Daily News Analysis 12 August 2023 (The Hindu)

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Here are the topics covered for 12 August 2023: Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023: Enhancing India\’s Aquaculture Sector, CAG Report on National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), Major Interventions Under National Food Security Mission, Issues in Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), Role of Courts in Ensuring Justice, Final Delimitation Orders for Assam. Consumer Welfare Fund, Reviving Trilateral Cooperation: India, Japan, and Sri Lanka, Shaping India\’s Digital Future – Privacy vs. Technology, Enhancing India\’s Mineral Exploration Through Private Sector Participation, Unlocking India\’s Wind Energy Potential: Key Insights and Initiatives, Integrating NavIC with Aadhaar Enrolment Systems: Enhancing Accuracy and Utility, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), Exercise \’Zayed Talwar\’: Boosting Maritime Partnership, Havana Syndrome: Uncovering Mysterious Health Condition, Hai Yang 24 Hao, Sarus Crane, Test Vehicle Mission (TV-D1), Reforming India\’s Criminal Justice, 5 Variant, Tea Mosquito Bug, Indonesia\’s Aceh Province.


Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

  • Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023: Enhancing India\’s Aquaculture Sector
  • CAG Report on National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
  • Major Interventions Under National Food Security Mission
  • Issues in Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)
  • Role of Courts in Ensuring Justice
  • Final Delimitation Orders for Assam
  • Consumer Welfare Fund
  • Reviving Trilateral Cooperation: India, Japan, and Sri Lanka


GS Paper 3:

  • Shaping India\’s Digital Future – Privacy vs. Technology
  • Enhancing India\’s Mineral Exploration Through Private Sector Participation
  • Unlocking India\’s Wind Energy Potential: Key Insights and Initiatives
  • Integrating NavIC with Aadhaar Enrolment Systems: Enhancing Accuracy and Utility
  • Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS)


Prelims Related Facts

  • Exercise \’Zayed Talwar\’: Boosting Maritime Partnership
  • Havana Syndrome: Uncovering Mysterious Health Condition
  • Hai Yang 24 Hao
  • Sarus Crane
  • Test Vehicle Mission (TV-D1)
  • Reforming India\’s Criminal Justice
  • 5 Variant
  • Tea Mosquito Bug
  • Indonesia\’s Aceh Province


GS Paper 2

Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023: Enhancing India\’s Aquaculture Sector


The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023 has been passed by Parliament to address ambiguities, streamline administrative processes, and integrate emerging aquaculture practices.


Key Provisions of the Amendment:

  • Expanding Coastal Aquaculture Activities:
    1. Broader Definition: All coastal aquaculture activities now fall under the Act, including methods like cage culture and seaweed culture.
    2. Incorporating Emerging Practices: Adoption of environmentally friendly techniques like marine ornamental fish culture.
  • Facilitating Aquaculture Units within No Development Zone (NDZ):
    1. Hatcheries and Breeding Centers Allowed within 200 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL).
    2. Clarifies regulatory uncertainties from the original CAA Act of 2005.
  • Simplifying Regulatory Processes:
    1. Civil Penalties instead of imprisonment for unregistered aquaculture activities.
    2. Flexibility in modifying certificates of registration and renewal applications.
  • Environmental Protection and Compliance:
    1. Setting emission and effluent standards for aquaculture units.
    2. Implementing \’Polluter Pays Principle\’ for environmental damage costs.
    3. Prohibiting Aquaculture in ecologically sensitive areas.
  • Advancing Disease Prevention and Sustainable Practices:
    1. Prohibiting Antibiotics and promoting environmentally conscious practices.


Coastal Aquaculture Status in India:

  1. India\’s coastline of 7,517 km offers significant aquaculture potential.
  2. Major species: shrimp, fish, crab, oyster, mussel, seaweed, and pearl.
  3. Shrimp Production Surged by 267% in the past 9 years, boosting Seafood Exports.


Conclusion: The amendment enhances India\’s aquaculture sector by promoting sustainable practices, safeguarding the environment, and contributing to responsible economic growth. This aligns with SDG 14 and underscores India\’s commitment to ecological well-being.


CAG Report on National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)


A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has uncovered irregularities and lapses in the planning, financial management, implementation, and monitoring of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), a welfare scheme for the underprivileged.


Key Highlights of the Report:

  • Misuse of Pension Funds for Publicity:
    1. Funds meant for pension disbursal diverted to publicity campaigns.
    2. Ministry of Rural Development used NSAP funds for promoting other schemes.
    3. Funds allocated for campaign sourced from National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
  • Advertisement Discrepancies:
    1. Advertisements did not mention NSAP schemes but highlighted other programs.
  • States Implicated in Fund Diversion:
    1. Six states diverted pension funds meant for NSAP.
  • Implications and Beneficiary Impact:
    1. Planned activities under NSAP adversely affected.
    2. Funds meant for NSAP Information, Education, and Communication diverted.


What is National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)?

  1. Launched in 1995, a welfare scheme for underprivileged.
  2. Provides support to elderly, widows, disabled, and bereaved families.
  3. Five sub-schemes including pensions, financial assistance, and food grains.


Implementation and Impact:

  1. Implemented by Ministry of Rural Development in collaboration with states/UTs.
  2. Uses Direct Benefit Transfer mode for fund transfer.
  3. Web portal for information and grievance redressal.
  4. Beneficiaries rely on pensions and benefits for improved living.


About the CAG:

  1. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is an independent authority.
  2. Ensures accountability of government spending to Parliament and State Legislatures.
  3. Head of Indian audit & account department.
  4. Article 148 provides for the independent office of CAG.
  5. Other provisions related to CAG in Articles 149-151 (Duties & Powers, Form of Accounts of the Union and the States and Audit Reports), Article 279 (calculation of net proceeds, etc.) and Third Schedule (Oath or Affirmation) and Sixth Schedule (Administration of Tribal Areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram).


Major Interventions Under National Food Security Mission


The National Food Security Mission\’s (NFSM) developments and challenges related to food security in India have been highlighted recently by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.


National Food Security Mission (NFSM):

  1. Launched in 2007 based on recommendations.
  2. Aims to increase production of crops like rice, wheat, pulses, and more.
  3. Focus on improving soil fertility and farm income.


Major Interventions Under NFSM:

  1. Cluster Demonstrations: Showcasing improved farming practices.
  2. Seed Production: Developing and distributing high-yield seeds.
  3. Farm Mechanization: Introducing modern farming tools.
  4. Plant Protection: Safeguarding crops from pests and diseases.
  5. Oilseeds Production: Promoting oilseed cultivation for self-sufficiency.
  6. Water Management: Enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture.


Challenges Related to Food Security:

  1. Agricultural Challenges: Climate change, pests, and soil degradation affecting crop yields.
  2. Land Fragmentation: Small and fragmented land holdings hinder modern farming.
  3. Lack of Diversification: Over-reliance on a few crops leading to malnutrition.
  4. Rising Food Prices: Global price fluctuations affecting affordability.


Future Steps:                  

  1. Agro-Ecological Zoning: Identify suitable crops for regions using mapping.
  2. Edible Landscaping: Convert urban spaces into food-producing areas.
  3. Nutrient Recovery: Extract nutrients from waste for fertilizers.
  4. AI Pest Detection: Use AI to detect pests and diseases early.
  5. Integrated Energy Farming: Combine agriculture with renewable energy.


Issues in Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)




The recent news highlights issues found in the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), a health insurance scheme launched by the government.


Issues Highlighted:

  1. Treatment of Dead Patients: Some patients shown as \”dead\” still received treatment under the scheme.
  2. Unrealistic Household Sizes: Some registered households had unrealistically large sizes.
  3. Pensioners Availing Benefits: Pensioners were found to be availing treatment under the scheme.
  4. Bogus Mobile Number and Aadhaar: Beneficiaries were registered with bogus mobile numbers and some Aadhaar numbers were linked to multiple beneficiaries.
  5. Systemic Failures: Private hospitals performed procedures meant for public hospitals, and there were infrastructure and equipment shortages.
  6. Pending Penalties: Penalties were pending from hospitals for violations.


Clarifications Provided:

  1. Mobile numbers were not used for verification but for communication.
  2. Beneficiary verification options include fingerprint, iris scan, face authentication, and OTP.


Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY:

  1. A government-funded health insurance scheme.
  2. Launched in 2018, offering health coverage up to Rs. 5 lakh per family.
  3. Covers surgeries, treatments, medicines, and diagnostics.
  4. Targets beneficiaries based on socio-economic data.


Way Forward: Corrective measures needed for PMJAY, including better beneficiary verification, hospital oversight, and a strong grievance redressal mechanism.


 Role of Courts in Ensuring Justice:   

Context: Recent conflicts in Haryana highlight the need for effective administration and justice. The role of the judiciary, including the Supreme Court and High Courts, becomes crucial in ensuring fairness and safeguarding rights.

Role of Courts in Ensuring Justice:

  1. Supreme Court and High Courts: These courts play a vital role in upholding rights and ensuring justice during challenging times.


Powers of Supreme Court and High Courts:

  1. Supreme Court (Article 32): Highest judicial authority, interprets Constitution, protects fundamental rights.
  2. High Courts (Article 226): Authority to issue writs for enforcing fundamental and legal rights, within and beyond their jurisdiction.


Promoting Fairness and Social Justice:

  1. Government\’s Role: Enforcing fair laws is essential for social justice, ensuring equal opportunities and resources.
  2. High Courts\’ Authority (Article 226): High Courts can protect individuals\’ rights and ensure justice through their authority to issue writs.



Challenges in Haryana underline the need for a robust judicial response. High Courts, guided by Article 226, can restore trust in the legal system and uphold constitutional principles, leading to a fairer and just future for all citizens.


Final Delimitation Orders for Assam


The Election Commission of India (ECI) has released the final delimitation order for Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in Assam.


Key Highlights:

  1. This process follows Section 8-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
  2. The Commission considered 1222 representations, addressing 45% of suggestions/objections in the final proposal.
  3. Demands beyond constitutional provisions were rejected.
  4. Delimitations based on 2001 Census figures, as per Article 170 and Article 82 of the Constitution.
  5. Legislative Assembly seats remain 126; 14 seats allocated in the House of the People.
  6. No seat changes until post-2026 census figures, per Articles 170 and 82.
  7. Scheduled Castes allotted 09 Assembly and 1 House of the People seat.
  8. Scheduled Tribes reserved 19 Assembly and 2 Parliament Constituencies under Article 330 and 332.


Delimitation in India

  1. Delimitation Act enacted post each Census for territorial constituency division.
  2. Applies to States under Article 170, guiding territorial constituencies\’ creation.
  3. Delimitation Commission formed by President, consisting of retired SC judge, CEC, and SEC.
  4. Established in 1950-51, further commissions in 1952, 1963, 1973, and 2002.


Consumer Welfare Fund



Revised Consumer Welfare Fund Guidelines now include legal expense reimbursement after final dispute resolution.


Key Points:

  1. Consumer Protection Act, 2019 promotes efficient consumer dispute resolution through Mediation.
  2. Consumer Protection (Mediation) Rules, 2020 notified on July 15, 2020.
  3. Mediation Cells established, with 247 mediators in State Commissions and 1387 in District Consumer Commissions.
  4. Mediation challenges include mediator fees.
  5. Example: Successful mediation sourced from Consumer Welfare Fund interest.


Consumer Welfare Fund

  1. Established under CGST Act, 2017.
  2. Operated by Department of Consumer Affairs to safeguard consumer welfare.
  3. Initiatives include Consumer Law Chairs, awareness projects.
  4. Funded by Consumer Protection Act penalties.


Reviving Trilateral Cooperation: India, Japan, and Sri Lanka

  1. New Cooperation Avenues: After cancellation of India-Japan MoU for East Container Terminal (ECT) project, India, Japan, and Sri Lanka seek to revive trilateral cooperation.
  2. Past Support: India and Japan assisted Sri Lanka during economic crisis, exploring cooperation in areas like renewable energy, grid connectivity, Trincomalee development, and more.
  3. Shared Vision: India-Japan vision of Free Open and Inclusive Indo-Pacific (FOIIP).
  4. Bilateral Exercises: Bilateral exercises include naval, air force exercises, focusing on maritime security and connectivity.


Joint Economic Vision: Outlines projects with private sector-led investment and execution.


GS Paper 3

Shaping India\’s Digital Future – Privacy vs. Technology


As India celebrates its 75th year of independence, it\’s facing an important challenge related to data privacy and how the digital world is governed. Just like we have rules and laws in the real world to protect our rights and privacy, we need similar rules for the digital world where we share a lot of personal information online.

India recently passed a new law to protect people\’s data, making sure that companies and organizations don\’t misuse or share our personal information without permission. Additionally, there\’s a plan called the Digital India Act, which aims to manage how things work in the digital space, like the internet and technology.


Two Possible Futures: Imagine two different scenarios for India\’s digital future:

  1. Barbenheimer – Technocentric Dystopia: In this future, technology takes over everything. People might spend more time in virtual worlds, and important things like privacy and personal rights could be ignored. It\’s like living in a world where machines and computers make most of the decisions, and people might not have much say.
  2. Equitable Digital Future: This future focuses on making sure people\’s privacy and rights are respected in the digital world. It means having strong laws that protect our personal data and make sure it\’s used responsibly. It also involves using technology in a way that benefits everyone and doesn\’t harm our rights.


Why It Matters: The choices India makes now will have a big impact on how things work in the digital space in the coming years. It\’s like deciding what kind of rules we want for the online world. Do we want to prioritize technology and convenience, or do we want to ensure that people\’s rights and privacy are respected?



As India stands at this important crossroads, it needs to make thoughtful decisions about its digital future. Balancing the power of technology with protecting individuals\’ privacy and rights will shape the way we interact with the digital world in the years to come. It\’s like choosing the path that ensures both progress and people\’s well-being in the digital age.


Enhancing India\’s Mineral Exploration Through Private Sector Participation


India passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill in 2023 to invite private companies to explore valuable minerals deep within the ground. This is important to reduce our dependence on other countries and to use these minerals for building and clean energy.


Why Private Companies?

  1. Only 10% of India\’s valuable minerals have been found, and we need to find more.
  2. Private companies can help find these minerals faster.
  3. We\’re dependent on other countries for important minerals, and this law can help us find them ourselves.


Key Changes:

  1. Private companies can now help find valuable minerals.
  2. Lithium, a mineral used in batteries for electric cars and clean energy, is now open for private exploration.
  3. This law is similar to practices in countries like Australia.


Challenges and Benefits:

  1. Finding minerals is not easy, but private companies can help.
  2. This will make our country stronger and more self-reliant.


Conclusion: The new law is a big step for India to find important minerals with the help of private companies. This will help our country grow and become better while protecting our environment.


Unlocking India\’s Wind Energy Potential: Key Insights and Initiatives

India\’s Wind Energy Potential:

  • Ranks 4th Globally in installed wind energy capacity (42.8 GW).
  • Wind resource assessment by National Institute of Wind Energy:
    1. Estimated potential of approx. 695.5 GW at 120m and 1,164 GW at 150m above ground level.
  • Top Performing States (Wind Power Potential at 120m and 150m):
    1. 120m: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh
    2. 150m: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh


Government Initiatives for Wind Energy:

  • Policy for Repowering of Wind Power Projects, 2016:
    1. Incentivizes repowering with additional interest rate rebate.
    2. Applies to projects financed by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).
  • Guidelines for Disposal of Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP):
    1. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) issued guidelines.
    2. Ensures proper disposal of FRP, including wind turbine blades.
    3. Promotes environmentally responsible waste management.
  • National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, 2018:
    1. Framework for large grid-connected wind-solar PV hybrid systems.
    2. Aims for optimal utilization of wind, solar, transmission infrastructure, and land.
  • National Offshore Wind Energy Policy:
    1. Develops offshore wind energy in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
    2. Focus on India\’s 7600 km coastline.


Integrating NavIC with Aadhaar Enrolment Systems: Enhancing Accuracy and Utility

  1. NavIC Integration with Aadhaar: Department of Space (DoS) coordinating the integration of NavIC (India\’s satellite navigation system) with Aadhaar enrolment devices.
  2. NavIC Overview: India\’s indigenous navigation system, similar to GPS, with 7 satellites, offering Standard Position Service (SPS) for civilians and Restricted Service (RS) for strategic use.
  3. Coverage Area: NavIC covers India and 1,500 km beyond Indian boundary.
  4. Utility: Used in disaster management, aiding agencies like NDMA and INCOIS in alert dissemination.
  5. Enhanced Accuracy: Adapting Aadhaar enrolment kits for NavIC integration enhances accuracy and functionality.


Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS)


Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses reduced from 22.3% to 16.4% due to Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).


Key Details:

  1. Launched in July 2021 to enhance power supply quality and efficiency.
  2. Scheme outlay: Rs. 3,03,758 crores; Central Government Budgetary Support: Rs. 97,631 crores.
  3. Aims to reduce AT&C losses to 12-15%, eliminate ACS-ARR gap by 2024-25.
  4. Duration: FY 2021-22 to FY 2025-26.
  5. Components: Prepaid Smart Metering, Training, Capacity Building, etc.
  6. Funds linked to results and reforms, DISCOMs must meet criteria.
  7. Emphasizes efficient distribution, energy management, and consumer welfare.


Results Evaluation Framework (REF)

  1. Part of RDSS, assesses DISCOM performance through Pre-qualifying Criteria and Result Evaluation Matrix.


AT&C Losses

  1. Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses gauge electricity distribution efficiency.
  2. Technical Losses: Heat dissipation, energy loss due to equipment properties.
  3. Commercial Losses: Theft, inaccurate billing, revenue inefficiencies.


Prelims Related Facts

Exercise \’Zayed Talwar\’: Boosting Maritime Partnership

  1. Bilateral Naval Exercise: Ships INS Visakhapatnam and INS Trikand visit Port Rashid, Dubai, for bilateral exercise \’Zayed Talwar\’.
  2. Objectives: Enhance maritime partnership, foster common understanding of security challenges in the region.
  3. Other Bilateral Exercises: In-UAE BILAT (naval), Desert Eagle-II (air force), Exercise Desert Flag-VI.
  4. India-UAE Relations: Diplomatic relations since 1972, UAE among India\’s top trading partners.


Havana Syndrome: Uncovering Mysterious Health Condition

  1. Central Govt\’s Response: Karnataka HC petition regarding \’Havana Syndrome\’, a set of mental health symptoms.
  2. Havana Syndrome: Symptoms include unusual sounds, nausea, vertigo, headaches, memory loss, and balance issues.
  3. Origins: Traced back to Havana (Cuba) in late 2016, speculated to be related to \”sonic attacks\”.
  4. Possible Causes: High-powered microwaves damaging nervous system, potential involvement of microwave weapons.
  5. US Studies: Suggest victims exposed to high-powered microwaves through unknown means.
  6. No Conclusive Evidence: Existence of \”microwave weapons\” not definitively proven.


Hai Yang 24 Hao

  1. Chinese naval vessel, part of PLAN.
  2. Length: 129 meters; Commander: Jin Xin; Crew: 138.
  3. Current formal visit: Colombo Port, Sri Lanka.
  4. Diplomatic significance after a prior visit\’s tensions.


Sarus Crane

  1. Grus antigone, crane family member.
  2. Identified by tall stature, red crown.
  3. Habitat: Wetlands, grasslands, paddy fields.
  4. Cultural importance, UP\’s state bird.
  5. Conservation: Vulnerable (IUCN); Legal protection under Wildlife Act.


Test Vehicle Mission (TV-D1)

  1. Part of India\’s human spaceflight program (Gaganyaan).
  2. Tests crew escape system at sub-orbital level.
  3. Systems tested: Mission abort, parachute deployment, module recovery.
  4. Launch: Planned for August/September; Rocket: Single-stage liquid propellant.


Reforming India\’s Criminal Justice

  1. Key bills introduced: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, Bharatiya Sakshya Bill.
  2. Purpose: Modernize, transform, prioritize justice.
  3. Replacements for outdated laws.
  4. Amendments, special provisions for women, children.
  5. Focus on digitalization of the criminal justice system.


EG.5 Variant


  1. Origin: Descendant of Omicron lineage XBB.1.9.2.
  2. Designation: Variant of Interest by WHO.
  3. Detected in 48 countries, including India.
  4. Impact in Maharashtra, EG.5.1.
  5. Additional mutations in spike protein.
  6. Global COVID-19 situation: Cases, deaths.


Tea Mosquito Bug


  1. Pest damaging tea and fruit crops.
  2. Geographic shift to high elevation areas.
  3. Impact: Reduced production, quality decline.
  4. Efforts for pest management, reduced pesticide use.


Indonesia\’s Aceh Province


  1. Location: Northern Sumatra, Indonesia.
  2. Capital: Banda Aceh.
  3. Historical, Islamic significance.
  4. Rich in natural resources.
  5. Affected by 2004 tsunami.
  6. Prone to natural disasters.
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