24 September, 2019

15 Min Read

GS-I :
Sign language dictionary gets 4,000 new words

GS-I: Sign language dictionary gets 4,000 new words.


Around 4000 words are likely to be added to the Indian sign language dictionary in 2020.


The aim of developing the Indian Sign Language Dictionary was to remove communications barriers between the deaf and hearing communities.

Work Under Way:

On the occasion of International Sign Language Day Minster of Social Justice and Empowerment said the addition of 4,000words to the sign language dictionary would be done by 2020.Right now the work of identifying signs for words cross categories including administration medical, legal, education, agriculture with the help of the hearing impaired community.

About ISL Dictionary Dictionary :

  • Dictionary has developed in both print & video format.
  • ISLR&TC has developed this dictionary for to offering deaf & hearing people maximum words to learn & expressing their feelings, ideas.
  • Dictionary consists of various categories of words, like, everyday terms, legal terms, medical terms, academic terms & technical terms.


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Multipurpose National ID Card

GS-II: Multipurpose National ID Card


India could have a single multi-purpose unique card that will serve as an identity card and double up as a voter card, PAN and even a passport said Union Home Minister.

Multipurpose National ID Card (MPNIC):

  • MPNIC was first suggested by a 2001 report on “Reforming the National Security System” by an empowered Group of Ministers during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
  • The GOM report itself was a response to the K Subrahmanyam-led Kargil Review Committee, which was instituted in the wake of the Kargil conflict of 1999.
  • The GOM included LK Advani, (MHA), George Fernandes (Minister of Defence), Jaswant Singh (MEA), and Yashwant Sinha (Minister of Finance) recommended MPNIC in relation to the growing threat from illegal migration.

Are we seeing the reprise of the MPNIC?

  • It is difficult to surmise if MPNIC exactly is being reprised.
  • Although there is no such scheme in the offing, it was possible to get rid of excess processes and cards such as the Aadhaar card, the voter card, the identity card etc.
  • But the government would want to link various databases if it intends to create a card that works as a single point of access to various accounts held by an individual.
  • Moreover, technology has taken a giant leap since the MPNIC was first proposed in 2001.
  • A good example of that is the existence of the Aadhaar database, which now has almost all residents of India on it.

Source: Indian Express

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Inequality of another kind.

GS-II: Inequality of another kind.


Kerala HC declared the Right to Internet access as a fundamental right forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Art 21 of the Constitution.

What’s the issue?

  • A college student from Kozhikode was recently expelled from the college hostel for using her mobile phone beyond the restricted hours.
  • This was challenged in the court.
  • The petitioner contended that the internet, accessible through mobile phones or laptops, provided an avenue for the students to gather knowledge.

Digital Inequality:

In recent times, several government and private sector services have become digital. Some of them are only available online. This leads to a new kind of inequality, digital inequality, where social and economic backwardness is exacerbated due to information poverty, lack of infrastructure, and lack of digital literacy. According to the Deloitte report, ‘Digital India: Unlocking the Trillion Dollar Opportunity’, in mid-2016, digital literacy in India was less than 10%. We are moving to a global economy where knowledge of digital processes will transform the way in which people work, collaborate, consume information, and entertain themselves. This has been acknowledged in the Sustainable Development Goals as well as by the Indian government and has led to the Digital India mission. Offering services online has cost and efficiency benefits for the government and also allows citizens to bypass lower-level government bureaucracy. However, in the absence of Internet access and digital literacy enabling that access, there will be further exclusion of large parts of the population, exacerbating the already existing digital divide.

Moving governance and service delivery online without the requisite progress in Internet access and digital literacy also does not make economic sense. For instance, Common Service Centres, which operate in rural and remote locations, are physical facilities which help in delivering digital government services and informing communities about government initiatives. While the state may be saving resources by moving services online, it also has to spend resources since a large chunk of citizens cannot access these services. The government has acknowledged this and has initiated certain measures in this regard. The Bharat Net programme, aiming to have an optical fibre network in all gram panchayats, is to act as the infrastructural backbone for having Internet access all across the country. However, the project has consistently missed all its deadlines while the costs involved have doubled.

Similarly, the National Digital Literacy Mission has barely touched 1.67% of the population and has been struggling for funds. This is particularly worrying because Internet access and digital literacy are dependent on each other, and creation of digital infrastructure must go hand in hand with the creation of digital skills.

Importance of digital literacy:

Internet access and digital literacy have implications beyond access to government services. Digital literacy allows people to access information and services, collaborate, and navigate socio-cultural networks. In fact, the definition of literacy today must include the ability to access and act upon resources and information found online. While the Kerala High Court judgment acknowledges the role of the right to access Internet in accessing other fundamental rights, it is imperative that the right to Internet access and digital literacy be recognised as a right in itself. In this framework the state would have (i) a positive obligation to create infrastructure for a minimum standard and quality of Internet access as well as capacity-building measures which would allow all citizens to be digitally literate and (ii) a negative obligation prohibiting it from engaging in conduct that impedes, obstructs or violates such a right. Recognising the right to internet access and digital literacy will also make it easier to demand accountability from the state, as well as encourage the legislature and the executive to take a more proactive role in furthering this right. The courts have always interpreted Article 21 as a broad spectrum of rights considered incidental and/or integral to the right to life.

Way Forward:

A right to Internet access would also further provisions given under Articles 38(2) and 39 of the Constitution. It has now become settled judicial practice to read fundamental rights along with directive principles with a view to defining the scope and ambit of the former. We are living in an ‘information society’. Unequal access to the Internet creates and reproduces socio-economic exclusions. It is important to recognise the right to Internet access and digital literacy to alleviate this situation, and allow citizens increased access to information, services, and the creation of better livelihood opportunities.


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Renewable energy target to be more than doubled

GS-III: Renewable energy target to be more than doubled.


India’s renewable energy target will be increased to 450GW ,PM Modi said at United Nations Climate Action Summit. India today has come not just to talk about the seriousness of this issues but to present a practical approach a road map.

Renewable energy in India –Progress, Challenges, Opportunities

The government had set an ambitious target to achieve 175GW renewable energy but India extended the target 450GW of Renewable Energy capacity by 2022. According to BP Energy Outlook report 2019 the consumption of coal 56% in 2017 decline to at least 48% in 2040. This shows that India has adopting clean energy technology .If necessary measure are not taken , India will not be able to adapt to the era defining by sustainable energy technologies.

What is Renewable Energy?

  • Energy generated from renewable sources (which are constantly replenished) is known as renewable energy. Example: solar power, wind energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy etc.
  • In recent years renewable energy is globally established as the mainstream energy sources.
  • This is mainly due to policy initiatives and targets that have sent a positive signal to the industries.
  • Despite the progress in renewable adoption it is insufficient to achieve the goals under the Paris Agreement or SDG 7 within the deadline.

Why is it important for India?

Reduce Oil Demand:

  • It is evident that India has a vast amount of renewable resources.
  • What India doesn’t have is the conventional energy sources like petrol and diesel.
  • India imports 84 % of its oil needs.
  • If India opts for renewable energy source the global oil prices won’t affect India’s economy.

Rural Electrification:

  • India still has many locations that do not have access to electricity.
  • Electrification of remote areas and inaccessible terrains is not possible using grid connectivity.
  • This is because renewable energy sources are inexhaustible and the sourcing is versatile.

Government Policy Initiatives in the Renewable Energy Sector:

Way forward:

It is estimated that India has the capacity to extract 900GW from commercially available sources like wind , hydro energy ,bio energy etc.

High financial assistance is essential for this nascent sector to grow.

Bulk production can reduce the production cost.

It is essential to integrate the new technologies with the existing infrastructure to reduce the cost of renewable technology.


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GS-III : Economic Issues Banking
Making the grand India PSB mergers work

GS-III: Making the grand India PSB mergers work.


The initial enthusiasm of market analysts to the bank merger announcement is giving way to wariness and scepticism.

Procedure of Bank Merger

  • An application for merger is submitted by the concerned banks to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS).
  • A copy of the application is also sent to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) along with valuation report and information relevant for consideration of the scheme of merger.
  • The RBI then examines the scheme in respect to the interests of depositors and conveys its decision to the CRCS.

What is the rationale behind the mergers?

  • It was the Narasimham Committee in the late 1990s that recommended consolidation through a process of merging strong banks.
  • There are too many banks in India with sizes that are minuscule by global standards with their growth constricted by their inability to expand.
  • Given this, the biggest plus of the mergers is that they will create banks of scale.
  • According to the government, banks have been merged on the basis of likely operating efficiencies, better usage of equity and their technological platform.
  • But the move marks a departure from the plan to privatise some of the banks or bringing in strategic investors to usher in reform in the sector.
  • The government has decided amalgamation as the “best route” to achieve banking sector scale.
  • This is also expected to support the target of achieving a $5 trillion economic size for India in 5 years.
  • However, mergers may not lead to any immediate improvement in their credit metrics.

How effective could the merger be?

  • Bank consolidation is a good move towards improving efficiency of the PSBs.
  • This would enable the consolidated entities to meaningfully improve scale of operations and help their competitive position.
  • Given that the merged banks are on similar technology platform, the integration should be smoother.
  • However, there may not be any immediate improvement in their credit metrics as all of them have relatively weak solvency profiles.

What are the challenges and priorities now?

  • Mergers are driven by synergies in products, business, geographies or technology and the most important, cost synergies.
  • There may be some geographical synergies between the banks being merged now.
  • But unless banks realise cost synergies through branch and staff rationalisation, the mergers may not mean much to them or to the economy.
  • This is where the government’s strategy becomes significant.
  • Evidently, public sector banks are overstaffed.
  • But the key reforms to be made are at the board level, including in appointments, especially of government nominees.
  • These are often political appointees, with little exposure to banking.

Way forward:

While such consolidation can result in handsome productivity gains, what matters is the quality of execution by at stable and committed leadership aided by a shrewd and benign ownership.


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