Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

Mains Question for UPSC Aspirants

09 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-1 ANCIENT HISTORY        
Question : Q. Discuss the main features of the Stupa architecture with special reference to Sanchi Stupa.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with what is Stupa ands purpose
  • Discuss its three fundamental features 
  • Highlight how Stupa architecture gradually developed and who built stupas? 
  • Talk about the Mauryan emperor Ashoka and the Great Stupa at Sanchi

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08 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-1 ANCIENT HISTORY      
Question : Q. Analyse the evolution of social institutions in the Vedic period.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with the social structure of Vedic society
  • Discuss about fixed social boundaries, roles, status and ritual purity for each of the groups.
  • Highlight the social stratification of the early Vedic period 
  • Talk about Varna System and Ashramas or Stages of life

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07 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-1 ART & CULTURE      
Question : Q. Underline the religious features of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with the religion and belief system of the Indus Valley people
  • Discuss about terracotta figurines excavated from Indus Valley Civilization
  • Highlight the Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro to be a forerunner of ritual bathing
  • Conclude with the Indus Valley polytheistic religion and discuss about many seals to support the evidence of the Indus Valley Gods

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06 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-2 SOCIAL ISSUES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE      
Question : Q. Examine the challenges in higher education in India even after adoption of New Education Policy.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with presenting some data ranking of Indian Universities in the world . 
  • Discuss some challenges in higher education in India.
  • By highlighting the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, discuss the associated challenges in higher education in India.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion.

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Since independence, India as a developing nation is contentiously progressing in the education field. Although there have been a lot of challenges to the higher education system of India, but equally have a lot of opportunities to overcome these challenges and to make the higher education system much better.
It has now become an annual ritual in India to discuss the international rankings of higher education institutions (HEI) only when global ranking systems such as the coveted QS World University Rankings are announced.
While it is heartening to see that the number of Indian institutes among the top 1,000 globally has risen to 27 from 22 last year, and that the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, has moved up 31 places to emerge as the highest ranked Indian institute in the 2023 edition, there is no serious debate on the abysmal performance of Indian universities barring the Institutes of Eminence (IOE).

Challenges in Higher Education in India:
  • Inadequate financial support provided by State governments to State HEIs: the financial support provided by State governments to State HEIs is far from adequate even though the number of under-graduate students is largest in State public universities (13,97,527) followed by State open universities (9,22,944) of the total students’ enrollment. State-sponsored HEIs barely manage to pay salaries and pensions.
  • Enrolment: The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of India in higher education is only 15% which is quite low as compared to the developed as well as, other developing countries.
  • Faculty: Faculty shortages and the inability of the state educational system to attract and retain well qualified teachers have been posing challenges to quality education for many years. The lackadaisical attitude we see in filling up faculty positions has further worsened the quality of teaching and research in HEIs.
  • Step-motherly treatment to State-sponsored HEIs: the State-funded HEIs would not perform well in these rankings was a forgone conclusion. It is a consequence of the unequal and unfair system in the Indian higher education system, where State-sponsored HEIs are provided step-motherly treatment and positioned poorly vis-à-vis centrally funded institutions.
  • Equity: There is no equity in GER among different sects of the society.
  • Quality:  Ensuring quality in higher education is amongst the foremost challenges being faced in India today. However, the Government is continuously focusing on quality education. A large number of colleges and universities in India are unable to meet the minimum requirements laid down by the UGC and our universities are not in a position to mark their place among the top universities of the world.
  • Infrastructure: Poor infrastructure is another challenge to the higher education system of India.  While the number of universities increased by almost 30.5% in 2019-20 compared to 2015-16, academic and administrative infrastructure has not been strengthened commensurate with this growth.
  • Research and Innovation: there are very nominal scholars in our country whose writing is cited by famous western authors. There is inadequate focus on research in higher education institutes.  Indian Higher education institutions are poorly connected to research centers.
  • Structure of higher education: Management of Indian education faces challenges of overcentralisation, bureaucratic structures and lack of accountability, transparency, and professionalism. As a result of the increase in the number of affiliated colleges and students, the burden of administrative functions of universities has significantly increased and the core focus on academics and research is diluted.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and challenges in higher education in India:
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has envisaged all HEIs to become multidisciplinary institutions by 2040. The aim is to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education, including vocational education, from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035.
The NEP also aims to ensure that by 2030, there is at least one large multidisciplinary HEI in or near every district. This means that single-stream specialised institutions will eventually be phased out.

Multidisciplinary institutions vs single-stream specialised institutions
Prominent multidisciplinary universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, the University of Hyderabad, and Jamia Millia Islamia have slipped in the QS World University Rankings should compel national think tanks to revisit the NEP’s proposal in this regard.
A close study of the QS World University Rankings reveals that single-stream specialised HEIs such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and IISc have performed better than their multidisciplinary counterparts.
  • A plan in the NEP for multidisciplinary education and research universities is also being contemplated in order to achieve the highest global standards in quality education. The idea of converting a specialised institution into a multi-faculty university does not seem to augur well for an economy driven by specialist professionals.
  • Converting all HEIs into multidisciplinary institutions is not an idea that holds water given the unique conditions and demands in India. No study or data support the idea of transforming specialised institutions into multidisciplinary/multi-faculty universities either. A ‘one size fits all’ approach may not be of help to India.
The need of the hour is to build and develop our higher education system while taking into account Indian conditions and market demands. No ranking system seems to rationally rank institutions after examining their administrative challenges, infrastructural constraints and financial predicaments; they only pay attention to performance metrics based on academic strengths and other achievements.
For India to perform better on these rankings, we need to pay more attention to the State HEIs.
No doubt India is facing various challenges in higher education, but to tackle these challenges and to boost higher education is utmost important. India is a country of huge human resource potential, to utilise this potential properly is the issue which needs to be discussed.

Source: The Hindu

05 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY     
Question : Q. How nutritional deficiency needs to be tackled? Discuss with ongoing initiatives and suggested improvements.

Decode the Question:
  • Start with presenting some data about the malnutrition status of India. 
  • Discuss some ongoing initiatives associated with Nutritional deficiency such as POSHAN Abhiyaan,  Mid-Day Meal Scheme etc.
  • Suggest some measures to improve Nutritional deficiency.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion.

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It is disconcerting that even after seven decades of Independence, India is afflicted by public health issues such as child malnutrition (35.5% stunted, 67.1% anaemic) attributing to 68.2% of under-five child mortality.
Poor nutrition not only adversely impacts health and survival but also leads to diminished learning capacity, and poor school performance. And in adulthood, it means reduced earnings and increased risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Ongoing initiatives and Nutritional deficiency:
POSHAN Abhiyaan and Nutritional deficiencies:
  • The Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition or POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission (NNM) has the objective of reducing malnutrition in women, children and adolescent girls.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child (MWCD) is the nodal Ministry implementing the NNM. The programme through the targets will strive to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight babies.
  • It will create synergy, ensure better monitoring, issue alerts for timely action, and encourage States/UTs to perform, guide and supervise the line Ministries and States/UTs to achieve the targeted goals. POSHAN Abhiyaan (now referred as POSHAN 2.0) rightly places a special emphasis on selected high impact essential nutrition interventions, combined with nutrition-sensitive interventions, which indirectly impact mother, infant and young child nutrition, such as improving coverage of maternal-child health services, enhancing women empowerment, availability, and access to improved water, sanitation, and hygiene and enhancing homestead food production for a diversified diet.
Child undernutrition and practice of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF):
  • Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 2019-21, as compared to NFHS-4 2015-16, reveals that the country has not progressed well in terms of direct nutrition interventions.
  • India has 20% to 30% undernutrition even in the first six months of life when exclusive breastfeeding is the only nourishment required. Despite a policy on infant and young child feeding, and a ban on sale of commercial milk for infant feeding, there has only been a marginal improvement in the practice of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF). Child undernutrition in the first three months remains high.
  • Creating awareness on EBF, promoting the technique of appropriate holding, latching and manually emptying the breast are crucial for the optimal transfer of breast milk to a baby.
  • Recent evidence from the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IIT Mumbai team indicates that well-planned breastfeeding counselling given to pregnant women during antenatal checkup prior to delivery and in follow up frequent home visits makes a significant difference. The daily weight gain of a baby was noted to average 30 to 35 grams per day and underweight prevalence rate reduced by almost two thirds.
Protein Deficiency and Mid-Day Meal Scheme:
  • Pulses are a major contributor to address protein hunger. The Mid-Day Meal Scheme aims to enhance the nutrition of school children by providing a balanced diet in schools.
Micronutrient Deficiency and Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals (Millets):
  • The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing a Sub-Mission on Nutri-Cereals (Millets) under National Food Security Mission (NFSM). The Millets are a rich source of Protein, Fibre, Minerals, Iron, Calcium and have a low glycemic index.
Suggested improvements:
Awareness at the right time with the right tools and techniques: Need to create an awareness at the right time with the right tools and techniques regarding special care in the first 1,000 days deserves very high priority. We must act now and invest finances and energy in a mission mode.
  • Overhauling POSHAN 2.0 flows: There is a pressing need to revisit the system spearheading POSHAN 2.0 and overhaul it to remove any flaws in its implementation.
  • Revisiting Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS): There is a need to revisit the nodal system for nutrition programme existing since 1975, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) under the Ministry of Women and Child and examine whether it is the right system for reaching mother-child in the first 1000 days of life.
  • Nutrition orientation of Public Distribution (PDS): There is also a need to explore whether there is an alternative way to distribute the ICDS supplied supplementary nutrition as Take- Home Ration packets through the Public Distribution (PDS).
  • Empowering the anganwadi workers: free the anganwadi workers of the ICDS to undertake timely counselling on appropriate maternal and child feeding practices.
  • Develop integrated system: There is a need to systematically review the status and develop and test a new system that would combine the human resource of ICDS and health from village to the district and State levels. This would address the mismatch that exists on focussing on delivery of services in the first 1000 days of life for preventing child undernutrition by having an effective accountable system.
It is time to think out of the box and overcome systemic flaws and our dependence on the antiquated system of the 1970s that is slowing down the processes. Moreover, mass media or TV shows could organise discourses on care in the first 1,000 days to reach mothers outside the public health system.
Governance can be termed ‘good’ only when it banishes hunger and starvation.
The poor must also be valued like the rest of the population since attaching less value to their lives is one unstated reason why their nutritional needs are not taken care of as they should be.
The dream of a New India cannot be built on a large population of children and mothers deprived of nutritional sufficiency.

Source: The Hindu

05 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Q. What is the rationale behind recent wheat and food products export bans? How does it affect inflation globally and within the domestic economy?

Decode the Question:
  • Start with the recent developments world wide that have an impact on food supply. 
  • Discuss the rationale behind recent export bans by taking the case of India’s wheat ban.
  • Discuss the relationship of these export bans with inflation.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion by citing negative impacts of such bans.

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The double whammy of the Russian war on Ukraine and changing climate poses a serious threat of food insecurity to several countries in Asia and Africa. The UN’s World Food Programme estimates that about 44 million people in 38 countries are already at ‘emergency levels of hunger’. Amidst rising global food prices, a number of countries have banned export of agricultural commodities.
As of May 29, 2022, 18 countries (excluding Russia and Ukraine) have imposed bans on exports of various commodities like wheat, pasta, corn, chicken and vegetable oils.
India has banned the export of wheat to check the potential rise in prices in the face of low procurement and there are reports suggesting that the government is mulling a ban on rice exports to tame inflation.

Rationale behind recent export bans:
  • Food security: soaring global wheat prices have put pressure on food security, not only in India, but also in neighbouring and vulnerable nations.
  • Buffer stock: Because of the sharp rise in global prices, some farmers were selling to traders and not to the government. This got the government worried about its buffer stock of almost 20 million tonnes -- depleted by the pandemic -- needed for handouts to millions of poor families and to avert any possible famine.
  • Taming Inflation: The rising inflation also prompted this step. The WholeSale Price Index (WPI) in India has moved up from 2.26 per cent at the start of 2022 to 14.55 now. Retail inflation, too, hit an eight-year high of 7.79 per cent in April, driven by rising food and fuel prices.
  • Decrease in Production: India put this ban in the wake of an extraordinary heat wave that had severely damaged the domestic wheat harvest.
Export ban and Inflation:
By doing so, the government's idea is to tame inflation in India. This export ban is a pre-emptive step and may prevent local wheat prices from rising substantially. However, in May, the consumer price index (CPI) inflation was 7.04 per cent (YoY).
The cereals group as a whole contributed only 6.6 per cent to this inflation. Within that, wheat, other than through PDS, contributed just 3.11 per cent and non-PDS rice contributed 1.59 per cent. So, by imposing a ban on wheat and rice exports, India can’t tame its inflation as more than 95 percent of CPI inflation is due to other items.
The Ukraine-Russia war has led to a slump in wheat production from a region known as the world’s bread basket. Russia and Ukraine together account for 25% of the world’s wheat exports.
It has led to a hike in prices of wheat and supply side glitches.
India is the world’s second largest wheat producer and one of its biggest consumers.
When the government decided to ban wheat exports in the face of climbing prices, there were many protests from the international community. In Asia, except for Australia and India, most other economies depend on imported wheat for domestic consumption and are at risk from higher wheat prices globally, even if they do not directly import from India.
Same is the case of Sugar. Similarly, Indonesia’s palm oil export ban has a significant impact on India’s economy.  Prices of edible oil hiked in India. It poses challenges to curtail inflation.
The recently concluded WTO ministerial meeting as well as the G-7 meet expressed concerns about food security in vulnerable nations. Abrupt export bans inflict high costs on poorer nations, and many millions fall below the poverty line as a result of such actions by a few.
If India wants to be a globally responsible player, it should avoid sudden and abrupt bans and, if need be, filter them through transparent export taxes to recover its large subsidies on power and fertilisers.

04 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-2 GOVERNANCE      
Question :
Q. Discuss the reasons for the National Investigation Agency establishment. How is it convinced in the federal structure of India?

Decode the Question:
  • Start with the background of NIA and its functions. 
  • Discuss the reasons for establishment of the National Investigation Agency.
  • Discuss the role/function in the federal structure of India.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion by citing recent cases of NIA.

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The NIA was constituted in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in November 2008. The agency came into existence on December 31, 2008 and started its functioning in 2009.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was constituted in 2009 under the provisions of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 (NIA Act).
It is the central counter-terrorism law enforcement agency in the country. The NIA is a central agency which investigates all offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, and the offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties.
The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country. These include terror acts and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and infiltration from across the borders. The agency has the power to search, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in such offences.
Reasons for establishment of National Investigation Agency:
  • Large-scale terrorism sponsored from across the borders: Over the past several years, India has been the victim of large-scale terrorism sponsored from across the borders. terrorist attacks and bomb blasts, etc., in various parts of the hinterland and major cities, etc. prepare a ground for a specialised agency.
  • Chain of crimes: A large number of such incidents are found to have complex inter-state and international linkages, and possible connection with other activities like the smuggling of arms and drugs, pushing in and circulation of fake Indian currency, infiltration from across the borders, etc. Keeping all these in view, it was felt that there was a need for setting up of an agency at the central level for the investigation of offences related to terrorism and certain other Acts, which have national ramifications.
  • Recommendations: Several expert committees and the Second Administrative Reforms Commission have also made recommendations for establishing such an agency.
  • Specific cases under specific Acts for investigation: The Government after due consideration and examination of the issues involved, proposed to enact a legislation to make provisions for establishment of a National Investigation Agency in a concurrent jurisdiction framework, with provisions for taking up specific cases under specific Acts for investigation.
Federal structure of India and NIA:
Initially, it was envisioned that the NIA would deal with only eight laws mentioned in the schedule and that a balance had been struck between the right of the State and duties of the Central government to investigate the more important cases.
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
The list includes:
  • the Explosive Substances Act,
  • Atomic Energy Act,
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,
  • Anti-Hijacking Act,
  • Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act,
  • SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act,
  • Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act,
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act and relevant offences under the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Information Technology Act.
In September 2020, the Centre empowered the NIA to also probe offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that are connected to terror cases.
As provided under Section 6 of the Act, State governments can refer the cases pertaining to the scheduled offences registered at any police station to the Central government (Union Home Ministry) for NIA investigation.
After assessing the details made available, the Centre can then direct the agency to take over the case. State governments are required to extend all assistance to the NIA.
Even when the Central government is of the opinion that a scheduled offence has been committed which is required to be investigated under the Act, it may, suo motu, direct the agency to take up/over the probe.
Where the Central government finds that a scheduled offence has been committed at any place outside India to which this Act extends, it can also direct the NIA to register the case and take up investigation. While investigating any scheduled offence, the agency can also investigate any other offence which the accused is alleged to have committed if the offence is connected to the scheduled offence.
To deal with cases like executed murder of Kanhaiyya Lal in Rajasthan's Udaipur and Umesh Kolhe at Amravati in Maharashtra, where mass public sentiments are attached, the role of agencies like NIA became significant.
In the growing hate and terrorism environment across the globe, NIA can be a vital tool for India. Power to probe offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that are connected to terror cases, further strengthen the NIA.
Source: The Hindu

04 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 INDIAN ECONOMY      
Question : Q. In the context of decarbonizing the economy, discuss the importance of the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.

Decode the Question:
  • In Introduction,  recent developments regarding decarbonizing the economy should be discussed. 
  • Discuss the importance of the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.
  • Provide a suitable conclusion. 

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During the Global Mobility Summit held in September 2018, Prime Minister had outlined a vision for the future of mobility in India based on the 7 C’s: Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge mobility.
Mobility has the potential to drive our economy forward and positively impact the lives of citizens, both in urban and rural areas. With recent climate change, India has made various efforts to decarbonize its the economy. The country is strengthening its policies for climate action and emerging as a global leader, whether by keeping energy transition as one of the four high priority agendas in the Union Budget 2022 or setting ambitious targets at the 26th Conference of Parties to decarbonise the economy.
National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage is the framework for a Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP), aimed at localising the production of electric vehicles (EV) and its components within the country is an important mission.
Importance of the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage:
  • Promotion to Electric vehicles in India: The Mission will provide mobility solutions that will bring in significant benefits to the Electric vehicle industry, economy and country. The Mission will recommend and drive the strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes for Electric Vehicles, EV Components and Batteries.
  • Solution to Air Pollution in Cities: This mission will help in improving air quality in cities.
  • Reducing oil import dependence: It will help in reducing India’s oil import dependence and enhance the uptake of renewable energy and storage solutions.
  • Development of domestic manufacturing ecosystem: The Mission will lay down the strategy and roadmap which will enable India to leverage upon its size and scale to develop a competitive domestic manufacturing ecosystem for electric mobility.
  • Improve quality of life: It will deliver societal and environmental benefits that will improve quality of life for citizens.
  • Employment generation: It will also provide employment opportunities through ‘Make-in-India’ across a range of skills.
The Indian off-grid energy storage market is expected to expand exponentially as the country aims to fulfil 50 per cent of its energy demands from renewable sources by 2030, resulting in high demand for storage batteries.
India wants to further increase the demand for storage batteries. Hence, it plans to have electric vehicle (EV) sales penetration of 30 per cent for private vehicles, 70 per cent for commercial vehicles, 40 per cent for buses and 80 per cent for two and three-wheelers by 2030.
In achieving such ambitious targets, the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage can play a vital role.

04 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-3 ECOLOGY & ENVIRONMENT     
Question :
Q. How does the renewable revolution help in mitigating the climate crisis and strengthening energy security?

Decode the Question:
  • Start the Introduction with the current situation of climate leading to the need for a renewable revolution . 
  • Discuss the role of renewable revolution in helping to mitigate the climate crisis and strengthening energy security.
  • Conclude with providing a way forward. 

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As the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ripples across the globe, the response of some nations to the growing energy crisis has been to double down on fossil fuels, pouring billions more dollars into the coal, oil and gas that are deepening the climate emergency.
Meanwhile, all climate indicators continue to break records, forecasting a future of ferocious storms, floods, droughts, wildfires and unliveable temperatures in vast swathes of the planet.
Fossil fuels are not the answer, nor will they ever be. In such a scenario, renewable revolution can help in mitigating the climate crisis and strengthening energy security.

In mitigation of Climate crisis: 
Fossil fuels are the cause of the climate crisis. Renewable energy can limit climate disruption and boost energy security. Renewables are the peace plan of the 21st century. The only true path to energy security, stable power prices, prosperity and a liveable planet lies in abandoning polluting fossil fuels and accelerating the renewables-based energy transition.
Renewables could supply four-fifths of the world’s electricity by 2050, massively cutting carbon emissions and helping to mitigate climate change.
Mitigating the effects of climate change will require us not only to reduce our future emissions of greenhouse gases but also capture some of the carbon already in the atmosphere.
Renewable energy development helps us achieve the first objective – reducing future emissions.  For example, hydropower instead of traditional fossil fuels has contributed to the avoidance of more than 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past 50 years alone. That’s roughly equivalent to the total annual carbon footprint of the United States for 20 years.
With increasing amounts of renewable energy penetrating energy markets, the number of avoided emissions will only continue to grow.

Strengthening Energy Security: 
Global geopolitics may threaten energy security. In this vein, renewable energy is considered a potential game changer in energy security. Key geopolitical actors (the United States, Russia, China, Germany, and Denmark) have increased electricity production from renewable energy by a combination of different renewable sources.
Despite any social acceptability issues and negative environmental impacts, renewable energy will help countries become more energy secure. At the same time, they will make themselves more resistant to geopolitical strife and more independent of the vagaries of fossil fuel markets.
While oil and gas prices have reached record price levels, renewables are getting cheaper all the time. The cost of solar energy and batteries has plummeted 85 per cent over the past decade. The cost of wind power fell by 55 per cent. And investment in renewables creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels.
As we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, the benefits will be vast, and not just to the climate.
Energy prices will be lower and more predictable, with positive knock-on effects for food and economic security. When energy prices rise, so do the costs of food and all the goods we rely on. So, let us all agree that a rapid renewables revolution is necessary and stop fiddling while our future burns.

Way Forward:
Making renewable energy technology a global public good, including removing intellectual property barriers to technology transfer, improving global access to supply chains for renewable energy technologies, components and raw materials, cutting the red tape that holds up solar and wind projects by making fast-track approvals and more effort to modernise electricity grids are necessary steps.
The world must shift energy subsidies from fossil fuels to protect vulnerable people from energy shocks and invest in a just transition to a sustainable future.
Triple investments in renewables which includes multilateral development banks and development finance institutions, as well as commercial banks is a prerequisite for renewable revolution. For climate action, energy security, and providing clean electricity to the hundreds of millions of people who currently lack it, renewable revolution is a hope.

Source: Indian Express

03 Jul 2022 gs-mains-paper-2 GOVERNANCE     
Question : Q. Consumer rights are more important than ever in present governance. Discuss the legal and executive safeguarding to control misleading advertisements.

Decode the Question:
  • Start the Introduction with consumer rights and responsibilities.
  • Talk about the Consumer Protection Act 
  • Discuss the issues around the two domains in present time governance are important for Consumer rights: e-commerce and Misleading Advertisements.
  • Highlight the guidelines of ‘Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’ notified by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)
  • Provide a suitable conclusion.

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Consumer Protection has a wide agenda. It not only includes educating consumers about their rights and responsibilities, but also helps in getting their grievances redressed.
The Consumer Protection Act provides for six rights of consumers. The consumer protection councils set up under the Act are intended to promote and protect the various rights of consumers.
These rights include:
  • Right to Safety,
  • Right to be Informed,
  • Right to Choose,
  • Right to be Heard,
  • Right to seek Redressal and
  • Right to Consumer Education. 
Good governance refers to transparency, accountability and participation. The two domains in present time governance are important for Consumer rights:
  • e-commerce:  Consumer protection is a burning issue in e-commerce throughout the globe. The technological advances, internet penetration, massive use of smartphones and social media penetration led to e-commerce growth. The rapid e-commerce development has brought about new distribution methods. It has provided new opportunities for consumers, forcing consumers vulnerable to new forms of unfair trade and unethical business. Further, the government's measures to protect consumer rights, particularly online consumers, are inadequate. Hence, the government enacted the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 and made them effective from July 2020.
  • Misleading Advertisements: Consumers witnessed a change in advertisements during the pandemic. Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (, which is run by the Department of Consumers Affairs, over 6000 complaints of misleading advertisements were received by the platform from 2019 to 2021. Consumers have been complaining that in many instances even celebrities and influencers, knowingly or unknowingly, are seen making unsubstantiated claims about such products. Sensodyne advertisements and Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd matters highlight the greater need of consumer protection.
Therefore, Consumer rights are more important than ever in present governance.
On June 9, 2022, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) notified guidelines for ‘Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022’. The guidelines, brought in with immediate effect, are applicable to all forms of advertisements.

Legal and executive safeguarding to control misleading advertisements:
  • Penalty: While the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 does have a provision on misleading advertisements, the CCPA can impose a penalty of up to ₹10 lakh on manufacturers, advertisers and endorsers for misleading advertisements and a penalty of up to ₹50 lakh for subsequent contraventions.
  • Endorsement Prohibition: It can also prohibit the endorser of a misleading advertisement from making any endorsement for up to one year; for subsequent contravention, prohibition can extend up to three years.
  • Forbid advertisements from exaggerating the features of product or service: The guidelines forbid advertisements from exaggerating the features of product or service in such manner as to lead children to have unrealistic expectations of such product or service and claim any health or nutritional claims or benefits without being adequately and scientifically substantiated by a recognized body.
  • Disclaimers: Since the disclaimers in advertisements play a pivotal role from consumer perspective since, in a way it limits the responsibility of the company, the guidelines stipulates that disclaimer should not attempt to hide material information with respect to any claim made in such advertisement, the omission or absence of which is likely to make the advertisement deceptive or conceal its commercial intent and should not attempt to correct a misleading claim made in an advertisement.
  • Foreign professionals’ restrictions: Where Indian professionals are barred under any law from making endorsement in any advertisement, foreign professionals of such profession are not permitted to make endorsement in such ads.
The guidelines aim to protect consumers interest through bringing in more transparency and clarity in the way advertisements are being published, so that consumers are able to make informed decisions based on facts rather than false narratives and exaggerations.

Source: The Hindu