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InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically


Table of Contents:



GS Paper 2:

1. Act East Policy

2. Social Stock Exchange.


GS Paper 3:

1. AgriStack.

2. Horticulture.

3. Microfinance Regulations.

4. Reforms-Based and Results-Linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme.

5. Unemployment in India.


Facts for Prelims:

  • International Day to Combat Islamophobia

    Act East Policy:

    GS Paper 2:

    Topics Covered:  India and neighbourhood relations.



    A webinar was recently organised on “Act East Policy”.


    Current Affairs


    What is the ‘Act East Policy’?

    India’s ‘Act East’ policy is a diplomatic initiative to promote economic, strategic and cultural relations with the vast Asia-Pacific region at different levels.

    • It is considered as the modern version of the ‘Look East Policy’ which was launched in 1991 by then Prime Minister V. Narasimha Rao.
    • The main focus of ‘Look East Policy’ was to shift the country’s trading focus from the west and neighbors to the booming South East Asian countries.
    • The “Act East Policy” was launched at the East Asia Summit in Myanmar in November 2014.

    Under the “Act East Policy” the government is relying on the 3 C’s (Culture, Connectivity, and Commerce) to develop better relations with ASEAN nations.


    Key differences between “Look East Policy” and “Act East Policy”:

    • The focus of the “Look East Policy ” was to increase economic integration with the South East Asian countries and the area was confined to SouthEast Asia only.
    • On the other hand the focus of the “Act East Policy” is economic and security integration and the focus area increased to South East Asia as well as East Asia.

    Objectives of ‘Act East Policy’:

    1. Promote economic cooperation, cultural ties, and develop a strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at regional, bilateral, and multilateral levels.
    2. To increase the interaction of the North-Eastern Indian states with other neighboring countries.
    3. To find out the alternatives of the traditional business partners like; more focus on the Pacific countries in addition to the South East Asian countries.
    4. To curb the increasing impact of China in the ASEAN region.

    Experts say that under the “Act East Policy” the government is relying on the 3 C’s (Culture, Connectivity, and Commerce) to develop better relations with ASEAN nations.


    Under the Act East Policy (AEP), the India-Japan strategic partnership has been lifted to an entirely new level, underscoring the importance of Indo- Pacific cooperation.

    • India believes in an Indo-Pacific that is free, open and inclusive, and one that is founded upon a cooperative and collaborative rules-based order.
    • ASEAN’s centrality remains the abiding contemporary characteristic of the Indo-Pacific at the regional level.
    • India has placed the ‘Indo-Pacific’ at the heart of its engagement with the countries of South, Southeast and East Asia. Gradually, Act ‘East’ is getting transformed into Act ‘Indo-Pacific’.



    Prelims Link:

    1. What is Act East Policy?
    2. Indo- Pacific region.
    3. SAARC.
    4. Look East Policy.

    Mains Link:

    What is the significance of ‘Look East Policy’? Discuss.

    Sources: the Hindu.


    GS Paper 3:

    Topics Covered: Agriculture and related issues.



    The government is working on a digital ‘stack’ of agricultural datasets, with its core as land records.

    • But, such a centralised stack will use old and inaccurate land records; farmers’ personal and financial details will be used without a strong data protection law; and rural areas have a low level of digital literacy. Hence, experts say such an ‘AgriStack’ is problematic.


    What is AgriStack?

    The AgriStack is a collection of technologies and digital databases proposed by the Central Government focusing on India’s farmers and the agricultural sector.

    • The central government has claimed that these new databases are being built to primarily tackle issues such as poor access to credit and wastage in the agricultural supply chain.


    Features and significance:

    • Under AgriStack’, the government aims to provide ‘required data sets’ of farmers’ personal information to Microsoft to develop a farmer interface for ‘smart and well-organized agriculture’.
    • The digital repository will aid precise targeting of subsidies, services and policies, the officials added.
    • Under the programme, each farmer of the country will get what is being called an FID, or a farmers’ ID, linked to land records to uniquely identify them. India has 140 million operational farm-land holdings.


    Issues with the move:

    Agriculture has become the latest sector getting a boost of ‘techno solutionism’ by the government.

    • But it has, since then, also become the latest sector to enter the whole debate about data privacy and surveillance.
    • Since the signing of the MoUs, several concerns related to sharing farmers’ data with private companies are raised.
    • The development has raised serious concerns about information asymmetry, data privacy and consent, profiling of farmers, mismanaged land records and corporatization of agriculture.
    • The formation of ‘Agristack’ also implies commercialization of agriculture extension activities as they will shift into a digital and private sphere.


    Why such concerns?

    • The project was being implemented in the absence of a data protection legislation.
    • It might end up being an exercise where private data processing entities may know more about a farmer’s land than the farmer himself.
    • Without safeguards, private entities would be able to exploit farmers’ data to whatever extent they wish to.
    • This information asymmetry, tilted towards the technology companies, might further exploit farmers, especially small and marginal ones.



    • At present, the majority of farmers across India are small and marginal farmers with limited access to advanced technologies or formal credit that can help improve output and fetch better prices.
    • Among the new proposed digital farming technologies and services under the programme include sensors to monitor cattle, drones to analyse soil and apply pesticide, may significantly improve the farm yields and boost farmers’ incomes.



    Prelims Link:

    1. What is AgriStack?
    2. How it works?
    3. Implementation.
    4. Features.

    Mains Link:

    Discuss the concerns associated with the implementation of AgriStack.

    Sources: PIB.

    Social Stock Exchange:

    GS Paper 2:

    Topics Covered: Protection of vulnerable sections of the society.



    Government has come out in support of Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) crackdown on unregistered advisors making stock-related suggestions on social media platforms.


    What’s the issue?

    Many social media platforms including YouTube, Twitter, telegram where advisors which are not registered with SEBI are offering advice on stock markets.

    • Now, SEBI is going to tighten its hold on such advisors as this often misleads the investors and harm the market.



    The proposal to set up SSEs in the country was first floated during the Union Budget in 2019.

    • In September 2019, Sebi constituted a working group under the chairmanship of Tata group veteran Ishaat Hussain.
    • In September 2020, Sebi set up the TG as it felt further expert advice and clarity was needed on the WG’s recommendation.


    Recommendations made by SEBI’s technical group (TG) on social stock exchanges (SSEs):

    1. Eligibility:

    Both for-profit (FP) and not-for-profit organisations (NPO) should be allowed to tap the SSE provided they are able to demonstrate that social intent and impact.

    Corporate foundations, political and religious organisations should be made ineligible to raise funds using the SSE mechanism.


    1. Modes available for fundraising:

    For NPOs, it shall be equity, zero coupon zero principal bond (ZCZP), development impact bonds, social impact fund, currently known as social venture fund (SVP) with 100 per cent grants-in grants out provision, and donations by investors through mutual funds.

    For FP enterprises, it will be equity, debt, development impact bonds, and social venture funds.


    1. Corpus size of the fund:

    Minimum corpus size for such funds be reduced from Rs 20 crore to Rs 5 crore and the minimum subscription amount be reduced from Rs 1 crore to Rs. 2 lakh.


    1. The capacity building fund for SSE:

    It should have a corpus of Rs 100 crore. This fund should be housed under Nabard. Exchanges and other developmental agencies such as SIDBI should be asked to contribute towards this fund.


    1. List of broad activities based on those identified by Niti Aayog under sustainable development goals that SEs can engage in:

    These include eradicating hunger, poverty malnutrition and inequality; promoting gender equality by empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities; training to promote rural sports; and slum area development, affordable housing.

    Current Affairs


    What is social stock exchange (SSE)?

    • It is a novel concept in India and such a bourse is meant to serve private and non-profit sector providers by channelling greater capital to them.
    • As per the proposal, SSE can be housed within the existing stock exchange such as the BSE and/or National Stock Exchange (NSE).



    • With this, Social welfare enterprises and non-profits could soon get to raise so-called social capital on a transparent electronic platform, aiding the process of rebuilding livelihoods ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
    • These recommendations, if implemented as a package, can result in a vibrant and supportive ecosystem, enabling the non-profit sector to realise its full potential for creating social impact.


    Need for social capital:

    India will need a significant amount of patient capital to repair and rebuild those livelihoods, which are the bedrock of her economy. Conventional capital that prioritises financial returns will not be able to carry such a burden all by itself.

    • Social capital, on the other hand, is more suited for this role. It is not only patient but its goal is precisely to support and fortify social structures that are in danger of collapsing because of COVID-19.


    What is a social enterprise?

    A social enterprise is a revenue-generating business. Its primary objective is to achieve a social objective, for example, providing healthcare or clean energy.

    • This in no way means that a social enterprise can’t be highly profitable. In fact, most social enterprises look and operate like traditional businesses. The only catch is that the profit these entities generate is not necessarily used for payouts to stakeholders, but reinvested into their social programmes.



    Prelims Link:

    1. What is a social enterprise?
    2. What is SSE?
    3. What is social capital?
    4. SEBI- key functions.

    Mains Link:

    India will need a significant amount of social capital to repair and rebuild those livelihoods, which are the bedrock of her economy. Discuss.

    Sources: PIB


    GS Paper 3:

    Topics Covered: Agriculture and related issues.



    The India Greenhouse Horticulture market held a market value of USD 190.84 Million in 2021 and is estimated to reach USD 271.25 Million by the year 2030.

    • The market is expected to register a growth rate of 4.19% over the projected period. In 2021, India’s greenhouse horticulture production was 27.71 million tonnes.


    What is greenhouse horticulture?

    Greenhouse Horticulture is also known as protected cropping. It is the production of horticultural crops within, under or sheltered by structures for providing modified growing conditions and/or protection from adverse weather, pests, and diseases.


    Growth Influencers:

    • Robust increase in population and food demand.
    • Rising entrepreneurship under horticulture due to government intervention.


    What is Horticulture?

    The term horticulture is derived from two Latin words hortus, meaning ‘garden’, and cultura meaning ‘cultivation’ hence meaning, crops cultivated in a garden cultivation.

    • It is a science and art of production, utilisation and improvement of fruits, vegetables, flowers and other plants for human food, non-food uses and social needs.

    L.H. Bailey is considered the Father of American Horticulture and M.H. Marigowda is considered the Father of Indian Horticulture.



    • Diverse agro-climatic conditions in India ensure the production of all types of fresh fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants.
    • Horticulture crops perform a vital role in the Indian economy by generating employment, providing raw material to various food processing industries, and higher farm profitability due to higher production and export earnings from foreign exchange.
    • The comparative production per unit area of horticultural crops is higher than field crops.
    • Such crops are of high value, labour intensive and generate employment throughout the year. It has gained prominence over contributing a growing share in Gross Value Addition of agriculture.
    • They have national and international demand and are a good source of foreign exchange.
    • It is imperative to cater to the country’s estimated demand of 650 MT of fruits and vegetables by the year 2050.


    Data Analysis:

    1. India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China.
    2. Horticultural crops constitute a significant portion of the total agricultural produce in India. They cover a wide cultivation area and contribute about 28 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
    3. These crops account for 37 per cent of the total exports of agricultural commodities from India.
    4. During the year 2019-20, the country recorded its highest ever horticulture production of 320.77 million tonnes from an area of 25.66 million hectares.



    • Faces high post-harvest loss and gaps in post-harvest management due to less or limited input by machinery and equipment.
    • Lack of supply chain infrastructures like cold storage and well-connected transport networks.
    • Difficulties in setting up due to higher input costs and limited availability of market intelligence, mainly for exports.
    • There are no safety net provisions like the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for foodgrains.
    • The production of horticultural commodities is far less as compared to the existing demand in the country.


    Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH):

    Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables and other areas.

    Under MIDH, Government of India contributes 60% of the total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states (except North Eastern and Himalayan states where GOI contributes 90%) & 40% is contributed by State governments.

    It has five major schemes on horticulture-

    1. National Horticulture Mission (NHM)
    2. Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH)
    3. National Horticulture Board (NHB)
    4. Coconut Development Board (CDB) &
    5. Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland.


    National Horticulture Board (NHB):

    • It was set up in 1984 on the basis of recommendations of the “Group on Perishable Agricultural Commodities”, headed by Dr M. S. Swaminathan.
    • Headquartered at Gurugram.
    • Objective is to improve integrated development of Horticulture industry and to help in coordinating, sustaining the production and processing of fruits and vegetables.



    Prelims Link:

    1. National Horticulture Mission.
    2. Features.
    3. Sub Schemes.
    4. National Horticulture Board.

    Mains Link:

    Discuss the significance of National Horticulture Mission.

    Sources: PIB.

    Microfinance Regulations:

    GS Paper 3:

    Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising out of it.



    RBI has released new microfinance lending norms. As per these norms:

    1. All entities, banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and microfinance institutions (MFIs) are subject to the same regulations.
    2. A microfinance loan is defined by the RBI as a ‘collateral-free’ loan granted to a household with an annual household income of up to Rs 3 lakh.
    3. All collateral-free loans offered to low-income households, regardless of the end-use and mode of application/processing/disbursal, are considered microfinance loans.
    4. The financial entities should have a board-approved policy to provide the flexibility of repayment periodicity on microfinance loans as per borrowers’ requirements. They should also have a board-approved policy for the assessment of household income.


    What is Microfinance?

    Microfinance is a form of financial service which provides small loans and other financial services to poor and low-income households.

    MFIs are financial companies that provide small loans to people who do not have any access to banking facilities.

    • The definition of “small loans” varies between countries. In India, all loans that are below Rs. 1 lakh can be considered as microloans.


    Microcredit is delivered through a variety of institutional channels viz:

    1. Scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) (including small finance banks (SFBs) and regional rural banks (RRBs)).
    2. Cooperative banks.
    3. Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
    4. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) registered as NBFCs as well as in other forms.


    Significance of Proposal:

    • RBI has reposed faith in the maturity of the microfinance sector with this step.
    • This is a forward-looking step where the responsibility is of the institution to fix a reasonable interest rate on transparent terms.


    Growth of microfinancing:

    • In the 1990s, microcredit was given by scheduled commercial banks either directly or via non-governmental organisations to women’s self-help groups, but given the lack of regulation and scope for high returns, several for-profit financial agencies such as NBFCs and MFIs emerged.
    • By the mid-2000s, there were widespread accounts of the malpractices of MFIs and a crisis in some States such as Andhra Pradesh, arising out of a rapid and unregulated expansion of private for-profit micro-lending.
    • The microfinance crisis of Andhra Pradesh led the RBI to review the matter, and based on the recommendations of the Malegam Committee, a new regulatory framework for NBFC-MFIs was introduced in December 2011.
    • A few years later, the RBI permitted a new type of private lender, SFBs, with the objective of taking banking activities to the “unserved and underserved” sections of the population.
    • Today, as the RBI’s consultative document notes, 31% of microfinance is provided by NBFC-MFIs, and another 19% by SFBs and 9% by NBFCs.
    • These private financial institutions have grown exponentially over the last few years, garnering high profits, and at this pace, the current share of public sector banks in microfinance (the SHG-bank linked microcredit), of 41%, is likely to fall sharply.

    Sources: the Hindu.

    Unemployment in India:

    GS Paper 3:

    Topics Covered: Employment Related issues.



    According to the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the National Statistical Office (NSO):

    • India’s urban unemployment rate jumped to 12.6 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2021, compared to 9.3 per cent in the January-March quarter.
    • It, however, eased from the 20.8 per cent level seen during the first wave of the Covid pandemic.


    Impact of the pandemic:

    The biggest casualty of the pandemic will be joblessness. The country’s unemployment rate has risen through much of April, having hit 7.4%, and threatens to climb further to around 8% significantly higher than the 6.5% in March, according to CMIE.

    • Approximately 10 million salaried jobs have been lost, across urban and rural India, and one is not sure how many people will get back their livelihoods.
    • Urban females fared worse than urban males. In the 15-29 age group, the unemployment rate for urban females stood at 31 per cent compared with 24 per cent for males during April-June 2021.
    • The unemployment rate for urban females and males stood at 36 per cent and 34.3 per cent, respectively, in April-June 2020.


    Types of Unemployment in India:

    Disguised Unemployment:

    • It is a phenomenon wherein more people are employed than actually needed.
    • It is primarily traced in the agricultural and the unorganised sectors of India.


    Seasonal Unemployment:

    • It is an unemployment that occurs during certain seasons of the year.
    • Agricultural labourers in India rarely have work throughout the year.


    Structural Unemployment:

    • It is a category of unemployment arising from the mismatch between the jobs available in the market and the skills of the available workers in the market.
    • Many people in India do not get job due to lack of requisite skills and due to poor education level, it becomes difficult to train them.


    Cyclical Unemployment:

    • It is result of the business cycle, where unemployment rises during recessions and declines with economic growth.
    • Cyclical unemployment figures in India are negligible. It is a phenomenon that is mostly found in capitalist economies.


    Technological Unemployment:

    It is loss of jobs due to changes in technology.

    In 2016, World Bank data predicted that the proportion of jobs threatened by automation in India is 69% year-on-year.


    Frictional Unemployment:

    • The Frictional Unemployment also called as Search Unemployment, refers to the time lag between the jobs when an individual is searching for a new job or is switching between the jobs.
    • In other words, an employee requires time for searching a new job or shifting from the existing to a new job, this inevitable time delay causes the frictional unemployment. It is often considered as a voluntary unemployment because it is not caused due to the shortage of job, but in fact, the workers themselves quit their jobs in search of better opportunities.


    Vulnerable Employment:

    • This means, people working informally, without proper job contracts and thus sans any legal protection. These persons are deemed ‘unemployed’ since records of their work are never maintained.
    • It is one of the main types of unemployment in India.


    Causes of Unemployment:

    • Large population.
    • Low or no educational levels and vocational skills of working population.
    • Inadequate state support, legal complexities and low infrastructural, financial and market linkages to small/ cottage industries or small businesses, making such enterprises unviable with cost and compliance overruns.
    • Huge workforce associated with informal sector due to lack of required education/ skills, which is not captured in any employment data. For ex: domestic helpers, construction workers etc.
    • The syllabus taught in schools and colleges, being not as per the current requirements of the industries. This is the main cause of structural unemployment.
    • Inadequate growth of infrastructure and low investments in manufacturing sector, hence restricting employment potential of secondary sector.
    • Low productivity in agriculture sector combined with lack of alternative opportunities for agricultural worker which makes transition from primary to secondary and tertiary sectors difficult.
    • Regressive social norms that deter women from taking/continuing employment.



    • The problem of unemployment gives rise to the problem of poverty.
    • Young people after a long time of unemployment indulge in illegal and wrong activities for earning money. This also leads to increase in crime in the country.
    • Unemployed persons can easily be enticed by antisocial elements. This makes them lose faith in democratic values of the country.
    • It is often seen that unemployed people end up getting addicted to drugs and alcohol or attempts suicide, leading losses to the human resources of the country.
    • It also affects economy of the country as the workforce that could have been gainfully employed to generate resources actually gets dependent on the remaining working population, thus escalating socioeconomic costs for the State. For instance, 1 percent increase in unemployment reduces the GDP by 2 percent.


    Steps Taken by Government:

    Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) was launched in 1980 to create full employment opportunities in rural areas.

    Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM): This scheme was started in 1979 with objective to help unemployed rural youth between the age of 18 and 35 years to acquire skills for self-employment. Priority was given to SC/ST Youth and Women.

    RSETI/RUDSETI: With the aim of mitigating the unemployment problem among the youth, a new initiative was tried jointly by Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Educational Trust, Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank in 1982 which was the setting up of the “RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND SELF EMPLOYMENT TRAINING INSTITUTE” with its acronym RUDSETI near Dharmasthala in Karnataka. Rural Self Employment Training Institutes/ RSETIs are now managed by Banks with active co-operation from the Government of India and State Government.

    By merging the two erstwhile wage employment programme – National Rural Employment programme (NREP) and Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) was started with effect from April, 1, 1989 on 80:20 cost sharing basis between the centre and the States.

    Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA): It is an employment scheme that was launched in 2005 to provide social security by guaranteeing a minimum of 100 days paid work per year to all the families whose adult members opt for unskilled labour-intensive work. This act provides Right to Work to people.

    Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), launched in 2015 has an objective of enabling a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.

    Start Up India Scheme, launched in 2016 aims at developing an ecosystem that promotes and nurtures entrepreneurship across the country.

    Stand Up India Scheme, launched in 2016 aims to facilitate bank loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs. 1 crore to at least one SC or ST borrower and at least one women borrower per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise.



    Prelims Link:

    1. What is labour force participation?
    2. What is unemployment rate?
    3. Urban vs rural unemployment.
    4. Gender related issues.

    Mains Link:

    Discuss the issues associated with unemployment in India.

    Sources: the Hindu.

    Reforms-Based and Results-Linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme:

    GS Paper 3:

    Topics Covered: Infrastructure – Energy.



    REC and PFC, the state-run lenders that are the nodal lending agencies for the Rs 3.03 lakh crore revamped distribution sector scheme (RDSS) launched by the Union ministry of power in August last year, will release the first tranche of funds to a host of states including Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya by March 31.

    • The funds will be disbursed in the form of ad hoc 10% of grant from the central government, while the rest of the disbursal will depend on the discoms concerned fulfilling various conditions under the scheme.


    About the scheme:

    It is worth Rs. 3.03 trillion scheme wherein the Centre’s share will be Rs. 97,631 crore.

    • It aims to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of discoms (excluding Private Sector DISCOMs).


    Highlights of the scheme:

    1. It is a reforms-based and results-linked scheme.
    2. It seeks to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of all DISCOMs/Power Departments excluding Private Sector DISCOMs.
    3. The scheme envisages the provision of conditional financial assistance to DISCOMs for strengthening supply infrastructure.
    4. The assistance will be based on meeting pre-qualifying criteria as well as upon the achievement of basic minimum benchmarks by the DISCOM.
    5. The scheme involves a compulsory smart metering ecosystem across the distribution sector—starting from electricity feeders to the consumer level, including in about 250 million households.
    6. Scheme also focuses on funding for feeder segregation for unsegregated feeders.
    7. The Scheme has a major focus on improving electricity supply for the farmers and for providing daytime electricity to them through solarization of agricultural feeders.



    • Existing power sector reforms schemes such as Integrated Power Development Scheme, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana will be merged into this umbrella program.
    • Each state would have its own action plan for implementation of the scheme rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
    • Nodal agencies for the scheme’s implementation are Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited and Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

    The scheme’s cost is borne by the Centre and state governments in a 3:2 ratio. The state governments will be free to borrow from either REC-PFC or from other financial institutions to mobilise the funds.


    Objectives of the scheme:

    1. Reduction of average aggregate technical and commercial loss to pan-India levels of 12-15% by 2024-25.
    2. Narrow the deficit between the cost of electricity and the price at which it is supplied to zero by 2024-25.
    3. Developing institutional capabilities for modern DISCOMs.
    4. Improvement in the quality, reliability, and affordability of power supply to consumers through a financially sustainable and operationally efficient distribution sector.


    Issues with earlier initiatives are as follows:

    Insufficient Monitoring mechanism: Due to inadequate metering and data collection system in place, utilities have not been able to conduct energy audit, which is crucial for any energy business.

    Accountability and Technology Issues: The Schemes could not reduce the high Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses due to high Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses coupled with low collection efficiency. Low level of collection is attributable to lack of employees’ accountability, inadequate collection facilities, limited usage of advanced technology, billing errors etc.

    Lack of Consumer Records: Schemes have not put in mechanism for maintaining consumer database and asset database, which can be addressed through IT and communication solutions. Most utilities maintain manual records of consumers. This leads to mismanagement and losses.

    Revenue & Expenditure gaps: The gap between discoms’ costs (average cost of supply) and revenues (average revenue realised), which was supposed to have been eliminated by now, stands at Rs 0.49 per unit in the absence of regular and commensurate tariff hikes.

    Electrification and Support structure mismatch: The schemes have not been able to address the gap between increasing electrification and related supporting structural mechanism.



    Do you know what Energy Mix is? Read Here


    Do you know what net-zero is? Read Here



    Prelims Link:

    1. About REC.
    2. About DDGJY.
    3. About IPDS.
    4. Features of Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme.

    Mains Link:

    Write a note on power sector reforms in India.

    Sources: PIB

Facts for Prelims:


International Day to Combat Islamophobia:

  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to proclaim March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
  • However, India expressed concern over phobia against “one religion being elevated to the level of an international day”.


Current Affairs


Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Hijab Verdict.
  2. MMR.
  3. Centre to spend 19k crore for rejuvenation of 13 rivers.

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