special short movie was being shot and shown
in the occasion 33 MPs and MLAs have been participated in the movie and other 129
popular faces are expected to the seen in the program. This movement will be a
huge one to influence the entire nation to make a better India.

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States under the Scheme

 As per the latest reports until 20th August 2017, there are 18 states that have enlisted
under the scheme. The states are Andaman & Nicobar Tekingana, Tamil Nadu,
Kerala, Maharashtra, Gurajarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha,
Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Nagaland and
Meghalaya. All these is States are being enlisted under the scheme. These states
have organised the Sankalp Se Siddhi Program in 32 different locations across these
 The Sankalp Se Siddhi Program will help the lower income group, especially poor
farmers to earn double. In all these programs organised by the government, farmers
and poor families will be notified about the doubling of their annual income by the
year 2022.
 According to the reports published, tribal families too will be able to double their
monthly or annual income under this scheme

74. New India – Manthan (Prime Ministers address to

district collectors) and other major speeches
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, addressed district collectors across the country
via video-conference, on the theme of ―New India – Manthan.‖ The first-of-its-kind
interaction with district collectors marked the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Quit
India Movement, and is aimed at catalysing ―New India – Manthan‖ at the grassroots

The Prime Minister explained that the date of August 9th, is intrinsically linked with the
mantra of ―Sankalp se Siddhi‖ – ―Achievement through Resolve.‖ He said the date
symbolizes the willpower and ambition of the youth.

The Prime Minister said that when youth assumes a leadership role, goals are sure to be
achieved. He described the collectors, as not just representatives of their districts, but also
of the youth of that region. He said collectors are fortunate, because they have been given
the opportunity to dedicate themselves to the nation.

The Prime Minister said that the Government is asking each individual, each family, each
organization to aim for certain goals which they should accomplish by 2022. He said that as
representatives of their districts, collectors now have to decide where they want to see their
districts in 2022, what deficiencies must be overcome, and what services must be ensured.

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The Prime Minister noted that some districts have always lagged in basic services such as
electricity, water, education and health. He said that when the socio-economic conditions
improve in the 100 most backward districts, it would give a big boost to the overall
development parameters of the country. This puts an onus on the collectors of these
districts to work in a mission mode.

The Prime Minister encouraged replication, and scaling up of best practices from districts
where good results are being achieved in a particular field or scheme.

The Prime Minister asked the collectors to seek help from colleagues, intellectuals of the
district, and students of schools and colleges, to prepare a vision document, or resolution
document for their district before the 15th of August. This Resolution Document, should
include those 10 or 15 objectives which they feel should be achieved by 2022.

The Prime Minister informed the collectors of the website www.newindia.in - which
contains information and activities related to the ‗Sankalp Se Sidhhi‘ movement. He said
that just as he is doing this Manthan with the collectors, they can do the same in the

The Prime Minister said that many times, schemes fail to have the desired impact, just
because people are not aware about them. He said collectors must make people aware
about the benefit of initiatives such as LED bulbs, BHIM App etc. Similarly, the Prime
Minister said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is dependent upon a responsive
administration, and awareness among people. He said real change in this regard can only
come through public participation.

The Prime Minister urged collectors to move beyond files, and go to the field, to
understand ground realities, such as the condition of health services in remote parts of the
district. The Prime Minister recalled Mahatma Gandhi‘s message that the ultimate goal of
governance should be to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor. He urged the
collectors to ask themselves every day whether they had done something to bring change
in the lives of the poor. He asked collectors to listen carefully to the poor, who approach
them with their grievances.

In conclusion, the Prime Minister said that the district collectors, are young and capable
and could make resolutions for New India of 2022, in respect of their district. He expressed
confidence that their resolutions would be achieved, and in the process, the country too,
would reach new heights of achievement.

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Prime Minister's Seven-Point Strategy to Double the Income of Farmers in Six Years
Prime Minster listed seven strategies:

 Big focus on irrigation with large budgets, with the aim of 'per drop, more crop'.
 Provision of quality seeds and nutrients based on soil health of each field.
 Large investments in warehousing and cold chains to prevent post-harvest crop
 Promotion of value addition through food processing.
 Creation of a national farm market, removing distortions and e-platform across 585
 Introduction of a new crop insurance scheme to mitigate risks at affordable cost.
 Promotion of ancillary activities like poultry, beekeeping and fisheries.

75. President’s Election


76. Yoga

Yoga for Global Well-being


Prime Minister in his address to the 69" session of the United National General Assembly
(UNGA) on September 27th, 2014 exhorted the world community to adopt an International
Day of Yoga to render its profundity - 'Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense
of oneness with ourselves, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating
consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change.'

Within three months, 193 members of UNGA approved this proposal by consensus with a
record 177 co-sponsoring countries agreeing to establish 21" June as the International Day
of Yoga.

The Ministry of AYUSH has been striding forth with establishing the curative values of
yoga and integrating yoga with various disciplines to reap societal benefits. Be it the high
altitude soldiers or mountaineers or expeditions in Antarctica, yoga streamlines body's
functioning to the requisite elimination of body wastes and bolster better assimilation of
nutrients for bodily buildup.

Yoga can be of immense benefit to the armed and paramilitary forces. Yoga is highly
effective in enduring cold tolerance and proves to be immunomodulatory and anti-
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inflammatory and also in augmenting stress hormones and neurotransmitters. Yoga
workout improves the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the alpha index of
electroencephalogram sees improvement. Yogic practice on stress hormones and
neurotransmitters sees a spurt.

Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) under Defence Research &
Development Organization in collaboration with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga
(MDNIY) and Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA) developed
customized yoga packages for army, air force and navy to tackle high altitude, hot desert
and cold desert conditions and submarine and ship conditions. According to Dr Shashi
Bala Singh, outstanding scientist and Director of DIPAS, 'scientific investigations on asanas
and pranayama have enabled its application in combating the stress in soldiers and
promoting their psychophysiological fitness. Yoga can also be a support system to cope up
and overcome the disturbed biorhythm and social isolation in adverse climatic conditions.'
Yogic practices on BSF have shown to improve anaerobic power.

Yoga in Antarctica was tried out during 35" Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica in
2015-2016. 'Effect of Antarctic conditions and mitigation: yoga for Indian Expedition' was
undertaken by DIPAS and S-VYASA to facilitate better thermoregulation and minimize sea
sickness. Also, yoga was found to enable better adaptations to the changes in the circadian
rhythm or the body clock while staying at Bharati and Maitri stations in Antarctica.
Improved sleep architecture and better mood prevailed.


Yogasana is not just for body flexibility but has a profound corrective action on aberrant
human physiology. Several incurable ailments for modern medicine such as epilepsy,
mental disorders, endocrine imbalance etc find a solution. Prof KK Deepak is the Head of
Department of Physiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
He has carried out measurement of autonomic tone using heart rate variability before and
after pranayama and sudarshan kriya which involves regulated and rhythmic breathing.
The effect of controlled breathing exercise on the psychological status is also noted. He has
made assessment of sympatho-vagal modulation during pranayama and conscious paced
breathing. Heart Rate Dynamics during Shambhavi Mahamudra, a practice of Isha Yoga
was worked upon. Voluntary heart rate reduction is proven possible following yoga using
different strategies. Cardiac autonomic function even in patients with diabetes improves
with practice of comprehensive yogic breathing program.

An extensive study on yogic therapy in epilepsy and prolonged meditation practice as a

useful adjunct for management of drug-resistant epileptics has also been carried out in
ANN/IS. Yogic intervention for mental disorders is also possible. Studies have also been
conducted to see the effect of yoga based intervention in patients with Inflammatory Bowel
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New National Steel Policy 2017

1. Create self-sufficiency in steel production by providing policy support and
guidance to private manufacturers, MSME steel producers, CPSEs
2. Encourage adequate capacity additions
3. Development of globally competitive steel manufacturing capabilities
4. Cost – efficient production
5. Domestic availability of iron ore, coking coal & natural gas
6. Facilitating foreign investment
7. Asset acquisitions of raw materials
8. Enhancing the domestic steel demand



 The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act will come into force
on November 1, 2016.
 Following this, the existing Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act will be
renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act (PBPT Act).
 Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 1988 had several loopholes such as lack
of proper implementation machinery, absence of appellate mechanism, lack of
provision with centre for vesting confiscated property etc.
 The current government had introduced Benami Transactions (Prohibition)
Amendment Bill in July 2016 in parliament. This bill has been now passed in
both the houses of parliament and will come into effect from 1 November 2016.
Features of the bill
 Objective: The main aim is to route the unaccounted money into the financial
system and seize Benami properties and punish those who are involved in
these properties.
 The Act defines benami transactions, prohibits them and further provides that
violation of the PBPT Act is punishable with imprisonment up to 7 years and
 It also prohibits recovery of the property held benami from benamidar by the
real owner.
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 Properties held benami are liable for confiscation by the Government without
payment of compensation.
 An appellate mechanism has been provided under the PBPT Act in the form of
Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal.
 The Adjudicating Authority and the Appellate Tribunal have been notified on
similar lines from Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

 This law will have long term impacts on real estate industry in the country.

 It will increase the practice of including the correct name in property

transactions. This in turn would bring transparency in residential market.

 The stringent law would also bring down the prices of real estate because such
transactions are done by cash rich investors to park their unaccounted wealth
in real estate.

 It will also boost the confidence of lenders esp banks and also private

Dengue Fact Sheet

What is dengue fever?

 Dengue is a flu-like viral disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Occasionally the patient suffering from dengue fever may develop bleeding.
Common sites for Weeding are nose, gums or skin. Sometimes, the patient may
have coffee ground vomiting or black stools. This indicates bleeding in
gastrointestinal tracts ana it is serious.

What to suspect dengue?

 Sudden onset of fever as high as 103-105 degrees F. It can be accompanied with
severe headache, pain behind the eyes, body aches, rash on the skin and nausea
or vomiting

How does dengue spread?

 Dengue fever occurs following the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito.
This type of mosquito has a peculiar white spotted body and legs and is easy to
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recognize even by laymen. It breeds in clean water and gets the dengue virus after
biting a human being infected with dengue. Dengue docs not spread directly
from person to person

How can dengue be prevented?

 Dengue mosquitoes breed in stored, exposed water collections. To prevent the
mosquitoes from multiplying, drain out the water horn desert coolers/window
air coolers (or use insecticides), tanks barrels, drums etc Remove all objects
containing water (e.g. plant saucers etc.) from the house

 Avoid mosquito bites by using repellents, coils and electric vapour mats etc
 Wear full sleeves clothes and long dresses to cover as much of your body as

What is the treatment?

 Like most viral diseases there is no specific cure for dengue fever. Antibiotics do
not help. Paracetamol is the drug of choice to bring down fever and joint pain.
Other medicines such as Aspirin and Brufen should be avoided since they can
increase the risk of bleeding. Physician should be consulted the moment
symptoms appear.

Can people die from dengue fever?

 Some cases can develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock
syndrome (DSS). In some of these cases death can occur. With proper treatment,
the patients with DHF and DSS can recover fully. Good treatment provided in
time can save most lives.

Dengue cases and deaths in India

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cases 28,292 18,860 50,222 75,808 40,571 99,913 1,29,166 11,402
Deaths 110 169 242 193 137 220 245 11

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Mr.
Narendra Modi, approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000
MW of the Schemes for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power
Projects after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the States, on
February 22, 2017.

The enhanced capacity would ensure the setting up of at least 50 solar parks each
with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country. The Solar
Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up by 2019-20 with Central
Government's financial support of Rs. 8,100 crore. The total capacity when
operational will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to
abatement of around 55 million tons of C02 per year over its life cycle.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is already implementing a scheme for
development of at least 25 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW,
launched in December 2014, which has now been enhanced to 40,000 MW This takes
the number of total approved solar parks of aggregate capacity 20,000 MW to 34
which are at various stages of development.

This goes without saying that it would contribute to long-term energy security of the
country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon
emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct & indirect
employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy
industrial equipment etc. The solar parks will also provide productive use of
abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate development of the
surrounding areas. Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly States, where
contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also
be considered under the scheme.

This is a small decision that shows the Modi government‘s commitment to the
country adopting more and more clean energy. This is part of the globally largest
renewable capacity expansion programme that is being taken up by India. The
government is aiming to increase share of clean energy through massive thrust in
renewables. A capacity addition of 14.30 GW of renewable energy has been achieved
during the last two and a half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power, which
include 5.8 GW from Solar Power, 7.04 GW from Wind Power, 0.53 from Small
Hydro Power and 0.93 from Bio-power. In its submission to the United Nations
Frameyvork Convention on Climate Change on Intended Nationally Determined
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Contribution (INDC), the government has stated that India will achieve 40%
cumulative Electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by
2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost International Finance
including from Green Climate Fund. By the end of October, 2016, Solar Energy
Projects with an aggregate capacity of over 8727.62 MW had been installed in the
country. This has been a result of various policy measures initiated and special steps
taken by the government in addition to providing financial support to various

India has an estimated receivable energy potential of about 900 GW from

commercially exploitable sources such as Wind (102 GW), Small Hydro'(20 GW),
Bio-energy (25 GW) and 750 GW solar power, assuming 3 percent wasteland. When
one takes this potential into consideration, the target of 175 GW renewable power
installed capacity (including 60 GW from wind power, 100 GW" from solar power,
10 GW from biomass power and 5 GW" from small hydro power) by the end of 2022
that India has committed itself to the world, must not be difficult to achieve. The
government has also fixed yearly targets. A target of 16,660 MW grid renewable
power (wind 4000 MW, solar 12000 MW, small hydro power 250 MW, bio-power 400
MW and waste to power 10 MW), has been set for 2016-17.

The demand of energy in the country has significantly increased mainly because of
the economic growth, increasing prosperity, a growing rate of Urbanisation and
rising per capita energy consumption. In order to meet this growing energy demand,
by the end of October 2016, India had total installed power generation capacity of
307.27 GW from all resources. With 46.33 GW installed renewable payer capacity,
the renewable power has a share of about 15% to the total installed capacity.

A total of 7,518 MW of grid-connected power generation capacity from renewable

energy sources has been added since January 2016 to October 2016. Before that, a
total of 7060 MW of grid-connected power generation capacity from renewable
energy sources like solar (3019 MW) and wind (3423 MW), Small Hydro Power (218
Ml), Bio-Power (400 MW) had been added during 2015-16 in the country against the
target of 4,460 MW During 2016-17, a total 3575 MW capacity had been added till
October 2016, making cumulative achievement of 46,327 MW.

The country has seen never-before activity in the field of renewable energy in the last
couple of years. This had been amply demonstrated in the largest ever wind power
capacity addition of 3,423 MW in FY 2015-16, exceeding the target by 43 percent.
During the first six months of FY 2016-17, a total 1,502 MW capacity had been added,
taking cumulative achievement to 28,279 MW. Now, in terms of wind power
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installed capacity India is globally placed at 4th position after China, USA and
Germany. Similarly, biggest-ever solar power capacity of 3,019 MW had been added
in 2015-16, exceeding the target by 116 percent. During the first six months of FY
2016-17, a total 1750 MW capacity had been added, making cumulative achievement
of 8728 MW.

In addition, a total of 31,472 Solar Pumps were installed in 2015-16, higher than total
number of pumps installed during last 24 years that is since beginning of the
programme in 1991, taking the total number of Solar Pumps installed in the country
till October 2016 to 92,305. As far as other sources of renewable energy are
concerned, an installed capacity of 0.53 GW has been added under Grid Connected
Renewable Power for the last two and a half years from Small Hydro Power plants.
Biomass power includes installations from biomass combustion, biomass gasification
and bagasse co-generation.

During 2016-17, against a target of 400 MW 51 MW installations of biomass power

plants has been achieved making a cumulative achievement of 4882 MW Family
Type Biogas Plants mainly for rural and semi-urban households are set up under the
National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP). During the first
six months of 2016-17, against a target of 1 lakh biogas plants, 0.26 lakh biogas plants
installation has been achieved making a cumulative achievement of 49.35 lakh
biogas plants.

Given the ongoing activities in the field and major initiatives taken by the
government, these achievements can only be expected to increase further. Few
examples will suffice. Solar projects of capacity 20,904 MW were tendered in 2015-16.
Of these, 11,209-MW capacity projects have already been awarded. Under the
National Solar Mission, the target for setting up solar capacity has been increased
from 20 GW to 100 GW by 2021-22. Target of 10,500 MW, set for 2016-17, will take
the cumulative capacity to 17 GW till March 31, 2017. The projects of 19,276 MW of
solar capacity have been tendered out, of which letters of intent have been issued for
13,910 MW/ PPA signed for 10,824 MW.

In addition, 34 Solar Parks of capacity of 20,000 MW in 21 States have been

sanctioned, which are under various stages of execution. If one takes the decision of
development of new solar power parks and ultra-mega solar power projects of
20,000 MW capacity into account, a substantial increase in installed capacity of clean
energy in the country can be expected in coming years, which is certainly a good
news for our environment, our planet and the entire humankind.

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No One Hardly Afford War

It was the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan that sounded the alarm. Chinese soldiers had arrived with
bulldozers and excavators, and were building a high-mountain road near India's border, in an area that China and
Bhutan have disputed for decades i.e., the Doklam Plateau. India responded to the call by sending troops last month to
evict the Chinese army construction party from the Doklam Plateau. The tense stand-off has only escalated,raising
concerns in both capitals of an all-out military conflict. Both sides have made threats while simultaneously calling for

The recent stand — off between India and China is in Bhutan's territory which is a disputed area
controlled by Thimphu but coveted by Beijing. The 89 sq km patch of territory in the Chumbi valley, sitting
between Sikkim and Bhutan, is an unresolved boundary dispute, Beijing has with Thimpu. The two
countries have failed to resolve it despite 24 rounds of negotiations since 1984. The same plateau extends to
the India —Bhutan —China tri —junction at the southern tip of Chumbi valley.

Both sides had earlier positioned an additional 3000 troops since the initial face — off at the Sikkim
— Bhutan — Tibet tri —junction, on which all three countries have claims. There is however, no further
troop addition since the initial push, from either side.

History of Sino-lndian Border Disputes

The delineation of China's boundary with India at Sikkim was based on a 127 year old treaty signed
between the Qing empire and Great Britain, the Anglo — Chinese Convention of 1890. China asserts that
Doklam is part of the Chinese territory. China accuses India of impinging on Bhutan's sovereignty by
attempting to fight its battles in the apparent reference to Indian protective security relationship with

The McMahon Line

The McMahon Line is a border line between North — East India and Tibet proposed by-Henry
MacMahon at the 1914 Simla Convention which was considered invalid by both Tibetans and Chinese
government. It is the effective boundary between China and India, although its legal status is disputed by
the Chinese government.

The McMahon Line is regarded by India as the legal national border, but China rejects the Simla
Accord and the McMahon Line, contending that Tibet was not a sovereign State and therefore did not have
the power to conclude treaties. Chinese maps show some 65000 sq km (25000 sq mi) of the territory South of
the line as part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, known as South Tibet in China. Chinese forces briefly
occupied this area during the Sino —Indian War of 1962. China does recognise a Line of Actual Control
which closely approximates most of the 'so called McMahon line' in the eastern part of its border with India.

Line of Actual Control (LAC)

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In 1960, based on an agreement between Pt. Nehru and Zhou Enlai, officials from India and China
held discussions in order to settle the boundary dispute. China and India disagreed on the major watershed
that defined the boundary in the western sector, as a result the 1962 Sino —Indian War was fought between
both the countries.

An agreement to resolve the dispute was concluded in 1996, including 'confidence building
measures' and a mutually agreed Line of Actual Control. In 2006, the Chinese ambassador to India claimed
that all of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory amidst a military build — up.

Ever since India got independent, Arunachal Pradesh, which was known as North — East Frontier
Agency (NEFA), has been with India. But China continues to claim it by saying that it is Southern Tibet and
it belongs to them.

During the 1962 Sino-Indian War, China had overrun NEFA which was then a Union Territory. This
claim is being made by China just to serve its following purposes:

 Annoying India for granting shelter to Dalai Lama.

 For giving itself a good reason to enter into war with India in future.
 For counter balancing India's claim in Ladakh where Chinese are occupying India
territories "after 1962 war.
In 2017 after Dalai Lama visited Arunachal Pradesh China gave Chinese names to Arunachal's different
cities, but this is nothing more than paper tigers.

Importance of Dohlam Region for India

The region holds immense strategic importance for India and China. Lying East of Sikkim, it has a
commanding view of the Chumbi valley and overlooks the narrow Siliguri Corridor that links the North —
East to the rest of India. If the Chinese gain control of Donglang, they gain the ability to essentially cut off
India's access to the North — Eastern. States in case of a conflict.

In 1996, Beijing indicated it was ready to swap territorial claims in northern Bhutan in lieu of
Donglang, Chinese construction of road in this region is critical as it will serve twin objectives —
pressurizing Bhutan to allow Beijing to establish an embassy there, and destabilizing the Sikkim border
which has been the least troublesome compared to Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh region.

Recent Issues of Conflicts between India & China

Sikkim Issue

Although China recognised Sikkim as part of India in 2003, it can change its stance any time. It tries
to encourage anti India sentiments in Sikkim. Under the careful eye of former Prime Minister Indira ,
Gandhi, Sikkim merged with India in 1975.

A referendum was held and Sikkimese voted unanimously, as many as 98% favoured joining the
Indian Union. Through Parliament's 36th Constitutional Amendment, Sikkim became the 22nd State of
India. Since 1967, Sikkim's borders with Tibet (China) have been very peaceful. Nathu La and Jelep La, the
two passes on this border, serve as the Centerport to the Tibetan plateau. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari
Vajpayee was the architect of the border trade through Nathu La.
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The agreement between AB Vajpayee and Chinese President Hu Jintao was concluded in 2003. The
Chinese agreed that for the purposes of border trade, Changgu in Sikkim would be recognised as the border
trading point, with Nathu La as the passage. This is a de facto recognition of Sikkim as being a part of India.
However, China blocked Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in 2017 through this passage hurting people of India.

Dalai Lama Visit to Arunachal Pradesh

In disregard to China's concerns, the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso visited the eastern part of
Arunachal Pradesh in April 2017, including Tawang, that China claims to be part of Southern Tibet-Beijing
claims ownership of Arunachal Pradesh and regards the Dalai Lama as 'a separatist'. However, India has
rubbished China's claim, stating that it was totally a religious tour. Indian government also maintains that
the Dalai Lama is free to travel anywhere in the country and has visited the State in the past too. The
Chinese termed the Dalai Lama's visit, particularly to the monastery town of Tawang, a 'provocation'.

India-China- Pahistan Dynamics

As per Indian claims, Pakistan ceded 5180 sq km of Jammu and Kashmir land to China, but Pakistan
says that they gained 1942 sq km territory from China. This was done as per Sino— Pakistan Boundary
Agreement of 1963.

Pakistan lost rights on Kashmir on technical and moral grounds.Pakistan considers Jammu and
Kashmir as a disputed territory but has handed over its part to China. However China doesn't recognise
any of the boundary between Indian state Jammu and Kashmir and China whether it is Johnson Line or
Macartney — MacDonald Line but India recognises the Jammu and Kashmir boarder as of 1947. China
captured a large part of Aksai Chin of Jammu and Kashmir from India in 1950s and similary they captured
few parts of Jammu and Kashmir, which was under Pak control on Map.

There is one interesting clause in the Sino — Pakistan agreement of 1963, 'The two parties have
agreed that after the settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, the sovereign authority
concerned will reopen negotiations with the government of the People's Republic of China on the
boundary'. It means that the broader negotiation will reopen when the Kashmir problem is solved.

Managing Border Disputes

In 2013, President Xi Jinping met ■ Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh at the BRICS Summit in
Durban, (South Africa). Xi urged both sides to use special representatives‘ mechanism to strive for a fair,
rational framework that can lead to a solution to the border issue as soon as possible. An agreement on the
maintenance of peace and tranquility along the line of Actual control in the India —China border areas were
signed on September 7, 1993. During President Jiang Zemin's visit to India at the end of November, 1996,
the governments of China and India signed the agreement on confidence building measures in the military
field along the Line of Actual Control in the China —India border areas, which is an important step for the
building of mutual trust between the two countries.

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These agreements provide an institutional framework for the maintenance of peace and tranquility
in the border areas. During the Indian Prime Minister's visit to China in June, 2003 India and China signed a
Memorandum on Expanding Border Trade, which adds Nathula as another pass on the India — China
border for conducting border trade.

The Sino — Indian border has not suffered any major disruptions since 1986, as compared to the
incessant firing incidents and infiltration on the Indo — Pak borders. In December, 1988, Indian Prime
Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China.

The Prime Ministers of the two countries agreed to settle the boundary questions through the
guiding principle of 'Mutual Understanding and Accommodation and Mutual Adjustment' The two sides
agreed to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) on the boundary questions at the Vice — Foreign
Ministerial level.

Global Developments

Many geopolitical developments at regional and global levels are intricately related to Sino —
Indian relations and deeply influence the happenings in Sino — Indian borders. China has an undeclared
policy of String of Pearls to encircle India.

India, on the other hand, has been trying to develop closer arrangements with the countries
surrounding China. India has been able to forge friendly relationships not only with Japan, South Korea and
Vietnam, but also with the central Asian neighbours of China.

India has been pushing for entry into the exclusive club of nuclear fuel suppliers — Nuclear
Suppliers Group (NSG). It is a body of 48 nations which have an understanding to supply nuclear fuels to
nuclear power nations. All these nations have ratified the Non — proliferation Treaty, which India has not
signed. China has been blocking India's attempt to entry to this exclusive club on one or the other pretext.

Observers say that China is building a case for Pakistan by blocking India's entry.

China is having territorial disputes with its neighbouring countries, such as South Korea, Japan,
Vietnam, Phillippines, etc. The countries like, the USA, Japan and India support the freedom of navigation
in the South China Sea which irritates China every now and then.

While India has been unequivocal in condemning terror outfits and identified Pakistan as the
biggest source of terrorism, China has defended Pakistan at every single forum. China has blocked India's
attempt at the UN for sanctions against Jash — e —Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar.

India has been campaigning for sanction against Masood Azar, who has allegedly masterminded
several terror attacks in India. China is building China — Pakistan — Economic Corridor (CPEC), which
passes through the Pakistan — occupied Kashmir India has objected to the CPEC.

India considers building of the CPEC as China's interference in India's sovereignty and territorial
integrity. But China has not deterred from going ahead.

China has also developed Gwador port near Karachi to facilitate its maritime trade with West Asia
and North Africa. It also gives China a hold in the North Indian Ocean near India's boundaries.

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Bhutan's Position

The recent faceoff between Indian and Chinese forces is taking place in a Bhutanese region and
Bhutan supports India in full measure in this case.

Bhutan has no diplomatic relations with China. Bhutan and India enjoy the closest relationship of
mutual trust and confidence and enduring friendship.

There is absolutely no controversy about military —to— military cooperation and understanding
between the two countries. India holds Bhutanese sovereignty as sacred and inviolable.


India and China are the two ancient civilisations, who have had centuries of cultural exchanges but
in modern times, their relationship has been more adversarial than friendly. As big economic and military
powers, India and China are key strategic players in the world.

Both nations have several similar attributes and problems including large population, huge rural —
urban divide, rising economies and conflict with neighbours. Thus they should manage their border
disputes in a friendly manner to make'21st century an Asian century and drive the entire world towards
growth, peace and prosperity.

Timeline of Sino – Indian Relation

1954 Panchsheel agreement 1959 Dalai Lama fled to India

1962 Indo-China war

1963 Pakistan ceded a part of J&K to China

1976 Diplomatic relation re-established for the first time since 1962 War

1988 The Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China. The two countries agreed to set-up joint working group to settle
the boundary issue.

1996 The two countries signed agreement on confidence building measures in military field

2003 Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee makes a visit to China

2006 India and China reopens Nathu La pass which had been closed since 1962

2010 India cancels defense exchanges with China after Beijing refuses to permit a top Indian army officer a visa
because he 'controlled' the disputed area of Jammu and Kashmir.

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No.25, Nandhi Loop Street,
West C.I.T. Nagar, Chennai – 600 035
Near T.Nagar Bus Stand,
Landmark: Nandhi Statue
Ph: 24339436, 42867555, 9840226187
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