Daily News Analysis 21 July 2023 (The Hindu)

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Here are the topics covered for 21 July 2023: Delimitation: Redrawing Boundaries for Equal Representation, Tamil Nadu CM urges PM Modi to address Katchatheevu and Tamil aspirations during Sri Lankan President\’s visit, The National Research Foundation Bill, 2023, Humanitarian Crisis unfolds at Tunisia-Libya border, Japan Joins India in Semiconductor Pact.

Table of Contents


  1. Delimitation: Redrawing Boundaries for Equal Representation
  2. Address Katchatheevu and Tamil aspirations during Sri Lankan President\’s visit- Tamil Nadu CM



  1. The National Research Foundation Bill, 2023: Transforming India\’s Research Landscape


Prelims facts and basics

  1. Humanitarian Crisis unfolds at Tunisia-Libya border as Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers remain stranded (Places in News)
  2. Japan Joins India in Semiconductor Pact: Strengthening the Chip Manufacturing Ecosystem

Delimitation: Redrawing Boundaries for Equal Representation



  1. Delimitation is the redrawing of Lok Sabha and State Assembly boundaries based on recent Census data for equal representation.
  2. The last exercise was in 1976, but the number of seats remained frozen on the 1971 Census basis.
  3. In 2002, a constitutional amendment froze delimitation until the first Census after 2026.
  4. The question is whether delimitation should be further delayed.


Definition of Delimitation

  1. Delimitation is the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country to represent changes in population.
  2. It aims to provide equal representation to equal segments of the population and follow the principle of \”One Vote One Value.\”


Composition of the Delimitation Commission

  1. The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works with the Election Commission of India.
  2. The Commission consists of a retired Supreme Court judge, the Chief Election Commissioner, and respective State Election Commissioners.


Process of Delimitation

  1. Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census (Article 82), dividing Lok Sabha constituencies.
  2. States are divided into territorial constituencies according to the Delimitation Act after every Census (Article 170).
  3. The Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission after the Act comes into force.
  4. Delimitation Commissions have been established four times – in 1952, 1963, 1973, and 2002.


Issues with Delimitation

  1. Population Imbalance: States with little interest in population control could have more seats in Parliament, leading to unequal representation.
  2. Freezing of Seats: Delimitation was done in 2002 based on the 2001 census, but the total number of seats remained unchanged since the 1971 Census.
  3. Amendment Confusion: The 87th Amendment Act of 2003 called for delimitation based on the 2001 census, but without altering the number of seats allotted to each state in the Lok Sabha.
  4. Capped Number of Seats: The Constitution caps the maximum number of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats at 550 and 250, respectively, leading to larger populations represented by a single representative.


Reason for Delaying Delimitation

  1. After the 1976 delimitation, based on 1971 population data, a decision was made to freeze the process for 25 years due to population growth imbalances between northern and southern states.
  2. Projections indicate that leveling of population growth between states will take place after the first Census conducted after the year 2026.


Current Status of Lok Sabha Seats

  1. The current distribution of Lok Sabha seats is based on the delimitation of 1976, where boundaries were redrawn but the total number of seats in specific states remained unchanged.
  2. Parliament will decide the total number of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly seats in the next delimitation, and the Delimitation Commission will handle the redistribution among states based on specified formulas.

Address Katchatheevu and Tamil aspirations during Sri Lankan President\’s visit- Tamil Nadu CM



  1. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe\’s visit to India.
  2. In the letter, CM Stalin urges the Union government to address two important issues: the retrieval of the Katchatheevu islet, which was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974 without the consent of the State government, and the aspirations of the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka.
  3. He emphasizes the historical significance of Katchatheevu and the impact of its transfer on Tamil Nadu fishermen\’s livelihoods.
  4. CM Stalin also highlights the demands for upholding the rights and aspirations of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the frequent harassment of Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.


Issues Raised by CM Stalin:

Retrieval of Katchatheevu

  1. CM Stalin recalls the history of ceding the Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka in 1974 without the consent of the State government.
  2. He contends that this transfer has deprived Tamil Nadu fishermen of their rights and adversely affected their livelihoods.
  3. The Tamil Nadu Assembly has adopted resolutions towards the retrieval of Katchatheevu, highlighting the strong position of Tamil Nadu on this matter.


Aspirations of Tamil-Speaking People in Sri Lanka

  1. CM Stalin emphasizes the demands of the Tamil Nadu government and the DMK party for upholding the rights and aspirations of Tamils in Sri Lanka since 1956.
  2. He asserts that it is essential to protect the social, political, cultural, and economic rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka so that they can lead dignified lives as equal citizens of the country.
  3. Adequate and meaningful devolution of powers to the provinces is necessary to fulfill the genuine and unresolved aspirations of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.


Frequent Harassment of Tamil Fishermen

  1. CM Stalin highlights the issue of frequent harassment and apprehending of Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.
  2. The Tamil Nadu government has consistently demanded that the Indian government use diplomatic channels to secure the immediate release of apprehended Tamil Nadu fishermen and prevent such incidents from recurring.

Proposed Solutions

  1. CM Stalin suggests that regular patrolling, establishment of communication channels, and installation of warning systems could significantly reduce incidents of harassment and apprehension of fishermen.
  2. He proposes regular meetings and consultations of the Joint Working Group, reconstituted in 2016, to build trust, facilitate effective communication, and ensure smooth fishing operations in the region.


Background on Katchatheevu:

  1. Katchatheevu is an uninhabited off-shore island in the Palk Strait that was originally owned by a king of Ramnad (present-day Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu).
  2. During British rule, it was administered jointly by India and Sri Lanka.
  3. In 1974, India ceded the island to Sri Lanka through a joint agreement, and in 1976, another accord led to India giving up its fishing rights in the region.
  4. Despite the agreements, fishermen from both countries continued fishing in the Palk Bay area peacefully until the Eelam war in 1983.
  5. After the end of the war in 2009, the Sri Lankan fishermen started raising objections to Indian fishermen fishing in their waters, leading to tensions and incidents of harassment at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

The National Research Foundation Bill, 2023: Transforming India\’s Research Landscape




  1. The National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023, is a significant piece of legislation set to be tabled in the current monsoon session of the Indian Parliament.
  2. The bill aims to establish a new, centralised body to fund research with a budget of ₹50,000 crore over the next five years.
  3. The NRF is inspired by models like the United States\’ National Science Foundation and the European Research Council, but it plans to draw a substantial portion of its budget, ₹36,000 crore, from the private sector.
  4. India\’s spending on research has traditionally been lower than countries reliant on science and technology, and the NRF intends to attract more private investment to bolster research activities in the country.


Features of the NRF Bill 2023:

Establishment of NRF:

  1. The bill will create the National Research Foundation (NRF) as a strategic body to oversee scientific research in India, in line with the National Education Policy (NEP).
  2. It will operate with a total estimated cost of ₹50,000 crore during five years (2023-28).


Subsumption of SERB:

  1. The bill will repeal the existing Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and integrate it into the NRF.
  2. NRF\’s mandate will extend beyond SERB\’s activities.


Administration and Governance:

  1. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will administer the NRF.
  2. NRF will have a Governing Board, comprising eminent researchers and professionals across disciplines.
  3. The Prime Minister will serve as the ex-officio President of the Board, and the Union Ministers of Science & Technology and Education will be the ex-officio Vice-Presidents.
  4. An Executive Council, chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, will oversee NRF\’s functioning.

Objectives and Significance of the National Research Foundation



Promoting Research beyond Natural Sciences:

  1. NRF aims to fund and promote research not only in natural sciences but also in humanities, social sciences, and arts.
  2. This integration is vital for fostering creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills.


National Priorities:

  1. NRF will identify priority areas where science and technology interventions can contribute to national objectives, such as clean energy, climate change, sustainable infrastructure, transportation, and healthcare accessibility.


Enhanced Funding:

  1. The foundation aims to increase funding for scientific research in India, both from government and private sources.
  2. The initial allocation of ₹50,000 crore over five years is expected to grow as the NRF gains recognition and demonstrates progress.


Challenges and Strategies:

Incentivizing Private Sector Involvement:

  1. The NRF plans to draw a significant portion of its budget from the private sector, which historically lags in research funding.
  2. Encouraging private companies to contribute to NRF could be achieved through utilizing corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations.


Focus on Developing Private Sector Research Companies:

  1. The NRF should work on creating conditions that incentivize the development of private sector organizations interested in investing in research and development.
  2. Government support to universities and research institutions could encourage individuals to build companies and institutions that see value in research.


Balancing Philanthropy and Private Sector Investment:

  1. While philanthropy is helpful, it may not be sufficient to drive significant private sector investment in research.
  2. The NRF needs to strike a balance between philanthropy and attracting private sector funding through various incentives and policy frameworks.


Fostering Collaboration and Research Capacity:

  1. NRF aims to involve colleges and universities in scientific research, but currently, very few higher learning institutions in India are actively engaged in research.
  2. By encouraging active researchers to take up NRF professorships and promoting collaboration with existing faculty, NRF can boost research capacities in universities.

Humanitarian Crisis unfolds at Tunisia-Libya border as Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers remain stranded




  1. A growing number of African migrants and asylum seekers, including children, are stuck in a militarized buffer zone at the Tunisia-Libya border.
  2. Fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, many of these migrants, particularly from Sudan, find themselves trapped without access to food, water, shelter, or medical assistance.
  3. The situation has escalated into a humanitarian crisis, as UN agencies have been denied access to the site to provide aid.


Stranded in a Remote Buffer Zone

  1. Hundreds of African migrants and asylum seekers, including children, are stranded in a remote, militarized buffer zone at the Tunisia-Libya border.
  2. They are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, such as Sudan, and have become trapped in limbo, unable to enter Libya or return to Tunisia.
  3. Videos posted online show the dire conditions faced by these stranded individuals, with no access to basic necessities and denied legal protection.


Police Raids and Tensions in Sfax

  1. Many of the migrants were apprehended in police raids in Tunisia\’s port city of Sfax, southeast of the capital Tunis.
  2. They were then transported over 300 kilometers by the national guard and military to Ben Guerdane and subsequently taken to the border with Libya.
  3. Tensions have been rising in Sfax, leading to clashes between locals and migrants arriving from other parts of the African continent.


Escaping Violence in Sudan

  1. In addition to the more than 2.2 million internally displaced persons in Sudan, nearly 700,000 more have fled to neighboring countries.
  2. Some have attempted to reach Europe by making their way northwest to Libya and Tunisia.
  3. The fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan has prompted fears that over 800,000 people may flee the country.


Libya\’s Unstable Situation

  1. Libya, sharing a 237-mile (382km) border with Sudan, was previously a major departure point for people attempting to reach Italy by boat.
  2. However, the country is currently under the control of armed groups and traffickers, posing significant risks of imprisonment and torture for migrants.

Japan Joins India in Semiconductor Pact: Strengthening the Chip Manufacturing Ecosystem




  1. India and Japan have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to jointly develop the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem and enhance the resilience of the global supply chain.
  2. This agreement marks Japan as the second Quad partner, after the United States, to collaborate with India in bolstering the semiconductor sector.


Strengthening Semiconductor Ecosystem:

  1. Japan and India have signed an MoC for the development of the semiconductor ecosystem, including design, manufacturing, equipment research, and talent development.
  2. The two nations aim to bring resilience to the semiconductor supply chain through this strategic collaboration.


Signing of Agreement:

  1. The agreement was signed in New Delhi between Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw and Japan\’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura.
  2. An \”implementation organization\” will be created to foster government-to-government and industry-to-industry cooperation.


Complementary Strengths:

  1. The collaboration recognizes India\’s potential in the semiconductor domain and complements Japan\’s expertise as a top semiconductor ecosystem country with about 100 manufacturing plants.
  2. The semiconductor industry is projected to become a USD 1 trillion industry from its current value of USD 650 billion, necessitating talent development and growth in various locations worldwide.


Building a Milestone:

  1. Japan holds expertise in essential semiconductor components like raw wafer forms, chemicals, gases, and chip manufacturing equipment lenses.
  2. Bringing this expertise to India would be a significant achievement, leading to advancements in the country\’s semiconductor ecosystem.


Micron Technology\’s Investment:

  1. The partnership follows the announcement by US-based semiconductor company Micron Technology\’s plans to invest in a $2.7 billion assembling plant in India.
  2. India aims to build a robust semiconductor ecosystem and has previously signed a similar MoC with the United States in March 2023.


Rapidus Corp.\’s Role:

  1. Japan\’s Rapidus Corp., supported by major Japanese companies like SoftBank, Sony, and Toyota, will play a crucial role in focusing on the entire semiconductor value chain.
  2. Unlike other countries emphasizing only fabrication, this collaboration will cover comprehensive aspects of the semiconductor industry.
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