Reorganising Andhra Pradesh


Recently, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister inaugurated 13 new districts, pointing out that the main objective was to take the administration to the people’s doorsteps.

  •  The total number of districts has gone up to 26; and Andhra Pradesh has 25 Lok Sabha constituencies.


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are Districts?
  2. Procedure for creation of new districts in India
  3. Why has the AP government set up new districts?
  4. Who will the new districts serve?
  5. What happened to the ‘three capitals’ plan?

What are Districts?

  • India’s districts are local administrative entities left over from the British Raj, and they usually fall below the subnational states and territories in terms of local governance.
  • A Deputy Commissioner/Collector is in charge of a district’s overall administration as well as the upkeep of law and order.
    • The district collector could be an IAS member (Indian Administrative Service).
  • Depending on the geography, districts are frequently subdivided into smaller administrative divisions known as tehsils, talukas, or mandals.

Procedure for creation of new districts in India

  • State governments have the authority to create new districts, change or abolish existing districts.
  • This can be accomplished through an executive order or a bill passed by the State Assembly.
Centre’ role:
  • The Centre has no say in alteration of districts or creation of new ones. States are free to make their own decisions.
  • When a state wants to rename a district or a railway station, it must go via the Home Ministry.
  • The State government will propose a new name to a district and forward the proposal to the Home ministry. The Home Ministry will forward the proposal to other departments.
  • After that, the departments such as the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Intelligence Bureau, Department of Posts, Geographical Survey of India Sciences, and the Railway Ministry, provide their clearance to the proposal of the state government.
  • After examination of their replies, the state government receives a no-objection certificate. Then the name of the district stand changed.

Why has the AP government set up new districts?

  • To take the administration to the grassroot level.
  • To take a substantial leap in efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • The government had received over 17,500 representations from the people and decided on the new districts by taking their demands into account.
  • Performance of collectors would be assessed on the basis of steps taken by them to achieve the goals.
  • The new districts are Parvathipuram Manyam, Alluri Sitharama Raju, Anakapalli, Kakinada, Konaseema, Eluru, NTR, Palnadu, Bapatla, Nandyal, Annamayya, Tirupati and Sri Satya Sai.

Who will the new districts serve?

  • As far as the new districts are concerned, the distance from the remote and border villages to the district headquarters has been reduced.
  • Each of the 26 districts now has six to eight Assembly constituencies — Andhra has 175 Assembly seats.
  • His assertion is that the new districts will be manageable, unlike the old ones, with an average population of 19.07 lakh each compared to the average of 38.15 lakh as per the 2011 Census.
  • He drew a comparison with Telangana among other States, saying it has 33 districts for a population of nearly 3.85 crore.
  • The Chief Minister said with a population of 4.90 crore as per the 2011 Census, Andhra required more districts.

What happened to the ‘three capitals’ plan?

  • The Chief Minister had also proposed ‘three capitals’ as a decentralisation move a few months after his party swept to power.
  • But after facing massive protests, the government scrapped the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, and AP Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Act, 2020, for the development of three capitals — Amaravati (legislative), Visakhapatnam (executive) and Kurnool (judicial).

Odisha’s Lingaraj Temple Ordinance


The Central government has told the Odisha government that its ordinance to bring the 11th-century Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar and its associated temples under a special law is outside the legislative competence of the state legislature. It also said the ordinance is in conflict with the rules laid down under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (AMASR Act).


GS I- Art and Architecture, GS II- Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Lingaraj Temple Ordinance, 2020
  2. Why has the Centre opposed the ordinance?
  3. Lingaraja Temple

Lingaraj Temple Ordinance, 2020

  • It was introduced to manage the rituals and other activities of the temple and eight other associated temples.
  • This was intended to be on similar lines of the special Act which manages the affairs of the Jagannath temple in Puri, one of the four dhams in India.
  • At present, the Lingaraj temple is being governed under the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowment Act.
  • The ordinance proposed the formation of Lingaraj Temple Managing Committee with a full-time administrator looking after day-to-day affairs of the shrine.
  • Under the Act, a fund creation was proposed to deposit income derived from immovable and movable properties of the temple.
  • The temple has around 1,500 acres in various parts of the state and the land in most of the places are under encroachment. 
  • The ordinance was passed by the state cabinet on December 15, 2020.
  • The ordinance vested the management of the temple in a 15-member committee that will administer the temple and its properties including temples outside the premises and mathas.
  • Since the Assembly was not in session, the new law was proposed to be enacted through an ordinance.

Why has the Centre opposed the ordinance?

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has said several sections of the proposed ordinance were in conflict with the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act.
    • The AMASR Act provides for preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • The ministry has pointed out that the state government has already violated the AMASR Act around Lingaraj temple by building modern structures.
  • The ministry contended that since the ordinance covers 12 centrally protected monuments including the Lingaraj temple and three tanks, it was outside the legislative competence of the state legislature as it violates the provisions of AMASR Act, 1958.
  • The ministry has further said that an independent Act vesting administrative powers to a managing committee, thus facilitating dual administrative authorities will result in conflict.

Lingaraja Temple

  • Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha.
  • The temple is the most prominent landmark of Bhubaneswar city and one of the major tourist attractions of the state.
  • The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar.
  • The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga architecture and culminating the medieval stages of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar.
  • The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers.
  • The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namely, vimana (structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor.
  • Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraja was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra) as noted in Ekamra Purana, a 13th-century Sanskrit treatise.
  • The temple is active in worship practises, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar and Shiva is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva.
  • Lingaraja temple is maintained by the Temple Trust Board and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Electoral bonds


Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has assured petitioners that the Supreme Court will take up for hearing a pending plea challenging the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018. Two NGOs — Common Cause and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) — have challenged the scheme, alleging that it is “distorting democracy”.


GS-II: Polity and Governance (Governance and Government Policies)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are Electoral Bonds?
  2. Why have they attracted criticism?
  3. Government’s response defending the Electoral Bonds scheme

What are Electoral Bonds?

  • An electoral bond is like a promissory note that can be bought by any Indian citizen or company incorporated in India from select branches of State Bank of India.
  • The citizen or corporate can then donate the same to any eligible political party of his/her choice.
  • The bonds are similar to bank notes that are payable to the bearer on demand and are free of interest.
  • An individual or party will be allowed to purchase these bonds digitally or through cheque.


  • The central criticism of the electoral bonds scheme is that it does the exact opposite of what it was meant to do: bring transparency to election funding.
  • For example, critics argue that the anonymity of electoral bonds is only for the broader public and opposition parties.
  • The fact that such bonds are sold via a government-owned bank (SBI) leaves the door open for the government to know exactly who is funding its opponents.
  • This, in turn, allows the possibility for the government of the day to either extort money, especially from the big companies, or victimise them for not funding the ruling party — either way providing an unfair advantage to the party in power.
  • Further, one of the arguments for introducing electoral bonds was to allow common people to easily fund political parties of their choice but more than 90% of the bonds have been of the highest denomination (Rs 1 crore).
  • Moreover, before the electoral bonds scheme was announced, there was a cap on how much a company could donate to a political party: 7.5 per cent of the average net profits of a company in the preceding three years. However, the government amended the Companies Act to remove this limit, opening the doors to unlimited funding by corporate India, critics argue.

Government’s response defending the Electoral Bonds scheme

  • The Government said that the Electoral Bond Scheme allowed anonymity to political donors to protect them from “political victimisation”. The earlier system of cash donations had raised a “concern among the donors that, with their identity revealed, there would be competitive pressure from different political parties receiving donation”.
  • The Ministry of Finance’s affidavit in the top court had dismissed the Election Commission’s version that the invisibility afforded to benefactors was a “retrogade step” and would wreck transparency in political funding.

Weapons of Mass Destruction


The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022 has been unanimously passed in Lok Sabha.


GS III- Security Challenges, GS II- Government Policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Need of the Amendment
  2. Weapons of Mass Destruction
  3. Control over use of WMDs

Need of the Amendment

  • The Bill seeks to amend The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005, to provide against the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in line with India’s international obligations.
  • The 2005 Act prohibited the manufacturing, transport, and transfer of weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery.
  • According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill, the need to amend the Act has arisen from the fact that “in recent times, regulations relating to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems by international organisations have expanded”, and “the United Nations Security Council’s targeted financial sanctions and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force have mandated against financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems”.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • While there is no single, authoritative definition of a WMD in international law, the expression is usually understood to cover nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons.
  • According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, “A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people.”
India’s 2005 WMD Act defines:
  • “Biological weapons” as “microbial or other biological agents, or toxins…of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; and weapons, equipment or delivery systems specially designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict”;
  • “Chemical weapons” as “toxic chemicals and their precursors” except where used for peaceful, protective, and certain specified military and law enforcement purposes; “munitions and devices specifically designed to cause death or other harm through the toxic properties of those toxic chemicals”; and any equipment specifically designed for use in connection with the employment of these munitions and devices.

Control over use of WMDs

  • The use of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons is regulated by a number of international treaties and agreements.
  • Among them are the Geneva Protocol, 1925, that banned the use of chemical and biological weapons; and the Biological Weapons Convention, 1972, and Chemical Weapons Convention, 1992, which put comprehensive bans on the biological and chemical weapons respectively.
  • India has signed and ratified both the 1972 and 1992 treaties. There are very few non-signatory countries to these treaties, even though several countries have been accused of non-compliance.

Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal


The Haryana Vidhan Sabha has passed a resolution seeking completion of the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (SYL) Canal, bringing back into focus the contentious issue of sharing of river waters between Haryana and Punjab.


GS-I: Geography (Drainage System in India, Projects to improve Irrigation), GS-II: Polity and Governance (Inter-State Relations)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal
  2. Sharing of river waters
  3. Punjab’s argument
  4. Sutlej / Satluj River
  5. Yamuna River

Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal

  • On April 8, 1982, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi launched the construction of the SYL Canal with a groundbreaking ceremony in Kapoori village in Patiala district.
  • A stretch of 214 km was to be constructed, out of which 122 km was to cross Punjab and 92 km in Haryana. But the Akalis launched an agitation in the form of Kapoori Morcha against the construction of the canal.
  • Then in July 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Akali Dal chief Sant Harchand Singh Longowal signed an accord agreeing for a new tribunal to assess the water.
  • On August 20, 1985, Longowal was killed by militants, less than a month for signing the accord.
  • In other violence, labourers were shot dead in Majat village near Chunni and Bharatgarh near Ropar.
  • The construction came to a halt. In the backdrop of these incidents, Punjab leaders has been cautioning the Centre not to rake up the issue again.
The tribunal
  • The Eradi Tribunal headed by Supreme Court Judge V Balakrishna Eradi was set up to reassess availability and sharing of water.
  • In 1987, the tribunal recommended an increase in the shares of Punjab and Haryana to 5 MAF and 3.83 MAF, respectively.

Sharing of river waters

  • The canal, once completed, will enable sharing of the waters of the rivers Ravi and Beas between the two states.
  • The issue dates back to 1966 at the time of reorganisation of Punjab and formation of Haryana was formed.
  • Punjab was opposed to sharing the waters of the two rivers with Haryana, citing riparian principles.
The shares
  • A decade before the formation of Haryana, the water flowing down Ravi and Beas was assessed at 15.85 million acre feet (MAF) per year.
  • The Union government had organised a meeting in 1955 between the three stake-holders — Rajasthan, undivided Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir — and allotted 8 MAF per year to Rajasthan, 7.20 MAF to undivided Punjab and 0.65 MAF to J&K.
  • A decade after reorganisation, the Centre issued a notification allocating 3.5 MAF to Haryana out of the 7.2 MAF allotted to Punjab before reorganisation.
  • In a reassessment in 1981, the water flowing down Beas and Ravi was estimated at 17.17 MAF, of which 4.22 MAF was allocated to Punjab, 3.5 MAF to Haryana, and 8.6 MAF to Rajasthan.

Punjab’s argument

  • As per a state government study, many areas in Punjab may go dry after 2029.
  • The state has already over-exploited its groundwater for irrigation purposes as it fills granaries of the Centre by growing wheat and paddy worth Rs 70,000 crore every year.
  • As per reports, water in about 79% of the state’s area is over-exploited.
  • Out of 138 blocks, 109 blocks are “over-exploited”, two blocks are “critical” five blocks are “semi-critical” and only 22 blocks are in “safe” category.
  • In such a situation, the government says sharing water with any other state is impossible.
  • Haryana has been staking claim to the Ravi-Beas waters through the SYL Canal on the plea that providing water for irrigation was a tough task for the state.
  • In southern parts, where underground water had depleted up to 1700 feet, there was a problem of drinking water.
  • Haryana has been citing its contribution to the central food pool and arguing that it is being denied its rightful share in the water as assessed by a tribunal.

Sutlej / Satluj River

  • The Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroads region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan.
  • It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River.
  • The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, and are mostly diverted to irrigation canals in India.
  • It has several major hydroelectric points, including the 1,325 MW Bhakra Dam, the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Plant, and the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Dam.
  • The drainage basin is mainly in India’s Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana states.
  • The source of the Sutlej is west of the catchment area of Lake Rakshastal in Tibet, as springs in an ephemeral stream.
See the source image

Yamuna River

  • The river Yamuna, a significant tributary of the Ganges, flows from the Yamunotri glacier near the Bandarpoonch peaks in the Mussoorie range of the lower Himalayas, at an elevation of around 6387 metres above mean sea level in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district.
  • After flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi, it meets the Ganges at the Sangam (where the Kumbh mela is held) in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.
  • 1376 kilometres in length
  • Dams of note include the Lakhwar-Vyasi Dam in Uttarakhand and the Tajewala Barrage Dam in Haryana.
  • Chambal, Sindh, Betwa, and Ken are important tributaries.

Asian Development Outlook Report


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts has provided some useful insights about India’s GDP growth.


GS III- Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  2. Highlights of the ADB Outlook Report 2022

About Asian Development Bank (ADB):

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966 to promote social and economic development in Asia.
  • It is headquartered in the city of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.
  • The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank and an official United Nations Observer.
  • Japan holds the largest proportion of shares in ADB followed by the USA, and it has a weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions (just like the World Bank).
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries.
  • ADB defines itself as a social development organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
  • ADB aids in reducing poverty through investments in the form of loans, grants and information sharing (in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems), helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.

Highlights of the ADB Outlook Report 2022

  • From an expected 8.9% in 2021-22, India’s GDP growth would moderate to 7.5 percent in 2022-23.
  • It has taken into account the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on India, which would be mostly indirect due to rising oil prices.
  • Increased vaccination rates would reduce the severity of the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • Increased public capital spending is expected to boost India’s logistics infrastructure’s efficiency, attract private investment, create construction employment, and sustain growth.


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