Green Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future?


At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas said India will emerge as the leader of green hydrogen by taking advantage of the current energy crisis across the globe.


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is green hydrogen?
  2. Why is India pursuing green hydrogen?
  3. How much green hydrogen is India producing?
  4. Advantages of hydrogen as a fuel
  5. Green Hydrogen Disadvantages

What is green hydrogen?

  • A colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic and highly combustible gaseous substance, hydrogen is the lightest, simplest and most abundant member of the family of chemical elements in the universe.
  • But a colour — green — prefixed to it makes hydrogen the “fuel of the future”.
  • The ‘green’ depends on how the electricity is generated to obtain the hydrogen, which does not emit greenhouse gas when burned.
  • Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis using renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind or hydel power.
  • Hydrogen can be ‘grey’ and ‘blue’ too.
    • Grey hydrogen is generated through fossil fuels such as coal and gas and currently accounts for 95% of the total production in South Asia.
    • Blue hydrogen, too, is produced using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels but with technologies to prevent the carbon released in the process from entering the atmosphere.

Green Hydrogen Importance

  • Hydrogen is being used across the United States, Russia, China, France and Germany. Countries like Japan desire to become a hydrogen economy in future.
  • Green hydrogen can in future be used for
    • Electricity and drinking water generation, energy storage, transportation etc. 
    • Green hydrogen can be used to provide water to the crew members in space stations.
    • Energy storage- Compressed hydrogen tanks can store the energy longer and are easier to handle than lithium-ion batteries as they are lighter.
    • Transport and mobility- Hydrogen can be used in heavy transport, aviation and maritime transport.

Why is India pursuing green hydrogen?

  • Under the Paris Agreement (a legally binding international treaty on climate change with the goal of limiting global warming to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels) of 2015, India is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 33-35% from the 2005 levels.
  • At the 2021 Conference of Parties in Glasgow, India reiterated its commitment to move from a fossil and import-dependent economy to a net-zero economy by 2070.
  • India’s average annual energy import bill is more than $100 billion and the increased consumption of fossil fuel has made the country a high carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter, accounting for nearly 7% of the global CO2 burden.
  • In order to become energy independent by 2047, the government stressed the need to introduce green hydrogen as an alternative fuel that can make India the global hub and a major exporter of hydrogen.
  • The National Hydrogen Mission was launched on August 15, 2021, with a view to cutting down carbon emissions and increasing the use of renewable sources of energy.

How much green hydrogen is India producing?

India has just begun to generate green hydrogen with the objective of raising non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts by 2030.

India’s first 99.99% pure green hydrogen pilot plant:
  • Recently, the public sector OIL, which is headquartered in eastern Assam’s Duliajan, set up India’s first 99.99% pure green hydrogen pilot plant in keeping with the goal of “making the country ready for the pilot-scale production of hydrogen and its use in various applications” while “research and development efforts are ongoing for a reduction in the cost of production, storage and the transportation” of hydrogen.
  • The plant was set up at the petroleum exploration major’s Jorhat pump station, also in eastern Assam.
  • Powered by a 500 KW solar plant, the green hydrogen unit has an installed capacity to produce 10 kg of hydrogen per day and scale it up to 30 kg per day.
  • A specialised blender has also been installed for blending green hydrogen produced from the unit with the natural gas supplied by the Assam Gas Corporation Limited and supplying the blended gas to the Jorhat area for domestic and industrial use.

Advantages of hydrogen as a fuel

  • The intermittent nature of renewable energy, especially wind, leads to grid instability.
  • Green hydrogen can be stored for long periods of time.
  • The stored hydrogen can be used to produce electricity using fuel cells.
  • In a fuel cell, a device that converts the energy of a chemical into electricity, hydrogen gas reacts with oxygen to produce electricity and water vapour.
  • Hydrogen, thus, can act as an energy storage device and contribute to grid stability.
  • Renewable developers see green hydrogen as an emerging market and some have targeted the transport sector, although electric vehicles have begun to catch the imagination of consumers today.

Green Hydrogen Disadvantages

  • Renewable sources, which would be used to generate green hydrogen through electrolysis, are extremely expensive currently taking the cost of the whole production to sky heights. 
  • The production of green hydrogen requires more energy than other fuels.
  • Green hydrogen is an extremely volatile and flammable element.  It needs extensive safety measures to prevent leakage and explosions.

Recognition of Sex Work as a Profession


Recently, in a significant order, Supreme Court has recognised sex work as a “profession” and observed that its practitioners are entitled to dignity and equal protection under law.


GS II- Social Justice

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. Highlights of the Supreme Court Judgment
  3. Challenges faced by Sex worker


  • The court invoked its special powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. 
    • Article 142 provides discretionary power to the Supreme Court as it states that the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.
  • In 2020, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recognised sex workers as informal workers.

Highlights of the Supreme Court Judgment

Equal Protection under law:

  • Sex workers are entitled to equal protection of the law.
  • Criminal law must apply equally in all cases on the basis of age and consent.
  • When it is clear that the sex worker is an adult and is participating with consent, the police must refrain from interfering or taking any criminal action.
  • It need not be gainsaid that notwithstanding the profession, every individual in this country has the right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution
  • The bench also ordered that sex workers should not be arrested, penalised, harassed, or victimised in raids on brothels since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful.

Child of a Sex Worker:

  • The child of a sex worker should not be separated from the mother merely on the ground that she is in the sex trade
  • Basic protection of human decency and dignity extends to sex workers and their children


  • Further, if a minor is found living in a brothel or with sex workers, it should not be presumed that the child was trafficked.

Discrimination by the police:

  • It has been noticed that the attitude of the police to sex workers is often brutal and violent.
    • It is as if they are a class whose rights are not recognised
  • The court also ordered the police to not discriminate against sex workers who lodge a complaint, especially if the offence committed against them is of sexual nature.
  • Sex workers who are victims of sexual assault should be provided with every facility, including immediate medico-legal care.

Media’s Role:

  • Utmost care to not reveal the identities of sex workers, during arrest, raid and rescue operations, whether as victims or accused and not publish or telecast any photo that would result in disclosure of such identities

Protection against forceful sex work

  • The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986 is an amendment of the original act.
  • As per this act, prostitutes are to be arrested if they are found soliciting their services or seducing others.
  • Furthermore, call girls are prohibited from making their phone numbers public.
  • They can be punished for up to 6 months along with penalties if found doing so.

Challenges faced by Sex worker

  • Sex workers have no rights, and people who conduct such job face prejudice because of their criminal status.
  • These people are despised and have no place in society, and their landlords and even the law frequently punish them cruelly.
  • Their quest for equal human, health, and labour rights continues because they are not considered to be in the same category as other workers.
  • Sex workers are frequently subjected to a variety of abuses, ranging from physical to mental assaults.
  • Clients, their own family members, the neighbourhood, and even people who are sworn to defend the law would harass them.

Right to Information Act


Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces have urged PM against exempting defense services from purview of RTI (Right to Information) Act, 2005.


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Right to Information (RTI) Act
  2. Is RTI a Fundamental Right?
  3. Enforcement of RTI
  4. Exemptions under RTI Act
  5. Central Information Commission (CIC)

Right to Information (RTI) Act

  • Right to Information (RTI) is an act of the Parliament of India which sets out the rules and procedures regarding citizens’ right to information.
  • Under the RTI Act, 2005, Public Authorities are required to make disclosures on various aspects of their structure and functioning.
  • This includes:
    • disclosure on their organisation, functions, and structure,
    • powers and duties of its officers and employees, and
    • financial information.

Note: “Public Authorities” here includes bodies of self-government established under the Constitution, or under any law or government notification.  E.g.: Ministries, public sector undertakings, and regulators.  It also includes any entities owned, controlled or substantially financed and non-government organizations substantially financed directly or indirectly by funds provided by the government.

  • The intent of such suo moto disclosures is that the public should need minimum recourse through the Act to obtain such information.
  • If such information is not made available, citizens have the right to request for it from the Authorities.
  • This may include information in the form of documents, files, or electronic records under the control of the Public authority
  • The intent behind the enactment of the Act is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of Public Authorities.

Is RTI a Fundamental Right?

  • RTI is a fundamental right for every citizen of India.
  • The authorities under RTI Act 2005 are called quasi-judicial authorities.
  • This act was enacted in order to consolidate the fundamental right in the Indian constitution ‘freedom of speech’.
  • Since RTI is implicit in the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19 of Indian Constitution, it is an implied fundamental right.

Enforcement of RTI

The Act has established a three-tier structure for enforcing the right to information guaranteed under the Act.

  1. The first request for information goes to Central/State Assistant Public Information Officer and Central/State Public Information Officer, designated by the Public Authorities. These Officers are required to provide information to an RTI applicant within 30 days of the request.
  2. Appeals from their decisions go to an Appellate Authority.
  3. Appeals against the order of the Appellate Authority go to the State Information Commission or the Central Information Commission.  These Information Commissions consists of a Chief Information Commissioner, and up to 10 Information Commissioners.

Exemptions under RTI Act

  • Section 24 of RTI says that RTI is not applicable to the intelligence and security organisations specified in the Second Schedule with only exception for information on allegations of corruption and human rights violations.
    • Second Schedule includes 26 intelligence and security agencies under its ambit. Some of them are IB, RAW, Cabinet Secretariat, BSF, NSG etc.
    • Recently, Strategic Forces Command (SFC) which forms part of the National Command Authority (NCA) has been added to this schedule.
  • Exemption to certain Information under Section 8 of RTI
    • National security or sovereignty
    • National economic interests
    • Relations with foreign states
    • Law enforcement and the judicial process
    • Cabinet and other decision making documents
    • Trade secrets & commercial confidentiality
    • Individual safety
    • Personal privacy

Central Information Commission (CIC)

  • The Central Information Commission has been constituted with effect from 12-10-2005 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Hence, CIC is a Statutory Body.
  • The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.
  • It was constituted to act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer due to either the officer not have been appointed, or because the respective Central Assistant Public Information Officer or State Assistant Public Information Officer refused to receive the application for information under the Right to Information Act.

Functions of CIC

  • Order enquiry into any matter on reasonable grounds only.
  • Secure compliance of its decisions from any public authority.
  • Receive and inquire into a complaint from any person:
    • Who has not received any response to his request for information within a specified time.
    • Who deems the information given to him/her incomplete, false or misleading, and any other matter related to securing the information.
    • Who has been unable to submit a request for information due to the non-appointment of an officer.
    • Who considers the fees so charged unreasonable.
    • Who was refused the information requested.
  • The commission has the power to examine any record under the control of the public authority. All such records have to be given to the Commission during examination and nothing shall be withheld.
  • During inquiries, the CIC has the powers of a civil court, such as the powers to:
    • Summon and enforce the attendance of persons, and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and produce documents or things
    • Require the discovery and inspection of documents
    • Receive evidence on affidavit
    • Requisition public records or copies from any office or court
    • Issue summons for the examination of documents or witnesses
    • Any other matter that may be prescribed
  • The CIC also submits an annual report to the GOI on the implementations of the provisions of the Act. This report is then placed before both the Houses of Parliament.

What is E-Waste Management?


The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released the draft notification for Electronic Waste Management for public feedback.


GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Draft Notification for Electronic Waste Management
  2. What is e-waste?
  3. e-Waste recycling in India
  4. Legislation related to e-waste recycling in India

About Draft Notification for Electronic Waste Management

Coverage for Electronics: 

  • A wide range of electronic goods, including laptops, landline and mobile phones, cameras, recorders, music systems, microwaves, refrigerators and medical equipment have been specified in the notification.

Target for E-Waste Collection: 

  • Consumer goods companies and makers of electronics goods have to ensure at least 60% of their electronic waste is collected and recycled by 2023 with targets to increase them to 70% and 80% in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
  • Companies will have to register on an online portal and specify their annual production and e-waste collection targets.

EPR Certificates: 

  • The rules bring into effect a system of trading in certificates, akin to carbon credits, that will allow companies to temporarily bridge shortfalls.
  • The rules lay out a system of companies securing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificates.
  • These certificates certify the quantity of e-waste collected and recycled in a particular year by a company and an organisation may sell surplus quantities to another company to help it meet its obligations.

Focus on Circular Economy: 

  • New Rules emphasizes on the EPR, recycling and trading.
  • This follows from the government’s objective to promote a Circular Economy.


  • Companies that don’t meet their annual targets will have to pay a fine or an ‘environmental compensation’ but the draft doesn’t specify the quantum of these fines.

Implementing Authority: 

  • The CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) will oversee the overall implementation of these regulations.

State Governments’ Responsibilities: 

  • The State governments have been entrusted with the responsibility of earmarking industrial space for e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities, undertaking industrial skill development and establishing measures for protecting the health and safety of workers engaged in the dismantling and recycling facilities for e-waste.

What is e-waste?

  • E-waste is a popular, informal name for electronic products nearing the end of their “useful life.” Computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are common electronic products. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled.
  • There is no clear definition for e-waste; for instance whether or not items like microwave ovens and other similar “appliances” should be grouped into the category has not been established.

Is e-waste dangerous?

  • Electronic scrap components, such as CPUs, contain potentially harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants.
  • Recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to health of workers and their communities.

UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 talks of the necessity to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”. Referring to discarded electronic devices, this means achieving ecologically acceptable management throughout their life cycle, as well as reducing the release of poisons into the atmosphere, water and soil to minimise their negative impact on health and the environment.

e-Waste recycling in India

  • While e-waste recycling is a source of income for many people in India, it also poses numerous health and environmental risks.
  • More than 95% of India’s e-waste is illegally recycled by informal waste pickers called kabadiwalas or raddiwalas.
  • These workers operate independently, outside of any formal organization which makes enforcing e-waste regulations difficult-to-impossible.
  • Recyclers often rely on rudimentary recycling techniques that can release toxic pollutants into the surrounding area.
  • The release of toxic pollutants associated with crude e-waste recycling can have far reaching, irreversible consequences.
  • A report by the Union Environment Ministry in 2018 found that many of India’s e-waste recyclers weren’t recycling waste at all. While some were storing it in hazardous conditions, many didn’t even have the capacity to handle such waste.

Legislation related to e-waste recycling in India

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is primarily responsible for regulations regarding electronic waste. Additionally, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) produce implementation procedures to ensure proper management of rules set forth by the MoEFCC.
E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011
  • Prior to the enactment of the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011; e-waste was covered under the Hazardous Waste Management (HWM) Rules. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.
  • It made manufacturers, dealers, refurbishers and Producer Responsibility Organizations (PRO) liable for safe disposal of electronic goods.
E-Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • The E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 have recently been amended by the Centre, to facilitate and effectively implement the environmentally sound management of e-waste in India.
  • These amendments have been made with the objective of channelizing the e-waste generated in the country towards authorized dismantlers and recyclers in order to further formalize the e-waste recycling sector.
  • By way of revised targets and monitoring under the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), effective and improved management of e-waste would be ensured.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana


The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) approved the implementation of the Centre’s flagship Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) for the residents in its area.


GS II- Welfare Schemes

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
  2. National Health Protection Mission (AB-PMJAY)
  3. Health and Wellness Centres (AB-PMJAY)
  4. About the National Health Authority (NHA)

About Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives, namely Health and wellness Centres and National  Health Protection Scheme.
  • The PM Jan Arogya Yojana beneficiaries get an e-card that can be used to avail services at an empanelled hospital, public or private, anywhere in the country, with which they can walk into a hospital and obtain cashless treatment.
  • The scheme has certain pre-conditions by which it picks who can avail of the health cover benefit. While in the rural areas the list is mostly categorized on lack of housing, meagre income and other deprivations, the urban list of PMJAY beneficiaries is drawn up on the basis of occupation.
  • AB PM-JAY is the flagship scheme of the Union government as a part of the Indian government’s National Health Policy.

National Health Protection Mission (AB-PMJAY)

  • AB-PMJAY provides a defined insurance benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.
  • To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
  • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. All public hospitals in the States implementing AB-PMJAY, will be deemed empanelled for the Scheme.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
  • To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.

Health and Wellness Centres (AB-PMJAY)

  • Under this 1.5 lakh existing sub centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people in the form of Health and wellness centres.
  • These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.

About the National Health Authority (NHA)

  • National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance/assurance scheme called “Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana”.
  • The NHA been entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure and implementation of “Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission” to create a National Digital Health Eco-system.
  • National Health Authority (2019) is the successor of the National Health Agency, which was functioning as a registered society since 2018 (Not a Statutory body).
  • NHA has been set-up to implement PM-JAY, as it is popularly known, at the national level.
  • NHA is an attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with full functional autonomy.
  • NHA is also leading the implementation for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission ABDM in coordination with different ministries/departments of the Government of India, State Governments, and private sector/civil society organizations.
  • NHA is governed by a Governing Board chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and it is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), an officer of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India, who manages its affairs.


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