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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 OCTOBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 OCTOBER 2019


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1) Women’s crusade in India has not addressed the issues of women of lower societal strata.’ Discuss and substantiate your view.(250 words)

 Indian society class XI NCERT

Why this question:

The question is straight forward from the static portions of GS I syllabus.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain in detail the significance of women movement and their role in addressing women issues. One as to highlight in what way the crusade didn’t address women from lower strata.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief narrate the details of women’s movement in India.

Body:

One has to examine whether the women’s movement of India has failed to successfully address or bring into limelight the problems faced by women of lower strata in India. Thereafter, we need to substantiate our view with examples of such movement and actions taken by the government and its impact on women. We need to highlight the severity of problem and discuss way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Highlighting that the society should be forthcoming to support women and the way forward.

Introduction:

Women’s movements are among the most important crusade of modern social movements. It started off with the efforts of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar to fight for women’s rights due to inhumane practices like Sati. The upper strata women faced these mostly, however, today Women of lower social strata belonging to lower castes, minority religion or economically backward regions continue to face hardships.

Body:

The women’s movements during the independence struggle were initially mostly revolving around the upper-class, educated and those from politically influential families. For instance, Swarnakumari Devi, less heard of than her brother Rabindranath Tagore, started the Ladies Theosophical Society (a multi-religion association of women) way back  in  1882  and  later  became  a  member  of  the  Indian  National  Congress.

These movements were concerned with the politics of social change and was noticed mostly in the Urban India. They were also considered western, influence of Imperialism and unsuitable in the Indian context.

Consequently, post-Independence, the socio-economic status of majority of women in India was very poor. It is seen even today.

The nature of issues faced today by the women of lower strata

  • Economic realm:
    • Very poor Labour force participation rate of women to the tunes of 24%.
    • The Global Gender Gap report reveals that the wage gap remains prominent for semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
    • Feminization of poverty is very high. Economic dependence on spouse make them more vulnerable.
    • Women ownership of resources is abysmal. Hardly 5-8% of lands are registered in women’s name.
    • Unable to breach the glass ceiling to reach the top echelons of the corporate.
  • Political realm:
    • 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act made 33% reservation mandatory for women in Panchayats and ULBs. However, this is misused under Tokenism and men make the decisions.
    • Educated middle class and upper class women occupy offices in governments, panchayats and other bodies.
  • Social realm:
    • The worst forms of Patriarchy is more prominent in the lower social strata. Haryana with primarily agricultural economy had the poorest child sex ratio.
    • Early marriages, child marriage, female infanticide and foeticide, dowry deaths, no widow remarriages and menstruation taboos are some of issues still prominent among the lower strata women.
    • They are denied healthcare, education, nutrition which are basic to human dignity.

 

Post-independence, the women movements like anti-liquor movements, SHG-revolution, strong legislations like Domestic Violence Act, PCPNDT act etc., governmental schemes like BBBP, etc. and recent MeToo movement has impacted the women in the lower strata in a positive way. Women empowerment can happen when everyone works towards it – the government, society, families, and individuals. The government programs targeted towards women empowerment have started to bear fruits. However, there is still a lot of scope to improve the status of lower-strata women in India.

Conclusion:

The women’s movements have grown in size and scope of its activities. With the spread of ICT and autonomous   women’s   organisations, other women’s groups, women’s studies centres, etc., has played no small role in the bringing about of this change. Thus, over the last 40 years, the   women’s   movement   has   affected   the   socio-political   environment in India.


Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

2) Examine the report recently published in economic outlook comparing the growth rate of Developing Asia with the rest of the world. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The economic outlook update released by the Asian Development Bank recently highlighted that the number of urban inhabitants in ‘Developing Asia’ has increased “almost five-fold since 1970”.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the report tracking World Urbanization Prospects data and explain in detail the Developing Asia and compare its growth rate with other countries.

Directive:

ExamineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Briefly provide for data from the report.

Body:

Explain What is developing Asia? – refers to a group of 45 countries that are members of the ADB.

Then use the statistics provided in the article and highlight the growth of urbanization like Developing Asia’s urbanization rate in 2017 was lower than the average in other developing economies (which stood at 58 per cent) and the average in the developed economies (which stood at 81 per cent) etc. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting significance of such a change.

Introduction:

The economic outlook update released by the Asian Development Bank last week highlighted that the number of urban inhabitants in ‘Developing Asia’ has increased “almost five-fold since 1970”. The report, tracking World Urbanisation Prospects data, also states that the two-thirds of the nearly 1.5 billion additional city dwellers in the region belonged from India and China.

Body:

Growth rate of developing Asia vis-à-vis the rest of the world:

  • ‘Developing Asia’ refers to a group of 45 countries that are members of the ADB.
  • As such, between 1970 to 2017, the urban population in this bunch of countries grew from 375 million to 1.84 billion.
  • The region led the global increase in the urban population in this period and accounted for 53 per cent of it.
  • As the chart (blue bars) shows, Developing Asia urbanised faster than the rest of the world not only in terms of absolute growth, but also in terms of growth rate.
  • Urban population in this region increased at an average of 3.4 per cent per annum between 1970-2017.
  • This is much faster than the 2.6 per cent in the rest of the developing world – mainly Africa and Latin America – and 1.0 per cent in the developed world.

India’s position:

  • Growth rate: India’s growth forecast is cut to 7.2% for 2019-20 because of a slower-than-expected pickup in investment demand. The growth rate in Financial Year 2020-21 is likely to be 7.3%.
  • Recovery may be due to agriculture and stronger domestic demand, improved health of banks and corporations and implementation of a value-added tax.
  • The inflation is expected to average around 4% in the first half of FY2019, and therefore the Reserve Bank would have some room for lowering policy rates further increasing credit.

Conclusion:

Since Asia will remain one of the fastest-growing major economy in the world, it has a golden opportunity to cement recent economic gains by becoming more integrated in global value chains, and the young workforce, improving business climate, renewed focus on export expansion.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

3)  The Indian textile and apparels industry does not suffer from the lack of a market but weakness in terms of competitive price and quality. Examine. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The article discusses about the issues facing the Indian textile industry.

Key demand of the question:

One should bring out the problems of Indian textile industry, what issues have been plaguing the sector and in what way it can be addressed.

Directive:

ExamineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief provide statistics on Indian textile industry.

Body:

Explain the issues facing the Indian textile and apparels industry in detail.

Explain why there is a problem of competitive prices and quality.

 Highlight that in order to follow the goal of making India’s development inclusive, the central government is focusing on a number of policies in providing best manufacturing and infrastructure to local artisans, technology and innovation, enhancing skills and strengths of the local industry.

List down some of the major initiatives in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Indian textile and apparel industry can be broadly divided into two segments – yarn & fibre, and processed fabrics & apparel. Indian textile industry has some deep-rooted problems which needs to be addressed with long-term sustainable solutions.

Body:

Potential of Textile Sector:

  • Employment generation: textiles & garments industry is labour intensive sector that employs 45 mn people in India is second only to the agriculture sector in terms of employment.
  • The textiles and apparels industry in India is valued at around $127 billion in size.
  • According to India brand and equity foundation(IBEF), India is among the world’s largest producers of textiles and garments. Domestic Textile and apparel industry contributes 2% to India’s GDP and accounts for 14% of industrial production, 27% of the country’s foreign exchange inflows and 13% of the country’s export earnings.
  • The sector is a large foreign exchange earner, and is the second-largest employer (after the agricultural sector) in the country.
  • In India, the sector enjoys the presence of the entire value chain from fibre, yarn, fabric and apparel apart from the availability of cheap and abundant labour.
  • Thus for India the textiles industry is important not just for labour absorption and as a source of foreign exchange, but also as a symbol of India’s rich heritage.
  • Tradition and culture: India’s textiles sector is one of the oldest industries in the Indian economy, it not only provides livelihoods to millions of households but is a storehouse and carrier of traditional skills, heritage and culture.
  • It can be divided into two segments-
    • The unorganised sector is small scale and uses traditional tools and methods. It consists of handloom, handicrafts and sericulture.
    • The organised sector uses modern machinery and techniques and consists of spinning, apparel and garments segment.

Current status of Indian textile sector:

  • Indian textiles industry which is one of the oldest industries of the Indian economy is finding it difficult to compete with much smaller players such as Bangladesh and Vietnam.
  • However, in spite of these benefits, India’s share in the global textiles exports is just 5%, which is minuscule as compared to China’s share of 38%.
  • Much smaller players like Bangladesh and Vietnam have a share of 3% in global exports and are increasingly threatening India’s exports.
  • The exports from the sector are valued at around $37 billion, amounting to 13% of India’s total exports.
  • The share of textiles in India’s total exports has fallen sharply from a high of 25% in FY02.
  • The rise in labour cost in China could have been the perfect opportunity for India to increase its share in the global textiles industry.

Issues:

  • Market Reality: India’s textile industry grapples with domestic issues including outdated technology, inflexible labour laws, infrastructure bottlenecks, and a fragmented nature of the industry.
  • The textiles sector in India, primarily dominated by the unorganized and small players, had taken a major hit with demonetization and the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).
  • Global Policies: According to the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, a country needs to phase out export subsidies for a product as it achieves export competitiveness, defined as 3.25% share in world trade, and the per-capita income reaches more than $1,000 per annum.
  • As per this agreement, India is under pressure to end export subsidy for the textiles sector by 2018.
  • This implies that the existing subsidy schemes including the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) and the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme will get affected by the same.
  • Demand for MMF: Globally, manmade textiles and garments are in high demand, with the ratio of cotton-to-manmade-fibre consumption at 30:70.
  • India, despite being the second-largest textiles exporter in the world, lags in this category because of unavailability of manmade fibres at competitive prices.
  • Free-trade pacts: like the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) have led to intense competition from countries like Bangladesh which have zero-duty access to the Indian market. The government should take a re-look at such pacts and try to work out a solution.
  • The government should aim at driving scale across the textiles value chain by encouraging large investment, consolidation of firms and enlargement of clusters.
  • Impact of recent reforms: The sector went through a phase of stagnating exports, demonetisation, bank restructuring and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • India, which was the second largest exporter of Textile & Clothing between 2014 and 2017 after China, slipped to the fifth place losing its position to Germany, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
  • Delay in disbursal of subsidies: Fast-track disbursal of subsidies for technology up-gradation under the TUFS scheme to help the industry modernise the operation.

Measures needed:

  • Government needs to move away from export-specific subsidy, which violates WTO norms, to focus on regional and cluster subsidies, technology upgradation and skill development subsidies, which benefit all the producers.
  • In India, cotton and manmade fibres (MMF) have differential tax treatment, here fibre neutrality will give a boost to the industry.
  • Under differential tax treatment cotton is taxed at 5% and manmade fibres at 12%.
  • In fact, of the total textiles and clothing exports from India, cotton accounts for around 75%, there is a need to increase production with the global consumption patterns.
  • While India has abundant supply of labour, flexibility in labour laws and adequate skilling will give a big boost to the textiles industry.
  • For instance, women should be allowed to work in all three shifts, after taking into account adequate safeguard measures.
  • Technology upgradation schemes will help Indian players to increase both their productivity and competitiveness.
  • In addition, the government needs to carefully evaluate the various trade agreement opportunities Bangladesh and Vietnam benefit from favourable access to some of the big apparel markets.
  • The government also needs to re-look at fibre neutrality and evaluate various trade agreement opportunities, while domestically focusing more on technology upgradation and skill development.

Topic:Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.  

4) Criminal justice is directionless and in a state of policy ambiguity. Do you think India needs to draft a clear policy that should inform the changes to be envisaged in the IPC or CrPC? Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question:

The article deals with importance of criminal justice system and the ambiguities associated with it.

Key demand of the question:

One has to bring out reasons that have necessitated the need for drafting a clear policy that should inform the changes to be envisaged in the IPC or CrPC.

Directive:

Commenthere we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In short throw light on the existing criminal justice system in the country.

Body:

Explain that recently home minister proposed that the Bureau of Police Research and Development should work on a proposal to amend various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Bring out the issues associated with criminal justice system in detail first.

Suggest what changes are required and how they should be brought about.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Criminal Justice System (CJS) includes the institutions/agencies and processes established by a government to control crime in the country. This includes components like police and courts. The aim of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is to protect the rights and personal liberty of individuals and the society against its invasion by others. Home Minister has recently asked Bureau of Police Research and Development to work on a proposal to amend various sections of the IPC and the Code of Criminal Procedure after seeking suggestions from people across the country.

Body:

Need for reforms:

  • The government aims to revamp Indian Penal Code which was drafted by the British.
  • The Home Ministry has constituted two committees comprising legal luminaries to overhaul the IPC introduced by the British in 1860.
  • After it was framed, the IPC has never been amended in totality. Some additions and deletions have been made.
  • Rebooting the code introduced by the British in 1860 was considered as necessary as it is primarily based on the spirit of “master and servant”.
  • According to Economic Survey 2018-19, there are about 3.5 crore cases pending in the judicial system, especially in district and subordinate courts, which leads to actualisation of the maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
  • India has one of the world’s largest number of undertrial prisoners. According to NCRB -Prison Statistics India (2015), 67.2% of our total prison population comprises of under trial prisoners.

The Malimath Committee:

Government appointed the Malimath committee with task of examining the fundamental principles of criminal law so as to restore confidence in the criminal justice system. The committee made 158 recommendations, and since then some of these have become law. Its suggestion on permitting videography of statements has been implemented.

Reforms needed:

  • Criminal law is considered to be the most apparent expression of the relationship between a state and its citizens. Therefore, any revision to the existing system needs to be done while keeping several principles in mind, which are described below:
  • The reason for victimization ought to be given a major thrust in reforming laws to identify the rights of crime victims.
  • g.: Launch of victim and witness protection schemes, use of victim impact statements, increased victim participation in criminal trials, enhanced access of victims to compensation and restitution.
  • The construction of new offences and reworking of the existing classification of offences must be guided by the principles of criminal jurisprudence which have substantially altered in the past four decades.
  • Criminal liability could be graded better to assign the degree of punishments. New types of punishments like community service orders, restitution orders, and other aspects of restorative and reformative justice could also be brought in its fold.
  • The classification of offences must be done in a manner conducive to management of crimes in the future.
  • Many chapters of the IPC are overloaded at several places. The chapters on offences against public servants, contempt of authority, public tranquillity, and trespass can be redefined and narrowed.
  • Guiding principles need to be developed after sufficient debate before criminalising an act as a crime.
  • Unprincipled criminalisation not only leads to the creation of new offences on unscientific grounds, but also arbitrariness in the criminal justice system.
  • The discretion of judges in deciding the quantum and nature of sentence differently for crimes of the same nature should be based on principles of judicial precedence.

Way forward:

  • The state needs to avoid unprincipled criminalisation and rather focus on developing a guiding principle for re-classification of offences.
  • This is because unprincipled criminalisation often leads to not only the creation of new offences on unscientific grounds, but also arbitrariness in the criminal justice system.
  • There is also need for simultaneous reforms in police, prosecution, judiciary and in prisons.
  • Thus, Criminal Justice Reform Committee must be constituted with a mandate to evolve criminal justice policy in India.
  • The Committee needs to carry forward the work done earlier by Menon Committee on Criminal Justice System, the Malimath Committee, and the Law Commission.

Conclusion:

It is not a bad idea to revisit old committee reports with a view to considering their possible implementation. However, such an exercise must be pursued with care and caution. Therefore, the proposed amendments must be done in a principled way based on identification of old laws which needs to be removed.


TOPIC:Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5) Internet has emerged as a potent tool that can cause unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity, do you agree? Give your opinion with suitable justification. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Recently the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) told the top court that though technology had led to economic growth and societal development, there was also an exponential rise in hate speech, fake news and anti-national activities.  

Key demand of the question:

Highlight the emergence of Internet as a technological advancement and its possible role in unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity. Justify by giving suitable examples.

Directive:

JustifyWhen you are asked to justify, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief highlight the significance of internet as a tool.

Body:

First bring out both pros and cons of use of internet.

Explain using examples in what way Internet had led to development, but it had also been a platform for spreading hate and fake news. Internet had led to an exponential rise in “anti-national activities.”

Discuss the need for effective, robust and comprehensive rules to govern the internet.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), said that during the last few years, there has been an enormous rise in the number of people using the Internet and social media and also an “exponential rise in hate speech”. The Centre recently informed the Supreme Court it will take another three more months to revise and notify “extant rules” for “effective regulation of intermediaries” such as social media platforms “keeping in view the ever growing threats to individual rights and nation’s integrity, sovereignty, and security”.

Body:

Internet as potent tool:

  • “The Power of Social Media is that, it forces Necessary Change.”
  • Technology has led to economic growth and societal development.
  • It is generally agreed that social media provided crucial source of news during the Arab Spring.
  • It helped in creating awareness about several issues, e.g. the fight for LGBTQ rights etc.
  • Social media has definitely made us closer to other parts of the world.
  • WhatsApp is important for rural users, as it helps them cheaply connect to family members far away and send pictures of their products to clients across India.
  • Social media platforms provide a platform to raise their voice against injustice and inequality.
  • Voices previously excluded from conversations can now find a channel.
  • A few decades ago, if a farmer died due to non-repayment of loans, only the family mourned for the loss.
  • Today if the same happens, the entire nation seems to empathize with the death of such farmers.
  • Social media have increasingly been adopted by politicians, political activists and social movements as a means to engage, organize and communicate with citizens.

Internet as a disruptive tool:

  • Technology is double-edged. There are reasons to cheer as also to despair.
  • there has been an exponential rise in hate speech, fake news, public order, anti-national activities, defamatory postings, and other unlawful activities using Internet/social media platforms .
  • Social media has various negative impacts like privacy issues, information overloads and internet fraud.
  • Researchers have found that hyper-networking leads to negative health behaviour leading to laziness, obesity, depression, drug abuse, isolation or in the worst cases it may even lead to suicide.
  • Social media has made the world a small space by allowing mass cultural exchange and intercultural communication.
  • India being a secular country is a home for the people of various religious and cultural beliefs.
  • When these beliefs clash the consequences are unpleasant.
  • A mere comment or opinion on a certain belief on social media spreads like fire leading to riots and destructive rallies.
  • Its heavy usage has ill effects on health issues and there is cyber bullying, online harassment and trolling.
  • The trolling of women has brought to the fore the disturbing reality of online violence and abuse women face in India

Measures needed:

  • A better and more effective approach to limit the influence of hoaxes on WhatsApp and other platforms is to increase media literacy.
  • If we are concerned about the impact of fake news, we must address the underlying narratives, instead of merely trying to rebut individual items.
  • By addressing the weaknesses that allow the fake news narrative to take root. Eg., the rise of right-wing due to the loss of credibility of the liberal camp.
  • Mobilize public opinion around an alternate narrative that makes the fake news item irrelevant.
  • Data leaks at Facebook and Uber in the recent past have proven that the encryption has to be so high.
  • The government should bring out a policy framework on the possible harm due to the internet messaging platforms to engage at a deeper level.
  • The balance must be right between protecting privacy and allowing the state leeway to curb crime.
  • The need of the hour is to tackle the gendered aspect of online abuse and uphold the rights of women in India.

Conclusion:

Any conversation on additional regulation of social media brings up concerns about privacy and surveillance. Therefore, any bid at regulating expression online has to be proportional and concrete with adequate redressal mechanisms and without any blanket provisions.

Extra information: Recent Campaigns by Social Media Platforms:

  • WhatsApp launched a nationwide campaign called “Share Joy, Not Rumours” to help prevent the spread of rumours and fake news.
  • Facebook launched #Socialforgood campaign to address issues such as cyber bullying, mental wellbeing, and entrepreneurship and was targeted primarily at young users.
  • Twitter launched #PowerOf18 campaign to encourage youth to contribute to public debate and participate in civic engagement in the upcoming election season.
  • These campaigns are a way to take ownership of what’s happening on these platforms and find ways to weed out negative content

TOPIC: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

6) Explain how the Li-ion battery, which won for its developers the Chemistry Nobel, set off a technology revolution. ( 250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for working towards the development of practical lithium ion batteries. Thus it is important for us to learn from the examination perspective the utility of the concept.

Key demand of the question:

One must bring out in detail the merits associated with Li-ion batteries and in what way they have set a technological revolution.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief define what lithium-ion batteries are. 

Body:

Explain that these batteries are the edifice of the wireless technology revolution that made possible portable compact disc players, digital wrist watches, laptops and the mobile phones of today. It is also seen as important to a fossil free future of electric cars that governments envisage to address climate change.

Discuss the contributions of Goodenough and Yoshino.

Conclusion:

Conclude with applications of such a revolutionary discovery.

Introduction:

Lithium-ion batteries are the edifice of the wireless technology revolution that made possible portable compact disc players, digital wrist watches, laptops and the mobile phones of today. It is also seen as important to a fossil-free future of electric cars that governments envisage to address climate change. The 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for working towards the development of practical lithium-ion batteries.

Body:

Lithium Ion Battery:

  • It is type of rechargeable battery that contains several cells.
  • Each cell consists of cathode, anode and electrolyte, separator between electrodes and current collectors. Li-ion battery use intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material.
  • When the battery is charging up, the lithium-cobalt oxide, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through the electrolyte to the negative, graphite electrode and remain there.
  • When the battery is discharging, the lithium ions move back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode, producing the energy that powers the battery.

Lithium ion batteries set off a revolution:

  • Whittingham made the battery safer, aluminium was added to the metallic lithium electrode and the electrolyte between the electrodes was changed. The batteries thus made were small and the next step was to make them big enough to be used in cars.
  • Goodenough’s major insight was that batteries did not have to be manufactured in their charged state, as had been done previously. Instead, they could be charged afterwards.
  • Consumer electronics companies in Japan were looking for light, rechargeable batteries that could power video cameras, cordless telephones and computers.
  • Yoshino, who was working at Asahi Kasei Corporation, used Goodenough’s lithium-cobalt design as a working template and tried various carbon-based materials as the anode.
  • The battery designed eschewed pure lithium which is extremely volatile and explodes on contact with air and water.
  • The lithium cobalt design was safe and could be manufactured in a variety of sizes and conditions.
  • There have been subsequent improvements to this design too and that’s what made it amenable to smart phones and other electronic devices that require rechargeable batteries.

Advantages:

  • Li-ion batteries are rechargeable (lifecycle of 5000 recharges), highly space efficient, light-weight and low-maintenance vis-à-vis lead acid batteries.
  • High energy density: The much higher power density offered by lithium ion batteries is a distinct advantage.
  • Rate of self-discharge is much lower than that of other rechargeable cells such as Ni-Cad and NiMH forms.
  • It can provide instant torque to the electric motor and maintain constant voltage throughout entire discharge cycle.
  • Clean and safe technology vis-à-vis fossil fuels.

Conclusion:

India is one of the largest importers and in 2017, it imported nearly 150 Million US Dollar worth Li-Ion batteries. Indian manufacturers source Lithium Ion Battery from China, Japan and South Korea among some other countries.

The Lithium Ion batteries currently score over the Hydrogen Fuel cells due the former’s wide applications from mobile phones to wearable devices to e-Vehicles. The FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan whose main thrust is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies. India must however make a concerted attempt to incentivize both EVs and FCEVs.