Daily News Analysis 6 May 2023

                             Table of Contents



  • Switching on India’s smart electricity future

Facts for Prelims

  • Listeria contamination
  • Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve
  • Washington Declaration

Switching on India’s smart electricity future



Advanced meter devices having the capacity to collect information about energy, water, and gas usage at various intervals and transmitting the data through fixed communication networks to utility, as well as receiving information like pricing signals from utility and conveying it to consumers.

Smart meters are the future of electricity consumption

  • Smart meters can provide information on electricity usage at different times of the day, months, and seasons
  • They can help consumers plan their activities during low-tariff periods
  • Smart meters can point out appliances that use more electricity than they should and suggest efficient replacements
  • They allow consumers to trade solar power directly with their peers

Smart meters in India

  • India has already installed over 5.5 million smart meters, with plans to replace 250 million conventional electric meters by 2025-26
  • India is supporting this initiative through a results-linked grant-cum-financing to help power distribution companies (discoms) become financially sound and efficient to deliver better services to consumers
  • However, there are also challenges on the ground

Technology benefits of smart meters

  • A study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) found that smart meter users have already begun to experience some of the technology benefits
  • Half of the users reported improvements in billing regularity, and two-thirds said paying bills had become easier
  • Users reported multiple co-benefits, such as a greater sense of control over their electricity expenses, a drop in instances of electricity theft, and improved power supply to the locality
  • 70% of prepaid smart meter users said they would recommend the technology to their friends and relatives

Roadblocks to smart meter adoption

  • Half of the users were not using the smart meter mobile app, and many were unable to access detailed electricity bills
  • This leaves users doubtful about their bill computation and deductions
  • Solving these issues will help bring a smart-meter revolution in India

Suggestions for diverse actors to step up

  • The Ministry of Power should drive a nationwide campaign to educate consumers about smart meter benefits and improve the uptake of smart meter apps
  • Discoms must co-own the programme and take the driving seat
  • Discoms, system integrators, and technology providers should collaborate to devise innovative and scalable data solutions
  • Policymakers and regulators must strengthen regulations to empower consumers to unlock new retail markets

User-centric design and deployment strategy

  • India must pursue a user-centric design and deployment strategy to ensure the success of its smart metering initiative
  • High-user satisfaction in Assam and high uptake of the mobile app in Bihar indicate learning opportunities on how to scale smart meter usage for discoms in other States

Discoms’ role in smart metering

  • Discoms must closely work with AMISPs to ensure a smooth installation and recharge experience for users
  • They must leverage smart meter data for revenue protection and consumer engagement
  • Discoms will need to strengthen their internal capacity through suitable staffing and training interventions

Collaboration for innovative data solutions

  • Discoms, system integrators, and technology providers should collaborate to devise innovative and scalable data solutions
  • This would require an ecosystem that fosters innovation in analytics, data hosting and sharing platforms
  • Key actors must collaboratively test and scale new solutions

Empowering consumers

  • Policymakers and regulators must strengthen regulations to empower consumers to unlock new retail markets
  • Regulators must enable simplification and innovation in tariff design and open the retail market to new business models and prosumagers (producers, consumers, and storage users)
  • The Ministry of Power proposed amendments to the Electricity Rules to enable time-variable tariffs for all smart meter users


India needs more electricity, but it also wants to reduce pollution from power plants. Smart meters can help by helping people use less energy, manage it better, and connect to renewable sources. It\’s important that the design and installation of smart meters is done with users in mind, to make sure it works well.


Listeria contamination



Recently, Cadbury recalls chocolates in the UK over listeria contamination fears.

About Listeria

Listeria infection is an illness caused by a type of bacteria that can be found in the environment and some animals\’ intestines. The bacteria can survive in refrigeration and freezing temperatures.


  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea


  • Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water, and animal feces.
  • People can get infected by eating contaminated raw vegetables, meat, unpasteurized milk or milk products, and certain processed foods like soft cheeses, hot dogs, and deli meats.
  • Unborn babies can also contract a Listeria infection from their mothers.

Risk factors:

  • Pregnant women and people with weak immune systems are at the highest risk of contracting a Listeria infection.
  • Other risk factors include age, certain medical conditions, and medications that weaken the immune system.


  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling or preparing food.
  • Use hot, soapy water to wash utensils, cutting boards, and other food preparation surfaces.
  • Scrub raw vegetables before eating or cooking.
  • Cook food thoroughly to kill any bacteria.

Other facts:

  • Listeria infection can be serious, and in some cases, even deadly.
  • If you suspect you have a Listeria infection, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Prevention is key to avoiding Listeria infection, especially for those at high risk.

Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve



A nine-year-old tigress, who was pregnant and having trouble with constipation, passed away during treatment at the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve.


  • Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve is situated in Rajasthan, India, covering four districts: Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar, and Chittorgarh.
  • It is located in a valley formed by two parallel mountains: Mukundra and Gargola.
  • The tiger reserve is made up of three wildlife sanctuaries: Darrah, Chambal, and Jaswant Sagar.
  • The reserve was once a hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Kota.


  • The park is located on the eastern bank of the Chambal River and is drained by its tributaries.


  • The forest in the reserve is of the dry deciduous type. The predominant species of the forest is Anogeissus pendula (Kala Dhok or Kaladhi) along with Khair (Acacia catechu), Ber (Zizyphus mauratiana), Kakan (Flacourtia indica), Raunj (Acacia lecofolia), etc.
  • On higher slopes, Anogeissus pendula is replaced by Anogeissus latifolia, along with Bel (Aegle marmelos), Salar (Boswellia sarata), Uum (Meliusa tomentosa), and Shisham (Dalbergia latifolia).


  • The tiger reserve is home to various species of animals, such as leopards, sloth bears, nilgai, chinkara, spotted deer, small Indian civet, toddy cat, jackal, hyena, jungle cat, and common langur.
  • The reserve also has a variety of reptiles and amphibians like pythons, rat snakes, buff-striped keelbacks, green keelback, crocodiles, gharial, otter, and turtles.


Washington Declaration



The President of South Korea and the US President recently signed the Washington Declaration on the anniversary of 70 years of their bilateral relationship.


  • The declaration was signed on the 70th anniversary of U.S.-South Korea bilateral relations.
  • Its purpose is to protect the Korean Peninsula from a nuclear attack.
  • Deployment of US nuclear-armed submarine:
  • A US nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) will be deployed in the Korean Peninsula.

Joint Nuclear Consultative Group:

  • A joint Nuclear Consultative Group will be formed to create principles of joint response tactics.
  • Intelligence sharing and joint training:
    • South Korea will receive intelligence from the US about nuclear advancements.
    • The US will strengthen South Korea’s nuclear deterrence capabilities through joint military training programs and an annual intergovernmental simulation.

Non-proliferation and US President\’s authority:

  • The declaration reaffirms the non-proliferation Treaty, meaning South Korea won\’t create its own independent nuclear capabilities.
  • The US President is the only ‘sole authority’ to use the US nuclear arsenal in the event of a nuclear confrontation.
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