Wildlife (Protection), Amendment Bill


The Lok Sabha passed the Wildlife (Protection), Amendment Bill, with no significant modifications to the version of the Bill presented in the House for discussion.


GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  2. Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill: Key Features

About Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

  • WPA provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
  • It provides for state wildlife advisory boards, regulations for hunting wild animals and birds,
  • establishment of sanctuaries and national parks, regulations for trade in wild animals, animal products and trophies, and judicially imposed penalties for violating the Act.
  • The act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants.
  • It provides for protection of hunting rights of the Scheduled Tribes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • It has provisions for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • It regulates the trade of wild animals, birds and plants.
  • It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection.
    • Species listed in Schedule I and part II of Schedule II get absolute protection — offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
    • Species listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower.
    • Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted.
    • The plants in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting
Schedule ISpecies: Endangered species. Penalty: Harsh with imprisonment Hunting: Not allowed. Trade: Prohibited Examples: Tiger, Blackbuck, Himalayan Brown Bear, Brow-Antlered Deer, Blue whale, Common Dolphin, Cheetah, Clouded Leopard, Hornbills, Indian Gazelle, and many others.Schedule II Penalty: Harsh Hunting: Not allowed. Trade: Prohibited Examples: Kohinoor (insect), Assamese Macaque, Bengal Hanuman langur, Large Indian Civet, Indian Fox, Larger Kashmir Flying Squirrel, Kashmir Fox and many others.
Schedule III & IV Species: Not Endangered. Penalty: Less compare to I & II Hunting: Not allowed.   Examples: Hyena, Himalayan rat, porcupine, flying fox, Malabar tree toad, etc.Schedule V Hunting: Allowed. Examples: Mice, Rat, common crow, fruit bats, etc.
Schedule VI Species: Include plants that are forbidden from cultivation Examples: Pitcher plant, Blue Vanda, Red vanda, Kuth, etc. 

Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Bill: Key Features


  • CITES is an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.  
  • Under CITES, plant and animal specimens are classified into three categories (Appendices) based on the threat to their extinction.  
  • The Convention requires countries to regulate the trade of all listed specimens through permits.  
  • It also seeks to regulate the possession of live animal specimens.  
  • The Bill seeks to implement these provisions of CITES.  

Rationalising schedules: 

  • Currently, the Act has six schedules for specially protected plants (one), specially protected animals (four), and vermin species (one).  
  • Vermin refers to small animals that carry disease and destroy food.  
  • The Bill reduces the total number of schedules to four by:
    • Reducing the number of schedules for specially protected animals to two (one for greater protection level), 
    • Removes the schedule for vermin species, and
    • Inserts a new schedule for specimens listed in the Appendices under CITES (scheduled specimens).

Obligations under CITES:   

  • The Bill provides for the central government to designate a:
    • Management Authority, which grants export or import permits for trade of specimens,
    • Scientific Authority, which gives advice on aspects related to impact on the survival of the specimens being traded.  
  • Every person engaging in trade of a scheduled specimen must report the details of the transaction to the Management Authority.  
  • As per CITES, the Management Authority may use an identification mark for a specimen.  
  • The Bill prohibits any person from modifying or removing the identification mark of the specimen.  
  • Additionally, every person possessing live specimens of scheduled animals must obtain a registration certificate from the Management Authority.

Invasive alien species: 

  • The Bills empowers the central government to regulate or prohibit the import, trade, possession or proliferation of invasive alien species.  
  • Invasive alien species refers to plant or animal species which are not native to India and whose introduction may adversely impact wild life or its habitat.  
  • The central government may authorise an officer to seize and dispose the invasive species. 

Control of sanctuaries: 

  • The Act entrusts the Chief Wild Life Warden to control, manage and maintain all sanctuaries in a state.  
  • The Chief Wild Life Warden is appointed by the state government.  
  • The Bill specifies that actions of the Chief Warden must be in accordance with the management plans for the sanctuary.  
  • These plans will be prepared as per guidelines of the central government, and as approved by the Chief Warden.  
  • For sanctuaries falling under special areas, the management plan must be prepared after due consultation with the concerned Gram Sabha.  Special areas include a Scheduled Area or areas where the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is applicable.  
  • Scheduled Areas are economically backward areas with a predominantly tribal population, notified under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.

Conservation reserves: 

  • Under the Act, state governments may declare areas adjacent to national parks and sanctuaries as a conservation reserve, for protecting flora and fauna, and their habitat.  
  • The Bill empowers the central government to also notify a conservation reserve.

Surrender of captive animals: 

  • The Bill provides for any person to voluntarily surrender any captive animals or animal products to the Chief Wild Life Warden.  
  • No compensation will be paid to the person for surrendering such items.  
  • The surrendered items become property of the state government. 

Purchasing Managers Index


India’s manufacturing sector rebounded in July, with sales and output growing at the fastest pace since November. The PMI quickened last month to 56.4, from June’s 9-month low of 53.9.


GS-III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development of Indian Economy, Mobilization of Resources)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)?
  2. Understanding PMI

What is Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)?

  • The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors.
  • It consists of a diffusion index that summarizes whether market conditions, as viewed by purchasing managers, are expanding, staying the same, or contracting.
  • The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors.
  • In simple words, Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is a measure of the prevailing direction of economic trends in manufacturing.
  • PMI is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception about key business variables as compared with the previous month.
  • The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current and future business conditions to company decision makers, analysts, and investors.
  • It is calculated separately for the manufacturing and services sectors and then a composite index is also constructed.
  • PMI is compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide – IHS Markit is a global leader in information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide.

Understanding PMI

  • The PMI is a number from 0 to 100.
  • A print above 50 means expansion, while a score below that denotes contraction.
  • A reading at 50 indicates no change.
  • If PMI of the previous month is higher than the PMI of the current month, it represents that the economy is contracting.
  • It is usually released at the start of every month. It is, therefore, considered a good leading indicator of economic activity.
  • It is different from the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which also gauges the level of activity in the economy.
  • IIP covers the broader industrial sector compared to PMI.
  • However, PMI is more dynamic compared to a standard industrial production index.

Hellfire R9X Missile


The US military used its ‘secret weapon’ — the Hellfire R9X missile – to kill Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri on the balcony of a safehouse in Kabul on July 31.

  • Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who had a $25 million bounty on his head, had helped coordinate the September 11, 2001, attacks that had killed nearly 3,000 people.


GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the Hellfire R9X missile?
  2. When did the Hellfire missile enter active service?
  3. Where has the Hellfire missile been used on previous occasions?
  4. What is known about the other Hellfire missile variants?

What is the Hellfire R9X missile?

  • Better known in military circles as the AGM-114 R9X, the Hellfire R9X is a US-origin missile known to cause minimum collateral damage while engaging individual targets.
  • Also known as the ‘Ninja Missile’, this weapon does not carry a warhead and instead deploys razor-sharp blades at the terminal stage of its attack trajectory.
  • This helps it to break through even thick steel sheets and cut down the target using the kinetic energy of its propulsion without causing any damage to the persons in the general vicinity or to the structure of the building.
  • The blades pop out of the missile and cut down the intended target without causing the massive damage to the surroundings which would be the case with a missile carrying an explosive warhead.

When did the Hellfire missile enter active service?

  • The Hellfire 9RX missile is known to have been in active service since 2017. However, its existence became public knowledge two years later in 2019.
  • It is a variant of the original Hellfire missile family which is used in conventional form with warheads and is traditionally used from helicopters, ground-based vehicles, and sometimes small ships and fast moving vessels.
  • For several years now, the Hellfire family of missiles, including the ‘Ninja Missile’, are armed on Combat Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones that the US Military uses in offensive military operations around the world.

Where has the Hellfire missile been used on previous occasions?

  • In 2017, the ‘Ninja Missile’ was reportedly used to kill the then No. 2 leader of Al Qaeda, Abu Khayr Al Masri, in Syria.
  • It was also used against other targets in Syria at around the same time.
  • The damage caused to the vehicles which carried the targets, particularly the shredded roofs of cars, gave the first clues that a normal warhead was not used on the missile and that it had sharp blades.
  • It has also been used against Taliban targets in Afghanistan in 2020 and again in 2022.

What is known about the other Hellfire missile variants?

  • Hellfire is actually an acronym for Heliborne, Laser, Fire and Forget Missile and it was developed in the US initially to target tanks from the Apache AH-64 attack helicopters.
  • Later, the usage of these missiles spread to several other variants of helicopters and also ground and sea-based systems and drones.
  • Developed by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, the Hellfire missile has other variants such as ‘Longbow’ and ‘Romeo’ apart from the ‘Ninja’.

5G Spectrum Auction Concludes


India’s biggest ever spectrum auction ended with bids upwards of Rs 1.5 lakh crore coming in after seven days of bidding spread over 40 rounds.

  • Reliance Jio emerged as the largest spender in the 5G spectrum auction, acquiring almost half of all the airwaves sold for more than Rs 88,000 crore, and was also the only one (among four applicants) to have acquired spectrum in the premium 700 MHz band.


GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About 5G
  2. Application of 5G
  3. What are the key issues?
  4. What benefits are likely to come with 5G?

About 5G

  • 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment 4G LTE connection and it  offers exponentially faster download and upload speeds.
  • 5G will deliver multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, massive capacity, and a more uniform user experience.
  • This is in contrast to 4G link speeds in averaging 6-7 Megabit per second (Mbps) in India as compared to 25 Mbps in advanced countries.

Application of 5G

  • 5G will help in creating cyber-physical networks which not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices. It will deliver new levels of performance and efficiency that will empower new user experiences and connect new industries.
  • It will act as an enabler for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications.
  • 5G can also help make transport infrastructure more efficient by making it smart. It will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, making driverless cars, among other things, a reality.
  • Also, the primary applications of 5G will be the implementation of a sensor-embedded network that will allow real-time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture.

What benefits are likely to come with 5G?

  • 5G is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra low latency.
  • As per the set standards, with 5G, the peak network speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gbps as opposed to about 25 Mbps on current 4G networks.
    • In India, however, 4G speeds average at around 6-7 Mbps, but are picking up gradually.
  • It is expected that with 5G technology, consumers will be able to download data heavy content such as 8K movies and games with better graphics in just a few seconds.
  • The users will need to update to 5G-enabled devices to access the network, if they are not already using one.
  • However, it is likely that the primary use of the technology will go beyond delivery of services on personal mobile devices.
    • 5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as IoT and machine to machine communications, thereby supporting a much larger range of applications and services, such as tele-surgery and real time data analytics.
  • Ultra low latency offered by 5G makes the technology desirable for such use cases.
    • Latency is the amount of time data takes to travel between its source and destination.
  • As per a report by a government panel on 5G, even after the entry of 5G into the Indian networks, the earlier generation mobile technologies — 2G, 3G and 4G, will continue to remain in use and may take 10 or more years to phase out.
  • 5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035, the report added.


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