Chola Dynasty

In News

  • A recently released film has focused on a fictional account of the 10th-century Chola dynasty.
    • Cholas are known for their progressiveness, the architectural marvels and temples, the social setup of the time, and how cities were named after women.

The era of the Cholas

  • Region of power:
    • The Chola kingdom stretched across present-day Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
      • It is one of the longest-ruling dynasties in world history. 
      • Geographical extent:
        • The heartland of the Cholas was the fertile valley of the Kaveri River. 
        • They unified peninsular India, south of the Tungabhadra, and held it as one state for three centuries.
        • The Chola territories stretched from the Maldives in the south to the banks of the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh as the northern limit.
      • Capital and important centres:
        • Their early capital was at Thanjavur and later on at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.
        • Kanchipuram and Madurai were considered to be regional capitals in which occasional courts were held.
  • Foundation of the dynasty:
    • The dynasty was founded by king Vijaylaya, described as a “feudatory” of the Pallavas. 
    • Despite being a relatively minor player in the region among giants, Vijaylaya laid the foundation for a dynasty that would rule a major part of southern India.
    • Under Rajaraja I and his successors Rajendra I, Rajadhiraja I, Rajendra II, Virarajendra, and Kulothunga Chola I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural powerhouse.
  • Contemporaries:
    • As one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, along with the Chera and Pandya, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territories until the 13th century CE
    • During the period of the Cholas (around the 9th to 12th century AD), other powerful dynasties of the region would also come and go, such as 
      • The Rashtrakutas of the Deccan who defeated the Cholas, and 
      • The Chalukyas of the Andhra Pradesh region whom the Cholas frequently battled.
  • Society under the Cholas:
    • Agriculture & canals:
      • There was tremendous agrarian expansion during the rule of the imperial Chola Dynasty all over Tamil Nadu and particularly in the Kaveri Basin. 
      • Most of the canals of the Kaveri River belong to this period.
    • Trade:
      • While the extent of this domination is disputed, the Cholas had strong ties with merchant groups and this allowed them to undertake impressive naval expeditions.
    • A strong army and navy: 
      • One of the biggest achievements of the Chola dynasty was its naval power, allowing them to go as far as Malaysia and the Sumatra islands of Indonesia in their conquests. 
        • The domination was such that the Bay of Bengal was converted into a “Chola lake” for some time.
      • The dynasty became a military, economic and cultural powerhouse in South Asia and South-East Asia.
      • Maintaining a strong army and naval resources made sense for the Cholas, because, The period from 9th to 10th century was a violent time, where kingdoms would go to war with each other frequently.
  • Art & Culture:
    • Temple architecture:
      • The Cholas built their temples in the traditional way of the Pallava dynasty, who were themselves influenced by the Amaravati school of architecture. 
      • The maturity and grandeur to which the Chola architecture had evolved found expression in the two magnificent temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram.
      • Brihadeeswara temple:
        • The grand Brihadeeswara temple of Thanjavur, built by the Cholas, was the largest building in India in that period.
        • This temple carries on its walls the engraved evidence of the elaborate administrative and financial procedures concerning the day-to-day administration of the temple.
      • Airavateswara temple:
        • The Airavateswara temple at Darasuram near Thanjavur built during the reign of Rajaraja II is a magnificent structure typical of the stage of architectural development reached in the 12th century CE. 
    • Sculptures: 
      • The Chola period is also remarkable for its sculptures and bronzes.
      • Artworks and sculptures were commissioned by Chola kings and queens, including the famous bronze Nataraja idols
      • Chola period bronzes were created using the lost wax technique.
        • [Earlier, the Rashtrakutas had built the Kailasanatha temple in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad — the largest monolith structure (carved from a single rock) of its time.]
  • Blots in the Chola history:
    • The Chola rulers sacked and plundered Chalukyan cities including Kalyani and massacred the people, including Brahmans and children.
    • They destroyed Anuradhapura, the ancient capital of the rulers of Sri Lanka.

Financial Viability of Election Promises

In Context

  • Recently, the Election Commission of India asked parties to explain how they plan to finance poll promises.

More about the news

  • About:
    • The Election Commission of India wrote to parties proposing that they spell out ways and means of raising additional resources to finance the promises.
    • EC also asked them to assess the impact it would have on the fiscal sustainability of the state or the Central government.
  • Issue:
    • Elections are held frequently in India, providing opportunities for political parties to indulge in competitive electoral promises, particularly in multi-phase elections.
      • These promises are made without having to spell out their financial implications more particularly on committed expenditure.
    • Most states lack the cushion to spend money as freebie & irrational promises. 
      • The states are unable to save state finances from going down into fiscal deficits.
    • Freebies:
      • The Supreme Court also recently observed that the issue concerning freebies is an important one and requires debate.
  • Detailing the resources, spendings & impact:
    • The parties will have to detail how they propose to raise the additional resources to finance the scheme or schemes if voted to power – like whether they plan an increase in tax and non-tax revenues, rationalise expenditure, go for additional borrowings or do it in any other manner.
      • EC, in its letter to all recognised national and state parties, has prescribed a standardised disclosure proforma for them to
        • Declare quantification of the physical coverage of the schemes promised, 
        • Financial implications of the promise and 
        • Availability of the financial resources. 
    • The impact of the additional resource raising plan for fulfilling the promises on fiscal sustainability of the State or the Union Government will also have to be specified.
  • Criticisms:
  • The EC’s move drew a sharp reaction from the main Opposition which said that this is not the business of the EC. 
    • Providing electricity, water, schools and other facilities to the people is the core responsibility of any government.
  • Critics also quoted that this goes against the very essence and spirit of competitive politics.
FreebiesBefore every election, political parties in India promise certain health and education services, besides free water and electricity up to a limit. Many parties also promise what have come to be known as freebies such as television sets, laptops with the internet, bicycles, scooters, monthly petrol quotas, cell phones, and even ghee! If the promises are sincere, the winning party or coalition goes on to distribute these items among the people.Reasons for giving these Freebies:The failure of the parties and governments to deliver development to the ordinary people has led to the increased phenomenon of “freebies” and the parties have to resort to it to win over the voters.If you have done work for five years, then you won’t have to resort to it.Issues with FreebiesFinancial irregularity: The reckless spending of the taxpayers’ money on freebies is neither a recognised policy/custom nor is sanctioned in a court of law. It is a blatant financial irregularity that amounts to bribing voters using public money solely for gaining an advantage in electoral politics.The burden on Public Exchequer: If states continue with fiscal profligacy, they will be heading towards unsustainable high debt with catastrophic consequences for macro-economic stability and the ability of India to sustain high growth. Vote bank politics: Political parties’ promises to lure voters in their favour is analogous to bribery and undue influences.Their attitude seems to be – if we lose, we do not have to deliver, but if we win then we shall cross the bridge when we get to it. Hence, they have set out to make promises without a sense of responsibility as to whether it will at all be feasible to deliver on even some of them.Lacking equity or fairness: Freebies serve even those who are capable of managing on their own at the cost of those who can not pay for their own. This promotes inequality.

Significance of declaring ways of raising resources

  • Impact of poll promises:
    • Empty poll promises have far-reaching ramifications.
    • View that emerged was that the poll watchdog cannot remain a mute spectator and overlook the undesirable impact of some of the promises on the conduct of free and fair elections. 
  • Standardisation & informed choices:
    • The EC said that disclosure of the promises in a prescribed format will bring in standardisation in the nature of information and help voters compare and make an informed decision. 
    • This will help maintain a level playing field for all political parties and candidates.
  • Model Code of Conduct:
    • To make these steps mandatory, the EC plans to propose an amendment to the relevant clauses in the Model Code of Conduct.
Election Commission IndiaThe Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950.The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional body responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, State Legislative Councils and the offices of the President and Vice President of the country.It is not concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states.For this, the Constitution of India provides for a separate State Election Commission.

Parliament Committees

In News

  • A recent revamp of the Standing Committees of Parliament could potentially worsen the relations between the government and opposition parties.

Committees of Parliament

  • About:
    • Parliamentary Committees have their origins in the British Parliament
    • A Parliamentary Committee is a panel of MPs that is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker, and which works under the direction of the Speaker
    • It presents its report to the House or to the Speaker.
  • Derives Authority From:
    • They draw their authority from Article 105, which deals with the privileges of MPs, and Article 118, which gives Parliament authority to make rules to regulate its procedure and conduct of business.
  • Importance of Heads:
    • Preparing the agenda: The heads of the panels schedule their meetings. They play a clear role in preparing the agenda and the annual report, and can take decisions in the interest of the efficient management of the Committee. 
    • Power to Summon: The chairperson presides over the meetings and can decide who should be summoned before the panel. However, the chairman should have the support of the majority of the members to summon a witness.
    • Equivalent to a court: An invitation to appear before a Parliamentary Committee is equivalent to a summons from a court: If one cannot come, he or she has to give reasons, which the panel may or may not accept. 
  • Concerning Changes:
    • Of the 22 committees announced recently, the Congress has the post of chairperson in only one, and the second largest opposition party, Trinamool Congress, none. 
    • The ruling BJP has the chairmanship of the important committees on Home, Finance, IT, Defence and External Affairs.

Various Committees of Parliament

  • Financial Committees:
    • Include the Estimates Committee, Public Accounts Committee, and the Committee on Public Undertakings.
    • These committees were constituted in 1950. 
    • A Minister is not eligible for election or nomination to Financial Committees, and certain Departmentally Related Committees.
  • Departmentally Related Standing Committees:
    • Aim: to increase Parliamentary scrutiny, and to give members more time and a wider role in examining important legislation.
    • Seventeen Departmentally Related Standing Committees came into being in 1993 to examine budgetary proposals and crucial government policies. 
    • The number of Committees was subsequently increased to 24 – there are 16 Departmentally Related Standing Committees for Lok Sabha and eight for Rajya Sabha. 
    • Important Lok Sabha Panels: Agriculture; Coal; Defence; External Affairs; Finance; Communications & Information Technology; Labour; Petroleum & Natural Gas; and Railways. The important Rajya Sabha panels include Commerce; Education; Health & Family Welfare; Home Affairs; and Environment.
    • Composition: 
      • Each of these Committees has 31 members — 21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.
      • Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha panels are headed by members of these respective Houses.
  • Ad hoc Committees:
    • Appointed for a specific purpose
    • They cease to exist after they have completed the task assigned to them, and have submitted a report to the House. 
    • The principal Ad hoc Committees are the Select and Joint Committees on Bills. 
    • Other Ad hoc Committees: the Railway Convention Committee, Committee on Food Management and Security in Parliament House Complex, etc. also come under the category of Ad hoc Committees.
  • Other Parliamentary Standing Committees:
    • The Business Advisory Committee and the Privileges Committee for Each House.
    • Parliament can also constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) with a special purpose, with members from both Houses, for detailed scrutiny of a subject or Bill. 
    • Also, either of the two Houses can set up a Select Committee with members from that House. 
    • JPCs and Select Committees are usually chaired by ruling party MPs, and are disbanded after they have submitted their report.

Constitution of the Committees

  • Procedure for Heads:
    • By convention, the main Opposition party gets the post of PAC chairman; it is currently with the Congress. 
    • Chairmanship of some key committees has been allocated to opposition parties in the past. However, this pattern has changed in the latest rejig.
  • Procedure for Members:
    • The Presiding Officer of each House nominates members to these panels. 
    • Usually, the composition of a Committee remains more or less the same in terms of representation of the various parties.
    • Presiding Officers use their discretion to refer a matter to a Parliamentary Committee, but this is usually done in consultation with leaders of parties in the House.
    • MPs typically have a one-year tenure on Parliamentary Committees. 

Significance of Parliamentary Committees

  • Improves Effectiveness: Parliamentary Committees act as a mechanism that helps in improving the effectiveness of Parliament. 
  • Coordination with Ministries: The Committees work closely with multiple Ministries, and facilitate inter-ministerial coordination. 
  • Important Functions: The Committees look into the demands for grants of Ministries/departments, examine Bills pertaining to them, consider their annual reports, and look into their long-term plans and report to Parliament.
  • Carries Out Legislative Business: A great deal of legislative business ends up taking place in the Parliamentary Committees as-
    • The process of lawmaking is often complex, and Parliament has limited time for detailed discussions. 
    • The political polarisation and shrinking middle ground has been leading to increasingly rancorous and inconclusive debates in Parliament.
  • Consensus through Experts: Committees can get inputs from experts and stakeholders on various matters. They also help parties reach consensus on various issues.  

Importance of the Recommendations of the Committees

  • Significant Suggestions: 
    • Reports of Departmentally Related Standing Committees are recommendatory in nature. They are not binding on the government, but they do carry significant weight. 
    • The suggestions by the Select Committees and JPCs — which have a majority of MPs and heads from the ruling party — are accepted more frequently.
  • Value Addition: 
    • Bills that are referred to Committees often return to the House with significant value-addition.
    • In the past, governments have accepted suggestions given by the Committees and incorporated them into the Bill after it has come back to the House for consideration and passage. 
  • Promotes Government’s Action: 
    • These panels also examine policy issues in their respective Ministries and make suggestions to the government. 
    • The government has to report back on whether these recommendations have been accepted. 
    • Based on this, the Committees table Action Taken Reports, detailing the status of the government’s action on each recommendation.

Differences between discussions/ debates in the Parliamentary Committees and in Parliament

Debates in the ParliamentDebates in the Parliamentary Committees
MPs often do not get adequate time to put forward their views in Parliament, even if they are experts on the subject. Small groups with relatively less demands on their time; in these meetings, every MP gets a chance and the time to contribute to the discussion.
Parliament has only around 100 sittings a year.Committee meetings are independent of Parliament’s calendar.
Parliament’s proceedings are telecast live and members are often constrained to speak to their constituencies.The discussions are confidential and off-camera, party affiliations usually do not come in the way of MPs speaking their minds.
Peripheral discussions” – Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition.Real discussions” – Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work.

Issues with Parliamentary Committees 

  • Need Strengthening in Several Areas: All Bills are not referred to Committees. They are thinly staffed. Some Committees may not seek evidence from experts on important Bills.
  • Limited Support: Currently, the technical support available to Parliamentary Committees is limited to a secretariat that helps with matters such as scheduling meetings and note taking.
  • Participation of Members: Parliamentary Committees hold several meetings to conduct an in-depth analysis of various issues through extensive deliberations among Members. The success of the Committee system depends on the participation of Members in these meetings which is generally low.

Way Ahead

  • Scrutiny of All Bills: 
    • Referring all Bills to a Committee would ensure that all laws go through a minimum level of Parliamentary scrutiny.
  • Funding: 
    • Funds should be secured to assist these Committees in conducting inquiries, holding public hearings, and collecting data. 
  • Expert Support & Specialist Advisors: 
    • Engaging with experts and stakeholders enables Committee members to better understand the details of complicated issues, and the potential impact of a policy or legislation.  
    • Committees in other countries such as the UK, USA, and Canada can retain specialist advisors (such as lawyers, economists, and statisticians) to assist in specific inquiries. 
  • Public Opinions: 
    • Committees can also invite comments from the wider public which can help Committees consider the wider implications of a Bill or policy.

International Year of Millets (IYOM) 2023


  • The department of agriculture & farmers welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost the initiative promoting millets towards the celebration of the International Year of Millets (IYOM)-2023.

About Millets

  • Umbrella term: Millets is a common term to categorize small-seeded grasses. Millets include sorghum, pearl millet, ragi, small millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, barnyard millet, Kodo millet etc.
  • Growth factors: Millets can grow in poor soil conditions with less water, minimal fertilizer and pesticides. 


  • India: Major producers include Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
  • Global: India, Nigeria and China are the largest producers of millets in the world, accounting for more than 55% of the global production.

Benefits of Millets

  • Hardier and drought-resistant: They can withstand higher temperatures, thus known to be a suitable choice as ‘climate-smart cereals or dryland-cereals.’
  • Nutri-cereals: They are high in dietary fiber and known as a powerhouse of nutrients including iron, folate, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, vitamins and antioxidants. Thus, they can mitigate nutritional deficiencies in women and children.
  • Prevent/cure lifestyle diseases: Millets can also help in tackling health challenges such as obesity, diabetes and lifestyle problems as they are gluten-free, have a low glycemic index and are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants.
  • Inter-cropping: Fibrous roots of millet plants help in improving soil quality, check water run-off and aid soil conservation in erosion-prone areas, thereby restoring natural ecosystems.
  • Tackles climate change: As a C4 group of cereals, millets convert more carbon dioxide to oxygen and contribute in mitigation of climate change through a low carbon footprint of 3,218-kilogram equivalent of carbon dioxide per hectare (as compared to wheat and rice).

Concerns /Challenges

  • Production decline: Due to low remuneration, lack of input subsidies and price incentives, subsidized supply of fine cereals through the public distribution system (PDS) and change in consumer preferences lowering demand.
  • Absence of effective market linkages for millets and other agricultural produce. Also, millet consumption is restricted to rural areas, bazaars, tourist spots and festivals. 
  • Insufficient processing units close to millet fields: It causes local producers to transport their produce to distant places. 
  • For example, raw grains of Kodo millets produced in Tamil Nadu, need to be transported to Maharashtra for processing.

India’s efforts in Millets promotion

  • Global Map: India is trying to bring millet back on the global map by-
  • building support, organizing & promoting millets and millet-based commodities market. 
  • forging effective market linkages for millet-based products to maximize the value capture.
  • POSHAN Abhiyan: In 2018, the government decided to mark the national year of millets and had also notified millets as nutri-cereals by including them under the POSHAN Mission Abhiyan.
  • Rainfed Area Development Programme: Developing and identifying new areas receiving adequate rainfall for millet farming as a part of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana(RKVY).
  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM): Millets promoted NFSM to help provide good nutrition to those who are unable to afford it. The government included millets in the public distribution system, to provide a steady market for its produce.
  • APEDA’s ‘Millet in Minutes’ products: Recently,  APEDA launched a variety of  products like Upma, Pongal, Khichadi, Noodles, Biryani, etc under the Ready-to-Eat (RTE) category. 
  • The ‘Integrated Cereals Development Programmes in Coarse Cereals’ was initiated by the government under Macro Management of Agriculture.
  • International Year of the Millets 2023: India’s initiative to promote millets was recognised and in March 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the year 2023 as the international year of the millets.
  • MOU: The department of agriculture and farmers welfare and the NAFED will collaborate in facilitating advisory support to manufacturers and processors of millet-based products to develop value-added millet-based commodities.

Initiatives to promote Millets

  • Boarding of start-ups inclusive of startups empanelled with Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR)
  • Formation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) for developing a range of millet-based products
  • NAFED Bazaar stores network to promote market millet-based products 
  • Installation of millet based vending machines at various locations across Delhi-NCR.

Way Forward

  • The Prime Minister of India has highlighted the benefits of millets to both farmers and consumers in his latest address of his radio programme Mann ki Baat.
  • A multi-pronged strategy needs to be adopted for the promotion, facilitation and accessibility of the Millets in India and the world.  India has taken the right steps in this regard.

EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA)

In News

  • Recently, the European Union (EU) has given final approval to online safety focused legislation which is an overhaul of the region’s social media and e-commerce rules.

Key features of the Digital Services Act

  • Faster removal of content: 
    • As part of the overhaul, social media companies will have to add “new procedures for faster removal” of content deemed illegal or harmful.
    • They will also have to explain to users how their content takedown policy works. 
    • The DSA also allows users to challenge takedown decisions taken by platforms and seek out-of-court settlements.
  • Bigger platforms have greater responsibility:
    • One of the most crucial features of the legislation is that it avoids a one-size fits all approach and places increased accountability on the Big Tech companies.
    • Under the DSA, ‘Very Large Online Platforms’ (VLOPs) and ‘Very Large Online Search Engines’ (VLOSEs), that is platforms, having more than 45 million users in the EU, will have more stringent requirements.
  • Direct supervision by European Commission:
    • These requirements and their enforcement will be centrally supervised by the European Commission itself, a key way to ensure that companies do not sidestep the legislation at the member-state level.
  • More transparency on how algorithms work:
    • VLOPs and VLOSEs will face transparency measures and scrutiny of how their algorithms work, and will be required to conduct systemic risk analysis and reduction to drive accountability about the society impacts of their products. 
    • VLOPs must allow regulators to access their data to assess compliance and let researchers access their data to identify systemic risks of illegal or harmful content.
  • Clearer identifiers for ads and who’s paying for them
    • Online platforms must ensure that users can easily identify advertisements and understand who presents or pays for the advertisement. 
    • They must not display personalised advertising directed towards minors or based on sensitive personal data. 

Significance of the move 

  • The law tightly regulates the way intermediaries, especially large platforms such as Google, Meta, Twitter, and YouTube, function in terms of moderating user content.
  • It will give better protection to users and to fundamental rights online, establish a powerful transparency and accountability framework for online platforms and provide a single, uniform framework across the EU.

Comparison of EU’s DSA with India’s Online Laws

  • India had notified extensive changes to its social media regulations in the form of the Information Technology Rules, 2021 (IT Rules) which placed significant due diligence requirements on large social media platforms such as Meta and Twitter.
    • These included appointing key personnel to handle law enforcement requests and user grievances.
    • Enabling identification of the first originator of the information on its platform under certain conditions.
      • One of the reasons that the platform may be required to trace the originator is if a user has shared child sexual abuse material on its platform.
      • WhatsApp has alleged that the requirement will dilute the encryption security on its platform and could compromise personal messages of millions of Indians.
    • Deploying technology-based measures on a best-effort basis to identify certain types of content.
    • One of the most contentious proposals is the creation of government-backed grievance appellate committees which would have the authority to review and revoke content moderation decisions taken by platforms. 

Way Forward

  • India is also working on a complete overhaul of its technology policies and is expected to soon come out with a replacement of its IT Act 2000, which is expected to look at ensuring net neutrality and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms, among other things. 

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code


  • At the sixth anniversary of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) on October 1, the Union Finance Minister voiced concerns over banks taking a hefty haircut on loans that go through the resolution process under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

About IBC

  • Introduction: IBC was introduced in 2016 when India’s Non­ Performing Assets (NPA) and debt defaults were piling up and older loan recovery mechanisms were performing badly.
  • Aims: 
  • To overhaul the corporate distress resolution regime in India. 
  • To consolidate existing laws to create a time bound mechanism with a creditor-­in-­control model as against the debtor in possession system. 
  • Outcomes: As per the IBC triggered insolvency, there are just two outcomes: resolution or liquidation.  
  • Three classes of persons can trigger the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) which are financial creditors, operational creditors and corporate debtors.

Objectives of the IBC Resolution

According to its regulator IBBI, the objectives of the IBC resolution are

  • To find a way to save a business through restructuring, change in ownership, mergers etc. 
  • To maximize the value of assets of the corporate debtor 
  • To promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit, and balancing of interests. 

Challenges for the IBC

  • Lack of proper resolution: As per the IBBI data of 3400 cases in the last six years, more than 50% of the cases ended in liquidation while only 14% cases found a proper resolution. 
  • Huge delays in resolution: Initially, IBC was touted as a time bound mechanism. The amended IBC act made the total timeline for completion of the resolution process to 330 days from the earlier 180­ day deadline (with a permitted 90­ day extension). 
  • However, in FY22, it took 772 days to resolve cases involving companies owing more than ?1,000 crore. Also, the average number of days taken for resolution of such cases increased rapidly over the past 5 years.  
  • Haircuts: It means the debt foregone by the lender as a share of the outstanding claim. 
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in 2021 noted an average haircut of 80% by the creditors in more than 70% of the cases in the 5 years of the IBC. 
  • As per The Hindu Data Team, almost 33 of 85 companies with more than ?1,000 crore debt had been given haircuts above 90% by the lenders.
  • For example, the Videocon Group was given a haircut of 95.3% by the creditors. 
  • Lack of digitisation has led to the delays beyond the prescribed statutory limits in the insolvency resolution process.


  • Addressing NPA problem: The IBC was instrumental in reviving India’s insolvency regime and successfully addressing the looming threat of NPAs.
  • Credit discipline: Ease of credit flow is necessary for attainment of Ease of doing business and economic growth. Under the IBC regime, Rs. 2.5-lakh crore has been brought back into the banking system as a result of resolution of insolvencies.
  • The World Bank’s report: India’s rank in resolving insolvency went from 136 in 2017 to 52 in 2020, after the implementation of the IBC in 2016.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment)bill, 2021 

  • The Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process (PIRP)/‘pre-packs’ was proposed as an insolvency resolution mechanism for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • Aim: PIRP process in the Code will address the issues faced by MSMEs due to the impact of the pandemic and the unique nature of their business, duly recognizing their importance in the economy.

Way Forward

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee suggested that the timeline of not more than 30 days to admit the insolvency application and transfer control of the company to a resolution process after filing. 
  • New yardstick to measure haircuts: The IBBI suggested that haircuts not be looked at as the difference between the creditor’s claims and the actual amount realized. But the difference between what the company offers while entering IBC and the value realized.
  • Optimum budgetary allocations for upskilling insolvency professionals, improving tribunal infrastructure and for digitisation of the insolvency resolution process.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

In News

  • Recently, scientists have genetically modified mosquitoes to slow the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their guts which can also help prevent transmission of the disease to humans.

About Malaria 

  • Parasites 
    • Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. 
    • The parasite develops into its next stage in the mosquito’s gut and travels to its salivary glands, ready to infect the next person it bites.
    •  Though only around 10 percent of mosquitoes live long enough for the infectious parasite to develop.
  • Symptoms
    • People who have malaria usually feel very sick with a high fever and shaking chills.
  • Distribution
    • While the disease is uncommon in temperate climates, malaria is still common in tropical and subtropical countries.
  • Vaccine
    • It is preventable and curable.
  • Data on Malaria 
    • Malaria remains one of the most devastating diseases globally, putting at risk about half of the world’s population. 
    • In 2021, it infected 241 million people and killed 627,000 people

Genetic modification in Mosquitoes 

  • Lab-bred mosquitoes: GM mosquitoes are mass-produced in a laboratory to carry two types of genes:
    • A self-limiting gene that prevents female mosquito offspring from surviving to adulthood.
    • A fluorescent marker gene that glows under a special red light. This allows researchers to identify GM mosquitoes in the wild.
      • New tools are increasingly needed as mosquitoes develop resistance to insecticides and treatments.
  • Shorter life span: The peptides impair the malarial parasite’s development and also cause the mosquitoes to have a shorter life span.
  • Gene drive technology: Gene drive is one such powerful weapon that in combination with drugs, vaccines and mosquito control can help stop the spread of malaria and save human lives.  

Pros of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

  • GM mosquitoes have been successfully used in parts of Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Panama, and India to control Ae. aegypti mosquitoes.
  • GM mosquitoes will only work to reduce numbers of target mosquito species and not other types of mosquitoes.
  • There is no risk to people, animals, or the environment.
  •  Scientists say the introduction of GMO mosquitoes will lower the population of disease-carrying biting insects over time.
  • Reviews suggest the loss of invasive mosquito species will have little to no effect on local environments since they didn’t belong there to begin with.
  • No pesticides are added to the environment when using GMO mosquitoes.
  • Seeding areas with GMO male mosquitoes is relatively easy and a low-manpower activity.

Cons of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

  • GMO mosquitoes may carry or develop unknown pathogens that hurt humans.
  • Critics say there has not been enough testing and observation of the GMO mosquitoes.
  • Though the mosquito is an introduced species, native species are now reliant on these mosquitoes for their diet.
  • GMO mosquitoes may mutate into a stronger mosquito that can reproduce, which poses a whole new threat.
  • Fear that despite the gene modification, some of the hatched GMO mosquitoes will survive to adulthood and breed.
  • The cost of producing GMO mosquitoes is too expensive and too time-consuming.

Way Forward/ Suggestions

  • Planning: It would require extremely careful planning to minimise risks before any field trials.
  • Two separate strains: there is a need of creating two separate but compatible strains of modified mosquitoes one with the anti-parasite modification and one with the gene drive.
  • Integrated mosquito management: 
    • Educating the community about how they can control mosquitoes in and around their homes.
    • Conducting mosquito surveillance (tracking and monitoring the number of mosquitoes, and types of mosquitoes in an area).
    • Removing standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs.
    • Using larvicides and insecticides to control mosquito larvae, pupae, and adult mosquitoes.
    • Monitoring how effective mosquito programs are at reducing numbers of mosquitoes. 


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