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23 Jul, 2021

109 Min Read

Revival of Water Bodies

GS-I : Indian Geography Water crisis

Revival of Water Bodies

  • Reasons: Groundwater levels in various parts of the country are declining because of continuous withdrawal necessitated by increased demand for fresh water for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialization and urbanization etc.
  • Water being a State subject, initiatives on water management including conservation & water harvesting and revival/rejuvenation of water bodies in the Country is primarily States’ responsibility.
  • However, the important measures taken by the Central Government for conservation, management of groundwater and effective implementation of rainwater harvesting in the country are available at the following URL: click here
  • In addition, a number of States have done notable work in the field of water conservation/harvesting. Of these, mention can be made of
    1. ‘Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan’ in Rajasthan,
    2. ‘Jalyukt Shibar’ in Maharashtra,
    3. ‘Sujalam Sufalam Abhiyan’ in Gujarat,
    4. ‘Mission Kakatiya’ in Telangana,
    5. Neeru Chettu’ in Andhra Pradesh,
    6. Jal Jeevan Hariyali in Bihar,
    7. ‘Jal Hi Jeevan’ in Haryana among others.
  • The government of India launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) in 2019, a time-bound campaign with a mission mode approach intended to improve water availability including groundwater conditions in the water-stressed blocks of 256 districts in India. In this regard, teams of officers from the Central Government along with technical officers from the Ministry of Jal Shakti were deputed to visit water-stressed districts and to work in close collaboration with district-level officials to undertake suitable interventions. In addition ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan – Catch the Rain’ campaign has been launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 22 March 2021.
  • Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is implementing the National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM), which envisages mapping of aquifers (water-bearing formations), their characterization and development of Aquifer Management Plan to facilitate sustainable management of Ground Water Resources. The State-wise information is shared with States/Uts for implementation.
  • Ministry of Jal shakti, Department of Water Resources, RD & GR (DoWR, RD & GR) is implementing Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal), an Rs.6,000.00 crore Central Sector Scheme, for sustainable management of groundwater resources with community participation. Atal Jal is being implemented in 81 water-stressed districts and 8774 Gram Panchayats of seven States viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • DoWR, RD & GR is implementing Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) with main objectives as comprehensive improvement and restoration of water bodies thereby increasing tank storage capacity, improvement of catchment areas of tank command etc.
  • The ongoing 6th minor irrigation census is, for the first time, collecting details of all water bodies (both in rural and urban areas) irrespective of their use, and this will form the basis of monitoring the health and spread of water bodies.

Click here for in detail information on the above schemes.


  • Water is a State subject and therefore, making the water bodies free from encroachment falls under their mandate.
  • Further, as per the Guidelines of the RRR scheme States are to take necessary steps for declaring the water body boundary through a Government order and ensure the removal of encroachments in the water body spread area/water body boundary before submitting a proposal for release of second installment of Central Assistance.

Source: PIB

Paramparagat Krishi Vikaas Yojana (Organic Farming), 2015

GS-III : Economic Issues Agriculture

Paramparagat Krishi Vikaas Yojana (Organic Farming), 2015

  1. Sikkim is World's 1st organic State. MP has the largest area under Organic certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP.
  2. Ministry: of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare.
  3. Funding: Centrally Sponsored with 60:40 for States except NE and Himalayan States (90:10) and 100% for UTs.
  4. Components:
    1. To produce agricultural products free from chemicals and pesticide residues by adopting eco-friendly, low-cost technologies.
    2. It empowers farmers through a cluster approach not just in input production, and quality assurance (Participatory Guarantee System) but also in value addition and direct marketing through innovative means.
    3. PKVY is a subcomponent of the Soil Health Management(SHM) scheme under NMSA.
  5. Targets:
    1. >= 50 farmers will form a cluster having 50 acres (or 20 hectares) of land to take up organic farming.
    2. During 3 years 10,000 clusters will be formed covering a 5 lakh acre area under organic farming.
    3. Each farmer receives Rs. 20,000 per acre for 3 years. The amount covers all expenses, including procuring seeds, harvesting crops, and transporting produce to various markets.
    4. Out of total farmers in clusters, 65% of farmers should be allotted to SMFs. At least 30% budget for women beneficiaries.
    5. Participatory Guarantee Systems provides certification to organic products. It is supported by PKVY.

Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP)

  • Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP) as a sub-scheme of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) since 2020-21 for the promotion of traditional indigenous practices.
  • The scheme mainly emphasizes on the exclusion of all synthetic chemical inputs and promotes on-farm biomass recycling with major stress on biomass mulching; use of cow dung-urine formulations; plant-based preparations and time-to-time working of soil for aeration.
  • Under BPKP, financial assistance of Rs 12200/ha for 3 years is provided for cluster formation, capacity building and continuous handholding by trained personnel, certification and residue analysis.
  • As of now, an area of 4.9 lakh ha is covered in 8 states and Rs. 4980.99 lakh has been released.
  • Telangana has not taken up natural farming so far under the BPKP programme.

Source: PIB

Government efforts to promote IT based education

GS-II : Governance Education

Government efforts to promote IT-based education

  • A comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA has been initiated as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan on 17th May 2020, which unifies all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode access to education.

The initiative includes:

  • DIKSHA (one nation, one digital platform)is the nation’s digital infrastructure for providing quality e-content for school education in states/UTs and QR-coded Energized Textbooks for all grades are available on it.
  • One earmarked Swayam Prabha TV channel per class from 1 to 12 (one class, one channel).
  • Extensive use of Radio, Community Radio and CBSE Podcast- Shiksha Vani.
  • Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired developed on Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) and in sign language on NIOS website/ YouTube.

Other initiatives

  • In order to promote online education, UGC has notified necessary regulation, which facilitates the Universities to offer full-fledged Online programs.
  • Further, the current provisions of 20 per cent Online courses in a programme, as per provisions of UGC SWAYAM and ODL Regulations to be enhanced up to a maximum of 40 per cent for implementation considering “National interest during COVID-19” and also to ensure effective utilization of e-resources.
  • Various digital initiatives are also undertaken by the Ministry of education viz. SWAYAM ("Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds"), SWAYAM Prabha, National Digital Library (NDL), Virtual Lab, e-Yantra, NEAT (National Education Alliance for technology), FOSSEE (Free Open-Source Software for Education) etc to ensure quality education to the students.
  • To improve the internet connectivity in rural areas the CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd (CSC-SPV) of MEITY has been assigned the task of providing Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connectivity to Government Institutions, including schools.
  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has launched a ‘Cyber Security Handbook’ to ensure safe and healthy digital habits among students.

Source: PIB

How to restore water bodies?

GS-I : Indian Geography Water crisis

How to restore water bodies?

  • It is for the State Governments concerned to undertake enumeration, protection and management of water bodies in their respective States.
  • However, this Ministry undertakes a census of minor irrigation schemes from time to time, which also captures information pertaining to certain specific water bodies in the country.
  • As per the latest census, being the 5th census of minor irrigation schemes with the reference year 2013-14, there are 5,16,303 water bodies in the rural areas of the country, which are being used for minor irrigation.
  • Out of these, 53,396 water bodies are not in use for various reasons such as non-availability of water, siltation, salinity, etc.
  • Works related to water resources development & management are planned, funded, executed and maintained by the State Governments themselves as per their own resources and priorities.
  • The role of the Government of India is limited to providing technical support, and partial financial support in some cases, as per the norms of the existing schemes being implemented by the Government of India.

RRR of Water Bodies under PM Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

  • Central assistance for the restoration of water bodies is provided by this Ministry under the scheme “Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies”, which is a component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana – Har Khet Ko Pani (PMKSY- HKKP).
  • The scheme aims at restoring the lost irrigation potential by improving and restoration of existing water bodies.
  • Under the RRR of Water Bodie's scheme, XII Plan onwards a total of 2,228 water bodies with an estimated cost of Rs.1,914.86 crore, have been taken up for restoration in various States.
  • Up to March 2021, central assistance of Rs.469.69 crore has been released to the States under the scheme, and in this period RRR of 1,549 water bodies has been completed.
  • Increased groundwater recharge is one of the key objectives of the Repair, Renovation and Restoration of Water bodies scheme.
  • The mandate for enumeration, protection and management of water bodies is with the State Governments concerned.
  • However, this Ministry has impressed upon the States to take necessary steps for keeping all the water bodies encroachment-free, the inclusion of water bodies in land records, incorporating water bodies as an integral part of the town planning process, and to take strict action against the encroachment, etc.
  • Further, water bodies are included under the RRR of the Water Bodies scheme only after the concerned State Government certifies that the water bodies concerned are free from encroachment.
  • Also, the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has in 2019 issued “Indicative Guidelines for Restoration of Water Bodies”, which also address the removal of encroachments and blockades. The guidelines further recommend that the State Government or UT Administration may maintain records pertaining to the boundaries of each pond or lake in the respective State/UT, and may also ensure that the water body spread area/ water body boundary remains encroachment-free.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), 2015

  • 65 out of 141 million hectares of net area sown is presently covered under irrigation. If the irrigation is assured, farmers tend to invest more in farming technology and inputs.
  • The vision of PMKSY = To ensure access to irrigation to all agricultural farms in country, to produce 'per drop more crop'.
  • Tenure: 5 years from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
  • The mission is administered by Jal Shakti Ministry in a mission mode. Per Drop More Crop component will be administered by the Dept of Agri, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW).
  • Funding: 50000 crores. PMKSY funds will be provided to the State Governments as per the pattern of assistance of Centrally Sponsored Schemes decided by Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog.
  • PMKSY has amalgamated 3 ongoing schemes viz.
    1. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of Ministry of Water Resources;
    2. Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources (Ministry of Rural Development)
    3. On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of NMSA of Dept of Agriculture and Cooperation (Ministry of AFW)
  • Objectives
    1. Convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level (prepare district and sub-district level water use plans).
    2. Har Khet Ko Pani: Enhance physical access to water on the farm and expand cultivable areas under assured irrigation.
    3. More Crop Per Drop: Enhance the adoption of precision - irrigation and other water-saving technologies.
    4. Integration of water source, distribution and its efficient use, to make the best use of water through appropriate technologies and practices.
    5. Improve on-farm water use (OFWU) efficiency to reduce wastage and increase availability both in duration and extent.
    6. Enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
    7. For rainfed areas, use a watershed approach towards soil and water conservation, arresting runoff, providing livelihood etc.
    8. Explore the feasibility of reusing treated municipal waste water for peri-urban agriculture.
    9. Attract greater private investments in irrigation.
    10. It uses an area development approach, adopting decentralized state-level planning i.e. States can make their irrigation development plans and take up projects.
  • Components: It has 4 components
    1. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP): Faster completion of Major and Medium irrigation projects.
    2. Har Khet Ko Pani: Minor irrigation, repair of water bodies, rainwater harvesting, Command area development, Groundwater development, improve water distribution system, supplement MGNREGA, IWMP and create traditional water storage systems.
    3. Per Drop More Crop: Preparation of State/ District Plan, Jal Sinchan (sprinklers, railguns in farms), Jal Sanrakchan (moisture conservation),,, ICT Interventions through NeGP - A for water use efficiency, precision irrigation technologies etc.
    4. Watershed Development: ridge area treatment, in situ conservation, converging with MGNREGA.
  • Coverage: All the States and UTs including the North Eastern States are covered under the programme.

Click here for a Comprehensive answer on the solution to the Water crisis in India.

Source: PIB

Micro plastics in Ganga

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Air Pollution

Microplastics in Ganga

  • An analysis of the stretches of the river Ganga by a Delhi-based environment NGO, Toxics Link, has revealed pollution by microplastics, defined as synthetic solid particles sized ranging from 1 micrometre to 5 millimetres (mm), which are insoluble in water.
  • The Ganga flows across five States and has been at the centre of a massive multi-crore undertaking by the Union government, in the form of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, to rid it off contamination.

About Microplastics

  • Microplastics are recognized as a major source of marine pollution.
  • Untreated sewage from many cities along the river’s course, industrial waste and religious offerings wrapped in non-degradable plastics pile pollutants into the river as it flows through several densely populated cities.
  • The plastic products and waste materials released or dumped in the river break down and are eventually broken down into microparticles.
  • The river finally transports significantly large quantities downstream into the ocean, which is the ultimate sink of all plastics being used by humans.

  • “Essentially, all along microplastics are flowing into the river system. It does reflect or suggest a direct linkage between the poor state of both solid and liquid waste management; hence it is critically important to initiate steps to remediate it,” Priti Mahesh, chief coordinator at Toxics Link, said in a statement.
  • The study, ‘Quantitative analysis of Microplastics along River Ganga’, was based on an analysis of water samples at Haridwar, Kanpur and Varanasi.
  • The highest concentration of such plastic was found at Varanasi, comprising single-use and secondary plastic products. The water testing was carried out in collaboration with the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa. The samples were tested to identify the exact type or resin core and the results show the presence of at least 40 different kinds of polymers as microplastics.
  • The shapes and nature of the observed resins ranged from fibres to fragments, films and beads. Fragments were the predominant shape in all locations, followed by film and fibre.
  • Microbeads were observed in Varanasi and Kanpur, while no beads were found in Haridwar. “The most frequent size range observed in all the samples was <300 micrometre,” said Dr. Mahua Saha, the lead researcher from NIO.

Ankit Sir has explained Plastic pollution and Management in India through Free video lectures: Click here to watch the video

Click here to get the High-Quality comprehensive notes by AspireIAS on Plastic Management in India.

Source: PIB

Judicial Appointments and Vacancies in India

GS-II : Governance Judiciary

Judicial Appointments and Vacancies in India

Judicial Vacancies have been an issue in the Indian Judiciary for a long time now. Click here to read more on the UPSC Facts and Data for Vacancies in the Indian Judiciary.

Some Constitutional Provisions related to appoint of Judges

  • Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution provides that the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President after consultation with such a number of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose.
  • Article 217 of the Indian Constitution states that the Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court.

What is Collegium?

  • The Collegium system of the Supreme Court (SC) and the High Courts (HCs) of India is based on the precedence established by the “Three Judges Cases (1982, 1993, 1998) “.
  • It is a legally valid system of appointment and transfer of judges in the SC and all HCs.
  • It is a system of checks and balances, which ensures the independence of the senior judiciary in India.

Evolution of the System:

First Judges Case (1981):

  • It declared that the “primacy” of the Chief Justice of India (CJI)s recommendation on judicial appointments and transfers can be refused for “cogent reasons.
  • The ruling gave the Executive primacy over the Judiciary in judicial appointments for the next 12 years.

Second Judges Case (1993):

  • SC introduced the Collegium system, holding that “consultation” really meant “concurrence”.
  • It added that it was not the CJI’s individual opinion, but an institutional opinion formed in consultation with the two senior-most judges in the SC.

Third Judges Case (1998):

  • SC on President’s reference expanded the Collegium to a five-member body, comprising the CJI and four of his senior-most colleagues.
  • It means that the SC collegium is headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior-most judges of the court.
  • A HC collegium is led by its Chief Justice and four other senior most judges of that court.
  • Names recommended for appointment by an HC collegium reach the government only after approval by the CJI and the SC collegium.
  • Judges of the higher judiciary are appointed only through the collegium system and the government has a role only after names have been decided by the collegium.
  • The government’s role is limited to getting an inquiry conducted by the Intelligence Bureau (MHA) if a lawyer is to be elevated as a judge in a High Court or the Supreme Court.
  • It can also raise objections and seek clarifications regarding the collegium’s choices, but if the collegium reiterates the same names, the government is bound, under Constitution Bench judgments, to appoint them as judges.

The procedure followed by the Collegium:

Appointment of CJI

  • The President of India appoints the CJI and the other SC judges.
  • As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.
  • In practice, it has been strictly by seniority ever since the supersession controversy of the 1970s.
  • The Union Law Minister forwards the recommendation to the PM who, in turn, advises the President.

Other SC Judges

  • For other judges of the top court, the proposal is initiated by the CJI.
  • The CJI consults the rest of the Collegium members, as well as the senior-most judge of the court hailing from the High Court to which the recommended person belongs.
  • The consultees must record their opinions in writing and it should form part of the file.
  • The Collegium sends the recommendation to the Law Minister, who forwards it to the Prime Minister to advise the President.
  • President appoints Judges of the Supreme court.

For High Court

  • The Chief Justice and Judges of the High Courts are to be appointed by the President under clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution.
  • The Chief Justices of HC are appointed as per the policy of having Chief Justices from outside the respective States. The Collegium takes the call on the elevation.
  • High Court judges are recommended by a Collegium comprising the CJI and two senior-most judges.
  • The proposal, however, is initiated by the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in consultation with two senior-most colleagues.
  • The recommendation is sent to the Chief Minister, who advises the Governor to send the proposal to the Union Law Minister.

Does the Collegium recommend transfers too?

  • Yes, the Collegium also recommends the transfer of Chief Justices and other judges.
  • Article 222 of the Constitution provides for the transfer of a judge from one High Court to another.
  • When a CJ is transferred, a replacement must also be simultaneously found for the High Court concerned. There can be an acting CJ in a High Court for not more than a month.
  • In matters of transfers, the opinion of the CJI “is determinative”, and the consent of the judge concerned is not required.
  • However, the CJI should take into account the views of the CJ of the High Court concerned and the views of one or more SC judges who are in a position to do so.
  • All transfers must be made in the public interest, that is, “for the betterment of the administration of justice”.

Criticism of the Collegium System:

  • Opaqueness and a lack of transparency.
  • Scope for nepotism.
  • Embroilment in public controversies.
  • Overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • Attempts to reform the Appointment System:
  • The attempt made to replace it by a ‘National Judicial Appointments Commission’ was struck down by the court in 2015 on the ground that it posed a threat to the independence of the judiciary.

What is the news?

  • The Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana, asked the Chief Justices of High Courts to ensure that recommendations for judicial appointments to the High Courts reflect the social diversity of the country.
  • Chief Justice Ramana said this during his first-ever live and direct interaction with High Court Chief Justices. The discussion spanned two days and four sessions.
  • The CJI also placed before the Chief Justices of High Courts the representations made by various Bar bodies to include lawyers primarily practising in the Supreme Court in the zone of consideration while recommending the names of judges for their High Courts
  • The CJI also reminded the Chief Justices to expedite the process of filling up vacancies, particularly in the High Courts. This was a follow up to the letter the CJI had written to the CJs of High Courts in the first week of May.
  • During the interaction, the Chief Justice of Madras HC told the CJI about the vaccine hesitancy seen in some areas of the State. The Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, however, conveyed his satisfaction with the cooperation given by the Tamil Nadu government in the vaccination drive.
  • The session also saw the CJI convey to the Chief Justices his vision to draw from the experience of the pandemic and build modern, self-contained courts with a permanent facility to hold virtual hearings in every courtroom. He reiterated his wish to create a National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation and take forward a “nation plan” for judicial infrastructure.
  • The High Court Chief Justices also flagged the apparent “digital divide” seen in rural and tribal areas. They said the lack of digital connectivity had impacted judicial functioning. A proposal for mobile video conferencing vans was discussed. Chief Justice Ramana assured the High Courts that the Supreme Court would take up with the Centre the highlighted issues regarding sufficient vaccine supply, connectivity and court infrastructure.

Source: TH

RBI plans to introduce Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

GS-III : Economic Issues Digital currency

RBI plans to introduce Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)

  • The Reserve Bank of India is likely to soon kick off pilot projects to assess the viability of using digital currency to make wholesale and retail payments to help calibrate its strategy for introducing a full-scale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
  • India is already a leader in digital payments, but cash remains dominant for small-value transactions, he said, stressing that an official digital currency would reduce the cost of currency management while enabling real-time payments without any inter-bank settlement.
  • Some key issues are being examined: whether they should be used in retail or wholesale payments, the underlying technology, if the validation mechanism should be token-based, etc. Conducting pilots in wholesale and retail segments may be a possibility in the near future.
  • A high-level inter-ministerial committee set up by the Finance Ministry had recommended the introduction of a CBDC with changes in the legal framework including the RBI Act, which currently empowers the RBI to regulate issuance of bank notes.
  • India’s fairly high currency-to-GDP ratio holds out another benefit of CBDC — to the extent large cash usage can be replaced by CBDC, the cost of printing, transporting and storing paper currency can be substantially reduced.
  • The advent of private virtual currencies is another reason... If these private currencies gain recognition, national currencies with limited convertibility are likely to come under some kind of threat.
  • Transacting with CBDC would be an instantaneous process as the need for inter-bank settlement would disappear as it would be a central bank liability handed over from one person to another, Mr. Sankar pointed out. Moreover, foreign trade transactions could be speeded up between countries adopting a CBDC.
  • They could enable a cheaper and more real-time globalisation of payment systems — it is conceivable for an Indian exporter to be paid on a real-time basis without any intermediary...The risks of dollar-rupee transactions, the time zone difference in such transactions would virtually disappear.

About Cryptocurrency

  • The government intends to bring in a law on cryptocurrencies to put an end to the existing ambiguity over the legality of these currencies in India.
  • The government has, suggested that it does not consider them to be legal tender.

What is Bitcoin?

  • Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone.
  • Bitcoin was introduced in 2009.
  • Bitcoin is based on an open-source protocol and is not issued by any central authority.
  • Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency.
  • Bitcoin is the first decentralised digital currency.


  • Such currencies are:
    • highly volatile,
    • used for illicit Internet transactions, and
    • wholly outside the ambit of the state — into any sort of regulation.

RBIs direction

  • In 2018, the RBI did send a circular to banks directing them not to provide services for those trading in cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulatory bodies like RBI and Sebi etc also don’t have a legal framework to directly regulate cryptocurrencies as they are neither currencies nor assets or securities or commodities issued by an identifiable user.

Supreme Court’s judgement

  • But this was eventually set aside by the Supreme Court, which found the circular to be “disproportionate,” given that the central bank had consistently maintained that virtual currencies were not banned in India.
  • Also, the RBI could not show that entities that it regulated were adversely impacted by exchanges dealing in virtual currencies.

So, what will the Bill seek to do?

  • Cryptocurrency exchanges, which have sprung up, are reportedly lobbying with the government to make sure these currencies are regulated rather than banned outright.
  • Smart regulation is preferable, as a ban on something that is based on a technology of distributed ledger cannot be implemented for all practical purposes.

Findings of India inter-ministerial committee

  • Even in China, where cryptocurrencies have been banned and the Internet is controlled, trading in cryptocurrencies has been low but not non-existent, as an India inter-ministerial committee found out.
  • Despite this and the fact that most countries it studied had opted for regulation, this committee still went ahead to recommend an outright ban.
  • Of course, it encouragingly also batted for an official digital currency as well as for the promotion of the underlying blockchain technology.

Law to ban Cryptocurrencies

  • India plans to introduce a law to ban private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and put in place a framework for an official digital currency to be issued by the central bank, according to a legislative agenda listed by the government.
  • The law will “create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),” the agenda, published on the lower house website on Friday, showed.
  • The legislation, listed for debate in the current Parliamentary session, seeks “to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses,” the government said.
  • In mid-2019, a government panel recommended banning all private cryptocurrencies, with a jail term of up to 10 years and heavy fines for anyone dealing in digital currencies.
  • The panel had, however, asked the government to consider the introduction of an official government-backed digital currency, to function like bank notes, through the RBI.
  • The central bank had in April 2018 ordered financial institutions to break off all ties with individuals or businesses dealing in virtual currencies such as bitcoin within three months.
  • However, in March 2020, the Supreme Court allowed banks to handle cryptocurrency transactions from exchanges and traders, overturning a ban that had dealt the thriving industry a blow.
  • Governments around the world have been looking into ways to regulate cryptocurrencies but no major economy has taken the drastic step of placing a blanket ban on owning them, even though concerns have been raised about the misuse of consumer data and its possible impact on the financial system.

Click here to read the news of Banning of Cryptocurrency.

Source: TH

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