Current Affair



1. Context

Within a week of postponing his much-anticipated visit to India, Tesla CEO Elon Musk landed in Beijing to push for Full Self-Driving (FSD), underscoring the importance of China in the global supply chain for the world’s most valuable electric vehicle maker

2. What are Electric Vehicles?

  • An E-vehicle or Electric Vehicle is one that needs an electric motor to generate power and function instead of an internal-combustion engine that generates power by burning a mix of gases and fuel.
  • Electric Vehicles have a battery that can be charged by an electric supply.
  • This electric energy is used to run the motor. There is a hybrid electric vehicle as well, which means a combination of an electric motor and a combustion engine.

3. Types of Electric Vehicles

  • Plug-in electric – Such Electric Vehicles run purely on electricity, and it is powered when it is plugged in to charge. They don’t produce emissions like petrol or diesel.
  • Plug-in hybrid – Their primary source of power is electricity, but these vehicles also have a fuel engine. These cars produce emissions only when they run on fuel engines but not when they run on electricity.
  • Hybrid-electric – These Electric Vehicles primarily run on petrol or diesel, but they’re also fitted with an electric battery. One can charge the battery through regenerative braking. It comes with a button that lets you switch from using a fuel engine to using an electric battery (EV mode.)
  • Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)– these vehicles use a highly efficient electrochemical process to convert hydrogen into electricity, and it powers the electric motor.

4. Initiatives by the Government

The government has set a target of 30% new sales of electric vehicles and two-wheelers by 2030. The government is working towards it by following the initiative and various government schemes.

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP)

  • It is a road map/document for India’s fuel security by promoting and faster adoption of electric vehicles in India with the initial allocation of Rs 75 crore. The ambition is to have around 6 million vehicles on the road by 2020.
  • This plan is for affordable and environmentally friendly transportation in the country and to achieve automotive leadership in global manufacturing.
Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid and) electric vehicles (FAME)
  • The scheme was announced by the government in 2015 with the objective of market creation and developing a manufacturing ecosystem with sustainable development.
  • It is formulated by the Department of Heavy Industry, having 4 key areas- technology creation, demand creation, pilot projects, and infrastructure related to charging.
Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid and) electric vehicles (FAME) II
  • Based on the result and experience of phase I of the scheme, phase II was launched with an allocation of Rs 10000 Crore over three years, recently approved by the cabinet.
  • This scheme vision a holistic approach to the EV industry, including infrastructure for charging, manufacturing of batteries, market creation, public demand, and push for EVs in public transport.
  • It also offers incentives to the manufacturer of electric vehicles and their components.
  • It enables the creation of charging infrastructure in selected cities and major highways at an interval of 25 km.

5. Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020

Electric Vehicle Policy 2020 has been announced by the Delhi Government, where it put emphasis on the replacement of two-wheelers, shared vehicles, public transport, and private four-wheelers with Electric Vehicles. Some of the Features of EV Policy 2020 are given below:

  • As per Electric Vehicle Policy, the focus is given to e-mobility, which includes e-buses and e-autos.
  • The government has decided to give low-interest loans so that people can purchase Electric Vehicles easily.
  • The main goal of the E-Vehicle Policy in India is to reduce pollution and curb health issues in Delhi.
  • State EV Fund will be introduced for the expenditure of EV Policy.

6. Challenges in promoting Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Adoption

  • Subsidy Limitations: In contrast to countries like Norway, where extensive subsidies have spurred BEV adoption, India's subsidy structure primarily benefits the middle or upper middle classes. This inequality raises concerns about the effectiveness and fairness of upfront purchase subsidies, which tend to benefit those who can afford BEVs.
  • Charging Network: Investing in comprehensive charging infrastructure is crucial for driving BEV adoption. Countries like Norway and China have seen success by expanding public charging stations while providing purchase subsidies. However, India's charging infrastructure remains insufficient, particularly for two- and three-wheelers, which dominate the vehicle mix. Adapting charging strategies to accommodate different vehicle types and power requirements is essential for promoting widespread adoption.
  • Electricity Source: India's reliance on coal-fired thermal plants for electricity generation poses a challenge to the potential environmental benefits of BEVs. While EVs may reduce tailpipe emissions, continued reliance on thermal plants contributes to pollution. Shifting towards renewable energy sources is necessary to mitigate these concerns and achieve cleaner electric mobility.
  • Limited Access to the Global Lithium Value Chain: India's heavy reliance on imports for lithium-ion batteries raises concerns about supply chain vulnerabilities. The concentration of global lithium production and key battery components in a handful of countries creates dependency risks. Diversification of the country's battery technology and exploring alternative options to lithium-ion batteries is crucial for long-term sustainability.
  • Technology Agnostic Approach: While BEVs have gained traction in the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segments, the four-wheeler segment lags behind. Governments must adopt a technology-agnostic approach that encourages the adoption of various electrification technologies, including hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles. Such an approach promotes innovation, fosters competition, and allows manufacturers to meet emissions objectives irrespective of technology.
  • Exploring Alternative Technologies: Hybrids serve as an intermediate step toward full electrification, offering improved fuel efficiency without relying solely on charging infrastructure. Additionally, exploring flex-fuel vehicles running on multiple fuel types, fuel cell electric vehicles, hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles, and synthetic fuels can provide alternative options for reducing emissions and promoting sustainable mobility.
For Prelims: Electric Vehicles, Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020, National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid and) electric vehicles (FAME), Global Lithium Value Chain.
For Mains: 1. Analyze the challenges and opportunities in promoting the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in developing countries like India. Discuss the key factors that hinder EV penetration and propose strategies to overcome them.(250 Words)

Previous year Question

1. Which of the following Indian States/Union Territories launched Electric Vehicle Policy on 7th August 2020? (UPPSC 2020)

A. Madhya Pradesh
B. Uttar Pradesh
C. Delhi
D. Tamil Nadu
Answer: C
Source: The Indian Express



1.Why in News

For 23 days in April, the residents of Delhi breathed less noxious air than they do the rest of the year. On these days, the air quality index (AQI) was below 201 — compared to 17 days during the same period in 2023, none in 2022, 18 in 2021, 12 in 2019 and eight in 2018

2.What is a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)

In 2014, when a study by the WHO found that Delhi was the most polluted city in the world, panic spread in the center and the state government. Approved by the supreme court in 2016, the plan was formulated after several meetings that the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) held with state government representatives and experts. The result was a plan that institutionalized measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates.
The plan was notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate change in 2017.
GRAP works only as an emergency measure.
It institutionalized measures to be taken when air quality deteriorates.
1. The plan is incremental- therefore, when the air quality moves from 'poor' to 'very poor, the measures listed under both sections have to be followed.
2. It prevents PM10 and PM2.5 levels from going beyond the 'moderate' national AQI category.
Authorities from both Haryana and UP had informed EPCA at the time that they would put in the required measures by winter 2020 for the supply of electricity from the grid.

3.Has GRAP Helped?

  • The biggest success of GRAP has been in fixing accountability and deadlines.
  • For each action to be taken under a particular air quality category, executing agencies are marked.
  • In a territory like Delhi, where a multiplicity of authorities has been a long-standing impediment to effective governance, this step made a crucial difference.

4.Measures that are taken in other states

  • one criticism of the EPCA, as well as GRAP, has been the focus on Delhi. While other states have managed to delay several measures, citing a lack of resources, Delhi has always been the first to have stringent measures enforced.
  • When the air quality shifts from poor to very poor, the measures listed under both sections have to be followed since the plan is incremental in naturality reaches the severe+ stage, GRAP talks about shutting down schools and implementing the odd-even road-space rationing scheme. 

5.Actions under GRAP

Severe+ or Emergency

(PM 2.5 OVER 300 300 µg/cubic metre or PM10 over 500µg/cu. m. for 48+ hours)
  • Stop construction work.
  • Stop entry of trucks into Delhi.
  • Introduce odd/even schemes for private vehicles and minimize exemptions.
  • Taskforce to decide any additional steps including shutting schools to stop.


(PM 2.5 OVER 250µg/cu. m. or PM10 over 430 µg/cu. m. )
  • Maximize power generation from natural gas to reduce generation from coal.
  • Close brick kilns, hot mix plants, and stone crushers.
  • More frequent mechanized cleaning of roads and sprinkling of water.

Very Poor

(PM2.5 121-250 µg/cu. m. or PM10 351-430 µg/cu.m. )
  • Increase bus and metro services.
  • Stop the use of diesel generator sets.
  • Enhance parking fee by 3-4 times.
  • Apartment owners discourage burning fires in winter by providing electric heaters during winter.
  • Advisories to people with respiratory and cardiac conditions to restrict outdoor movement.

Moderate to Poor

(PM2.5 61-120 µg/cu. m. or PM10 101-350 µg/cu. m.)
  • Close/enforce pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries.
  • Heavy fines for garbage burning.
  • Mechanized sweeping on roads with heavy traffic and water sprinkling.

For Prelims and Mains

For Prelims: Graded Response Action Plan, National Capital Region (NCR),Environmental pollution(prevention control)Authority (EPCA).
For Mains:
1. What is GRAP? What is the Delhi-NCR action plan as air pollution increases? (250 words). 
SOURCE: The Indian Express


1. Context 
The recent report from the International Labour Organization (ILO), titled "Securing Safety and Health in a Transforming Climate," emphasizes the critical need to safeguard the labour sector against the impacts of climate change. The ILO highlights that a significant portion of the global population faces recurring heat stress each year, resulting in nearly 23 million occupational injuries. This underscores the pressing importance of adapting workplaces to the changing climate to protect workers' well-being.


2. Emerging Hazards Identified by the ILO


The International Labour Organization (ILO) has pinpointed six primary impacts of climate change that pose emerging hazards to workers

  • Exposure to high temperatures can result in health issues such as stress, stroke, and exhaustion.
  • Increased exposure to UV radiation due to climate change can have adverse effects on workers' health.
  • Events like storms, floods, and hurricanes pose significant risks to workers, particularly those in vulnerable sectors.
  • Rising temperatures can exacerbate air pollution in workplaces, contributing to respiratory problems among workers.
  • Climate change may spread diseases carried by vectors like mosquitoes and ticks, affecting workers' health.
  • Agricultural workers face risks associated with increased use of agrochemicals, which can have adverse health effects.

Most Affected Worker Groups

The ILO highlights several worker groups as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change:

  • Those involved in agriculture are at heightened risk due to prolonged exposure to outdoor conditions and agrochemicals.
  • Workers in construction face hazards related to heat stress and extreme weather conditions.
  • Individuals involved in urban conservation activities are susceptible to health risks arising from heat and pollution.
  • Workers in these sectors may face challenges due to increased heat and disruptions caused by extreme weather events.

Impact on Gig Economy Workers

  • The rise of gig employment poses additional challenges, as gig workers often lack protection against heat-related hazards.
  • In India, where gig employment is on the rise, a significant portion of the workforce is susceptible to heat-related risks, highlighting the urgent need for protective measures.


3. Sectors Affected by Heat Hazards


  • Globally, agriculture stands out as the most heat-susceptible sector, particularly in developing countries where informal farm labourers often lack adequate weather protection. In India, nearly 90% of farmers own less than two hectares of land, facing low incomes that hinder investment in climate adaptation.
  • India's MSME sector, employing over 123 million workers (21% of the workforce), is significantly impacted by heat hazards. The predominance of informalization within this sector results in minimal oversight of worker conditions by state Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) departments, leaving workers highly vulnerable to heat-related risks.
  • With approximately 70 million workers (12% of India's workforce), the building and construction sector faces substantial challenges related to heat. Urban-centric growth exacerbates the urban heat island effect, contributing to increased temperatures at construction sites. Additionally, workers in this sector are prone to physical injuries and health hazards from air pollution, particularly in heavily polluted Indian cities.

4. Laws Addressing Workplace Safety in India


In India, workplace safety is governed by a comprehensive framework comprising more than 13 central laws, including:

  • The Factories Act, 1948
  • The Workmen Compensation Act, 1923
  • The Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996
  • The Plantations Labour Act, 1951
  • The Mines Act, 1952
  • The Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979

These laws regulate working conditions across various sectors, aiming to ensure the safety and well-being of workers. In September 2020, these laws were consolidated and amended under the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSH Code, 2020). Despite the consolidation, the Union government has yet to officially notify its enforcement, leading to continued reliance on older laws by unions and the judiciary to seek redress and accountability.

The Indian Factories Act defines a factory as an establishment with "10 or more" workers. However, the number of factories registered under this law remains relatively low, with less than a quarter of a million registered based on the latest data. The Labour Bureau's 2020 report notes a slight increase in the number of registered factories, but the overwhelming majority of India's 64 million Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) remain unregistered under this law, thereby escaping governmental inspections.


5. Regulations on Heat Hazards in the Workplace


  • Under the Factories Act, the regulation of occupational heat primarily falls under the category of "ventilation and temperature," with specific standards left to the discretion of individual states based on industry specifics.
  • However, these regulations were established over five decades ago, lacking provisions for modern cooling methods such as air conditioning.
  • For example, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu formulated rules under this law in 1963 and 1950 respectively, setting a maximum wet bulb temperature of 30°C on shop floors with a height of 1.5 meters and requiring adequate air movement of at least 30 meters per minute.
  • These regulations, however, do not account for varying activity levels or mention cooling alternatives beyond ventilation.
  • As air conditioning remains a luxury in many households and a significant expense for businesses in developing countries, there's an urgent need to update the Factories Act to reflect technological advancements and incorporate more industry categories based on evolving production processes.
  • Brazil, for instance, mandates work stoppage in cases where the Wet Bulb Global Temperature (WBGT) rises above specific thresholds for different intensity levels of work, as highlighted by the ILO.

Challenges and Worker Perspectives

  • Workers' demands for additional hydration options like lemon juice and tender coconuts were dismissed by management as insignificant, reflecting a disconnect between worker needs and corporate priorities.
  • Additionally, unions face pressure not only from management but also from state bureaucracy, which emphasizes the importance of attracting top industries to the region, often at the expense of workers' concerns.
  • This dynamic creates challenges for unions in advocating for worker well-being while balancing economic interests.


6. Addressing Other Climate Hazards in the Workplace


  • Amendments are necessary to address the handling and disposal of effluents and byproducts, as they can significantly impact human health based on temperature.
  • For instance, Hindustan Unilever's thermometer manufacturing plant in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, was shut down in 2001 for disposing of mercury-laced glass waste improperly.
  • This led to serious health issues in the local population, resulting in legal battles and an eventual out-of-court settlement with affected workers.
  • Another emerging concern is the potential increase in silicosis cases, a fatal lung disease caused by exposure to fine particulate matter known as "lung dust," prevalent in coal mines, gemstone mines, and stone quarries.
  • India's expanding coal production and mining activities raise the risk of silica exposure, as seen in cases such as the quartz mine in Godhra, Gujarat, where the Supreme Court ordered compensation for victims' families.
  • While the Factories Act mandates inspections to prevent silica exposure, gaps exist in enforcing measures to protect workers. Inspectors face challenges such as vacancies, lack of specialized training, and influence from private sector management, particularly multinational corporations (MNCs).
  • However, some officials argue that vacancies are temporary and efforts are made to address implementation issues.
  • The link between labour productivity, human health, and climate change often receives insufficient attention, with a focus on economic and infrastructure resilience.
  • However, the ILO emphasizes establishing a universally accepted regulatory framework to ensure workplaces and workers are resilient to climate change impacts.

7. The Way Forward


By implementing the measures, India can create safer and healthier work environments that are resilient to the impacts of climate change, protecting the well-being of workers and promoting sustainable economic development.


For Prelims: International Labour Organisation, Heatwaves, The Factories Act, The Workmen Compensation Act, The Building and Other Construction Workers Act, The Plantations Labour Act, The Mines Act, The Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act
For Mains:
1. Climate change poses a significant threat to worker safety and health in India. Discuss the emerging hazards associated with climate change and the sectors most at risk. Suggest measures to be taken at the national level to protect workers from these hazards. (250 words)
Previous Year Questions
1. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2017)
1. The Factories Act, of 1881 was passed with a view to fix the wages of industrial workers and to allow the workers to form trade unions.
2. N.M.Lokhande was a pioneer in organizing the labour movement in British India.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only        B. 2 only        C. Both 1 and 2          D. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: B
2. Consider the following statements: As per the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018 (UPSC 2019)
1. If rules for fixed-term employment are implemented, it becomes easier for firms/companies to lay off workers.
2. No notice of termination of employment shall be necessary in the case of a temporary workman.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
A. 1 only      B. 2 only        C. Both 1 and 2          D. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: C
3. Given below are two statements, one is labeled as Assertion (A) and the other as Reason (R). (UPPSC 2019)
Assertion (A): The labour force participation rate is falling sharply in recent years for females in India.
Reason (R): The decline in labour force participation rate is due to improved family income and an increase in education.
Select the correct answer from the codes given below:
A. Both (A) and (R) are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A)
B. Both (A) and (R) are true and (R) is not the correct explanation of (A)
C. (A) is true, but (R) is false
D. (A) is false, but (R) is true
4. Which of the following statements about the employment situation in India according to the periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18 is/are correct? (UPSC CAPF 2020)
1. Construction sector gave employment to nearly one-tenth of the urban male workforce in India
2. Nearly one-fourth of urban female workers in India were working in the manufacturing sector
3. One-fourth of rural female workers in India were engaged in the agriculture sector
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
A. 2 only       B. 1 and 2 only            C. 1 and 3 only           D. 1, 2 and 3
5. Disguised unemployment generally means (UPSC 2013)

(a) large number of people remain unemployed
(b) alternative employment is not available
(c) marginal productivity of labour is zero
(d) productivity of workers is low

6.  Assertion (A): Workers - population ratio in India is low in contrast to that in developed countries.

Reason (R): Rapid growth of population, low female worker population rate and omission of unpaid family workers lead to low worker-population ratio.

Choose the correct answer: (Telangana Police SI Mains 2018)

A. (A) is true, but (R) is false.
B. (A) is false, but (R) is true.
C. Both (A) and (R) are true, but (R) is not a correct explanation of (A).
D. Both (A) and (R) are true, but (R) is the correct explanation of (A).

Answers: 1-  B,  2-C, 3-C, 4-B, 5-C, 6-D

1. Most of the unemployment in India is structural in nature. Examine the methodology adopted to compute unemployment in the country and suggest improvements. (UPSC 2023)
Source: The Hindu


1. Context 
During the ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court to decide whether the government can acquire and redistribute private property, a nine-judge Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud asked a question of  “radical constitutional consequence”: Does Article 31C still exist?
2. About the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are a set of guidelines or principles laid down in Part IV  (Articles 36-51) of the Constitution of India. The source of the concept of DPSP is the Spanish Constitution from which it came in the Irish Constitution. These principles aim to provide a framework for governance and policy-making by outlining the socio-economic goals that the state should strive to achieve. While the DPSP are not legally enforceable by courts, they serve as fundamental guidelines for the government while formulating policies and enacting laws.

Key features of the Directive Principles of State Policy include:

  • The DPSP emphasize the promotion of social justice by ensuring equal opportunities and equitable distribution of resources. They advocate for the elimination of inequalities based on caste, religion, race, or sex.
  • The DPSP focus on the welfare of the citizens, including provisions for adequate standard of living, healthcare, education, and social security. They aim to improve the quality of life and promote the well-being of all individuals.
  • Some DPSPs reflect the principles advocated by Mahatma Gandhi, such as promoting cottage industries, village panchayats, and decentralized governance. These principles emphasize self-sufficiency, rural development, and community participation.
  • The DPSP encourage the promotion of international peace and cooperation, advocating for peaceful relations with other countries and adherence to international law and agreements.
  • In recent years, environmental protection has been recognized as an important aspect of the DPSP. The principles emphasize the conservation of natural resources, sustainable development, and protection of the environment for future generations.
3. The difference between DPSPs and Fundamental Rights
Features Fundamental Rights DPSPs
Nature Justiciable (Enforceable by courts) Non-justiciable (Not enforceable by courts)
Enforceability Citizens can directly enforce against the state Cannot be directly enforced by individuals
Purpose Protect individual liberties, ensure justice Outline socio-economic goals for the state
Subject Matter Focus on civil liberties Cover broader socio-economic issues
Legal Status Explicitly provided in Part III of the Constitution

Enshrined in Part IV of the Constitution

4. The various ideological principles of DPSP

Directives based on Socialist Principles

  1. Article 38 Promotion of welfare by securing social, economic, and political justice and minimizing inequalities.
  2. Articles 39 Policies directed towards securing adequate livelihood, common good in resource ownership, wealth distribution, equal pay, worker protection, and prevention of child exploitation.
  3. Article 41 Ensuring the right to work, education, and public assistance.
  4. Article 42 Provision for just and humane working conditions and maternity relief.
  5. Article 43 Endeavor to secure a living wage and decent standard of life for workers.
  6. Article 43A Steps to ensure workers' participation in industry management.
  7. Article 47 Improvement of nutrition, living standards, and public health.

Directives based on Gandhian Principles

  1. Article 40 Organization of village panchayats for self-government.
  2. Article 43 Promotion of cottage industries in rural areas.
  3. Article 43B Encouragement of cooperative societies with democratic control.
  4. Article 46 Promotion of educational and economic interests of weaker sections.
  5. Article 47 Improvement of public health and prohibition of harmful substances.
  6. Article 48 Prohibition of cow slaughter and improvement of cattle breeds.

Directives based on Liberal-Intellectual Principles

  1. Article 44 Endeavors to secure a Uniform Civil Code.
  2. Article 45 Provision of early childhood care and education.
  3. Article 48 Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry on modern lines.
  4. Article 48A Protection and improvement of the environment and wildlife.
  5. Article 49 Protection of monuments and places of artistic or historic interest.
  6. Article 50 Separation of the judiciary from the executive.
  7. Article 51 Promotion of international peace and security through diplomatic means.

Amendments in DPSP

  1. The 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976 Introduced provisions for free legal aid to the poor and workers' participation in industry management.
  2. The 44th Constitutional Amendment, 1978 Declared the state's aim to minimize economic inequalities and eliminated the Right to Property from Fundamental Rights.
  3. The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 Made elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21A.


5. How Article 31(c) is related to DPSP?


  • Article 31(c) of the Indian Constitution is related to the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) in the sense that it seeks to reconcile conflicts between certain Fundamental Rights and DPSPs.
  • Article 31(c) was introduced by the 25th Amendment Act, 1971, and it aims to give precedence to certain DPSPs over specific Fundamental Rights, particularly those related to property rights.
  • Article 31(c) states that if a law is made to give effect to any of the DPSPs enumerated in clauses (b) and (c) of Article 39 (which pertain to equitable distribution of resources and operation of the economic system), then such a law cannot be invalidated because it violates Article 14 (Right to Equality) or Article 19 (Right to Freedom) of the Constitution.
  • In essence, Article 31(c) provides a mechanism for the state to enact laws aimed at achieving socio-economic objectives outlined in the DPSPs, even if those laws infringe upon certain Fundamental Rights, particularly regarding property rights.
  • This provision underscores the principle that while Fundamental Rights are crucial, there may be circumstances where the state's pursuit of socio-economic justice takes precedence over individual property rights.


6. The constitutional provisions of Articles 14, 19, 31(c), 39(b), and 39(c)


Article 14: Right to Equality

  • Guarantees equality before the law and equal protection of the law to all persons within the territory of India.
  • Prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
  • Ensures equal opportunity in matters of public employment and prevents discrimination in access to public places.

Article 19: Right to Freedom

  • Provides six freedoms to citizens, including freedom of speech and expression, assembly, association, movement, residence, and profession, occupation, trade, or business.
  • Subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the state in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency, or morality, or contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to an offence.

Article 31(c): Saving of Laws Providing for Acquisition of Estates, etc.

  • Specifies that laws enacted to implement the Directive Principles of State Policy enumerated in clauses (b) and (c) of Article 39 cannot be invalidated because they contravene the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Articles 14 and 19.
  • Gives precedence to certain DPSPs over specific Fundamental Rights, particularly those related to property rights.

Article 39(b): Principles of Policy to be followed by the State

  • Directs the state to ensure that the ownership and control of material resources of the community are so distributed as to best serve the common good.
  • Promotes equitable distribution of resources and prevents the concentration of wealth in a few hands.

Article 39(c): Principles of Policy to be followed by the State

  • Requires the state to direct its policies towards securing that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
  • Emphasizes the prevention of the concentration of wealth and the equitable distribution of economic resources for the common good.


7. The Way Forward


A transparent and inclusive approach to addressing the issues surrounding Article 31(c) will be essential to uphold the integrity of the Constitution, safeguard individual rights, and promote the socio-economic welfare of all citizens. By engaging in informed discourse and collaborative decision-making, stakeholders can contribute to strengthening India's constitutional framework and advancing the principles of justice, equality, and democratic governance.


For Prelims: Directive Principles of State Policy, Fundamental Rights, Article 14, Article 31, Article 19, 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 44th Constitutional Amendment Act, 86th Constitutional Amendment Act

For Mains: 
1. Critically examine the relationship between Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs) and Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution. Discuss the challenges arising from Article 31(c) and suggest a way forward. (250 words)
2. The DPSPs draw upon various ideological principles. Explain the influence of Socialist, Gandhian, and liberal intellectual principles on specific DPSP Articles. How do these principles contribute to achieving social and economic justice in India? (250 words)


Previous Year Questions

1. Under the Indian Constitution, concentration of wealth is the violation of  (UPSC 2021) 
A. Right to Equality
B. Directive Principles of State Policy
C. Right to Freedom
D. Concept of Welfare
2. Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India, as it stands amended, includes which of the following? (CDS 01/2022)
1. Freedom of speech and expression
2. Assemble peaceably and without arms
3. To acquire and dispose property
4. To move freely throughout the territory of India
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
A. 1 and 2 only          B. 1, 2, 3 and 4           C. 4 only            D. 1, 2 and 4 only
3. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution includes which of the following right? (DSSSB LDC 2019)
A. Right to Constitutional Remedies
B. Right against exploitation
C. Right to freedom of speech and expression
D. Right to freedom of Religion
4. Which of the following Articles in the Constitution of India are exceptions to the Fundamental Rights enumerated in Article 14 and Article 19? (CDS GK 2020) 
A. Article 31A and Article 31C
B. Article 31B and Article 31D
C. Article 12 and Article 13
D. Article 16 and Article 17
5. Article related to compulsory acquisition of property has been omitted now from the Indian constitution. What is the number of this article? (SSC CHSL 2023) 
A. 31D         B. 31        C. 31B           D. 31A
6. The First Amendment Act of the Constitution of India came up in ______. (SSC CGL 2022) A. 1954          B. 1951          C. 1952          D. 1953
7. In India, which one of the following Constitutional Amendments was widely believed to be enacted to overcome the judicial interpretations of the Fundamental Rights? (UPSC 2023)
A. 1st Amendment
B. 42nd Amendment
C. 44th Amendment
D. 86th Amendment
Answers: 1-B, 2-D, 3-C, 4-A, 5- B, 6-B, 7-A

Source: The Indian Express


1. Context
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has updated its “guidance note” on operational risk management for the financial sector, and also extended it to the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), including housing finance companies.
2. What are the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs)?
  • Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) are financial institutions that provide banking services but do not hold a banking license.
  • They are crucial to the financial system as they cater to the financial needs of sectors where traditional banks may not reach or provide services.
  • NBFCs offer various financial services such as loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stocks/bonds/debentures/securities issued by Government or local authority, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business, etc.
  • They differ from traditional banks because they cannot accept demand deposits and do not form part of the payment and settlement system like banks do.
  • However, they play a significant role in providing credit to individuals, small businesses, and the unorganised sector, thereby contributing to financial inclusion and economic growth. Examples of NBFCs include companies engaged in equipment leasing, hire-purchase finance, vehicle finance, and microfinance

3. Classification of NBFCs

NBFCs can be classified into various categories based on their activities, ownership structure, and regulatory requirements.

Here are some common classifications:

  • Asset Financing NBFCs: These NBFCs primarily provide financing for the purchase of assets such as vehicles, machinery, equipment, etc.

  • Investment and Credit NBFCs: These NBFCs primarily make investments in securities or extend credit facilities.

  • Infrastructure Finance Companies (IFCs): These NBFCs focus on financing infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, power, telecommunications, etc.

  • Housing Finance Companies (HFCs): These NBFCs specialize in providing finance for housing and related activities.

  • Microfinance Institutions (MFIs): These NBFCs provide financial services, including small loans, savings, and insurance, to low-income individuals and microenterprises.

  • Non-Deposit Taking NBFCs: These NBFCs do not accept deposits from the public. They rely on other sources of funding such as borrowings from banks, financial institutions, and capital markets.

  • Deposit Taking NBFCs: These NBFCs accept deposits from the public and are regulated more closely, similar to banks, to ensure the safety of depositor funds.

  • Systemically Important NBFCs (SI-NBFCs): These are NBFCs whose failure could potentially disrupt the financial system. They are subject to additional regulatory requirements to mitigate systemic risks.

  • Core Investment Companies (CICs): These NBFCs are primarily engaged in the business of acquisition of shares and securities and hold not less than 90% of its Total Assets in the form of investment in equity shares, preference shares, bonds, debentures, debt, or loans in group companies.

  • Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs): These NBFCs are set up to facilitate the flow of long-term debt into infrastructure projects.

4. What is the 50-50 Criteria of Principal Business?
  • The 50-50 criteria of principal business refers to a regulatory guideline set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for determining whether a company's principal business is that of a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC).
  • According to this criterion, if more than 50% of a company's total assets or gross income comes from financial assets or income derived from financial assets, it is considered to be primarily engaged in the business of an NBFC. In other words, if at least 50% of the company's assets or income is from financial activities, it falls under the purview of NBFC regulations.
  • This guideline helps to differentiate between companies engaged primarily in non-financial activities with some incidental financial activities and those whose main business revolves around financial services, thereby ensuring appropriate regulation and supervision of NBFCs by the RBI. It is an important criterion used by regulators to determine the regulatory classification of companies operating in the financial sector

5.RBI rules on Non Banking Financial Companies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulates Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) in India to ensure financial stability, consumer protection, and the smooth functioning of the financial system.
Some of the key rules and regulations imposed by the RBI on NBFCs include:
  • NBFCs need to obtain a Certificate of Registration (CoR) from the RBI to commence or carry on the business of non-banking financial institution.
  • RBI imposes prudential regulations on NBFCs to ensure the safety and soundness of their operations. These norms cover aspects such as capital adequacy, income recognition, asset classification, provisioning, liquidity management, and exposure limits.
  • NBFCs are required to adhere to a Fair Practices Code (FPC) prescribed by the RBI, which outlines the principles of transparency, fairness, and responsible lending practices.
  • NBFCs are mandated to follow KYC norms while onboarding customers, including verification of identity, address, and other relevant information, to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities
  • NBFCs are required to implement effective AML/CFT measures, including customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, and reporting of suspicious transactions, to mitigate the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • RBI mandates NBFCs to adhere to good corporate governance practices, including the composition of the board of directors, risk management framework, internal controls, and disclosure requirements
  •  NBFCs are required to have robust risk management systems in place to identify, assess, monitor, and mitigate various risks such as credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, and operational risk.
  • NBFCs need to submit various regulatory returns and reports to the RBI periodically, providing details of their financial performance, capital adequacy, asset quality, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • RBI conducts regular inspections and supervisory reviews of NBFCs to assess their financial health, compliance with regulations, and adherence to best practices.
  • RBI has the authority to issue directions, impose restrictions, and take corrective actions against NBFCs that fail to comply with regulatory requirements or pose risks to the financial system.
6. Way Forward
Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) play a vital role in India's financial landscape, serving as critical intermediaries between traditional banking institutions and underserved segments of the economy. With their diverse range of financial services and flexible approach to lending, NBFCs contribute significantly to promoting financial inclusion, fostering entrepreneurship, and driving economic growth. However, the regulatory framework governing NBFCs remains paramount in ensuring the stability and integrity of the financial system. As the sector continues to evolve and face new challenges, effective regulation, prudent risk management, and adherence to best practices will be essential for NBFCs to sustain their growth trajectory and fulfill their socio-economic mandate in a responsible and sustainable manner
For Prelims: Economy
For Mains: GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation, of resources, growth, development, and employment.

Previous Year Questions

1.The RBI acts as a bankers’ bank. This would imply which of the following? (UPSC CSE 2012)

1. Other banks retain their deposits with the RBI.

2. The RBI lends funds to the commercial banks in times of need.

3. The RBI advises the commercial banks on monetary matters.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) 2 and 3 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer (d)

The central bank, also known as the apex bank, has overarching control over a nation's banking system. It holds the exclusive authority for issuing currency and regulates the money supply within the economy. As outlined in the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, the central bank fulfills several key functions:

  • Banking functions: Acting as the banker, agent, and advisor to both the central and state governments, the Reserve Bank handles all banking operations for these entities. It extends advisory services to the government on economic and monetary policy matters and manages the public debt. Furthermore, it functions similarly to a commercial bank for other banks, including providing loans to all commercial banks nationwide.

  • Supervisory functions: The central bank supervises and monitors other banks and governmental entities, guiding them through various economic conditions, especially during periods of inflation or deflation.

  • Promotional functions: In addition to its regulatory role, the central bank undertakes promotional activities such as fostering connections with global economies and managing foreign reserves. These efforts contribute to representing the country's economy on the international stage.

  • Advisory functions: Offering guidance on monetary issues to commercial banks is another essential role of the central bank, ensuring effective monetary policy implementation.

2.With reference to the Non-banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) in India, consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2010)
  1. They cannot engage in the acquisition of securities issued by the government.
  2. They cannot accept demand deposits like Savings Account.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only 
(c) Both 1 and 2 
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b)

  • Statement 1: They cannot engage in the acquisition of securities issued by the government. This statement is False. NBFCs can invest in government securities like bonds.
  • Statement 2: They cannot accept demand deposits like Savings Account. This statement is True. NBFCs are unlike banks and cannot accept demand deposits that are withdrawable on demand. They can only accept fixed deposits with a predetermined maturity period
Source: Indianexpress


1. Context
The Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the literary world, has recently come under fire for the historical links to slavery of its original sponsor, Booker Group
2. What is slavery?
  • Slavery is a form of forced labor where individuals are treated as property and are forced to work without pay.
  • Historically, slavery has taken various forms, from chattel slavery in which individuals are owned outright by others and can be bought and sold, to debt bondage where individuals are forced to work to pay off a debt, often under exploitative conditions.
  • Slavery has been practiced in many societies throughout history and has often been intertwined with systems of economic exploitation, oppression, and discrimination.
  • While slavery has been abolished in many countries, it still exists in various forms around the world today, despite being illegal under international law
3. Who are indentured labourers?
  • Indentured laborers are individuals who enter into a labor agreement, known as an indenture contract, typically for a specified period of time, in exchange for passage to a new country or some other form of consideration. This practice was particularly common during the colonial era when European powers established colonies in various parts of the world.
  • Indentured laborers would often agree to work for a certain number of years, usually ranging from five to seven years, in exchange for transportation to the colony, food, clothing, and shelter. After completing their term of service, they were usually granted some form of freedom or land.
  • Indentured laborers came from diverse backgrounds and included Europeans, Asians, and Africans. While some entered into indenture voluntarily, others were coerced or deceived into it.
  • The system, while not as inherently oppressive as chattel slavery, still often involved harsh conditions and limited freedoms for the laborers.
  • Indentured labor was widely practiced in colonies such as those in the Caribbean, Americas, and parts of Asia during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. It played a significant role in shaping the demographics and economies of these regions
4. How British economy benefit from indentured labourers and slavery?

The British economy benefited significantly from both the use of indentured laborers and slavery, particularly during the colonial period and the era of the transatlantic slave trade. Here's how:

  • Plantation Economies: British colonies in the Caribbean, North America, Africa, and Asia relied heavily on plantation economies for their prosperity. Plantations produced valuable crops such as sugar, cotton, tobacco, and coffee, which were in high demand in Europe. Indentured laborers and enslaved Africans were used to work on these plantations, providing cheap and often coerced labor that enabled the profitability of these enterprises.

  • Trade and Commerce: The transatlantic slave trade, in which Britain played a major role, facilitated the transportation of enslaved Africans to colonies in the Americas. This trade contributed to the growth of British shipping and maritime industries, as well as the expansion of trade networks that connected Europe, Africa, and the Americas. British merchants, shipbuilders, and financiers profited from the slave trade and the trade in goods produced by enslaved labor.

  • Economic Growth: The profits generated from colonial enterprises, fueled by the labor of enslaved individuals and indentured laborers, contributed to the overall economic growth of Britain. Revenue from colonial trade and the exploitation of colonial resources helped finance industrialization and economic development in Britain, laying the foundations for its emergence as a global economic power during the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • Raw Materials and Resources: Colonies provided Britain with valuable raw materials and resources, including sugar, cotton, tobacco, timber, and minerals, which were essential for industrial production and trade. The availability of these resources, often extracted through exploitative labor systems, supported British industries and contributed to the country's economic prosperity.

5. What is Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery refers to various forms of exploitation and coercion that resemble historical slavery but occur in contemporary society. It encompasses a range of practices where individuals are forced to work under duress, often for little or no pay, and are deprived of their freedom.

Modern slavery can take different forms, including:

  • Forced Labor: People are coerced into work through threats, violence, or other forms of intimidation. They may work in industries such as agriculture, construction, manufacturing, domestic service, or mining, among others.

  • Human Trafficking: Individuals are recruited, transported, or harbored through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. This can include forced labor, sexual exploitation, or other forms of exploitation.

  • Bonded Labor: Individuals are forced to work to pay off a debt, often under exploitative conditions. This form of modern slavery is prevalent in sectors like agriculture, textiles, and brick kilns.

  • Child Labor: Children are forced to work in conditions detrimental to their health and development, often in hazardous industries or under exploitative circumstances.

  • Sex Trafficking: Individuals, typically women and children, are coerced or deceived into engaging in commercial sex acts against their will.

6. What is the British Black Panther Movement?
  • The British Black Panther Movement was a political organization inspired by the Black Panther Party, which originated in the United States. It emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s in response to issues of racial injustice, police brutality, and social inequality faced by black communities in the United Kingdom.
  • The British Black Panther Movement sought to address systemic racism and empower black people through political activism, community organizing, and self-defense. They advocated for the rights of black Britons, including demands for equal treatment, better housing, education, and job opportunities.
  • The movement organized protests, marches, and community programs aimed at raising awareness about racial discrimination and advocating for social change. They also established community centers and provided assistance to black communities facing various forms of discrimination.
  • While the British Black Panther Movement shared some ideological similarities with its American counterpart, there were also differences in their approaches and contexts. The British movement faced unique challenges and operated within the specific socio-political landscape of the UK.
  • The British Black Panther Movement was influential in raising consciousness about racial issues and promoting black empowerment in the UK. Although it was relatively short-lived, its legacy continues to influence contemporary activism and discussions surrounding race and inequality in Britain

7. What is the sugar and cotton plantation?

Sugar and cotton plantations were agricultural enterprises, primarily established during the colonial period, where large-scale cultivation of sugar cane and cotton crops took place.

  • Sugar Plantations: Sugar plantations were large estates dedicated to the cultivation of sugar cane, primarily for the production of sugar and other related products such as molasses and rum. These plantations were widespread in regions with suitable climates and soil conditions, such as the Caribbean, Latin America, and parts of the southern United States. Sugar plantations were characterized by extensive fields of sugar cane, as well as processing facilities such as sugar mills and refineries. The labor on these plantations was often performed by enslaved Africans or indentured laborers brought from other parts of the world.

  • Cotton Plantations: Cotton plantations were agricultural estates where cotton was cultivated on a large scale for commercial purposes. These plantations were prevalent in regions with warm climates and fertile soil, such as the southern United States, parts of Latin America, and certain regions in Africa and Asia. Cotton plantations relied heavily on slave labor, particularly in the antebellum South of the United States, where enslaved African Americans were forced to work under brutal conditions to produce cotton for export. Cotton became a major cash crop and played a significant role in the economies of these regions, driving the expansion of plantation systems and shaping social and political dynamics

8. Conclusion
While the British economy benefited enormously from the use of indentured laborers and slavery, it's important to recognize that these practices were deeply exploitative and inflicted immense suffering on millions of people. The profits derived from colonial exploitation came at a significant human cost and contributed to the perpetuation of systemic inequality and injustice
For Prelims: Current events of national and international importance
For Mains: GS-I: History of the world
Source: Indianexpress

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