India’s renewable power capacity : IEA report

In News

Recently, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report stated that India will almost double its renewable power capacity in the next 5 years.

Key Points

  • Global Renewable energy:  It will comprise 90 percent of global electricity capacity expansion in the next five years and much of it will be in India.
    • Renewable energy’s installed power capacity addition will grow to 2,400 gigawatts (GW) between 2022 and 2027.
      • This expansion was 85 percent faster than the previous five years and will be equal to the entire installed power capacity of China today.
  • India: 
    • With the addition of 145 gigawatt (GW), India is forecast to almost double its renewable power capacity over 2022-2027. 
    • Sources: Solar photovoltaic (PV) accounts for three-quarters of this growth, followed by onshore wind with 15 percent and hydropower providing almost all the rest.
  • Other countries: 
    • China, the European Union and the United States will be three other geographies contributing majorly to this upward trend besides India. 
  • Reason of major contribution: 
    • This is primarily owing to the favourable policies and market reforms in all four.
  • Wind vs Solar:
    • Wind energy is a different ball game compared to solar because the good sites are only located in coastal states. Even within a coastal state, there are tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 sites depending on the wind intensity.
    • Raising the capability of DISCOMs to procure more renewable energy will be crucial to achieving faster growth.

Renewable Energy in India

  • Finances: 
    • India’s plan to install 500 GW (gigawatt) of renewable energy capacity by 2030 will involve an investment of at least ?2.44 lakh crore or ?2.44 trillion. 
    • As part of its international climate commitments, India has said that it would source roughly half its energy needs from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. Financing the energy transition of developing countries such as India is among the thorniest geo-political issues, with India having said multiple times at United Nations climate conferences that “trillions of dollars” will be required.

  • Transmission Plans:
    • It includes systems required for transporting 10 GW of off-shore wind-based energy located in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu at an estimated cost of ?28,000 crore. 
    • With the planned transmission system, the inter-regional capacity will increase to about 1.50 lakh MW by 2030 from 1.12 lakh MW at present.
    • Energy storage: Because renewable-energy generation is only available for a limited time every day, the plan envisages installing battery storage capacity worth 51.5 GW by 2030 to provide “round-the-clock power to end-consumers.
  • Non fossil fuel Generation Centres:
    • The plan has identified major upcoming centres in the country, including at Fatehgarh, Bhadla and Bikaner in Rajasthan, Khavda in Gujarat, and Anantapur and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Capacity at present:
    • The installed electricity-generating capacity in the country at present is 409 GW, including 173 GW from non-fossil fuel sources, which is about 42% of the total.


  • Clean energy transitions are driving down the costs of energy storage technologies, expected to reduce further with an increase in scale and innovations.
  • Suspending reverse bidding was a positive thing because for a good four or five years, it did not lead to higher wind capacity addition.

Indian Policies

  • Raising Import duty: 
    • The duty on imports was increased to 40 percent for PV modules from 15 percent and to 25 percent for solar cells in April 2022. 
    • This was done to reduce dependence on China and increase domestic manufacturing. 
    • This is expected to add 16 GW of PV capacity, 60 percent higher than last year.
  • The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme:
    • It sanctioned 9 GW of PV manufacturing capacity to provide an ecosystem of local manufacturing. 
    • This programme aims to expand India’s solar PV cell and module manufacturing capacity to over 70 GW in this decade, including 29 GW of manufacturing capacity fully integrated across the whole supply chain.

Way Ahead

  • Policy support: Consistent policy support from the Indian government may enable the transition, particularly by promoting local manufacturing of solar modules. 
  • Replace China: There are bottlenecks in the supply chain from China, and India can make a good place in the global world, utilising this.
  • Schemes like PLI and raising import duty: Similar measures are expected to meet the growing demand of the renewable energy industry and help in the diversification of supply chains in the long term.
  • Increasing Storage will play a key role in the hybrid project, particularly to overcome the intermittency of RE and enhance grid balancing.
  • Closed – envelope submissions: Currently, the government is considering closed-envelope submissions. This could raise tariffs for wind energy and make it a more competitive market.
  • Improving the financial performance of DISCOMs and increasing penalties for non-compliance with renewable purchase obligations should limit delays in signing PPAs with auction winners, making developers and investors more willing to undertake new utility-scale projects.
  • Increase rooftop PV deployment in their grids should encourage them to attract tens of millions of potential prosumers by facilitating investment, thereby tripling main-case distributed PV deployment for 2022-2027
Hybrid Auctions Hybrid projects refers to innovative combinations of solar and wind power at a site. It can include solar, wind, and battery or pumped hydro storage. Bundling coal with renewables is also another option.Almost a quarter of the capacity awarded since 2021 has been contracted through hybrid auctions. These auctions are thus expected to be an increasingly important growth driver as the penetration of wind and PV technologies in India’s power system grows and grid integration challenges emerge.

National Judicial Commission Bill, 2022

In News

  • National Judicial Commission Bill, 2022 was recently introduced in Rajya Sabha.

More about the news

  • About:
    • NJAC, 2022 is a private member bill to regulate the appointment of judges through the National Judicial Commission was introduced in Rajya Sabha.
  • Aim:
    • It aims to regulate the procedure to be followed by the National Judicial Commission for recommending people for appointment as the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices and other judges of High Courts.
  • Highlights of the bill:
    • Transfer of Judges:
      • The bill, if approved, will also regulate the transfers of Judges and lay down judicial standards.
    • Accountability of judges:
      • It will provide for accountability of judges, and establish a credible and expedient mechanisms for investigating individual complaints for misbehaviour or incapacity of a judge of the apex court or of a high court and to regulate the procedure for such investigation.
    • Removal of judges:
      • It also proposes the presentation of an address by parliament to the president in relation to proceeding for the removal of a judge and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

More about the National Judicial Commission (NJAC)

  • Significance: 
    • The need for the National Judicial Appointment Commission was aroused because many jurists criticised the existing collegium system, stating that India is the only country where judges appoint themselves and have the power of determining their transfers
  • Statute for NJAC:
    • The NJAC was proposed via the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014.
      • In order to have a more transparent system, the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act was enacted.
    • The commission was established by the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014. 
    • The Act proposed that the members of NJAC would be composed of members from the legislative, judicial, and civil society. 
  • Apex Court’s action:
    • In a collective order, in 2015, the Supreme Court by a majority of 4:1 struck down the NJAC Act, of 2014.
    • The NJAC Act was termed unconstitutional citing it as having affected the independence of the judiciary. 

Issues with NJAC

  • SC’s previous action:
    • The concept of NJAC has come under the consideration of the Supreme Court three times in 1993, 1998, and 2016. 
    • All three times, while giving importance to the independence of the judiciary, the Supreme Court dismissed the framework of the NJAC.
  • Issue of political influence:
    • It is cited critics that the judiciary is the only independent institution left in the country.
      • It is harmful to allow political influence over it. 
    • It is also stated that the collegium system is functioning smoothly.
      • There is scope for improvement, but not for any political interference. The central government should in no manner be allowed to control the appointment of the judiciary.
  • Culture of reciprocity:
    • The involvement of the legislature in the appointment of judges might lead to the creation of a culture of ‘reciprocity.’ 
    • Meaning that judges might have the feeling of having to pay back the political executive as a consideration for their appointment to the post of judge
  • Constitutional impossibility:
    • The recent bill was opposed in the Rajya Sabha, calling it a “constitutional impossibility”.
About Collegium systemAbout:Judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court are appointed by the provisions mentioned in Articles 124 and 217 of the Constitution of India. Articles 124 and 217 state that the President shall appoint judges to the Supreme Court and high courts after consultation with the Chief Justice of India and other judges.Significance of the system:The collegium system was created to maintain the basic structure of the Constitution by keeping the judiciary independent. It was also to ensure that the Chief Justice of India does not impose his or her individual opinion regarding the appointment of judges, but rather it is a collective opinion of the entire body.  Issues with the current collegium system:The collegium system does not provide any guidelines or criteria for the appointment of the Supreme Court judges and it increases the ambit of favouritism. In the collegium system, there are no criteria for testing the candidate or for doing a background check to establish the credibility of the candidate. The absence of an administrative body is also a reason for worry because it means that the members of the collegium system are not answerable for the selection of any of the judges.

Way ahead

  • The matter is very critical and complex because, on the one hand, the judiciary should act independently, but on the other hand, the legislature and the executive cannot be completely excluded.
  • The only reasonable solution is to frame NJAC Act in a manner in which the powers of legislature and executive are diluted but at the same time a guideline needs to be formed and the judicial appointment should be carried out in its accordance to ensure transparency and to give a methodical approach towards the appointment of judges. 

Corruption in India

In News

  • Recently the International Anti-Corruption Day-2022 was organised by the CBI on ‘Anti-Corruption efforts – A sine qua non for Development and Security.

About the Corruption

  • Corruption refers to misusing public power for personal gain. It can be done by an elected politician, civil servant, journalist, administrator of a school, or anyone in authority. 
  • Apart from public corruption, we also have private corruption between individuals and businesses.
    • Thus, the corruption definition applies to different forms.
  • Corruption in India:
    • Corruption in India is not limited to collusive high-level scams. Petty corruption, which affects the delivery of basic services and rights to people, is rampant.
    • Global surveys/indices: 
      • India has the highest rate of bribery and use of personal links to access public services such as healthcare and education in Asia, according to a survey released by global civil society Transparency International.
      • India is in the 85th position among 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index, 2021.

Issues Linked to it 

  • Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice.
  • Corruption encourages dysfunctionality in government, perpetrates economic inefficiency and can be a serious threat to national security.
  • the impact of corruption is especially heavy on common citizens, and even more on poorer and vulnerable persons in communities.
  • Changing nature of Corruption: Since liberalisation in India, the nature of corruption has become more complex.
    • With technological development, there are opportunities to prevent corruption but also areas where corruption can be much more difficult to trace, particularly in fields like cryptocurrency.

Government initiatives:

  • Indian government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money.
  • It has enacted a comprehensive and more stringent new law – the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015
  • There’s also a Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, which empowers the authorities to attach and confiscate benami properties. 
  • Law enforcement agencies such as CBI have done a great deal to reduce corruption.
  • Prevention of Corruption Act:
    • The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to combat corruption in government agencies and public sector businesses in India.
    • Amendment to the Act:
      • As the Prevention of Corruption Act saw limited success in preventing corruption in Government departments and prosecuting and punishing public servants involved in corrupt practices, an amendment was enacted (Amendment Act) and brought into force in 2018. 
      • The Amendment Act attempted to bring the Prevention of Corruption Act in line with United Nations Convention against Corruption 2005, which was ratified by India in 2011.
  • Right To Information Act, 2005 
    • The intent behind the enactment of the Act is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of Public Authorities. 
  • Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014
    • The Act seeks to protect whistleblowers, i.e. persons making a public interest disclosure related to an act of corruption, misuse of power, or criminal offense by a public servant.
    • It is provided by the Right To Information Act, 2005, it has been an important weapon for whistleblowers in previous years.
    • The RTI Act, 2005 is also called as a ‘twin sister’ of whistleblowing.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013:
    • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 provided for the establishment of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States.
    • The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority constituted at the state level.
    • It investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016:
    • The Bill amends the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 in relation to the declaration of assets and liabilities by public servants. 
    • It requires a public servant to declare his assets and liabilities, and that of his spouse and dependent children. 

Suggestions & way ahead

  • Different steps can help in managing corruption and bringing it down. 
  • Education:
    • Education is one of the most critical steps. It can help in reinforcing the correct business practices.
    • Mandatory education courses like anti-money laundering must be introduced. 
  • Accountability:
    • Accountability mechanisms can also help in curbing corruption.
  • Efficient Reporting:
    • Furthermore, it can be easier to reduce corruption if reporting it becomes simple.
  • Leading by the best practices:
    • The senior employees in the management department must lead by example and cultivate an open and transparent culture.
  • Encouraging ethical culture: 
    • Similarly, rewards and incentives must be granted to encourage people to cultivate an ethical culture. 
  • Need for innovative anti-corruption solutions: 
    • There is a the need for real-time information sharing between law enforcement agencies. 
International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD)It has been observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003Significance of 2022 IACD:The 2022 IACD  also marks the beginning of the twentieth anniversary of the UN Convention Against Corruption – UNCAC.This is reflected by the theme of this year’s international day, ‘UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption.’It seeks to highlight the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development

Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill

In News

Recently, the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill 2022, was passed by Rajya Sabha. 

Key Points

  • Present scenario: 
    • Rajya Sabha has invited scrutiny on two major issues:
      • The exemption made to allow the transfer of captive elephants, and 
      • The sweeping powers given to the Centre to declare species as vermin. 
  • Elephant dilemma:
    • Legal angle: 
      • The legal dilemma over the elephant’s status — simultaneously an endangered wildlife species and a prized domestic animal — has persisted for long.
      • In 1897, the Elephants’ Preservation Act prohibited the killing or capture of wild elephants unless in self-defence or to protect property and crops, or under a licence issued by the district collector.
      • In 1927, the Indian Forest Act listed the elephant as ‘cattle’, prescribing the highest fine of Rs 10 for every impounded jumbo — in comparison, a cow attracted a fine of Re 1, and a camel of Rs 2.
      • The Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972, identified the elephant, along with the bullock, camel, donkey, horse, and mule, as a “vehicle”. 
      • Given the highest legal protection in 1977, the elephant is the only animal in WLPA’s Schedule-I that can still be owned legally — by means of inheritance or gift.
      • In 2003, Section 3 of the WLPA prohibited trade in all captive wildlife and any (non-commercial) transfer across state boundaries without permission from the concerned chief wildlife warden.
    • Latest development:
      • The WLPA (Amendment) Bill 2021 proposed an exception to Section 43: This section shall not apply to the transfer or transport of any live elephant by a person having a certificate of ownership, where such person has obtained prior permission from the State Government on fulfilment of such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
  • The changed Bill, still vague:
    • The transfer or transport of a captive elephant for a religious or any other purpose by a person having a valid certificate of ownership, subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
  • Criticism of the move:
    • The blanket exemption is objected to by Animal welfare Groups, and it should be limited to temple elephants kept for religious purposes.
    • The prohibition on commercial transfer only drove the live elephant trade underground as traders switched to dressing up commercial deals as gift deeds to bypass the 2003 amendment. 
    • The sweeping ambit of “any other purpose” in the present amendment will empower elephant traders, put wild populations at greater risk of capture, and defeat the very purpose of WLPA.
  • Favoring the move:
    • The 2003 amendment did not benefit captive elephants who suffer when their owners fail to bear the expenses of their upkeep, particularly in the post-Covid scenario, and allowing such owners to transfer their elephants legally to those willing to and capable of looking after the animals is a welcome step.
  • The vermin conflict: 
    • Problems to Farmers: The damage due to crop depredation by wild animals has never been computed. But for lakhs of farmers around the many protected forests, it is the biggest challenge to livelihood, not to mention the occasional threat to life.
    • Since 1972, the WLPA has identified a few species — fruit bats, common crows and rats — as vermin or nuisance animals that spread diseases or destroy crops and are not protected under the Act. 
    • Killing animals outside this list was allowed under two circumstances:
      • Under Section 62 of WLPA, given sufficient reasons, any species other than those accorded the highest legal protection (such as tiger and elephant but not wild boar or nilgai) can be declared vermin at a certain place for a certain time.
      • Under Section 11 of WLPA, the chief wildlife warden can allow the killing of an animal irrespective of its status in the Schedules, if it becomes “dangerous to human life.
  • Decision making authority:
    • The state governments took the decisions under Section 62 until 1991 when an amendment handed these powers to the Centre. 
    • In recent years, however, the Centre has started using its powers under Section 62 to issue sweeping orders declaring species as vermin at even state levels, often without any credible scientific assessment.
  • Culling of Animals:
    • Wildlife targets crops either because:
      • There is insufficient food inside forests: Stopping their access to non-forest food by electric fences, etc. may make them starve and bring down the population over time.
        • Contraptions such as electric fencing divert animals to the next village and merely shift conflict. Used extensively, it turns forests into fenced-in zoos without enough food.
      • Fields offer more nutrient alternatives like sugarcane or maize: Measures such as creating buffer zones so that crops do not stand at the edge of the forest, or promoting non-edible crops, may discourage but not eliminate conflict. 
      • Effective compensation schemes work where the damage is reasonable. Elsewhere, the only option is to reduce the number of habitual crop raiders.
    • Secret hunting:
      • The absence of a legal option has not stopped farmers from secretly hunting ‘problem’ animals. 
      • These unregulated culling encourages a practice that often extends to poaching of non-pest, rare and endangered species.

Way Ahead

  • A wildlife standing committee with few members and in-depth technical knowledge for evolving effective site-specific plans/ mitigation strategies including recommendations on changing cropping patterns and for taking critical decisions at short notice, empowered under the law, is necessary.
  • The controversial clause in the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 that allows the “transfer and transport” of live elephants while recommending that the government could bring in additional checks to allow sale and purchase by religious institutions, should be amended.
  • The well-planned, integrated approaches to managing human-wildlife conflict can reduce conflicts and lead to a form of coexistence between people and animals.
Human-animal Conflict: It refers to the interaction between wild animals and humans which results in a negative impact on people, animals, resources, and habitats. 

Bt Brinjal Biopiracy Case

In News

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Karnataka High Court to continue hearing public interest litigation (PIL) on biopiracy which it had sent to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2013.


  • Original PIL:
    • A decade ago, Environment Support Group (ESG) filed a PIL before the Karnataka High Court.
    • It had stated that the seed of the Bt Brinjal, developed by the public-private partnership, was created by accessing six varieties of indigenous brinjal seeds illegally.
    • The high court then transferred the petition to the NGT.
  • Current Status:
    • The SC has now restored the petition back to the high court stating that the NGT did not have the power to look into petitions challenging the constitutional validity.
Biopiracy:Biopiracy is the term used to refer to the use of bio-resources by multinational companies and other organisations without proper authorisation from the countries and people concerned without compensatory payment.Bt brinjalBrinjal has been genetically modified by inserting a protein gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis to give protection against certain pests. The result is Bt brinjal

Inclusion of Medicinal plant species in IUCN Red List

In News 

Three medicinal plant species found in the Himalayas have made it to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species following a recent assessment. 


  • Meizotropis pellita, commonly known as Patwa, is a perennial shrub with restricted distribution that is endemic to Uttarakhand. 
  • The species is listed as ‘critically endangered’ based on its limited area of occupancy (less than 10 sq. km).
    • The species is threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation and forest fires.
    • The essential oil extracted from the leaves of the species possesses strong antioxidants and can be a promising natural substitute for synthetic antioxidants in pharmaceutical industries.
  • Fritillaria cirrhosa (Himalayan fritillary) is a perennial bulbous herb.
    • “It is reasonable to conclude a decline of at least 30% of its population over the assessment period (22 to 26 years). 
    • Considering the rate of decline, long generation length, poor germination potential, high trade value, extensive harvesting pressure and illegal trade, the species is listed as ‘vulnerable.
    • In China, the species is used for the treatment of bronchial disorders and pneumonia. The plant is also a strong cough suppressant and source of expectorant drugs in traditional Chinese medicine
  • Dactylorhiza hatagirea (Salampanja): The third listed species, Dactylorhiza hatagirea (Salampanja), is threatened by habitat loss, livestock grazing, deforestation, and climate change.
    • It is extensively used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other alternative systems of medicine to cure dysentery, gastritis, chronic fever, cough and stomach aches. 
    • It is a perennial tuberous species endemic to the Hindu Kush and Himalayan ranges of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
    • It has been assessed as ‘endangered species 

Scramjet engine

In News

Scramjet engine’s hot test was conducted successfully at ISRO’s Propulsion Research Complex in Tamil Nadu

About scramjet

  • A scramjet engine is an improvement over the ramjet engine as it efficiently operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion.
    • Thus it is known as Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, or Scramjet.
  • It allows supersonic combustion by breathing oxygen from the at hen allows the oxygen to mix with hydrogen already stored in the vehicle to trigger combustion, and produce the desired thrust to lift the satellite to its designated orbit. 
Ramjets A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor. Fuel is injected in the combustion chamber where it mixes with the hot compressed air and ignites. A ramjet-powered vehicle requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6. However, the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.

Extension of PM SVANidhi Scheme

In News:

The Government of India has extended the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme beyond March 2022 

About  PM SVANidhi Scheme

  • PM SVANidhi is a Central Sector Scheme to facilitate street vendors to access affordable working capital loan for resuming their livelihoods activities, after easing of lockdown.
  • It has been extended  with the following provisions:
  • Extension of lending period till December 2024;
  • Introduction of 3rd loan of upto ?50,000 in addition to 1st & 2nd loans of ?10,000 and ?20,000 respectively.
  • To extend ‘SVANidhi Se Samriddhi’ component for all beneficiaries of PM SVANidhi scheme across the country;
  • 42 lakh street vendors are to be provided benefits under PM SVANidhi Scheme by December 2024.

Okavango delta

In Context

  • Recently, Oil companies are seen threatening Africa’s iconic biodiversity hotspots like the Okavango delta in an effort to drill for oil.

More about the Okavango delta

  • About:
    • This delta is located in north-west Botswana comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. 
    • The Okavango delta is formed by the Okavango river, which originates in the highlands of Angola.
  • Recognitions:
    • The Okavango delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Africa.
    • The delta was named as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
  • Significant characteristics:
    • Endorheic delta:
      • The Okavango Delta is one of a very few large inland delta systems without an outlet to the sea, known as an endorheic delta
      • Its waters drain instead into the desert sands of the Kalahari Basin. 
    • Flooding pattern:
      • One of the unique characteristics of the site is that the annual flooding from the River Okavango occurs during the dry season, with the result that the native plants and animals have synchronized their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods. 
      • It is an exceptional example of the interaction between climatic, hydrological and biological processes. 
  • Inhabitants:
    • The delta is home to Africa’s Big Five wildlife species: Savanna elephants, Cape buffaloes, rhinos, lions and leopards. 
    • There are also giraffes, zebras, antelopes, pangolins, 400 bird species and over 1,000 plant species.
    • The delta is also the homeland of indigenous people like the San.


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