Governance Uncategorized

Regarding the PMAY scheme

The scheme’s declared objectives included slum dweller rehabilitation with private developer participation, promotion of affordable housing for the weaker sections through Credit Linked Subsidy Schemes (CLSS), affordable housing in partnership with the public and private sectors, and a subsidy for Beneficiary-led Construction (BLC).

Regarding the PMAY scheme:

The scheme’s declared objectives included slum dweller rehabilitation with private developer participation, promotion of affordable housing for the weaker sections through Credit Linked Subsidy Schemes (CLSS), affordable housing in partnership with the public and private sectors, and a subsidy for Beneficiary-led Construction (BLC).

Issues with the PMAY Scheme:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U) scheme has been criticised for its poor performance. According to data from the PMAY dashboard, there is a gap of around 40 lakh dwellings in sanctioned and finished sectors.
  • ISSR Failure: The in-situ slum rehabilitation (ISSR) component, which was designed to handle the highest demand in cities, has been heavily criticised for its failure. Only a few dwellings have been approved under ISSR, falling far short of expectations.
  • The vast disparity between achievement and need: Despite providing 80 lakh dwellings, the PMAY-U program has only addressed roughly 25.15% of the housing deficit. Even if the remaining sanctioned units are built by the end of 2024, they will only meet around 37% of the true requirement, leaving about 2.4 crore families without suitable accommodation.
  • Not meeting the promise based on spending: The housing programme, which got enormous fiscal support (more than $29 billion over the previous five years), has failed to deliver on its promise of “Housing for All.” Despite the effort and financial assistance, the aim remains unmet. 

The reason behind the failure of the PMAY Scheme

  • The PMAY Scheme failed due to challenges in slum rehabilitation. Despite attempts, certain slum rehabilitation initiatives have encountered challenges, such as vertical expansion, which results in higher utility bills and inappropriate living areas, as well as difficulty in procuring land.
  • Neglecting social housing requirements: Consultants who favour capital-intensive solutions frequently influence city development plans, including PMAY, possibly overlooking social housing needs and community engagement.
  • PMAY’s funding system includes major payments from recipient families and state governments, with the federal government playing a minor role.
  • Minimal Government Role: The PMAY design leaves minimal responsibility on the government, notably in terms of interest subsidies and cost-sharing with beneficiaries, raising concerns about meeting the requirements of the landless and impoverished.

Way Forward:

  • To provide sufficient funding for housing developments, the central government should reconsider its financial allocation.
  • Enhanced Focus on Slum Rehabilitation: The government should assess and improve the in-situ slum rehabilitation (ISSR) component. This might include greater planning, community participation, and tackling issues like land acquisition and vertical expansion.
  • Community Participation and Needs Assessment: Community engagement in the development and execution of housing projects is critical.  

India’s Solar Slowdown: Trends and Projections

  • After two years of strong growth, India’s solar capacity additions fell by 44% in 2023, the lowest level since 2016.
  • What caused this decline, and will this pattern continue? Let’s go exploring. 

Solar Capacity Addition in 2023

  • Capacity Decline: In 2023, India added 7.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity, a considerable reduction from the previous year’s record of 13.4 GW. This was the lowest level since 2016, with the exception of the pandemic-affected 2020.
  • major-scale Projects Hit Hard: Capacity additions in major solar power projects fell by more than 50%, to 5.8 GW from 11.7 GW in 2022. However, rooftop solar power capacity increased by 1.7 GW, in line with 2022 levels.
  • Cumulative Capacity: India’s solar power capacity will reach 72 GW by the end of 2023, with large-scale projects accounting for more than 60 GW. 

Reasons for the decline.

  • Regulatory Obstacles: Solar power providers faced regulatory challenges, including tougher grid connectivity standards and a Supreme Court ruling in 2021 requiring the relocation of overhead power wires to safeguard Great Indian Bustard habitats.
  • Compliance Challenges: Complying with updated grid code regulations became more demanding, causing project delays. Land acquisition issues remained, substantially postponing project timelines. 

Outlook for 2024

  • The decrease in solar capacity addition in 2023 appears to be a temporary setback. The pipeline for 2024 is solid, with 105.3 GW of capacity planned, plus a further 70.6 GW awaiting auction.
  • Delayed Projects: Large-scale projects that were delayed and extended from December 2022 to June 2023 will make a substantial contribution to capacity additions in 2024.

The Impact of ‘Make in India

  • Import Reduction: Initially, India’s solar capacity was based on imported Chinese cells. However, the introduction of customs tariffs on imported solar modules and cells caused a dramatic decrease in imports.
  • Promoting Local Manufacturing: The Approved List of Models and producers (ALMM) allowed local producers to compete in government procurements. However, the ALMM mandate has been deferred until April 2024 in order to keep solar installations moving forward.

Aligning with India’s Energy Targets

  • Renewable Energy Capacity: In 2023, India’s renewable energy capacity hit 180 GW, with solar accounting for 40%. Despite missing its early targets due to the pandemic, India completed 60 GW of large-scale solar projects a year later.
  • Future Goals: India plans to achieve a renewable energy target of roughly 600 GW by 2032, with solar accounting for 365 GW. To accomplish this aim, 30 GW of new solar capacity must be added annually for the next eight years. 

Various policy initiatives.

  • Solar Park Scheme (2014): Launched in 2014, the Solar Park Scheme proposes to create a succession of solar parks, each with a capacity of approximately 500 MW, spanning multiple states.
  • The Rooftop Solar Scheme (2016) aims to harness solar energy by putting solar panels on residential rooftops.
  • National Solar Mission (2010): The National Solar Mission is a critical initiative by the Indian government and state governments to promote sustainable development and address energy security concerns. 
  • The SRISTI Scheme (2018) is designed to support the installation of rooftop solar power plants in India, hence increasing sustainability.
  • International Solar Alliance, 2015: The International Solar Alliance, founded in 2015, acts as a collaborative platform for promoting the adoption of solar energy technology through member-led projects.
  • Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (2019) The PM-KUSUM project, launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in 2019, promises to make it easier to deploy off-grid solar pumps in rural areas while also reducing reliance on the grid in connected regions.


  • Despite the short pause, India remains dedicated to increasing its solar capacity in order to reach its ambitious renewable energy ambitions and contribute to global environmental initiatives. 
Polity Uncategorized

Significance of Deputy Chief Minister in Indian Politics

  • Deputy Chief Ministers (Deputy CMs) have emerged as major personalities in Indian politics, typically serving as political compromises in coalition governments or in the absence of single-party supremacy.
  • The role and prevalence of Deputy Chief Ministers differ by state and region.

Role of Deputy CM

  • Deputy Chief Ministers (CMs) are appointed to achieve political compromise, particularly in coalition governments or when no single leader holds uncontested control.
  • Representation: Deputy chief ministers represent different regions, communities, or interest groups within a state, encouraging inclusion.
  • Constitutional Basis: Although the office of Deputy Chief Minister is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, it is often assumed to be similar in rank to that of a Cabinet Minister.
  1. Article 163(1) establishes a Council of Ministers in each state, led by the Chief Minister, to assist and advise the Governor in carrying out his duties. While it does not name Deputy Chief Ministers, they are part of the Council of Ministers, much like Cabinet Ministers.
  2. Article 164(1) stipulates that the Governor shall appoint the Chief Minister and other Ministers on the Chief Minister’s advice. It establishes the Chief Minister’s authority to nominate Deputy CMs.

Prevalence of Deputy Chief Ministers

  • Deputy Chief Ministers are becoming more prevalent in Indian states, with four of the five states going to the polls in November 2021.
  • National Presence: The position of Deputy Chief Minister exists in most major states, with the exception of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • Various Contexts: States like as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Haryana have multiple Deputy Chief Ministers, which typically represent coalition governments or competing political interests.

Historical Overview

  • Anugrah Narayan Sinha was one of India’s first Deputy Chief Ministers, representing Bihar.
  • Post-1967 Increase: Following the fall of Congress’ control in national politics in 1967, the prevalence of Deputy Chief Ministers increased.
  • Examples include states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana, which have had Deputy Chief Ministers from varied political backgrounds.

Deputy Prime Ministers

  • India has had Deputy Prime Ministers who held significant responsibilities at the national level.
  • Notable figures include Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Chaudhary Devi Lal, and Lal Krishna Advani, who served as Deputy Prime Ministers.
  • Constitutional Aspects: The function of the Deputy Prime Minister has been debated in court, with the Supreme Court emphasising that it does not grant the Deputy Prime Minister any extra powers.
Art & Culture Uncategorized

Pakke-Paga Hornbill Festival

  • The 9th edition of the Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) will be held in Arunachal Pradesh, promoting the region’s dedication to wildlife conservation, with a specific emphasis on hornbills.
  • This event, slated for 18-20 January, 2024, in Seijosa, Pakke Kessang area, brings together various communities to work together to safeguard these unique birds and raise environmental awareness.
  • Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival’s theme is “Domutoh Domutoh, Paga hum Domutoh”.
  • Meaning: This year’s theme, which translates as “Let Our Hornbills Remain” in Nyishi, emphasises the essential need of maintaining these wonderful birds.
  • Conservation Advocacy: The PPHF acts as a platform to campaign for the preservation of hornbill populations and their natural habitats.

Emphasis on Wildlife Conservation

  • Hornbill Species: The Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Arunachal Pradesh is home to four hornbill species: wreathed, great Indian, oriental pied, and the endangered Rufous-necked hornbill.
  • Nyishi Tribal Contribution: The celebration honours the Nyishi, Arunachal Pradesh’s biggest tribal community, for their important involvement in hornbill conservation. They went from hunting hornbills to advocating for their preservation.
  • Alternative revenue: PPHF’s goal is to provide alternative sources of revenue for the region and promote awareness of PTR and its environs, so promoting economic growth while protecting the environment.

The Chandrayaan-3 Propulsion Module returns to Earth Orbit

  • The Chandrayaan-3 Propulsion Module (PM) successfully returned to Earth’s orbit, marking an important step forward in lunar exploration.
  • This manoeuvre was not originally planned, but it took use of the mission’s logistical advantages, including additional fuel.

The Functions and Role of the Propulsion Module

  • The following distinguishes Chandrayaan-2: In contrast to Chandrayaan-2, which contained a full-fledged orbiter, Chandrayaan-3 carried a lighter PM designed simply for lunar transit.
  • Communication: The project used the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter to communicate with Earth.
  • The PM carried the Spectro Polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) instrument, which was designed to examine Earth in order to locate habitable exoplanets.
  • Separation and operation: On August 17, the PM detached from the lander and was initially anticipated to circle the Moon for six months while SHAPE was functioning.

Taking Advantage of the Situation

  • Mission Life Extension: The exact orbit injection and effective manoeuvres saved about 100 kg of fuel, increasing the PM’s operating life.
  • Mission Plan Modification: The fuel excess enabled ISRO to show capabilities for future moon sample return missions.

Return to Earth Orbit

  • Manoeuvres planning: ISRO developed an optimum Earth return route for October 2023.
  • Execution: The PM performed a series of manoeuvres, including orbit elevation around the Moon and a Trans-Earth injection, before escaping the Moon’s area of influence.
  • Current Status: The PM is presently in Earth orbit for approximately 13 days, working securely and without endangering other spacecraft.

The Mission’s Importance and Manoeuvre Execution: 

  • The mission gave insights on designing and executing trajectories for tiny spacecraft returning from the Moon to Earth.
  • This expertise will help in the development of software components for future mission planning.
  • Gravity-Assisted Flybys: The experiment lays the path for gravity-assisted flybys of astronomical bodies.
  • conclusion-of-Life Management: It also aids with the prevention of uncontrolled collisions on the Moon’s surface at the conclusion of the PM’s life.
  • SHAPE Payload: SHAPE is still operational, including a special operation on 28 October during a Solar Eclipse, and will continue to function as long as Earth is in its area of vision.
Economics Environment & Biodiversity Uncategorized

India proposes a Green Credit Scheme at COP28

  • At the COP28 in Dubai, India unveiled the Green Credits Scheme. Prime Minister Modi emphasised that this programme extends beyond the financial aspect of carbon credits, providing a greater environmental effect.

Green Credits Programme

  • The initiative’s goal is to create Green Credits by planting on deteriorated wasteland.
  • The Environment Ministry launched it in October with the goal of incentivizing different environmentally friendly acts.
  • Tree planting, water management, sustainable agriculture, waste management, air pollution reduction, mangrove conservation, ecomark label creation, and sustainable building are all action areas.
  • Beyond the Carbon: This programme, unlike other carbon credit schemes, extends incentives to efforts other than carbon emission reductions, such as water conservation and soil restoration.

Distinctive Characteristics

  • Market-Based Approach: The programme intends to develop a market for selling green credits, similar to carbon credits, in which businesses may earn and exchange credits for environmental efforts.
  • Methodologies and criteria for measuring and certifying such activities are in the works, and a market for these credits has yet to be formed.
  • First-time buyers: Private enterprises are expected to acquire these green credits to meet their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments.
  • Additional Beneficiaries: In contrast to carbon markets, which largely benefit industry and companies, the green credit programme may also benefit individuals and communities.

Nuakhai Festival

On the auspicious occasion of Nuakhai, the Prime Minister has greeted the people.


  • In Chhattisgarh, Nuakhai, also known as Nuakhai Parab or Nuakhai Bhetghat, is also known as Navakhai Parv.
  • Nuakhai is an agricultural festival observed primarily by tribal tribes and Hindus in Western Odisha.
  • It is also seen in nearby Simdega in Jharkhand, where the cultural influence of Western Odisha is strong.
  • The advent of the new rice harvest is marked by Nuakhai.
  • The term “nua” means “new,” and “khai” means “food,” representing the farmers’ possession of freshly harvested rice.
  • This event takes place on the panchami tithi (fifth day) of the lunar fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada (typically August-September).
  • It takes place the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

Historical Foundations

  • Nuakhai has its roots in ancient times, with the Pralambana Yajna, which entails harvesting the first crop and presenting a reverent offering to the mother goddess.
  • The festival’s current shape is related to the reign of the first Chauhan King Ramai Deva of Patnagarh in western Odisha.

Celebration Schedule

  • Nuakhai celebrations consist of nine ceremonies, beginning with Behrana and ending with Juhar Bhet.
  • Beheren: This is the notice of the meeting date.
  • Nuakhai: The highlight of the festival is eating the freshly gathered produce after offering it to the deity, which is accompanied by boisterous dancing and singing.
  • Juhar bhet: It entails requesting blessings from elders and giving presents as a sign of respect and affection.

Incremental Cash Reserve Ratio (I-CRR) to be abandoned by RBI

  • On September 8, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that the Incremental Cash Reserve Ratio (I-CRR) would be phased out.
  • This action was taken in an effort to eliminate excess liquidity brought on by events like the return of Rs 2,000 notes to the banking system.

RBI’s Choice

  • After reviewing the situation, RBI made the decision to end I-CRR gradually.
  • The goal of the central bank’s gradual release of the impounded funds is to prevent abrupt shocks to the system’s liquidity and maintain the smooth operation of the money market.

How to Interpret the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)

  • Before exploring Incremental Cash Reserve Ratio (ICRR), CRR is a crucial idea.
  • Banks are required to keep a particular percentage of their deposits and liabilities with the RBI in liquid cash.
  • CRR is an essential weapon in the RBI’s toolbox for controlling the flow of liquidity throughout the economy and serves as a safety net when the banking system is under pressure.
  • Banks must currently maintain 4.5% of their Net Demand and Time Liabilities with the RBI as CRR.


  • On August 10, 2023, the RBI implemented I-CRR as a temporary tool to absorb excess liquidity.
  • On the growth in their Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL) between May 19, 2023, and July 28, 2023, banks were required to maintain an I-CRR of 10%.
  • From the beginning of the next week on August 12, 2023, it became effective.
  • In addition to the normal CRR, the RBI is authorised to apply an extra metric known as the Incremental Cash Reserve Ratio (ICRR).
  • When the financial system is experiencing an excess of liquidity, ICRR is used.
  • In essence, ICRR requires banks to deposit even more liquid cash with the RBI than is necessary for compliance with CRR.
  • This helps to monitor and regulate liquidity in the banking sector on a more comprehensive level.

Motive for I-CRR

  • Due to events including the reintroduction of Rs 2,000 banknotes, the RBI’s transfer of surplus funds to the government, a rise in government spending, and capital inflows, there was an excess of liquidity.
  • In July, the RBI’s daily liquidity absorption totaled Rs 1.8 lakh crore.
  • Maintaining pricing and financial stability required managing excess liquidity.

Impact on Liquidity Conditions

  • It was anticipated that I-CRR would remove excess liquidity from the banking sector worth more than Rs 1 lakh crore.
  • On August 21, it temporarily changed the liquidity of the banking system from surplus to deficit.
  • The lack of liquidity was a result of several factors, including GST outflows and dollar sales by central banks.
  • However, starting on August 24, the liquidity situation returned to excess.
  • The RBI removed Rs 76,047 crore of extra liquidity from the system on September 8.

Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs): Issues to be Minded

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has discussed the problems and weaknesses involving Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs), emphasising the significance of resolving these issues.

Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) are what exactly?

  • UCBs are main cooperative banks that serve small borrowers and businesses. They are typically found in urban and semi-urban areas.
  • They are governed by the Cooperative Societies Act of the relevant State and registered under the Banking Laws (Cooperative Societies) Act of 1955.
  • UCBs were once only allowed to lend for non-agricultural uses, but since 1996, they have expanded their size and operations.
  • Five states, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, account for 79% of all UCBs.

Types of UCBs

UCBs are categorized into different tiers by the RBI based on their deposit size:

  • Tier 1: Deposits up to Rs 100 crore.
  • Tier 2: Deposits ranging from Rs 100 to 1,000 crore.
  • Tier 3: Deposits between Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 crore.
  • Tier 4: Deposits exceeding Rs 10,000 crore.

Key concerns/addresses raised by RBI

(1) Operational Stability

  • To contribute to the overall stability of the financial and banking industry, UCBs must strengthen their operational and financial resilience.
  • The effectiveness of the governance inside UCBs is crucial in ensuring the stability of these particular banks.

(2) Setting up right priorities

  • The integrity and openness of financial reporting must be a top priority for boards and directors of UCBs, who should abstain from cutting-edge accounting techniques that hide the true financial situation.
  • To systematically control liquidity risk, asset liability management must be proactive.
  • It is essential to set up a strong IT and cybersecurity infrastructure and to have the required capabilities available at the bank level.
  • Governance procedures need to be improved, particularly those that deal with Compliance, Risk Management, and Internal Audit.

(3) Functioning of Boards

  • Ensuring that directors have the necessary knowledge and experience.
  • Assembling a qualified management board.
  • Taking into account the board members’ tenure and diversity.
  • Encouraging open and active participation at board meetings.
  • Ensuring that committees at the board level operate effectively.

(4) Credit Risk Management

  • Maintaining risk control by using strict underwriting guidelines.
  • Putting in place efficient post-sanction surveillance.
  • Early detection and stress reduction for emerging stress.
  • To aid in recovery and keep adequate provisioning, follow-ups with significant non-performing asset (NPA) borrowers are pursued.

@the end

  • For the general stability and resilience of the banking industry, it is critical to address the worries and vulnerabilities in urban cooperative banks.
  • In order to maintain the health of UCBs, the RBI’s suggestions emphasise the significance of governance, risk management, and transparency.

Tamil Nadu vs. NEET: Striking a Balance Between Equity and Autonomy

  • The standoff between Tamil Nadu and the Centre over the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) has heated up.
  • It has sparked debate on returning education to the State List of the Constitution’s Seventh Schedule.

Why is this in the news?

  • Educational Independence: M.K. Stalin demanded that education be returned to the State List after being placed on the Concurrent List during the Emergency.
  • NEET Disagreement: The sad suicides of a student and his father as a result of exam-related stress fueled Tamil Nadu’s opposition to NEET.

Why is Tamil Nadu opposed to NEET?

  • Due to its mechanical concentration on grades, NEET, a centralised entrance exam for medical courses, attracts resistance in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Effect on Local Models: NEET upended paradigms such as Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore, which was noted for emphasising talent above grades.
  • Impact of In-Service Quota: NEET eliminated Tamil Nadu’s in-service quota for medical graduates, lowering healthcare quality.
  • Disadvantages The exam benefits wealthier sectors who can afford lakhs of dollars in tuition (especially repeaters), disadvantaging underprivileged groups and impeding their objectives.

The Emotional Nature of the Problem

  • Equity and Social Justice: Opposition to NEET is strongly founded in aspirations for educational equity and autonomy, which are motivated by concerns about social justice.
  • Kamaraj’s Dream: Chief Minister K. Kamaraj’s education vision for Tamil Nadu emphasised accessibility and empathy for the unlettered population.

Legislative Struggles

  • Bills presented by the former AIADMK administration in 2017 demanding state autonomy in medical admissions. The President gave them back.
  • Stalin’s Attempts: The Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, 2021, was passed by CM M.K. Stalin’s government in 2021, with the goal of abolishing NEET and basing admissions on Class 12 grades for social justice.
  • Governor R.N. Ravi, who was opposed to the anti-NEET Bill, delayed its submission to the President, causing political problems.

Justice A.K. Rajan Committee

  • Committee Formation: The Justice A.K. Rajan Committee was formed in 2021 to evaluate the fairness of NEET medical admissions.
  • The committee criticised NEET for preferring repeaters and coached students while disadvantageous first-time applicants, resulting in lower admissions among marginalised groups.

Why is TN now enraged?

  • Medical course admissions fall within the Concurrent List (Entry 25), which allows governments to regulate on these issues.
  • Amending Central Laws: States may pass admissions laws and change central admissions rules as long as they do not violate legislative statutes.

Current Situation

  • Historic Public Health Practises: Retaining PG doctors was critical to Tamil Nadu’s public health infrastructure, demonstrating the state’s excellent healthcare practises.
  • Reconciling Uniformity and Fairness: The stalemate in the NEET programme demonstrates the difficulty of reconciling uniformity with local values and requirements.
  • Clash of Values: The issue highlights a greater struggle between centralization and local autonomy, highlighting deeper concerns in India about democracy, equality, and social justice.

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