China blocks India’s bid to list LeT leader as global terrorist

In News

  • Recently, China once again blocked proposals by India and the United States (US) to designate Pakistan-based terrorists on the UN Security Council’s 1267 list of terror entities.

Key Points

  • Terrorist organizations and Terrorists: 
    • India suggests a list of terrorists who are affiliated to the Al Qaeda and ISIS for listing under the United Nations Security Council’s.
    • Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) top leaders including Talha Saeed, son of Hafiz Saeed and Shahid Mehmood, deputy chief of an LeT front were mentioned in 1267 list of terrorists affiliated to Al Qaeda and ISIS. 
  • Blocking by China: 
    • The hold marked the fourth and fifth time China had attempted to block a listing move by India and the U.S. in the past four months.
  • China’s stand: 
    • China needs some time to study these specific cases, but that doesn’t mean China has changed its position on counter-terrorism cooperation efforts. 

UNSC Resolution 1267 Sanctions Committee

  • The 1267 committee was set up in 1999 (updated in 2011 and 2015).
  • It allows any UN member state to propose adding the name of a terrorist or terror group that has affiliations to Al Qaeda and ISIS. 
  • India has successfully proposed the listing of several terror entities in the past two decades, including Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba. 
  • Rules: 
    • Once a listing is proposed, it will be adopted into the list according to a “no-objections” procedure.
    • Placing a hold: If any member of the Committee, which comprises all members of the UN Security Council, places a hold on the listing or objects outright to it, the listing cannot be adopted. 
      • As a permanent member of the UNSC, China can do this any number of times as its term doesn’t run out, and it carries a veto vote.
    • Resolution time:  The Committee is technically bound to resolve this at the end of the six-month period, the “holding” country has to decide whether to accept the listing or place a permanent objection to it. 
      • However, in practice, many of the listing proposals have had prolonged waits.
    • Under the resolution, which has been amended several times, especially after the 9/11 attacks in the US, those on the list
      • Cannot be allowed to travel out of the jurisdiction they are found in and must be prosecuted effectively
      • Must not be allowed to access their funds, and all terror-linked funds frozen
      • Must not be allowed to access weapons

China’s Actions

  • Since 2001, China has placed holds on a number of listing proposals relating mainly to Pakistan-based groups and their leaders, given the close bilateral ties between the two countries. 
  • Most notable was China’s objections to the listing of JeM founder Masood Azhar. 
    • Azhar was released from prison by India in 1999 and handed over to terrorists in return for hostages onboard Indian Airlines flight IC-814, which should have left little doubt about Azhar’s own status as a terrorist. 
    • While the JeM was listed at the UNSC in 2001, and Azhar was mentioned as the group’s founder, he wasn’t designated for several years. 
  • After the Parliament attack and the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, China kept placing a hold on the UNSC terror listing proposals for him: in 2009, 2010, 2016-18, claiming it had “inadequate information” on Masood Azhar’s terror activities. 
  • In May 2019, three months after the Pulwama attacks that were traced to the JeM, China finally withdrew its hold.

India’s Options and Efforts

  • India has tried a number of different ways to build international consensus on cross-border terrorism, and the UNSC terror listings have been one such route. 
  • As a UN member state, Pakistan has an obligation under the sanctions to block access for all designated entities to funds, arms and travel outside its jurisdiction.
    • This is something India has also pursued with the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, where Pakistan was placed on a “grey list” due to its inability to curb terror financing and money laundering from 2012-2015 and 2018-2022. 
    • While Pakistan is likely to be taken off that list this week, it has had to carry out several actions against terror entities on its soil, and will continue to be under scrutiny.
  • India and the U.S. have built their own separate lists of “most wanted” terrorists that document the cases against them, with a view to eventually receiving global cooperation on banning them.
  • At the UNSC meet in August, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Khamboj had called for an end to the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests “without giving any justification”


  • An offence to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organisation to do or abstain from doing any act, which causes:
    • Death or serious bodily injury to any person.
    • Serious damage to public or private property, including a place of public use, a State or government facility, a public transportation system, an infrastructure facility or the environment.
    • Damage to property, places, facilities, or systems resulting in or likely to result in a major economic loss.
  • It encompasses a range of complex threats like organized terrorism in conflict zones, foreign terrorist fighters, radicalised ‘lone wolves’, etc.
  • Factors Responsible for Growth of Terrorism:
    • State-sponsorship and safe havens.
    • State-of-the-art communication systems.
    • Access to advanced technology.
    • Networking of terrorist groups with the criminal underworld.
  • Impacts:
    • It poses a major threat to international peace and security and undermines the core values of humanity, peace and growth.
    • In addition to the devastating human cost of terrorism, in terms of lives lost or permanently altered, terrorist acts destabilise governments and undermine economic and social development.
    • Terrorist acts often defy national borders.
    • Terrorist attacks using CBRNE materials (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) have catastrophic consequences on communities and infrastructure.

Global Efforts

  • Across the globe, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) leads and coordinates an all-of-UN approach to prevent and counter-terrorism and violent extremism.
    • UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) under UNOCT, promotes international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and supports the Member States in implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
  • The Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) plays a significant role in international efforts.
    • It works to assist the Member States, upon request, with the ratification, legislative incorporation and implementation of the universal legal framework against terrorism.
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which is a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, sets international standards that aim to prevent these illegal activities and the harm they cause to society.

Steps Taken by India

  • India has been at the forefront of global action against terrorism and has always played an active role in the global promotion and protection of human rights.
    • India, which has been a victim of cross-border terrorism, took cognizance of the threat long before the major world powers.
    • It is a crime against humanity and violates the most Fundamental Human Right, namely the Right to Life (Article 21).
  • India has taken steps for setting up Joint Working Groups (JWGs) on counter-terrorism/security matters with countries. 
    • Bilateral treaties on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLATs) in Criminal matters to facilitate the investigation, collection of evidence, transfer of witnesses, location and action against proceeds of crime, etc. have been signed with other countries.
  • In 2018, India highlighted its demand for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
    • In 1996, with the objective of providing a comprehensible legal framework to counter-terrorism, India proposed to the UNGA the adoption of CCIT.
    • It included the following major objectives:
      • To have a universal definition of terrorism that all members would adopt into their own criminal laws.
      • To ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps.
      • To prosecute all terrorists under special laws.
      • To make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide.
  • Addressing the UN High-Level Conference on Heads of Counter-Terrorism (2018), India extended a five-point formula.
  • In January 2021, at the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1373, India presented an eight-point action plan to deal with the scourge of terrorism.
    • Summoning the political will to unhesitatingly combat terrorism.
    • Decrying double standards in the fight against terrorism.
    • Reform of the working methods of the Committees dealing with Sanctions and Counter-Terrorism.
    • Firmly discouraging exclusivist thinking that divides the world and harms social fabric.
    • Enlisting and delisting individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regimes objectively not for political or religious considerations.
    • Fully recognising and addressing the link between terrorism and transnational organized crime.
    • Combating terrorist financing.
    • Immediate attention to adequate funding to UN Counter-Terrorism bodies from the UN regular budget.
  • Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System: It vastly improves the capability of Border Security Force (BSF) in detecting and controlling the cross border crimes like illegal infiltration, smuggling of contraband goods, human trafficking and cross border terrorism, etc.
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967: It enables more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations and for dealing with terrorist activities, and other related matters.
  • National Investigation Agency: It is India’s counter-terrorist task force and is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
  • Policy of Zero-Tolerance Against Terrorism: India calls for zero-tolerance agianst terrorism and focuses on developing a common strategy to curb it.
  • Various Counter-Terrorism Operations:
    • Operation Rakshak: Counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operation in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.
    • Operation Sarp Vinash: Undertaken by Indian army to flush out terrorists in the areas of the Pir Panjal range in Jammu and Kashmir in 2003.
    • Operation All Out: Joint offensive launched by Indian security forces to flush out militants and terrorists in Kashmir in 2017.

Way Ahead

  • Placing holds is most regrettable that genuine and evidence-based listing proposals pertaining to some of the most notorious terrorists in the world are being placed on hold. 
  • Double standards and continuing politicization have rendered the credibility of the sanction’s regime at an all-time low.
  • Strong and Reformed Institutions: Multilateral institutions and mechanisms need to be strengthened and reformed to be able to deal with these emerging challenges effectively.
  • Concerted Efforts: There should be a concerted effort from the countries affected by the scourge of terrorism to pressurise countries that engage in state-sponsored terrorism.
  • Timely and Appropriate Action: Intelligence gathering and sharing are not enough, timely and appropriate action is required on the intelligence received.
    • Intelligence agencies have to be empowered both monetarily and through modern infrastructure to be able to respond in time.
  • Filling and Addressing Gaps: Violation of and gaps in the implementation of human rights should be addressed in a fair and just manner, with objectivity, non-selectivity, transparency and with due respect to the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and national sovereignty.
  • United Approach and Efforts: The Covid-19 pandemic has complicated the situation in many geographies so there is a need for all to come together to overcome these challenges.

Sino-India war & India-China Border Issues

In News

  • 60 years were recently completed to the Sino-India war of 1962.

More about the Sino-India war

  • About:
    • Relations with China, whether on the borders or in the political sphere, had long been a cause for concern.
  • Aksai Chin:
    • Location & significance:
      • The conflict between India and China, centered primarily on the disputed Aksai Chin region along those countries’ borders.
      • Geographically, Aksai Chin is a southwestward extension of the Plateau of Tibet. 
      • Aksai Chin in particular had been a long-ignored corner of the subcontinent because of its remoteness and isolation. 
    • Issue:
      • This changed when the Chinese tried to connect Tibet with Xinjiang by building a military road through the region. 
      • India objected to the Chinese presence in the sector, which it claimed as part of the Ladakh region under the Indian administration.
  • The war:
    • After a number of border skirmishes between 1959 and 1962, which began initially as a by-product of the uprising in Tibet, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China forcefully attacked across the disputed boundaries on October 20, 1962. 
    • Indian forces were soundly defeated in the war.
  • Ceasefire:
    • China announced a unilateral ceasefire on November 20 and soon afterward withdrew from most of the invaded area. 
    • It retained control of about 14,700 square miles (38,000 square km) of territory in Aksai Chin.
    • The area remained a point of contention between the two countries.
  • No settlement:
    • The several agreements between the countries since then — on ‘Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity’ (1993), military CBMs (1996), ‘Political Parameters and Guiding Principles’ for the settlement of boundary question (2005), and border defence cooperation (2012) — have failed to lead to a settlement of the border question.

Current Areas of dispute between India & China

  • There are infirmities in India’s boundary with China, both in the east and the west.
  • In the Western sector: 
    • Here India shares a 2152 km long border with China, and territorial disputes over Aksai Chin region of Jammu and Kashmir, with both countries claiming the region as their own.
    • The recent dispute is around the region of the northern bank of Pangong Tso lake, Demchok and the Galwan Valley. 
  • In the middle sector: 
    • Here India roughly shares about a 625 km long boundary with China with a few minor disputes regarding Tibet. 
  • In the Eastern Sector: 
    • Here India shares a 1,140 km long boundary with China and this boundary line is called McMahon Line. 
    • The major dispute here is around the region of Tawang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Chumbi Valley (Dokalam Tri-Junction) which India shares with Bhutan.

Steps Taken by India

  • Developing Infrastructure: 
    • India has been improving its infrastructure in the border areas.
    • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) completed more than 100 projects in border areas, the majority of which were close to the border with China.
    • India is speeding up work on the Nimu-Padam-Darcha axis which is going to help troops move to Ladakh from other parts of the country.
  • Improved Surveillance: 
    • India is also improving its surveillance along the entire 3488-km boundary, and has been building new airstrips and landing areas.
  • Occupied key heights on the Kailash range: 
    • Towards the end of 2020, India outmaneuvered China to capture the previously unoccupied heights of the Kailash Range on the south bank of the lake.

Way ahead

  • The best lesson that we can learn from our 1962 debacle is that India must never lower its guard and must deploy sufficient military and logistics capabilities to respond to any surprise from the Chinese side.
  • To ensure that the nation’s security interests are fully protected, the government should step up the development of border infrastructure, including the construction of roads, bridges, etc.
    • The objective of creating infrastructure along the border areas should not only be to meet India’s strategic and security requirements but also facilitate the economic development of these areas.
Line Of Actual Control (LAC)The LAC is the demarcation that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.For India, the LAC is 3,488 km long, while China considers it to be only around 2,000 km.It is divided into three sectors: the eastern sector which includes Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and the western sector in Ladakh.LAC in the eastern sector consisting of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim is called the McMahon Line which is 1,140 km long. Difference between LoC with Pakistan and LAC with China:The Line of Control (LoC) is delineated on a map signed by DGMOs of both armies and has the international sanctity of a legal agreement. In contrast, The LAC is only a concept, it is not agreed upon by the two countries, neither delineated on a map or demarcated on the ground.Image: India TodayMcMahon LineThe McMohan line is named after Lieutenant Colonel Sir Arthur Henry McMahon. McMahon was foreign secretary of the British-run Government of India and the chief negotiator of the Simla Accord of 1914.McMahon proposed the line in the Simla Accord to separate Tibet from India in the eastern sector. China rejected the Simla Accord because it did not consider Tibet a sovereign government which could sign treaties. China also did not accept the boundaries between Inner and Outer Tibet.

Cuban Missile Crisis

In News

  • 60 years were recently completed to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

More about the Cuban Missile Crisis

  • About:
    • The October of 1962 saw the Cold War hit its height, when the two great superpowers, the Soviet Union and the US, teetered on the brink of nuclear warfare for 13 days. 
    • The standoff, known as the Cuban missile crisis, was resolved and disaster was narrowly averted. 
    • This is accredited to timely negotiations between Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and US President John F Kennedy.
  • Precursor :
    • An important precursor of the Cuban missile crisis was the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.
      • In this, US-backed Cuban counter-revolutionaries attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro’s regime in the country and establish a non-communist government friendly to the US.
      • After successfully fending off the operation, Castro turned increasingly towards the USSR and its premier Khrushchev, to deter any future invasion by the US
  • Course of events:
    • USSR’s missile installation in Cuba:
      • Having promised to defend Cuba with Soviet arms, the Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev initiated the installation of Soviet medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba
      • Such missiles could hit much of the eastern United States within a few minutes if launched from Cuba. 
      • Khrushchev also wanted to place nuclear weapons in Cuba to counter the urgent threat of US missiles close to its own borders.
    • US action & naval “quarantine”:
      • Kennedy announced that U.S. forces would seize “offensive weapons and associated matériel” that Soviet vessels might attempt to deliver to Cuba.
      • Kennedy ordered a naval “quarantine” of Cuba
        • In this, US destroyers and submarines were placed around Cuba in order to prevent military supplies being brought to the island.
  • Standoff:
    • As the two superpowers hovered close to the brink of nuclear war, On October 28 Khrushchev capitulated, informing Kennedy that 
      • Work on the missile sites would be halted and  
      • The missiles already in Cuba would be returned to the Soviet Union. 
    • In return, Kennedy committed the United States to never invading Cuba.
    • Both superpowers began to fulfil their promises over the coming weeks, and the crisis was over by late November.

Significance of Cuban Missile crisis in World History

  • U.S.-Soviet relations:
    • The Cuban missile crisis marked the climax of an acutely antagonistic period in U.S.-Soviet relations.
    • After the Cuban missile crisis, the two superpowers created the Moscow-Washington hotline, so that their leaders could have a direct communication link and prevent such tensions. 
  • Fall of Khrushchev:
    • It is generally believed that the Soviets’ humiliation in Cuba played an important part in Khrushchev’s fall from power in October 1964 and in the Soviet Union’s determination to achieve, at the least, a nuclear parity with the United States.
  • Closest to nuclear war:
    • The crisis also marked the closest point that the world had ever come to global nuclear war.
  • No end for cold war:
    • While nuclear warfare was thankfully averted, the Cuban missile crisis did not mark the resolution of the Cold War, nor the culmination of the ever-growing arms race.
Cold warOrigin:Post World War II (1945), the world got divided into two power blocs dominated by two superpowers, the US and Soviet Union.The period is generally considered to span from the announcement of the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.About:The Cold War referred to the competition, the tensions and a series of confrontations between the US and Soviet Union.It was not simply a matter of power rivalries, of military alliances and of the balance of power.The ‘cold’ war:The term cold war is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two superpowers, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy warsIdeological conflict:These were accompanied by a real ideological conflict between communism and capitalism.The western alliance, headed by the US, represented the ideology of liberal democracy and capitalism.The eastern alliance, headed by the Soviet Union, was committed to the ideology of socialism and communism.There was a difference over the best and the most appropriate way of organising political, economic and social life all over the world.CommunismIt is a sociopolitical, philosophical, and economic ideology and is current within the socialist movement.Its goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order centered around common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange—allocating products to everyone in the society.It also involves the absence of social classes, money and the state.Soviet UnionAbout:Officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). A flagship communist state, it was nominally a federal union of Twenty-one republics.In practice, both its government and its economy were highly centralized until its final years. It was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.Dissolution of the Soviet UnionThe dissolution of the Soviet Union was the process of internal disintegration within the Soviet Union (USSR) which took place in 1991.

Draft National Credit Framework

In News

  • Recently, the Government of India unveiled the draft National Credit Framework (NCrF) to enable the integration of academic and vocational domains.

Key Points

  • About:
    • National Credit Framework is a next generation, multidimensional instrument under National Education Policy (NEP). 
  • Aim of NCrF: 
    • To formulate a unified credit accumulation and transfer for general and vocational studies, and from school to higher education.
  • Formulated under: 
    • UGC (Establishment and Operation of Academic Bank Of Credits in Higher Education) Regulations, notified in July 2021.
  • Credits for School Students: 
    • While the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) follows a credit system, currently there is no established credit mechanism for regular school education in the country.
    • At the higher education level, there is a choice-based credit system, where the requirement for awarding a degree or diploma or certificate is prescribed in terms of the number of credits to be earned by students.
    • School students will be able to earn credits from classroom learning as well as extracurricular activities, which will be deposited in a credit bank. This system is already in place at the higher academic level.
  • Integration of All Frameworks: 
    • Besides, frameworks for higher education and skill education are currently not integrated, and the proposal is to integrate all frameworks, including the one at school level, under one umbrella.
    • NCrF will seamlessly integrate the credits earned through school education, higher education and vocational and skill education by encompassing the National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF), National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) and National School Education Qualification Framework (NSEQF). 
  • Aadhaar-enabled Student Registration: 
    • There are plans to conduct an “Aadhaar-enabled student registration” drive where student registration will take place. 
  • Academic Bank of Credits (ABC):
    • After student registration, an Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) account will be opened, where credits can be deposited. The deposit of degree and credits will take place in those accounts.
  • Knowledge Locker: 
    • There will be a knowledge locker along the lines of DigiLocker.

Proposed Credit Regime under NCrF

  • At the school level:
    • The draft NCrF proposes that the credit regime be divided into five levels
      • from pre-school to class II; 
      • classes III to V; 
      • classes VI to VIII;
      • classes IX to X; and
      • classes XI and XII – A student who clears class XII will be at credit level 4. 
    • Under the draft framework, the credit points will be carried over to the graduation level, and further.
    • A student will have to earn at least 40 credits for completing each year of school, besides clearing the exams. 
    • The annual “notional learning” duration to earn at least 40 credits has been fixed at 1,200 hours — these will be not just time spent in classrooms but also a range of extracurricular activities and sports
    • It may include yoga, other physical activities, performing arts, music, social work, NCC, vocational education, as well as on-the-job training, internships or apprenticeships, among others.
  • At the higher education level:
    • The credit levels will range between 4.5 and 6 at four-year courses at undergraduate level, followed by the post-graduation level (between level 6 and 7).
    • The framework has provisions of credit levels going up to 8 for those who obtain doctorate degrees. 

Need for NCrF

  • To open numerous options for further progression of students.
  • To ensure inter-mingling of school and higher education with vocational education and experiential learning.
  • To prepare the educational system for gradual implementation of National Education Policy provisions such as the four-year undergraduate programmes, which comes with features such as multiple entry and exit. 
  • To enable students who have dropped out of mainstream education to re-enter the education ecosystem.

Proposed Benefits for Various Stakeholder

StudentsEnsuring Flexibility in the duration of study/ courses through provisions of multiple entries and exit/work options Paving the path for creditisation of all learning hours, including academic, vocational and experiential learning.Provision for lifelong learning – anytime anywhere learning Establishing multidisciplinary and holistic education with flexible curriculaRemoving the hard distinction between the education stream and making study choices respectful, allowing for more than one award in the same periodRemoving the distinction between arts, science, social sciences, commerce, etcGiving student credits for every academic/ skill/ experienceEnhancing the scope of core learning to include foundational and cognitive both
InstitutionsUnification of higher education institutions to promote multidisciplinary education, creating a diverse and rich students knowledge basePromoting stronger collaboration between institutionsMaking credit mechanism simpler and uniformIncreasing focus on research and innovationPromoting digital learning, blended learning, and open distance learningLeveraging the institutional infrastructure
GovernmentAssisting the government to increase the enrolment of studentsHelping to fulfill the national vision of complementing the demographic dividend Transforming India into the Skill Capital of the WorldMaking vocational education and training/ skilling aspirationalHighly educated and trained workforce for Aatmnirbhar Bharat
IndustryAllowing students to attain NSQF-approved foundational skills developed by industry and be more employableProvision of micro-credentials to allow integration of quick educational upgradation/ up-skillingRe-Skilling and up-skilling of existing employees/ engineersMaking students more employable by enabling a more holistic design of the studyCreating a multi/ cross-sectoral skilled pool of employable youth

Way Ahead

  • India is adopting technology at an unprecedented pace. There is a need to bring reforms to incentivise knowledge, skills & experience. 
  • Credits for knowledge acquisition, hands-on training, and positive social outcomes will be a key step for achieving 100% literacy in the next 2-3 years.
  • All institutions, schools, ITIs, AICTE-affiliated engineering colleges, centrally-funded HEIs, state universities and regulatory authorities/bodies should host the public consultation for NCrF on their website for seeking suggestions from citizens.
  • It also supports educational acceleration for students with gifted learning abilities and Recognition of Prior Learning for the workforce that has acquired knowledge and skills informally through the traditional family inheritance, work experience or other methods.

Compressed Biogas (CBG)


  • The Union Petroleum Minister announced that Compressed BioGas (CBG) is the need of the hour and the government is taking all necessary steps to promote the CBG ecosystem.


  • The Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs inaugurated Asia’s largest Compressed Bio Gas plant in Lehragaga, Sangrur in the state of Punjab.
  • CBG plant in Sangrur marked the beginning of India’s master plan for a CBG-based rural economy.
  • The Plant has been commissioned with an FDI investment of Rs. 220 crores (approx.) by Verbio AG, one of Germany’s leading Bio-energy companies. 

Utility of the CBG Plant

  • Employment Generation: Sangrur CBG Plant is expected to provide direct employment to 390 and indirect employment to 585 people, thereby providing additional income to farmers.
  • Reduce Carbon Footprint: The plant will also reduce stubble burning of 40,000 – 45,000 acres of fields, translating into an annual reduction of 150,000 tons of CO2 emissions and clean air with reduced air pollution.
  • Attainment of Climate Goals: It will contribute in achievement of India’s COP26 Climate Change targets of total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now to 2030 achieving the target of net zero emissions by 2070.
  • SATAT Scheme: It will fulfill the objectives of the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme 2018 to establish an ecosystem for production of CBG from various waste/ biomass sources in India. 
  • 38 CBG / Biogas Plants have already been commissioned under the scheme. 
  • Capacity Enhancement: Spread across an area of 20 acres (approx.), Sangrur plant’s present production is about 6 TPD CBG with the ability to process 300 Tons Per Day of paddy straw at max. capacity to produce 33 TPD of CBG using 8 digesters of 10,000 cubic meters.
  • Boost to organic farming: There shall be daily production of about 600-650 Tons of FOM (Fermented Organic Manure), which can be used for organic farming. 
  • Facilitate ‘Make in India’: It will boost the efforts being made to encourage the indigenous manufacturing of CBG Plant equipment such as Cascades, Compressors & Dispensers, and ramp up ‘Make in India’ opportunities across India’s manufacturing sector. 
  • Convergence of schemes and benefits: For farmers welfare, the plant was inaugurated after the following events- 
  • PM’s release of the 12th installment (Rs. 16,000 crores) of the PM-KISAN direct benefit transfer scheme. 
  • The PM’s inauguration of 600 Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PMKSK): to serve as sales centers for fertilizer and a mechanism for establishing a deep bond with the farmers.
  • Launch of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojana-One Nation One Fertiliser scheme for ensuring affordable quality fertilizer under the ‘Bharat’ brand to the farmers.

Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme:  

Launched by the government in 2018, the SATAT scheme aims to-

  • Achieve the target production of 15 Million Metric Ton (MMT) of CBG by 2023-24 from 5000 CBG Plants.
  • Empower and unleash the rural economy by supporting farmers
  • Undertake developmental efforts to benefit vehicle users and entrepreneurs.
  • Increase India’s domestic energy production and self-sufficiency  by reducing dependency on crude oil imports.
  • Efficient tackling of urban air pollution due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emissions 
  • Promotion of organic farming by using Fermented Organic Manure (FOM) produced from CBG plants.
  • Help India lead the world toward a clean energy transition. 

National Policy on Bio Fuels -2018

The Policy aims to increase the usage of biofuels in the energy and transportation sectors of the country during the coming decade.

It also aims to derive the following benefits

  • Reduction in Crude and LNG imports thereby huge savings in forex
  • Utilization, development and promotion of domestic feedstock and its utilization for production of biofuels
  • Increasingly substitute fossil fuels while contributing to National Energy Security
  • Climate Change mitigation and control in pollution
  • Creation of new employment opportunities in a sustainable way
  • Encouragement in the application of advanced technologies for the generation of biofuels

Process of Formation of CBG

  • Raw Material: Waste/Bio-mass sources like agricultural residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. produce Bio Gas through the process of anaerobic decomposition. 
  • Purification: The Bio-Gas is purified to remove hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapour and compressed as Compressed Bio Gas (CBG), which has methane (CH4) content of more than 90%. 

CBG Significance as a fuel

  • CBG has calorific value and other properties similar to CNG and hence can be utilized as green renewable automotive fuel. 
  • Thus, it can replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial areas, given the abundance of biomass availability within the country.

Way Forward

  • Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas considers CBG plants are a huge leap forward in arriving at a win-win situation for farmers and the environment.
  • SATAT scheme and CBG plants will help in India’s transition towards attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as-
  • SDG 7-Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 11-Sustainable cities and communities
  • SDG 12-Responsible consumption and production]
  • SDG 13-Climate Action

Conservation of Vultures


  • The Tamil Nadu state has formed a committee to set up an institutional framework for the effective conservation of vultures, which almost went extinct in the country at the beginning of the 21st century.


  • Alarmed at the 96% decline in India’s vulture population between 1993 and 2003, the Central government put into place two action plans to protect the species at the national level.
    • the first in 2006 and the second, ongoing plan for 2020-2025.

Vulture Population in India

  • Declining status: 
    • Number of vultures has seen a constant decline since the 1990s.
    • Between the 1990s and 2007, numbers of three presently critically-endangered species, the Oriental white-backed, long-billed and slender-billed vultures, decreased massively with 99% of the species having been wiped out.
    • The number of red-headed vultures, also critically-endangered now, declined by 91% while the Egyptian vultures by 80%.
    • The decline in vulture populations came into limelight in the mid-90s.
  • Importance of Vultures:
    • Vultures are carcass feeders & play a significant role in the natural mechanism of infection control.
      • Despite feeding on infected carcasses, vultures do not get infected. The acids in their stomach are potent enough to kill the pathogen.
    • It will clean up, and keep the ecosystem healthy.
    • The birds also prevent the contamination of water sources, especially in the wild. 
  • Causes for decline:
    • Use of Diclofenac: A veterinary nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in 2004 found in the carcass of cattle the vultures feed on. 
      • The veterinary use of this was banned in 2008.
    • Pesticides: The presence of organochlorine pesticide, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals were also the cause of mortality.
    • Lack of Nesting Trees
    • Electrocution by power lines
    • Food Dearth and Contaminated Food

India-U.K. Joint Working Group

In News

  • Recently, Defence industry organisations from India and the UK have come together to create a new Defence Industry Joint Working Group for more effective cooperation. 
    • The inaugural meeting of the JWG was held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar

About Defence Industry Joint Working Group 

  • The JWG is part of an ongoing initiative between the two countries to strengthen the defence and security partnership through industrial collaboration.
  • The U.K. recently issued its first Open General Export License (OGEL) in the Indo-Pacific region to India that will shorten the delivery times for defence procurement.
  • The Royal Air Force (RAF) recently conducted a subject matter expertise exchange with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) during the visit of Eurofighter Typhoon, Voyager and A-400 in New Delhi and also held joint-flying exercises with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • The UK and India have welcomed the finalisation of the Letter of Arrangement between the U.K.’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and India’s DRDO.

Significance of the move 

  • Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: A stronger UK-India defence relationship is an essential element of the British and Indian governments’ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
  • U.K. is a world leader in critical defence technologies such as jet engine developments which could be beneficial for India.
    • The U.K. has offered advanced core technologies to India, capable of creating an indigenous, ITAR-free jet engine owned, manufactured and exported by India.
  • India and the U.K. have established an Electric Propulsion Capability Partnership and the Joint Working Group will establish a strong partnership between the two navies for development of Electric Propulsion capability for India.
  • The U.K.-India 2030 Roadmap commits to partnership on India’s indigenous combat air programmes, including Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-MkII and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). 
  • DefExpo-2022 has representation from 20 U.K. defence companies: The U.K. industry is already integrating Indian defence suppliers into their global supply chain, manufacturing defence equipment not just for India but for the world.


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