Category: Education



 In recent times, the ongoing pandemic and the induced lockdown compounded the misery of rapid urbanization in India. Therefore, the NITI Aayog has started a process to manage urbanization and provides inputs for making India’s urbanization manageable, economically productive, environmentally appropriate, and equitable.


  • India is the second largest urban system in the world.
  • Around 11% of the global urban population living in India.
  • According to the 2011 Census, the Urban population is 29% of India’s population. At present, the population is in the range of 30-40%. As per the estimates of urban policymakers, it will become around 73% by 2036.
  • Presently, the urban areas are contributing around 50-60% of GDP and are estimated to reach 70% by 2030.
  • In 1947, the urban population was around 14% and in 2010, it has doubled to 30% as per the 2011 census. But now, the time required to increase the urbanization rate has drastically reduced; and the urban population would double within a decade or two.

Philosophical angle

  • Once Mahatma Gandhi said “India lives in its villages and not in towns; in huts not in palaces. He observed, “If the village perishes, India will perish too.
  • But the present situation highly speaks that India is living in its urban areas due to its massive opportunities for the growing aspirations of the population.








Push factors are those which motivate people to leave an area, especially the rural due to some reasons and shifts to urban areas.

Pull factors are the attractive factors by which an individual is attracted to change his place of living.

Social factors

·         Poverty

·         Patriarchal attitude

·         Wide gender disparity

·         Family faction and fends.

·         Prevalence of Caste system

Social factors

·         Better social environment

·         Women empowerment

·         Increased exposure

Economic factors

·         Lack of job opportunities.

·         Lack of security of life and property.

·         Absence of equal pay

·         Low living standard.



Economic factors

·         High standard of living.

·         Job opportunities.

·         Better security of life and property

·         Prevalence of Gig and platform

·         economy

Infrastructural deficits

·         Lack of transportation and communication.

·         Lack of health facilities.

·         Lack of educational facilities.

·         Lack of recreational facilities.

·         Worse sanitary conditions.

Better infrastructure

·         Health facilities.

·         High standard of education

·         Better recreational facilities

·         Better internet connectivity



  1. Unplanned urbanization
  • Major factors responsible for the process of urbanization include migration, better economic opportunities led to people settling down in already densely populated cities.
  • This rapid urbanization forces the government to build cities without proper planning and lacks proper infrastructure, public facilities, and employment opportunities.
  1. Pandemic-Induced Problems
  • The ongoing pandemic exacerbated the misery of urban poor or slum dwellers and severely affected the ability of slum dwellers to earn their living.
  1. Problem of Housing Creation of Slums
  • With large-scale migration to urban areas and lack of affordable housing leads many to stay as slum dwellers.
  • Slums are characterized by sub-standard housing, overcrowding, lack of electrification, ventilation, sanitation, roads, and drinking water facilities.
  1. Health
  • Slum areas have been the breeding ground of diseases, and the poor, unaffordable, and inaccessible health infrastructures are another major cause of concern.
  1. Over Crowding
  • Over-crowding encourages deviant behaviour, spreads diseases, and creates conditions for mental illness, alcoholism, etc.
  1. Drainage and Sanitation
  • Removing garbage, cleaning drains, and unclogging sewers are mostly done in an unplanned and unsystematic manner.
  • In most metropolitan areas, insufficient sewage infrastructure is observed concerning the rapid population growth.
  1. Pollution
  • Urban industry pollutes the atmosphere with smoke and toxic gases from its chimneys thereby increasing the chances of disease among the people living in the urban centers.
  1. Urban Crimes
  • Imbalance in resource availability that manifests itself in dearth of space, shelter, food, and basic amenities for the rising population leading to competition, rivalry, insecurity, and criminal mentality, especially among youths.
  1. Urban Heat Islands
  • Urban Heat Island is a major problem associated with rapid urbanization. It is due to rising warmer urban areas than their surrounding rural areas due to human activities.
  1. Urban Floods
  • The urban flooding is largely due to unplanned urbanization.
  • Many cities such as Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Chennai where urban floods have become a frequent phenomenon in recent years.
  • Overburdened drainage and unplanned construction with no regard to the natural topography and hydro-geomorphology are the growing reasons for urban floods.


  1. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
  • Objective is to provide hard infrastructure for universal coverage of piped drinking water, sewerage, and green spaces and parks.
  1. National Heritage City Development & Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) Mission
  • The aim is to rejuvenate the heritage cities, with special attention to others issues such as sanitation, tourism, and livelihood.
  1. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Housing for All (HFA) (Urban Mission)
  • It was launched to provide housing to all in urban areas by 2022.
  1. DeenDayalAntodaya Yojana– National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY – NULM)
  • It aims at creating opportunities for skill development leading to market-based employment and helping the poor to set up self-employment ventures.
  1. Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)
  • It is a key mission driving the campaign to make our cities clean.
  • It also proposes to eradicate manual scavenging, introduce modern and scientific solid waste management, induce behavioural change with respect to healthy sanitation practices and generate awareness for sanitation and its link to public health, augment the capacity of ULBs and create an enabling environment for the private sector in waste management.
  1. Developing Smart Cities
  • Smart Cities Mission aims at driving economic growth and improving the quality of life through area-based development and city-level smart solutions.
  • The mission would convert 100 existing cities into smart cities


  • The mission is a laboratory building “model cities”.
  • The development of a city is the joint responsibility of the central government, state government, and local government, and the “Model cities” are acting as skeletons for the development.
  • Model cities are based on three formulas
  1. People-centric approach
  2. Bottom-up up approach
  3. Not one size fit for all
  • A people-centric approach- By focussing on the basic necessities of the people and resolving these issues individually by developing basic infrastructures is the essence of the smart city mission
  • Prioritisation-The urban-centric development by prioritizing the areas and providing infrastructural facilities considering the local and spatial differences.
  • Based on master plans-The cities under this mission are selected on the basis of proposals from the concerned urban areas of the particular state. The proposal must include the master plan including the problems and measures for addressing the issues, the ability to mobilize resources, etc.
  • The central government has identified 100 cities based the efficient and viable plans.


  • Prioritize the selection- Based on the availability of resources, it is necessary to prioritize and expand the developments to Tier2 and Tier 3 cities along with Tier 1 cities.
  • Inter-coordination of Ministries-
  • Though smart cities are under the department of the Ministry of Urban Affairs, coordination among different ministries is needed for the holistic development of cities.
  • Engaging with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, State Governments as well as local governments on various issues, policies, and schemes are also required.
  • Indigenous Model-Choose an indigenous model of development by considering the unique characteristics of Indian society.
  • For example- Street vendors are a common phenomenon in Indian culture. Rather than simply adapting the foreign models, customizing the plans by incorporating them and building a separate street vending platform would safeguard their livelihoods and brings an Indianized culture.
  • Another example, is the city of Bhopal, under the smart city mission where they developed a busy business area for trade by addressing the necessity of the people and thereby Indianized the model.
  • Affordable Housing- Construction of a Rented housing system by builders and subsidies granted by the government for allocating the constructed house and rooms on a rental basis is a guiding approach.
  • It would ensure affordable housing conditions for urban migrants.
  • Resilience and sustainability –The model adopted for the development of urban areas must be sustainable and resilient.
  • Participation- Sustainable development of urban areas is possible only through the participation of people.
  • Develop Climate-smart cities-
  • Assessment of cities based on climate friendliness. Four components of climate-smart cities
  1. Water reuse
  2. Green cover
  3. Urban biodiversity
  4. Renewable energy
  • For example, the growing importance of urban biodiversity especially in the Delhi region due to its alarming air pollution and inhalation of toxic gases
  • Inculcate Indian value system-
  • Create a liveable city -Critical factors for liveable communities are: residents feeling safe, socially connected and included, and environmental sustainability
  • Connected neighbourhood- The positive action that can be taken to deal with the malaise of social fragmentation, isolation, loneliness, and anxiety.
  • Developing Green infrastructure and Equal access to all for availing public services.
  • Data Technology-
  • Use data management effectively and devise data-based policies for effective implementation.
  • For e.g.: Data warehousing
  • GIS model- Design the urban areas based on the Global Positioning System (GIS) /Geographic Information System (GIS) model.
  • Need for a master plan- According to NitiAayog, more than 60% of urban cities lack a master plan. Therefore, huge socio-economic losses due to unplanned construction of buildings and submergence of the same necessitate the need to have a master plan.


The need of the hour is the better formulation and implementation of new approaches to urban planning and effective governance for urban areas. Moreover, necessary actions should be taken to build sustainable, robust, and inclusive infrastructure. All these measures guide the country to achieve SDG 11 which promotes urban planning as a means for achieving sustainable development.


It is not the urbanisation but the urban development system that is posing new challenges, elucidate. Explain how Smart Cities Mission is addressing these challenges?(250 Words, 15 Marks)



The Sri Lankan economy has been facing a serious economic crisis owing to its Balance of Payments (BoP) problem. The country is struggling to pay for essential imports after its foreign exchange reserves saw a 70 percent drop in two years.


 The ongoing pandemic has influenced all nations across the world like Sri Lanka. But there are some specific reasons for the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka.


  1. Downfall of GDP growth rate
  • Sri Lanka is experiencing a long-term recession due to a continuous negative GDP growth The negative GDP rate worsened the economic health of the country.
  • It is because of the exorbitant prices for the essential commodities which resulted in the poor consumption of goods and services. It further reduced the overall production in the Sri Lankan
  1. External debt
  • The total amount of debt taken by the Government of Sri Lanka is about 115% of its GDP. Before the pandemic, it was around 90-95% of the
  • The entire GDP of Sri Lanka was around 85 billion
  • They procured loans beyond their tolerant
  1. Shortage of foreign exchange reserves
  • The foreign exchange reserves of Sri Lanka have fallen from around 7.5 billion dollars to just $2 billion at the end of February i.e., falling by 70% in two years, which can barely cover two months of
  1. Fiscal deficit
  • The fiscal deficit is the difference between the revenue and expenses in the economy. If an economy spends 100 rupees with a revenue of 80 rupees, the rest of 20 rupees is taken as a loan and it can be termed a fiscal
  • In Sri Lanka, the fiscal deficit is around 10% of the GDP, i.e., they are taking about 8 billion dollars as debt each
  1. Current Account Balance
  • The country is resorting to more imports as compared to Since the GDP growth is negative and there is not much production taking place to raise its exports.
  • It has a negative current account balance in the range of 3-5 % indicating it is a net
  1. Inflation
  • The country is experiencing inflation of around 15
  • The unplanned pumping of money into the economy and reduced production of goods and services fueled the inflationary trends in the
  • Even the availability of goods in the market cannot be increased through imports due to a shortage in foreign exchange


  1. Influence of Covid-19 pandemic
  • The tourism industry which accounts for about 10% of Sri Lanka’s GDP and the country’s third

largest foreign exchange earner has been hardly affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

  • The remittances from their diaspora were stopped due to Covid-19 lockdowns and the further downfall of the global economy. It has negatively affected the foreign exchange reserves of the
  • Covid-19 lockdown also negatively impacted the informal sector which accounts for nearly 60% of

the country’s workforce.

  1. Poor Fiscal policy
    • The government’s ban on the use of chemical fertilizers in farming to make Sri Lanka the first

country to fully adopt organic farming, led to a drastic drop in domestic food production, pushing up food prices.

  • It led to a reduction in tea exports, spices, and a shortage of food grains in the
  • It subsequently resulted in long queues of people in the


  1. Shortage of foreign direct investment
  • The country is not able to attract viable FDI from foreign
  • Beyond tourism and dependence on remittances, the country has not devised better policies for improving its economic stability.
  • The country is mostly depending on imports for their basic essential items and not even concentrated on improving its production
  • The country attracted limited investments and that too mostly from China as part of Chinese checkbook diplomacy. The inability to repay Chinese loans finally led to the 99-year leasing of the Hambantota port to China by Sri
  • Sri Lanka invited investments only in a few sectors such as real estate, tourism, Telecommunication, and ports which shrank their foreign currency reserves within the
  1. Poor monetary policy
  • There is a wide mismatch between goods produced and the amount of money available in the economy to procure these goods.

Money available in the market

Products available in the market

Rupees per product

10 rupees

10 numbers

1 rupee per product

100 rupees

10 numbers

10 rupees per product

10 rupees

1 number

10 rupees per product


Fig: Table shows poor equilibrium between the money available in economy and products available in the market.

  • In this scenario, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka pumped more currency despite the limited availability of the products in the
  • This step worsens the economic situation and inflated the prices of even essential commodities. Because there is more money chasing few available goods which spiked the prices of the
  • It further depreciated the value of the Sri Lankan currency and now, One Sri Lankan Rupee is equal to 355.36 (as of date 27th July 2022).
  • They have even canceled the student’s examination on account of the inability to procure enough

pens, papers, and pens.


  1. Illegal nexus between politics and business
  • Sri Lanka after its independence from the British in 1948 gave importance to the public
  • The country is having constitutional multi-party socialistic republic policy. The government itself started the business with public sector
  • Conflict of interest arises among people holding the positions and their personal interests which made the situation
  • By 1971, there was political instability leading to a communist revolution 1971-1972.
  • The civil war on account of the Tamil crisis between Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils from 1971 to 2009 exacerbated the financial
  • However, hidden political agenda led to backdoor postings to top positions with no meritocracy resulting in poor policy formulation and
  • The vested interest never allowed private participation in its
  • Consequently, the country developed the habit of depending on external loans for meeting their day-to-day operations such as providing subsidies and paying salaries to the people.
  • Moreover, this external debt has not been utilized for creating capital infrastructure in the
  • The World Bank recommended the nation to utilize the debt for the creation of long-term assets in the
  • Education sector- The education in the country is also more confined to Arts and general education and very less technical education is given to the students. It may negatively affect the skill sets available in the market and incur low technical upgradation in the long
  • In addition to this, around 80 percent of lands were under the control of the Sri Lankan
  • The country has not even fully connected with the global supply chain
  • The parochial interest of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government after the Civil war in 2009 led to corrupted leaders in governance finally resulting in financial
  • All these elements together come into the picture after the global pandemic and its sudden influence on the


  • The Sri Lankan government is blaming the present condition of the country due to hoarding by the The practice of hoarding led to artificial scarcity in the economy which is responsible for the entire crisis.
  • However, the government fails to address the reason behind the scarcity or why the people resorted to hoarding for meeting their essential
  • The Sri Lankan government finally requested India and China to grant credits for meeting their essential
  • India provided Sri Lanka with a USD 1 billion line of credit (LoC) for procuring food, medicines, and, other essential
  • Sri Lanka has signed a Currency swap agreement with India and the Reserve Bank of India had announced a USD 400 million currency swap to help Sri
  • Currency swap agreements are agreed for trading in their own local currencies, where both countries pay for import and export trade, at the pre-determined rates of exchange, without bringing in a third country currency like the US Dollar.
  • Finally, Sri Lanka has reached IMF support despite their initial reluctance. However, IMF loans always come with conditionality which is very necessary for achieving economic stability for Sri


  1. Fiscal consolidation
  • Spend money on creating capital infrastructures rather than spending on unwanted revenue
  • Abide by the conditionality of IMF for better financial discipline in the long
  • Develop forex reserves by reorienting its structural
  • Maintain financial prudency in the overall functioning of the
  • Monetary policy
    • Improved autonomy in the performance of the Central Bank is the need of the
    • Expert advice should be sought before adopting monetary measures since the untimely supply of

currency aggravated the financial status of the country.

  1. Banking sector
  • Independence to be provided for the banking sector to take decisions in granting loans, especially to corporates.
  • Earlier, the banking sector which was completely under government control has to abide by the decisions of government authority and grant loans to those companies which are insisted by the government despite their poor financial
  • It resulted in the burgeoning of Non-Performing Assets (NPA) within the
  1. External sector
  • Design domestic policies to attract more FDIs in various
  • Devise better policies to improve corporate
  • Initiate structural frameworks to start production within the country to meet the country’s needs

rather than depending on imports.

  • Use the demographic potential and available skill sets in the
  1. Diversification of the export policy to raise foreign reserves of the
  2. Develop a virtuous cycle- Promote domestic savings and raise investments from these savings and further promote savings in the country and then further investments.
  3. Always learn from the past experiences and trends of other countries to not repeat the failures and

adopt successful measures.

  1. Gradual introduction of new policies to avoid economic shocks in the

For example: if the policy is better to eliminate chemical fertilizers, organic farming has to be introduced gradually as natural farming tends to give results much later. Moreover, it will not affect the food security of the country too.


  1. Crisis as an Opportunity
  • India, the largest democratic country, needs to be extremely patient and engage with Sri Lanka more regularly and
  • There is also a need to step up our people-centric developmental activities while staying away

from any interference in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs.

  • The crisis should be used as an opportunity to negotiate with Sri Lanka to abandon their swinging attitude between China and India according to the
  • For example- Still Sri Lanka is confused with their oil infrastructure policy at Trincomalee with the Indian
  • The strategic position of Sri Lanka in the mid of the Indian Ocean make the country more vital to
  1. Geo-political significance
  • The IMF loans with conditions will necessarily improve the Sri Lankan financial
  • However, the western favored IMF tends to devise policies that might result in the Dominance of western nations in Sri
  • It will negatively impact India’s strategic interest by occupying the region by another power

instead of China in the region.

  1. Devise better policies to help neighboring countries of
  • For Instance, the non-reciprocal assistance to other countries under the “Gujral doctrine” of India bridges the trust deficit and can overtake China’s Chequebook
  1. Mass exodus of Sri Lankans raises the refugee problems in
  2. Chances of rising anti-social elements and terrorism can happen mostly in poorly governed
  • For instance- The Easter attack in 2019 in
  1. Indian investors who are doing business and projects on Sri Lankan soil are at
  2. Moreover, the bilateral trade and exports of around 4 billion dollars might affect
  3. Cultural interest- India is having its cultural connections with Sri Lankan India often demanded more political representation for them and active implementation of 13 th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. In this situation, the Sri Lankan Tamils would also face a lot of struggles due to the current economic crisis is a major concern for India.


The need of the hour is to undertake structural reorientation of its economic policies. The expert advice in the policy formulation and the subsequent implementation can act as a roadmap for Sri Lanka’s economic development. Moreover, India should use the current situational opportunity strategically along with preparing for the challenges also.

Practice Question

The strength of an economy depends on both internal and external strengths. Critically examine the lessons that India must learn from the recent Sri Lankan economic crisis and explain its implications on India.

(250 Words, 15 Marks)



 Recently, Dam Safety Act was passed by both houses of Parliament. The act provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of all specified dams across the country.


  • In 1979, the Machu dam collapsed in Gujarat made a huge loss of lives. Consequently, the dam owners set up their own respective dam safety organizations and devised protocols for ensuring the dam’s safety.
  • Dam owners can be
  • State government.
  • Two or more state governments if the dam is present in a state, but operated by a different state. It is because the dam might be constructedbefore the reorganization of state borders to meet the needs of people.
  • For instance, the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala state is operated by the Tamil Nadu government. Therefore, the responsibility lies with the two states.
  • Public sector enterprises- multi-purpose projects constructed by public sector enterprises like Damodar valley corporation.


  • Hydro-Power generation- Dams artificial barriers on rivers that store water, power generation, and water supply.
  • Socio-economic Development- Harnessing the river water for agricultural purposes and other basic human needs.
  • Mitigate the calamities- Dams help in moderating the disasters like floods and droughts faced by a large population of the world.
  • Other benefits- Dams and Reservoirs also provide advantages for Industrial use, Inland Navigation, etc.


  • Failure of dams-Since 1979, there were 42 instances of dam failure exposing a shame on the nation.
  • Huge number- India is the third largest dam-owning country after China and US in the world.
  • Ageing of dams- India is having around 5745 large dams where over 80% of these dams are more than 25 years old and about 227 dams are more than 100 years old. Most of these large dams are in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
  • Unwarranted dam failures- It means the huge flow of sudden floods may cause the entire failure of dams due to their poor maintenance.

Recently, The Annamayya project on the Cheyyeru river has turned out to be sorrowful in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh after a flash flood in the region.

  • Devastating impact- As a large amount of water may be stored in a dam’s reservoir, its failure can cause large-scale damage to life and property. Therefore, monitoring dam safety is essential. 


  • The act provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of all larger dams across the country.
  • Larger dams- Dams with heights more than 15 meters, or heights between 10 metersto 15 meters with certain design and structural conditions would also be included.
  • Constitution of new institutional structures at the National level and state level.
  • Two national level bodies:
  • National Committee on Dam Safety- It is a supervisory body and its functions include evolving uniform dam safety policies, protocols, and procedures and recommending regulations regarding dam safety standards.
  • National Dam Safety Authority- A regulatory body for ensuring nationwide implementation of the dam safety policies and standards. It acts as an executory body.
  • Two state-level bodies:
  • State Committee on Dam Safety, and State Dam Safety Organization- These bodies will be responsible for the surveillance, inspection, and monitoring of the operation and maintenance of dams within their jurisdiction.
  • The supervision of two state-level bodies lies with National level bodies.
  • National-level bodies also provide technical assistance to State Dam Safety Organizations (SDSOs) of different states and resolve matters between SDSOs of states or between an SDSO and any dam owner in that state.
  • Compulsion on dam Owners-
  • Dam owners will be responsible for the safe construction, operation, maintenance, and supervision of a dam.
  • They must provide a dam safety unit in each dam. This unit will inspect the dams:
  • Before and after the monsoon season
  • During and after every earthquake, flood, calamity, or any sign of distress.
  • Functions of dam owners include:
  • Preparing an emergency action plan
  • Carrying out risk assessment studies at specified regular intervals
  • Preparing a comprehensive dam safety evaluation through a panel of experts.
  • Dam owners are required to provide resources for timely repair and maintenance of dam structures and types of machinery.
  • Penal provisions- If the dam owner is not abiding by the rules, standards, and guidelines set up by National level authorities, then they are liable for penalty or imprisonment or both for the same.


  • Since the period of Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 onwards, the dam safety bill is in the process of pipeline.
  • The Central Dam Safety Organization, under the Central Water Commission (CWC), provides technical assistance to dam owners and maintains data on dams during the period.
  • The earlier composition of the National committee on dam Safety includes the Chairman of the Central Water Commission, Members from the Central government (10 numbers), and members from the State government 7 numbers).
  • Lack of proper coordination between center and state.

Earlier, the CWC monitored and issued guidelines for the state government. However, there were no specific regulations and compulsions to follow these guidelines given by the center to the states.

  • The state’s respective organization reports to the Central Water Commission during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon.
  • CWC advises the state-level bodies to maintain their proper functioning during times of natural disasters such as flash floods, urban floods, torrential rainfall, etc.


  1. Regular Inspections-Earlier, the states were not allowing outside inspection due to their vested interests. But now, the constituted bodies could conduct inspections and surveillance.

For e.g.: The Mulla Periyar dam issue between Tamil Nadu and Kerala state.

  1. Classification of Dams-Dams are classified on the basis of the level of hazards.
  1. Emergency action plan- The act helps the committees in devising an emergency action plan that is to be followed without any dilemmas.
  1. Addressing climate change issues- The bodies would study the climate change aspects such as torrential rainfall, and flash floods and devise protocols according to the same.


  • The Centre has brought the legislation under Article 246 of the Constitution with Entry 56 and Entry 97 of the Union list.
  • Article 246 empowers the parliament to legislate on any matter enumerated in the Union List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Union list.
  • Entry 56 of the Union List allows Parliament to make laws on the regulation of inter-state rivers and river valleys if it declares such regulation to be expedient in the public interest.
  • The act declares it expedient in the public interest for the Union to regulate a uniform dam safety procedure for all specified dams in the country.
  • Entry 97 Residuary powers- If the subject is not clearly mentioned in any three lists, those subjects are placed under the residuary list and the parliament is authorized to legislate on that subject.
  • Central government categorizes the construction and maintenance of dams under the residuary list.
  • How the central government arbitrarily considers the construction and maintenance of dams under the residuary list?
  • Rising apprehensions – The central government’s intervention raises various apprehensions among state governments. However, the central government is arguing that the allocation and release of water matters are still under the purview of tribunal awards.


  1. Against federalism
  • Water being the state subject under Entry 17, of the seventh schedule of the constitution. As per Entry 17 of the State List, states can make laws on water supply, irrigation and canals, drainage and embankments, water storage, and water power.
  • However, it is unclear how Parliament would have the jurisdiction to frame a law for dams on rivers where the river and its valley are entirely within a state.
  • So, the apprehensions from state governments whether the central government would manage the larger dams by highlighting the safety concerns.
  1. Trust deficit
  • Arbitrarily considering the construction and maintenance of dams under the residuary list create a lack of substantiation and it infringes on the rights of the states.
  1. Centralized tendency
  • The functions of the National Committee on Dam Safety, the National Dam Safety Authority, and the State Committee on Dam Safety are listed in the schedules and can be amended by the Union government through a notification.
  • The question is whether the core functions of authorities should be amended by the government through a notification or such amendments should be passed by law.
  • This provision allows the central government to control all the specified dams, their operations, and maintenance in the name of safety.


  1. Stakeholder consultation- Holistic approach by considering the experts from all the concerned areas should be involved.
  1. Environmental safety- Ecological sensitivity should be taken into consideration.
  1. Local factors- While ensuring uniformity, local factors such as geographical and climatic differences should also be considered.


The need of the hour is to bridge the trust deficit by proper deliberations and discussions with the state governments and strengthen the principles of cooperative federalism enshrined in the constitution in both letter and spirit.


Discuss the pros and cons of Dam safety Act 2021.Do you think it will promote co-operative Federalism?

(150 Words,10 Marks)



Recently, in the United States of America, an African woman was cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant from a donor who was naturally resistant to the virus that causes AIDS. She became the first woman and the third person to date to be cured of HIV disease.


  • Normally, diseases can be prevented by vaccines, medicines, or by surgical treatments. All these elements are made up of chemicals and biochemical elements.
  • Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate and transform into any type of cells of the body when and where needed.
  • It means they have the ability to develop into many different cell types, such as muscle cells to brain cells.
  • The human journey begins with a single cell inside the womb and it gets divided into multiple cells and generates trillions of cells. The bodily organs start producing with the functioning of genetic codes within the womb of the mother.


  • A cell is defined as the smallest, basic unit of life that is responsible for all of life’s processes.
  • All organisms are made up of cells. Each cell contains a fluid called the cytoplasm, which is enclosed by a membrane.
  • Every cell has one nucleus, DNA, mitochondria, and membrane-bound organelles in the cytoplasm.
  • Each and every cell of a human body is the same, however, each cell has a specific purpose designed in its DNA structure.


  • Different organs are existing inside the human body such as eyes, ears, hands, legs, heart, liver, etc.
  • It is because of the diversity of the cells that different organs are produced according to the genetic code.
  • In a respective DNA, some parts are activated and some parts are not activated.
  • DNA in every cell has some sequence, this sequence produces protein and the proteins are responsible for building muscles i.e., the entire body is made up of proteins. Thus, organs will be formed when there is the secretion of proteins and the proteins will be produced by cells based on the code.
  • The different organs such as eyes, ears, etc. are secreting different proteins responsible for the formation of that particular organ.
  • Though the appearance of cells looks identical, the application of their internal code is different.
  • Within the same DNA, half of the parts of DNA will be called as regulatory divisions and in that regulatory divisions, only some parts switch to particular type of cells. Therefore, a different part of cells will be switched to different parts of DNA in different cells. This is the reason why there are different parts and organs in the human body.


  • The original cell can be called the embryonic cells. These cells are having the property to be turn into any of the specialized cells. The process starts immediately after fertilization; the embryo gets formed during the blastocyst process and can be converted into any of the specialized cells.
  • These stem cells are those cells from which all other specialized cells are generated.


  • These stem cells are available at the time of the embryonic process or at a later part of the body.
  • Even children and adults can have stem cells within their bodies i.e., the human body along with other cells having stem cells.


Stem cells are divided into four main forms:

  1. Embryonic cells
  • Embryonic stem cells are the Stem cells that exist during the earliest stage of development of the embryo.
  • It is immediately after the fertilization of egg and sperm; the development of the embryo takes place and it has the capacity to turn into any specialized cells.
  1. Adult stem cells
  • The adult cells are present in the adult human body but it gives rise to a limited number of specialized cell types.
  • It comes from fully developed tissues such as the brain, heart, blood cells, and bone marrow. They are more likely to generate only certain types of cells.
  • For example, the adult stem cell of a blood cell can turn itself into a blood cell, a liver stem cell can turn into a liver cell only.
  • The normal cell cannot have the capacity to multiply into different cell organs.
  • The stem cells are not single cells and the cell division happens when it is placed within an egg or oocyte.
  • However, there is a recent report which suggests that adult stem cells have the capacity to turn into different specialized cells with some proper programming.
  1. Cord blood stem cells or perinatal stem cells
  • These stem cells are available in the placental membrane, placenta, umbilical cord, and the amniotic fluid within the womb of a mother.
  • These fluids can be collected when the child is born and they have to be cryogenically preserved.
  • In the future, if the child or the relative is affected by any diseases, the stored stem cells can be used for getting a cure.
  1. Therapeutic cloning of stem cells
  • It is the process of fusing eggs and sperm outside the body called in vitro fertilization and by giving proper signals for the formation. The stem cells that have been obtained from the resulting embryos are used for the generation of specialized cells and further stem cells.
  • Sometimes, the procedure requires an embryoand, in some cases, the procedure is different.
  • It is possible to program the stem cells in a systematic way to generate particular cells.
  • For example, by giving proper signals, it is possible to make heart cells from original cells. i.e., the heart stem cell produces specialized cells of the heart along with further heart stem cells which are again utilized for curing diseases.


The main idea of stem cells is to cure major diseases that is existing today.

  • For instance, assume a blood cancer patient who is undergoing radiation would be lacking blood cells in the body. But it is not possible to inject blood each time in the human body. Moreover, the blood cells existing in the body have no capacity to generate further blood cells. In this situation, injecting blood stem cells with proper programming of embryonic or adult stem cells can generate specialized blood cells and blood stem cells also.
  • Once injected inside the born marrow, the cell starts producing the blood and the production goes on.
  • The entire process will become sustained inside the human body.
  • In another case, considering a part of the liver system which got dysfunctionalised. Compensating that portion of the liver with a different set of protein-made cells will result in the failure of the process and it will not function. Placing the liver stem cells can only make the system function properly.

The entire technology is regenerative curing. For curing disease, there is a need to use stem cells and regenerate the cells required. This is the technology involved in Stem cells.


  • The technology is not simple.
  • It cannot be used for every individual very easily.

The following are the reasons:

  1. Therapeutic cloning of stem cells is theoretically successful, but it is not much practical now.
  2. Less awareness among cord blood stem cells and the complexity in collecting and storing the same is another concern.
  3. Unethical and criminal activity if obtaining embryos from the womb of the mother involuntary because it is morally wrong to use the embryo that contains the cells, capable to transform to a fully developed human being.
  4. Matching issue- Adult stem cells can be taken from the body of adults and no issues are associated with this. However, it requires perfect matching between donor and recipient of the stem cells, otherwise, the body may reject it by considering it as a foreign element.
  5. Limited to particular stem cells – Adult stem cells can be easily obtained, but they can only give that particular specialized stem cells. However, embryonic stem cells have no such issues and they have the capacity to turn into any specialized cells.
  6. Uncertainty with Recent reports about adult stem cells.
  • Research suggests that with proper programming and extra process, adult stem cells can make into pluripotent stem cells i.e., they would get the ability to convert into any specialized stem cells. But the entire stem cell is in its nascent stage and this particular research’s success rate and side effects are yet to be known.


  • HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It affects CD4, a type of White Blood Cell (T cells)in the body’s immune system. Once the virus enters the body, it multiplies itself and destroys CD4 cells, thus severely damaging the human immune system.
  • The resultant weak immune system makes a person prone to multiple infections and cancer.
  • The process of finding vaccines or medicines for HIV is quite difficult considering the very dynamic nature of the said virus.
  • The available medical treatment is Anti-Retroviral Therapy which itself doesn’t provide the cure, but it manages the chronic damage of HIV to the immune system of the patient. It also reduces the spreading of disease from one person to another.


  • An African woman in US was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and started Anti-Retroviral therapy.
  • In 2017, she was again diagnosed with Leukemia, and later she was exposed to radiation as part of the treatment. During the therapy, some blood cells got destroyed.
  • As part of the treatment, the doctors collected adult stem cells from the bone marrow of her relative.
  • At the same time, they also collected cord blood from a baby and combined it together.
  • The patient was treated with this procedure and her body was able to generate blood cells and blood stem cells. It resulted in curing her Leukemia and after some time, reports show that she is free from HIV infection too.


  • The earlier two patients who got a cure from HIV were treated with adult stem cells only and not Cord blood stem cells.


The process of getting a cure for HIV is extremely difficult with stem cells too. The following are the reasons.

  1. Need natural immunity
  • It is necessary that stem cells must be taken from people who are having natural immunity against HIV infection.
  • There are some people whose genetic sequences are designed in such a way that their stem cells are naturally immune to HIV.
  • Such genetic modification is not easily available.
  1. Matching issue
  • It is not easy to find a matching stem cells unless any relative stem cells are matched. The problem of mismatch would lead to failure and rejection of cells within the body.


  • Inherent capacity – By taking the stem cells from adult stem cells having natural immunity, the generated RBC, WBC, and platelets are having immune capacity inherently that acted against HIV.
  • Moreover, it is not the passive immunity generated through vaccines. Vaccines cannot bring the required immunity because the nature of the virus changes very frequently.


  • The given combination is actually a part of the research, they tried and tested and it proved successful.
  • The application of already matched adult stem cells helped the chord cells to fully integrate into the person’s immune system. Moreover, it boosted the parent immunity in this treatment.


Apart from curing diseases, a stem cell has the following application also.

  1. Development of Regenerative medicines- It helps in the treatment of diseases by developing medicines.
  2. Understand the nature of diseases – It helps to understand the reasons behind the occurrence of diseases such as either through pathogens or sometimes, the reasons are far behind understanding.
  3. Experiments- Culturing stem cells outside the body and exposing them to different bodily environments helps in analyzing the reason behind the specific occurrence.
  4. Testing new drugs – It can be applied for testing the safety and effectiveness which cannot be tested directly in the human body. In this case, application of testing drugs to the cultured stem cells would help to understand the reaction.


  • Embryonic stem cells and cord blood stem cells are completely versatile and can be converted into any specialized cells.
  • Highly relevant – Around 23.48 lakh people are suffering from HIV infection. Within the age group of 15-49, about 0.24 % constitutes the male population and 0.2 % constitutes the female population.


 Stem cell therapy holds vast potential in the present scenario. The immunity gained through the stem cell is different from passive immunity gained through vaccines. Here, the treatment is not using direct regenerative medicine, the regenerated medicine used itself has created some sort of immune system that helped to cure HIV.


What do you understand by Stem cell therapy? Explain the application and the associated challenges of stem cell therapy.(150 Words, 10 Marks)



Recently, there has been a spurt in the number of entrepreneurs venturing into agri-startups that are connecting farmers. The increase in mobile connectivity and the low price of data have aided their reach.


  • Thougharound50%ofpeopledependonthissector,itis only contributing around 18-20 % ofGVA.
  • The main problem of agriculture lies in the fragmentation oflandholdings.
  • The average landholding size in India is shrinking with the increase in rural population and fragmentation offamilies.
  • Around88%ofhouseholdshavelandholdingsintherangeof0.5hectaresto2hectaresasperSituation Assessment of Agricultural Households and Land and Livestock Holdings of Households inRural,2019.
  • Theideawashighly successful in USSR-likecountries.
  • The inherent Indian social conditions are the major cause of the failure. Earlier the lands were in the hands of landlords. With social reforms and land reforms, the concentrated land gets divided among thepopulation.
  • Thus, the people have apprehension about the loss of their land, if they contribute to a collective farmingmechanism.
  • Growth in agriculture is possible by focusing on three coreareas:
  1. To increase the volume of production- the volume can be increased by considering the ecological constraints. Overproduction can negatively affectnature.
  2. Toincreasethevalueofproduce–Byprocessingthefoodsandincreasingtheirvaluecanprovide a multitude of benefits for thefarmers.
  3. To increase the profit for the hands behind the production – There is a need to minimize the input cost and improve the output price to attain better remuneration forthem.
  • Existing policy and institutional mechanisms such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Agricultural universities, and ICRISAT are functioning, but these mechanisms are not enough for increasing production.
  • The already existing institutions such as Farmer Producer Organization, Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium, e-Nam, and cooperatives are not giving enough benefits to thefarmers.
  • In this scenario, aggregation in agriculture through proliferating agri-tech startups is providing interestingsolutions.
  • More than 1,300 agri-tech start-ups are existing in our country. It helps to facilitate a supply chain of inputs and outputs, market linkage, and access to financialservices.
  • The past five years alone have witnessed 9 times increase in institutional funding to agri-tech start- ups.
  • During2014–2019,thesectorattracted$1.7billioncomparedto$0.2billionintheprecedingfive-year block. It signifies the growing interest amongst risk investors in agriculture and allied sectors with a total investment of $2.1 billion in 2021, a 97% jump from 2020. Investment analysis shows that the market investment in this sector will be $24.1 billion by2025.


  • Simply, aggregation refers to the process of grouping items or things as awhole.
  • Aggregation in agriculture is the act of individual or collective farmers workingtogether.
  • An aggregation is a significant approach for the development of the agriculture sector since aggregation generates a high level of efficiency in thesector.

The aggregation point in agriculture is where farmers get together to receive services or sell their products. This can be at the level of an intermediary or at the farmerlevel.

  • An aggregator is an individual or business authority that collects and distributes products from many sources.
  • Examples of aggregate farmer produceinclude:
  1. Inputdistributor
  2. Farmers’market
  • Aggregation in agriculture help in the reduction of costs of transportation anddistribution.

How aggregation works in a real scenario

  1. Aggregators provide basic and necessary information to thefarmers.
  • For example- Information regarding the demand for particular fruits provided by aggregators to farmers helps in the cultivation of the same. During the harvesting period, better cold storage facilities provided by the aggregators help in getting better remuneration for thefarmers.
  1. Aggregation helps smallholders meet the standards and requirements of the modernmarket.
  2. Aggregation enhances the competitiveness of farmers by reducing transactioncosts.
  3. Inaggregation,small-scalesuppliessourcedfromindividualfarmersarebulkedintoabundance.These supplies can be readily and economically transported, sorted, processed, andstored.


  1. Economiesofscale–Itisadecreaseinthecostofproductionwhenthereisanincreaseinthescaleof productionofacompany.Collectivefarmingandprocurementreducetheoverallcostofproduction.
  2. Value addition – Aggregators concentrate on adding value to the products which raise the marketability of theproduct.
  • For example- Converting tomato to tomato sauce increases the shell life of the vegetable. But it is not feasible for an individual farmer. Assembling multiple farmers can ensure effective value addition for theproducts.
  1. Cold storage facility – According to the demand in the market, aggregators have adequate infrastructural facilities to keep the perishables to avoid distress sales by thefarmers.
  2. Reduced input cost – Aggregators provide the option to avail rented tractor facility, and better seed and fertilizer disposal at reducedcosts.


  1. Connecting farmers andretailers-
  • Thetechnologicalstart-upscanpurchasethefoodgrainsfromthefarmersandtransferthemto the retailers within a stipulated timeperiod.
  • Startups can bring scientific technology like a cold storage facility, better packaging,etc.
  • They can also provide information about retailers’ demands tofarmers.
  • Italsohelpstoavoidharvestingtheentirecropatonegotherebyadjustingtheforcesofdemand and supply in the market.
  • Technological intervention through websites and mobile apps are examples of aggregation by usingtechnology.
  1. Connecting farmers directly with themarket
    • Farmers are connected to the market through the e-Nammechanism.
    • It helps the farmers to sell the products beyond geographicallimitations.
  1. Connecting farmers with inputprocurement
    • It helps the farmers to avail of benefits like rented tractors, heavy machinery, better seed, and fertilizers at lowercosts.
    • It is not feasible for the individual farmer to purchase the tractors for his smalllandholding.
    • Thus, aggregators will save the farmers from the purchase of expensive farmingequipment.
    • For instance- the facility of Kisan drones where the farmers can use drones for spraying fertilizers,andpesticidesandcanalsobeusedforsurveillance.Itisnoteconomicalandpossible for individual farmers to procure drones for their use. Here, the aggregator of input comes into function.
  1. Connecting farmers with marketprices
    • Technology startups help the farmers by providing information such as price volatility, market forces, weather patterns,etc.
    • It helps the farmers to plan their productionscientifically.
  1. These technological startups also work well in allied sectors such as Poultry, Fish, and Meat sector. It connectstheproducersandthemarketforcesandhelpsfarmerstoproduceaccordingtotheneedsof themarket.



  1. Bad pastexperience:
    • Farmers often faced bitter experiences with governmentpolicies.
    • For instance, in 2006, Bihar repealed its APMC Act with a similar objective to attract private investment in the sector. However, this resulted in a lack of required marketing infrastructure as the existing infrastructure eroded over time due to poorupkeep.
  1. Lack oftrust:
    • Farmers have no trust in private players. Farmers may feel that private parties make a profit at the cost of farmers. Thus, farmers always stand for their own individual interests rather than the collectivegoal.
    • For example: Recently the government revoked the three farm bills due to farmers’ huge protest. The farm bill had a provision for contract farming where the aggregators provide seed, fertilizers, technological assistance, etc. The farmers have to sell products after the harvest to contractors at a predeterminedprice
  1. Confined to someareas
    • Existing aggregators are mostly confined to the western and southern regions of the country. The northern, eastern, and northeastern regions are lacking the facility of aggregators. Itfinally results in regional and incomedisparity.
  1. Multiplefailures
    • Punjab government had their own contract farming act but failed in itsimplementation.
    • Tamil Nadu state also passed a contract farming act in 2019, but the present government revoked theact.
  1. Issues with the existingmechanism
    • For example- The existing e-Nam mechanism where the electronic market connects the buyers and sellers. However, the cost associated with transportation, packaging & labeling guidelines, grading, etc., are major issues for their limited success. Neither the farmer nor buyer has the capacity to transport the products. This issue ultimately led to the e-Nam facility confining to intra-state transactions and much less inter-statetransactions.


  1. Capacity building- Workshops and seminars in regional languages for imparting sophisticated farming practices to thefarmers.
  2. Better awareness- Farmers need to be educated about the benefits of contract farming, collective farming, technological interventions, andaggregators.
  3. Stakeholder consultation- All the stakeholders need to be consulted while framing legislations and policies. It will help in removing all the concerns and ensures trust in the governancestructure.
  4. Evidence-based policy making- Devise better policies using real-time data to suit the market conditions.
  5. Infrastructural facilities- Improve the infrastructural facilities such as setting up new technological startups, scientific cold storage facilities, etc., which are necessary for increasing the value of production.
  6. Infuse capital- huge capital outlays are needed for conducting research and development, infrastructure development,etc.
  7. Technologicalintervention-DuetoinherentIndia-specificapprehensions,itisonlythroughtechnology interventions, maximum benefits can be driven out of the agriculture and alliedsectors.
  8. Aggregation – The aggregators transmit the real-time market situations to the farmers and help farmers to enjoy the benefits of economies ofscale.


  • Unless structural changes are introduced in the agricultural field through technological intervention and aggregation, the notion of increasing the Minimum Support Price alone will not bring necessary changes in the agriculturesector.
  • It is important to amicably resolve the difference of opinion between the government and farmers with respect toMSP.
  • Gainingfarmers’trustisthemostinevitablefactorthatcanbringrevolutionarychangesinthissector.


The role of aggregation in agriculture is indispensable considering the highly volatile market situations. Aggregators can better forecast the market forces and communicate them to the farmers for balancing the market demand and supply. It will transform the dream of India “Doubling farmers’ income” into a reality in the near future.


Discuss the critical role of aggregators in agricultural supply chain management in India. Enumerate the associated challenges and suggest remedial measures for efficient working of it.(250 Words, 15 Marks)



Currently, India does not have a specific law for refugees and asylum-seekers from other parts of the world. But it is questionable that refugee flows to India are unlikely to end any time soon on account of the unstable neighboring countries.



  • A refugee is a person who has fled their own country because they are at risk of serious persecution and violation of their human rights.
  • Moreover, their government is not in a position to protect them from those dangers or stop the atrocities happening there.
  • The persecution can happen on multiple grounds such as religious persecution, political persecution, setbacks from natural disasters, and civil wars like in Sri Lanka.


  • An asylum-seeker is a person who has undergone persecution and serious human rights violations and is seeking protection in another country.
  • However, he/she hasn’t yet been legally recognized as a refugee and is waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim from host countries.
  • The receiving countries have to verify and recognize the asylum seekers
  • Every asylum seeker need not be a refugee.
  • For example- Taslima Nasreen, the noted Bengali feminist writer sought asylum in India after her liberal writings in Bangladesh.


  • Migration is a different term where people move from one country to another in search of better facilities, better economic opportunities, and to achieve a better standard of living.
  • Others feel they must leave because of poverty, political unrest, gang violence, natural disasters, or other serious circumstances that exist there.
  • The person who moves countries through migration is called a migrant. Migration is always legal and they are not asylum-seekers or refugees.


  • Refugee and asylum seekers policy enables the world to promote Universal Brotherhood and greater human values across the world.
  • Helps to lead a peaceful co-existence of different cultures of people under one planet.
  • Humanitarian assistance- Earlier, people from Syria and Iraq moved to European countries by crossing the Mediterranean Sea by facing pathetic conditions, and many people got submerged.
  • We have an example of “Alan Kurdi” a two-year-old Syrian boy, whose image of lying dead on the beach in 2015 made global headlines.
  • The ongoing Ukraine-Russia war where around 26 Lakh people already fled Ukraine shows the significance of having a holistic refugee policy.


  • In aftermath of World War II (1939-1945), millions of people fled their homelands and were forcibly displaced, deported, and resettled in other countries.
  • Throughout the 20th century, the international community steadily assembled a set of guidelines, laws, and conventions to ensure the adequate treatment of refugees and protect their human rights.
  • In July 1951, a diplomatic conference in Geneva adopted the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (‘1951 Convention’), which was later amended by the 1967 Protocol.
  • Initially, the 1951 Convention was more or less limited to protecting European refugees in the aftermath of World War II, but the 1967 Protocol expanded its scope as the problem of displacement spread around the world.
  • The cornerstone of the 1951 Convention is the principle of non-refoulment contained in Article 33. According to this principle, a refugee should not be returned to a country where he or she faces serious threats to his or her life or freedom.

Other rights contained in the 1951 Convention include:

  • The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions (Article 32)
  • The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State (Article31)
  • The right to work (Articles 17 to 19)
  • The right to housing (Article 21)
  • The right to education (Article 22)
  • The right to public relief and assistance (Article 23)
  • The right to freedom of religion (Article 4)
  • The right to access the courts (Article 16)
  • The right to freedom of movement within the territory (Article 26)
  • The right to be issued identity and travel documents (Articles 27 and 28).


India is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the key legal documents about refugee protection.


Even though India has not signed UN Convention on Refugees, the Indian philosophy- “Atithi Devo Bhava,” meaning ‘Guest is equivalent to God, is imbibed in the Indian heart. India has been practicing this value system from the ancient period onwards.

  1. Even before Christ, India had a history of giving asylum to Jewish people who were persecuted at the hands of the Babylonian Empire.
  2. According to United Nations High Commission for Refugees, more than 250000 refugees were recognized by UNHCR in India.
  3. Zoroastrian refugees-
  • Parsis from Iran when the country was Islamised came to India and settled, now they are one of the most prosperous businessmen in India.
  1. Tibetan Refugees-
  • Dalai Lama and his 1 lakh followers were granted asylum in India when they were persecuted by Chinese authorities.
  1. Victims of partition-
  • India-Pakistan partition 1947 –India made adequate measures for the rehabilitation of refugees.
  • Bangladesh liberation war 1971, when millions migrated to India to flee the conflict in Bangladesh.
  1. Sri Lankan refugees-
  • Civil War in Sri Lanka resulted in the migration of huge numbers of refugees from Sri Lanka who settled in Tamil Nadu.
  1. Rohingya Refugees-
  • The recent conflict in Myanmar resulted in a huge influx of Rohingya refugees in India.
  1. Many refugees from Afghanistan and African nations such as Sudan, Somalia, and Nepal are seeking asylum, and India not even a signatory to the Refugee convention is giving asylum based on moral values.
  2. Chakma Buddhists- Chakma Buddhists of the Chittagong region sought asylum in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh who were displaced from Bangladesh. With the National Human Right Commission’s continuous effort, Supreme Court had stated that the “life and personal liberty of every Chakma residing within the Migrant State shall be protected”.
  3. Judiciary in its several verdicts delivered on the refugee needs and to have “Right to Dignified Life” for them.

A different view

  1. The Supreme Court of India issued an order, allowing the deportation of Rohingyas from Indian territory.
  2. Several Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were deported back to Sri Lanka after former Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.


  1. Uniformity- To ensure uniform laws, rules, and regulations to deal with the influx of refugees.
  2. Adhoc policy- Drafting Adhoc policies to deal with asylum seekers leads to policy ambiguity. It is high time to frame a permanent refugee policy.
  3. Inclusive protection- A mere acceptance of refugees may not be enough to ensure the fulfillment of basic human rights that are needed for them.
  4. No space for confusion- There is a need for a policy to avoid confused identities. A legal framework will be required to deal with refugees and asylum seekers separately from indigenous communities.
  5. Better knowledge-
  • India is one of the largest peacekeeping mission operators. Thus, India must have a holistic idea about the deprived conditions of persecuted refugees that can better contribute to their protection.
  • India is surrounded by destabilized neighbors who were having a history of refugee crises and currently experiencing the same in their own countries such as Myanmar, China, and Sri Lanka.


  1. Foreigners Act,1946- The act defines a foreigner as a person who is not a citizen of India.
  2. Registration of Foreigners Act,1939- It is an act to provide for the registration of foreigners.
  3. Passport Act,1967- The Passports Act is an act for the issue of passports and travel documents, to regulate the departure from India of citizens of India and for other persons, and for matters incidental or ancillary thereto.
  4. Extradition Act,1962- It is an act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the extradition of fugitive criminals and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  5. Citizenship Act,1955- It is an actto provide for the acquisition and determination of Indian 


By signing other important conventions which are intended to protect basic human rights and abide by India’s constitutional moralities.

  1. UN Declaration of Human Rights, 1948- To ensure fundamental human rights, dignity, and worth of human beings are universally protected. It is to promote equal rights for men and women and determined to achieve social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
  2. International Covenant on civil and political rights- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treatythat commits states parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to lifefreedom of religionfreedom of speechfreedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.
  3. International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural rights- Recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family and considers it as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.
  4. UN Convention against Torture- It is an international human rights treaty, under the United Nations, that aims to prevent tortureand other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world. India is one of the countries that have signed, but not ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
  5. Principle of non-refoulement- Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, and other irreparable harm. This principle applies to all migrants at all times, irrespective of migration status.
  6. Indian constitution
  • Fundamental Rights- Right to equality under Article 14, Right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 obligates India to ensure adequate safeguards for the refugees.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy- Article 51 of the Constitution directs the state to promote international peace and security and maintain just and honorable relationsbetween nations. It further directs the state to respect international law and treaty obligations and settle disputes peacefully.


  1. Geographical limitation – The convention initially concentrated on European countries, not covering entire humanity. The convention was framed as Euro-centric.
  2. Temporal limitation – Time limits initially restricted the convention to persons who became refugees due to events occurring in Europe before 1 January 1951.

1967 Protocol

An amendment to the 1951 Convention was made through the 1967 protocol. The 1967 Protocol broadens the applicability of the 1951 Convention. The 1967 Protocol removes the geographical and time limits that were part of the 1951 Convention. These limits initially restricted the Convention to persons who became refugees due to events occurring in Europe before 1 January 1951.


  1. Security concerns
  • Refugee influx poses severe internal security threats, especially in the North-eastern states.
  • Fuels the already existing separatist tendencies. For example- the “Bodoland statehood movement” where people demanded a separate state for safeguarding their rights.
  1. Demographic issues
  • Illegal migration often raises the “son of the soil” sentiments among the natives of the region which finally cause disharmony for the mutual-coexistence.
  • The motive of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam state was to identify Indian citizens in Assam amid “unabated” migration from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh during the Liberation war 1971.
  1. Porous Borders
  • Border management in India has been characterized by security ambivalence and a lack of strategic thinking.

This is evident from:

  • The absence of a policy to check infiltration/illegal migration from the eastern borders.
  • Inability to stop or contain cross-border terrorism; Eg:  Pathankot Cross border terrorism.
  • Trafficking in drugs and other contraband including fake currency.

 For example, India is sandwiched between the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos) and the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan) which increases its vulnerability to the trafficking of drugs.


  • India, the second most populous country which soon expects to surpass China in terms of population is already facing a resource crunch to meet its needs.
  • Pressure on natural resources automatically increases with the influx of refugees.
  • However, several countries’ situations were different as they have less population and large geographical space which can absorb refugees.

5.Lack of Confidence in United Nations High Commission for Refugees

  • During Bangladesh Liberation War 1971, UNHCR failed to serve the needs of India, not recognizing the devastating persecution in East Pakistan.
  • Pakistan military suppressed the people where lakhs of people migrated to India from present Bangladesh.
  • Therefore, the lack of credibility issue on UNHCR is another concern for India.


  1. Epitome of skills
  • Refugees from different worlds integrate different skills that can be utilized for India’s further economic growth. For instance, the Parsis are rich businessmen in the present scenario.
  1. Brings productivity
  • Better utilization of demographic sources across the world intensifies the productive capacity of the host countries.
  • Cultural diversity
  • Humanitarian values such as tolerance, and compassion can be transferred to society.


  • India is already bleeding herself due to Internal security concerns such as separatist tendencies, mob lynching, and Left-wing extremism.
  • The refugee issues are still sustaining from the previous acceptances of refugees.


  1. Proper legal frameworks- India has to devise proper legislation on refugee acceptance according to the country’s specific requirements.
  2. Champion of democracy- India, the Viswaguru needs to transform its moral values and philosophies into legal measures to protect the rights of the people.
  3. A National Immigration Commission can be appointed to frame a National Migration Policy and a National Refugee Policy for India
  4. Constructive arguments- Discussions and deliberations at UNSC can bring comprehensive global refugee policy.
  5. Out-of-the-box solution- Devise situational policies to help refugees and asylum seekers in their vulnerabilities. For example- India’s humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in terms of medical assistance and food grains is a guiding example.


Though India does not have an extrinsic policy, it has given asylum to many and is concerned in matters of refugees. So, what we need today is to make the intrinsic aspect extrinsic through appropriate laws and policy.The absence of a legal framework results into adhoc-dealing of refugee influx in India. The need of the hour is to better formulate a comprehensive India-specific Refuges policy to air out all procedural bottlenecks. At the same time, the intake of refugees should not be made at the cost of the native population. The Indian philosophy of “Vasudeva kudumbakam” where the whole World is One Family can be followed in letter and spirit by devising a clear-cut refugee policy.


Indian treatment of refugees does not deal with an extrinsic policy but intrinsic value system, Comment. What are the challenges in bringing refugee laws in India? (250 Words, 15 Marks)



According to Economic Survey for 2020-2021, the COVID-19 pandemic and induced lockdown caused the economy to improve the scale of the Gig economy.


  • Gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workerswho rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.
  • A gig economy is a free market systemin which temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace, and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.
  • For example, in traditional employment, the employee has to reach a particular destination called a production house or factory, or office and provide his or her human capital to produce a particular product or service.

              In a gig economy, there is no traditional employee-employer relationship and no need of assembling at a particular place to deliver his services.




1.No permanent Employer-Employee relationship.

People become employed by a company to carry out work for that one company in particular. There is a permanent employer-employee relationship.

2.No long-term benefits are available to the employee.

The employee can avail of all the benefits associated with his job such as fringe benefits, Provident fund facility, etc.

3. A person owning the required tools or pieces of machinery can perform the task under a gig economy.

The employer may provide all the required tools and production facilities to the employees.

For example- Under Ola services, the person who owns a car can directly enter into the Ola services economy after registering the digital platform

For example- A toy manufacturing company has to provide raw materials and so-called types of machinery to produce a variety of toys. Employees need not bring machinery to the production center.


  1. Digital platform – Creation of a digital platform to connect service providers with service recipients. It is a form of an app-based platform where it provides works according to the needs of the customers such as making food deliveries, Logistic services, etc.
  2. Temporary service – Workers perform “gigs,” in which they are employed for a specific task or time. Once the task is complete, the worker is free to move on.
  3. Reduced control- The employer does not have full control over the employee unlike in the case of the traditional employer-employee relationship.
  4. Flexibility – It is up to the employee’s interest whether to provide his services which means no fixed period of a time period to perform the job.
  5. Aggregators – Different service providers are aggregated together through a digital platform to provide the required services.

For example- Take the case of Zomato, different persons have registered under that particular platform andare ready to procure the food from the restaurants. It is up to their will to do the work.

  1. No huge capital outlays – No huge investment in the form of office infrastructure or asset procurement for undertaking production. The only requirement is to have a digital platform to connect service providers and recipients.
  2. Tools and equipment – The service provider have to own all the tools and equipment to provide services. The employer is not in a position to provide the same.
  3. Feedback mechanism – Service recipients are free to give their feedback on the services availed so that the quality of services can be improved.
  4. Types of services – Food delivery such as Zomato, and Swiggy; Transportation facilities such as Ola; temporary hotel facilities such as Oyo are the main services under Gig economy
  5. Commoditizing the skill – The skills which were not commoditized hitherto got commoditized under the Gig platform using the digital medium.

For instance: a person possessing certain skills such as decorating the house for an event can commoditize their skill by registering with a digital platform and can provide the services.

  1. Trust – The entire platform is functioning under one aspect called trust. The service provider trusts the recipient in getting payment while the service recipient trusts the provider in getting the services within the determined time period.
  2. Holistic coverage of services – The gig economy cannot be confined to only food and transportation facilities. It can be expanded for highly skilled white jobs such as freelance content writers along with blue-collar works.


  1. Flexibility
  • Flexibility in working hours gives autonomy in functioning to the service providers
  • Gig economy benefits workers, businesses, and consumers by making work more adaptable to their needs and demands.
  • Absence of monotonous feeling for the workers by following a regular pattern.
  1. Commoditize the services
  • Gig economy helps to commoditize the services which were hitherto gone unrecognized in the economy.
  1. Multi-talented works
  • Gig economy provides the platform for those who are well versed in multi-talented skill. It helps a person to do multiple works during the same period.
  • For example: a plumber having car can provide plumbing services and transportation facilities if he or she is interested in performing multiple works.
  1. No one Boss philosophy
  • Unlike traditional employment, gig economy enables to have multiple masters. A service provider can register themselves with multiple employers and can perform his duties according to his will.
  1. Benefits employers
  • Short term contracts help the employers to avoid obligations in the long run.
  • In a gig economy, job providers save resources in terms of benefits like provident fund, paid leave and office space and other infrastructure facilities.
  • For instance –the food-tech company Zomato executed its Initial Public Offering plan with a stellar debut in the market.
  • Low concentration on Social responsibility since it is working through a digital platform.
  • The employer can procure very efficient people for performing irregular or temporary nature of works.
  • For example- An office requires sweeper every day, but it doesn’t require a computer repairer every day. It is because repairing is a specialized job and the computers need to repair whenever it is out of order which is not a frequent phenomenon, unlike sweeping activity.
  1. Seasonal Nature of job
  • Seasonal spikes in customer service helped in the rise of the gig economy.
  1. Employment opportunities
  • Higher demand for flexi-hiring options, especially for niche projects by MNCS to reduce operational expenses after the pandemic increased short-term job opportunities.
  • Currently, it is estimated to have a coverage of around 15 million job in the economy, but it can go up to 24 million and ultimately 90 million employment opportunities in the long term.
  1. No geographical limitation
  • By using the digital platform, the worker need notbe available at a fixed location as the job can be done from anywhere. This helps employers to select the best talent available for a project without being bound by geography.


For Employers

  1. Quality of the work
  • It becomes difficult to ascertain the quality of employees and their skills in the gig economy.
  • It is a major concern, especially for highly skilled jobs faced by employers.

For Employees

  1. Unstable Income – Employees are paid on the basis of completion of tasks, thus they are in a position of uncertainty regarding wage payment.
  2. No permanent relationship –The absence of personal bonding with employers since there is no permanent relationship between employer and employee.
  3. No social security benefits –There are limited benefits for gig workers such as accident insurance and life insurance coverage available now.
  4. High initial cost – Employees have to purchase needed tools and equipment for performing the job. Here, the employer will not provide machinery for employment.
  5. Absence of labour rights – The employees cannot claim labour rights unlike in the unorganized sector.

For instance: Recently, Zomato announced a pilot project to deliver food in just 10 minutes where people alleged that it will put the lives of their delivery partners in danger, as they will rush to meet the target.

For government

  1. Dynamic nature
  • Difficult to regulate the gig economy due to its flexible and dynamic nature
  • Therefore, the constituted labour laws become largely ineffective.
  1. Low social responsibility
  • Employers under the Gig platform have low responsibility to society.

Other concerns

  1. Disrupts traditional employment- The wide acceptance of the gig economy destructs the old nature of jobs in the economy.
  1. Regional disparity –The gig economy may not be accessible for people in many rural areas where internet connectivity and electricity are comparatively less unavailable with respect to urban areas.
  1. Requirement of minimum skill – A minimum level of skill is required for performing the job under the gig platform.

For example, a person needs to know “driving” for performing under the “Ola” taxi services.




1.Flexible nature of work- Women facing dual burdens in terms of family commitments and work pressure can contribute in a better way through the flexible nature of jobs in the gig economy.



Gender digital divide –  Women are less likely to operate digital devices such as smartphones and internet usagedue to reduced exposure compared to men.

2.New working environment- women are getting opportunities in areas like cab driving which were earlier prohibited for them. Thus,the Gig economy helps them to utilize their hidden potential.



Need for Skills – A woman needs to be skilled and re-skilled to perform a job. Unless a person is extremely talented, her bargaining power will necessarily be limited in the economy.

3.Economic independence – Better use of skills that were hitherto unused can be utilized through skilling and re-skilling gives them financial security.



Dignity of women – If some derogatory remarks or sexual harassment through digital means takes place, there is no clear-cut methodology to be followed unlike in the organized sector

  4.Digital empowerment – Increased use of digital technology and virtual working of sales and distribution jobs boosts the technology adaptation among women.



Absence of social security benefits –Women employed through gig platforms are not availing of benefits such as Maternity benefits which are inviting losses for them.

5.Equal pay – Equal pay for an equal job is quite possible in the gig economy, where providing services determines the payment and not the gender aspects.



 Gender stereotypes – High prevalence of gender stereotypes still exists in this sector, which restricts the full utilization of the hidden potential of women.

6.Saftety – There is no or minute scope for sexual harassment since women can choose their own work environment with adequate safety measures.


Regional digital gap – A wide gulf between urban and rural areas in terms of access to digital gadgets such as computers and the internet makes the gig platform mostly confined to urban areas. It further widens the gap between urban and rural women folks.



  1. Code on Wages, 2019
  • The code has provisions to ensure labour benefits for gig-economy workers. It provides for universal minimum wage and floor wage across organized and unorganized sectors, including gig workers.
  1. Code on Social Security, 2020 –
  • The code recognizes gig workers as a new occupational category. It defines a gig worker as a person who performs work or participates in work arrangements and earns from such activities, outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship.
  • It provides that central or state government may notify specific schemes for gig workers to provide various benefits, such as life and disability cover. Such schemes may be financed through a combination of contributions from the employer, employee, and the appropriate government.


  1. Improve work environment – The better peer-to-peer relationship between workers and employers will improve the working environment.
  2. Fix legislative loopholes – India could frame comprehensive legislation covering basic social security benefits including Maternity benefits, sick leave, etc.
  3. Empower the gig workers – Better awareness to be provided to the gig workers about their rights, allowances, and benefits to save them from any exploitation.
  4. Grievance redressal mechanism – Timely and effective grievance redressal mechanism is highly needed for the platform economy.


Therefore, the gig economy is an emerging platform that has the capability to create a revolution in the economy. It has the potential to absorb more workforce and it acts as a driving force for achieving a 5 trillion-dollar economy in the future.


Gig economy is revolutionising the whole economy in terms of scale, employment, explain. Critically examine the challenges that the sector is facing. (250 Words, 15 Marks)



 Compensatory Afforestation Fund is constituted so that every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes, the user agency pays a quantifiable Net Present Value (NP) amount for planting forests over an equal area of non-forest land, or when such land is not available, twice the area of degraded forest land.


  • Development purposes: For infrastructural activities such as the construction of roads, dams, laying railway tracks, mining, and industrial development.
  • Agriculture: For irrigation and agricultural practices such as slash and burn agriculture.
  • In 2019 alone, a total of 11,467 hectares of forest lands were diverted in 22 states.


  1. Carbon stock-Forest can capture and store a significant amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  2. Ameliorate extreme Climate-Regulation of extreme climates by reducing heat in summer and cold in winter.
  3. Influence the amount of rainfall and its variability.
  4. Renewable forest resources- Forest provides wood and paper-based goods, energy production from forest-based wood and biomass can replace other more greenhouse-gas intensive products.
  5. Cope with natural disasters- Reduce the risk of soil erosion, landslides, and avalanches.
  6. Biodiversity- The existence of different species through pollination, seed dispersal, and soil fertilization is ensured.
  7. Socio-economic benefits- Indigenous peoples’ rights to minor forest produce, sustainable livelihoods, rural development, and local employment, traditional medicines from forests for their health, and forest-based activities such as hunting and fishing.
  8. Timber- Hardwoods include teak, mahogany, logwood, iron-wood, ebony, sal, etc., which are used for furniture, and other commercial products whereas Softwood includes deodar, poplar, pine, fir, and cedar are useful for construction work and the production of paper pulp.


  • Conservation and compensation for forest diversion were originally mentioned in the Forest Conservation Act, of 1980.
  • Supreme Court rulings in TN Godavarman case 1995 stated forest land cannot be diverted until and unless needed for a core project.
  • Supreme Court of Indiaordered for establishment of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)in 2001.
  • Ministry of Environment and Forest constituted Compensatory Afforestation Fund in 2004
  • In 2006, Adhoc CAMPA was established for the management of the Compensatory afforestation fund.
  • In 2007, C&AG initiated the auditing of Adhoc CAMPA Accounts.
  • In 2008, the Supreme court exempted some projects which are vital for development from CAMPA frameworks.
  • Supreme Court in 2009 ordered to release of funds from the center to state government and prescribed rules for the utilization of those funds.
  • A bill for the same was passed by Loksabha and rejected by Rajyasabha in 2008.
  • In 2015, the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Climate Change again introduced the bill, which subsequently led to the enactment of The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016.


  • The Act established the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
  • These Funds will receive payments for (i) compensatory afforestation,(ii) net present value of forest (NPV), and (iii) other project-specific payments. 
  • The National Fund will receive 10% of these funds, and the State Funds will receive the remaining 90%.
  • These Funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for the loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection, and infrastructure development.
  • The Bill also establishes the National and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authorities (CAMPA) to manage the National and State Funds.
  • The fund is a non-lapsable interest-bearing public fund.

CAMPA-3 level bodies

  1. Governing body- Under the union minister
  2. Executive body- To execute and finalize the plans.
  3. Monitoring body-To monitor and evaluate the spending of funds.


  1. Artificial regeneration of lost forest land.
  2. Better management of forest and its resources.
  3. Wildlife protection and ecosystem conservation.
  4. Mitigate rapid climate change issues.
  5. Technical and scientific expertise in planning.


  1. Low Community participation- CAMPA is not actively taking people into confidence. Community participation is the core criterion needed for its success.
  2. Under-utilization of funds- With 90% of funds being transferred to the state, the effective utilization of funds depends upon the efficiency of respective state forest departments.
  3. Lack of accountability- Growing plantation by clearing dense forest, thus practicing compensatory afforestation only in letter, not in spirit.
  4. Liberalizing forest diversion rules at the cost of environmental sustainability.
  5. Bureaucratic apathy- a low proportion of environmental experts in the body lead to less specialized efforts.


  1. Stakeholder consultation- Community participation to be utilized for better results.
  2. Quality- Focus on the quality of forest lands rather than the areas covered, to mitigate the issues of deforestation.
  3. Fund utilization- Proper utilization of funds for forest development than using them for administrative needs.
  4. No ambiguity- Specification of clear-cut rules for effective forest development.
  5. Expertise Body- The incorporation of specialists in the body may give better results.
  6. Outcome-Budgeting- Better monitoring of activities of state government improves accountability and responsibility to the environment.
  7. Strengthen CAMPA- As per the TSR Subramanian committee, the CAMPA body needs to be strengthened to take independent effective actions.


It is necessary to make the effective utilization of Compensatory Afforestation Funds in true letter and spirit which helps to achieve SDG 15-: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.


Explain how Campa (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) fund brings sustainable development? Suggest measures for effective functioning of it.

(150 Words, 10 Marks)



Recently, many spaceflight companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virginia galactic are coming forward to provide space tourism. Space tourism is a segment of space travel that allows people to travel to space for recreational, leisure, or business purposes.

Till now people visited space for space research, which is helpful for the development of mankind. But now, common people want to travel to space for non-scientific reasons.


  • In the beginning, the Soviet Union and the United States were completely engaged to attain domination in spaceflight technologies, but later they abandoned their project.
  • Today, it is private enterprises that are taking an active role in the commercial space race and taking a significant role in space-related technologies.


  • The Karman line is the internationally recognized boundary of space.
  • The line is defined by Theodore von Kármán,a Hungarian American engineer and Astro-physicist, who was active primarily in aeronautics and astronautics.
  • He considered the limit of space as the “Karman Line” at a height of 83.6 km. For space travel, this Karman line is to be crossed.

However, according to the Federation of international astronauts, the space line is at 100 km.


  • Societal development- When society evolves, people’s aspirations also start growing to a higher level.
  • Technology- Rapid growth in technological developments made new sectors like space tourism possible today.
  • Entrepreneurs- With greater incentives from the government, lots of entrepreneurs are evolving day by day.
  • Innovation- Due to greater emphasis on Research and Development, frequent innovations in terms of design as well as operational fields in the aviation sector are happening.
  • For instance: the development of Reusable launch vehicles that can be relaunched further and thus reduces the cost.


  1. Advancement in Space Research
  • Space tourism enhances the technical capacity and capabilities which in turn can be utilized for further space research programs.
  1. Foreign collaboration
  • Policies such as Joint Ventures enable technology transfer between countries which can be developed for multiple purposes.
  • The planned Gaganyaan mission of India is a perfect example where the active collaboration of Russia and France helped India to reach the next stage of exploration.
  1. Private sector participation
  • Active participation of private parties for commercial space flights promoted the space industry as the fastest-growing sector.
  • The efficiency and effectiveness of private sectors in the operational design of aircraft help agencies like ISRO to explore more and reach a higher level.
  1. Development of the aviation sector
  • Space tourism helps in the creation of multiple opportunities for the development of the aviation sector particularly the manufacturing field. It helps in the development of ancillary units in the aviation sector.
  1. Training facilities
  • Better training ecosystem will create more employment opportunities in the economy.
  1. Scientific temper
  • The evolving space tourism will create curiosity and logical thinking among the youths.
  • This rational and scientific thinking and induced interest will ultimately contribute more resources to the nation in terms of innovation and inventions.


  1. Safety concerns
  • Lack of security- The commercial spacecraft’s entry into space and re-entry to the atmosphere incurs a huge risk, even the slightest deviation can lead to a disaster.
  1. Health issues
  • Health concerns as passengers could also face motion sickness and disorientation, which can affect vision, cognition, balance, and motor control.
  1. Climatic risk
  • Increased pollutants from rocket fuel and heating caused by spacecraft returning to Earth along with debris are harmful to the ozone layer.
  • Another major concern is the black carbon soot emitted by the rockets directly into the atmosphere where these soots are efficient at retaining heat.
  • As a result, experts are worrying because space tourism may undermine the progress made by the Montreal Protocol in reversing Ozone depletion.


  1. Independent regulator – Creating an independent regulator for space tourism can help in instilling confidence among private players.
  2. Capacity building -Training, and better medical screenings to be provided to the tourists who are interested in space tourism.
  3. Incentives to private companies – Opening up ISRO’s testing facilities to the private sector will reduce costs and increase incentives and grants for firms to build operational spacecraft.
  4. Research and Development- It is necessary to deepen research works to address the growing climatic concerns raised by environmental experts.


Space tourism is one of the world’s fastest-growing recreational sectors. This sector has huge potential for socio-economic benefits in terms of employment opportunities and innovation. But at the same time, a sound regulatory policy is needed to assure the safety protocols for a sustainable tourism.


Space tourism is Technology driven tourism with its socio- economic benefits. Discuss. List out the concerns associated with space tourism.(150 Words, 10 Marks)

Does India Need Two Time Zones


Recently, Assam Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stressedthe need for a separate Time Zone for the country.


  • It was the British who envisaged a separate time zone in the tea gardens of Assam around 150 years ago. 
  • “Chai Bagan time” or “local time” followed in the tea gardens is primarily a time zone set on the sunrise.
  • Before September 1947, India followed three different time zones: Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta.
  • From September 1, 1947, India officially adopted 5° E longitude as Indian Standard Time (IST) which is equal to Coordinated Universal Time + 5 hours 30 minutes.
  • The Assam wants to change its zone back to the British’s Chaibagaan time to conserve energy and improve productivity.
  • Government of India didn’t accept the proposal.


  • Countries across the globe keep different time zones because of Earth’s rotation and revolution around the Sun.
  • When the Earth turns by 15° around its axis, the time changes by one hour thus, a 360º degree rotation yields 24 hours and 1° takes around 4 minutes.
  • In 1884, an international agreement agreed to choose the zero meridiansas the one that passes through the Royal Astronomical Observatory at Greenwich, near London.
  • This is the Prime Meridian (0°) from which all other meridians radiate eastwards and westwards up to 180°.
  • They determine local time in relation to G.M.T. or Greenwich Mean Time, which is sometimes referred to as World Time.
  • It is concluded that places east of Greenwich see the sun earlier and gain time, whereas places west of Greenwich see the sun later and lose time.


  • Indian Standard Time calculates on the basis of 82.5° E longitude, situated to the west of the town Mirzapur, near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

The longitude difference between Mirzapur and the United Kingdom’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich would be around 5 hours 30 minutes.


  1. Fuels productivity
  • Northeast loses important daylight which can be used productively as the sun rises as early as 4 am in summer and offices open at 10.
  1. Wastage of resources
  • Save on power consumption – Advancing the time by 30 minutes alone could save 2.7 billion units of electricity every year.
  1. Environmental benefits
  • Significantly reduces the carbon footprint and arrests rapid climate change
  1. Circadian rhythm
  • People’s productivity and efficiency follow a biological clock that is synchronized with the daily light-dark cycles.
  • Circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat which is regulating many physiological processes.
  • Internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature, and determines whether one feels wide-awake and energized or tired.
  • Cognitive Impairment- Sleep deprivation negatively impacts the cognitive intake of children.
  1. Social benefits
  • It can reduce road accidents.
  • Better safety ecosystem for women, especially working professionals.
  1. Economic gain
  • India incurs an annual human capital loss of around 0.2 percent of nominal GDP due to the existing Single time zone policy.


  1. National mismatch
  • Mismatch in office timings and different working hours for banks may lead to confusion.
  • Chances that railway accidents might become more frequent.
  1. Disturbs Unity
  • India is already divided into lines of language,religion, ethnicity, and caste. It may further aggravate the dividing tendency to the next level.
  1. Operational difficulty
  • It is difficult to reset clocks with each crossing of the time zone.
  1. Strategic reasons
  • Northeast demanding separate statehood would get a legitimate reason to justify their need for separation from the mainstream Indian subcontinent.


  • Demand for different time zones was first raised in 2002. Since then, the matter raised in Parliament16 times.
  • In 2006, the Planning Commission recommended two time zones.
  • In 2009, an expert committee was appointed by the union ministry on Science and Technology and found North Eastern states incur huge wastages due to early sunrise, thus working hours must be ahead by one hour.
  • A report by CSIR-NPL stated the need for two time zones- 1) IST-1 where UTC+ 5 hours and 30 minutes, 2) IST-2 where UTC+6 hours 30 minutes are to be provided. Moreover, a line has to be drawn from 89.52° E longitude passing through the “chicken’s neck” in West Bengalas coordinated UTC to be constructed.
  • However, a High-Level Committee by the Secretary of Science and Technology, DG of CSIR-NPL, and Chief Secretary of Tripura recommended not to have two zones due to strategic reasons.


The need of the hour is to study those countries having multiple time zones such as the USA, Canada, and Russia, about their way of operation, and day-to-day mechanisms. It is better to consult all the stakeholders and arrive at a better decision based on reliable evidences.